The most complete e-commerce tip list

November 9, 2011 10 Comments by Eric

Before getting into the tip list for the best e-commerce, we need to understand some very important points.

1         Introductory points:

1.1       Increasing internet usage

Both retailers and e-tailers, need to understand the impact of internet of their customers. Each day Internet usage is increasing either on PC and Mobile (smart phones & tablets). We are spending more time looking for information and sharing it.

1.2       What is more important selling or informing?

Any company need sales to exist. Selling is healthy, funny and benefits all of us, but if the aim is only selling, the company will not focus on helping consumers of new generation that need to get informed before purchase.

1.3       Consumers get informed before purchase

The majority of consumers need to get information about the product/service before purchase either being on internet or in a shop. Therefore, we should be at Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT) and provide on the right time, the enough and correct information consumers they’re looking for. Once customer gets all details, reviews, opinions, saw pictures and videos, they will be much convinced to buy it.

2         Most complete e-commerce tip list

2.1       Usability, clear and easy to find

Navigation should be easy with few colour themes a good menu and big brand pictures. Product information should be displayed first showing customers company is looking for they needs and not trying to sell, sell and sell.

2.2       Purchase experience

Make the purchase experience quite special. Try with 360 pictures, videos, simulator, etc…
Also, make it easy to find info and products with filters, search engine, branding. Finally is essential a quick and easy checkout with gift wrapping, card option. Tracking delivery step by step should be accessible, and once the box is there, guess what? A special box with a special packaging closing the purchase experience…

But this is not the end. An e-mail requesting a review to the customer how is everything after delivery could be a good idea with some loyalty points incentive (discount for future purchases).

2.3       Quick and easy Checkout

We all have the same feelings when buying on a shop or supermarket. We spend our precious time waving through the shelves and once we decided it is time to leave, we find a long queue that we have to wait without patience. THE LONGEST TIME SPENT THE WORSE EXPERIENCE.

Therefore, we should make as simple and quick as possible our online checkout. Try to ask the fewer questions as possible, not making repeat information. Help in every filling gap and if too much time is spent in this page, push a live chat support.

2.4       Security

All e-commerce sites Must have a 3rd company security system to ensure all transactions and to make feel secure consumers. Most popular companies that provide SSL certificates are: Verisign, Internet Delivery Is Safe, Thawte, GeoTrust and Comodo.

Customers feel more reliable with security making more relaxable purchases.

2.5       Payment methods

Payment methods should be as many as possible: Paypal (the most popular), Credit cards, pay on delivery, bank transfer… Make sure to use a popular and secure one. If possible give a credit opportunity to customers,.

2.6       Social Media (reviews)

Reviews of products are a very important feature in order to give more reasons to consumers to decide purchase based on other experiences. If others experienced the purchase, or which satisfaction has with product quality, when consumer see all this comments he will be convinced positive or negatively, but nowadays opinions influence any decision is made.

Reviews could be not only 5 stars, written text but also pictures and why not videos?

2.7       SEO

Main search engines consider lots of different factors as can be seen in this infographic. Apart from this, you should consider using images and videos.

http://www.ticbeat.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/seo.jpg

2.8       Delivery information

Anyone would like to know what is happening with his purchase: when it has been shipped, and when will be delivered. Online consumers are highly demanding concerning over all delivery information. There are many ways to update customer: e-mail, link with process, push calls to his mobile…

2.9       Returns

Inform from the beginning and on every page return policy in order to avoid consumer quit the site or misunderstandings.

2.10  Live chat support

Be there instantly to help through chat when they request it or push it when a “possible” problem is happening.

2.11  Search engine & filters

As said on previous post in my blog, we search before any purchase and in order to find as quickly as possible the product, we should offer a complete search engine within the site and also filters to concentrate results. Customers online don’t like to spend much time searching.

2.12  Compatibility with mobile & tablets

E-commerce has increased due to higher usage of smart-phones and tablets on past years. Site content has to be adapted and compatible with top gadgets.

