Category Archives: Random Thoughts

Why This Mamma is Hooked on Amazon Prime

Prime_logo

A time-starved, working mom who does most of the household shopping online. I’m an ecommerce marketer’s dream!

I definitely have my go-to destinations for household items. Grocery Gateway, Well.ca and Walmart.ca are great but the site that has truly captured my heart (and the one I always use for price comparisons before I buy anything) is Amazon. And Prime is the reason that I can’t live without it.

About a month ago, a friend of mine asked her network on Facebook whether it was worth trying out Amazon Prime for free. I had so many reasons to share with her but instead of writing a really long list on Facebook, I thought my arguments in favour of Prime would be best outlined on a blog post. And no, Amazon did not pay me or ask me to write this…I’m just that much of an addict.

While the benefit of free shipping goes without saying, below are some of my tips and tricks for getting the most out of an Amazon Prime account.

1. Coupons, convenience and lightning deals

With a four month old daughter and a preschooler at home, I am always in need of the basics. The Amazon deals section, which also highlights warehouse and daily lightning deals (Prime members get early access too) contains a continuous stream of great coupons to clip whenever you run out of granola bars, toilet paper, paper towels, cleaning supplies, etc.

You can get most of your non-perishable grocery items on Amazon and with Prime, you don’t have to pay for shipping like you would with other grocery sites. Too bad Amazon Fresh isn’t available in Canada yet. I’d be all over that.

I got hooked on Amazon coupons when I was pregnant and was pretty immobile during my last trimester. I ordered almost everything we needed grocery-wise online and saved my husband the time and annoyance of having to get things on the way home from work during the winter.

2. Amazon Basics has you covered for batteries

I like to think of Amazon Prime as an online Costco membership because of Amazon-branded items like batteries which are a great deal. And Prime members save an additional 20%! Since we just had a baby, we have been buying batteries like crazy. Is it me or does it not seem like the battery companies are in cahoots with the toy and baby gear companies to keep each other in business? I don’t know what I’d do without Amazon Basics just for this reason.

3. Prime Video

After the kids are in bed and I have a little time for myself, I occasionally check out what’s new on Prime Video as it is now part of my membership. There is some great Amazon original content on there that you can’t see anywhere else. I recently finished watching Good Girls Revolt (loved it!) and am looking forward to watching The Man in the High Castle next.

The only downside is that you have to watch it on a mobile device or your laptop via Amazon’s website or app.

4. Buying Prime items is a safety precaution

Online fraud is everywhere and occasionally a fake retailer slips through the cracks and scams Amazon customers out of their money. Shame on me as I have been fooled twice.

The good news is that Amazon is very good about refunding the money if the item never arrives. You first have to try and contact the seller to see if there was a problem. If the seller never gets back to you, that’s when Amazon steps in and helps.

If you don’t want this to happen to you, stick to buying things that have the Prime symbol beside them as these are always fulfilled by Amazon. Otherwise, stick to well-known brands and/or sellers that have their own ecommerce website in addition to having a presence on Amazon.

Bonus tip #1: Use a wish list to check weekly for price reductions

I’m going to let you in on a little secret. If a returned Amazon item has a minor flaw (e.g. the box has a slight tear), Amazon knocks like 25% off the price of the item (it could be more or less…I’m just going off my own shopping experiences). But you have to act quickly and scoop it up before someone else does. So, if you’ve got your eye on a high priced item, it’s worth saving it to your wish list to see when Amazon has one on sale.

Bonus tip #2: Join the Savings Guru Facebook group

This group shares discounts from various online retailers but the majority of the deals shared are on Amazon. If something goes on sale, this group is gonna catch it for you. It’s definitely worth joining to check there first before buying baby or household items.

Will Prime be my BFF?

Amazon is quickly becoming a monopoly and is eating into the profits of other businesses — even Walmart is feeling the pain (not that I feel sorry for them specifically). So, I do feel a little bit of guilt for shopping there as a result. But on the flip side, a lot of smaller online sellers use Amazon as a sales channel to attract new customers and as their fulfillment center.

So for now, I’m sticking with my Prime membership and am enjoying saving lots of money and time to spend with my growing family. I haven’t jumped on the subscription bandwagon yet but plan to as I figure out our needs for diapers, baby wipes, paper towels, etc. in the near future.

One day, I may even get an Amazon Echo so that I can just shout “Alexa, I need dish soap” from my kitchen and a drone will drop it off on my doorstep later that day. I know it’s only a matter of time.

