Archive for the ‘eCommerce’ category

Is “Coupon” a Dirty Word?

July 17th, 2014

If you have a business or eCommerce site, you might be tempted to jump onto the coupon-code bandwagon. Is it worth turning to promo codes, online coupons, and deal sites to attract sales, or will they crush the longevity of your business? Let’s weigh the pros and cons.

coupon_dirty_word

PROS:

In Line with Consumer Behaviour

Online shoppers like to do their research. They like to compare prices and search around for great deals. They especially love the thrill of the hunt, and tracking down a promo code can make them feel especially victorious.

Increase Customer Loyalty

Rewarding fans and customers with exclusive codes can increase loyalty. Instead of offering coupon codes to the public, you can try offering them only to Facebook followers, or send customers a code for their next purchase after checking out. Randomly surprising select customers with 20% off their next purchase and a note of appreciation can make them love you even more.

Customers View Coupon Codes as a Limited-Time Only Deal

Customers view coupons as a temporary special offer rather than a permanent discount. Because of this, withdrawing a code or ending a deal will not likely have a negative impact on sales.

Attract New Customers

Potential customers who are sitting on the fence about trying your products might be enticed by the right deal. If your product offers value to customers and has high potential for repeat business, a coupon code can be very helpful.

Prompt Others to Spread the Love

Many customers are more willing to “like” or write about a post on social networking sites like Facebook if they were offered a deal. Make some social media savvy customers happy, and they’ll pass that joy right along to you.

 

CONS:

Calculate the acquisition cost!

Be sure to calculate the cost of acquiring new customers through heavy discounts. Don’t let your website get buried by deal sites – understand your business and assess whether offering discounts is sustainable and will have long term benefits for your business.

Diminish Product Value

Coupon codes can diminish the value of your product. Make sure that codes are not offered too frequently and that they don’t “cheapen” your brand. Ensure that your prime business strategy is not based on discounted goods if you want to build a sustainable business.

Will Coupon Users Turn Into Long-Term Buyers? 

Think about your business and what it offers. Will customers want to come back again or does your business offer a good that only needs to be purchased once in a lifetime? Remember to consider the audience your coupon code will attract, and determine whether this is beneficial for your business in the long run.

Disrupt the Checkout Process

Customers who see a coupon code field in the checkout might be prompted to leave your site and go hunting for a code online. This might disrupt the checkout process or cause customers to change their minds altogether. One helpful solution? To stop triggering customers from going off on a coupon-finding expedition, try labeling the field as “Gift Card Code” instead of using terms such as “Discount Code” or “Promo Code.”

So what’s the verdict? Do we say Yay or Nay to coupon codes? All we can say is this: coupon codes can be a great way to spread the word about your business, but business owners need to think deeply about the long term effects of offering them.

3 Common Online Store Turn-Offs (and how to fix them)

March 25th, 2014

3_common_online_store_turn_offs

Your online store looks sleek, cool, and unique – but you’re still not getting the sales you were hoping for! There might be a chance that your amazing website might be unwittingly driving customers away. Here are some common mistakes that you should be aware of:

Confusing and Disorganized Design

While your site might look fancy, make sure visitors aren’t getting lost on your site. Can they find what they’re looking for? Some options:

  • Organize similar products in the same categories.
  • Have a search bar for customers to use key words to find what they want.
  • Consider offering “suggestions” for similar or compatible products below a product description.

Can visitors find the shopping cart?

  • Make sure the shopping cart button is on every page of your eCommerce store – bonus points if it’s in the same position on every page.
  • Have a strong call to action (such as “Add to Cart”) under each product description.

Not Gaining Trust

The idea of online shopping is no longer a foreign concept, but it’s still important to make sure your store looks like a website that visitors can trust. With the possibility of fraud and other scams on the web, you need to give your customers reassurance that your store is the real deal. Some ideas:

  • Have a professional web design and high quality images to showcase your products. If you’re looking for a makeover for your eCommerce website, give us a shout. Our Web Design package is only at US$695 which includes 5 web pages and one-on-one design consultation. Check out our design portfolio and the package details by clicking here!
  • List contact information – such as a phone number and base address – so that visitors know that your company physically exists.
  • Give opportunity for reviews. For example, letting others comment on your products increases your site’s credibility. It also allows you to keep a dialogue between you and your visitors.
  • Include an “About Us” page. This adds a personal touch to your site and allows visitors to put a face to your company.

