How to Manage Your Ecommerce Site Speed

Holiday shopping is just falling in few weeks and it is high time for you to prepare your ecommerce site to withstand the traffic. If your site is slow to download then it may result in losing the valuable customers. Also, the page downloading time is one of the key factor that is considered for search engine rankings.

 

Study reveals that

  • 73% of mobile internet users say that they have encountered a website that was too slow to download
  • 51% say that they have encountered a website that crashed, froze, or received an error
  • 48% say that they have encountered a website that had formatting which made it difficult to read
  • 45% say that they have encountered a website that did not function as expected
  • 47% of consumers expect a webpage to load in 2 seconds or less
  • 40% abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load

 

The failure of a site to load properly can affect the satisfaction level of the customers. A one second delay decreases customer satisfaction by about 16%. Also, the customer may spread the news of site loading failure to others which will cause ill effect for the ecommerce site reputation. About 44% of online shoppers will tell their friends about a bad experience online.

 

With ever increasing broadband speed and 4G mobile web connection, customers demand quick loading and browsing. Customers are not ready to wait more than 3-4 seconds. Therefore some of the tips to manage the speed of the site downloading are discussed below which may be useful to make your ecommerce site to be competitive.

 

1. Know the speed

It is essential to know the speed at which a website gets downloaded. There are many interesting tools like Google PageSpeed Insights, Yahoo’s YSlow etc., which can be useful to determine the speed of the site. Understanding the speed can help to take the necessary action.

 

2. Reduce HTTP requests

The HTTP requests occur when files like style sheets, images, and Javascript are to be requested from the server. Hence the server has to send the file back to the browser to load which takes time. In order to reduce these HTTP requests, sytlesheets can be combined. Elements, pictures, and scripts can be reused to avoid the browser to make a call.

 

3. Compress and scale image

Most of the images are too large that it takes time to load. Compressing the image with good quality can considerably speed up the site loading. The images should be scaled to fit in the required size avoiding resizing of images by server to fit on mobile screen, desktop etc.

 

4. CDN and hosting provider

If you host your websites on west coast while most of the users are in east coast, then considering a hosting provider proximal to the user is a wise thought. CDN or Content Delivery Network places the website files on server in many locations throughout the world such that files can be loaded from the nearest server to the customer.

 

5. Managing Javascript loading

Loading Javascript is relatively slower. Hence it is wise to call for the loading of CSS at top of HTML page and Javascript at the end such that it gets few milliseconds more to load complex scripts. This arrangement allows the user to view what he wants to view with priority.

 

6. Minification

The unnecessary characters or extra spaces and elements that are added in the webpage can be removed to reduce the file size. CSS can be minified using the site http://cssminifier.com/ and Javascript can be minified using http://javascript-minifier.com. All-in-one minifier is available with Google https://code.google.com/p/minify/.

 

7. Cache common files

Some of the elements on the site may be repeated or remain constant from page to page. Such elements can be cached by adding extra code to your site’s .htaccess file. The file name and type should be mentioned in the code along with how long the code should be cached.

 

8. DNS lookup

Domain Name System (DNS) also affects the speed of the site. For example, before a browser loads the site, it looks up the corresponding domain in DNS server. If there are embedded YouTube videos, a Twitter feed etc., which has to be obtained from external resources then it may slow down the page loading. Therefore external resources should be minimized.

 

9. PHP Accelerator

The PHP accelerators like Alternative PHP Cache (APC), XCache etc increase the speed of PHP application.

 

10. Avoid redirect

Each redirect triggers an HTTP request, so think if you really need a redirect. More than one redirect to reach a given resource should be avoided. It is recommend to use server side redirects when compared to client side redirects.

 

11. Broken links

Broken link is a hyperlink to a webpage that does not exist. It is a waste of time to load the page. Broken links can be detected using W3C’s link checker, Broken link checker for WordPress etc.

