Show Off Your Products
June 1, 2006 • Pamela Hazelton
I just got my email alert on the latest kitchen styles from IKEA. The site’s not the easiest to shop – mostly because you really have to know what you’re looking for – but it boasts a vast amount of interactive tools. People like me (I do an enormous amount of shopping online) love seei...
Giving Them What They Want
May 1, 2006 • Pamela Hazelton
Listen to your customers. Part of my job is to rip online stores apart and present solutions, all focused on existing and potential customers. It still shocks me to see so many online businesses implement bad ideas because the head honcho thinks something is “good”, without ever asking...
Is Live Chat Worth It?
April 1, 2006 • Pamela Hazelton
It was a phase, until it started costing money and taking time away from already busy schedules. Too many business owners had the wrong expectations, so links to the tool are seen less these days. I’m talking about live chat between online stores and visitors. If used properly, though,...
Seek Quality Visitors
March 1, 2006 • Pamela Hazelton
I’m no Search Engine Optimization expert. Never have been, and most likely never will be. I’ve found that SEO is such a niche market that anyone offering these services shouldn’t have time to do anything but. I do, however, work with store owners everyday and am often asked what can be...
Email Etiquette is Good Customer Service
February 1, 2006 • Pamela Hazelton
I had an interesting e-conversation a few weeks ago. It turned into a one-sided blast fest, with me at the brunt of it. The source? A business professional looking for work. I let it all roll off my shoulder, but something about it seemed all too familiar. I searched back through thousa...
Reaping Holiday Sales in January
January 1, 2006 • Pamela Hazelton
So many online stores put all of their focus into attracting holiday shoppers during the end of the year that they overlook the fact that the month of January can also be profitable. At the very least, planning ahead to handle holiday returns and exchanges can help reduce the burden of ...
Your Policies Are Only as Good as What’s Posted
November 1, 2005 • Pamela Hazelton
Since the holiday shopping season is upon us, now’s the time to double-check store policies. Besides privacy, security and shipping, policies are what decide what happens when there is a problem with an order. So many stores neglect these important requirements, then struggle to make th...
Design & Dev Tools
Hosting Companies: Top 10 Questions to Ask
October 1, 2005 • Pamela Hazelton
I field many phone calls in any given day. And never does a day pass where I don’t get a call about someone having trouble with their host. Sometimes I have to bite my tongue, and many would be shocked at some of the stories I’ve heard. I think it’s time to just start referring people ...
Navigation is Key
September 1, 2005 • Pamela Hazelton
Online shoppers need guidance about finding what they need, and information about the pages they are viewing. We get so used to all our friends and family being online, we take for granted that each and every day, thousands of people use the Internet for the very first time. This leads ...
Shipping & Fulfillment
A Primer in Shipping Calculations
August 1, 2005 • Pamela Hazelton
Set aside all the cool features you’d love your MIVA Merchant store to have, and those you aren’t sure how to accomplish. The most difficult yet necessary task is tackling the proper means of calculating shipping. It sounds so simple – after all, we can hit UPS.com, USPS.com, FedEx.com...
Design & Dev Tools
July 1, 2005 • Pamela Hazelton
I spend just as much time troubleshooting Miva Merchant issues as I do customizing storefronts. I've found that no matter how much you foolproof something, someone out there can, and will, find a way to break its functionality. Fortunately, users of Miva Merchant often need only follow ...