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E-Commerce Tips for Small Businesses – Top 5

Make it easy to check-out
Having a complicated checkout process is the downfall of many e-commerce sites. People generally don’t like waiting to pay online just as they don’t like standing in long queues at supermarket tills.
Don’t use your checkout process as a method of gathering as much customer data as you can, give people an option to pay and leave without having to register their details.
Try to sell other items
When you’ve got a customer ready to pay for their items, it’s easier to sell to them than a completely cold prospect. With this in mind, it’s a good idea to try and up-sell or cross-sell other items that are related to what they’re already buying.
For example, if you’re an online florist you may want to offer balloons, Champagne and chocolates at the checkout stage to maximise your online profits.
Utilise email marketing
People who have bought from your online shop previously should never be ignored or forgotten about.
Don’t focus all your efforts on finding new customers for your e-commerce site. Your previous clients already know your products and level of service so are usually much easier to sell to.
Repeat business is of critical important to the survival of any shop, whether online or offline. Make sure you send out regular email newsletters with exclusive offers to encourage people to buy from you again.
Use your product descriptions to sell
Many e-commerce sites sell other people’s products. It’s quicker and easier to just use the standard descriptions for your products than writing your own but it has disadvantages when it comes to sales and SEO.
For example, let’s say a manufacturer’s description of a mobile phone said “VPX-10 Model, Available in Black, Lightweight”. That doesn’t really convey any benefits to the consumer and if lots of other sites have the same description, it will have no impact on SEO either.
Well written and unique product descriptions whether they’re for yours or someone else’s products will make your site stand out, get more sales and boost your search engine results.
Optimise, optimise, optimise
Optimising your e-commerce site shouldn’t stop at your product descriptions. If you’re able to write keyword rich URLs, meta titles, meta descriptions and headings for each product you’re much more likely to get them found online.
For example, if you’re an online jewellers, all your products should have a unique page (using the attributed listed above) selling exactly what they are rather than just all being labelled something general such as “jewellery”.…

Fashion Style

Ecommerce Software With ‘Related Products’ Feature

It’s a feature that’s been on the ecommerce scene for a while, but not many online shop owners are using it to its full potential. When we shop online and buy a product, more often that not we’ll be encouraged to look at similar products – usually from the same seller.
Amazon is a particularly good example of this. Next time you add a book or item of stationary to your shopping basket as a for instance, scroll down the page and you will find a row of ‘related product’ boxes. This feature has a dual function: it lets you know about goods that are likely to be of interest whilst subtly persuading you into the buy-it-now domain.
No matter what trade you’re in, anyone and everyone should be using the related products feature wherever possible to maximise their online sales. Check that your ecommerce software package has this function, and enable it or edit the settings in the control panel next time you log in. It gives your customers the chance to explore other complimentary items as well as operating as an essential up-sell technique.
Let’s say you’re in the sportswear industry selling swimwear and other accessories for use in swimming sessions. You would advertise products like goggles, hats, and water bottles (related products) alongside your swimsuits in order to drive more transactions through your online shop. It makes sense to offer your customers more scope for finding items of interest, after all, the idea is to gain as much custom as you can from you customer base.
Of course, there is more likelihood of this working that not generating any extra income from it at all. The main reason being that customers are in the ‘buying domain’ when the related products feature is activated. There’s always that chance that one of your clients will opt for an item that comes as a recommended purchase – especially if you set up special offers and promotions on your products.
There are ecommerce software platforms that are starting to incorporate this element to give your online shop added features and functionality. Make sure you get the most out of your online shop by choosing a system that supports related products. Don’t forget to ask about your ecommerce software provider for help if you have any difficulty using this feature with products from your online store, they should be more than happy to help.…