 

 

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Avoiding a Bad Experience with Mobile Commerce

Over 1.2 billion users are accessing the shopping cart through mobile devices like smartphones, tablets etc. 63% of people are expected to do shopping using their mobile phone over the next couple of years. This has made it evident that mobile optimization is essential for the ecommerce business. Mobile responsive designs and mobile optimization has become the trend of future ecommerce. ABI research predicts that globally $119 billion goods and services will be purchased via mobile phones in 2015. Though this represents only 8% of total ecommerce market, it has revolutionary impacts on retail industry.

 

The fact remains that 30% of mobile shoppers abandon a transaction if the experience is not optimized for mobile. 41% mobile users have turned to competitor’s website after a bad mobile experience. 57% of users are not ready to recommend the business that has poorly designed mobile site. This shows the amount of importance given for the mobile site.

 

The loading time also influence the customers either to continue with the mobile site or get deviated to another provider. Facts shows that for every 100 milliseconds increase in load time decreases sales by 1%. Around 57% of mobile consumers will abandon your site if they have to wait 3 seconds for a page to download. Therefore the mobile site should be designed and managed properly for best performance.

 

Some of the factors to consider while developing mobile responsive website in order to avoid the bad experience for the customers are discussed below.

 

Watch local SEO

Local results derived for the particular search on the mobile has lots of impact on the business. The results should be very much related to the business as well as located near by the customer place. SEO or search engine optimization must be done for the particular mobile site such that good search results pop up in the search engine like Google.

 

Near Field Communication (NFC)

It is possible for the mobile commerce to adapt to NFC. Customized or targeted messages can be sent to the customer mobile when he enters into the NFC circle. Customers can be greeted when they enter the targeted region. Offers and promotions can be popped on the mobile which keeps the customer to be loyal to the organization.

 

Barcode scanning

The goods for sale can be identified with barcode while billing and can be scanned for easy billing. Introducing this feature increases the rate at which the customers are served. The mobile platform supports the bar code scanning with its camera.

 

Mobile payments

In order to avoid the customer’s difficulties with payment mode, different kinds of payments methods like Paypal or credit card can be supported by the mobile device which makes the mobile commerce to be user friendly.

 

Email marketing via mobile

Study reveals that more than 52% of 18-34 year olds have clicked through to a website from mobile email. This shows the importance of designing mobile responsive emails that fit into the mobile screen. The landing page should be optimized.

 

Flat responsive design

Mobiles have become the primary source for the customers to search their need for ecommerce such as buying and selling of goods. The strategy of mobile commerce has increased the demand for the flat design of site such that it is more flexible to shrink or re-arrange the items such that it is clearly visible on the different sizes of small screens of mobile.

 

Preference to Responsive design

People tend to shift towards mobile responsive website design rather than opting a app which takes time to locate the app in the appstore and then download it to install. On the other hand, responsive designs is simple and easy to use instantly by opening the link which makes its preferable for users.

 

Innovative UX

The customers can be kept engaged with the site only with user friendly UX and friendly interface. In order to avoid customer frustrations, the site design should be given priority. It should be given importance in order to avoid bad experience of the customers with poorly designed UX

 

4G

The customer experience is enhanced only with the speed at which one can connect with the internet. It is favorable to connect with the customers at super fast time with minimal load time.

 

Conclusion

The responsive design has made it possible for anyone to shop at their comfort using the smartphones or tablets. All the data that are discussed above must be considered in order to build an error-free mobile responsive site. The customers may be provided with enhanced experience by implementing the above features effectively.

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Factors that Influence in Choosing Ecommerce Solution

When we talk about the ecommerce websites we also look into the design of the ecommerce solution which plays a key role in exhibiting the ecommerce site with enhanced outlooks and appearance that attracts the crowd.

Functional readymade ecommerce solution with inbuilt features has now become the latest trend in the market to build an ecommerce site quickly and cost effectively. Ecommerce site such as Amazon have developed the business model which brings lots of traffic and sales to the site. This has established the necessity of good designs for the ecommerce site to keep the customers engaged with the site with beautiful designs.

Some of the features that one should lookout while looking out for selecting ecommerce solution are discussed below.

