The Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Crowdsourcing to Improve Your Ecommerce Business

In June of 2006, Jeff Howe first coined the term “crowdsourcing”, mentioning how tasks that would previously have been outsourced were now being performed by crowd outsourcing, or crowdsourcing. In essence, by harnessing the power of group intelligence (i.e., the power of the masses), businesses gain valuable information and commodities at a fraction of their usual cost. Such information and commodities might include stock photography, product and/or improvement ideas, feedback, logos and branding, complaint resolution, etc. Individual members of the crowd can also vote and comment on submitted ideas and products, helping define what is most popular and likely to apply to a sizeable majority of consumers. The originators of the best ideas and products might be compensated monetarily or they might be awarded prizes or recognition. Overall, crowdsourcing saves substantially on the time and other resources required to gain such information while also generating significant consumer interest and brand loyalty. [Read more…]

Five Ways to Take Advantage of Social Shopping and Increase Conversions on Your Ecommerce Site

Consumers today are not just buying goods online without doing their homework. From comparing product prices to reading reviews to asking their Facebook friends what they think of a brand name, consumers are engaging more and more in what is being termed as social shopping or social commerce. Furthermore, these social shoppers are increasingly making their purchases via mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones. What do such online shopping trends mean for your ecommerce site and how can you capitalize on these trends to increase sales conversions?
Here are five ways in which you can make your ecommerce site more social as well as adaptable to mobile devices: [Read more…]

How Consumer Psychology Affects Your Ecommerce Business

Would you believe that a coupon code box can drive online consumers away from your website or that a bigger “Buy” button can result in more online sales? These phenomena occur because consumer psychology plays a critical role in ecommerce. Consumer psychology can also be capitalized on through savvy A/B tests and the application of their data on your website. Here are 10 intriguing consumer psychology findings that retailers and psychological studies have noted: [Read more…]

Why and How to Write Quality Blog Content for your E-Commerce Business

Starting a blog is easy. The hard part is posting to it on a regular basis. Even more difficult is the posting of quality blog content that generates site visits and comments. Additionally, blog posts must provide a tangible value for their readers, encouraging them to return.

Making sure your blog contains quality content that provides value to the reader, that the posts are witty and engaging, that a unique light is cast on a particular subject matter, etc., can place incredible pressure on you. This is especially true if you are posting daily content to your blog. In many cases, the pressure to constantly produce quality blog content leads to “blogger burnout” and blog abandonment. [Read more…]

The Top 10 e-Commerce Challenges for Business Owners

Having a successful e-commerce website can be a major boon for the business owner. To begin with, an online website reduces the costs inherent in running a “brick-and-mortar” operation, including rent, licensing fees, insurance and employee salaries. Likewise, an online store is conveniently open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year, enabling business transactions to occur no matter what time of day. Finally, an e-commerce website has the advantage of proximity; customers can be from any part of the globe yet have immediate access to its virtual storefront.

While the benefits of having an e-commerce website are numerous, there are some challenges as well. To begin with, many merchants do not understand the amount of time and effort required to set up and maintain an e-commerce website. Effective e-mail marketing, site optimization, content generation, template creation and shopping cart installation all require a significant investment of professional resources. [Read more…]

How to Make Your Ecommerce Photos Stand Out and Get Noticed

When advertising products on your ecommerce website, the presence (or absence) of quality photos that accurately portray your products is critical to making (or losing) a sale. After all, customers cannot touch, smell or try on your listed products; they can only read your descriptions and look at the included photos. If customers are unable to discern what exactly you are selling or how it might fit them or their needs, your competitors will probably make the sale.

Unfortunately, taking quality product photos is harder than it appears. How many times have you encountered poorly lit, grainy or out-of-focus product photos on online selling sites such as Craigslist or eBay? How many times have you gone to an ecommerce website and discovered generic or incorrect photos that did not correspond to the items being described? Such frustration can easily lead to website and shopping cart abandonment. [Read more…]

The Do’s and Don’ts of Shipping and Delivery for E-commerce Sites

Shipping and delivery are vital parts of any e-commerce website. Recently, customers have come to expect free online shipping and almost instantaneous delivery, even on Sundays and holidays. E-commerce merchants who fail in either of these two categories are often passed over for those who will ensure free shipping and timely delivery. However, even when you can’t promise the moon to your customers, at least you can provide clear and concise information about your website’s policies regarding shipping, delivery and exchanges/returns. Such information goes a long way towards enhancing customers’ experiences on your website and increasing the odds of their return. [Read more…]

Optimizing Your Online Sales Funnel to Increase E-commerce Sales

Understanding the online sales funnel helps you understand how your customers navigate through your e-commerce website, from its basic introductory pages to its resources and information, and finally to its purchasing (i.e., landing) pages- or not. By mapping out your site’s sales funnel, you identify how potential customers find out about your site and what “triggers” motivate them to visit it. You also discover which pages they land on, enabling you to craft a message that resonates with their intent. Staying relevant to your customers’ motivations lowers your site’s bounce rates, increases the number of pages viewed and total time spent on your site, and helps achieve higher conversions once the customers enter the funnel. [Read more…]

How to design a great Banner

Banner ads are ubiquitous around the Internet, and have been practically since its inception. If you’re looking to advertise online, then you can’t ignore the need to design a great banner ad. By putting a decent amount of thought and effort into your banner, you’ll be able to make it truly effective. In turn, you’ll draw large amounts of traffic to your website with ease. Below, we’ve provided an overview of the basics of designing an exceptional banner ad. Familiarize yourself with these key concepts in order to craft banners that will really work for you. [Read more…]

eCommerce in a Nutshell

eCommerce is defined as the buying and selling of products and services via computers and/or networks. In the late 1970’s, development of technologies such as electronic data interchange (EDI) and electronic funds transfer (EFT) paved the way for electronic commercial transactions. However, it was not until the early 1990’s, when the Internet was opened to commercial use, that eCommerce truly began. Since that time, eCommerce activity has been steadily increasing every year. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, over $47 billion was spent via eCommerce retail transactions in the second quarter of 2011 alone. [Read more…]

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