Merchandise Products Both In-Store and
IDEAS FOR INTERNET                                    Online
significantly improves how the customer             driving sales to your site but is great for SEO
perceives and feels ab...
the customer's buying experience; however, Create Unique Descriptions for Best Results
utilizing this power requires merch...
Tips for Global Ecommerce                            Try Incentives to Reduce Cart Abandonment

“Know your global audience...
encourage customers to buy more and enhance Create an Easier Order Form
their overall experience with the core product.”
Engage Multi-channel Consumers with Relevant        will work for a given keyword, and this is an
Online Content          ...
over long sections of text and can miss your Make Web Pages Load Faster
value proposition. Better to focus on your key
period, such as 'Place an order this weekend and Use Advanced Analytics to Maximize
get free shipping.' Repeat at interval...
You are more likely to say yes to the date            application for online retailers), and Oodle (for
because less commi...
Identify the Source of Inquiries                    Calculate the Discount That Brings the Biggest
Take Advantage of Free Online Education               Keep Social Media Strategy Relevant to Your
retail--a force multiplier for chain-wide inventory, washing windows, or cleaning
initiatives, and it optimizes online res...
superior customer experience separates the            Grab Your Market Share Now
best-of-breed retailers from the rest of ...
the interns can gain necessary experience in a      world and use the 'Get it for free' model to turn
practical environmen...
Customer Testimonials Add Trust                        Google Alerts Provide an Extra Set of Eyes and
Work Together to Build Strong Links                 media, wish lists, and page promotions now to
by highlighting the nearest retail locations or ever about transacting business online.
presenting coupons for in-store us...
from another. This will let you focus on sales and    looses packages. If they do, your customer will
marketing while your...
The Evolution of the Payment Provider                affiliates or offer them tools to make their own
Rich Consumer Experiences Dominate                    Providing video is fairly easy and can be a major
have a public (though moderated) comment              — you’ll get calls from people just looking to
section for each prod...
Back To The Future                                  Develop Banking Relationships

"I revolutionized my time management by...
Review User Sessions                                     Build An Ecommerce Facebook Application

"Knowing which pages you...
Make Trustmarks Prevalent

Place trustmarks on your home page and all
catalog pages; don’t bury them in the shopping
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Ideas For Internet Based Business


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Ideas For Internet Based Business

  1. 1. Merchandise Products Both In-Store and IDEAS FOR INTERNET Online BASED BUSINESS, or “Retail sites and search engines are consistently ECOMMERCE (E-TRADE) (*) the first or second stop in the shopping continuum, with the end purchase location being split fairly evenly between the online and How to Leverage Promotion Codes offline retail channel. If you buy shelf space, eye-level kiosks or other brick-and-mortar “Make sure your promotion codes require merchandising options and don’t merchandise customers to buy at least two or more items. on retail websites, you’re missing almost half of Then display your cross-sell offerings on the your potential customers.” promotions code page. This gives customers incentive to increase their purchase amount, and Test Placement of Anxiety-Reducing Content helps them find additional products with which to do “Test placement of anxiety-reducing content, including security icons, returns policy, and Offer a Prize to Entice New Subscribers satisfaction points. It's often best to separate emotive content from transactional “Anyone who signs up for our email newsletter is considerations.” automatically entered into a monthly drawing for a chance to win a free toy or gift certificate from Product Feeds Lead to Success our website. Drawings are held at the end of each month, and all active subscribers are “Proactively sending out product information is eligible to win. This campaign is currently a secret to success. Product feeds to locations featured on our store’s home page, and we've like Google Base, Shopzilla and seen a huge increase in the number of give customers more opportunities to find what you have to offer. Search engines want to Streamline Your Shopping Cart provide relevant information when searchers look for items you have described in your “Each new page a shopper has to load to feeds.” complete another step in the checkout process is a chance for them to fall out of the funnel. You Follow User Paths with Clickstream Tool can minimize fallout by combining pages, and “Use Alexa Clickstream to learn from which Empower Employees to Offer Special Incentives sites users come to your competitors’ sites, and where they go afterward. You can also use it to "Empower your employees to offer incentives to see where visitors come from and where they help take online shoppers from simply browsing to actually purchasing. Arm phone, email and live Add a Handwritten Note to Shipped Items chat agents with a cadre of special promotions, discounts and other inducements only they can “Empower your packers to add a handwritten offer. Consider driving communications by thank you note to the enclosed invoice or advertising the offers on site, i.e., “Call now for packing slip. If possible, use the customer’s first special discounting,” or “Chat now and get free name, i.e., ‘Dear Helen, Thank you for your shipping.” order. We appreciate your business. Regards, Rob.’ It doesn’t take much effort, but it 1
  2. 2. significantly improves how the customer driving sales to your site but is great for SEO perceives and feels about your company.” [search engine optimization].” Test Small Before a Full-Site Rollout Mobile: A Critical Ecommerce Channel “Experiment with new ideas. There are tons of “Mobile is not just another customer ideas out there to try, from chat to video to communications medium, it is rapidly evolving social networking. Develop small, quick, cheap into an effective and critical ecommerce tests to see which are most effective before channel--one that creates a link between investing in a full site rollout.” existing commerce channels, helping to converge them. And, consumers aren’t just Correctly Evaluate Your Conversion Rate using high-end phone browsers, they are using a wide range of phones to browse the web. “The conversion rate is the ratio between the When developing mobile websites and number of visitors who are likely to perform an applications, businesses should focus on action you desire and the ones that actually do. content delivery across different types of It's not related to the whole website traffic. devices, as well as ease of navigation, design, Eliminate from your analysis those visitors who usability and context. For example, small don’t have the slightest intention to convert, but displays create usability challenges, and can skew your reports. For instance, when cumbersome processes that can cause calculating your sales conversion rate, exclude all customers to abandon their purchases.” visitors who are referred by organic search keywords that are not related to your offer. Impress Your Customers You’ll be able to focus conversion optimization actions on the segments that truly matter to “Impress your customers after their first order your business goals.” with a shipping upgrade, a special discount or store credit for future purchases. This Deep Links Lead to Deeper Value encourages them to come back for more, and the return on investment can be much higher “Getting links to your site isn’t a new concept, than traditional advertising.” but links should point to your most relevant pages. Home page links aren’t usually relevant Provide Customization and Personalization for searches. Look to gain links to specific Whenever Possible category or product pages. This will pass link value deep into your site and drive rankings for “Online product customization is becoming an specific long-tail keywords.” increasingly popular feature for merchants keen to distinguish themselves from their Mommy Bloggers Love to Do Reviews competition. The magic lies in customers being able to instantly see the customized products, “Mommy Bloggers love to write reviews about so they don't have to imagine what the watch, products. Search for Mommy Bloggers and then for example, looks like with a blue band as contact them. Tell them how much you like their opposed to a green one, or a silver dial versus a site, why your product is great, and offer to send gold one. Letting customers personalize their them a free product to review. As an added purchase provides the ultimate touch bonus allow them to do a giveaway of your (assuming of course, that you are actually able product to their readers. This is not only good for to actually produce the end result). Customization can make a huge difference in 2
