ecommerce

WordPress + WooCommerce: What does it mean?!

842 452 Colin Smith

If you run a WordPress site, and you use it to sell stuff, there is a pretty good chance you’ve opted for WooCommerce as your e-commerce solution. With over 7.5 million downloads, 600,000 using the paid version, you aren’t the only one who made the same match. According to WooThemes (the parent company of WooCommerce), WooCommerce powers over 24% of all online retail sites. A top 10 WordPress plugin, it only made sense for Automattic (the owners of WordPress) to scoop it, and the whole WooThemes team, up. Automattic paid more for WooCommerce than any other acquisition they’ve previously been a part of, for a reported $30 Million. They feel e-commerce is a profitable market, and have proved they are willing to put their money where their mouth is. While this won’t mean much for WordPress.com users, the rest of us who use WordPress.org will likely see plenty of changes in the near future. With the acquisition due to be complete in the next month, there has been a lot of speculation about what’s to come.

For those unfamiliar with WooCommerce, here is a brief explanation: it turns your WP site into an online store. You can add, adjust prices, organize, and edit products as needed without much hassle. It’s also great from a payment standpoint, coming fresh out of the box PayPal ready and offering extensions to increase it’s payment method capabilities. WooThemes has also stuffed it with other goodies including inventory management, coupon codes, shipping management, analytics, and other facets necessary for a user to easily run a store. Woo has also included a variety of extensions and themes to make customizing your shop easy.

So what does the Automattic acquisition mean for users in the future? The WordPress + WooCommerce combination should lead for more open source development, flexibility, and integration. A major hope is that this union will bring stability to the connection between WordPress and e-commerce, carrying over into the rest of the plugin offerings as well. The more the two can be integrated, the better they will be as a platform for online sales and growth. As a small online company grows, the hope is they can just expand their sites capabilities rather then look to custom coding to cater to their growing demand. There has also been a lot of user speculation (read: hope) that this means lowered prices for extensions, bundles, and plans. That or a beefed up free version offering things like the shipping extension and styling elements, both of which are currently reserved for pricier plugins.

Aside from the anticipated improvements, WooThemes has promised to continue business as usual for their themes and plugins (including WooCommerce.) The biggest difference  is they will now have the support and access to Automattic’s resources, including their manpower and technology. Feel free to watch Matt’s announcement video below.

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wanelo

Why Wanelo?

880 461 Gretchen Ardizzone

It’s a question that has been on my mind for quite some time now. For those that aren’t familiar, Wanelo, is a social platform that brings together stores, product and people all in one place. The platform whose name stands for “Want, Need, Love” launched in 2010 by web designer Deena Varshavskaya.

We know that social commerce is definitely catching on, but Wanelo has always seemed like an anomaly to me. I was an early adopter and joined in 2010 then quickly returned to my more comfortable and preferred playground on Pinterest (which many compare it to). However, this could be one for the ages. I’ve heard from my younger counterparts and read the reports that it popular with the millennial consumer.

Who’s There?

So with 11 million users, I thought it could be time to check back in. I haven’t been too far though, with my mobile app still installed and observantly paying attention to big brands like Nordstrom, West Elm and Sephora who collab with the emerging social site.

How it Works?

Wanelo works like a direct to buy resource. Skip the hunt through blogs and unrelated resources to find the product you’re looking for, this resource allows you to directly buy from your favorite finds in your feed. You don’t complete the transaction on the site, but it connects consumers with the eCommerce site where they can buy the product. Wanelo then pockets a portion of each sale. Instead of grouping items on boards like “Collegiate Gear” like you’d find on Pinterest, the items are sorted by price point. The site also shows what’s trending and allows you to save your items on your wish list or as a gift, also while telling you the popularity of collective site “saves” for that item.

Why Consider?

If you’re looking to capture the attention of younger consumers and provide the most direct access to your product (ease and convenience), it could be a platform to consider. Don’t forget many millennial consumers are frugal with their spending, so the shop by price point is an appealing feature.

Nordstrom recognized the potential: “We noticed mid-last-year that there was lots of inbound traffic coming from Wanelo, so we quickly jumped in to create an account,” said Bryan Galipeau, director of social media at Nordstrom. “Within five months, we had a million followers, the fastest growth of any of our social media accounts.”

Not yet convinced? Consider these facts as to why you might “Want, Need, Love” to have Wanelo in your online strategy plan:

  • Over 7 million products are saved 8 million times a day
  • Wanelo users spend an average of 50 minutes per day on the site
  • Products from over 300,000 stores, including major retailers to small independent shops

Earlier this year, Wanelo’s Creator and CEO, Deena Varshavskaya was named to Fast Company’s 2014 Most Creative People list. Keep an eye out for the commerce platform, I think it’s got huge potential to evolve.