Shop Online

Negative Effects of E-Commerce

E-commerce can be a great way for a small businesses to increase their sales and widen their reach. It’s also convenient for consumers, who can buy at their convenience, without having to leave their homes or spend the day fighting queues at the shopping mall to pick up the best deals. However, e-commerce also has negative effects on both consumers and retailers that must be kept in mind before launching an online shop.
It is easy to collect a lot of personal information from a consumer using an e-commerce website, sometimes too easy. Since all online transactions are recorded, it’s relatively easy to create an online profile of the buyer, and use that to send targeted advertisements. However, many will agree that this is an intrusion on a consumer’s right to privacy, and it’s something that is heavily regulated on many countries. This means small businesses aiming to establish an online presence using e-commerce need to be aware of the legislation that applies, as mistakes can be costly both in terms of fines and customer trust.
Another negative effect of e-commerce is its effect on consumers’ security. Online transactions are inherently more insecure than those conducted in person because there’s no way to guarantee that the person making the payment is the actual owner of the credit card used. At the same time, when the customer inputs the payment information they risk a third party intercepting it if the website doesn’t comply with the adequate security measures, giving rise to credit card fraud and identity theft. Merchants need to be aware of the risks electronic transactions carry, and work towards securing the systems to the highest standards.
Price Wars
Merchants used to selling at their shop may often find selling online an extremely competitive marketplace. Their products are displayed alongside competitive offers, often from different countries or bigger retailers with access to better wholesale prices. This can affect the retailer negatively, as they cannot sell as much as they expected to actually make a profit, or the consumer’s when online stores cut corners in order to become more competitive or products are purchased from illegitimate retailers because they had the best price.
Returns And Complaints
Selling online means usually a higher return rate on products than when the purchase was conducted in person. This is due partly to the fact that customers haven’t seen the goods in person prior to purchase, but also to the fact that many online shoppers buy things on impulse, and by the time they receive them at their home they have changed their mind and make use of favourable return policies. While a big retailer would have no problem accommodating this, it can be highly disruptive for a small business with limited stock management.…

Fashion Lady

E-Commerce Web Design

In this article we’re going to talk about E-commerce web design solutions. If you’re currently looking to provide an online service where visitors can log on and purchase products from you then an E-commerce website is probably going to be just what you need. An E-commerce website allows you to easily add products to your shop whilst also providing a stable platform where your consumers can create an account and make secure purchases online.
Here is a breakdown of what you would normally expect from an E-commerce store:
o admin / back-end section
o shopping cart
o ability for customers to create an account and make secure purchases
o multiple product upload
o monthly sales reports
o automated email alerts
o special offer features
o database driven catalogue
o open source software so that add-ons can be implemented in the future
Design and Optimisation
With an E-commerce website it is often much more difficult to customise in comparison with a standard html website. This is why you will find the price considerably more expensive as quite a lot more time is required to achieve your desired expectations. We recommend that you should be quite sensible when thinking of your design concept as this will keep the costs down and give your online shop a much a quicker completion time. But ultimately the website can be designed exactly how you want it as long as you choose a capable web designer. Take a look at similar websites offering the same services and take ideas from them, then pass this information onto your web designer so that he has something to work with.
The E-commerce Must Haves
We would strongly recommend that you ask for the following to be included in you E-commerce website. These will make your users experience easier and much more enjoyable.
o Search feature
o Flash banner
o Visible shopping cart
o Special offers section
o Clear contact information
o Frequently asked questions section
Well that’s it. Go ahead and use our advice to help you get your dream E-commerce online shop created.…