  3. 3. the customer's buying experience; however, Create Unique Descriptions for Best Results utilizing this power requires merchants to expertly prepare their images.” “Search engines want to provide the most relevant results possible when people search. Two Great Conversion Tips The original content rule applies to storefronts if they want to succeed. Best practices for “Cart abandonment may not reflect a cart natural search engine ranking is to create your problem. New info crushes momentum. Make own unique product descriptions and avoid sure visitors can access the complete cost from copying descriptions from manufacturers.” any page and your cart abandonment problem may magically disappear. Also, test a one-page Cut Down on Clutter checkout. We've seen it increase conversion rates 'in some cases.” “Shoppers don’t want clutter! Ideally there should be only 10 to15 products on a page, no Appeal to Coupon Hunters pop-ups or advertising, and a comparison feature to view more product details.” “Make sure you regularly publish your coupon codes and special deals on your Facebook and Consolidate Your Community Twitter accounts, using the words ‘save’ or ‘deal.’ These are often grabbed by third parties and “Publish exclusive offers and discounts in the coupon hunters and then republished on various social networks (like Twitter, Facebook or coupons sites, giving you a wider distribution list Google Orkut). It will consolidate your at no cost.” community and will keep it active.” Protect Your Brand’s Reputation Online Increase Foot Traffic “As the online retail sales channel continues to “If you welcome customers to collect purchases grow, a company's greatest challenge is in person, or if you have a bricks-and-mortar defending its brand from being devalued by store, make sure you are listed on Google discounters. Ensure your company’s ecommerce Places. It will help you get found by potential success by monitoring and enforcing pricing customers looking for your products in and violations to keep online retailers on a level around your local area.” playing field.” Develop Pure Content 'One-Day Only' Sale Can Boost Social Presence “Content is still king. Dedicate a portion of your “We now do a "Wild Wednesdays" promotion web team’s time and budget to developing where we announce one product for $10 (usually pure content that is compelling and relevant for retails for $25), or $10 off a particular item. We your users. Finding the right idea is key – it can announce it on Tuesday via Twitter with a be informational and help your users make a coupon code that is good only on that more educated choice, or it can be simply for Wednesday. We limit the offer to one discounted entertainment. Compelling content will product per customer, and it could be offered generate free traffic and links that your product only ‘while supplies last’ for those with a big pages never will.” customer list. We are currently using this campaign to grow our social media presence.” 3
  4. 4. Tips for Global Ecommerce Try Incentives to Reduce Cart Abandonment “Know your global audience. Americans may “Online merchants typically concentrate on want a quick and easy checkout process, but attracting new customers, but research shows consumers in Japan and Europe prefer to see that the industry has a very high rate of more details and options when shopping online. shopping cart abandonment, and this has not Eighty-five percent of the local German market improved over the past years. Try offering uses bank transfers as the primary means of incentives for consumers to complete their payment, not credit cards. And, discounted purchases, and reward them for doing so. products are often perceived in Japan as being Rewarding customers creates loyalty and drives faulty instead of simply a good deal.” more sales and revenue.” Consider Payment Provider Added Services Don’t Rush Your Product Listings “Consider the cost of added services when “When first setting up your ecommerce site it choosing your payment provider. For instance, can be tempting to just get the basics of the you may use PayPal to checkout customers from products uploaded first and add details later, your store or on a selling channel like Etsy or but don’t rush. Take time to get the title tags eBay, but did you know PayPal can also get your and descriptions right for each product, accounting done? Various added services offered including relevant key words and a USP [unique by payment providers can make it less costly and selling proposition). Also write the description simpler to run your business.” tags to sell and include relevant keywords.” Make a Better Category Tree Conversion Optimization Testing is Important “Don't make product lists too long. Everything “Run controlled A/B/n tests of your site-wide that goes ‘beyond the fold’ is too long. Spend templates, and concentrate on statistically more time to make a better category tree. If it's significant results. In many cases, a 10 to 30 impossible in your case, make page navigation percent increase in sales can happen by testing very obvious and easy for a visitor.” variations in design layout." Display In-store Promotions on Your Website Make Use of Free Surveys “Since the research cycle is typically much longer “Many shopping search engines (like Shopzilla) for consumers considering a big ticket purchase have free sales confirmation surveys, and the online, the impact of relevant and compelling feedback can be invaluable. Survey your promotions can often be the driving factor in customers regularly, and be sure to route the getting them into the store or online to make feedback to the appropriate departments – their final purchase. To make this process customer service, webmaster, product seamless for the customer, use ecommerce tools development, or other.” to align your site with your promotional calendars, and display on your website your in- Up-sell Only What Makes Sense store events, promotions, sales, coupons and finance offers. When optimized, these tools will “Whenever possible, up-sell accessories and create a better customer experience online, items that make sense and compliment a extending the value of materials created for in- customer’s purchase. These items will store customers.” 4
  5. 5. encourage customers to buy more and enhance Create an Easier Order Form their overall experience with the core product.” “Testing confirms that simpler and easier order Set Workflow Rules to Automate and Innovate forms convert better. So, make your order form as short, and with the fewest fields, as possible. “Workflow rule engines provide vital flexibility Save information so that customers don’t have when processing orders, shipping, segmenting to start from scratch if they come back later. traffic, and giving discounts. Jump ahead of the And, use either check boxes or radial buttons, competition by setting workflow rules to but not both.” automate and innovate. For example: Set a 10 percent discount for customers coming from Get Shoppers Back with Retargeting 'Google only' on 'orders over $50.' Then, set it to 'send them an email' and 'set a tracking code'... “When visitors leave your site without making a the uses are endless.” purchase, display ad retargeting can help get those shoppers back to your site and motivate Use Free Tools to Track SEO Efforts them to buy. Retargeted ads can promote the products each shopper is most likely to be in- “Find the top searched-for terms related to your market for next. It is always better to target industry with the free Google AdWords keyword shoppers with a known affinity for your brand, tool. Then use the free Rank Checker from rather than prospecting for new shoppers.” to determine where your site ranks for each term across the major search Use a Thank You Page engines. Organize all the information in a spreadsheet and recalculate rankings often. This “An order confirmation is good, but a ‘thank is a great way to keep track of SEO efforts and to you’ is even better. More than just good discover keyword terms to target through link manners, a thank you page is an opportunity to building and on-page optimization.” reinforce your relationship with your customers, reward them with discounts on Link Your Blog to Internal Product Pages future purchases, and up-sell and cross-sell your products.” “Create a helpful, industry-specific blog, and make sure each of your principle team members Close More Sales Through Personalization has access to create entries regularly. Your corporate blog linked to internal product pages is “Converting browsers to buyers is tough. For your single best way to obtain long tailed most ecommerce sites, as many as 97 percent keyword relevance in the search engines. “ of visitors leave without making a purchase, and this is often attributed to shoppers just not Find Out Why the Cart Was Abandoned finding merchandise that interests them. You can improve conversions by presenting “Contact those visitors who passed almost the relevant, personalized product entire checkout in your shop but didn't pay. recommendations on your product detail There could be a technical problem that caused pages, category pages, and cart page.” the customer to abandon the cart. Send a follow up email to find out why they didn’t complete the sale.” 5
