Ten Great Ideas for January 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 January 2011 installment of “Ten Great Ecommerce Ideas.”

Build Links Every Day

“Access your analytics accounts and pick out your three highest converting keywords. Next, build one link to each of these keywords per day. For my business, link building is the number one revenue-focused activity. All of my profit comes from visitors who find my site through the search engines.”

Marc Galeazzi
Founder and CEO

Check Keyword Match Type in AdWords

“Check your AdWords keyword match type; if your keywords aren’t surrounded by quote marks (“keyword”) then they are set on ‘broad,’ which could mean you’re appearing for more queries than you think. To see all the queries you’re actually displaying for, go to your AdWords ‘Keywords’ tab, and select ‘All’ in the ‘See Search Terms’ drop-down menu.”

Daniel Jones
Online Marketing Consultant

Hold Your Fulfillment Company Accountable

“If you use an outsourced provider for order fulfillment, make sure that you keep separate records of inventory for audit purposes. Also, check into what you’re being charged for freight, and make sure that the fulfillment company is contractually bound for fixing mistakes when they happen, because mistakes will happen.”

Will Schneider

Allow Customers to Upload Product Photos

“Allow your customers to upload pictures of the product in use. Potential customers like the social proof that comes with seeing how the exact same product they are considering is currently being used in someone’s house.”

Randall Davidson
Lead Project Manager
Audio Transcription

Review Your Analytics

“Reviewing your ecommerce analytics is a great way to find how people are discovering your website. Make sure you have relevant landing pages and information for popular keywords and you’ll see your traffic shoot.”

Richard Potvin

Let Sale Prices Stand Out

“Test the design and placement of your prices, especially on product pages. Sale prices should stand out with compelling graphic treatment.”

Chris Goward
WiderFunnel Marketing Optimization

Take Advantage of Mobile Entry Point

“As an entry point into mobile commerce, retailers should take advantage of the opportunities to reach customers in the store by creating sites that are optimized for the mobile web, easy to use, and provide the right information quickly. This is especially critical for retailers selling big-ticket items, as they often require more research and consideration than inexpensive purchases.”

Carl Prindle
President and CEO
Blueport Commerce

Offer Exclusive Products

“When I first started Vinyl Collective [for vinyl records] in 2005, one of the reasons the online store took off was due to the fact that I was offering products exclusive to my store. A lot of the vinyl I release is available in a number of variants with the most limited variant only available in my online store. If someone is a fan of that artist and wants the most collectible variant of a particular release, they have to shop in the store that offers it. Consider items you can offer in your own store that aren’t available in hundreds of other stores.”

Virgil Dickerson
Founder and CEO
Suburban Home Records and Vinyl Collective

Ask Your Customers for Feedback

“Send out an email after each order and ask your customers about their experience with your website. Find out about ease of use, clarity of product descriptions, as well as company policies. Take that information and act on it to make your site more user friendly for your visitors.”

Larry Chase
Blue Dot Paper Shop and LCI Paper

Stop Selling to Search Engines

“Googlebot is never going to make a purchase at your website. So stop spending time trying to please a computer algorithm. Rather, spend time creating a better website for the actual humans visiting your site. Nothing spreads faster than a refreshing online experience. Three years ago, we stopped obsessing over keywords. At that time, 50 percent of our traffic came from search engines. Since then, our traffic has tripled and direct traffic is our largest source of visitors. The benefit is that we have created a loyal following that will continue to purchase from us regardless of this week’s shift in the Google algorithm.”

Jamie Salvatori

Got a great ecommerce idea? Email Kate Monteith at

Kate Monteith
Kate Monteith
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