Photo credit: Wanelo

 

How Long Does It Take To Create A Successful AdWords Campaign?

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Great (AdWords) Expectations

Paid traffic can be a great thing, but if you are starting a campaign from scratch often there are a few problems. Some marketers sell it to their clients as the end-all be-all solution, and others managing their campaigns themselves usually have a grand vision of their success with the platform. Which usually creates some ridiculously high expectations, and when those expectations aren’t met people usually get frustrated and give up. So how long does it take to create a successful AdWords campaign?

The trick to starting a successful AdWords campaign is to never set expectations so high that they can’t be achieved. If expectations are managed from the beginning everyone involved can feel good about it. Here are some of my tips for managing expectations:

  1. Think of your opening budget as R&D cost, not advertising cost. Consider this money cost of doing business. It’s gone. Don’t expect a return on it.
  2. It’s going to take AT LEAST a month before you will see your campaign start to take shape in the way you want. This opening month is all about gathering information and making adjustments often.
  3. Don’t set goals until AFTER your first week. It’s okay to set goals at the beginning, but honestly you will have no idea if those goals are realistic or not until after your campaign starts running for at least a week. After the first week, set your goals and re-evaluate at the end of every following week.
  4. Track your progress. Whether you are managing it yourself or especially if you are managing it for clients. To see your progress from week to week will help you know what changes you made that are having a positive impact on your campaign and it will let your clients know that progress is being made.

As I said before, AdWords and other paid search options can be an amazing form of traffic for your business, but when you are starting a brand new campaign stay grounded. Keep your expectations reasonable and give it time. Success will follow.

Photo Credit: dullhunkcc

There’s Zappos and Then There’s Everyone Else

880 461 Marsh Williams

Updated: 1:15 pm 4/24/14

I’ve just had an interesting customer service experience to share and hopefully learn from.

I bought a Jot Script stylus to use with my iPad a few weeks ago and last week it exploded in my hand, not literally, but it certainly fell apart. I reached out to Adonit via Twitter and asked for help. They responded which was wonderful and they offered to replace the item which was great, but here’s where it went sideways, at least in my opinion.

I was asked to package the stylus “very carefully” and ship it to them for inspection after which they would send me a new item and pay for the postage it cost me to ship it, but only via PayPal. Sounds good right? Then my Zappos customer training kicked in. I literally found myself thinking, “What would Zappos do?”

Zappos would have said, “…we’re really sorry, we’re sending you a new one tonight and when you get it tomorrow please use the same box to return the broken one, and we’ll pay the postage both ways.”

Why? Why does Zappos do this? And, more importantly why doesn’t everyone else? After thinking about it for a while I realized something that I’d never thought of before: Zappos doesn’t make anything…nothing, nada, squat.

The only thing they sell is service. They have no emotional investment in the product purchased, or what it took to design, manufacture or engineer it. They are not attached to the product. Yes, they evaluate it to make sure it’s made well and stands up to their expectations, but they did not make it and are therefore free of all the baggage that goes with creating a product and getting it to the market.

So here is the question for every organization selling anything online…what do you really care about? Do you want happy customers, or do you want customers to like your product and appreciate all the work that went into creating it? They are very different things.

In my situation with the Stylus, it seemed as if Adonit was more concerned with getting their broken product back than in getting a new one to me. They put the burden on me to do everything first and then wait to get a replacement product, and to be honest while their intent is good, they are not putting the customer (me) and their (my) needs first. By the way—the real underlying issue here is that they don’t trust me to hold up my end of the bargain and return the broken stylus.

So I encourage you to think about the end game of customer experience if you’re going to sell online. If all you want to do is sell more product then you probably will not succeed. If you want to create an incredible customer experience then it is likely you will win big. It can be done. If Zappos can make money selling commodity items and doing it better than the brick and mortar joint down the street, imagine what you can do with your product and how incredible it can be.

Give your customer service/support the gift of not caring about what it took to design, manufacture or engineer your product(s) and let them focus on making the customers fanatics about the experience. If you don’t want to service the customer, if it’s too much trouble or it’s too expensive, or you believe the customer will just rip you off, or if your only goal is to sell more product, then do not be surprised if you get your butt kicked…just my opinion.

Set your course toward a Zappos experience. You’ll have bumps. You’ll learn a lot. But putting your customers first is the only strategy that will ultimately create a win. And instead of customers you’ll get fans, which are infinitely more valuable.

Post Script

I’m probably just going to go buy a new stylus because it’s a great product and that’s the easiest route for me, but I’m not feeling very good about the experience or the company behind it.

Post Post Script 4/24/14 1:15 p.m.

