Practical Ecommerce

Ten Great Ecommerce Ideas for February 2011

Practical eCommerce asks industry insiders each month to share a great, innovative idea that could help an ecommerce company. Here’s what ten of them had to say for the February 2011 installment of “Ten Great Ecommerce Ideas.”

Use Customer Feedback to Further SEO

“Not everyone has automated feedback surveys for their products and services, but everyone can email surveys that ask, ‘What occasions would you use [product X] for?’ Give respondents 8 to10 suggestions so you can rate that product for each occasion (include that on your website), and so you can help widen their perception of the product’s applications. Be sure to include a blank text box for ‘Other Uses.’ You may be surprised what people say. The results can be great for copywriting and SEO.”

Elizabeth Ball
Director
It’s In The Stars

Scavenger Hunt Makes a Fun Online Contest

“Create a fun contest that encompasses all of your business areas and encourages consumer engagement. For example, a scavenger hunt where participants will Fan you on Facebook to get the clues, visit your website to find the answer to the clues, and then to a trip to your blog to submit their entries. This requires them to visit what should be the three most influential parts of your online marketing. Scavenger hunts are great for contests because they really make the visitor go through your site and hopefully they will find products they may have never known you offer.”

Jill Caren
Owner
Outdoorplaytoys.com

What Year Is It?

“If you have a copyright notice on your website, make sure it is up to date. Pay attention to small details. Nothing says ‘Dated’ louder than the wrong year.”

Luis Hernandez, Jr.
Chief Executive Motorhead
The Motor Bookstore

Segment Keywords in Analytics

“Create unique segments in your analytics solution for your brand and target markets. Not sure which keywords to include? Check your keyword report for the past three months and look through the list of searches. Take note of common terms or phrases. Then create a segment with all iterations, even misspellings. This will allow you to analyze behavior for each segment and give you ideas on how you can improve. You may also discover new opportunities.”

Kurt Illian
Director of Marketing and Client Growth
FastPivot

Dig Deeper with A/B Testing

“Run A/B tests but don’t take results at face value. If version B generates 15 percent higher sales than version A, you may be tempted to run with it. But, without digging into the data and removing outliers (extremely high / low values), you cannot say for sure that version B is the true winner. Sales should not be the sole deciding metric of your test results. Look at the behavior of each segment and all possible metrics to see how each element version affects the overall experience on your site.”

Rob Holzer
eMarketing Manager
S&S Worldwide

Generate Traffic and Sales Through Related Websites

“Giveaways and product reviews on blogs and related websites can be a great way to generate traffic and sales to your site. It is important, however, to do your research first. Be sure that the website appeals to your intended audience and also has a decent amount of exposure (traffic).”

Patricia Brown
Owner
Lord’s Art

Ask Your Host 
for Backlinks

“If your site is hosted by a major ecommerce provider, ask them to feature your website as part of their client gallery. In our case, the backlink from our provider, Volusion, is a great step in Google’s page rank. You could take it one step further by offering to assist with any PR campaigns your provider may be running. A simple interview published on their press release wire can bring an immense amount of traffic and links back to your website.”

Jim Richardson
Co-founder
CuddleWorks.com

Re-configure AdWords Account for Higher Click-through

“Re-configuring your AdWords account can result in more impressions, increased brand exposure, higher click and conversion rates, and lower cost-per-click and cost-per-conversion. One of the most important things is to pick keywords that don’t cost you more that they make. Also, try targeting long-tail keywords specific to your business. Get rid of ads that result in zero clicks and bid higher on terms that have been converting well.”

Daniel Jones
Online Marketing Consultant
LeftClick

Help Customers Visualize

“Display an item in all colors. If you are selling a chair, for instance, don’t just display a picture of the brown chair and say that it is also available in blue and red. Show images of the same chair in those colors as well. The more you can help your customers visualize the exact item they’re interested in, the better chance you’ll have of selling it.”

Randall Davidson
Lead Project Manager
Audio Transcription

Question Everything

“Question all of key processes and seek to find a better way. Start by examining your marketing channels and evaluate each one. Ask yourself, ‘Does this activity provide a positive ROI? What else can be done to improve performance? If the performance does not meet expectations, should we cut this? What should we add to the marketing mix?’

“Remember, bringing traffic to the site is only step one. You want traffic that interacts with you. Most importantly, you want traffic that buys your product or service.

“You should follow the same steps in every part of your organization and see where improvements can be made. This simple methodology keeps your organization on a consistent improvement path.”

David Sasson
Founder and CEO
OverstockArt.com

Got a great ecommerce idea? Email Kate Monteith at kate@practicalecommerce.com.

Kate Monteith

Kate Monteith

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Comments ( 3 )

  1. mollygriffin January 28, 2011 Reply

    With Social Media in the spotlight for 2011 and many people not realizing its affect on SEO, we recommend that you focus on methods Social Media platforms and other activities to improve your SEO. Also, spend some time listening to your customers and their interactions through Social Media and take action based on their feedback!

    Molly Griffin
    Marketing Associate
    Dydacomp
    http://www.dydacomp.com

  2. Varsha_Halley February 1, 2011 Reply

    Nice article. Just wanted to build on Molly’s comment that although it’s important to listen to what your customers are saying through Social Media, it’s just as important to interact with your customers directly from your own website. Implementing a simple website feedback tool makes it easy for your customers to tell you what they think, so you can deal with any potentially damaging feedback before it’s aired in public.

    Varsha Halley,
    Marketing Manager, Feedbackify
    http://www.feedbackify.com

  3. Pamela Hazelton February 8, 2011 Reply

    Varsha:

    Good point. Some merchants are giving too much credit to social media when it comes to interaction. The majority of shoppers still contact via phone and email – in most cases, the percentage using social media to work with a company is minute.