August 29, 2009

Don’t Underestimate the Power of Survey and Feedback

In this post I am going to focus on the importance of surveys for software vendors offering their service as Saas (software as a service). What’s the purpose of the survey? The purpose is to find out what your current customers or customers who are just having their free trial account think about your service, what they like and what they would like to add. One thing you need to understand is that it is very likely there are minimum of 2-3 other vendors selling exactly the same or a similar product, and very likely your test trial visitors are test trailing 2-3 services at the same time. Also new competitors are entering the market every day improving what your software currently offers and making it easier to use, so beware. But running a survey and/or allowing them to comment, like in the examples below, gives you the opportunity to find out […]
August 27, 2009

Automated Product Recommendations for All Budgets?

Automated relevant product recommendation tools have been proven to increase conversion rates, as you can see in the table below. The fact is, automated product recommendation engines in cheap shopping carts are not available. They only offer manual product recommendation tool, which make product recommendations a very tedious task and almost impossible if you have more than 500+ products. Even in shopping carts costing around 2k you will only get dynamically generated product recommendations without the possibility to set up any rules, which decreases relevancy and impact. So in order to make your store competitive and increase your conversion rates the only way to go is to use product recommendation engines from Coremetrics or Omniture, to mention a couple which are the top of the range, but for majority of small online retailers, these will be out of  budget. I came across this automated product tool from, which is very affordable, starting FREE […]
August 21, 2009

Dealing With Out of Stock Items – Example from

A few weeks ago I wrote a post about how to deal with out of stock items. Today, we are going to have a look at and how they deal with out of stock items. Out of stock items means lost sales, especially if the items are being promoted via your newsletter or other marketing channel. In this post I would like to show you another interesting way of doing it from, to give you some inspiration for your online store. The reason why I liked it and what the principle is: In a nutshell, doesn’t display an out of stock items message, not even on the product page. Once you decide to purchase the product and you click on “Buy” button, a pop up window opens up where you can sign up for an email alert once the item is back in stock. It’s very simple and not […]
August 20, 2009

Email Marketing Practices of Top Online Retailers

Getting email right is always important for online retailers, but it’s even more critical in a tough economic environment. To uncover how email practices are changing, Silverpop recently completed its second annual study of retailers, including the Top 500 as ranked by Internet Retailer. Our researchers logged on to 895 retailer Web sites, registered to receive communications from each that had an email marketing program, and assessed several aspects of their programs, including: Location of opt-in forms Options offered to registrants during the opt-in process Number of emails received during a 30-day period Percent of emails offering sales or discount incentives Whether unsubscribe links led to preference centers This free 30-minute Webinar (plus Q&A) will walk through the study findings, outline best practices and share both good and bad examples from top retailers.
August 20, 2009

Affiliate Marketing: Tests and Tactics that Increased Clicks and Leads by 165%

Whether you’re a merchant or an affiliate, the challenges and questions surrounding affiliate programs have left many marketers scratching their heads. Are you missing out on opportunities to increase your traffic and drive results? What does it take to make these programs successful? What should marketers expect? Our next web clinic will explore affiliate marketing relationships from all sides. So if you’re new to affiliate marketing, or want to hear ways to improve your existing program and get more from this often-overlooked marketing channel, join us to learn what is and isn’t working today. We’ll examine some of the obstacles to a successful affiliate program and discuss ways to avoid or overcome common pitfalls. This web clinic will feature: Tests and experiments with gains of up to 165% Guidelines for maximizing your affiliate results Live Q&A with our team ————————————————————————————— Wednesday, August 26, 2009 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. EDT […]
August 18, 2009

Free Shipping vs. Flat Rate Shipping

Free shipping is a nice incentive to have and it helps with conversion, but it also eats up your profit. The fact is the cost of shipping has for a long time been one of the leading causes of shopping cart abandonment as buyers realize that the cost of the shipping has made the item too expensive. And according to the study below,  72% of website visitors abandon their shopping cart because shipping charges were higher than expected. But stop here for a second, cost of shipping higher than expected, not because FREE shipping wasn’t available. The reason is “shipping higher than expected”! Most ecommerce web sites can’t afford free shipping . So is there any other solution for website owners to compete with online store giants? I think the answer for some online retailers could be flat rate shipping. Let me explain on, a very well known online […]
August 17, 2009

