Practical Ecommerce

Ten Great Ecommerce Ideas for January 2010

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 January 2010 installment of “Great Ecommerce Ideas.”

Identify the Source of Inquiries

“Measure your marketing effectiveness with lead tracking software. By identifying where your inquiries come from (e.g., online or via the telephone), what sources are working and how much they are costing, you can get closer to the ‘holy grail’ of marketing: $x Marketing Spend = $y Sales Return.”

Neil Smith
Ecommerce Director
Tiger Commerce

Shop Payment Gateways

“Shop around to find the best deal in credit card processing gateways. Even a penny more per transaction will eventually add up to big bucks over the life of your shop.”

Brina Bujkovsky
CEO/President
The Younique Boutique

Copy Your Foreign Competitors

“When entering foreign markets for the first time, make sure you offer customers the same value as your foreign competition. Copy your competitors’ payment solutions, business terms and business partners; and match their delivery costs and delivery times. If you cannot meet or beat your foreign competitors, then don’t enter foreign markets.”

Anders Andersen
Founder
JumpB

Use Tags to Label Images

“Label all images with alt tags and image tags to provide another way for customers to find you. Imagine if you were reading a description of your product without photos. Could you visualize it from the description? Include image tags and alt tags that describe what’s in the image to help visitors who are vision impaired. ”

Linda Crawford
Owner
Party Confetti

Learn to Delegate

“A business owner does not have the time to be an expert in everything or to micro-manage every business detail. Learn to delegate responsibilities, hire good employees or service providers, and allow yourself time to focus on the big picture.”

Brad Yeager
Certified Business Intermediary (CBI)
Ecommerce Exit Strategies

Calculate the Discount That Brings the Biggest Profit

“It’s important to double check the math behind your online promotions. A 60 percent discount will bring you more customers than a 40 percent discount, but keep in mind that the 40 percent discount might actually bring you more profit and even better customer retention.”

Claudiu Murariu
Web Marketing Specialist
Avangate

Adjust Plans Based on Metrics

“Traffic, conversion rate, and average order value are three numbers that significantly impact the bottom line. With 2009 as your baseline, create your 2010 goals, then map your on-page and off-page tactics to positively influence these key ecommerce metrics. Produce monthly scorecard reports and quickly adjust plans if you’re not seeing the results.”

Michael Turcsanyi
Co-Founder
OrderDynamics Corporation

Use a Favicon to Promote Your Brand

“Promote your brand with a favorite icon (or, “Favicon”), a square 16 pixel graphic that appears next to your website address in the address bar, next to the web page’s title in the web browser favorites, in tabs, and desktop shortcuts. To implement, place the favicon.ico graphic file in the root of your URL, and then link to it with:
<link REL="SHORTCUT ICON" HREF="http://www.thenameofyourwebsite.com/favicon.ico">.” Watch this tutorial for help in creating your own favicon.

Sener Korkusuz
CEO
EarthSkater.net

Offer Additional Payment Methods

“When you offer additional payment methods (e.g., PayPal, Amazon and Google Checkout) you can lock in customers that may be worried about trusting your online store. Millions of customers that already have accounts with these secure payment methods know and trust their checkout systems and buying experience.”

David Farache
COO
Fortune3.com

Take Advantage of Free Online Education

“Take advantage of free education on the Internet. No one knows everything, so learn more about topics you need to stay current on. Most tech sites have sponsored seminars, and since they are free, you have nothing to lose.”

Elizabeth Bighorse
CEO
Moodswings

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

Kate Monteith

Kate Monteith

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Comments ( 4 )

  1. Eriq Powers January 1, 2010 Reply

    This is a great article on ecommerce – Thanks! Although I don’t have a traditional "e-commerce" site, pretty much all of your tips will translate well. I now have a bunch of work to do on my own website to get it ready to rock in 2010!

  2. Jagath Narayan January 1, 2010 Reply

    Point #6 (calculate optimum level of discount) is great. Yet another example that highlights the importance of measurement-driven management. Small e-commerce merchants too can perform these calculations with minimal effort.

    Point #7 re-inforces my point on being metric driven.

  3. Michael Turcsanyi January 7, 2010 Reply

    Totally agree on the multiple payment offerings. Companies like Cardinal Commerce provide a single point of integration and superior service for supporting over 20 alternative payment brands – making offering these brands to your customers easier and more secure and reliable than maintaining them individually. Studies have shown that offering additional payment brands increase conversions.

  4. Tricia Brown August 9, 2010 Reply

    Great advice. Also would like to suggest that great delivery of the product or service is also very important. The transaction is not complete until after the customer has received their purchased item and is satisfied with the transaction.