November | 2010 | Transform Agency

Effective eCommerce and Design

Monthly Archives: November 2010

Improving your ecommerce conversion rate.

1. Make your customers feel safe.

SSL should occur during checkout and wherever users enter their sensitive information, such as credit card numbers. Make sure that users understand that their information is safe by including links to your privacy statement. Templates for a privacy statement can be found here:

Consider subscribing to a 3rd-party security site, such as “Hacker Safe.” Make sure your contact information and company’s physical location can be found easily — not buried under a subcategory of the “about us” page.

2. Lose the hype.

This is where distracting animations, aggressive sales pitches, overbearing graphics, and too many up-sell offers can hurt sales. Keep up-selling unobtrusive. No “explosions” around special promotions. Avoid the endless-scroll effect of MLM marketers. No animated logos. Please avoid the temptation of using an animated talking sales rep. Experienced Web shoppers associate this kind of gimmick with a spammers and MLM sites. Keep Web copy simple and factual. Avoid “marketese,” which studies have shown erodes trust. Trust is a Web currency that’s redeemable as sales.

3. Use large, prominent calls-to-action.

The are two areas where subtlety can be a liability and not an asset: calls-to-action and navigation. Examples of calls-to-action are BUY NOW and ADD TO CART. These should not blend into the page. Avoid using a default HTML button. Calls-to-action should almost always be a high-contract graphic. Consider using a “reserve color” to make them really stand out.

Also, make sure the calls to action deliver what they promise. In other words, “Buy Now” should not go to “more details.” Keep calls-to-action within the first fold (screen) whenever possible. Assume that a visitor might be ready to buy at any moment — therefore a call to action should
always be within visual reach.

4. Consider live chat.

Live chat provides an opportunity engage customers in a way that static sales copy or even videos can’t achieve. It’s the closest approximation to traditional selling, so experienced brick-and-mortor salespeople can excel here. Chat is a tool that allows prospective buyers to get to know you in real time.  Customers are more likely to trust their credit cards to a site that can be reached at any time and that they’ve spoken to (and who were helpful and pleasant).

5. Consider A/B testing.

Shopping is a process that occurs in steps: reviewing categories, viewing product details, and scrutinizing other details about the website and business. Google Analytics is a great way to know get to know which pages are connecting with your visitors, and which are causing a click-away.

Magento integrates with Google Optimizer, which is a free testing and optimization tool. Website Optimizer can help you test alternate design, wording, graphics, or other changes and review which combinations lead to the highest conversion rates. Increase your site’s conversion rate over time by understanding how your users interact with the site. More info here and tutorial here.

Posted in Conversion Rate Improvement, Ecommerce

Magento extensions worth considering.

1. Magento Easy Tabs

This free extension will add Ajax-based tabs to your product-details page. Tabs are a great way to present a lot of information in a “pull” format that doesn’t cause shoppers to be overwhelmed with data. It can even be used for videos or sound files, or product details in PDF format. Keep your product-details pages tidy, and keep information about the 2nd fold. Go there now…

2. Canonical URLs

This is probably the number-one SEO extension, and it’s free! To describe it simply: this extension ensures that your pages are properly indexed by Google by avoiding unintentional duplications of content. Google penalizes for duplicate content, such as the same page listed once with WWW in the prefex and once without. Go there now…

3. Deeply Integrated Blog

A blog has become a Web standard. WordPress is the most popular Open Source blog, due to its ease of use. This extension enables you to associate blog posts and categories with products. Thus, you can display a list of associated blog posts on your product-details page Go there now…

Also, consider Aheadwork’s free blog extension. With this extension, you can tag your blog posts with your already-created Magento product tags! Go there now…

4. Google Analytics Enhancements

Track every individual page — including sections retrieved via AJAX during Magento’s one-page-checkout. Track the actual keywords entered by the visitor rather than just the Adwords the terms you bid on. Go there now…

5. Exploded Menu

Replaces the standard Magento menu with a multi-column drop down. The screenshot explains the concept it pretty well …  It’s similar to the functionality used on top ecommerce sites like www.Asos.com.

Posted in Magento

Magento Pro vs. Community Edition

For a few hundred bucks, you can turn your Magento Community Edition website into a close approximation of the $3000 per-year Pro Edition by installing these inexpensive 3rd-party extensions:

Gift certificates: Go there now…

Store credits: Go there now…

Rewards points (works with all currencies): Go there now…

The difference in actual code between Community and Pro is probably less than 5%. But, larger companies are attracted by Magento’s support SLA, which comes with the paid editions. In our view, most small and medium-sized businesses would be perfectly satisfied with the Community Edition. In short, unless you decide to move to the Enterprise version, which actually offers significant additional functionality, don’t fear free software.

Posted in Magento

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