Category

Conversion

Fewer than 5 percent of visitors to an ecommerce site typically convert to customers. In this “Conversion” category, we offer insights to increase that percentage. Our expert contributors address ratings and reviews, social proof, site search, product page enhancements, product descriptions, checkout options, live chat, and much more — anything to help close online sales.

Analytics & Data | Checkout Tactics | Customer Retention | Customer Service | Photography & Video | Product Pages
  • Conversion

    Analysis: Search Engines Are Not Created Equal

    August 1, 2006 •

    The pay-per-click test Practical eCommerce conducted on search engines Google, Yahoo!, Ask and MSN netted some interesting data, but perhaps the most valuable information came outside the numbers. I have never set up this type of pay-per-click (PPC) campaign, so I came to this project ...

  • Conversion

    Q&A: Outlook for Search Advertising Prices

    August 1, 2006 •

    Will ecommerce firms pay more or less for paid search ads in the near future? Google’s net profit in 2005 exceeded 30 percent of gross revenue. This is a huge profit margin compared to many other companies and industries. Yahoo!, MSN and Ask.com are investing heavily for a portion of t...

  • Conversion

    Vertical Search Could Mean Better ROI

    August 1, 2006 •

    Raise your hand if you’ve implemented or managed a Google AdWords campaign for your online business. Instantly, thousands of hands just touched the sky. According to JupiterResearch, advertising trends online have mirrored those in traditional television and print media. What many onli...

  • Conversion

    PPC Expense: What Is A Customer Worth?

    August 1, 2006 •

    When determining how much to spend on a pay-per-click campaign, an etailer should first calculate what a customer is worth to his business. Getting a customer to purchase a single product isn’t the goal of most ecommerce site owners. However, most owners fail to calculate the potential...

  • Conversion

    Email Marketing Fosters Long-Term Relationships

    August 1, 2006 •

    The use of email is changing the way businesses communicate with their customers. Rather than using email solely to offer products for sale, many businesses now use it to communicate helpful information to shoppers who request it. This helpful information creates a relationship with a s...

  • Conversion

    Use In-store Kiosks to Promote Website

    August 1, 2006 •

    When was the last time you were shopping for an item you just had to have, only to discover when you got to the store you couldn’t buy it in the color or size you wanted? If you are like most retail shoppers, you have experienced an out-of-stock situation recently. This is one of the m...

  • Conversion

    Pay-Per-Call: New Player on the Scene?

    August 1, 2006 •

    Online advertising is heating up and growing quickly in popularity. However, many companies are missing out if they don’t have a website or if their services are not fit to be sold over the web. Fortunately, a new version of paid advertising has emerged recently — pay-per-call. Pay-per...

  • Analytics & Data

    Email: Confidentiality Required

    August 1, 2006 •

    I get thousands of emails each day. A good majority are spam, and I use Cloudmark (the best system I’ve found) for filtering them. Being in business, however, I still have to take the time to scan them all, making sure I’m not missing an initial request for work from someone who may hav...

  • Conversion

    Rethinking Conversion Rates

    August 1, 2006 •

    When I'm not writing for Practical eCommerce, I spend my professional life running a “boutique” web-consulting firm. As a result, I get involved in numerous sales meetings. I’ve noticed something of a trend recently with companies evaluating our services asking for third-party “research...

  • Conversion

    With Limited Ad Dollars, What’s The Answer

    August 1, 2006 •

    Each small ecommerce business tries to squeeze every drop of value out of his limited advertising dollars. Online advertising options have grown very congested in the last few years, saturating the marketplace and making it more difficult for a business to get noticed — unless it is dol...

  • Conversion

    Web Design: Function Trumps Form

    July 11, 2006 •

    A well-designed site is important, but it will not be the key factor in determining your sales success. It's not uncommon for a business owner to turn to a design-oriented person to help create a website for his company. That may, however, be a mistake. Conversion specialists routinely...

  • Conversion

    Five Great Conversion Tips

    July 1, 2006 •

    These conversion tips can be implemented by a business owner in just a few days with the possible aid of a competent web programmer. When implemented, the tips can make a profound difference on the conversions rates of an ecommerce business. The tips are: Simplify your home page. ...

  • Conversion

    There’s More to Conversion Than a Sale

    July 1, 2006 •

    Consider the long and short of e-retailing. As competition rises and tracking becomes more sophisticated, ecommerce merchants are looking for more ways to improve their sales performance. The answer may lie in how they define success. There’s more to a conversion than a sale. Here’s wha...

