Tue

17

Nov

2015

The 12 Tips of Christmas for Online Stores: Part 2

Last week we started a countdown of 12 store tips that can get you ready for a successful holiday shopping season in no time. We started with your store setup and customer service tips, and today we’ll continue with promotion and sales.

Holiday tips for ecommerce
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Tue

10

Nov

2015

The 12 Tips of Christmas for Online Stores: Part 1

The countdown to Christmas has begun! If it feels like it’s still too soon to start singing Christmas songs and putting on the yule log, just remember that an estimated 40% of consumers start doing their shopping before Halloween (yes, some people are really that organized...)

Get your ecommerce store ready for the holidays
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Tue

27

Oct

2015

Legal Essentials for Starting an Online Store

Today's post is from Leah Hamilton at TermsFeed! This information is meant for general guidance— if you need specific legal advice, we recommend consulting directly with a professional.

 

When you’re starting an online business, there’s a lot to think about—everything from the packaging for your amazing products to the design of your product pages. Do you also have the legal aspects sorted out? Making sure you check all the boxes and have all the right forms might not seem as fun, but it’s an essential part of running a business, and keeping your customers happy.

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Tue

14

Jul

2015

Jimdo Tip: Improve Your Online Store with Product Pages

If you make or sell your own products online, you’re often faced with a particular challenge. You believe in your product and know that it’s great. You may even be looking at a stack of them on your kitchen table right now. But what’s the best way to translate what you have in your hands into something that people will want to buy, sight-unseen, online? How do you communicate all the best features so that people will click that wonderful “Buy” button?

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Fri

10

Jul

2015

Latest Trends and Best Practices for Customer Support

Have you ever left a store because of the customer service? Either they were too overbearing, nowhere to be found, or downright rude? The same can go for shopping online. If you don’t get the support you need, you’re unlikely to finalize your purchase. So, what are the best practices of online customer support to make sure you make sales and don’t lose them?

 

We talked to Craig Borowski, market researcher for the help desk recommendations website Software Advice and he shared his tips for best customer support practices.

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Tue

02

Dec

2014

Improve Your Product Photography with a DIY Light Box

If you sell products online, you might want to spruce up your online store for the holiday shoppers. One easy way to make your products look more professional, and thus more desirable, is to photograph them inside of a light box. It might be also an unconventional idea for your photography website!

Take Product Photos Like a Pro
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Tue

25

Nov

2014

5 Easy Tips for Improving an Online Store’s SEO (and Sales)

When it comes to your website, there’s never a bad time to think about about how to improve your search engine optimization (SEO). But with the holiday shopping season fast approaching, now might be the best time to start implementing some SEO best practices, especially if you operate an online store. It’s no secret that if your website employs good SEO, you’ll have a better chance of attracting visitors via search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo. But the thing is...not everyone knows how to do this.

SEO tips for online stores
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Tue

18

Nov

2014

7 Reasons Online Shoppers Leave Your Store

They’re the internet version of the jilted bride and the scourge of ecommerce sites in every industry: abandoned shopping carts. A customer fills up a shopping cart with items, then abruptly leaves your store empty-handed. When things seemed to be going so well, why did they give up and go?

 

It’s easy for a store owner to feel helpless about this perplexing problem. But while shoppers abandon an estimated $4 trillion of merchandise in online carts each year, a Business Insider study shows that 63% of that can be recouped.

How to Avoid Abandoned Shopping Carts
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Tue

11

Nov

2014

How to Run and Promote a Sale Online

The holidays are approaching fast, which means pumpkin spice lattes, Christmas trees tied to cars, and of course, online sales. Black Friday, Cyber Monday—many shop owners are both excited by the possibilities and dreading the craziness. If you have an ecommerce section on your website, you should definitely consider sprucing it up for the holidays, and you may want to jump into the fray with a sale of your own.

How to Run a Successful Online Sale
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Tue

03

Jun

2014

Design Tips To Help Your Ecommerce Site Succeed

Businesses that are effective in engaging customers, stimulating company growth, and optimizing ROI all have one thing in common: a well-designed website. When it comes to web design, there are many elements to consider. Use these web design tips to optimize user experience and generate ecommerce success.

