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 | Product Pages
  • Conversion

    Google Audio Ads Look To Make Some Noise

    November 13, 2007 •

    Have you ever considered a radio campaign as a method to increase awareness of your organization’s online presence? Recently, Google announced that its Audio Ads are available through the AdWords account interface. Not only could this present a viable marketing opportunity to reach cons...

  • Conversion

    Conversion: Experimentation Is Key

    November 7, 2007 •

    Deep down, we conversion experts carry a secret that we don't want you to know. Even though there are proven conversion principles which apply to any website, as well as many best-practices, which could be applied to improve most sites, there is a large grey area where we experts are f...

  • Conversion

    Ecommerce Facebook Applications

    November 5, 2007 • — a company that less than a year ago looked like fools for not accepting Yahoo’s bid to purchase it — has become the powerhouse of social media websites. It’s been said that much of the success is due simply to Facebook being the latest in a string of recently-hip online s...

  • Conversion

    Holiday Sales: Make Your List, Check It Twice

    October 29, 2007 •

    1. Target The Right Buyers Selling more effectively throughout the holidays means targeting the right person, with the right offer, at the right time. Pretty easy in theory, right? In practice it’s a lot more difficult. Most e-tailers, through trial and error, get in a rut of going wit...

  • Conversion

    Product Spotlight

    October 17, 2007 •

    Create Your Own Business Cards BusinessCards MX allows you to quickly and easily create your own custom business cards. Version 3.30 includes 400 examples of business card templates, and designing a card is simple through the program’s ready to use elements, which include a variety of ...

  • Conversion

    PPC Report Card:

    October 10, 2007 •

    POS Supply Solutions sells office and paper products at its website, It spends $1,000 per month on pay-per-click (PPC) advertising with, exclusively, Google. POS says its PPC goal is to generate product sales, and POS Supply asked us to review its overall pay-per-click ad...

  • Conversion

    Local Pay-Per-Click Opportunities For Small Businesses

    October 3, 2007 •

    It’s been over a year and a half since I last covered the local pay-per-click market for Practical eCommerce. If there is one thing you can depend on, it is that this industry does not stand still. It’s definitely time to go over the latest opportunities and trends in the local pay-per-...

  • Conversion

    Usability Report Card:

    September 26, 2007 •

    Canadian-based strives to provide parents with unique, useful baby products at affordable prices. The site’s owner Danielle Burgi is a nominee for Savvymom Mompreneur of the Year. An impending upgrade to the site, coupled with a new shopping cart system, which wil...

  • Conversion

    Google AdWords: Get ‘Em Where You Want ‘Em

    September 17, 2007 •

    In the good old days (when Overture was the only paid search vendor) it was easy. Just bid one cent higher than the other guy, and get into position one, or two, or six, or whatever you wanted. Then Google came along. Now don’t get me wrong, I think Google is an extraordinary adverti...

  • Conversion

    Quantifying Conversion Funnel Opportunities

    September 12, 2007 •

    In my last article, I discussed the practice of breaking the ecommerce conversion funnel down into four distinct transition points to help establish benchmarks and to locate and isolate the greatest opportunities for profitable improvement. Measuring these transition points is a valuabl...

  • Conversion

    Product Spotlight: Photo Editing, AudioFlash And More

    August 28, 2007 •

    Web-based Photo Editing Picnik is a web-based photo editing service that is accessed through your computer's browser. Users can quickly fix underexposed photos, remove red-eye or apply effects to photos. Minimum hardware requirements are Microsoft Windows XP or Mac OS X, with a 1GHz pr...

  • Conversion

    Actively Promote The Nuances Of Your Website

    August 27, 2007 •

    Many Internet-generated prospects need to be told why they should take action on your website, and often times online businesses don’t spend enough time on this issue — essentially generating fewer sales for the same cost of traffic. Below are some tips on how to get more bang for your ...

  • Conversion

    Five Ways To Prepare Your Website For Universal Search

    August 20, 2007 •

    The way Google handles search is changing. You may not have heard of universal search yet, but it is going to affect the way your website and your company show up in search engine results, at least for Google. You may have noticed that pictures, videos and even press releases are showin...

  • Conversion

    Google’s Personalized Search

    August 18, 2007 •

    With the launch of Google’s personalized search every user will now get search results tailored to his/her specific interests. More specifically, the algorithm will actually be taking into account what you've previously searched for on Google, as well as the sites you have visited i...

  • Conversion

    Usability Report Card:

    August 17, 2007 • is a United Kingdom based website that primarily sells fresh flowers. On the verge of its one year anniversary, the ebusiness wanted to get an external perspective on how its website was doing. Homepage Clarity Arena Flowers’ home page does a good job of stating its...