No Reason to Buy

What does your site offer that others don’t? The few downsides to online shopping – such as shipping costs, credibility risks, and not having the opportunity to look at the physical products before you buy – need to be overcome by the strengths of your store.

Do you have an amazing return policy? Do you offer free shipping? Are your products unique and exclusive to your store? Know your strengths and expand upon them.

Do you have any other tips you’d like to share? We’d love to hear them. Give us a shout in the comments.

Good-Bye 2013: Year End Wrap-Up

December 31st, 2013

As the year is coming to a close, we wanted to give a proper farewell to the year 2013 by taking a look back at the exciting changes, introduction of new services and developments that have occurred at Doteasy. Here’s what our team has been getting up to for the past year:

 2013_year_end_2

1) SSD Hosting

Yes, we’ve talked about it before, but we can’t help but be excited by our offering of super-speedy hosting for one of the lowest prices on the market. With SSD hosting, we use Solid State Drives for all storage, meaning increased performance and extremely fast initial loading times for your website.

2) New Domain Pricing

We’ve lowered our domain pricing to only $15! You can register or transfer a .COM/.NET/.ORG/.BIZ/.INFO/.MOBI/.US/.CA/.EU domain which also include free private registration and domain locking for more security.

3) WordPress Resources Website Launch

WordPress is a powerful content management system, but it can take a bit of work to figure out how you can use it. We’ve designed this WordPress Resources Website to help our clients with their WordPress questions and needs. The website is updated daily with free recommended plugins, themes, tutorials, a beginner’s guide for WordPress installation, forums, and other resources.

4) Doteasy Web Design Service

Creating a website can be a daunting and time consuming task. While many of our clients have hired a web design agency or freelance web designer to create their websites, these services typically cost thousands of dollars. We’re excited to offer our All-in-One Web Design Package for only $695. This includes a 1-on-1 design consultation and professionally designed 5 page website setup to help our clients minimize costs and save time.

5) Auto Site Backup Service

Performing a full site backup up is relatively simple, and we do have a few step-by-step video tutorials to show you how to do it. However, finding the time to continuously perform this routine maintenance can be difficult. We now offer an Auto Site Backup Service which features backup version control and a hassle free database backup. 

6) Over 3K Fans on Facebook

Our most exciting development this year: we can’t achieve what we have without your continuous support. Our team cannot wait to bring you more exciting contests, DIY tutorials, and the latest information on web design, SEO and other hosting-related news through our Facebook page. For those of you who want to get on board, feel free to click the “Like” button on this page

Alright, enough about us. Again, a big thank you to all of our clients. We couldn’t have reached these milestones without your support. We are dedicated to providing our customers with the best web hosting services possible: if you have any suggestions for what you’d like to see in the new year, drop us a line in the comments! Let’s make 2014 a fantastic year!

Tips to Reign in Holiday Sales With Your Online Business

November 19th, 2013

The biggest shopping season of the year is fast approaching: now is the time to start optimizing your eCommerce site to have success during the holidays! If you make the busy shopping occasion easy and enjoyable for your visitors, you can count on maximizing your current and future sales.

 christmas_saleYour Christmas Campaign

Ease into the cheer.

christmas_sale_2

An aggressive display of smily gingerbread men and reindeer in early-November might scare away customers who aren’t ready for their Xmas shopping. Start your Christmas campaign slowly and gradually introduce more promotions as the holidays approach. For example, you could start by devoting one page of your site to holiday promotions, rather than having your entire site consumed by snowflakes from the get-go.

Have an advent calendar of promotions.

With all the Christmas Competition, you need to offer some perks to keep visitors coming back to your site again and again. An advent calendar of promotions is a fun way to keep customers on their toes: count down to Christmas by revealing one limited-time offer each day!

Reward loyalty.

Reward returning customers with extra promos- for example, in a confirmation email, you can gift your visitor with a promo code for 20% off their next purchase. Or start a loyalty points system for repeat customers to build up to greater deals.

Extend return or gift exchange policies.

christmas_sale_3

Even though “’tis the season to be jolly,” anxiety and trepidation will abound with all the pressure to purchase that perfect gift. Extend your return policy at least until mid-January so customers can feel at ease about making their purchase. Make sure your extended policy is displayed clearly, especially in the shopping cart and check out areas so that customers won’t have the desire to back out of making that purchase.

Pay attention to the weather (and other delivery considerations).

Don’t let the weather pull a fast one on you- with unpredictable rain and snow, shipping times may be delayed. Encourage customers to make their purchases earlier to guarantee a timely delivery.