  • Conversion

    Turning Visitors Into Customers

    July 1, 2006 •

    It may be the most common problem ecommerce businesses face: plenty of traffic but few sales. Converting visitors into customers is a blend of both art and science and, once it’s understood, it’s a skill that will reap rewards for a company’s bottom line. The Web Analytics Association ...

  • Conversion

    Measuring Conversion Success

    July 1, 2006 •

    An ecommerce site with 6 to 9 percent of its visitors making purchases can be considered a success, according to conversion experts. With an industry standard hovering around 1 to 2 percent, most sites are failing to capture all the business they can have. Once a company makes a commit...

  • Product Pages

    Showcase Products Via Podcasts

    July 1, 2006 •

    I’m addicted to the They Might Be Giants podcasts. I'm convinced they helped sell tickets for their latest tour by offering up free music, coupled with tour advertisements, in their weekly podcasts. I'll bet podcasting some of the tours' live performances also helped. But, can podcasti...

  • Conversion

    Integrating Bricks and Mortar with eCommerce

    July 1, 2006 •

    Today‘s shopper expects convenience. Merchants integrating brick-and-mortar stores, ecommerce sites and catalogs will increase repeat purchase rates and achieve higher levels of customer satisfaction. In any multi-channel retail consumer interaction, traffic and sales are being driven ...

  • Conversion

    Web Design: Multiple Roles

    July 1, 2006 •

    A web redesign project is not a one-man assignment. Certainly technology has made it possible for a single graphic designer or programmer to build a site, but not a high conversion site (in my humble opinion). Instead, I think there are a number of key roles that must be fulfilled in o...

  • Conversion

    Attracting The Right Traffic

    July 1, 2006 •

    Gaining just one percent more sales or leads from your visitors can significantly impact your bottom line, yet the common practice of improving website conversion often focuses exclusively on redesigning and optimizing your website. Website conversion — the process of turning website v...

  • Conversion

    Personalization Lures Customers

    June 11, 2006 •

    Everyone likes the personal touch, and these sites offer their customers the ability to personalize unique gifts for friends and loved ones. Creative, personalized gifts and speedy service will lure their customers back. PhotoWow.com Ordinary snaps can be turned into treasures with th...

  • Conversion

    Itching to Expand Your Product Niche?

    June 1, 2006 •

    After years of tinkering in his woodshop making bird houses, Bob said to himself, “I ought to be selling these bird houses on the web.” After construting a quick website, Bob is open for business, and, before long, Bob could be itching to expand his online inventory. It’s no secret tha...

  • Conversion

    Are You an Ego Marketer?

    June 1, 2006 •

    Ego or Effective? Good marketing communicates your unique value to your target market. It builds recognition and credibility for your products and services and creates a steady flow of interested prospects and new customers. Ego marketing makes you feel good at the expense of effective...

  • Conversion

    Grow Profits by Split-Testing Ads

    June 1, 2006 •

    Successful business owners and marketing professionals know that great results from advertising are rarely owed to luck and guessing. Whether they specialize in online or offline promotion, they have known for years that the secret to achieving high return of investment is through split...

  • Product Pages

    Show Off Your Products

    June 1, 2006 •

    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...

  • Conversion

    Consider a Catalog to Enhance Your eCommerce Business

    May 30, 2006 •

    A print catalog and an ecommerce store work extremely well together. The strengths in each channel complement the other’s weaknesses, and consumers frequently browse the catalog first and then go online to purchase the products. The tangible nature of a print catalog makes it great for...

  • Conversion

    2nd Tier Search Engines – Are They Worth It?

    May 1, 2006 •

    As far as most advertisers are concerned, there are only two pay-per-click search engines that deserve their attention - Google AdWords and Yahoo! Search Marketing. After all, these are the most popular search engines that dominate the industry in terms of traffic, technology, and popu...

  • Conversion

    Website Conversion – Revisited

    May 1, 2006 •

    For those of you new to the concept of web conversion, I thought that it might be useful to address some of the key ideas around this strategy. What is Conversion? A website is a corporate resource, and like any other resource, it should provide a return on investment. That return sho...

  • Checkout Tactics

    Giving Them What They Want

    May 1, 2006 •

    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...

  • Conversion

    Effective Landing Pages, Part 2

    April 1, 2006 •

    Last month we introduced the concept of website landing pages, and discussed a few key ideas on how they can be used. This month, we’ll look at some ways to develop effective landing pages. I mentioned last month that landing pages are typically used when you have an understanding of wh...

  • Customer Service

    Is Live Chat Worth It?

    April 1, 2006 •

    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,...

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