Standard platform

There are plenty of ecommerce platform in the market such as Magento, Oscommerce, Opencart, Prestashop etc. Choosing the right platform for the specified industry is highly essential. One should look out for affordable platform. Choosing inexpensive or free software may not give you fruitful results all the time. Free software may have limited functionalities, therefore instead of spending extra on the free platform one can choose the platform that provides more functionalities at less cost.

OS support

The ecommerce platform should be selected in such a way that they support multiple operating system such as Windows, Linux, Mac etc such that site performance is enhanced. The platform should be flexible to support any future changes or inclusion

Reliable

Since there may be plenty of users on the site engaged in shopping, the ecommerce site should be reliable such that it does not crash down. One should choose the best ecommerce solution which has previous history of reliability.

Supporting features

The ecommerce solution must have user friendly GUI with easy check out and payment methods. These are one of the primary requirement that should be available with the platform. One page check out is most preferred by the customers.

Advantage of open source

Being an open source, the development cost is greatly reduced as one need not develop the application from the scratch. Ready-to-use modules such as product catalog, shopping cart etc can be customized as per the requirement which makes the solution to be user friendly. Best add on modules, features, plug-ins etc can be included as per requirement.

Select appropriate platform

Each ecommerce platform such as Magento, Oscommerce etc have their own advantage and disadvantage. For example, Magento is a feature rich package but may be little expensive . Virtuemart requires less technical skills but does not support advanced functionalities. Oscommerce provides best customization and multiple language support but does not have regular updates. Therefore, one should select the platform based on the requirement.

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Do’s and Don’ts of Launching an Ecommerce Site

It is very simple to start an ecommerce site within hours using the ready made scripts, but it needs more planning and time to run an ecommerce site successfully. Some of the list of Do’s and Don’ts are listed below which may be useful for any individual who is venturing into online business.

 

Do Check Demand for the product

The products that you sell on your shopping cart must have good reach among the public. The product must be current and more feasible to the customer. This ensures that the business runs more smoothly. The demand for the product should be studied with simple means by cross checking with friends and others. Your time and effort invested into the ecommerce business will become fruitful only when the demand for the product is convincing.

 

Do a test marketing

Scalable testing must be done for the site to find out different marketing strategies for the business. A small amount of budget can be allocated for doing the test marketing since it is worth it. It projects a market before launching the business which gives an idea about the marketing suitable for particular type of shopping cart. Every aspect of the site such as colors to layout contribute or affects the marketing. These are basically a conversion tool for the site.

 

Do listen to customer

Feedback from the customer play a key role in determining the success of the ecommerce site. The changes can be made to the business structure based on valuable suggestions from the customer. Implementing the customer feedback and ideas into the business can attract more traffic to the site. Also, the customer may feel happy to participate in business formation and may become a loyal customer with long lasting bonds.

 

Do build strong foundation

It is an essential requirement for the online business to have a strong foundation with options to track the customer base which organizes shopping cart. Any changes that needs to be done after post launch may be expensive. Therefore a strong foundation for the business should be build before launching into the business. It is better to save money with delay in project instead of confused and earlier launching.

 

Do plan a profitable business model

The most profitable business model that will suit your business can be opted which can avoid loss in future. One should fine tune with the market requirements in order to provide what the customer seek. Deep analysis should be done regarding the business model before implementing them. For example, introducing a free offer can be a catchy business idea but sometimes it may be costlier on your ROI. Therefore, the model of business should be selected based on the products and other financial inheritance.

 

Don’t think customers will find you easily

There are millions of site on the internet that chances are there your site may get lost in the crowd. Building the site is easy but bringing them into the notice of customers is very difficult. This is tackled by SEO efforts. SEO brings the site up to get visible on the search placed by the customers. It is wise to follow the footsteps of SEO to float your site on the internet with good visibility among the customers. You can also opt for paid ads like Adwords to get the attention of the customer.

