E-Commerce Development

The number of adults who bought or ordered goods or services online reached 31 million in 2010. These Internet shoppers represented 62 per cent of all adults who by law have the ability to purchase online.

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The most popular products purchased online were clothes and sporting goods, with 52 per cent of Internet shoppers buying these products. Nearly all supply chains have an ability to offer e-commerce technology to both a Business to Consumer (B2C) and a Business to Business (B2B) customer base.

E-commerce Conversion to Sale - 50 Tips for your Online Shop

We have many years experience with e-commerce development and understand that your online shop will be unique to you and your customers. E-commerce websites should be continuously developed and our advice would be that you should set up a trial eBay shop beforehand to gain real world experiences before investing heavily with a third party. Your experiences gained will help you with your e-commerce project when you are ready to implement an online shop. Without doubt, e-commerce websites involve a lot of hard work and investment, but normal business rules often apply. 50 e-commerce tips are offered below:

  • 1 - Test everything - A lot
  • 2 - Under promise and over deliver
  • 3 - Don't get too hung up on the type of technology to be utilised - php, aspx, ruby and so on
  • 4 - If using paid advertising, don't send them to your home page; send them to the relevant product page (or custom landing page) that is tied to the keyword you advertised
  • 5 - If you sell software, allow immediate access to the full version and allow unlimited upgrades
  • 6 - Offer a list of "recommended products" and "other customers also bought" with each item - This can be simply done in your database where you just connect products together and base it on what customers have actually purchased
  • 7 - Have a newsletter sign up and send out newsletters consistently
  • 8 - Don't make the customer fill in the billing and shipping address fields when they're the same, drives them bonkers
  • 9 - VAT number and company registration number should be visible on the site in the UK to comply with UK Companies Act
  • 10 - If the product ships via a carrier, send an email to the customer with the tracking number with a link to the carrier to check status
  • 11 - Use an XML Sitemap generator to create a sitemap to get a big picture of your site - Submit it to Google within webmaster toolkit system
  • 12 - On category pages don't just list product names, but include some unique content about the category for search marketing indexing
  • 13 - Use a product rating feed or create your own system with a place for user-generated comments - Invest time in gaining a 5 star rating
  • 14 - If you sell the same object in different colours, offer them pictures of each colour
  • 15 - Use a larger font size (14+) for titles and product names to make them stand out and possibly increase conversions
  • 16 - Stay away from dynamic URLs when possible and allow for keywords to be part of the URL
  • 17 - Sign up for Security Seals and your related trade associations and display their logos to improve credibility
  • 18 - Have a person answer the phone, not a recording
  • 19 - Your website is for your customers and not for you
  • 20 - Every page should be designed to be landed on - do not assume home page entry
  • 21 - Develop the look and feel in line with your target customer profile
  • 22 - Consistency - Everyone has a different flavour, colour, even brand. Key is to be consistent, have one text size and colour for descriptions, one for links, one for category headers and another for main category links
  • 23 - If you use sessions, store them in a database, don't append them to the URL, as people like the look of clean URL's and often snip them to mail to friends to refer them to a particular product to purchase
  • 24 - On checkout gather a name and phone number as the first 2 fields, store them before proceeding and ring all the customers that drop out before completing the checkout
  • 25 - Make the font on your product copy readable - 12pt at least with no funky fonts
  • 26 - Make sure your buy button stands out on the page and is big enough to be seen and clicked on
  • 27 - Make sure the title tag on each product page is unique and reflects what is on the page and make sure that the product name first in the title tag rather than the company name
  • 28 - Offer a strong guarantee
  • 29 - Sales to the Channel Islands are exempt VAT and they should be added as separate delivery countries on the nations drop down list
  • 30 - Consider a 360 degree product view
  • 31 - Play with the wording of your add-to-cart buttons - "Add to cart" is a nice non-threatening way to encourage adding items as some feel "order" or "buy" may be too strong
  • 32 - Be careful making a coupon field too prominent in checkout - Seeing the field may convince a shopper that was ready to purchase to exit and spend more time hunting for coupons
  • 33 - Encourage impulse purchases which are related - "Do you want A shirt with those trousers?"
  • 34 - If you're going to ask customers to sign up for your newsletter during checkout, do it after the payment is processed
  • 35 - Don't just accept payment through PayPal - Many people will expect to see an integrated payment gateway
  • 36 - Let the customer see the shipping charge without registering - Preferably on the basket or a easy to find "shipping charges" page
  • 37 - Make sure your forms use common names for fields so that they're recognised by toolbars that have an auto fill function
  • 38 - If you've got a country drop-down box, list it in alphabetical order, and if your sales are predominantly in one territory position this as the first default option
  • 39 - Get an outsider to purchase a product before launch - Their feedback will surprise you
  • 40 - Make your site incredibly easy to buy from - no registration if possible
  • 41 - Consider a live chat system
  • 42 - Get your products on Google Shopping with the usage of the Google base system
  • 43 - Take a picture of your office location and add it to your contact us page with your full company contact details
  • 44 - Build your site primarily for the end user and the objective of conversion to sale
  • 45 - Give the user a sense of who you are as the web can be a cold and anonymous place - Anything you can do to bring a sense of personality and assurance to your website will help
  • 46 - If you use a site search, make sure it works better than expected - It should search more than product names, SKU's and model numbers
  • 47 - Be sure to include links to your privacy, shipping, returns and exchange policies right out where the customer can easily find them
  • 48 - Goes without saying that spelling must be perfect so proof read all pages
  • 49 - Answer emails in 8 hours maximum (certainly not longer than 48)
  • 50 - Always have a product image for 100% of the products that you intend to sell

All activities are supported by our unique Internet Key Performance Indicator system, which monitors financial metrics and your return on investment. An ongoing relationship model is also deployed which means we would work together for a minimum of 12 months as joint owners of the Internet Strategy. For more information please contact us for a discussion by telephone, email or the enquiry form.


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