Sep 21 2011
The 21 of the 50 best tips for ecommerce; have you implemented these yet?
1. Using any home digital video camera, you can shoot and now edit an effective video to complement your website’s product presentations. If your lighting is even and audio clear, you can create an effective online video. As a rule of thumb, keep videos short. For beginners, less than a minute is best. If you’re going over two minutes, your name better be Francis Ford Coppola. Don’t let an individual scene run longer than
George Hague, HAGUEdirect
“5 Free, Fantastic Web Marketing Tools,” May, Retail Online Integration
6. Show your catalog’s products in a lifestyle setting. “Combine aspiration with clarity (e.g., a model wearing your swimwear in a resort setting, your upscale pots in an upscale kitchen, etc.). Insets of products plus aspirational images can work, too.”
Susan J. McIntyre, McIntyre Direct
“Catalog Doctor: Conquer ‘Fear of Selling’,” April 13, The ROI Report
9. Appeal to consumers’ emotions. “To bring new life to product descriptions, appeal to the different emotional needs of consumers. Depending on your target audience, choose the emotions you want consumers to feel about your products, and bring more variety to your product descriptions.”
Denise McGill, catalog, web and promotional copywriter
“How to Easily Write Several Descriptions for One Product,” March 16, The ROI Report
11. Get closer. Offer customers an outlet to discuss their shopping experiences both good and bad. Listen to what they have to say to make improvements. The answers may provide useful insights into better products and/or enhanced services.
Andrew Benett, Arnold Worldwide
“5 Ways Retailers Can Cash In on the Back-to-School Season,” Aug. 24, The ROI Report
14. Identify customers who are likely to “crossover” and buy from other merchandise divisions. If a men’s shoe customer is willing to buy men’s outerwear, then you have a customer that could receive a men’s outerwear targeted offer. Conversely, it’s wise to identify customers who are unlikely to crossover and buy from another merchandise division. It’s this audience where you save a ton of advertising expenses and, as a result, become more profitable.
Kevin Hillstrom, MineThatData
“3 Ways to Improve Offline Targeting,” March 2, Dear Dr. pROfIt blog
16. Simplify checkout. “The more steps required and pages to load to complete the process of buying a product, the greater the chances for prospective customers to fall out of the purchase funnel. Go to your website and try buying some product yourself to see what buyers encounter; then look for opportunities to make the process faster, easier and painless.”
Mason Wiley, Hydra
“5 Tactics to Boost Online ROI,” Jan. 19, The ROI Report
17. Focus on procastinators. Early sales and promotions can be interesting, but ultimately they’re not all that big of a factor.
Lauren Freedman, the e-tailing group
“Strategies to Maximize Your Online Holiay Sales,” Aug. 17, The ROI Report
19. “Implement cross-selling on your website. Make sure you at least show shoppers ‘people who bought this also bought that.’ This cross-sell alone can increase average order size by nearly 10 percent. Make sure you use it in your shopping cart. A number of sites have this feature but use it only on product pages. That’s a big missed opportunity — the cart is the No. 1 place shoppers click on cross-sales!”
Larry Kavanagh, D.M.insite
“Supersize Me,” April, Retail Online Integration
21. Be ready to capitalize on busy online shopping days. Target the third weekend of December with a planned promotion. For all of the hoopla surrounding Black Friday weekend, this weekend is bigger. Plan something for that weekend and you’ll generate incremental sales.
Tom Davis, Kenneth Cole
“Strategies to Maximize Your Online Holiay Sales,” Aug. 17, The ROI Report
23. Take advantage of triggered emails. Trigger emails are sent to individuals based on their actions. The action could be good (thanking them for signing up for your free e-letter), bad (abandoning a shopping cart) or indifferent (confirming a vote in a poll), but it’s always a happening, event or instance. Triggers have higher response rates, better deliverability and improved lifetime profit.
Amy Africa, Eight by Eight
“TESTING, TESTING: 5 Web Attributes to Test This Season,” September, Retail Online Integration
28. “Stop getting customers addicted to your offers. Offers are great, but if you use them too much, your customers will wait for that extra special offer and only buy then. Is that how you want them trained?”