  6. 6. Engage Multi-channel Consumers with Relevant will work for a given keyword, and this is an Online Content easy way to get more ROI out of your PPC campaigns.” “Retailers must use their web presence to intercept consumers online—with relevant Use Unique Content to Increase Conversions content—before they get their information elsewhere or make a purchase from a “Original content is critical to building a competitor. By providing more relevant online successful online business. When you regularly information, retailers can successfully use the update your websites and sales pages with Internet to seamlessly deliver products and unique, search-relevant content, you not only promotions to consumers in conjunction with increase organic rankings, but also provide the store experience.” added value to the consumer, resulting in higher conversions and a larger number of Check Reputation Before You Deal repeat shoppers over the long term.” “If you are about to strike a deal with another Provide a Toll-free Number company, check its reputation before making any decisions. Take time to Google its company name “Place a toll-free phone number in a large font and search for reviews.” in the header of your website. You will get a few more phone calls, and that is a good thing. Shipping Can Be a Profit Center Answering your business phone is your ticket to increasing the average revenue per sale, as the “You can make shipping into a profit center. If phone is one of the best places a merchant can you have accounts with UPS or FedEx, ask them up-sell.” to give you a discount based on your history. (The FedEx discount can run up to 47 percent.) Basic Security Tips Then, advertise discounted shipping rates to customers, but only give half the discount.” "These are basic website security tips: Keep your operating systems and installed Build Virtual Relationships applications up-to-date with the latest security patches. And, don’t run unnecessary network “Segment your customers and re-market to them services on servers and workstations." via email, based on what they have purchased from you in the past. Build virtual relationships Study Your Competitors’ SEO with your customers based on their buying behavior and preferences. The stronger your “Study and learn why your direct competitors customers feel a brand affinity with your rank above you on search engines by looking at company, the more likely they are to do repeat their code. Using your browser’s ‘View Source’ business with you.” function, determine what puts them on top for specific keywords, then you can beat them at PPC: Test Multiple Pages their own game on your website.” “Test multiple landing pages for your pay-per- Focus on Your Key Message click ads. It’s easy to run multiple creatives in Google and point one to a category page, one to "Don't use lengthy product descriptions in a product listing page, and one to a product general lists of products, like categories or detail page. Most websites have a few pages that search results. Web visitors will simply scan 6
  7. 7. over long sections of text and can miss your Make Web Pages Load Faster value proposition. Better to focus on your key message for product lists." “The faster your page loads the more Google likes your site [and users, too]. Take a look at Aim for Quality Backlinks implementing things like gzip compression, which can usually be done with a few lines of “Getting many links to your site is key when it code. Suitable code can be easily found by a comes to ranking well in the search engines, but quick search on the Internet.” quality counts. Aim for backlinks from related sites, from pages that don't have a lot of other Warn Consumers of Scams links, and ask for anchor text that includes your keywords rather than just your company name.” “Search and monitor social media networks and other Web 2.0 platforms for new scams on a Give Localized Delivery Information regular basis. If you find your company is being victimized by a scam, warn consumers through “Give customers localized information about various mediums, including the company page delivery and shipping times for their particular on your social networks, your corporate location, which can be the deciding factor in website, an official tweet on Twitter, and the making a sale. To make this process accurate, official company fan site.” inventory levels should be updated in real-time, with localized delivery dates based on stock and Have a Great Newsletter incoming purchases.” “Make your newsletters fun and/or insightful. Put Your Phone Number in the Title Tag The vast majority of newsletters in the world are boring and one-sided. Use your newsletter “If you make sales by phone, include your to show your customers what your company is telephone number in the main title tag of your doing to help them. Give them a reason to home page. This way, someone can call you open it, read it, and look forward to it.” without visiting your home page, because the phone number will also appear, in bold-face, in Make User Guides Available Google search results. Featuring your telephone number prominently is also a signal of honesty “Shoppers like to be able to view or print and transparency.” product user guides or manuals, particularly when looking at consumer electronics products. Good, Better, Best User guides not only help shoppers select the right product, but can also prevent returns. “Consumers love to be told what to do. In a day These documents are commonly available as when information overload is the norm, keeping PDF files included in the product content made things simple and direct is key. Telling a available by your vendors via hosted content customer what is a good choice, a better choice, links.” and finally the best choice, is a very good way to increase conversion rate and help your Drive Short-term Sales customers find what they want quickly.” "To drive short-term sales volumes, try these marketing techniques: Offer 24-hour deep discounts on selected products for one day only. Or, offer free shipping over a limited time 7
  8. 8. period, such as 'Place an order this weekend and Use Advanced Analytics to Maximize get free shipping.' Repeat at intervals to drive Conversions traffic to your site." "Optimize your site at its full potential to Learn HTML, Save on Design Fees convert visits to sales by using advanced traffic and sales analytics tools, such as Google "Make sure at least one of your core team Analytics. By tracking patterns during visitors' members learns and understands HTML very shopping experiences, you can determine well. You can potentially save a bundle in web which pages should be most advertised, and design fees by being able to make easy and quick which pages need adjustments." updates yourselves." Return Policy Squeeze Images to Web-friendly Size "Place your return policy link immediately "When looking for ways to speed up your site's under the checkout button. You need to give performance, be sure you have squeezed your users comfort that they can return without risk. images down to the most web-friendly size. Free If you can accept returns without penalties and online services, such as from Yahoo!, fees, you will find yourself in even better are great for compressing your images without shape." losing any visible detail." Use All the Free Tools at Your Disposal Don’t Get Hung Up on Cool Tricks or Gimmickry "Use all the available free tools to market and "There are a lot of great web tools that promise maintain your website, such as Google Product to do big things for your online business. Look Search, Xenu's Link Sleuth, Twitter and Google into them if they interest you, but remember the Webmaster Tools. And, use that other great core values that drive your business, and find free tool, the Internet, to find more available ways to infuse those into your ecommerce site tools." for long-term growth and revenue." The Power Of Online Video Put Text in Bite-sized "Chunks" "Using video to promote products and services "Web pages that present a wall of solid text and online is one of the most underused, information are intimidating to shoppers—it ecommerce strategies today. Video is highly seems like too much work to slog through. So viral. YouTube is now the number one search separate text into short, discrete paragraphs engine behind Google, and Americans watch separated by white space, and use bullets when double the number of videos compared to the you can." number of online searches conducted. This gives video the potential to make your Make the Most of Free Shipping ecommerce campaigns incredibly successful." “One of the most significant draws to a product "Add to Cart" vs. "Buy" listing is free shipping. When you offer free shipping, be sure to populate the shipping field "Use phrases like 'Add to Cart' on your buttons with a zero (0) for all eligible products in all your rather than phrases like 'Buy.' Consumers don’t data feeds on comparison sites and other like commitment. It is like saying 'Will you go on product databases (such as Google Base).” a date with me?' versus 'Will you marry me?' 8