 

Don’t confuse your business

When you have decided to sell products online, do not confuse your business to other options like manufacturing, designing etc. This may become a huge burden on your neck. Start one at a time. Concentrate on online selling business rather than deviating from the fundamental business idea. Once when you have established your shopping cart, then you may think of other ideas.

 

Don’t mess with your time

Your work should be delegated properly such that most of your fruitful time is spent on focusing on growth and scaling the business. Your time is precious which is the primary investment for any business. So start utilizing your time properly instead of falling into a routine work that any paid one can do.

 

Don’t give up

Success may come in a day or in a month. It needs determination to achieve success in the business. More than half the story of success has gone through tough roads to reach the place that they have achieved.

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#12 Essential Features of Ecommerce Site

The success of shopping cart greatly depends on the features of the site. The site should be user friendly with options to handle the products and inventory more effectively. Some of the essential features that makes the ecommerce site to shine among the customers are listed below.

1. Product image

The first impression on the site visitors is the product image. The image must be attractive to retain the customers on the site. The photo of the product is the only source for the customers to get to know about the product and its appearance. It should also be flexible such that developer could resize the image. The end user should be able to zoom the product image to view the minute details of the product more closely. The image should have good resolution to bring about clarity in the picture.

2. Product categories

The product should be placed under appropriate categories such that it is easier for the customers to locate the product. There must be categories as well as sub categories to find the product. The site visitor should easily locate the category drop down list which may be placed at the top of the page or on the side. Selecting the category should display the products relevantly.

3. Search option

The search option should be prominently visible on the site such that users can search for the desired product quickly. The result page must be able to filter great deals such that they may be easily spotted by the customers on searching.

4. Site navigation

The site navigation should be clear and intuitive. There should be good quick links back to the shopping cart. The navigation should be user friendly as well as SEO friendly. The call-to-action buttons must be prominent. Navigation should be easy with categories and subcategories. The visibility of the site should be prominent.

5. Fast checkout

Single page checkout is the most desirable option by the customers. If the process of completing a payment is lengthy then customer may abandon the site abruptly during payment process. In order to avoid abandonment ratio it is highly essential to reduce the fields of checkout form to make the process to be done with single page checkout.

6. Product reviews

Product reviews leaves an everlasting impression about the products on visitors. People believe in other’s review. Hence placing the product reviews on the website increases the probability of sales. Positive reviews enhances the product value and motivate the visitors to make a sale. There is no option available with the shopping cart to view the product lively, therefore a review about the product may be useful for the customers to get to know more about the product from its users which may help in decision making.

7. Coupons/discounts

People naturally get attracted to the ecommerce site that provides more discounts and offers. A good ecommerce site must provide multiple opportunities for the customer to avail discounts. The site that provides coupons in the same ecommerce platform that sells product increases the sales as well as attracts more traffic to the site.

8. Featured products/ Related products

The ecommerce site is made more relevant to the customers by displaying the featured products on the home page. Customer can directly buy the product that has more value with discounts and offers. At the same time, the related product suggests more option for the customer to buy similar to what he/she is looking for.

9. Product import/export

The shopping cart with option to import or export product with other application such as Facebook store or online store makes it flexible for the user with ability to transfer price, inventory, product updates etc.

10. Refund policy

This is one of the main option that is checked by the site users. The refund policy should be simple and easy to implement. Customer should find it user friendly to exchange the products or make a return using the policy. If refund is not entertained then it should be clearly specified to the customers such that no confusions take place after sales.

11. Newsletter subscription

The customers must be informed about latest products and best sellers using the email subscription. It allows to keep in touch with the customers. News and events related to the ecommerce business may be made available to the customers.

12. Social media integration

Your presence on social networking site determines your fame among the customers. It helps for branding. Integration of social media on shopping cart helps to promote the sale of the products across wide network of people which increases the probability of sale.

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How Ecommerce Site Caters Increased Sales?

Ecommerce has changed its faces in the long years that it has traveled by allowing the customers to be the king of the business. One can mainly classify the ecommerce business based on the types of goods sold or nature of participants.

