Category Archives:Ecommerce

  • Seven Ways to Afford Free Shipping During the Holiday Season

    These are troubling economic times. That much can’t be denied. Consumers feel the pinch as they find that it costs more to buy things. But now businesses are hurting, too. It’s also expensive to sell things.

    Skyrocketing fuel costs have turned consumers to the Internet for their shopping needs. After all, it can be easier, quicker and cheaper to order something online if you find a good price and if shipping is cheap or even free. But therein lies the problem. While expensive gas has made shopping on the Internet more attractive to fuel-conscious consumers, it’s also made the

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  • Hit a Buyer Persona Bull’s-eye: Ask Target Markets the Right Questions

    Many business owners erroneously believe that gathering information about target markets is enough to build their buyer persona marketing arsenal. Not so! Think of getting to know buyer personas as slicing through a cake- you can’t cut a perfect piece without cutting through all the layers first.

    The usual marketing questions don’t suffice when creating buyer personas. Using educated guesses can have your marketing team working overtime and just plain guessing can leave you confounded. While knowing certain descriptors of your target market (age, sex, location) can get you started in the right direction, you’ll need to go that

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  • Lessons from 12 Years of Building E-commerce Websites

    Creating a successful e-commerce operation is no easy task. Take the grueling process of creating a successful company offline and add to it a multitude of complexities from online marketing challenges to technical issues and you have an ecommerce operation. When I reflect back on my experience during the last 12 years in creating ecommerce websites and online portals, it is difficult to contribute the success or the failure of an ecommerce operation to a single issue. It is usually a culmination of several issues that can make or break the company. And I’ve learned from seeing ecommerce sites fail

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  • Analysis of the Top Converting Online Retailers: Homepages (3)

    In the last post of this blog series, I reflected briefly on the homepages of ProFlowers.com and 1800Flowers.com, the two top etailers in the category of gifts and flowers. Remember, the reason I decided to explore this category in the first place was the fact that in June Proflowers.com, 1800Flowers.com, and FTD.com all made it to the top 10 e-tailers sorted by conversion rate as reported by Neilsen Online with over 20% conversion rate each.

    Amongst the top 500 retailers, in the vertical of flowers/gifts are two sites that clearly have sizable revenue, but are not doing as well

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  • Ecommerce Top Level Navigation – Lessons From the Top 10 E-Retailers

    Most websites do not pay close attention to the design of their top navigation bar. Yet simple changes made on this location of the page can make huge differences in conversion optimization. Prior to going bankrupt, Tower reported that they were able to double their conversion rates by adding a new navigational feature to their site.

    While there are no concrete rules on what elements you should include on your top bar, there are several elements you should consider.

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  • E-commerce implementations: 13 areas to evaluate your ecommerce options – part 2

    In my first post, I discussed the first seven areas you should evaluate your ecommerce options. The areas we covered in the first post are:

    Out of the box features Time-to-market Ease of migration from current systems to new platform Ease of integration with external and internal systems Scalability issues Ease of customization (branding, change of look and feel, etc.) Upgrade challenges with an ecommerce package

    In this post I discuss the other 6 areas you should consider when choosing an ecommerce option:

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  • E-commerce Platform Selection: 13 Areas to Evaluate E-commerce Solutions – Part 1

    Companies have three main options to choose from when it comes to implementing an ecommerce site:

    Custom build the e-commerce website Choose an e-commerce packaged solution Go with a hosted ecommerce solution

    Each of those options has advantages and disadvantages. And while there are no correct an absolute answers in this area, there are some common approaches to select the best solution that will coincide with the business’s mission and objectives. A solution that works well with one business model might not be the best option for a different one. You also should consider the short and long-term costs

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