We are all consumers and at the very least understand our own shopping behavior and I think we can safely assume that most of us use product reviews to help us make on-line purchasing decisions. Almost every retailer today provides product reviews in an effort to help customers make their purchasing decision without leaving their site. Once a visitor leaves your site and goes in search of more information, the likelihood of them going back to your site is fairly slim. You must keep customers on your site in order to have conversions.
Take a look at your analytics data and you will most likely find that most of your conversions have a combination of high visit time combined with a high number of pages viewed. You will probably see a threshold, which once it’s crossed, virtually guarantees a conversion. Increasing ecommerce conversion ratios is not as difficult as it sounds. The key is to have sufficient relevant content to keep the visitor interested and to help him make a purchasing decision. Product reviews do just that.
Below are some of the benefits provided by product reviews:
Above and beyond the benefits listed above, product reviews provide your site with authority, credibility and trust, key factors considered by consumers when deciding where to make an on-line purchase. It seems clear that to be competitive today, your shopping cart platform must support product reviews.
AbleCommerce shopping carts have built-in product review modules which you can enable or disable at will and you can even decide whether they should require approval before posting. We’ve also implemented a product review reminder service which automatically sends an e-mail to your customers asking for feedback on their purchases, turning a time intensive task into an automatic hands-off process.
Increasing ecommerce conversion ratios can be a daunting task, but in the area of product reviews AbleCommerce makes it easy with its built in product review support. Please contact us for additional information.
Search engines are truly the lifeblood of any online operation at all. This is perhaps even more true when the operation in question is a business. Businesses obviously need to have as many individuals viewing their materials as possible in order to be successful. Working with the search engines to get this done is the only way to make sure that those businesses are able to acheive the kind of results that they truly want.
All commerce online needs to be search engine friendly ecommerce. Setting it up this way means that anyone looking for the products or services that you are offering via your ecommerce site will be able to find them. They just have to go to the search engines and type in the keyword for what they are looking for, and then they are taken to your site. It makes it simple for the customer, and it makes for more traffic on your part.
Setting up a search engine friendly site is merely a matter of making sure that the site has proper design and quality material. Keywords and the like are important as well, but the most important factor is having quality material that people will be happy to share the link to.When they are sharing your link frequently, this is when it really starts to get bumped up the search engine rankings.
What may be difficult in the beginning is resisting the desire to simply load up your website with all of the keywords that you possibly can. While this may seem like a good idea, it is no longer a practice that does any good with the major search engines. It is not what users of the search engines are looking for, and that means it is not what the search engines will reward.
If you have any questions about what you need to put into your website to make it more search engine friendly, we would like to hear from you. Contact us with any questions or concerns that you may have.
You’ve implemented keyword research, H1 tags, unique content and a myriad of other SEO techniques to rank your site higher in Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs), but what about SEO friendly URLs? Search engines as well as human visitors love them and they most certainly help your search engine friendly ecommerce efforts, but what exactly are they and how can you implement them?
We all know a URL is simply the string of characters that make up a website address (URL is an acronym for Uniform Resource Locator). From an SEO perspective URLs were not particularly relevant when the Internet got started, but as time has gone on, URL readability has become a big issue.
To illustrate the issue of URL readability, which of the following URLs would you rather have on your own search engine friendly ecommerce site?
The answer is obvious from a human perspective, but it’s not only humans who prefer readable URLs, it turns out search engines prefer them as well. Google, Bing and Yahoo all prefer a readable URL because it helps the human searcher better understand search engine results. This preference is one more factor that can help your site rank even better and it can improve your Click-Thru Rate (CTR) as well, since it is easier to figure out the probable content of a page from a readable URL.
One other plus of an SEO friendly URL is keyword insertion. Your SEO efforts will go that much further if your page content also happens to have the keyword in the page title and in the URL. The question then becomes, why doesn’t every ecommerce site use SEO friendly URLs? The answer lies in your shopping cart platform.
A URL such as the first one in the example above is considered a static URL and is the result of a page being created and stored on a server. Unfortunately not too many e-commerce platforms today rely on this system since it has several inherent disadvantages. Instead, most e-commerce platforms today use dynamic URLs which are the type we consider unreadable.
While most SEO efforts simply require content re-write, SEO friendly URLs require support from your e-commerce platform. Either you have it, or you don’t. If your platform doesn’t support them, you’re out of luck or you need to switch e-commerce platforms.
