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This 60 message thread spans 2 pages: 60 ( [1] 2 > >     
Top 100 Ecommerce Tips
can you add one of yours?

 8:02 am on Jun 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

I am curious to see what people can come up with their own top 100 do or don'ts in ecommerce. I will start with 100 myself.

100. Never leave unanswered emails for more than 48 hours, or your customer is gone.

Anyone, 99?


[edited by: Habtom at 8:18 am (utc) on June 10, 2007]



 9:21 am on Jun 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

99. Let the customer see the shipping charge without registering! Preferably on the basket or a easy-to-find 'shipping charges' page.

[edited by: lorax at 5:19 pm (utc) on June 10, 2007]


 9:26 am on Jun 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

98. Make sure your forms use common names for fields so that they're recognized by toolbars that have an autofill function.

Mr Bo Jangles

 10:10 am on Jun 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

97. Sites (mainly US!) that have address or phone fields that assume only a US citizen is going to purchase e.g. State fields that only allow a few characters entry.
If you're happy taking money from non-US purchasers, you MUST go to a tiny bit of effort to accept their address and telephone numbers painlessly! Got it? It's not rocket science!


 10:43 am on Jun 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

96. (following on from 97) If you've got a country drop-down box, please list it in alphabetical order, and don't put United States at the top!

Of course you can pre-select United States, but it's kinda annoying for people in the United Kingdom who expect to find their country as the next item in the list!

Matt Probert

 12:37 pm on Jun 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

95. Don't just accept payment through PayPal. Many people have had bad experiences with PayPal and prefer to use alternative, simpler payment methods.



 2:22 pm on Jun 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

94. Make your site incredibly easy to buy from - no registration if possible, live chat, 800 # - make it friendly and easy to buy from.

[edited by: lorax at 5:17 pm (utc) on June 10, 2007]


 3:41 pm on Jun 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

Take a picture of your office and add it to your contact us page with your company FAX number on it.

[edited by: lorax at 5:17 pm (utc) on June 10, 2007]


 3:53 pm on Jun 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

I'll take three. :-)

92. Don't bury your products in several pages of clickthroughs, implement a working search mechanism so the user can get to what they seek in two clicks, three maximum. Insure there are redundant methods of getting around and no point on your site is more than two clicks away . . . from ANYWHERE.

91. Keep your initial products pages light and clean, with links to product details if they actually want to read.

90. Build your site for the end user, not the search engines. This means leave off all the serp-y text on the initial products pages.

[edited by: lorax at 5:18 pm (utc) on June 10, 2007]


 5:24 pm on Jun 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

Please leave commentary out of this thread - just post your tips. Comments on another person's tips will be removed. Thanks

89 - give the user a sense of who you are. The web is a cold, anonymous place. Anything you can do to bring a sense of personality and assurance to your website will help.

88 - if you use a site search, make sure it works better than expected. It should search more than product names. Make sure it can find products by SKU, Model Number, and even misspellings if possible.

87 - be sure to include links to your privacy, shipping, returns & exchange policies right out where the customer can easily find them. Tell them the truth.

[edited by: lorax at 12:56 pm (utc) on June 11, 2007]


 6:24 pm on Jun 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

86. Keep the customer informed about the status of their order before they ask

85. Re: Navigation - Use the same visual theme for every action required of the customer

84. Re: Product options - Make them clear and comprehensive. Answer every possible question on the product detail page

So, whos writing the book?


 6:34 pm on Jun 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

83. Make sure your site search can also search by size and color. If I'm considering a green skirt or blue towels, make it easy to find other items that would match.


 11:58 pm on Jun 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

82: dont use those standard drop down country forms containing places like North Korea or Bouvet Island (an inhabited speck in the South Atlantic. For heavens sake, don't list known scam destinations as a ship-to

81: Don't start huge lists like this that require people to read every previous post thoroughly :)

80: If you only ship to USA (or wherever) say that right off and several times.

79: Drives me crazy when the "About Us" section says nothing specific about the seller and just has some obviously canned verbiage.

78: Mission Statements: Yuck! Luckily they seem to be dying out. No one gives a damn, anyway.

77: Goes without saying that spelling must be perfect. On slow days, have employees proof read old pages.

76: Bragging about yourself is ok if you have something to brag about. But better to not mention things like "Since 2005" or "here's a picture of our new puppy."

75: If you're new to ecommerce NEVER mention that. Invitation to scammers to hit you.

74: Get a real 800# (or 888), not a 866 or such.

73: Get the most web un-savvy person you know to test your site.

72: Customize product descriptions. Eschew text provided by suppliers which everyone else uses.

71: Listen to customers, invite their comments and criticism and act on what you learn

70: Answer emails in 8 hours max (certainly not 48)

69: Give street address but never "we're in Puppyland Center, between Tony's Pizza and the Shoe repair shop."

68: Show good sharp graphics. Learn to use basic photo editing software.

67: Worth saying again, and again. Make everything fast and simple. Do you really need a wish list or tell-a-friend or even customer registration? Don't just add to your site. Sometimes remove clutter.


 3:58 am on Jun 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

66. (Follow on from 67) remove all non essential navigation elements from the checkout process. Have a single page checkout if possible.