  9. 9. You are more likely to say yes to the date application for online retailers), and Oodle (for because less commitment is required." merchants who also have a physical store)." Watch PPC Metrics Weekly Basic Social Marketing Tips "If pay-per-click advertising (PPC) is part of your "Social marketing is important and time marketing strategy, establish a set of core consuming. Make a specific plan, commit to performance indicators and pay attention to being regularly active on the social site, and those metrics on at least a weekly basis." make your profile dynamic. If you can’t perform social marketing well yourself, hire an expert or Free SEO Information for Beginners delegate it to someone who can." "A great source of free information for beginners Success Metrics for A/B Tests can be found at It will provide you with the 'ABC’s' of SEO. Sign up for "When performing A/B tests you should make the free beginners SEO course and you will sure especially of two things: to have receive an easy to understand email once a day statistically significant results and to choose the for a week on the basics of search engine right success metric for your campaign (which marketing." can be revenue, profit, orders, average order value, CTR, or other important metrics)." Lead the Eye to the Action Ease the Pain of Tax Season with Online "Want people to click that 'buy' button? Design Incentives your web pages to lead the eye to it. Take advantage of the fact that people read from left "March is the height of tax season, which to right. Use arrows to point, and color your makes it the perfect time for financial services order button to stand out." marketers to target consumers filing their taxes online with great deals and special promotions. Comparison Tool Helps Reduce Returns During tax season, people are looking for online incentives that help them get over the pain of "If your products are technical with many filing their taxes." features or detailed specifications, make sure your ecommerce software has a comparison tool Keep Information Consistent Across All Selling that allows shoppers to view detailed feature Channels breakdown for a number of products side by side for easy comparison. This improves usability and "To ensure cross-channel consistency, SKUs, can reduce returns." prices and product information should be the same online and in-store so they can be treated Some Free Comparison Sites exactly the same from a fulfillment and service perspective. The result is less work, higher "Take advantage of the free comparison customer satisfaction and a reduced need to shopping sites that are out there, including develop separate staff or procedures for online Google Product Search (a staple of any shopping sales." channel strategy), theFind (it has a great, free 'up-front' program to enhance merchant visibility), Sortprice (it has a Facebook store 9
  10. 10. Identify the Source of Inquiries Calculate the Discount That Brings the Biggest Profit "Measure your marketing effectiveness with lead tracking software. By identifying where your "It's important to double check the math inquiries come from (e.g., online or via the behind your online promotions. A 60 percent telephone), what sources are working and how discount will bring you more customers than a much they are costing, you can get closer to the 40 percent discount, but keep in mind that the ‘holy grail’ of marketing: $x Marketing Spend = 40 percent discount might actually bring you $y Sales Return." more profit and even better customer retention." Shop Payment Gateways Adjust Plans Based on Metrics "Shop around to find the best deal in credit card processing gateways. Even a penny more per "Traffic, conversion rate, and average order transaction will eventually add up to big bucks value are three numbers that significantly over the life of your shop." impact the bottom line. With 2009 as your baseline, create your 2010 goals, then map Copy Your Foreign Competitors your on-page and off-page tactics to positively influence these key ecommerce metrics. “When entering foreign markets for the first Produce monthly scorecard reports and quickly time, make sure you offer customers the same adjust plans if you’re not seeing the results.” value as your foreign competition. Copy your competitors' payment solutions, business terms Use a Favicon to Promote Your Brand and business partners; and match their delivery costs and delivery times. If you cannot meet or "Promote your brand with a favorite icon (or, beat your foreign competitors, then don’t enter "Favicon"), a square 16 pixel graphic that foreign markets.” appears next to your website address in the address bar, next to the web page’s title in the Use Tags to Label Images web browser favorites, in tabs, and desktop shortcuts. To implement, place the favicon.ico "Label all images with alt tags and image tags to graphic file in the root of your URL, and then provide another way for customers to find you. link to it with: <link REL="SHORTCUT ICON" Imagine if you were reading a description of your HREF=" product without photos. Could you visualize it m/favicon.ico">." Watch this tutorial for help in from the description? Include image tags and alt creating your own favicon. tags that describe what’s in the image to help visitors who are vision impaired. " Offer Additional Payment Methods Learn to Delegate "When you offer additional payment methods (e.g., PayPal, Amazon and Google Checkout) "A business owner does not have the time to be you can lock in customers that may be worried an expert in everything or to micro-manage about trusting your online store. Millions of every business detail. Learn to delegate customers that already have accounts with responsibilities, hire good employees or service these secure payment methods know and trust providers, and allow yourself time to focus on their checkout systems and buying experience." the big picture." 10
  11. 11. Take Advantage of Free Online Education Keep Social Media Strategy Relevant to Your Business "Take advantage of free education on the Internet. No one knows everything, so learn "Connect to customers through social media more about topics you need to stay current on. outlets, but develop your own strategy relevant Most tech sites have sponsored seminars, and to your particular business. Just because Dell, since they are free, you have nothing to lose." Best Buy or other large corporations are using a particular site or a particular strategy doesn't Shop First, Ask For Registration Later mean it is relevant or feasible for your business." “Allow shoppers to check out before asking them to register with your website. The information The Advantage of Up-selling learned at check out, such as name, address and email, can be used to create customer accounts. "Up-sells increase average earnings per sale, Eliminating this extra step in the online shopping and a properly executed up-sell can even process gets you one step closer to a completed increase your conversion rates. Compelling up- order.” sell offers should cost no more than 30 percent of the price of your primary product. And, when Offer a Branded DIY Gift Wrapping Kit choosing your up-sell offers, always select products that complement your primary "Many shoppers don't use gift wrapping services product offer." because they prefer to save the money, or they might want to check what they bought before it Don't Put All Your Eggs in One Basket is wrapped. Try offering a DIY gift-wrapping kit with your branded gift-wrap, ribbon, and card for "Try not to rely too heavily on one supplier. a nominal fee. You won't need to use staff Although it's more difficult to manage multiple resources wrapping products, plus your suppliers, diversifying will help shield you if customer gets to inspect the gift before he or she your primary supplier should run into trouble." presents it. It's a win-win solution." Offer Telephone Sales on Your Site Never Argue, Try Persuasion "Offer telephone orders on your site as an "Never argue with a customer. Even if you are alternative to online orders. A message such as right, it's useless waste of time. You'll lose as 'Order by telephone and speak to one of our soon as you start arguing with the customer. Try Product Experts' can increase sales. And, to persuade him or her instead." conversions are typically higher over the telephone." Adjust Your Spend Caps During the Holidays Embed Ecommerce Into Your Overall Retail “If you have caps on your spend at various Strategy comparison shopping engines, be sure to go in and adjust your budgets throughout the holiday "Launch your ecommerce operation as a season. Traffic and costs will rise steadily so be coordinated, multi-channel selling effort, ready and visible for all opportunities.” ideally with the head of ecommerce seated at the management table. This structure allows ecommerce to become what it should be in 11