Mini Dress

10 Tips For a Successful Ecommerce Website

If you’re in the process of designing an ecommerce website, then you’ll want to ensure that your site is a success, and that you attract visitors and convert them into customers.
Here’s what you need to know.
1. Your website will need to be easy to navigate, so that visitors can find the sections and products they are looking for. You don’t want to make people have to hunt for things they want to buy.
2. It should be easy for visitors to find the products they’re looking for. Make sure that your categories are what your visitors are expecting to find. Split your products up into sections to make it easy for visitors to find what they need. Depending on what products you sell, you might need to categorise by colours, prices, specifications, ages, sizes, manufacturer, and usage. The easier it is for people to choose what they want, they more likely they are to buy.
3. Your search function needs to work well, and be sophisticated enough to deal with spelling mistakes for popular products or brands. You might want your visitors to be able to search in various categories, or search by feature or other criteria too.
4. Using emotional text to appeal to your visitors will also encourage them to buy form you. You’ll want to explain why they need your products, and what benefits they offer, as well as the features. Everyone know what an MP3 player is, but do prospective buyers know that they can listen to any of their entire music collection whilst on the bus, watch videos on the train, or learn another language using a podcast whilst at the gym? A designer dress isn’t just more expensive than one from a high street store, it’s buying into a lifestyle, or living like a celebrity, for example.
5. Calls to action are important too so that your visitors know what to do next. Tell them to “buy now”, or “call for best price”, or “sign up for special offers”. Don’t just assume that your visitors will know what to do next.
6. Ensure that you use high quality images so that your visitors can see your products. You might want to be able to zoom in on your products, or show aspects in more detail, or have a 360° view.
7. Make sure that you include the details that your customers need to know. If size or weight is important then include it. What information do you need before you buy similar products? How much help do you need if buying unfamiliar products? Not everyone will know your products and industry like you do.
8. It needs to be easy to add products to the basket and to checkout. You might want to allow returning customers to buy with one click, or have the products sent to them on a recurring basis. Why not look at your Analytics stats to see what percentage of visitors abandon their sale at the checkout stage? You might be surprised.
9. Don’t forget to include other products to cross sell and up sell. You’ll want to encourage laptop buyers to purchase cables, cases and a printer, and TV buyers might want a stand, DVD player, or batteries for the remote control. Let people know what they can have for different prices too, “for just £50 more you can have…” to encourage people to get a better product for not much more, and to spend more on your website.
10. Ensure that your customers know that your website is secure, and that they can trust you. Make sure that your “About Us” page inspires confidence, and that your delivery information is easy to find, in order to inspire confidence and encourage visitors to buy from you.
Now you know more about how to improve your conversion rates and turn more visitors into customers, why not make sure your website is appealing to your target audience.…

Online Shop Fashion

6 Reasons Why Your Ecommerce Website Is Going to Fail

You’ve got the right product and the right price but for some reason your website isn’t producing the sales you thought it would. Take a step back, grab a cup of tea and take a look at these 6 points on why you’re not selling anything.
1. Your website navigation sucks
This is a biggie, If a visitor thinks its hard to find what they are looking for, they will leave; simple. Making visitors work hard is never a good idea; if you want your visitors to part with their hard earned cash, make sure they can find your products as quickly as possible. Functions like breadcrumbs, drop down menus, search bars and simple descriptive categories will make your website ‘easy to digest’ and keep visitors interested.
2. The website design sucks
Invest some time in looking at the design of your website, is it consistent throughout? Are the pages cluttered? Does it load quickly? In ‘s own tests they found that for every 100 millisecond increase in the page load time of their website, sales decreased by 1%, ouch! Making sure you strike a balance between design and functionality is not always easy but it will ultimately have an effect on how many sales you make.
3. What product descriptions?
Not having enough product information will cost you. Give as much detail of a product as you can, including; weights, sizes, shapes, colours, add ons, pros, cons and so on.
You need to be able to answer questions your customers have before they are able to ask them. Imagine you were buying the product, what information would you want on hand? Don’t forget, giving good and relevant content with your products will have a positive effect on your Search Engine Optimisation.
4. Poor product images
A picture is worth a thousand words – don’t underestimate the importance of good quality photography, you can convert a sale based on product imagery alone and the more photos the better.
Try and get the best out of your product by showing off its features and showing it in use. This will also increase your customer’s confidence in the product making them more likely to make a purchase. Using product galleries and thumbnails can help you get as many images in front of the visitor at the same time.
5. No one has ever heard of your website
You ticked all the right boxes, but don’t expect customers to come flooding to your homepage! Take a good look at what you are doing to increase the number of visitors to your website, both on and off the web. Is your website Search Engine Optimised, are people going to be able to find your site easily?
Being at the top of Google for a certain keyword can make a business, if you are getting a lot of traffic already you can use tools like Google Analytics to help you understand what your visitors are doing once arriving at your website. Analyse these statistics and make changes to improve your page visits, bounce rate and visit duration.
6. You’re not answering the right questions
By having an online shop, you are ultimately taking away a physical point of contact for your visitor. As such you need to have all the questions about using your site answered and readily available.
If they can’t find out how long the item will take to be delivered, or perhaps what payment methods are available before they hit the checkout, the chance of converting into a sale is greatly reduced. Try and make your visitors experience as pleasant and simple as possible.…