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

    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

    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...

  • Conversion

    Finding Loyal Customers in Cyberspace

    April 1, 2006 •

    This year, one of the most popular topics at online industry conferences such as eTail and Shop.org’s FirstLook has been the development of customer loyalty in the fickle medium of the world wide web. While returning visitors are the norm for sites like Amazon and eBay, for the most par...

  • 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,...

  • Conversion

    Seals Help Boost Customer Confidence

    April 1, 2006 •

    Have you ever been shopping on a website and noticed a seal at the bottom that proudly boasts their security level, or maybe how customer service friendly they are? Did you feel better about buying from that site once you saw that? Perhaps you did, and you would be one of many people th...

  • Customer Retention

    Seek Quality Visitors

    March 1, 2006 •

    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...

  • Conversion

    Paid Search Advertising

    March 1, 2006 •

    How big is paid search advertising? For 2005, Google, whose business is based on paid search advertising, reported total sales of $6.1 billion and operating cash flow of $2.624 billion. That’s for a company that didn’t exist ten years ago. “Paid search is a great advertising method tha...

  • Conversion

    Attracting Local Customers Using Pay-Per-Click

    March 1, 2006 •

    Many business owners have a perception that just because they cater to a local market, they can’t use the power of online advertising to attract new customers. The reality is quite different. Recent developments in the pay-per-click industry allow even the localized business to get in ...

  • Conversion

    Helpful Websites That Sell

    March 1, 2006 •

    It’s easy to publish an inventory of merchandise on a web page, but we’ve discovered a few sites that get a leg up on the competition by adding relevant content to aid in their sales. After all, when you’re operating in a medium that’s always been associated with the free distribution o...

  • Conversion

    Effective Landing Pages

    March 1, 2006 •

    This month we discuss landing pages, what they are, and how they can be used to increase your conversion rate. What are Landing Pages Your site has landing pages whether or not you think it does. Even if you didn’t specifically design landing pages – you have them, because the definit...

  • Conversion

    Respond to Your Customer. Now.

    March 1, 2006 •

    One of the most frequent complaints from ecommerce customers is the inability to receive timely answers from a website. I’m always shocked at the number of websites that provide only a “contact us” form, with no phone number or other contact information. In my view, those sites deserve ...

  • Conversion

    Affiliate Marketing

    February 1, 2006 •

    Andy Newlin works for Sierratradingpost.com, in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Sierra Trading Post is an ecommerce merchant that sells outdoor gear and clothing, and Newlin is its Online Marketing Manager. He oversees the affiliate marketing efforts of the site. “Most any online merchant can utili...

  • Conversion

    Seeing Stars on the Web

    February 1, 2006 •

    As awards show season gets under way, celebrity fashion will be receiving a tremendous amount of global press, even more so than your typical Hollywood-obsessed news day. Outside of Los Angeles and New York, capitalizing on this high product visibility has never really been an option fo...

  • Conversion

    Minimize Customer Complaints

    February 1, 2006 •

    Step Two: Send a follow-up email within a week of the customer receiving their product or service. Keep the email short, and encourage the customer to click on a link to take them to the form you created. Be sure to explain in your email that the form is very brief and will only take a ...

  • Conversion

    The Home Page: Putting Your Best Foot Forward

    February 1, 2006 •

    You never get a second chance at a first impression. Or so the saying goes. Perhaps that’s the reason that website home pages are the most focused on by designers and marketers. In this case, I’m quite happy to agree with conventional wisdom. Having an effective home page is critical to...

  • Customer Service

    Email Etiquette is Good Customer Service

    February 1, 2006 •

    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...

  • Customer Retention

    Reaping Holiday Sales in January

    January 1, 2006 •

    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 ...

  • Conversion

    Customer Service Focus – January 2006

    January 1, 2006 •

    As I have mentioned many times before, communication is the key to excellent customer service. One of the primary ways that merchants communicate with customers is via email. Steve Walker, owner of Rescuepetstore.com said, “If I don't receive proper notification and follow-up from an e...

  • Analytics & Data

    Web Analytics: Understanding Visitor Behavior

    January 1, 2006 •

    In the beginning, there were “hit counters”. Occasionally you will still see one at the bottom of a website, prominently displaying the number of hits over a given time frame. There was a time when the success of a website was gauged solely on this number, with a site that received many...

  • Conversion

    Use Web Analytics to Improve Profits for New Year

    January 1, 2006 •

    I love this quote by Albert Einstein: “Insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting a different result.” It’s a great concept to bear in mind as the New Year begins. I expect many of you are looking for better results from your marketing, and Einstein reminds us that sticki...

  • Analytics & Data

    Google Analytics Draws Industry Reaction

    January 1, 2006 •

    On November 14, 2005, Google announced its free, hosted web analytics service. Based on the Urchin analytics platform, which Google acquired earlier in the year, the service boasts website analysis tools aimed at executives, marketers, and webmasters. According to a Google press release,...

  • Conversion

    Customer Service Focus – December 2005

    December 1, 2005 •

    This month we are focusing on a several online businesses to see how different merchants deliver excellent customer service. We asked four merchants what was the single most important thing they did to deliver quality customer service. Marilyn Lysohir, Owner of CowgirlChocolates.com sa...

  • Conversion

    Home Pages for the Holidays

    December 1, 2005 •

    With winter approaching, it’s time to start thinking about those holiday decorations, parties and gifts that will make the long, cold nights feel a little warmer and brighter. Whether you celebrate religiously or purely for the fun of it, here are a few sites that prove a little devotio...

  • Conversion

    The Best ‘Net Secrets – November 2005

    November 1, 2005 •

    Trick-or-treaters come and go, but a sweet tooth demands satisfaction year round. These sites handily prove that the Internet can satisfy a sugar craving in ways never dreamt of by your local candy store. http://www.hometownfavorites.com Big city life may offer superior access to fash...

  • Customer Service

    Your Policies Are Only as Good as What’s Posted

    November 1, 2005 •

    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...

  • Conversion

    Understanding Online Advertising Terms

    November 1, 2005 •

    In a meeting with a national online advertising vendor the other day, I was amused when I noticed one of our top salesmen sleeping at our conference table. And, by sleeping, I don’t mean that this gentleman nodded off and required a quick nudge. I mean he was out, sawing logs....

  • Conversion

    Customer Service Focus – November 2005

    November 1, 2005 •

    You probably can’t make every customer happy, so here are some tips on customer-dispute resolution and making a bad situation a little bit better. Communication is King. The most frustrating aspect of dealing with online retailers is lack of communication, especially if you have a pr...

  • Conversion

    Calls-to-Action

    November 1, 2005 •

    If you’ve ever taken a marketing class, or read a marketing book that deals with any level of ‘direct response’ marketing, then you’ve come across the phrase ‘call to action’. It’s the idea that in order to make marketing or advertising effective, you must tell your audience what step y...

  • Conversion

    Email Marketing: Cultivating a Successful List

    October 1, 2005 •

    Many old-school marketers built mailing lists like your favorite aunt would make spaghetti: Cook a ton of it, and throw it against the wall to see what sticks. If any does, you know the pasta’s done. In much the same way, before email marketing developed some semblance of sophisticatio...

  • Conversion

    Web Marketing: Hitting the Target

    October 1, 2005 •

    Over the summer, I had the opportunity to try my hand at archery during a Boy Scout camp. It’s actually quite hard to hit the target, (and for me virtually impossible to hit the bulls-eye). However, it occurred to me that some of the instructions I was given, were quite similar to some ...

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