I recently had a frustrating yet enlightening experience at the grocery store. I pretty much hate flossing, and have found 1 product that makes it not so bad...and it's the G.U.M. brand of disposable mini flosssers. They're 5x more durable, and have twice the surface area of the other brands. Anyways, the grocery store I've been going to appeared to have stopped carrying this brand of flossers. It was no longer in the place I normally found it (by the other floss). I devastatingly stopped buying floss for quite a while until I just recently realized that they had moved it half-way down the isle. It was now by the toothpaste hanging from one of those clip things.
Now i can see their thinking in moving it..."G.U.M. paid us more money to feature the product"..."putting products on clip things stand out more"..."products on clip things sell more than they would normally".
While these are all good ways to market a product...they failed to keep their loyal customers in mind. If they had kept the G.U.M. brand where loyal customers could find them, and at the same time offered them on the hanging clip thing, they would have maximized their promotion and sales.
I think that this scenario is a good analogy for offering and promoting products on a website. Lets make sure that we don't forget about our repeat and loyal customers whom we've trained to find things in a specific area. If you're going to promote a product, make sure it also exists where loyal customers know they can find it. Take a look at your stats to see new vs. returning visitors so that you understand the impact of these type of decisions.
"Its about as hard to quit smoking as it is to start flossing" - Mitch Hedberg