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10 Great Ecommerce Ideas for August 2013

AUGUST 22, 2013 • 

Practical Ecommerce periodically asks industry insiders to share a great, innovative idea that could help an ecommerce company. Here’s what ten of them had to say for the August 2013 installment of “10 Great Ecommerce Ideas.”

Set Up a Welcome Series for New Subscribers

“Put every new email subscriber into a welcome series that will encourage the first purchase. The series can start with a simple ‘Welcome to our brand’ email, and progress to information on products, and then a discount on products that will entice them to convert into a sale.”

Ben Liau
Customer Acquisition Director

Use Responsive Design

“With the hyper growth of mobile commerce transactions, it is critical to provide consumers with an easy-to-use experience across all devices. Implement responsive design that will automatically adapt your ecommerce site to the size of the device’s screen. This is much more efficient and ensures consistency as you are essentially supporting one website rather than multiple sites across all devices.”

Mike Matteo
Senior Vice President of Strategic Alliances
Bridgeline Digital

APIs Can Help Grow Your Online Store

“Whether you’re a small or big company, application programming interfaces can help. If you’re a big business, use APIs to build custom linkages between your various apps and your online store. If you are a small business, rely on developers that build packaged solutions that utilize APIs to deliver apps and tools for a more efficient online store.”

Amit Kumar

Send Follow Up Emails

“After a set period, send customers a courtesy email to make sure they are happy with their purchase and ask them to contact you if they need help or have any questions. Many merchants don’t bother with this. But it helps the customer feel valued and encourages repeat business. You can also get some helpful feedback to improve service if they aren’t happy with something.”

Simon Henry
Stone Conservation Supplies Ltd.

Put Customer Needs First

“The secret to continual growth and success is focusing on the customer needs while keeping things simple — internal needs and business complexities are always secondary. By continuously searching to quantitatively and qualitatively understand your customer needs, you receive feedback on what really matters to the consumer and can adjust your strategy accordingly.”

Mark Venezia
Senior Vice President of Sales, North America

Personalization is Key to Better Customer Relationships

“Consumers have become inundated with the sheer volume of promotional marketing pieces they receive each day. To stand out, retailers must tailor each communication to the specific consumer based on his or her taste, preferences, and behavior. Retailers can do this by harnessing the data they have on each shopper to create personal shopper profiles.”

Rama Ramakrishnan

Include User Experience in your Ecommerce Strategy

“It’s essential that retailers put user experience at the forefront of their ecommerce strategy. Retailers can boost sales and reduce consumer drop off by creating the shortest ‘click-to-cart’ path. That means driving consumers directly to product pages where they can purchase, versus driving them to your home page of your store where they can be overwhelmed.”

Colin Jeavons
CEO and President

Try Using Product Demo Videos

“According to comScore, website visitors are 64 percent more likely to make a purchase from an ecommerce site after watching a product video. Crazy Egg, the tracking and testing provider, added a demo video to its home page and saw its conversion rate increase by 64 percent, generating an extra $21,000 in monthly revenue. You may not see the same smashing success, but adding a product video to your website is at least worth testing.”

Andrew Follett
Founder and CEO
Demo Duck

Use a Consistent Message with Different Contexts

“One way you can create memorable experiences for even the hardest-to-reach customers is through repetition. This doesn’t mean pushing the same content over and over; rather, it means creating more opportunities to share your content in different ways. Creating different contexts and pairing those with content assets gives you the power to meet the wide range of needs and preferences of your customers. Make sure your content management platform is designed to personalize and contextualize content to create valuable experiences for your shoppers.”

Glenn Conradt
Vice President of Global Marketing

Personalize your Customer Experience

“When personalizing your ecommerce site, think about the type of shopper you are personalizing for. For unknown users who are just visiting your site, personalization based on search terms used and click paths may be your only option. For a known user who has been to your site before, you benefit from their current session information and past behavior. Offer a welcome back experience including information about where they left off when they last shopped with you. You can across home pages, category pages, product pages, email, shopping carts and more.”

Dan Darnell
Vice President of Marketing and Product