Small business owners find this blog to be a great resource for sales and marketing strategies.

The Six Page Views of The Shopping Cart

Published by Charles Brodeur

When you are building an eCommerce site there are so many things to think about.  You need a website, a customer database, credit card processing, marketing, Inventory management, reporting, and the list goes on. Sometimes there are just too many things to think about. That's why it's good to have a list.  Building a "to do" list and checking it off is the best way I know how to get through the multitude of tasks when starting a new venture like an ecommerce site.

For the purpose of this article we are going to focus on the Six Page Views of a typical ecommerce shopping cart. This list is a great check list for designers and integrators looking to set up an ecommerce site.  Each one of the six views is equally important in that each page view is one stage in the conversion path or sales funnel.  If any one of the six page views is broken then you have a problem and the orders will slow or worse stop.

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The Benefits of All-In-One

Published by Charles Brodeur

Last weekend I moved into a new house. In the usual flurry of last minute craziness, I managed to pack my stuff and get my furniture to the new house. Now I've got a list of things to do:   Read More

Three Steps to eCommerce Success

Published by Charles Brodeur

Starting an eCommerce business is becoming easier by the day. More business owners are looking to expand their online efforts to include eCommerce and build a true online business. Unfortunately, this presents a large set of challenges, not least of which is the threat of larger, better funded competitors online.

Thankfully, the key to successful eCommerce isn’t complicated. By planning ahead and considering your goals and your audience you will greatly increase your chances of success. Here’s three simple ways to make your online shop stand out from the crowd.

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Shipping Charges and Shopping Cart Abandonment

Published by Charles Brodeur

PayPal  recently published a survey of online transactions (or non-transactions)  and here is how we read the results:

The biggest challenge for online merchants is getting them through the eCommerce Conversion Funnel.  The funnel usually looks a little something like this:

StoreFront (Home Page)
> Catalog View
>> Product List View
>>> Product Detail View
>>>> Shopping Cart Summary**
>>>>> Check Out Form

** The Shopping Cart Summary is the page where the buyer sees a summary of the products selected, the taxes, and the shipping charges.  This is where the ABANDONMENT occurs.

We can measure and test abandonment rates to help your site reduce abandonment.  And PayPal has helped us to see what items need to be considered or tested to increase sales.

Here are our interpretations of PayPals survey:

Main reason why visitors leave the Shopping Cart Summary:
 - To gather more information like "Shipping Costs"

Main reason for abandoning:
 - Shipping Charges were too high
 - Wanted to compare prices with another website
 - Wanted to compare prices with a Bricks and Mortar store
 - Wanted to look for an online coupon
 - The preferred payment option was not available

Main Suggestion for Online Merchants
 - Provide shipping charges upfront before the checkout
 - Provide as many options for payment as possible

Shipping still seems to be the main driver for visitors to leave a website behind.  We suggest that all online merchants carefully examine their shipping policies and consider making "Shipping" a marketing function rather than an "Operational" function.

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A Solid eCommerce Strategy is the Key to Success

Published by Charles Brodeur

Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) is a constant battle online. I call it "Shiny Object Syndrome". It is so easy to lose focus these days and bounce from one great idea to the next before we have fully executed on the first great idea.

That's why we need a plan that follows a the path to success. 

Decades ago, business owners had it easy - they weren't dealing with the rapid and volatile change we deal with today.There was a strategic, focused way of managing a businesses that you may remember - the 4 P's.

The 4 P's, aka the "Marketing Mix", is a combination of four marketing ingredients that you must constantly balance and control when running your business.

The 4 P's are still relevant today, and we have a bit of an update to applying them to the eCommerce Business:

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Ways to optimize your Online Shop

Published by Paul Pyrlik

The year 2010 should be used to optimize your existing eCommerce Platform. Many Online Shops I see out there have enormous potentials for improvement. Some of them can't be implemented easily, e.g. Clean URLs (URLs which just reveal their resource, but not their technology) - here you are often limited by the technology and platform you use. However, there are many things you can do in the field of technical Search Engine Optimization (SEO). For this purpose one option would be to create a whole new template to get started. You can overhaul the GUI (graphical user interface) and optimize the template for all the search engines like Google and Yahoo. What needs to be done for this can be listed quickly:
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5 Steps to SEO On Page Set Up

Published by Charles Brodeur

Ever wonder if the basics from grade school would come in handy in your business life?

Getting your website ranked best in internet search results uses all of that knowledge. Search engine results are based on those science, math and English courses. Internet technology is the science that allows "spiders" to comb the "web" for data applicable to a search inquiry. Search engines have unique mathematical algorithms that formulate your website's relevance to that inquiry. Finally, your English lesson is where writing the copy on your website can help tie all of that together for best results. In the following, you will get valuable tips on creating titles, copywriting advice, using graphics, and keywords to better place your website in search rankings.

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Selling Tips for Online Business

Published by Charles Brodeur

Once you have your website up and people have started visiting it, your battle has only just begun. Everything is for sale in the Internet from snake oil to – maybe – atomic power barbecues. Why should people buy from you and how can you be sure you are making money on the sales? Making money on sales seems easy – if you buy for $8 and sell for $10, you have made a $2 profit. Right! Wrong.

It may have cost you $3 to sell the product and you won’t know it till you have lost a lot of money. So here are some things to keep in mind.

Know why people should buy from you. If you don’t, how will they? You need to know your product or service inside out. Nothing is ever perfect. Your product will have its weaknesses. Recognize them, try to minimize them and work with what you have.

Believe in your product. It’s not enough knowing it’s good. You have to believe it. This belief will come out in your approach to sales and add value to the sales pitch. Would you buy a Rolls Royce from a salesman who could recite why it is the best car in the world if you felt he did not really believe what he was saying?

What is different about your product? What benefits does buying from you provide to the customer as compared to other similar items or suppliers? These are called USPs or Unique Selling Points and make your product stand out in a crowd. Know these strength and capitalize on them when selling.

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About Sales and Marketing Automation

Published by Charles Brodeur

This is the first Post for The eCommerce Blog from Sales and Marketing Automation. 

Our mission with this blog is to promote eCommerce Best Practices to Small business owners. We will be including topics that relate to building eCommerce Sites, marketing eCommerce Sites and managing eCommerce Sites.

We are not sure where this journey will take us but the general direction we are going to set out on is to expose the tricks that make successful sites sell.

We will discuss topics like eCommerce Technology, SAAS, Email Marketing, Internet Marketing, Blogging, Content, Conversion, Customer Automation, and more.

I will be the main contributor to the blog postings, and all of our contributors will some how be related to BigTurns Business Systems, an eCommerce Consulting Company with an eCommerce Platform for sale and a team of eCommerce Consultants.

I Hope you like it.  Read More

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