Practical Ecommerce

Ten Great Ecommerce Ideas

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

Make A Promise And Keep It

Seth Godin

Founder and Original Squid

Squidoo.com

“The number one asset you can build is permission. The privilege of delivering anticipated, personal and relevant messages to the people who choose to get them. It’s something that you earn. You do it by making a promise and keeping it. This is Amazon’s secret weapon, by the way.”

Customer Reviews Are Critical

John Bancroft

E-business Manager

VF Imageware, Inc.

Vfc.com

“Implement customer reviews in your online store to drive down your returns rate. Often companies believe that a “bad” customer review is not good for the brand; however, sometimes low customer reviews ratings signifies needed merchandise, design, or targeting changes. Responding to real-time customer review input can help your team make important product or service adjustments that can delight the customer and ultimately lower your returns rates.”

United States Still Offers Enormous Opportunity

Robert Grosshandler

Founder and CEO

Igive.com

“Sometimes to be innovative you need to be counterintuitive/countercyclical. For U.S.-based affiliates, lots of folks are suggesting “go overseas” to make more money. Don’t forget, the U.S. is an enormous economy, with lots of opportunity. Heck, California is probably the world’s eighth largest economy.”

Make Sure Customers Can Contact You

Joe Palko

CEO

Solid Cactus

Solidcactus.com

“In this day and age, it is very important for a customer to be able to contact your company, no matter how small you are. This means featuring a toll free number in a visible position with clearly marked customer service hours. Shoppers need to believe that you take your business seriously, and not allowing them to contact you with questions or comments does not show a commitment to them, that you take your business seriously.”

A Seamless Ecommerce System Is Key

Baruch Goldwasser

Ecommerce Subject Matter Expert

Netsuite

Netsuite.com

“Avoid storing information in multiple disparate systems that don’t communicate with each other. Your ecommerce system should work seamlessly with the rest of your business. Without this your employees cannot get the information they need, cannot intelligently answer customer questions and waste time with repetitive data entry.”

Bring Your Store To The Customers

Massimo Arrigoni

CEO

Early Impact, LLC

Earlyimpact.com

“Acquiring new customers is expensive (e.g. increasing “cost per click”). Try bringing your store to new customers, rather than new customers to your store. How? For example, RSS feeds can help you syndicate content to blogs and other websites (e.g. “specials” or “new arrivals”). Ask your ecommerce provider for assistance.”

Email The Upsell

Troy Janisch

Sales and Marketing Director

Biz Fillings

Bizfillings.com

“It’s tempting to hit consumers with everything you’ve got at the time of sale. Limit the number of add-on items you push at consumers at the time of sale. Then, follow-up every sale with an email message that offers savings on items related to their original purchase. It’s easier to sell accessories to someone who already owns an item.”

Overload: “Less Is Often More”

Brendan Gallagher

Creative Director/Co-Owner

Killersocks.com

“Overload is an omnipresent factor in people’s lives. Our guests appreciate low pressure, engaging product pages, a touch of fun and great product photos. Avoid cramming product page with excessive offers, blinking sale options and information overload. Less is often more.”

Integrating Video Is Often Overlooked

Rand Fishkin

Founder and CEO

Seomoz.org

“An extremely underutilized tactic in the world of ecommerce is video integration. With the ease of use that services like YouTube & iFilm provide for creating and uploading videos, there’s no reason not to give your products a spin.”

“Amazon.com recently implemented videos for many of its software products and noticed a great improvement in visitor retention and conversion rate. While it may not be perfect for every site or product, it’s worth a shot. Make a great video that shows off how your product works and use split testing to determine if it boosts conversion rates. If so, you’ve got a winner, and you can extend the program to more products over time.”

Create Relationships With New Customers

Trynka Shineman

Senior Vice President of North American Marketing

VistaPrint

Vistaprint.com

“The first 90 days are the most important to establish a strong relationship with a new customer. If you can get a new customer to make a repeat purchase during that timeframe, their lifetime value is considerably more than those that don’t make a repeat purchase until later.”

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