99% of Websites Treat Their Affiliate Page as it Had No Value to Them

An affiliate marketing can bring to an online business between 10 to 60% of their overall sales. And websites like or build their success on affiliates and affiliate marketing. However, 99% of websites treat their affiliate page as it has no any value to them as on the example below from a well know online retailer. For those of you, who are or have been affiliates like me for example understand what I am talking about. Incomplete or vague affiliate pages tells to affiliates, that very likely there is nobody in within the company who really cares about affiliates or don’t know much about affiliate marketing and its real value, and furthermore, these vague pages don’t provide affiliates with any information. Example of average, or poor affiliate sign up page So what information should be displayed on an affiliate page? payment structure keyword bidding policy affiliate testimonials security […]
August 15, 2009

Select Quantity Field Set as “Empty” – a Sin You Should Avoid

It’s a simple thing the “select quantity” field, but because of it’s simplicity, it is often overlooked. Let me explain what I mean.  The majority of stores have the quantity field populated with “1”, as it should be because generally people buy only 1 item of the same product. Then you go to another store, click “add to cart” just to get a message that you didn’t select the quantity. This issue it so trivial, but also so annoying when you are purchasing something and get this message that many times I have to ask WHY?” It’s still happening and the screen shot is taken from a well known store: And here is how to deal with it:
August 14, 2009

Coupon Code Websites Drive Sales

There is no doubt that coupon code websites drive sales. Just to see how important coupon codes are for online merchants to drive sales, we can illustrate with this example: The coupon code site alone delivered more than $200 million in sales for participating merchants. And that’s only one coupon code site out of hundreds of them! But before you start using discount codes, read this post “discount codes in checkout process and how to deal with them” as displaying a “discount code” field can cost you a lot of money in terms of payments to your affiliates if not managed properly.
August 13, 2009

What’s the Best Product Recommendation Placement to Increase Your Conversions

If you use product recommendations in your store (if you don’t, then you are loosing out on a great opportunity) different placements of those product recommendations can have a big impact on your conversion rates. According to what I learned at webinar from coremetrics about product recommendations, the best placement for product recommendation on product pages is above the fold, preferably on the right hand side. Just by placing the product recommendations above the fold on the right hand side you can increase your conversion by extra 2%. NOTE: testing of placement recommended before drawing any conclusions. Sometimes, because of the width of your website and the way your product page is designed, you can’t place product recommendations above the fold. In that instance other best placements needs to be tested. A good solution is to not make your product page too cluttered, so then product recommendations are easily noticeable as in the […]
August 12, 2009

Case study of an Integration of Oracle Middleware and an Ecommerce Solution

Join us on Wednesday, September 2nd. Register for this webinar today. Business processes depend on their underlying applications and services. The need to offer a global, internationalized ecommerce solution drove a multi-level marketing enterprise to re-evaluate their architectural approach. They selected Oracle Fusion Middleware, Oracle Web Center, the Elastic Path ecommerce platform, and the Exadel team for the integration work. Join us for a one-hour webinar on September 2nd. Get an in-depth look at this ecommerce project: High level architecture Main integration points Customization work
August 12, 2009

Expanding Your Brand Through Ecommerce

Join us on Tuesday, August 25th. Register for this webinar today. In this one hour webinar, Ecommerce Consultant Sally McKenzie will discuss the unique opportunities, options, and challenges facing branded manufacturers as they make the migration to ecommerce. Webinar takeaways: Blending brand form and function: making the transition to interactive, direct marketing Striking the balance between direct selling and promoting retail partners Assorting and pricing for ecommerce Making solid ecommerce technology and infrastructure choices Resource and organizational planning for success
August 12, 2009

Top 10 Online Retailers by Conversion Rate – June 2009

Compared to the May 2009 Top 10 retailers chart by conversion, there is a huge difference in conversion rates at, where their conversions have dropped from 38.6% to 24%, which is a drop of 60.83%. Would be interesting to know what happened. Anybody have any idea why? Source:
August 11, 2009

