Ten Great Ecommerce Ideas for March 2011

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 March 2011 installment of “Ten Great Ecommerce Ideas.”

Get Some Free Press

“One of the best things an entrepreneur can do is to get some free press. One way to do this is to suggest to your local television network a story about you and your company that has some sort of tie-in to a holiday, an awareness month, or unique connection. The power of TV is great and many local shows are looking to have a local tie-in.”

Haralee Weintraub

Q & A Helps Consumers Decide

“We have a question and answer section for each product that we sell on our website and we share the communications with all visitors. This cuts down on the need to individually handle the same question over and over. But more importantly, it gives us an opportunity to build consumer confidence. The manner in which we answer questions tells consumers a lot about who we are and it’s a chance to make our website shine. We try to provide answers in a way that is informative and fun, but most importantly, helps consumers make a decision.”

Jeffrey A. Oster, DPM
Founder and Medical Director

A Simpler Approach to Website Design

“Design your website with your customer in mind. Simplify its design. Don’t make customers think too hard. And don’t be afraid of having too much white space. There is beauty in simplicity. Look at what other sites are doing and use the Bruce Lee approach: ‘Absorb what is useful, discard what is useless, and add what is uniquely your own.’”

Luis Hernandez, Jr.
Chief Executive Motorhead
The Motor Bookstore

Coupon Codes Are Like Free Advertising

“Offer coupon codes and promotional codes that encourage customers to spend more than they otherwise would (such as, ‘20 percent off any order over $50’). Coupon codes are basically free advertising because bloggers that write about coupons and freebies (and there are lots of them) will post your codes to their blogs. Additionally, codes will be picked up by coupon code aggregator websites like, and gain even more exposure.”

Randall Davidson
Lead Project Manager
Audio Transcription

Leverage Mobile Barcodes

“Consider leveraging mobile barcodes. For instance, include a barcode next to a product image in an advertisement. The consumer can scan this barcode by using a mobile phone and be immediately directed to your mobile website. From there, he or she can place the product in a shopping cart for immediate purchase, or later purchase from a PC.”

Carsten Thoma
hybris U.S.

Respond within 24 Hours

“Follow up with all your customer calls and emails in a very timely manner. Expect a sale to be lost if the customer is not contacted within 24 hours. You can never respond too quickly to a customer question.”

Bob Rustici

Make Your Company Blog Worth Reading

“So many ecommerce company blogs are full of boring promotional content instead of juicy informative or entertaining material that ideal customers would read and share, and come back to read more. Your company blog is not about you, it’s about your customers and providing content they’ll consume and share.”

Meredith Keller
Smaller Box

Engage Leads with Live Chat

“Implementing a live chat feature on an ecommerce site can help increase sales, build trust, and even show you how visitors are navigating your site. Choose chat software that provides live visitor tracking, fast loading time, and is highly visible. Go ahead, engage your leads!”

Shai Atanelov
Bigtime Wireless, LLC

Seek Out Your Competition

“Believe it or not, your competition may not be your enemy. Without breaking anti-trust laws, and without harming your own interests, seek out the competition and find those willing to engage in honest discussions. Share information where possible. Approach suppliers as a consortium to get better pricing. Working together, in certain circumstances, may benefit both parties.”

Mike Eckler

Translate and Expand Internationally

“Consider international expansion for your business. With a translated website and a flexible shipper, you can get a foot into a whole new market without much effort, and then decide to do it right if you see a positive response. A great company to get your website translated is”

Carmen Magar

Kate Monteith
Kate Monteith
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