  12. 12. retail--a force multiplier for chain-wide inventory, washing windows, or cleaning initiatives, and it optimizes online results." company vehicles. If they don’t ask, you can suggest it. It is a great solution for both Keep Shoppers on the Cart Page organizations because everyone wins." "When cross selling or up-selling products in the Use Ning to Target Customers shopping cart, make sure you allow shoppers to easily add the recommended products to the "Ning is a web service that hosts thousands of cart without leaving the shopping cart page." social networks and it is a great place to target niche customer segments. For example, if you Localize Site Content were selling embroidered pet collars, the best place to promote your products would be a "Your ecommerce site should be as localized as Ning network for dog lovers. Find out the your physical stores. Some retailers have networks your customers are likely to belong to hundreds of localized, micro-branded sites with and connect with them on Ning." content that resonates with local consumers. You can also use IP mapping to localize prices, Create a FAQ Page offers and product selection. Make sure your website platform embraces this complexity -- "Create a FAQ [frequently asked questions] when done correctly, it's a powerful sales tool page that educates customers about your for your online and local stores." products or services in a concise matter. It should cover a wide range of questions and Keep Your Message Above the Fold answers to help customers make more informed decisions on purchases. Customers "If it is important, keep it 'above the fold' [middle will be more comfortable shopping with your of screen]. Email or newsletter sign ups, special company and have a better understanding of offers, reviews, and navigation are better served the way you operate, creating a foundation for 'above the fold' where a visitor is more likely to repeat customers and referrals." engage them." Define Your Business Objectives Include Expert Testimonials "Approach ecommerce as an all-encompassing "Customer testimonials and user-generated marketing discipline from the outset. Clearly product reviews are great to provide reassurance define your business objectives, make them for your online store. But, if you can, go one step achievable and measurable. Once this has been further and put up any 'expert' testimonials or defined you can then make intelligent decisions product reviews. An example might be, 'The and select appropriate partners to assist you." head groundsman at Wimbledon recommends this lawn mower...' and include actual quotes Detailed Images Appeal to Sophisticated from the expert." Shoppers Help Non-Profits and They Help You "As the Internet matures so does the sophistication of online shoppers. Studies "Things are tight for everyone right now, indicate that today's shoppers expect retailers including non-profits. For a donation, many local to provide not only textual product groups, especially team sports, will help you with information, but also detailed, zoomable time-consuming projects such as taking online images, videos, and alternate product views. A 12
  13. 13. superior customer experience separates the Grab Your Market Share Now best-of-breed retailers from the rest of the pack." "A recession is no time to reduce your marketing and advertising budgets. Manage Use Creative Commons for SEO Value expenses according to ROI, but this is a good time to grab additional market share." "If you have old imagery such as model or product shots which you are no longer using, Improve Rankings With Press Releases consider submitting them to image-sharing sites under a Creative Commons license. Oftentimes "Press releases provide an opportunity to users will credit your company for the image and provide high-quality content within your press- provide SEO value by linking to your site." related pages. Many merchants disassociate the importance of marketing activity from their Improve Your Onsite Search websites. But each press release allows the opportunity to increase your keyword density “Help shoppers find the products they’re and improve your rankings." searching for more quickly. If you sell merchandise across a range of product Deploy Decision-making Widgets categories, consider adding a category drop- down [menu] next to your search box to allow "When selling big ticket items or products that shoppers to narrow their search ahead of time require research, deploy merchandising (e.g., women’s apparel vs. men’s apparel vs. kid’s widgets to aid in the decision-making process. apparel).” Customers who interact with online merchandising widgets will generally view more The Power of Product Reviews products per session and are more likely to add a product to their shopping cart, increasing "Use the power of product reviews and motivate conversions, repeat visits and customer your team to do their best work. Instruct your satisfaction." employees to route satisfied customers to the most important online sites for leaving feedback, Add Unique Content to Improve Product and give your people a bonus if a referred Descriptions customer writes a review about your company there." "Improve your product descriptions by adding informative and unique content. The more Only Ask For Information You Absolutely Need descriptive and unique you are in your product descriptions, the better the chance that "Ask your customers only for the information someone will buy from you. Figure out a way to you absolutely need. If you are selling digital make your product descriptions unique to products, do you need the customer's full differentiate you from the competition." address? What about the phone number? Most customers dislike giving their precious personal Hire Interns With Advanced Skills information away until they get to know your company better." "Utilize local high school and college student’s talent for jobs whenever possible, including paid internships. You will be amazed at the talent you can find, such as advanced skills in programming, photography, blogging etc. And 13
  14. 14. the interns can gain necessary experience in a world and use the 'Get it for free' model to turn practical environment." shopping cart abandons into sales." Step Up Security Accreditation Targeted Email Can Increase ROI "Go one step further than SSL or 'McAfee Hacker "Your customers have different purchasing Safe' certifications on your site. Try to get patterns and interests. Segmentation allows industry-endorsed accreditations such as the you to send targeted email campaigns to 'Good Web Shopping Guide' or 'Governed by the subgroups within your list based on subscribers' Internet Shopping Code of Practice.'" behavior or demographics. Since competition for the attention of your newsletter subscribers Earn Trust By Keeping Your Promises is rising, sending relevant email is vital to a successful email marketing campaign." "Be honest with your customers and never promise anything that cannot be accomplished. Use Google Alerts to Stay on Top of Your Once you make a promise you must keep it. Industry Earning a customer's trust is the best way to get a lifelong partner." "Use Google Alerts to stay abreast on what's happening in your industry, you'll be surprised Spread the Word on Facebook how much they keep your 'finger on the pulse' of news items that are important to you. Make "A Facebook page is a great way to promote your sure to include keywords like your company's online store. Not only does it give you name and your line of business, as well as customized presence and branding, it also gives important industry keywords and buzzwords." your customers a channel to interact with you. And, it provides great SEO value, too. Set up a Establish Good Inbound Links Facebook page now and spread the word among your friends and customers." "Links are the currency of the web. Not only do they drive traffic in their own right, but they Help Customers Interact With Your Site also are essential to high search engine rankings. Without good inbound links to your "Invest in features that will help customers web site, your search engine optimization (SEO) interact with your site or understand your efforts will be limited." products better. This could be product reviews, expandable interactive images, video, or chat. Present Your Products in the Best Possible Watch your competition -- what features are Way they adding?" "Image is everything and online shoppers need Turn Shopping Cart Abandons Into Future to come as close to touching and feeling a Customers product as possible. You need to overcome the obstacle of customers not being able to "Never underestimate the profit opportunity experience your product, like they can in a that comes with undecided or 'freebies hunting' retail store. Take time to present your products customers. Do your prospects want your in the best possible way with clear and vibrant merchandise for free? Get creative! Join forces images and accurate descriptions." with advertisers and other merchants around the 14
