eCommerce tips

Marketing and growth
  • Enticing new visitors to your store.
    Whilst marketing campaigns that use traditional media are still important, it's now often your placement in the search-engine results which makes or breaks an online sales venture.
    By using a shopping-cart which contains a content management system (CMS) - you can provide a range of articles and additional information associated with your inventory. Search engines adjust their rankings based on how relevant your website is to the keywords entered. By providing quality information on a topic - you can use this as a lead-in to particular products or to your catalog as a whole.
  • Tailor your catalogue to your markets
    As an online retailer, you have access to a wide audience - spanning not only geographic regions, but cultural and other demographic boundaries.
    Sometimes a one-size-fits-all approach to the style and content of your website can be a bit too unfocused - and you may lose sales to a competitor who has a more targeted marketing angle. Often there may be considerable overlap in the inventory that you wish to offer to your markets and it is impractical to maintain completely separate websites with duplicated databases. Unfortunately, most ecommerce systems don't allow you to present the same inventory data in multiple different ways; however, by using an advanced ecommerce system such as ShoppingCartOne you can create different design and content sets over your catalog, and even present them under completely different domain names.
    This can assist you in getting better search-engine placement for your store for a particular region/country or for a specific topic you wish to target.

Customer relationships and promotions
  • Cross-sell, Up-sell
    Make sure your ecommerce site is actively promoting your catalog at the point of sale.
    One way to do this is to provide helpful suggestions about related products when a customer is viewing a particular product (cross selling). You could also gently encourage your customers to purchase a premium version of a product or to add features, by placing a graphically appealing banner/ad on selected items (Up selling).
    Techniques like this could be done manually by repeatedly adding text and/or images to each catalog item, but you will find it much easier to create effective cross-selling or up-selling campaigns if you use an ecommerce tool such as ShoppingCartOne which has built-in support for this type of promotion.
  • Keep in touch with your customers
    Choose a shopping cart system which gives you facilities to maintain a dialogue with your customerbase. An opt-in mailing list is a great vehicle to share promotions with your existing customers and keep your brand at the forefront of their minds.

The user experience
  • Design choices.
    Some markets and product ranges are more suited to promotion with eye-candy and fancy design than others.
    Whether your particular range is best presented in a more spartan manner, or requires an eye-popping array of graphic design, choose a system which gives you the flexibility to include modern HTML design elements such as CSS and JavaScript. A shopping cart with CMS facilities and the ability to customize inventory presentation will give you the most flexibility to portray your brand appropriately.
  • Make it easy for your customers.
    The old business rule - 'make it easy for your customers to spend their money with you' certainly applies to ecommerce. Select a shopping cart system which supports a wide range of payment options and gateways, and which makes any data entry and decisions at the point of sale smooth and easy.
    For example, freight cost calculations should be as automated and flexible as possible, and returning customers should find data entry requirements are at a minimum.
    It's well worth considering systems which provide innovative features at the point of sale, such as the facility to 'get a quote'. This sort of facility can increase customer satisfaction with your shop and encourage them to turn to your catalogue first.

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