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

Ecommerce Product Ratings & Reviews.

Published by Charles Brodeur

Product recommendations, ratings and reviews are important parts of the personalized customer experience. Using the two marketing tactics allows your customers to make informed purchase decisions and keeps them loyal to your business. Using ratings and reviews is a strategy that helps leverage product recommendations to show high-rated products more often. You can use ratings to drive product sales when you display ratings as an attribute.
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Shipping Policies and Shopping Cart Abandonment

Published by Charles Brodeur

To provide perspective for retailers on consumer behavior in today’s fluid shopping culture, UPS commissioned this research with comScore for the third consecutive year. The opportunity and the challenges are here in equal measure for today’s retailer. Consumers continue to gravitate to Internet channels as desktop retail e-commerce reached $211 billion in 2013, up +13% year/year. Mobile or m-commerce is growing and now accounts for 11% of retail e-commerce as of 1Q14. Read More

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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Twelve Tips for the Checkout Design

Published by Charles Brodeur

Shopping online can be a great experience. You don’t have to leave the comfort of your home and you can quickly compare and read about all the competing products in order to pick the best one for you. But it can also be a little frustrating if the process isn’t designed correctly.

Looking around for that checkout link, having to fill out registration forms and then being told the product is out of stock isn’t going to make your day. Spend a little bit of time fine tuning your checkout process and polishing off the user experience and you’ll be rewarded with happier customers and more sales. Here are 12 useful tips to help you do just that.

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Untangling Small Biz eCommerce with Fresh Thinking

Published by Charles Brodeur

Last year over 10 million US small businesses were prioritizing eCommerce initiatives (Forrester), yet the eCommerce world remains a nightmare of confusion and complexity. It’s that nightmare that BigTurns puts to rest with it's all-in-one software, a web-based application that makes running an online store easy by bringing together all the tools that business owners need to succeed. In contrast to existing solutions, BigTurns completely replaces the traditional website-ecommerce pair with a holistic “online business” approach that puts the spotlight on understanding your customers and getting better results – whilst saving time and money.



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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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BigTurns Platform is More than a CMS (Content Management System)

Published by Charles Brodeur

BigTurns is an online business platform.  What’s an “online businesss” platform?  If you’ve not come across this concept before you probably talk about a CMS (content management system).  BigTurns platform at its most basic level is a CMS system, but it’s so much more…

What BigTurns does is take all the elements that a traditional online business needs to be successful and merge them into one holistic solution.  The elements that I’m talking about are CMS, e-commerce, email marketing, CRM, analytics and reporting. 

Typically a business will run all these systems separately in different environments.  By doing it all in one place will save you money, but having these fully integrated can make marketing so much more targeted and accountable.  Calculating ROI on email campaigns and affiliate schemes is so much easier and can done “out of the box”. 

The system also helps to build accurate profiles of your customers because every interaction they have with your website, whether it be completing a form or buying a product is recorded against their CRM record as can every email you have with them.  This means any member of staff can pick up that customer and at a glance can see exactly their history with the company.

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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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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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Single vs. multi-currency Online Stores

Published by Paul Pyrlik

When you are setting up an online store you should consider in which currency you charge your customers. Either you accept only one currency or you offer your customers the opportunity to choose from different currencies. In this article some of the of the Pros and Cons of single and multi-currency stores are discussed.

Single-currency Store

  • Allow anyone around the world to purchase - but in your currency.
  • The customer's bank takes care of the currency conversion.
  • Are easy to set up - one payment gateway, one set of prices, one set of shipping options.
Here's an example: You set up your store on a xyz.com site. Every visitor on that URL will be shown US product prices, US shipping options, US tax codes an so on. The visitors will be charged in US dollars via the payment gateway that is assigned to the USA.

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