Webinars as Lead Generation Tools and How to Promote Them

More and more companies are successfully using webinars to promote their products or services for lead generation. Even though this trend is growing, there are still companies who don’t leverage the power of webinars yet. Also some of those who already have webinars, don’t promote them effectively enough to their website visitors. Webinars are interactive sessions which may include audio, presentation slides, screen sharing, white boards and a wide range of other types of content. Generally the host has control over the webinar, but the participants are not just passive listeners but can interact and contribute in the webinar discussion by posing questions and taking surveys or polls. Benefits of webinars for your company: webinars allow you to educate your prospects about your product or service great lead generation tool. hubspot, in one of their last webinars attracted more than 2,500 prospects easy way how to promote your product or service […]
August 10, 2009

Is Tumblr the Next Twitter?

Many of you have not heard of Tumblr even though it’s gaining in popularity, but could Tumblr be the next Twitter? Tumblr is somewhere between blogging and Twitter. The difference is that Tumblr offers the quick-posting abilities present in Twitter, but also allows you to include pictures, audio, and video in addition to text. Plus URLs are search engine friendly as opposed to on Twitter, where URL shortening kills any search engine optimization efforts. 5 reasons why Tumblr could be the next Twitter you can post anything – pictures, text, video, audio, slide shows, links… URLs are search engine friendly you can automatically update Tumbrl anytime you post to another site or profile on the internet automatically tweets whenever you post it’s free Get updates on Tumblr…
August 8, 2009

How To Move Domain – SEO Guide

If for whatever reason you decide to move a domain, here is the seo guide how to move domain. Moving a domain can have a very negative impact on search engine rankings. When you decide to switch to a new domain name, you are resetting your domain metrics to zero, thus starting from very beginning. Luckily, there are measures you can take to minimize, and in many cases completely negate, the affects of a domain move. Read more….
August 7, 2009

5 Keys to Better PPC Results on a Tight Budget

With increased pressure to make the most of every marketing dollar, many marketers are taking a hard look at how their PPC efforts are – or are not – delivering now. View the clinic presentation:
August 6, 2009

75% of Consumers Value Product Recommendations

Research shows that 75 percent of consumers value product recommendations—but if you’re not providing the right mix of up sell and cross sell items at the right time in the purchase process, you’re missing out on huge revenue gains. Give them what they want, when they want it. When it comes to product recommendations, the perfect balance of control and automation could make or break your results. Watch this webinar to find out how Coremetrics Intelligent Offer can help you boost the value of every order—every time. You’ll learn how to: Increase sales, grow average order value, and boost sales of older or infrequently purchased products. Build loyalty by providing product suggestions tailored to customer interests. Apply best practices—increase relevancy based on where customers are in the sales cycle.
August 5, 2009

What is Your Home Page Bounce Rate?

Home pages play a critical role in a site’s overall success and effectiveness. For that reason it’s very important to get it right. However, most home pages have abandonment rates of 40 – 70%. Abandonment rates are also referred to as bounce rate and is the percentage of people who land on your page and leave the site without clicking further, thus not converting. A – Abandonment Rate Example: For example, you have 20,000 visitors to your home page and 59% of your visitors abandon your home page. Therefore the number of visitors who abandon your home page in this case  is 11,800. 20,000 x 59% = 11,800 What does this number mean for you and your business? It means that 11,800 visitors left/abandonded your website without going any further. In this example that’s more than half of your visitors. To me it says that there is a problem with […]
August 4, 2009

Grow Your Business With Customer Reviews

If your online store doesn’t provide customer reviews then you are very likely loosing out on sales opportunities, as some merchants have seen an increase in conversion by over 20% just by adding customer reviews. Probably the biggest issue many online merchants are facing now is how to attract customer reviews. is offering a great tool answer to your customer reviews problem, with automated post purchase follow up e-mails to help you increase the number of reviews automatically. Benefits of customer reviews for your business: Boost shopper confidence Increase customer engagement – your customers can share their enthusiasm for your products and post pictures, videos and blogs. Rich review content keeps shoppers on your site, by removing the need to find reviews elsewhere. Collect reviews quickly – with you collect reviews from your customers quickly via email with their automated Review Accelerator. It takes only one day or less to […]