 

Web Design Tips That Will Help Your Ecommerce Site Succeed

 

1. Develop a branding guide.

Developing your brand doesn’t just end with finalizing your logo. Spend time developing the voice, tone, style, personality, and characteristics you want your brand to embody. If you relay these consistently across your site, products, and communications, you’ll appear more confident and trustworthy.

 

  • Think about the feeling you want your brand to convey and how you want users to feel when they visit your site. Jot these down and refer to them frequently when designing your site. Later, you can ask friends and colleagues for feedback, and compare their real experience to your ideal plan.

  • Learn about color theory and create a style guide that outlines the specifics of everything from the font used on your site to logo dimensions and specifications and color palettes. You can also use an interactive tool such as Adobe Kuler to create your own custom brand colors.

  • Create a copywriting guide that reviews words and language to use (and those to avoid). Refer to the branding words you wrote down earlier. Do they complement one another? Many should be synonyms, and the language in your copywriting guidelines should reflect the emotions you want to evoke in your visitors.

  • Add guidelines to selecting images. Will you use your own photos, or those from a stock photo library such as Shutterstock or Getty Images? Establish these guidelines now so that when your business expands and you bring on new team members, you’ll be prepared to delegate responsibilities like these with ease.

 

Creating brand standards like these can position your company as larger than you really are. Your brand and website are a direct representation of your products and services, so when you invest in this initial, but important step, it shows. Be sure to check out how to build a business brand for more information.

 

2. Choose a template.


Website templates are an efficient use of resources when you’re building your site. Thankfully, there are thousands of templates available on the web that are affordable and easy to integrate. This can alleviate a considerable amount of manual effort spent building one from scratch. You may not know what kind of design you want, so it’s a good idea to spend some time reviewing designs that appeal to you, and take note of what they have in common. Maintain consistency with the colors and font of your brand as we mentioned above. Many templates are designed according to industry or the type of content you want to highlight on your site—photography, retail products, news, video content, or hospitality, for instance.

 

Also, this article on web design tips offers great advice into selecting a template, utilizing the space on a page, and choosing details such as a font.

 

3. Test your content.


If you have a few different ideas or variations for a piece of content on your site—let’s say the color of a call to action button—test each version to see which generates more response from users. A/B testing can offer incredible insights into user preferences, and you can incorporate takeaways into future design decisions.

 

You can use Google Analytics, or a site like Optimizely, which offers affordable A/B testing software, too. Which Test Won is a fun, interactive site worth checking out, too. The site reviews an A/B test for a different company each week, and users vote on which version they think won. They then share details of the test, results, and offer takeaways. The results are often surprising, and confirm the benefits of testing your content.

 

4. Conduct surveys.


Gather website feedback directly from visitors through an intercept survey tool such as Foresee or Qualtrics. While you should be giving your customers the opportunity to provide feedback on your products and services through comments, forums, and email, intercept surveys provide the opportunity to convey their experience using your site. You’ve probably seen them on corporate sites before as a light box that appears on the site during your visit, asking if you’d like to participate in a survey.

 

Foresee feedback survey

 

You can pose general questions to visitors about their experience on the site, create custom questions to dive a little deeper, and ask some that require an open-ended response, too. Since it’s anonymous, users may feel more comfortable voicing frustrations, explaining their satisfaction levels, and suggesting areas for improvement. Results are compiled into a customer satisfaction score, and analytical tools will help you review the strengths and weaknesses of your site. It’s an incredibly helpful way to receive feedback from the ones that matter most—your customers.

 

5. Update accordingly.


Generally speaking, design has an expiration date. Web design goes through trends the same way that hairstyles and fashions do—and can appear dated and out of style if you don’t update it from time to time. Don’t be afraid to rebrand, make changes to your site, and adjust the presentation of your products. Just make sure that any changes you make are thoroughly integrated across all of your marketing channels and communicated to your audience. Also, approach design and branding updates with focus and thought, instead of just on a whim.

 

If you admire a colleagues or industry professionals website, reach out to them for a quick discussion. They may have some useful web design tips, or could provide candid, high-level feedback about your website.

 

I always love checking out new websites. Please share yours in the comments section below, so I can have a look!

 


Adrienne Lumb

Adrienne Lumb

 

Adrienne is a web marketer and freelance writer in San Francisco with a focus on content marketing and earned media. She loves the internet, every single animal on Planet Earth, sticking her nose in books, and running in the park. Catch her if you can.