2.13  Pricing

Prices have to be in big and clear near product. Taxes and VAT should also be stated from the beginning as well delivery costs. In case you include Sales, promotions or points programme, make it clear what is final price from first pages in order not to confuse consumer.

2.14  Wish list

Consumers do not buy on the spot, we whish it would be like this, so we should give them a chance to select their preferences to decide later or even share it with friends to have some feedback before purchase. Therefore we should create a whish list section with the possibility of saving, printing and sharing within social media network.

2.15  Icons, instead long text

Sometimes long texts are boring, and nowadays consumers do not have too much patience to read them. Why not to create icons, like Nokia, Google and other companies did?

Let’s imagine a watch that has so many different characteristics, we could simplify them in a few icons symbols. It would be much easier to recognize than long boring text.

2.16  Similar products

It is essential to propose alternative products for the one(s) consumer are choosing, this also happens in real shops, and it helps very much with doubtful consumers. Just make sure you relate correctly those products ;-}

2.17  Gift, wrapping

Some e-commerce sites are giving the chance to customers to wrap the present they’re buying and even have a printed gift card with their own text message.

2.18  Vouchers

Anyone willing to make a gift present but instead of buying something should be able to buy a Voucher to be redeemed by the one who receive it.

2.19  Sharing options (like, +1…)

Sharing is gaining. Nowadays consumers need to share and get some feedback before taking a decision. Also sharing is giving the opportunity to others to know about it. Using share bottoms is essential and also Like (Facebook), +1 (Google), In (Linkedin) and Tweeter. It shows how many people “liked” the product and shared it with others.

2.20  Internal mail

Sometimes, customers can loose or not see e-mails from us, therefore every mail as newsletter, delivery confirmation, points redemption, etc… sent to them, should be also sent through the internal mail of site.

2.21  High Quality Images

A product should be shown as better quality as possible in all different positions in order to facilitate the customer purchase decision. Some goods ideas are: rotating motion pictures (360°), HR close up photos…

2.22  Easy password recovery

As customer many times forget passwords, to avoid procedures of recovering we could use Facebook, twitter or other popular accounts to register. If this policy is not OK with you, then try your best to do as easy and fast the way to recover password.

2.23  Video

Video can inform customers better than long text and could even enhance conversion rates, since they would feel reliable watching a person explaining all product details or recommending.

2.24  Catalogue

Sometimes customers would like to get a printed catalogue to show it to others or maybe look at it offline. There are few ways to help customers on this, but it is possible giving the opportunity to print in pdf his whish list or filtered selected items.

2.25  Relate product to a interesting story

When a story is behind a product, it gives life to it. Why not giving some sense that opens the interest of customers, relating their life with a place, a special moment or person?

2.26  Shopping bag

We should give easy access at any time to see shopping list including images, prices, etc… Customers may like to know as much information to proceed with more purchases and checkout.

2.27  Branding

 

3         Technical tools

3.1       Indexed pages

As said before SEO is essential for all types of websites and they must have ALL pages indexed on search engines. Make sure at least the most important ones are indexed through different methods.

3.2       Correct function of system, content, links…

All investments to set up the business and the website could be thrown to the bin. if important links do not work. It is crucial to have all links (over all the most important ones) and mechanisms inside the site work properly. There are some ways to check it:

3.3       Analyze your data (unique visitors, bounced, etc…)

Following up the results from all data concerning visitors and what they do is essential to analyse possible problems and a big need to change information or processes. All marketing campaigns should be reviewed to analyze results (ROI).

4         Marketing tools

4.1       Magazine (Pandora)

4.2       Landing page

4.3       Affiliates

4.4       SEM (Adwords)

4.5       Newsletter

4.6       Mobile application

4.7       Game related

4.8       QR Codes

4.9       Geo localization based

4.10  Blog (YouTube account)

4.11  White papers

4.12  Webminars

4.13  Offers, VIP members, coupons, points

4.14  Forums research

4.15  Facebook and Twitter account

 

Recommended sites:

www.amazon.com

www.gap.com

www.zappos.com

www.marksandspencer.com

 

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