The ecommerce site may be exclusively selling physical goods like books, furniture, appliances, gadget etc. It may also sell digital goods like software, ebooks, images, video etc. Services like booking tickets or insurance may also be one of the services provided by ecommerce. Each business has its own risk in delivering the products or services. For example delivering the physical goods can be a challenge for businesses while delivering a digital good may be easy. For booking e-tickets, the availability of the seats, providing refunds etc may be the issue that has to be handled by the ecommerce site.

The main two participants in the ecommerce business include businesses and consumers. The different types of ecommerce based on the participants include B2B, B2C, C2B, and C2C. The social media plays a key role in ecommerce, mainly the Facebook. Similarly, mobile commerce is also gaining importance in this fast growing ecommerce world.

The advantages of ecommerce sites which contributes to increased sales include:

1. No geographical limitations: The seller can promote the product to anyone belonging to anywhere without any limitations of geographical location. The mobile commerce has made it even more convenient in promoting ecommerce sales.

2. Search engine visibility: The ecommerce sites are made visible on search engine result pages which increases its scope to reach more audience for making up a sale. The traffic to the site determines the sales on the site.

3. Lower cost: Ecommerce may be one of the reliable source to sell products/service at low cost with greater discount price offers. It may be cost effective to promote the ecommerce sales via organic search engine traffic, pay-per-click, social media etc.

4. Real estate: The images or video of the site for sale or rent can be advertised on the ecommerce channel such that it is easy for the buyers and sellers to meet under a single roof. It saves more time and money spent on visiting the actual venue which is an advantage for selling places quickly.

5. Low personal requirement: The automation of process like inventory, billing, checkout, payment etc lowers the need for more personals which makes the ecommerce site to be affordable and reliable to conduct business online by managing various process.

6. Locate products: It is easier to locate the products on the site by browsing the ecommerce site quickly and easily with search option based on different criteria like color, size, price etc. Discounts can also be availed easily via online purchase.

7. Save travel time: The introduction of ecommerce sites that gives the customer the comfort to shop from anywhere without any need to visit the actual shop reduces the time taken to travel. The customer can save the amount spent on travel by shopping online.

8. Compare price: The customer can make a detailed analysis about the product by comparing its features and price offered by different merchants online which may assure the customer about buying the most cost effective product at best price.

9. Product information: Ecommerce site allows to display more information on the site without any extra cost or effort. Hence one can provide more information to the customer when compared to physical stores which has limits.

10. Customer information: Detailed customer information can be collected during the registration as well as cookies can be placed on customer system to identify them in next visit. This can be useful for showing other similar products for the customer uniquely for shopping.

11. 24/7 store: The biggest advantage of ecommerce shop is that it remains 24×7 open for the customer. This can improve the sales on the site by receiving orders at anytime at customer convenience. The shop will remain open throughout and there is no need for a personal to handle the checkout which is automatic.

12. Niche market: The possibility of selling more niche products is possible via ecommerce site. A variety of products can be located online as well as it becomes easier for finding rare products or obsolete parts which helps to increase the sales on the site.

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The Social Media Strategy for Ecommerce Business

Social media marketing is one of the key aspect for success by ecommerce sites. People tend to rely on the social media sites to know more about the product and share their thoughts and opinion. Establishing a social media marketing strategy can be the right solution to boost ecommerce sales. There are about 100k tweets sent every minute, 152 million blogs online, and 3 billion hours of YouTube watched every month. This can be an influential factor considered while measuring the effect of social media on ecommerce business. Some of the essential elements of social media marketing strategy are discussed below.

Identify business goal

It is highly critical to determine the business goal to measure the success. Company can determine the part played by the social media in achieving business goal. The strategy must include option for increasing brand awareness, retaining customers, and reducing marketing cost. The goals fixed by the organization should be measurable, achievable, and realistic. The time limit should be specified while framing achievable goals.

Marketing objectives

Social media strategies must be able to frame a clear marketing objective. The number of leads or sales to measure the success of the marketing objective should be set. These objectives can be achieved with with SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time bound) approach.