Be sociable. 

Mix and mingle with social media! Use Twitter, Facebook, and other social networking platforms to spread the word about your company. Your use of social media can help your Christmas campaign snowball into great success!

Site Basics

Make help available.

Clearly display your phone number and other contact information for confused and/ or skeptical customers. And make sure you have a solid team to answer queries in a timely matter. Remember the old adage- you snooze, you lose!

About Us.

If you’re an unknown company, visitors will want to know more about you before they commit to letting you fulfill their niece’s wish list. Most importantly, shoppers will want to know if you’re a credible company that they can trust with their credit card number and personal information.

Check for typos.

IFF YUR SPELING IZ UNPROFFESINEL, visitors won’t take the time to muddle through your jumbled messages. Not only that, but your trustworthiness as a legitimate eCommerce site will be considerably lowered. Consider hiring someone to take a look at your site with fresh eyes, to catch those spelling blunders that you might have missed.

Optimizing Your Site

Prepare your site for the increase of visitors.

Make sure your site can handle a sudden onslaught of traffic. If you’re expecting your huge one-day promotion to bring in a flurry of guests, the last thing you want is for your blizzard of shoppers to bring your site crashing down. Make sure you have plenty of bandwidth to accommodate the influx of users.

Increase site speed.

The holidays are one of the busiest times of the year, so make sure your site can keep up. Optimize images and large files so that they can load quickly. There are other ways to increase your site speed. For example, our SSD hosting plan will make your site load times incredibly fast. For advanced webmasters who would like to optimize the load time of yourselves, please take a look at our articles on this topic.

Have a mobile site.

Consider looking into optimizing your site for use with tablets and phones. Your busy customers will appreciate being able to browse and make their purchases while waiting for the bus or lining up at the grocery store.

Conclusion

While this article has mainly focused on preparing your eCommerce site for the holiday season, remember that any business owner can benefit from optimizing their site for the holidays! For example, if you’re a freelance photographer, you might want to offer special packages for family photos or personalized greeting cards. If you need any help with setting up an eCommerce or other site, feel free to give us a shout at Doteasy.

Bonus tip: For more tips on how to prepare your eCommerce site for the holidays, check out this article: Prestashop Holiday Guide

5 Tips to Make Sure Your Website Looks Credible

November 12th, 2013

Have you ever clicked on a website, felt that warning alarm go off in your gut, and quickly navigated away hoping that you haven’t contracted a computer virus? We’re with you. The last thing you want is for your own website to set off warning bells for potential visitors. Keep your visitors from running the other way by improving the user experience and layout of your site.

5_tips_to_make_your_website_looks_credible_2

Keep it Simple

Maybe you just started with a couple cool images on your site to make it more interesting. But now, you’ve got banner ads, pictures, text, and links fighting for space. Take a look at your web pages and decide whether you need to de-clutter. Should you remove some images? Do you need to realign your items? Aim to keep your layout clean and simple, and never underestimate the power of white space.

Make It Speedy

Most of us have more similarities to that girl screaming “I want it NOW!” at the chocolate factory than we’d care to admit. You and your visitors probably wouldn’t wait too long for lavish graphics and widgets to appear five pixels at a time. There are a few ways to improve your site speed, such as optimizing your website by compressing large files, and using efficient CSS coding. We’ve written a few articles on how to improve site speed, and you can check them out here.

We love Google Page Speed as well: it will evaluate your site performance and give you some tips on how to improve its speed.

Make Sure Information is Up-To-Date

If your website is for a company or business, make sure your operating hours are accurately listed. Also remember holidays hours and exceptions. Most importantly, if you’re offering limited-time only promos or holding an event, be sure to take down the information when the event has passed. You always want to give off the impression that you have a great team working to keep your content accurate, current, and trustworthy.

Pay Attention to Your Stats

In particular, look at your top entry and exit pages. These can be vital clues on whether your site is grabbing attention and enticing visitors to stick around. You can use Google Analytics to analyze your website statistics. For our cPanel server clients, there is a built-in analytics tool to make this step even simpler.

Make Your Logo Your Beacon

This might seem like a little thing, but a logo that links back to your home page can boost the credibility and user experience of your site immensely. It is now the professional standard to have a clickable logo, ready to teleport visitors home.

These are five simple tips to improve the credibility of your website! Just keeping the user experience in mind can prevent you from scaring off visitors with a poorly thought-out site. Overall, you want your website to be as professional, user-friendly, and trustworthy as can be.