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

How to Leverage Promotion Codes

“Make sure your promotion codes require customers to buy at least two or more items. Then display your cross-sell offerings on the promotions code page. This gives customers incentive to increase their purchase amount, and helps them find additional products with which to do so.”

Meredith Keller
Smaller Box

Offer a Prize to Entice New Subscribers

“Anyone who signs up for our email newsletter is automatically entered into a monthly drawing for a chance to win a free toy or gift certificate from our website. Drawings are held at the end of each month, and all active subscribers are eligible to win. This campaign is currently featured on our store’s home page, and we’ve seen a huge increase in the number of sign-ups since we started it.”

Brian M. Almashie
Vice President of Ecommerce

Streamline Your Shopping Cart

“Each new page a shopper has to load to complete another step in the checkout process is a chance for them to fall out of the funnel. You can minimize fallout by combining pages, and by eliminating all unnecessary steps.”

Mason Wiley
Senior Vice President of Marketing

Empower Employees to Offer Special Incentives

“Empower your employees to offer incentives to help take online shoppers from simply browsing to actually purchasing. Arm phone, email and live chat agents with a cadre of special promotions, discounts and other inducements only they can offer. Consider driving communications by advertising the offers on site, i.e., “Call now for special discounting,” or “Chat now and get free shipping.”

Steve Castro-Miller
Bold Software

Merchandise Products Both In-Store and Online

“Retail sites and search engines are consistently the first or second stop in the shopping continuum, with the end purchase location being split fairly evenly between the online and offline retail channel. If you buy shelf space, eye-level kiosks or other brick-and-mortar merchandising options and don’t merchandise on retail websites, you’re missing almost half of your potential customers.”

John Federman
President and CEO
Searchandise Commerce

Test Placement of Anxiety-Reducing Content

“Test placement of anxiety-reducing content, including security icons, returns policy, and satisfaction points. It’s often best to separate emotive content from transactional considerations.”

Chris Goward
WiderFunnel Marketing Optimization

Product Feeds Lead to Success

“Proactively sending out product information is a secret to success. Product feeds to locations like Google Base, Shopzilla and give customers more opportunities to find what you have to offer. Search engines want to provide relevant information when searchers look for items you have described in your feeds.”

Randy Windsor
Marketing Manager
Network Solutions

Follow User Paths with Clickstream Tool

“Use Alexa Clickstream to learn from which sites users come to your competitors’ sites, and where they go afterward. You can also use it to see where visitors come from and where they go after leaving your store.”

Oleg Chehovsky
Head of Marketing Department

Add a Handwritten Note to Shipped Items

“Empower your packers to add a handwritten thank you note to the enclosed invoice or packing slip. If possible, use the customer’s first name, i.e., ‘Dear Helen, Thank you for your order. We appreciate your business. Regards, Rob.’ It doesn’t take much effort, but it significantly improves how the customer perceives and feels about your company.”

Rob Mobberley
Performance Motorcare Products Ltd.

Test Small Before a Full-Site Rollout

“Experiment with new ideas. There are tons of ideas out there to try, from chat to video to social networking. Develop small, quick, cheap tests to see which are most effective before investing in a full site rollout.”

David Norris
Fourth Wave Consulting

Got a great ecommerce idea? Email Kate Monteith at

Kate Monteith
Kate Monteith
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