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Holiday Shopping Benchmark Report - Q4 2014

Published by Charles Brodeur

Mobile mattered more than ever this past holiday season. 

Mobile commerce went from being a necessary evil to an overnight game-changer. The merchants that got on board with mobile commerce reaped the benefits of the iOS and Android-armed shoppers. In addition to mobile sales and traffic figures, this report details holiday ecommerce benchmark survey results:   Read More

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

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.

 Read More

Nine Common Mistakes Retail Stores Make Online

Published by Charles Brodeur

Sure, your web store looks just great and you have a right to be proud of it. But did you ever sit with a focus group to see what problems they had with it? Did you ever have top web site designers analyze it to find its hidden flaws? Have you listened to dozens of eTailers describe in detail how they vastly improved their online sales and conversion rates just by making basic design changes that eliminated the most common web site design faux pas?

Online retailing is expected to return to double-digit growth this year, and the web merchants that enhance their web site design and usability early in the year will lead the way. The growth will be achieved by avoiding the most common web site design and usability mistakes that cause shoppers to abandon the retail sites and result in an average conversion rate of just 3%.

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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.

 Read More

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:
 Read More

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.

 Read More

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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