  15. 15. Customer Testimonials Add Trust Google Alerts Provide an Extra Set of Eyes and Ears "Customer reviews and testimonials are great ways to help visitors to feel more confident in "Set up Google Alerts on your company’s high- their purchase, resulting in lower shopping cart converting keyword phrases. When these abandonment and higher overall revenue. When phrases appear in a blog post, video, website contemplating a purchase, peer feedback is very update, or news release, Google will send a powerful and adds a new dimension of trust." relevant email update. This instantaneous feedback is a great information resource for Look Further Afield for Inventory Sources new blog posts, latest product ideas, link exchanges and even short-term PPC "With an unrivaled manufacturing infrastructure, campaigns." sourcing direct from Chinese suppliers can greatly increase profit margins for small online Seek Quality and Affordable Advertising businesses. By using a transactional marketplace rather than a supplier directory, buyers can "It is important not to overlook paid search select and purchase small volumes at a high engine advertising for your online business. frequency while utilizing inbuilt security systems Many of the leading search providers, such as – mitigating risk and maximizing cost- Google, Yahoo! and Bing, offer paid advertising efficiencies." at rates that are affordable to businesses of any size. This is a great way to get targeted visitors Take Advantage of Existing SEO Services to your website which could lead to potential sales." "Before contracting for any SEO services at all, be sure you are taking maximum advantage of SEO Use Long Tail Phrases to Describe Products services you already possess, such as those built into your web hosting account, or those built "Most people think of keywords as individual into your shopping cart. You should be using words. While these are important it is also them. Some are highly effective and will important to think about the phrases that continue to build page authority and page rank consumers use to describe your products. for you day-by-day, every day." These phrases are referred to as 'long tail keywords.' For many websites, more than half Don't Wait to Promote Top-rated Sellers of traffic comes with long tail keywords than from shorter one- or two-keyword phrases." "Leading retailers have recognized the value of premium position and are offering it as part of Fundamental Security Tips their top-rated program. But why wait until October (like eBay does) to promote top-rated "It's critical to become a stickler for security sellers? Offering cost-per-click bidding now to when it comes to your customer's data. Some attain premium position helps fundamental tips are to use strong passwords advertisers/suppliers improve sales while helping and change them frequently, become PCI you generate incremental revenue in hours." compliant, never store sensitive information in plain-text at any point, use digital certificates, store transaction IDs/subscription IDs over credit card data, and above all do not store any more customer data than is necessary." 15
  16. 16. Work Together to Build Strong Links media, wish lists, and page promotions now to have a successful holiday shopping season." "To make the most of out your SEO linking strategy, make sure that the rest of your Use A Site Search That Incorporates Guided marketing team understands what keywords and Navigation pages you’re targeting. Some of the best natural links come from work you’re already doing "Shoppers often begin their search using vague elsewhere, from press releases to social media." and general terms, and then abandon the search in frustration and leave the website Diversify Online Marketing Tactics altogether because too many choices are returned in an unstructured manner. Guided "Online merchants should diversify tactics to navigation helps solve this problem by allowing reach customers through targeted advertising on the visitor to easily and rapidly narrow the sites like Shopzilla, Bing cashback, and Google search in a highly structured fashion." Product Search; timely email promotions; and most importantly, by providing relevant, quality Focus on Upsell Products site content and high-quality images that foster a better online shopping experience." "To succeed with your ecommerce solution, it is extremely important to focus on having the Put Your Best Image Forward customer picking an upsell product with better profit, or adding accessories together with the “Compared to traditional store rent and utilities, product they are purchasing. This is no more ecommerce has built-in advantages with already than a time commitment, but well worth it. cheap start-up costs. Resist skimping further on Find products that you can add as accessories, aesthetics and appearance; these things strongly not only to a few of your products but to all of represent you, your vision, and your business. them." Spend the dollars in design, proper functionality, and support to ensure your image is represented Automation is Not a Substitute for correctly.” Outstanding Support Audit Search Queries Often "It is critically important to have user friendly automated tools, dynamic and well-designed “Regularly audit your search queries. These are web pages, and clear communication the actual words a searcher types, not the processes. But don’t forget the importance of keywords you buy. If you buy paid search coupling this with easy access to an advertising using broad match and phrase match, outstanding, knowledgeable and helpful you could be wasting money.” support representative to create positive, long lasting, impressions of your company." Start Planning for Holiday Season Now Tap Location Online to Drive Offline Sales "To succeed during the holiday season, make sure your website and its underlying technology "The consumer’s expectation of 'research can support your marketing plans now. Online anywhere, buy anywhere' means merchants retailers should be prepared to quickly and must bring offline decision-making to online accurately process large quantities of orders commerce. And, location plays an integral role. during the holiday season. And, integrate social With geolocation technologies, online enterprises can proactively drive offline sales 16
  17. 17. by highlighting the nearest retail locations or ever about transacting business online. presenting coupons for in-store use based on Merchants need to be sensitive to these shoppers’ geographic locations." concerns and reinforce the trustworthiness of their site wherever possible." A/B Split Testing Add a Video Play Button "Do A/B split testing of landing pages using Google Website Optimizer. It's free and you'll be "The benefits of product video on ecommerce pleasantly surprised at your conversion's is well established, but how it is triggered by improvement." shoppers is critical. Take a cue from YouTube and news sites - use a superimposed ‘play Find Related Forums and Blogs button’ in the immediate vicinity of the primary product image. Shoppers know immediately "Targeted marketing is the most effective way to what this means, and your conversion rates will drive potential customers to your site. Use the be maximized." search engines to find related forums and blogs, and sign up for as many you find. Participate by adding useful information, comments and advice, and be sure to include a link to your See Things From a Customer's Viewpoint website." "Understanding complete customer experience Don’t Be Afraid to Experiment requires monitoring from the customer's viewpoint (not an internal one) through the "Diversifying your product range is an excellent entire order lifecycle. How easy is it to order way to expand your existing business and reach and how long does it take to receive it? It’s also new customers. You can add value to your online important to analyze how technology enables store and increase your margins by introducing or hampers the customer experience." new complementary products. This will also allow you to test new suppliers for quality and Set Yourself Apart with Visual Security reliability." "Making your commitment to security known Maximize Your Profit on Every Item Sold by your customers can be the difference between abandonment and a conversion. "Setting the right price for items is key to Strong visual indicators, such as Extended maximizing profit, but it can take Validation certificates (green address bar) and experimentation and may vary based on who the trustmarks, greatly increase shopper actual shopper is. Understanding how your confidence." shoppers respond to pricing and promotions and making fine adjustments will deliver large Start a Wholly Foreign Owned Enterprise in returns. Leveraging new vendor solutions that China are low risk will simplify this complex process." "Hangzhou, China is the B2B [business to More Trust Equals More Revenue business] mecca for IT. With a strong dollar, you can leverage the force of a very tech-savvy "With all that consumers are hearing in the development team and pick up a global media about identity theft, hacking, and fraud, presence instantly. Superior product they are understandably more concerned than development is what sets apart one company 17
