Practical Ecommerce

Great Ecommerce Ideas

Practical eCommerce recently asked 50 industry insiders to share a great, innovative idea that could potentially help an ecommerce firm. Here’s what ten of them had to say.

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Implement Product Descriptions

Al Pascale

Director of SiteLink Services

Dydacomp

Dydacomp.com

“Use relevant and informative product descriptions. Not only will those descriptions help the shopper in their buying process but the content of that description will also be indexed by search engines, increasing the visibility of your website.”

Research And Exclude Negative Keywords

Greg Laptevsky

Search Marketing Ambassador

Prime Visibility

Primevisibility.com

“Invest at least one hour every week to research negative keywords for your pay-per-click campaign. Be sure to exclude keywords such as free, no charge, no cost, problems, trouble, negative, bad, worst, rebate and similar keywords that you don’t want your ads showing up for.”

Use Article Directories

Jeff Dahlberg

Owner

Cheap Seeds

Cheapseeds.com

“Write articles and submit them weekly to Ezinearticles.com and other article directories. Search Google for article directories to find a top 50 list. If you don’t have time to write them, hire someone at Elance.com, Guru.com or Getafreelancer.com for $5 to $10 each. This will get you traffic and backlinks.”

Build An Ecommerce Facebook Application

Jeff Muendel

Search Analysis

Netconcepts, LLC

Netconcepts.com

“One of the best ways for an ecommerce site to get into the social media game and gain lots of new interest is though Facebook.com. Facebook’s open source policy is designed as an active invitation for creating applications, which has secondarily given birth to widget platforms like Clearspring.com.”

Incorporate Regular PCI Verification

Elizabeth Ireland

Vice President

nCircle

Ncircle.com

“Leverage your PCI compliance efforts every quarter as a benchmark for your overall security posture. When you go through compliance exercises, compare your previous scores and look for consistent reduction in type and number of problems you have to resolve.”

Use Simple Tools To Lower Abandonment

Kevin Kohn

Executive Vice President, Marketing

Live Person, Inc.

Liveperson.com

“More than half of online shoppers abandon the checkout process before completing their purchase. Counter abandonment by adding simple tools like security certificates, progress bars and live chat to allay customer confusion, fears or frustrations.”

Inventory Management Is Key To Success

Mathew Keister

Chief Technology Officer

Seamless Development, Inc.

Seamlessdev.com

“One database means less hassle and less manpower required to keep track of inventory from multiple locations. The right database can also handle inventory from multiple locations. With the right software to manage it, there is no need to go beyond one program to add, remove and track products.”

Online Chat Service Can Increase Sales

Mercia Tapping

President/CEO

Healthy Home Information and Products

Allergybuyersclub.com

“We now have two years experience using online chat services and have just moved to our third vendor. It does not provide the same level of conversion to sales as prospects that phone into our sales department, but it has increased our sales by 10-12 percent.”

Make Trustmarks Prevalent

Nigel Ravenhill

Marketing Communications Director

Scanalert, Inc.

Scanalert.com

“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

Richard Sexton

CEO

Carolina Rustica

Carolinarustica.com

“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.”

Got a helpful ecommerce tip? Email kate@practicalecommerce.com.

Practical Ecommerce

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Comments ( 7 )

  1. Legacy User December 18, 2007 Reply

    Well I am not a seasoned professional to give suggesstions, but yes experience wise this free business blog http://moguling.com/ has helped me grow my ecommecre business to some extent.

    — *jack*

  2. Legacy User December 18, 2007 Reply

    I wholeheartedly agree with Richard Sexton: "To survive, smaller e-tailers must offer … outstanding customer support." This is even true for the offline storefront. One of the best ways to get customers coming back is for them to have a great experience in your store and if you can connect with the customer in some way, they will feel comfortable spending their money with you and price doesn't matter quite as much. Ask yourself the same question when you shop and you might find the same answer.
    http://www.customer-e-service.com

    — *Wes*

  3. Legacy User December 18, 2007 Reply

    Pedestrian commentary at best, lacking insight into what is really driving e-commerce. Example: Inventory management as an "idea". Is it not a basic business requirement? Same thing with PCI compliance monitoring. If this is the best you can do I'll cancel my subscription to the newsletter.

    — *Steve*

  4. Legacy User December 18, 2007 Reply

    "Elance.com, Guru.com or Getafreelancer.com for $5 to $10 each" per article written? Give me a break. I have never seen an offer less than $150 per article and most people at that price don't write a very good article.

    — *Jeffrey*

  5. Legacy User January 2, 2008 Reply

    I have people who write great articles for less than $15.00 each. I have my newsletter written by someone that charges $100. and I don't have to do anything to it before I send it out. If I didn't know better I would think he owned the company. You have to look at a few sources and when you find someone good either hire them or give them enough work so they do yours right away.

    — *Jeff*

  6. Legacy User January 6, 2008 Reply

    I'm so glad that Greg Laptevsky mentioned negative keywords, which is something that hadn't occurred to me. A great little tweak on my AdWords campaign, and much appreciated advice.

    — *Kristen*

  7. Legacy User January 8, 2008 Reply

    I have to offer a few thoughts on sites like Guru and Elance. Consider that the quality of the copy on your Website should be equal to the quality of the copy on your resume; how many quality articles can be written in an hour? As a freelancer, most of your time is spent marketing your services and arranging jobs; these are not billable hours.

    Many new freelancers will go to sites like Guru because they think they can cut down on the time that they spend marketing themselves, and offer low rates to “get their foot in the door.” Realistically, a freelancer will spend hours reviewing and bidding jobs and if they bid low enough ($5-$15 per article is a high bid) they might get one out of ten (don’t forget to subtract Guru’s cut). Unless the freelancer is extremely well established, they will have around 1,000 billable hours per year. That makes for pretty easy math ($5 per hour = $5,000 per year). How many quality articles can be written per hour? How comfortable are you with plagiarism on your Website?

    Elance has been positioning themselves as a source of quality freelancers by charging multiple fees. They charge freelancers significantly just to be members, they charge for every bid that you make (some bids are included with the membership fee) and they charge a percentage of your earnings. Until recently, Elance had a good thing going, but a recent change to the fee schedule has pushed many good writers away.

    Can you get cheap work from these Websites? Absolutely. Do you want it?

    Dan Lambert, MBA
    Freelance Writer
    BackupWriter.com

    — *Dan*