Posts Tagged ‘eCommerce tips’

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.

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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.

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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

Making Money with Your Online Store (Part 2)

October 21st, 2013

Once you get your online store up and running, how do you get the word out and keep those folks coming back? While there’s no magic solution, here are our tips on promoting your eCommerce site and maintaining a customer base.

Make Friends with Social Networking

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These days, everyone and their goldfish have a Facebook page, so why shouldn’t you? Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest are great way to gain fans and customers – but remember to only get started if you plan to keep your accounts active. It won’t be too hard to think of ways to maintain your social networking page: you can encourage your fans to advertise for you by offering freebies, discount codes, or contests to those who share your products or page. A social networking page could also be great platform for your customers to share their pictures or reviews of your products. And of course, don’t forget the power of a good old-fashioned post where you can share updates, news, or anything you like!

Check out our 3 blog posts on enhancing Facebook business page engagement.

Online Advertising

If you have money within your budget, online advertising can significantly boost your eCommerce site traffic and establish your image. Some popular advertising programs include Google Adwords, Amazon Product Ad, or Facebook Ads. Think of your target demographic when you decide where to advertise – placing ads for your luxury auto parts business on a coupon-hunting site might not be the best move. After you’ve planted a few ads, continue to analyze your site statistics to identify the most effective placements by making use of Google Analytics.

Don’t Be Wary of Large Marketplaces

You don’t need to compete with the big guys. Well, in a sense you do, but use them to help you out as well! Online Marketplaces like Etsy, Amazon and eBay have a lot to offer. You can get your name out there by hitching on: they are known, trusted, and most importantly, they have a large built-in customer base. Try adding links to redirect visitors to your site whenever possible, and make sure that your product catalog is easily found.

Pay Attention to SEO

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Don’t underestimate the importance of SEO in the eCommerce game! Consider starting a blog where you can create relevant and compelling content. This can drive traffic to your site and encourage others to link and share your information. Also, stay active in relevant forums, but DON’T cross the line into Suzie Spammer territory. You don’t want to brashly post links to your site anywhere and everywhere: the goal is to establish yourself in the forum community, gain contacts, and keep up to date with industry news.

Site Performance and Speed

Your website speed and performance directly impact your bounce rate, visitor satisfaction and store reputation. With eCommerce and other image-heavy websites, initial page loading times can be especially slooow, and potential customers might not stick around for the wait. Here at Doteasy, we’ve been pondering the best way to offer exceptionally fast hosting to our clients, and we’ve come out with a SSD hosting plan. Not just any SSD hosting: we have a 100 GB plan that entirely uses a Solid State Drive for storage… at the lowest price in the world. That means load times for SSD sites can be up to 30X faster than traditional HDD counterparts. We believe in SSD hosting so strongly that we’re offering our plan for only US$4.95/ month for the first year: it should be accessible to everyone.

So get out there and start raking in the dough with your online store! Yes, there will be work involved and the beginning might be slow-going, but with patience and diligence, the pay-off can be huge.

Bonus tip: Don’t want to deal with setting up an online store? We can do it for you with our Doteasy eCommerce Solution.

Making Money with Your Online Store (Part 1)

October 16th, 2013

When thinking of “online store” or “eCommerce,” sites like Amazon.com and images of glitter and cash stacks come to mind. Well, at least for some people. For the rest of us, an eCommerce store can seem like an intimidating venture, with questions of how to get started and how to keep it from failing. Here are our tips on how to start and cultivate a successful online store. Who knows? Glitter and stacks of cash could be your future.

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Have a Business Plan

Yes, we think “business plan” sounds all official and boring, but creating one is not as difficult as you might think. You’ve probably already subconsciously created one! However, really knowing your plan can help you design all aspects of your eCommerce site. Questions to ask yourself include: What are you selling? Who are you selling to? What does your target audience need? How does your shop offer the solution to their needs? Who are your competitors? How do you differ?

These questions can help you develop a strategy to plan the layout of your site, prepare your advertising materials, and build a brand for your store.

Think Like Your Customer

Now that you know who your target customer is, it’s time to get inside their head. What would be the most logical way to display your products from a consumer’s viewpoint? Putting those plungers next to the lip balms might not be the best choice. Categorize similar product styles together, and consider putting complementary items side by side to potentially increase your sales. Above all, make your product page easy to navigate so customers can find what they’re looking for.

No One Likes a Sketchy Display

The look of your product display is arguably the most important aspect of an online store. A good look will assure your potential customers of the quality and legitimacy of your shop. Use attractive, high resolution images that can clearly show colours, materials, or relative size. Add detailed descriptions that can help potential customers trust that they’re making an informed purchase!  Remember that you want your products to make a good first impression. If you ever catch yourself uttering the phrase (or any variation of): “this picture is good enough for now,” chances are, it’s not.

Give it Away!

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Entice your customers to make a purchase with great promos. Buy 1 Get 1 Free, a free item with purchase, or free shipping are great offers that can tempt your customers to the checkout.

KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid!)

As you pay attention to the look, quality, and advertising methods of your eCommerce shop, never forget the importance of keeping your site simple and easy to navigate. It would be useless if your site looks amazingly attractive, but your customers can’t find their way to the checkout! Also, put your shipping cost and return policy information in an easy-to-find spot to settle uneasy potential customers.

These are a few tips that focus on the branding and usability of your eCommerce site. We’ll be coming out with more tips on how to promote your online store, so check back soon!