Practical eCommerce recently asked 50 industry insiders to share a great, innovative idea that could potentially help an ecommerce firm. Here’s what ten more of them had to say.
Hire The Right Employee
Cook Associates, Inc.
“Clearly define job scope and match candidate profile to responsibilities. Seek out individuals with relevant brick and mortar and new media experience who have already successfully transitioned into ecommerce. Determine whether you want the best executive irrespective of where the prior retail experience was or whether you are specifically targeting ecommerce expertise.”
Talk To Your Customers
“The most important exercise before heading into any ecommerce discussion is to truly understand your customers and what they want from you and your site. You need to formally approach customers (and do so on an ongoing basis) to understand the role of your site to them, their buying habits, their online frustrations and what they value.”
Capture Bouncing Prospects At Point-of-Sale
President and CEO
Business Development Xcellerator, Inc.
“A large percentage of visitors to ecommerce product pages ‘bounce out’ without going any further. Very often, it’s because they’re not quite ready to buy and need more information. By putting product-specific lead-capture mechanisms on your product pages, you can cultivate and educate these hot-prospects over time.”
Skype Can Improve Customer Service
“Great customer service drives business, and Skype-enabled call centers make great customer service affordable. With no hardware, software or installation, you can be a mouse-click away from advanced call center capabilities that give your customers options, such as live business chat, email, toll-free support, interactive voice response, and click-to-call web integration.”
Include Gross Profit Per Click In Pay-Per-Click
Vice President of Products
“For paid search advertising, calculate bids based on gross profit per click, not current position or cost-per-click. Bids will naturally rise for better-performing keywords and fall for the rest. Use the conversion trackers to capture conversions and then apply a gross-profit-per-conversion amount (better yet, use the actual gross profit values).”
Don’t Overlook Personal Interaction
Senior Relationship Manager
“In the fast-paced ecommerce world, we often rely too heavily on instant messaging and emails. I personally like to talk with my clients on the phone and if possible, face-to-face at least a few times throughout the year. Nothing can compare to personal interaction with clients and your end-users.”
Video Can Add Interactive Features
President and CEO
“Videos aren’t just for YouTube anymore. Videos are a great way for e-tailers to proactively highlight product capabilities, features and benefits. The good news is these videos are generally available for free from the manufacturer and are a great way to increase sell-through while reducing cart abandonment and returns.”
Visually Conveying Products Can Add Value
“Being an online swimwear merchant, one of our biggest challenges remains expressing the real value of our products to our customers. We’ve found that in addition to detailed descriptions and multiple images, short videos with an expert and one of our models really help to convey product benefits and value.
Alternative Payment Methods Can Add Customers
“Adding alternative payment methods to your site can attract new users. Our research suggests that they are also potentially more loyal than most because they value the unique qualities of the payment services, such as greater anonymity or delayed billing.”
Stay In Touch With Your Customers
Aquinas and More Catholic Goods
“Find products that need to be replaced every year (calendars, Christmas cards, magazine subscriptions), and make sure that you remind your past shoppers that it’s time to reorder. Also, put an address label in the back of anything that is going to need to be replaced.”
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