65. Calling your customer to thank them and confirm their order instills immediate trust.


 4:34 am on Jun 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

64. Make entering credit card numbers easy.

When the customer is looking at their card and alternately typing on their keyboard, they don't like to look up and realise that they have only entered the first four numbers in field one.

Customers haven't got time to read explanations about how you would like them to format the date. Make it easy and obvious.

If the customer has entered some incorrect information, please let them know this without them having to type in all their details again.

63. Install a really good stats system to track where your visitors bailed out of the purchasing process.

62. Pay good money for a proper interactive graphic designer (not a coder, web 'developer', or print designer doing a bit of moonlighting). If your web site looks professional, people will trust it and buy stuff.

61. Accessibility and usability - those 5% of 'non-standard' user groups all add up.

They may only be 5% of your customer base, but Mac users also have spending power. Often proportionately more than your Windows customers. So it may be worth having your site tested with this in mind.

Another 5-10% may be blind or partially sited. Having an accessible web site and checkout process is good for business.


 5:42 am on Jun 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

60. Add your 800# to every step of the checkout process with something to the tune of "questions or problems completing your order, call 800#)

59. Have a "best sellers" or "most popular" listing. The boost from this has been noticeable.

58. If your site ranks best in your niche, and If you sell something that is sold on many other websites (something drop shipped for you, for example), very slightly change the name -- Tarenta to Tarento, Classica to Classico, for example. This helps deter people price shopping for the 'product name' elsewhere and in the shopping engines.


 6:00 am on Jun 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

57. List your prices for every item clearly and upfront. There's no space for a 'price on application' model online, none at all.


 6:39 am on Jun 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

56. When using thumbnails to link to larger images give your customers larger images.


 8:00 am on Jun 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

55. Pick the right product to sell. Something people actually want to buy. Preferably something lots of people want to buy.


 8:40 am on Jun 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

54. If your target audience is concentrated in one country, host your website on a server and ip located in that country.

It not only helps to load it fast for most of your audience, it also enhances google rankings in that country specific google, and prevents your site from being filtered out when people use the search filter for sites only from that country.


 8:49 am on Jun 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

#53 - Promotional Offers: I believe offers are v imp. Now they need to be planned for first timers, repeat buyers and special offers for top customers.

#52 - Referral Program: Refer 2 friends and get x% additional/ discount always helps.


 8:50 am on Jun 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

51. Actually have contact info - many sites hide their identity and location.
Try to put the contact number somewhere on every page, it instils confidence.

[edited by: JudgeJeffries at 8:52 am (utc) on June 11, 2007]


 12:05 pm on Jun 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

50. Keep the 3 P's above the fold on a product page. Product name, Price and Purchase link should all be visible without having to scroll.


 1:03 pm on Jun 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

49. Drop the "Create account" language. People don't come to our sites to create accounts, they come there to buy things. I try to make the account creation process appear like the normal checkout process. If they enter an email that is already in the system, THEN I ask them to request their password to login.

48. Know your visitors - if significantly more people are first-time-buyers, don't hit them with a login screen with a small link to register to the site - reverse the process.

47. Keep your cart on your domain - if for nothing else, it keeps your reporting homogenous.

46. Don't use the "simple" methods of gateway processing where the visitor is redirected to the gateway site. It seems that on almost every implementation of these setups the webmaster fails to bring the most current site layout over to the gateway site and the visitor gets a whole new layout for cc errors.

45. Never tell the visitor to "Hit your 'back' button to correct". I haven't found a valid reason to do this yet - any issue should be able to be handled within the system.

44. Have a "Help" link very prominently displayed so they have somewhere to go if there is an issue.

[edited by: lorax at 1:54 pm (utc) on June 11, 2007]
[edit reason] added numbering [/edit]

Petra Kaiser

 2:48 pm on Jun 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

43. For telephone purposes use a short and easy to spell domain name like dot tld depending on locations or products use more than one, which redirect to a product or location page.

Ad to no. 100 , answer your mail within 10 to 30 minutes, they will always reply like Thanks For Your Quick Answer and will always remember and talk about your great service.


 3:31 pm on Jun 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

#42) Get the credit card number first, ask questions latter!

It is better to deny a suspected fraudlent order in post processing, rather than have the computer automatically deny honest customers due to AVS or CVV issues.


 4:12 pm on Jun 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

41) If you show a picture of the product and next to it a link that says 'enlarge' actually ENLARGE the photo rather than have it open in a new window exactly the same size as on the main page!

Amazon do this a lot and it drives me mad.

[edited by: Calculus at 4:14 pm (utc) on June 11, 2007]


 4:40 pm on Jun 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

40 ) Ship fast. Preferably the same day and you are sure to get mails for appreciation.

I hold my widgets in stock and try to ship same day. The customer almost always comes back for more. I get many WOW mails. This is a sure TIP. ;-)


 4:54 pm on Jun 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

39) Have points of re-assurance near the buy/add to cart button (bbb, bizrate, other ratings)


 5:01 pm on Jun 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

38 use a proper ssl certificate

This 60 message thread spans 2 pages: 60 ( [1] 2 > >
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