  18. 18. from another. This will let you focus on sales and looses packages. If they do, your customer will marketing while your offices overseas focus on be happy when you simply and quickly replace the website product management." the item. Insurance becomes a profit center." Speed Up Page Loads The Key to Free Freight Offers "Optimize your site with fast-loading pages for "A key to free freight offers is the fact that customers who are ready to buy. Start testing shipping cost per pound drops quickly as total load times during the design phase, and keep package weight increases. Typical UPS or FedEx them under two seconds for better conversions cost for zone 5 residential delivery is and an improved bottom line. Otherwise, users approximately $7 for a one pound package, but you just paid to attract will give up and buy from only $.60 per pound for a twenty pound the competition." package--yet revenue per pound remains unchanged." Help Customers Find Exactly What They Want Provide Contact Details "Advanced filtering by product attributes, tags and advanced searching helps customers find "Provide your customers with visible contact exactly what they want by driving into the details on every page of your site. Whether it’s product catalog in a natural, fluid way instead of a visible phone number and email in your forcing the customer down a deep and rigid header graphics or a live chat tool on your hierarchical category structure." website. Nothing makes a customer feel more comfortable about buying from you than being Use Multivariate Testing On Your Shopping Site able to contact." "Use multivariate testing to enhance the on-site Differentiate Yourself From the Competition shopping experience by determining which combination of on-page variables increase your "Create a niche by offering customers your conversion rates. A/B splits are very limited, but knowledge and expertise. Daily tips, with multivariate testing you can test multiple newsletters, or instructional videos on media features at once and contemplate the user's full such as YouTube are ways to offer customers experience at your site." more than just the products you sell. It’s a cost- effective way to promote your brand and Don't Hide Behind Your Site separates you from the competition." "Try not to treat your ecommerce platform as a Optimize Comparison Shopping Engine Feeds 24/7 faceless store. Interact with your customers through images, video and live help as if they "Start inexpensively with Google Base. When were in the room with you. Not only will this the feed is optimized well, the results can show build empathy and trust with the shopper but up on the first page of Google within hours you will also increase conversions." (over months with SEO) and conversions are easier since the traffic is qualified for Self Insure USPS Shipments ‘shopping’." "If you sell many of the same item, self insure instead of buying USPS insurance. Charge an insurance fee and assume the risk. USPS rarely 18
  19. 19. The Evolution of the Payment Provider affiliates or offer them tools to make their own coupons, from the commission they already "With the status of the financial market, the have." standard payment service provider tries to provide innovative solutions. A preferred option Maximize Revenue by Offering Value Added is to combine their services with affiliate, Services to Your Existing Clients marketing and alternative payment methods. Today’s providers are elevating to complete "By offering value added services through ecommerce service providers offering the strategic partners you can strengthen existing merchants what they require." client relationships, increase loyalty and generate additional revenue. Solid partners The Human Face on Your Website should offer recurring revenue to you, truly competitive pricing and automated tools to "Make simple product videos, upload them to make it easy for you and as seamless as YouTube, and then embed the video on your possible for your clients to enroll in their 3rd product page. Just standing in front of the party service offering." camera and demonstrating your product will set you apart from 99 percent of other online Build Rapport retailers. Demonstrating on video shows that you really know your product, and it puts a human "Merchants often underestimate the value of face behind your website." relationship management in regards to eCommerce. If you build great rapport with Eliminate Guesswork your customers, suppliers, credit card processor, etc., I assure you that your Internet “Track, measure, and test to eliminate retail business will be better off." guesswork. Evaluating traffic patterns reveals ideal places for cross-sell and up-sell. Identifying Take Total Control points of abandonment exposes weaknesses in your system. Conducting A/B split tests on "Take total control of customer interactions everything from emails to landing pages to instead of outsourcing critical operations such checkout steps allows your customers to show as customer service and shipping. It may be you exactly what they want.” easier and cheaper to hire a call center to answer phones, or to have a manufacturer drop Manage Deliverability ship orders, but customers will not feel the personalized and expert service that can be “Use E-mail marketing tools to effectively offered in house." manage your deliverability and monitor the performance of your campaigns. Focus on the Explorers and Hunters customers that are more receptive to your E- mails to reduce the costs of campaigns and "Your biggest pool of prospective customers improve your return on investment.” may be people who are 'exploring' for ideas or 'hunting' for options. Anything you can do to Discount Coupons for Affiliates help them find and choose products will set you apart from your competition and open up a "Especially in these tough times, the discount large and untapped area of revenue." coupons will be the most convincing argument an affiliate could have. Give 'classical' coupons to 19
  20. 20. Rich Consumer Experiences Dominate Providing video is fairly easy and can be a major boost to your sales when done correctly. "Focus on immersive branding and marketing Search engines also like quality video." techniques that create unexpectedly fast, fun, and easy shopping experiences. Are your budgets Create Simple and Fun Initiatives caught up on technology or are you investing in creating that visceral connection to the "Great websites employ three main elements: consumer? What amazes us the most is that very content, community and commerce. Site few e-stores provide that connection." owners need a meaningful metric for user participation on their sites. So create simple Segment Audiences, Then Localize Messages and fun initiatives for users and reward users that participate. It’s a great way to develop an "Online retailers need to better segment online audience for your site." audiences. Once marketers understand an audience’s make-up and behavior, they can Try USPS For International Shipping determine which online segments are useful, viable and profitable. They can start “localizing”"The fall of the dollar against foreign currencies their messages. Segmenting an audience into is opening up a huge new export market for smaller groups ensures each receives the most U.S. ecommerce merchants. United States relevant, personalized experience, information Postal Service first class mail international and and offers." priority mail international delivery are a reliable and inexpensive way to ship export orders. Provide Engaging Content Rates and how-to information are posted online at “You invest heavily to get shoppers to your product page, now focus on sales conversions. welcome.htm." Product videos and other engaging content are proven to increase sales, and it’s not just for Target International Searches large merchants. They are available from many of your vendors at no charge to you. Ask them "Increase your website targeted traffic with about it!” targeted localized search engine marketing campaigns in both natural and paid search Remove Disturbing Elements efforts. Promote your product, service and business on domestic search engines, such as "Remove any disturbing elements that could,,, Baidu, make any potential customer leave your site, like Rambler, and others. Localize your product blinking banners and annoying flash-animations. description, FAQs, tutorials, website, public Also make sure there's not too much information relations and advertising campaigns." on your site. Keep in mind most people only read the headlines." Use Your Social Smarts Engage Visitors With Video "Make product pages more social. Offer prizes to past customers who post the best reviews. "Video engages the user by providing Allow "track backs" to product pages that are demonstrations about your products or services. linked to from blogs. Make it easy for users to Show how your product works, different views, share products on Facebook and Twitter. And features and how it will benefit the user. 20
