Tips and ideas from E-commerce experts

Here are some worthwhile tips from various e-commerce experts gathered over the last month. Tips are in no specific order, we hope they will help give you some ideas for your business in 2010.

Shop Payment Gateways
“Shop around to find the best deal in credit card processing gateways. Even a penny more per transaction will eventually add up to big bucks over the life of your shop.”

Calculate the Discount That Brings the Biggest Profit
“It’s important to double check the math behind your online promotions. A 60 percent discount will bring you more customers than a 40 percent discount, but keep in mind that the 40 percent discount might actually bring you more profit and even better customer retention.”

Use a Favicon to Promote Your Brand
“Promote your brand with a favorite icon (or, “Favicon”), a square 16 pixel graphic that appears next to your website address in the address bar, next to the web page’s title in the web browser favorites, in tabs, and desktop shortcuts. To implement, place the favicon.ico graphic file in the root of your URL, and then link to it with:

Offer Additional Payment Methods
“When you offer additional payment methods (e.g., PayPal, Amazon and Google Checkout) you can lock in customers that may be worried about trusting your online store. Millions of customers that already have accounts with these secure payment methods know and trust their checkout systems and buying experience.”

Keep Social Media Strategy Relevant to Your Business
“Connect to customers through social media outlets, but develop your own strategy relevant to your particular business. Just because Dell, Best Buy or other large corporations are using a particular site or a particular strategy doesn’t mean it is relevant or feasible for your business.”

The Advantage of Up-selling
“Up-sells increase average earnings per sale, and a properly executed up-sell can even increase your conversion rates. Compelling up-sell offers should cost no more than 30 percent of the price of your primary product. And, when choosing your up-sell offers, always select products that complement your primary product offer.”

Keep Your Message Above the Fold
“If it is important, keep it ‘above the fold’ [middle of screen]. Email or newsletter sign ups, special offers, reviews, and navigation are better served ‘above the fold’ where a visitor is more likely to engage them.”

Include Expert Testimonials
“Customer testimonials and user-generated product reviews are great to provide reassurance for your online store. But, if you can, go one step further and put up any ‘expert’ testimonials or product reviews. An example might be, ‘The head groundsman at Wimbledon recommends this lawn mower…’ and include actual quotes from the expert.”

Create a FAQ Page
“Create a FAQ [frequently asked questions] page that educates customers about your products or services in a concise matter. It should cover a wide range of questions and answers to help customers make more informed decisions on purchases. Customers will be more comfortable shopping with your company and have a better understanding of the way you operate, creating a foundation for repeat customers and referrals.”

Detailed Images Appeal to Sophisticated Shoppers
“As the Internet matures so does the sophistication of online shoppers. Studies indicate that today’s shoppers expect retailers to provide not only textual product information, but also detailed, zoomable images, videos, and alternate product views. A superior customer experience separates the best-of-breed retailers from the rest of the pack.”