  • Conversion

    Site Search: Increases Conversion Rates, Average Order Value And Loyalty

    August 15, 2007 •

    If your online store has hundreds of products, you may want to consider implementing a more sophisticated site search to help your customers find what they need quickly. For those of you running shops with an inventory of less than 500 products, you may only need to make sure your navig...

  • Conversion

    Advertising Online: A Variety Of Opportunities

    August 13, 2007 •

    You may find this hard to believe, but Internet marketing does not revolve solely around Google, Yahoo! and MSN. Whether you’re looking for fresh traffic, new business or just want to kick your marketing up a notch, there are other quality ad networks out there worth considering. Conte...

  • Conversion

    Consumers Want Merchandise Their Way

    August 13, 2007 •

    At the e-tailing group, we continue to believe a two-faceted convenience will drive new prospects to test the online shopping waters, which generally results in the web receiving a greater share of this customer’s wallet. Consequently, what follows are some of the highlights from the e-...

  • Conversion

    Usability Report Card: Make These Tweaks Before Growth Occurs

    August 8, 2007 • was formed to expand the artistic markets and opportunities for Native Americans and has ambitious expansion plans for itself. Currently, is a fairly basic website that lists all the prints and sculptures the artists have available for sale. The site was ch...

  • Conversion

    Don’t Overlook The Essentials Of Business Startup

    August 6, 2007 •

    I receive calls daily from store owners wondering what they can do to get ample returns on their investments in advertising and search engine optimization. Just when I think I’ve met my match, more calls pour in, and I’ve come to the realization that a good majority of small business ow...

  • Conversion

    Maintaining Sanity Amid Multiple PPC Campaigns

    August 1, 2007 •

    Pay-per-click search engine campaigns are becoming sophisticated to the point that they frequently require a full-time resource to manage them. In the small-business world, that’s a problem considering most small businesses don't have the funds to hire somebody full time to do that work...

  • Conversion

    Sluggish Sales? Consider Adding Additional 800 Numbers

    July 29, 2007 •

    As much people love the web, there are always those who prefer to use the phone number on the site to inquire about company’s products and services. An important question to consider is how accurately are you accounting for phone sales when planning your ad budget? What follows are seve...

  • Customer Retention

    Online Loyalty Programs Can Increase Repeat Shoppers

    July 22, 2007 •

    Online merchants want to find ways to increase revenues by encouraging customers to make repeat purchases. Using an online loyalty program will certainly help, but it must be done carefully and with the right tools. There are many factors involved in creating a successful loyalty progr...

  • Conversion

    Photography: More Than a Decent Camera

    July 18, 2007 •

    A picture is worth a thousand words. And in the ecommerce world, a product image can determine whether a customer makes the purchase, or not. But for potential merchant photographers, it turns out taking something as simple as a picture isn't really all the simple. The process often tim...

  • Conversion

    Usability Report Card:

    July 18, 2007 •

    Alan Gonzalez at ACI Hoist & Crane, Inc. recently inherited the responsibilities for the company's website,, and its ecommerce push. He is in the early stages of improving the site's navigation and content, but asked for a site review. Gonzales said the plan is “to do a...

  • Conversion

    SMBs Should Consider Surveys

    July 15, 2007 •

    The online store that makes me feel awesome even after my product(s) have been delivered will get my business next time around. Their URL will be committed to memory, and I’ll visit the site often just to see what’s new. This store must cater to my needs, treat me like a person and does...

  • Conversion

    SellPoint Offers “Active” Product Tours

    July 13, 2007 •

    Ecommerce businesses want to move more merchandise. A service called SellPoint can help with this, by creating, hosting and syndicating customizable product tours. These tours integrate detailed, 360-degree images, combined with video, animation, product statistics, data sheets and even...

  • Checkout Tactics

    Lowering Shopping Cart Abandonment

    July 11, 2007 •

    As an ecommerce owner, you always want to make the checkout process as quick and smooth as possible for your own ecommerce customers. Here’s a quick checklist of simple website changes that could help you lower shopping cart abandonment. Prominent “Add to Cart” button Make sure that a...

  • Conversion

    SERPs And Personalized Search

    July 6, 2007 •

    I know what you did last summer. Scared yet? Before you call 911 and report me as a stalker, let me assure you I did no such thing. However, by 2008, your search engine might. It’s called Personalized Search. I will leave it up to the lawyers to worry about privacy concerns, and will ...

  • Conversion

    Six Surefire Ways To Boost Sales

    July 2, 2007 •

    I would venture to say that not a single website in the world has reached its peak of effectiveness or earnings potential. No matter the circumstances, every site can "better its best." If a "magic" formula for website success existed, you'd see the big boys like Google and Yahoo using ...