  21. 21. have a public (though moderated) comment — you’ll get calls from people just looking to section for each product." order over the phone because they are busy or they don’t trust the web." Implement a Life Cycle Email Messaging Strategy Persuasion Through Web Personalization "Email marketing is much more effective when "Successful ecommerce firms understand the managed with a marketing strategy. An email life correlation between sales and positive cycle plan will improve conversions, increase customer experience management. Offering revenue spent per customer and help discover easy returns and free shipping are expected. opportunities that are often missed due to failed Leveraging customer behaviors/attributes so communications. There is a little cost in setting you can serve persuasive offers that change in this up and the rewards keep paying." real-time goes a step further. To promote the right product/service at the right time, think Determine Valuable Variables web personalization." "Doing multivariate testing used to require some Use Video in-house programming expertise or expensive third-party software. Thankfully, Google Website "Start creating short videos on a regular basis Optimizer has provided us with a free that solve a problem for your target audience. alternative. You don’t need to have the right Keep the videos at two minutes or so, include answer, your customer will." B-roll, upload to multiple sites via, and archive uncompressed, Don’t Fail To Plan high quality versions of the videos for future use. Create a channel, too." "Having been through the personal experience of becoming involved with a young business, and Syndicate Content Via Widgets trying to slide a foundation under the building, after it has begun construction, has taught me "Adding a syndication widget enables the importance of planning. Take the time to ecommerce sites to easily syndicate and plan your site. The end result will pay you distribute dynamic content from a knowledge base, such as frequently asked questions, Don’t Filter Feedback product specifications and warranty information — across multiple websites." "Merchants cannot control their credibility — they can only influence it. If a customer leaves a Talk With Your Customers bad, yet constructive review for one of your products, leave it up. Prospective customers "Websites, emails and forums are great for trust other customers more than they trust you. getting out your message, but talking with your Filtering that feedback can tarnish your customers about their needs and how you can credibility with the reviewer and the visitor." provide solutions or products is the best way to build a long-term relationship and customer A Toll-Free Number satisfaction. Remember your customers are not just another row in your database." "Get a toll-free number and use it in your Google AdWords. It’s one of the last search engines to let you show your contact information in the ad 21
  22. 22. Back To The Future Develop Banking Relationships "I revolutionized my time management by “It is vital to develop banking relationships as abandoning my PDA for an old-fashioned well as financial jurisdictions, especially in the Franklin Covey Planner. Now my mission, values, midst of this recession. This will provide a and most important goals are in front of me merchant with the means to expand an e- daily, and I’m getting done what really matters. business globally, as well as improve his I’m more efficient and focused." customer base.” Align Consumer Strategies To Increase Develop a Strong Marketplace Strategy Conversion "Customers will always compare prices online "Before spending your limited online marketing before making a decision. Develop a strategy to and web development dollars on rich media list products on marketplaces like merchandising, get to know your customers. Your products will be presented to millions of Uncover their critical decision-making needs, and viewers, and you pay only when there is a sale. align your online brand and user experience Also, don't forget to list your products on strategies with them for increased purchase Google Base, a great source for free traffic." conversion." Contact Customers by Phone Check Your Impression Share "Include an optional field in your "Contact Us" “Take a long, hard look at the Impression Share form where customers can leave a phone of your paid search campaigns. It’s possible that number and request that you call them. You your ads are not running as often as you think, will be able to close more sales over the phone which is deadly if the campaign is profitable.” than over email.” Widgets Can Expand Your Reach Offer More Payment Methods "Push your marketing to the edge by using a "Maximize closing sales by offering more widget to display your products for purchase on payment acceptance methods because many other websites. Whether implemented on social people do not wish to pay via credit cards or networks or through your affiliate programs, debit cards. With methods like PayPal and widgets can create natural link popularity and WorldPay becoming increasingly popular it help expand your reach without having to drive makes good business sense to not reject the users directly to your website." end user based on their payment method." Add Alternative Payment Options Recurring Payment Plans "It is possible to increase revenue and sell "One emerging and profitable trend is recurring globally without risk. Adding new alternative payment plans. The best use is to understand payment options such as inpay allows customers the life of your product. If you sell homemade to use their online bank to pay instantly and soap that lasts about a month, enable your worldwide. You can sell to customers with no customers to join a plan where you will ship credit cards and get orders even when a card them a new product monthly. This moved you transaction is rejected." from one sale to twelve." 22
  23. 23. Review User Sessions Build An Ecommerce Facebook Application "Knowing which pages your users visit can help "One of the best ways for an ecommerce site to you understand what people are looking for so get into the social media game and gain lots of you can make it easier for them to get it. You can new interest is though get this information from website logs, but my Facebook’s open source policy is designed as an favorite new way is using Clicktale, which plays active invitation for creating applications, which back each user session in a video." has secondarily given birth to widget platforms like" Build Credibility Incorporate Regular PCI Verification "Regardless of increasing consumer confidence in online retail, people buy from people they can "Leverage your PCI compliance efforts every trust. Build credibility with security audits of your quarter as a benchmark for your overall website, and in turn include security security posture. When you go through accreditation logos in strategic points on your compliance exercises, compare your previous site. Client testimonials also add value.” scores and look for consistent reduction in type and number of problems you have to resolve." Implement Product Descriptions Use Simple Tools To Lower Abandonment "Use relevant and informative product descriptions. Not only will those descriptions "More than half of online shoppers abandon help the shopper in their buying process but the the checkout process before completing their content of that description will also be indexed purchase. Counter abandonment by adding by search engines, increasing the visibility of your simple tools like security certificates, progress website." bars and live chat to allay customer confusion, fears or frustrations." Research And Exclude Negative Keywords Inventory Management Is Key To Success "Invest at least one hour every week to research negative keywords for your pay-per-click "One database means less hassle and less campaign. Be sure to exclude keywords such as manpower required to keep track of inventory free, no charge, no cost, problems, trouble, from multiple locations. The right database can negative, bad, worst, rebate and similar also handle inventory from multiple locations. keywords that you don’t want your ads showing With the right software to manage it, there is up for." no need to go beyond one program to add, remove and track products." Use Article Directories Online Chat Service Can Increase Sales "Write articles and submit them weekly to and other article directories. "We now have two years experience using Search Google for article directories to find a top online chat services and have just moved to our 50 list. If you don't have time to write them, hire third vendor. It does not provide the same level someone at, or of conversion to sales as prospects that phone for $5 to $10 each. This will into our sales department, but it has increased get you traffic and backlinks." our sales by 10-12 percent." 23
  24. 24. Make Trustmarks Prevalent Place trustmarks on your home page and all catalog pages; don’t bury them in the shopping cart. The millions of security conscious shoppers who respond positively to trustmarks frequently abandon websites before they even get to the cart." Be Sure To Offer Flexibility "E-tailers face a huge challenge in the commoditization of brand-name products, facilitated by comparison shopping sites and other channels that sort products by price only. To survive, smaller e-tailers must offer payment flexibility, fast order handling, and outstanding customer support. Focus on best sellers and initiate quick-ship programs. Customers may pay more if they can get it fast." (*) The document is prepared by using various sources including especially 24