10 Great Ecommerce Ideas for November 2013

Practical Ecommerce periodically asks industry insiders to share a great, innovative idea that could help an ecommerce company. Here’s what ten of them had to say for the November 2013 installment of “10 Great Ecommerce Ideas.”

Offer Support via Social Media

“Nielson research discovered that in 2012 one-third of social media users prefer to contact a company via social media than by phone. On your support pages, provide links to your social media profiles. Set up notifications in the social media accounts so you know when someone contacts you. This way you provide timely customer support to those who want it — in the way they want it.”

Joshua Uebergang
Marketing Manager
Online Visions

Make Research Easy for Prospective Buyers

“Research [for buying decisions] is a massive resource cost to businesses around the world. It is also a primary reason for lost deals. Were you to provide comprehensive information that was easy to find and on which a buying decision can be made, then your close rate would substantially improve. Add to this, an easy purchasing process and, rather than scouring the web, a buyer would see your site as a preferred source.”

Tony Lorge
Saxum Commerce

Stay Ahead of the Curve

“It doesn’t take a lot of time for cutting-edge to become old hat. Keep researching to be aware of the latest tools and technology. If you stay still, you will find that your competitors will quickly surpass you.”

Seth Boylan
Xpert Fulfillment

Don’t Forget Comparison Shopping Engines

“You’ve got a great ecommerce website. But is it hard to get traffic? Comparison shopping engines (CSEs) — like Google Shopping, Shopzilla, NexTag, Pronto, and Bing — deliver millions of shoppers to product pages every day. You list your items on the CSEs where purchase-ready shoppers will see them and click through to your site to complete the transaction. CSEs typically have a pay-per-click pricing model, and many merchants find it’s worth the cost.”

Liam Supple
Product Marketing

Think Like a Shopper

“Keep your site’s design simple and clean, make calls-to-action clear, and focus on the product. Go through the flows of your site: search, browse, and buy a product, or have a friend do it and watch him without helping. Pay attention to areas where anything is confusing, doesn’t work the way it should, or takes too many steps. Then make adjustments.”

Jeff Schlicht

Emphasize Product Photography

“Whether you use high-quality renderings or actual product photography, make sure you take the time to present your products in the best possible manner. With the proliferation of product and photo sharing sites like Pinterest, The Fancy, Instagram, and OpenSky, having a beautiful product shot is imperative. Lifestyle shots of your product in use could also significantly increase conversion rates.”

TJ Scimone

Take the ‘E’ out of ‘Ecommerce’

“Retailers need to realize that the lines of commerce have been, as John Donahoe, CEO of eBay, said, ‘obliterated.’ It’s no longer a world of online and offline commerce. It’s just commerce. Retailers are competing on a global scale with everyone, everywhere. You need to give shoppers a compelling reason to buy from you. Find a way to differentiate and make sure you can grab shoppers’ attention and keep them coming back.”

Jake Gasaway
Stitch Labs

Address Commonly-asked Questions

“One of the quickest ways to lose shoppers and sales is to make it difficult for them to do business with you. Instead of hiding commonly asked questions on an FAQ page somewhere on your site, display these answers in plain sight. Include your service agreement on every page, and provide frequent updates on orders in the mail.”

Ashley Verrill
CRM Analyst
Software Advice

Connect with Pinterest Influencers

“Connect with the Pinterest influencers — accounts or boards with large followings — that relate to your product category. Ask for a pin here and there for a product you believe they would like. You’ll get large amounts of traffic, sales, and repins from their large followings. This method is repeatable and much quicker and cheaper than building a large following yourself.”

Mitchell Abdullah
Content Strategist

Mimic the Brick-and-mortar Experience

“Regardless of what channel they may be using to shop, online consumers are demanding the quality of the brick-and-mortar experience. They want to zoom in on a product, rotate it, change its colors — in short, they want to interact with the item as though they were physically in the same room with it. Retailers with rich interactive media that can offer this in omnichannel have a significant competitive advantage during the holiday season and can convert at rates of 30 percent higher than those that don’t.”

Rory Dennis
General Manager, North America

Got a great ecommerce idea? Email Drew Coffin at

PEC Staff
PEC Staff
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