Bryan Eisenberg, Eisenberg Holdings
“Said on the Web,” August, Retail Online Integration
34. Optimize your mobile marketing campaigns post-launch. “Mobile campaigns, whether they’re launched via SMS, the mobile web or an app, must be optimized after they’re in the marketplace. An SMS campaign, for example, must add new keyword combinations once the campaign is in market to accommodate possible misspellings from consumers that weren’t taken into account before the campaign was launched.”
Josh Gordon, Knotice
“4 Keys to Selecting the Right Mobile Marketing Vendor,” October, Retail Online Integration
35. Keep privacy a top priority. Privacy is perhaps more important in the mobile sphere than anywhere else in cyberspace. Follow the same stringent policies you already should be using on your website.
Det Ansinn, Mobile Tag
“Going Mobile,” May, Retail Online Integration
38. Make your returns policy visible. Include your company’s returns policy on all outbound packages, as well as prominently displayed on your website. Then run tests to find the optimum places to post this information i.e., which creates the least amount of returns.
Rob Martinez, Shipware Systems Corp.
“Strategies to Convert Returns Management From a Drain to a Profit Center,” April 27, The ROI Report
39. Use Twitter and other social media tools to drive consumers into your brick-and-mortar stores. Apparel cross-channel retailer Brooklyn Industries ran a Twitter promotion coinciding with the opening of its newest brick-and-mortar store. For 13 straight days at 2 p.m. EST, Brooklyn Industries tweeted a unique code. The first person to come into the new store with the unique code won a free tote bag. The campaign helped Brooklyn Industries create a community of followers in a new market, while at the same time boosted in-store traffic.
Lexy Funk, Brooklyn Industries
“Apparel and the City,” June, Retail Online Integration
40. Remember Pareto’s 80/20 rule when identifying unique characteristics of your target audience, tapping the 20 percent who contribute most of your profits. Identify their unique facts and behaviors with surveys and analysis of characteristics (e.g., home values, ZIP codes, pet ownership, children, etc.).
Shari Altman, Altman Dedicated Direct
“Changing Channels,” June, Retail Online Integration
43. Create an integrated approach. A true integrated marketing campaign will have a cohesive, 360° plan that combines search engine optimization (SEO), paid search (PPC), usability, social media and analytics so that all areas are working together to achieve the same goals. It’s only through an integrated approach that you can gain efficiencies and share learnings across platforms. Top performing keywords from PPC campaigns can be integrated into your SEO efforts, for example. These key terms aren’t only relevant to user searches, but they’re the terms on which users are taking action. Thus it follows that you should be optimizing your website content with these same keywords to enhance and continue the conversion process.
Thad Kahlow, BusinessOnLine
“3 Steps to Maximizing Your Marketing Dollars,” Sept. 14, The ROI Report
44. Customize your site search to make it as user-friendly as possible. Techniques include: auto complete for search suggestions, so when consumers begin typing a certain search term, suggestions appear below that they can click on; rich auto completes, which shows products as you begin typing in the search box; search results pages (SRPs) refined by product categories, special offers, price, brand, among other segments; related searches posted on the top of SRPs and below the list of products; ratings and reviews embedded within search results; prices included in all search results, with products on sale highlighted; and best-sellers listed in the right-hand columns of SRPs.
Tammie McKenzie, Cruiser Customizing
“Cruiser Customizing Upgrades its Site Search to Grow Revenues,” June 22, 2010, The ROI Report
45. Try a keyword monitoring service. “A free keyword monitoring service like Monitter enables you to easily track conversations relevant to your business and respond when opportunities present themselves. Someone could tweet about a customer service issue, for example, or that they’re looking for a particular product. If you monitor for these keywords, Twitter provides an opportunity for your business to become a resource for these consumers.”
Paula Drum, Gettington.com
“Strategies to Drive Retail Traffic Via Social Media,” April 13, The ROI Report
47. Respond swiftly to negative reviews. “If your brand gets bashed in an online forum, respond publicly, honestly and as quickly as possible. Don’t even think about creating an alias; you’ll get caught, and it will cause more damage to your reputation.”
Shama Kabani, The Marketing Zen Group
“How to Deal With Negative Customer Reviews,” Aug. 31, The ROI Report
50. Use outside testing tools. Take advantage of outside testing tools, such as UserTesting.com, which provides results within 24 hours of a test, and can segment results by gender, age, income, among a host of other categories.
Archie Miller, Crutchfield
“How Crutchfield Does In-House Testing,” Aug. 17, The ROI Report
From Retail Online Integration’s 50 Best Tips of 2010