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 | Product Pages
  • Conversion

    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...

  • Conversion

    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 ...

  • 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...

  • 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

    Successful Blogging: Utilize the Four

    January 1, 2006 •

    Everyone remembers the three “R’s” from your school days: Reading, ‘Riting, and ‘Rithmetic. These three areas are considered essential to building a good educational foundation. Similarly, there are also some basic essentials to strategic blogging. I would like to present the four “R’s”...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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

    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

    Blogs Are One Way to Get Consumers

    November 1, 2005 •

    Are you “stuck on style?” If so, you may already be a fan of online retailer’s blog, Flypaper. Those three words describe the audience Bluefly, a discount women’s apparel e-tailer, is attempting to attract via the blog: women who care about fashionable clothing but who do not want to pa...

  • 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...

  • 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 ...

  • Conversion

    Ten Things to Consider Before You Blog

    September 1, 2005 •

    You’ve heard a lot about web logs or blogs. That’s because during the past six years blogs have evolved from a highly personal form of communication on the Internet to a powerful new medium for business. Not since Procter & Gamble invented branding back in 1931 has there been so muc...

  • Conversion

    Autoresponders: Follow-up for Success

    September 1, 2005 •

    Something that I often suggest is that companies give something away on their website. I believe that this is essential even for websites that are primarily ecommerce in nature. The reason is to provide a low-commitment next step, for potential customers that aren’t quite ready to buy. ...

  • Conversion

    Navigation is Key

    September 1, 2005 •

    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 ...

  • Conversion

    Know Your Enemy (err, Target)

    August 1, 2005 •

    An oft-repeated military slogan is “know your enemy.” I’m not too sure if it was first espoused by Sun Tzu, Clausewitz or Machiavelli, but I’m on board with the theory. If Sun Tzu (or whoever) were alive today, he’d probably be a web marketer, and his mantra would be “know your target.”...

  • Conversion

    Back-to-School Season Provides Lesson for eCommerce Sites

    August 1, 2005 •

    If you thought the back-to-school season meant little more than pencils and paper, backpacks and new school clothes, you'd be highly mistaken. In the ecommerce community, it provides us a subtle reminder as to the power of teaching our customers about our products and services. That's ...

  • Conversion

    Attracting Hispanic Customers Online Not As Easy As Uno, Dos, Tres

    August 1, 2005 •

    As online business owners and marketers, you've heard the staggering statistics regarding Internet usage among Hispanics in the United States. Almost 16 million Hispanics will be online by 2007, and their collective buying power is already nearing $600 billion. Why is it that only one-...

  • Conversion

    Parting the Fog of Visitors

    August 1, 2005 •

    Imagine this. You're the publisher of a metropolitan newspaper, tasked with gathering statistics on how many people read your publication on a weekly basis. Of course you count your subscriber base and your newsstand copies sold, but do you include those folks who only glanced at the ne...

  • Conversion

    Customer Conversion: Overcome Buyer Resistance

    July 1, 2005 •

    The web has been spoiled by scams, fraud, identity theft, phishing, email address harvesting, and spam-mail. At this point, we are all very wary of disclosing our (somewhat disposable) email address, let alone our physical address and credit card information. We’ll call this buying resi...

  • Conversion

    Words and Phrases that Trigger Some Spam Filters

    December 3, 2002 •

    I built this list of some 250 words and phrases from two spam filter lists. It is not complete. I have left out porn trigger words. Most spam filters work on a point system, so that the occurrence of just one "spam phrase" probably won't trigger rejection -- except some which the filter considers notorious.

  • Conversion

    Crucial Differences between Retailing and E-Tailing

    December 15, 2000 •

    The retail business model that is practiced in thousands of shops and strip malls in cities all over the world is widely understood. However, many fail to understand that the Internet e-tail business model is substantially different. Some of these differences are obvious, while others only become clear later -- sometimes when it is difficult to respond to them.

  • Conversion

    How to Purchase Banner Ad Space

    July 1, 2000 •

    Just how do you go about purchasing banner advertising space? Here are your alternatives.

  • Conversion

    The Eight Essential Types of Internet Promotion

    June 12, 2000 •

    Sometimes your head can be so abuzz with all these Internet marketing details that you feel overwhelmed. You don't know where to start. You can't see the forest for the trees. While there is a lot of depth to be understood, I think that Internet promotion can be distilled down to eight essential types.

  • Conversion

    How Retail Differs from Wholesale and B2C Differs from B2B

    June 3, 2000 •

    When it comes to e-commerce, sometimes our normal terms become inadequate. Here are some definitions: retail, wholesale, business-to-business, and business-to-consumer.

  • Conversion

    Distribution Decisions: Drop-Shipping vs. Inventory vs. Fulfillment House

    June 3, 2000 •

    "Internet product sales are easy," said Bob Simple, when he first set up Bob Simple's Online Shoes. Now he's not so sure. He had found three quality shoe manufacturers who agreed to ship shoes to his customers as soon as he faxed them the order."

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