Practical Ecommerce

Ten Great Ecommerce Ideas for November 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 November 2010 installment of “Ten Great Ecommerce Ideas.”

Is Flash Killing Your Conversion Rate?

“Test replacing the Flash rotating feature on your home page with a static image or category tiles. Flash is a conversion rate killer.”

Chris Goward
CEO
WiderFunnel Marketing Optimization

Level the Playing Field with Customer Service

“Never skimp on excellent customer service. Make sure someone is always available to answer your toll-free number during regular business hours, and offer email support during non-business hours. A friendly and helpful customer service representative can level the playing field with bricks-and-mortar competitors and be your best avenue for customer retention.”

Brina Bujkovsky
CEO/President
The Younique Boutique

Be Proactive with Live Chat

“If you are using live, reactive chat to communicate with your customers and prospects, consider leveraging proactive chat, particularly around the holidays. It will help to drive more chat volume, provide a proactive service to your site visitors and bolster ecommerce efforts.”

Steve Castro-Miller
CEO and President
Bold Software

Place All Critical Information ‘Above the Fold’

“The upper 300 pixels at 800 X 600 resolution is considered ‘above the fold.’ Design web pages assuming people won’t scroll deeper than that. That means product headlines and pictures, as well as the action you want them to take (the order form), should be visible without scrolling.”

Mason Wiley
Senior Vice President of Marketing
hydra

Keep Online Ads Fresh

“Figuring out which products to promote in your online display ads can take a huge amount of a marketer’s time. Make it easier by using dynamic, personalized ads that promote different products to each shopper based on the shopper’s past shopping behavior. By automating the ad creation process, you can update your displays with new and relevant products and offers that engage consumers and get them back to your store to purchase more products.”

Lori Trahan
Vice President, Marketing
ChoiceStream

Send an Email Just to Say ‘Thanks’

“Here is something our company has done with great results: Send an email to all of your customers who use you on a regular basis and simply thank them for their loyalty. It’s a great way for your customers to feel appreciated and to remind them that you exist and care about their business.”

Keith Baumwald
Director of Online Marketing and Ecommerce
Groundlink Inc.

Synchronize Mobile and In-Store Promotions

“Often, the quick research conducted on a mobile device while in-store (be it a price comparison or product review search) is the final push a shopper needs to make the purchase. If you are able to facilitate that process through mobile shopping tools that are synchronized with in-store execution, you will be the retailer who ultimately gets the sale.”

Carl Prindle
President and CEO
Blueport Commerce

Consider PCI Compliance When Choosing Payment Provider

“If your website touches any part of the customers’ payment information (credit card info), it needs to conform to PCI [payment card industry] compliance standards. This requires audits and compliance. Many payment providers today are hosting payment pages that look and feel 100 percent like the merchant’s store pages, yet completely remove the PCI burden from the merchant. So, upon deciding to sell online, seek the payment provider that would best suit the needs of your business.”

Peter Caparso
North American President
Adyen

Don’t Take Analytics at Face Value

“Remember to double check your Google Analytics against good old fashion calculations and logs, especially after any big changes to your site. You may be surprised by what you discover. We recently updated our checkout process and noted a jump in conversions greater than anticipated. But, in drilling down, we discovered that Google Analytics hadn’t been picking up all the previous conversions (losing some on what appeared to be a random basis). Thus it had been reporting our conversion rate lower than it really was.”

Rob Mobberley
CEO
Performance Motorcare Products Ltd.

Turn Your Best Customers Into Brand Advocates

“Identify and target your best customers, and turn them into brand advocates. Send them refer-a-friend discounts, ask them to submit reviews, find and respond to their posts in social media. Do whatever you can to make them like you more and talk about you more.”

David Norris
Owner
Fourth Wave Consulting

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

Kate Monteith

Kate Monteith

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