Marketing objectives should be achievable, for example, increasing the leads by 50% . Also the time frame must be fixed to measure the success of the objective or goal.

Identify potential customers

Gathering and maintaining customer profiles help to boost the sales by serving the right customer at the right time and place. The profile information may include details like age, income, interest, problems, habit, likes, dislikes etc. This may be useful to identify the potential customer.

Prevailing competition

Social media marketing for ecommerce sites should be measured based on competition. The number of followers, posting frequency in social media by the competitors etc., can be studied by the business to understand the competition.

Find the right channel

There are many social media sites available and one should be careful to choose the right site for promotion of ecommerce sites. One should not waste time on dwelling leads in a social site that is least famous or rarely used by the customers. The renowned sites like Facebook and Twitter can be prime concentration.

Contents

Contents are very much important to attract the traffic on social media. The type of content depends upon the type of social media. The promotion should not be a load on customer with annoying posting frequency. Therefore, right amount of contents should be provided to the right audience at right level for the success of social media strategy.

Social environment for ecommerce

People are not interested in being pushed to buy products, but they very much like to hear a recommendation or reference from their friends and relatives to buy products on ecommerce store. Around 92% of the people believe on online information rather than what salesman says. 81% like to see a video review of the product. 34% choose social network over a traditional ecommerce site.

It is likely that 60% 18-24 year old customers approach social media when they have a problem. Among the 100 internet retailers 80% respond to customers on Facebook and Twitter. Complaints placed on social media is attended quickly which keeps the customer to rely on them. Social media helps to build a strong relationship with the customers. It also helps the businesses to build a loyalty program for the customers with creative ideas. Hence social media plays a great role in promoting the ecommerce site.

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How Social Media is Useful for Branding?

The success of ecommerce business depends upon reaching more number of people online which is easily achieved by the social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, etc. The social media plays a great role in online sales and attracting more traffic to the ecommerce site.

Facebook drives nearly two-thirds of all social media visits which counts to 63%, Pinterest 13%, and Twitter 10.5%, Majority of the offers from social media comes from Facebook with an average of 85%. The top three platforms for ecommerce conversions are Facebook, Vimeo, and YouTube.

Some of the factors of social media that influence ecommerce business are discussed below.

1. Brand awareness: Social media helps to promote the brand awareness which is useful for the retailers. Around 89% of the people agreed that social media created more business exposure. The brands can be established with consistent content posting which can fetch followers as well as encourage interaction among the customers. A clear product awareness can be attained using social media quickly and virally.

2. Influence purchase: Social media has done a great shift in purchasing behavior of the customer. According to a survey, 84% of the people admitted that they were influenced by word of mouth recommendation. The opinions posted by the customers on the social media influenced the sales on the site upto 68%. Building trust is the main criteria for influencing sales which is achieved by relationship building through social media.

3. Customer loyalty: A strong bondage between the customer and the company can be established by dwelling customer relationship via social media which helps to build customer loyalty. It helps to increase sales.

4. Product Insight: The feedbacks about the product and service can be easily managed by the social media which helps to spread the word of customers across the social network such as recommendations and opinions. This can provide good insight on the product leading to enhanced sales.

5. Social environment: The social media such as Facebook provide a social environment for the buyers to shop as per their status and outlooks. The Facebook provides an interactive environment where user can deeply discuss about the product and share opinions. Other’s recommendation is always welcomed by the public. Other websites like Pinterest allows to organize the interest of the customers in boards which helps to influence sales. The company can get an insight of people’s preference and choice via social talks.

6. Measurable objectives: The company can get the data of traffic routed into ecommerce site via social media, ratio of traffic from social networks to conversion, total number of followers, ratio of social media audience influencing sales growth, ratio of social engagements like comments, likes, shares etc. All these shows the way in which social media visits are converted to sales.

