…that is indeed a troubling question for me and my ecommerce site. Many (if not most) sites on the intartrons leverage Google Adsense to drum up additional funds, and some make a decent profit from it. Up to this point I’ve resisted placing ads on the Columbus Supply website out of my desire to maintain a professional image for the company. We do not *need* the extra funds since we generate plenty from sales. However, we’ve started (not even started, have been) receiving some significant traffic for some time now and I can’t help but think how great it would be to supplement our company income with a bit of ad revenue.
I did a bit of research and discovered sites like amazon.com, woot.com, and buy.com do, in fact, have advertising spots in various locations throughout their site. These are pretty big sites that can be considered somewhat similar to ours. I also noticed that sites like newegg.com, grainger.com, and edarley.com do not have any advertising spots. I have admittedly tried to model a lot of our business off NewEgg’s, since I like the way they do things.
What are your thoughts on adding theme-matching, unobtrusive, responsibly-placed advertisements on the site? Would it ruin the “classiness” or “professionalism” of the site? Would it detract from the items and cause a possible dip in sales? Or do you think that it will provide a non-threatening way to cash in off the casual browser who does not necessarily intend to purchase from us?