Our award winning AbleCommerce shopping cart solutions are not only powerful but they are easy to use as well. They also provide you with a huge list of options, one of which is implementation of SEO friendly URLs. Feel free to contact us and we’ll be happy to provide you with a free 30 day trial so you can see the benefits for yourself.
The U.S. Senate earlier this month passed the bill making it easier for individual states to collect sales tax for items bought on line, by phone or through media ads. The bill, which has uncertain prospects in the Republican-dominated House, could squeeze more revenue out of sedentary shoppers, installing another barrier to easy to use ecommerce.
The bill’s supporters point to “lost revenue” from Internet sales of over $11 billion. They point out that it is simply not fair that local merchants must compete with online companies, who can cut their prices because they don’t have to charge sales tax.
The bottom line is that no matter where you shop on line or from where the merchandise is shipped, you pay your local tax at the time of purchase. The vendor must know the amount of sales tax your local government charges, and you pay it. If you live in a state that has no sales tax, you continue to pay nothing.
Arguments against this tax:
Taxing someone who buys something, but does not travel to the location of the goods, defeats the purposes of sales tax. Think about it: You shop at the local Target or Walmart and pay the sales tax – state and local. That sales tax pays for the traffic control, police and fire protection and plugging the potholes in front of the store. Sending sales tax money for something bought on line outside the state is collecting a fee for a service not rendered.
One convincing argument against the tax appeared on the editorial page of the “Wall Street Journal”:
“For the first time, online merchants would be forced to collect sales taxes for all of America’s estimated 9,600 state and local taxing authorities.”
The Journal piece also points out other flaws in the “Marketplace Fairness Act,” which imposes requirements on Internet-based businesses that regular merchants do not have to follow:
The “big guys” are actually in favor of the tax!
Walmart and Amazon really like the idea of collecting the tax. They are, according to the Journal piece “drivers of this rush to tax.” Why? The irony is that being so large and spread out, the bigger stores already have the tax collection and payment mechanisms in place – and that means that, yet again, they get to put the squeeze on their smaller competitors, who aren’t so agile.
The marketplace will adjust as it always has
Finally, if the tax becomes fact, the playing field won’t become more level; it will most likely result in shifting Internet businesses from U.S. to foreign locations.
In these days of growing government deficits at all levels, it is tempting to view any revenue enhancement as a necessary evil. If that enhancement, however, imposes unfair burdens and costs to business and generates even more government growth, the argument against the Internet use tax becomes strong indeed.
Americans oppose the tax
According to a recent piece in IVN, a big majority (61%) of U.S. voters oppose the Internet Sales Tax Bill. The piece makes the alarming observation that consumers “warn they’ll buy less” if the tax is imposed.
If you’ve been thinking about the right time to launch your eCommerce business, this may be your time to make history as the growth in online retail sales is expected to outpace the brick-and-mortar businesses over the next five years.
Last year, U.S. ecommerce racked up sales of over $230 billion, and is projected to increase by 13% to $262 billion in 2013, according to the market research firm, Forrester, as noted on the Mashable website.
So far, the growth accounts for almost 8% of total retail sales, and is expected to hit $370 billion by 2017; if so, it could well represent a “full tenth of all retail sales in the U.S.”
Isolating the two factors attributed to such growth shows reveals the ever-increasing time consumers spend online, particularly with the use of mobile devices, smartphones and tablets to search and tap social media advice; no surprise, but consumers are completing their transactions more often with these ubiquitous devices.
Also, the traditional retailer is beefing up its investments in their existing online sales sectors; more specifically, the larger stores allow sales associates to order out-of-stock merchandise for the customer real-time; this, while giving a nod to online shoppers who want to pick up their order at the store.
Surprisingly, most of the ecommerce growth is not coming from new shoppers per se, but from existing online shoppers “spending more time and money” with a wider array of product categories now available to them.
Make sure your ecommerce investment is on track to deliver a solid ROI by using our proven shopping cart software—and hosting options. Our shopping cart software is tailored to accommodate the growth of your business.
Contact us for more information.
If you’re like me, you are constantly examining your Google Analytics statistics and fretting over bounce rates, page views, average visit durations, etc. One of the most disheartening statistics, which might be a Key Performance Indicator (KPI) for some of you, is the abandoned cart rate. This statistic of course lets you know what percentage of visitors actually placed items in their shopping cart, then left the site without completing the purchase. Wouldn’t it be great if you could somehow contact these potential customers and perhaps get them to convert? Well you can do exactly that using Google Remarketing.