The recommendation from the friends on social media such as likes on Facebook or followers on Twitter or Pinterest helps to streamline the public opinion that may affect sales on ecommerce sites. It also assist for decision making. Branding can be made very easy using the social media which is a direct opinion from the public. The various business sector that are influenced by social media includes 71% educational sector, 63% electronic sector, 43% apparel sector, etc where people engage in social conversation and discussion about the products/service.

Existing ecommerce sites can be made attractive by introducing the call-to-action social media buttons which can help for conversation with the public to get their ideas and opinion. The end user feedback plays a key role in the success of ecommerce sales. Videos on YouTube can be influential factors for decision making. Strategies can be drawn to reach the unsatisfied customers and solve their issues to convert them as a loyal customer using the support of social media which gives a personal touch to the conversation.

The number of people who are actually clicking the link on social network can be tracked easily using many tools like bit.ly. These analytics can be useful to make tailor-made messages and provide the customers what they like which may lead to enhanced sales.

Some of the tips to utilize the social media to maximize profits are discussed below.

1. Social network can be helpful to know your typical customer such as their location, gender, age etc which can be useful for marketing.

2. Identifying the right keyword that are relevant to the business can be helpful to streamline the marketing.

3. Relevant contents should be presented to the customers. The content should be interesting, useful, and interactive to engage the customers.

4. Social media branding with relevant email signature, brochures, business cards, blog posts, social buttons etc must be adapted by the company.

Social media on ecommerce or social commerce is a wide spectrum of field which can be interesting as explored more and more. The online business can be established with the help of social media which helps to handle the people’s relationship with the company and establish brand.

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#12 Strategies to Increase Business Visibility Online

There is a huge competition prevailing in the market which makes it essential for the ecommerce sites to adapt to various strategies to mark their presence online. Some of the latest trends and strategies to increase the visibility of online business and tips to increase sales and traffic on the ecommerce website are discussed below.

1. Post 3 times a day on Facebook: Social media has become a vital source for ecommerce site to promote sales and traffic. It is true that out of sight, out of mind. Therefore,one should start posting on social media to keep the customers engaged with latest news about the product or service. You can post special offers, pictures, news, phrases etc on the Facebook which may inspire followers.

2. Understand audience: One should start posting images or text based on customer lifestyle such that the posting is useful for the audience. People like to share the content which makes relevance to them. Therefore posting inspiring messages and pictures may increase the visibility of your website and improve business.

3. Analyze competitors: A consistent analysis of the competitors can make you aware of the latest trends and strategies in the market. You can analyze on how many posts the competitors post on a day, what are the subjects covered, what special offer they provide, etc.

4. Time of post: The timing at which the post is getting maximum conversation can be noted to implement them into the site. The lifestyle of the followers and when they interact can be noted to reach the audience better. For example, 11AM to 4PM can be best time to post stories or news on Facebook. 5PM is the best time when tweets and re-tweets happens and so on.

5. Manage social network: All the social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Google plus etc can be managed under single roof using Hootsuite, Bufferapp etc. This helps to schedule the posts, engage the audience, and measure the ROI using the single dashboard. All the social media activities can be streamlined by this application by managing unlimited social profiles, enhances analytics, and team members.

6. Visual appeal: Pictures can be posted which reach the audience effectively. A research by Hubspot indicates that 50% more likes, 104% more comments, and 84% more clicks are received by the visual posting which include pictures.

7. Placing icons: The social media icons can be placed on the website near the products such that user maybe motivated to click the icon to share the products or post comments . The icons can also be placed with articles or blogs or email signature line such that users are motivated to participate in social activities.

8. Call to action: The site contents may be developed with best usage of call to action buttons at right places such that user is allowed to respond to the discussed matter or content. Placing proper links at relevant places makes the content more agile to converse with the end user.

9. Power of recommendation: People tend to choose a product when it is recommended by others. 92% of customers trust recommendations from other users or family members rather than ads. 70% believe on comments and 58% believe in ads that appear in brand web.

