Practical Ecommerce

Ten Great Ecommerce Ideas for November 2009

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 2009 installment.

Localize Site Content

“Your ecommerce site should be as localized as your physical stores. Some retailers have hundreds of localized, micro-branded sites with content that resonates with local consumers. You can also use IP mapping to localize prices, offers and product selection. Make sure your website platform embraces this complexity — when done correctly, it’s a powerful sales tool for your online and local stores.”

Carl Prindle
President and Chief Operating Officer
Blueport Commerce

Keep Your Message Above the Fold

“If it is important, keep it ‘above the fold’ [middle of screen]. Email or newsletter sign ups, special offers, reviews, and navigation are better served ‘above the fold’ where a visitor is more likely to engage them.”

Brad Yeager
Certified Business Intermediary
Ecommerce Exit Strategies

Include Expert Testimonials

“Customer testimonials and user-generated product reviews are great to provide reassurance for your online store. But, if you can, go one step further and put up any ‘expert’ testimonials or product reviews. An example might be, ‘The head groundsman at Wimbledon recommends this lawn mower…’ and include actual quotes from the expert.”

Kate Holroyd
Marketing Manager
Tiger Commerce

Help Non-Profits and They Help You

“Things are tight for everyone right now, including non-profits. For a donation, many local groups, especially team sports, will help you with time-consuming projects such as taking online inventory, washing windows, or cleaning company vehicles. If they don’t ask, you can suggest it. It is a great solution for both organizations because everyone wins.”

Elizabeth Bighorse
CEO
Moodswings Inc.

Use Ning to Target Customers

“Ning is a web service that hosts thousands of social networks and it is a great place to target niche customer segments. For example, if you were selling embroidered pet collars, the best place to promote your products would be a Ning network for dog lovers. Find out the networks your customers are likely to belong to and connect with them on Ning.”

Navaneeth Krishnan
Founder
Netcarnation

Create a FAQ Page

“Create a FAQ [frequently asked questions] page that educates customers about your products or services in a concise matter. It should cover a wide range of questions and answers to help customers make more informed decisions on purchases. Customers will be more comfortable shopping with your company and have a better understanding of the way you operate, creating a foundation for repeat customers and referrals.”

Lori Roddey
President
LorisWigsite

Define Your Business Objectives

“Approach ecommerce as an all-encompassing marketing discipline from the outset. Clearly define your business objectives, make them achievable and measurable. Once this has been defined you can then make intelligent decisions and select appropriate partners to assist you.”

Martin Taylor
Director of Business Development
evolution

Detailed Images Appeal to Sophisticated Shoppers

“As the Internet matures so does the sophistication of online shoppers.
Studies indicate that today’s shoppers expect retailers to provide not only
textual product information, but also detailed, zoomable images, videos, and
alternate product views. A superior customer experience separates the best-of-breed
retailers from the rest of the pack.”

Jessica Washington
Senior Account Executive
MediaSpin360.com

Use Creative Commons for SEO Value

“If you have old imagery such as model or product shots which you are no longer using, consider submitting them to image-sharing sites under a Creative Commons license. Oftentimes users will credit your company for the image and provide SEO value by linking to your site.”

Ran Nir
Marketing Manager
Wood and Beyond

Improve Your Onsite Search

“Help shoppers find the products they’re searching for more quickly. If you sell merchandise across a range of product categories, consider adding a category drop-down [menu] next to your search box to allow shoppers to narrow their search ahead of time (e.g., women’s apparel vs. men’s apparel vs. kid’s apparel).”

Anthony Avolio
Director of Web Analytics
PM Digital

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

Ankush Agarwal

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Comment ( 1 )

  1. LexiConn November 2, 2009 Reply

    Solid tips this month! I personally like "improving site search". If your store has more than a handful of products, make your search prominent, make sure results are relevant, and allow narrowing by category, by price, etc… to help turn browsers into buyers.

    Rob – LexiConn