Have I missed a tip for making the most of your Prime membership? Please share below.

 

 

Merry GIFsmas From My Blog to Yours

christmas-snowman

It has been said that “gratefulness is a sure route to happiness.” And I have so much to be thankful for in 2015. Most importantly, it’s been a pleasure and honour to continue to write on this blog and to work with many emerging Canadian technology businesses to tell their story.

Since I’ll be taking a break over the holidays to spend time with my family, I want to take a moment to thank everyone who follows this blog (or who might stumble upon this post in the next few weeks) for your readership.

To show my appreciation and to wish you all happy holidays, I’ve spent some time rounding up my favourite GIFs that celebrate the good, the funny and the downright absurd spirit of the season. Enjoy!

1. Let’s kick it off with Carlton: It’s not unusual to have fun this time of year 
Carlton_xmas_sweater_dance Image via GIPHY

2. May your days be merry and full of the holiday spirits
mulled_wine Image via ChristmasGIFs.org

3. My favourite holiday movie: Go spread some cheer!
christmas-cheer Image via Gurl.com

4. We all know cats shall one day inherit the internet
Cats_xmas_interweb Image via Tumblr

5. There are no words to describe this…
xmas_tree_shakeyergroovething Image via Tumblr

6. So full of cuteness! I. Can’t. Even.
pug_reindeer Image via BestAnimations.com

7. Just because my son loves minions
merry-christmas-minions-greeting-gif-3 Image via BestAnimations.com

8. Play us out holiday Roots avatar!
Roots_holiday_avatar Image via Tumblr

Thanks again for stopping by my blog and I look forward to sharing my random thoughts with you all in 2016. Happy holidays and see you in the New Year!

Header image via Pixabay

What 5 Years of Content Marketing Has Taught Me

I can’t believe that 5 years ago, I started this little blog in the hopes of cms-265127_640promoting myself (back then) as a digital ad sales consultant.

Fast-forward to the present and I am now a full-time B2B content marketer who has worked with brands like the Canadian Digital Media Network, TELUS, Influitive and Shopify.

And I’m proud to say that they are all Canadian brands that I am thrilled to support.

Never in a million years did I think this is what I’d be doing when I started by own business.

But I am so glad that I am exactly where I am today.

So, to celebrate my love of writing and working with customers to tell their brand story, I thought I’d share a few of the hard lessons on blogging and content marketing that I have learned over the years.

  1. Never stop writing and never stop learning

    Even if I am not constantly writing on my own blog, I write at least 3 posts a week (in addition to working on ebooks, case studies, etc.).

    So, I keep trying to perfect my craft. Likewise, I read at least 10 blog posts a day from other writers who I admire.

    There is always room to improve, so I want to see what the pros are doing try to incorporate it into my own writing style.

  2. Only write for brands that you believe in

    Although I also do a lot of ghost writing for companies, I choose to only write for industries and brands that I am passionate about.

    That’s because I only want to put my name on something that I am proud of and I believe that passion is a huge motivator.

    Why bother writing about something you aren’t passionate about? If you aren’t passionate, it will certainly show through in your writing.

  3. Case studies: The customer is always the hero in the story

    This is something I’ve learned over the past few years in writing case studies for clients.

    It’s not the client/software solution that needs to be the protagonist in a story, it’s the customer who has been through some sort of struggle, which led them to that solution, that needs to shine as the hero.

    Basically, the customer is the rock star and the software solution is the roady or sound technician behind the scenes who makes them shine on stage.

  4. Have coffee with your target audience

    Ok, so it doesn’t have to be coffee, but you need to speak (in person) with the people who are likely to read the blog, ebook, whitepaper, etc. for which you are writing.

    You need to understand their pain points and what messages might resonate with them or get them to move from the awareness phase to the consideration phase of the purchase funnel. And that takes some time and experimentation with your content as well.

  5. Let the trolls keep on trolling

    I think I’ve said this before but you can’t please everyone with your writing. Ultimately, if you get more positive comments than negative ones, you are doing just fine.

    That being said, you can always learn something from what the haters are hating on – even if it’s just how to be the opposite of what they are as a human being.

    But sometimes there is a shred of truth to what is being said and you can always use that information to improve for the next piece that you write. Just don’t let the negativity get you down for too long.

    Thanks for continuing to follow my blog and I look forward to share more of what I have learned in the years to come.

    Have a question about blogging or content marketing? Please share in the comments below.

Image via Pixabay