10. Word of mouth: This is a powerful option for increasing the traffic and sales on the site.

11. Pinterest: It is one of the best social network to promote the products by placing the images on the interest boards. People who follow their choice will be directed to the ecommerce site to make a sale. Pinterest allow to repin the picture of products to grab the attention of the customers. Pinboards can be hosted on area of interest or specific to products reflecting the brand name. Pinterest represents the taste of a user as well as establishes brand. Pinterest helps to understand the user in a better way by establishing relationship with them as a follower of his interest board.

12. Prepare a Q&A: A list of invoking questions that helps to understand the products more better can be neatly charted out and presented to the user such that they participate in the Q&A (questions and answers). This strategy clears the doubt to the public as well as enhances the visibility of the product and brand. People may be convinced that they are answered and may lead to increased traffic to the site leading to increased sales.

  • October 14, 2012 |
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#7 Tips for Reducing Shopping Cart Abandonment rate

More than the issue of directing traffic to the site, it is much more crucial to avoid the shipping cart abandonment on the site. People browse the site, find their product and move on to next purchase level by including the product on shopping cart, but during the payment process the user may abandon the site leading to sales drawback to the site. An average of 67.91% online shopping cart abandon rate is noted during a study. Average online conversion rate is 2.13%.

Some of the reasons for cart abandonment includes:

• 56% who state that they encountered unexpected cost on checkout

• 37% of people were only browsers

• 36% found a better price somewhere else

• 32% found the overall price too expensive

• 26% decided against buying

• 25% found the navigation too complicated

• 24% left with website crash

• 21% found the process taking too long time

• 18% encountered excessive payment security checks

• 17% were concerned about payment security

• 16% felt delivery options to be unsuitable

• 15% encountered website time out

• 13% find difficulty because price presented in foreign currency

• 11% payment was declined.

Some of the tips to manage shopping cart abandonment are discussed below.

1. Allow customers to purchase without registering

People get easily distracted when the cart deals with lengthy procedure for buying a product. There should be only minimal queries included for registering. Many customers are unaware of the benefits of registering. Therefore customers can be provided with options to select items and purchase them easily without registering with the site. In few cases, the cart will collect the details later when customer buys the product to update the database.

2. Unexpected cost

In the beginning, the customer will find the product price to be attractive or low. But when it comes to the check out process, the customer may get annoyed with unexpected levies, taxes, shipping and other costs which will make the product price to be higher. The cart should adapt to transparent pricing.

3. Handling international customers

Some of the common issues faced by international customers are:

* Near the State dropdown box, only US states are listed

* No option to pay using customer’s home currency

* The shopping options are irrelevant to buyer

* No information regarding the retailer selling in offshore

Nearly 5-10% of the sales originate from international customers, therefore the shopping cart should be designed accordingly to manage the above stated problems.

4. No deviation during check out

The customers may be guided during the checkout process by providing shopping options, payment options, delivery date, gift wrapping etc. They should not be deviated away from the checkout process.

5. Call to action button

Use of call to auction button such as ‘Pay now’ and ‘Proceed to checkout’ should be prominently visible as fixed button on the site such that people find it easier to make checkout.

6. Feel secure while making payment

Mostly people feel unsecured when they provide their personal detail and payment details like credit card details. These can be avoided by providing a professional looking website. Badges and other symbols of security should be displayed which may motivate the customer to make transaction. The site should also display the privacy policy, money back guarantee, and other terms on the site.

7. Abrupt closing of checkout window

Incase of closing checkout window in the middle of the transaction, an email can be sent to the customer indicating that the product is ready for delivery once when the customer completes the checkout process. Customers can also be contacted on the phone to provide checkout assistance. An advertisement of the product chosen by the customer can be placed on third party site where customer visits. This can be a reminder for the customer to make the purchase. The customer can also be identified on their next visit and reminded of the products in the cart.

By following the above discussed methods, the abandonment of the shopping cart can be greatly reduced. Customized service can be provided to the customers while motivating them to buy by assisting them at every stage of checkout. By following the above said option, abandonment rate of the shopping cart can be controlled.

  • October 14, 2012 |
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Posted in Ecommerce Marketing, Ecommerce solutions | Tagged , | Leave a comment