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

Understand How Consumers Research Brands Online

“Buying online is not the main objective for the vast majority of consumers who visit a retail website. Often, the goal is to educate themselves prior to making the purchase, whether that be in-store or online. These potential customers want to learn what’s new and hot, what’s on sale, and where they can find the best deals, discounts, coupons and free samples. By adding ‘deal hubs’ and interactive branded experiences to your site and putting this information upfront and easy for consumers to find, you can fully engage customers and encourage them to visit your site as a ‘go to’ destination before their final purchase decision.”

Greg Murtagh
Triad Digital Media

Protect Against Web-Based Attacks

“Secure your website by implementing a deep state, full inspection firewall, as well as application level filters and firewalls that provide protection against web based attacks, such as SQL injection and cross-site scripting.”

Ondrej Krehel
Information Security Officer
Identity Theft 911

Test Category Pages

“Category pages offer huge opportunities for A/B testing. Test list versus grid view; more information versus less; intro banners, subcategory lists, three columns versus two columns, and so on.”

Chris Goward
WiderFunnel Marketing Optimization

Put Certainty in A/B Testing

“In the early stage of any A/B testing, data fluctuations can be misleading. One way to put some certainty in your A/B testing campaigns is to add the control version of your tests twice. It’s like making an A/B /A testing. This way you will be able to validate the B scenario only when both As have the same behavior.”

Adriana Iordan
Vice President of Web Marketing

Ask Your Customers What They Want

“Today’s customers are increasingly ready to share their opinions directly with you. When we have small decisions to make (such as the topping of the month for our chocolate bars) and sometimes even big decisions, we usually first put them up on social media for our customers to comment on and give their feedback. Those customers are also the ones most likely to share the result of those decisions with their friends. We’ve received some great input.”

Carmen Magar
chocri USA

Personalize Customer Experiences

“For effective ecommerce regardless of channel, businesses should personalize customer experiences. This means recognizing shoppers’ past interactions online and delivering contextually-relevant information based on their previous searches, purchases, likes and dislikes. By delivering personalized information, the consumer benefits from fast access and a streamlined interaction.”

Carsten Thoma
hybris U.S.

Synchronize Mobile and Website Information

“Mobile in-store behaviors underscore the importance of ensuring complete synchronization between pricing, promotions and selection offered in the store and what customers see during their online and mobile research. Tailoring your mobile site to a user’s location, and offering localized product or promotional information that is consistent with your traditional website, is critical for customers during their mobile research process.”

Carl Prindle
President and CEO
Blueport Commerce

Review Scripting and Messaging

“It is important for online retailers to evaluate the messaging that sales associates use when interacting with prospects and customers. Review canned chat messages and phone scripts on a regular basis to make sure they are appropriate.”

Steve Castro-Miller
President and CEO
Bold Software

Make Money While Consumers Browse

“Take advantage of the holidays and increased traffic to your retail website by creating a profit from your virtual shelf space. When manufactures advertise on-site search listings, sponsored product categories and branded showcases, retailers generate revenue while consumers interact with the website, whether or not they buy.”

John Federman
President and CEO
Searchandise Commerce

Watermark Product Images

“While many sites use only text to highlight price and promotional messages (e.g., a ‘new product’ promotion), we also find it useful to watermark the product image with prices or a promotional message. We find that this increases CTR [click through rate] of the product and generates more sales.”

James Lorry
Ecommerce Manager

Got a great ecommerce idea? Email Kate Monteith at

Kate Monteith
Kate Monteith
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