Google Remarketing is really a combination of pre-existing tools, including Google Analytics, Google Adwords and the Google Display Network, which can help you track visitors to your site and then re-engage them with Google Display Network ads as they visit other relevant sites throughout the internet. Let’s take a look at an example:
Let’s say you sell motorcycle jackets and you have a shopping cart abandonment rate of 40%, which translates to an average of 20 lost sales per day. Part of the Google Remarketing strategy is to create a new Google Display Network campaign with ads specifically designed for your abandoned cart visitors. When these 20 visitors visit other relevant websites which are part of the Google Display Network, they will see your customized ads, specially targeted at them. You may for example create a campaign offering Free Shipping or perhaps a 15% discount. These visitors may recognize your site (since they already invested a lot of time previously in your site) an d at best, may be interested in that discount and visit your site again to finalize a purchase. At worst, your ads will create a brand awareness over time which may eventually result in a sale.
Remarketing allows businesses to reach those visitors who are more likely to convert. It can help you increase your conversion rate and other KPIs, and it will convert some of those abandoned carts into real sales. Of course, you don’t have to use it for abandoned carts only, you can target visitors who viewed a specific product, made specific purchases or visited your site for specific periods of time. Yes, there is an additional cost associated with the Google Display Network click, but it is generally much lower than the normal PPC campaign cost, with the added bonus of targeting customers who are VERY likely to convert.
Increasing ecommerce conversion ratio’s using Adwords is one of the less expensive ways to improve your bottom line. We can create an affordable Google remarketing campaign for your site to help you recover those lost sales. Simply contact us and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have and after a quick analysis, provide a time frame to implement a solution for you.
Conversion ratios are of course, the real Holy Grail of e-commerce. It is probably the most important Key Performance Indicator that tells you if your site is profitable, breaking even, or deep in the red. As such, Increasing ecommerce conversion ratio’s is undoubtedly in the forefront of any improvement strategies you may be considering for your website.
If the majority of your traffic is derived from PPC, there are several strategies that could be used to increase conversion ratios and which could yield immediate results. These include, but are not limited to:
Improved CTR of text ads
Higher Placement of text ads on Search Engine Results Pages
More relevant landing pages
A higher quality score
What if you could combine all four of these variables into one easy to implement strategy? Would you? Of course you would! The strategy is available in Google as well as Bing campaigns and it’s probably NOT being used by your competitors. I’m talking about Dynamic Text Ads.
Dynamic Text Ads are ads which are customized to match the terms users are searching on. Because these ads are customized to closely match the terms being searched, they are more relevant and therefore, more likely to be clicked upon. In addition to customized titles and or body text, dynamic text ads can also have customized landing pages, thereby extending the targeted experience for the visitor and placing them exactly on the page related to their search query.
To illustrate how dynamic text works, let’s use the following example:
Let’s say you sell mountain bikes, and you have them in several brands and models. A user searches for “Trek Danube mountain bikes on sale” and your ad pops up in the first page, third position of the SERP as follows:
Mountain Bike Sale
Many models starting from $599.
Conversely, with a dynamic text ad, your ad could read as follows:
Trek Bike Sale
Danube models starting from $475.
Which ad would you click on?
As you can see using dynamic text can help improve the click-through rate (The ratio of the number of times an ad is clicked to the number of times the ad is displayed.) (CTR) of your ads by providing an ad which closely mimics the search query language of the user. Second, by directing visitors to very specific landing pages, again, based on their search query, the visitor is more likely to stay on that page longer and then navigate further down the sales funnel for more information. In one fell swoop you have improved CTR, average visit duration and reduced your bounce rate, three ke y factors which normally lead to improved conversion ratios. As a bonus, by improving these three indicators, you are simultaneously improving your advertising campaign’s quality score, thereby providing an eventual higher placement on the Search Engine Results Pages (SERP).
Higher quality scores will also slowly lead to reduced average keyword prices, providing you with eventual lower advertising costs. And of course, your primary goal of improving your conversion rates will have been met as well.
To find out more about dynamic text ads and how they can improve your conversion rates, feel free to contact us and we’ll be happy to discuss it’s applicability to your site in greater detail.
Mobile is becoming a force to be reckoned with in e-commerce design. In a recent study, mobile transactions accounted for 11% of e-commerce during the 2012 holiday quarter and combine e-commerce sales experienced tremendous growth:
Overall, e-commerce sales combined for a 14 percent spike in year-over-year growth, reaching $289 billion in 2012. Over the course of eight years, e-commerce grew from 5 to 10 percent of all U.S. consumer spending with mobile now also accounting for one in every 10 e-commerce dollars spent.
As an e-commerce merchant, mobile design presents some specific challenges. If your considering implementing a mobile design strategy, here are some tips to help increase ecommerce conversion ratio’s:
Consider how the user will use your site
Often, a user will find your site with a mobile device, and then decide to order using their laptop or desktop computer. Do you have any easy way for the customer to find the product they previously viewed on different devices?
Make the touch targets big
Since users are using their fingers with mobile devices as opposed to a keyboard, consider making the touch targets larger than you would in a traditional design.
Large targets with ample margins will make the site more comfortable for people with large fingers.
Keep the design flexible
Using flexible design and fluid grids, your website can be designed for the browser viewing your page, not the device being used. By doing this, the website can make adjustments that better enhance the users experience.
If you are using wordpress, many plugins exist to help you do this.
Enclose the checkout
Enclosing the checkout means removing features such as the navigation bar and other links that could distract the buyer and keep them focused on completing the transaction.
The attention span of users on mobile devices is often much shorter than it is on traditional computers. Done right, mobile e-commerce can help you increase your e-commerce ratios.
For more information regarding e-commerce solutions, please contact us.
Sometimes you just can’t rely on getting more visitors to your site to do the job of Increasing ecommerce conversion ratio’s.
In fact, in one study by Fireclick, a common ratio is 10 out of 100 visitors who are really interested in purchasing; and then, only 2 % will actually stop to buy.
At first blush, you might think that by increasing the number of visitors to your website you could get a higher percentage of conversions, when in fact concentrating on doing things right for those who visit may be a more effective solution.
“8 Ways to Boost Ecommerce Shopping Cart Conversions,” a post on HubSpot, gives an overview on “shopping cart abandonment” that once heeded may bring higher conversion rates.
1. Orient your visitor to your webpage
We all know how confusing some sites can be, and we appreciate a quick, one-take based on the use of breadcrumbs: That’s a thread of components from your website that helps orient the visitor while providing a host of site options.
2. “Add to cart” button is commonly overlooked by designers
It may be such an obvious ‘must do,’ that many designers underestimate its importance; it should have an impact on the page via the “color scheme” of your page. Size? It should cry out, “Choose Me!”
3. Best Practices for that Product Page
You have about “3 seconds” for the design of your product page to invite readership, after that the viewer may be going for the ‘back’ button to re-start his orientation. One solution is to use quality images and your “add to cart button” separate from any pro duct text below it.
Whether your e-commerce site is up and running or you’re starting from scratch…contact us. We offer shopping cart software and hosting options that are tailored and scalable to maximize your growth opportunities.
As an e-commerce merchant, one of the hardest things to do is to induce a sense of urgency for your prospective customers to take action now. Many buyers will come to your site, consider what you have to offer, and then click away. Maybe they’ll come back, maybe they won’t…
Coupons are a great way for Increasing ecommerce conversion ratio’s by creating a sense of urgency for your prospective buyer and provide a measurable way to evaluate the success of your email campaigns.
Deciding Which Type of Coupon To Use
When offering a discount, consider the type of offer that will be appealing to your target market. Some of the available options include;
Flat Dollar Amount
A flat dollar amount is one type of coupon favored by consumers. It’s often useful to require a minimum purchase, such as $5 of a $25 order or $10 off a $50 order.
When creating your coupon campaign, your average order should be considered. A coupon campaign with a minimum purchase substantially greater than your average order generally will not perform as well as a coupon that targets your average order size.
E-commerce merchants with a strong email follow-up program sometimes offer codes such as $10 off a $10 order when their business is based on a substantial number of repeat orders. While not all customers who take you up on your order will convert to repeat buyers, often times, many of them will.
A percentage discount will allow you to deduct a certain percentage off the entire order. With this option, usually, there is not a minimum order size like there is with the flat dollar amount coupon.
Establish A Sense of Urgency
The expiration date for your coupon code needs to be clearly visible in your marketing message. When there is a deadline, often a person will proceed to checkout rather than waiting.
Track Your Results
Assessing the effectiveness of your coupon campaign is one of the most important things you can do as a marketer. If your ideal prospect is a person who loves a bargain, you may find using coupons an effective technique for increasing your e-commerce ratios.
For more useful e-commerce ideas, please contact us.