Now that ‘s what I’m talking about! After Adonit blew a chance to be customer service heros, Evernote stepped in and actually did it right. Evernote’s Social Media team had been listening in and filed a customer support request on my behalf. I then received an email from Theo (my new hero) at Evernote Customer Support with the following information:

“I sent a new stylus to you with one-day shipping; I don’t have the option for overnight unfortunately, but you don’t need to worry about covering that cost. You’ll receive an email with tracking information as soon as it ships.

Please let me know if I can assist you further.

Regards,

Theo
Evernote”

Score Evernote! That’s the way it should be done…

Photo Credit: mdanys

Switchboard Operators

Online Customer Service

880 461 Gretchen Ardizzone

Good customer service can make or break obtaining and retaining a customer online. It’s no different than in-store. Nordstrom has thrived for years as being the brand that is best known for providing excellence in customer service. The truth is that customers have those same expectations for your brand online, and as eCommerce continues to grow customer service is going to be the key differentiator for where consumers want to invest their money. It’s also one way that small businesses can level the playing field with big brands. Here are some things to consider in providing customer service online:

Real-time Resolutions

Make it easy for your customers to contact you should they have a problem or issue they need to resolve. You’d be amazed at how difficult it can be to find contact information or customer service resources on some sites. Make it clearly visible for your customers to find, you don’t want them leaving your site in frustration. If you provide a service that could need customer support 24 hours a day, consider a service infrastructure that will allow you take care of customers’ whenever they need you.

Warby Parker uses their Warby Parker Help YouTube channel to post video responses from team members to questions posted daily to Facebook and Twitter. Amazon offers on-device tech support through Kindle’s Mayday button to let you connect with an Amazon expert via video. And while those may seem like more sophisticated methods, consider service agents that are simply skilled to support your brand. Online retailer and mens fashion brand, Jack Threads, offers a live chat service provided by university students with a keen fashion sense.

Make Sure You’re Listening

Not all customer service issues come directly to you. Customers may utilize your social media platforms such as Facebook or Twitter to express their issue. Monitoring your social media platforms for this type of management is crucial to respond quickly. Use social media scheduling tools like HootSuite or consider other social listening platforms like Sprout Social or Meltwater to track customers talking about your brand.

Respond Strategically

Understand that you can’t please everyone though. You may have unsatisfied customers from time to time, but it’s best to have a planned response strategy. The key is not removing the content (unless it’s offensive to others), but managing the response. Sometimes people think the best thing to do is to remove negative comment or block the person, but that could actually add more fuel to the fire. If you’re at fault, admit the error and offer to resolve. You’d be surprised how many unhappy customers might be put at ease by being acknowledged for their complaint.

Take Notes & Pass Them On

I mentioned Nordstrom at the beginning of this post and while most of the magic of their customer service takes place mostly in-store, there is a great takeaway that can even be applied to managing customer service online. The fashion retailer collects customer service examples, “Nordy stories,” from their employees and publishes to share with other employees. It goes beyond protocol for instances of handling returns or out-of-stock product, but serves as a guide to teaching employees how to be the best at serving customers.

Follow Up

Yeah, you’ve made the sale, but one great way to ensure your customers come back is to show that their feedback matters. Encourage them to provide a review about the product or service, but reward them for sharing their opinion. Maybe it’s access to an exclusive product or a free product sample. If they’re a first time customer consider offering an incentive for returning, possibly a discount of their next purchase.

Truly Serving Your Customers

Your customer service should go beyond just managing issues or getting return visits. Use your customer service as a competitive edge; make your brand unique or memorable in the consumer’s eyes. Let your service be another story they share.

I still have fond memories of staying at the Soho Grand in New York a couple of years ago. Sure it’s a fantastic hotel alone, but the amenity that caught my attention was a simple goldfish. The pet-friendly hotel offers guests a “goldfish team member” at no charge to accompany guests for the duration of their stay. It was a thoughtful gesture to make my stay more enjoyable.

Want to hear more inspiring stories of customer service? Check out this amazing collection of 10 Unforgettable Customer Service Stories by Help Scout. It just might leave you asking what have I done for my customers lately?

Photo Credit: reynermedia

Building a Successful eCommerce Site – Part 3

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In parts one and two of Building a Successful eCommerce site we talked about location and design, respectively. Those two aspects of eCommerce sites and brick and mortar stores are fundamental to success throughout the life of the business, but even if both those aspects are stellar the business may not succeed long enough to matter. Enter promotion.

First off, don’t confuse promotion for marketing. Marketing is something you should be engaging in at all times, through the life of the business to build and reinforce your brand. Promotion is a specific marketing campaign, in this case geared towards promoting your new eCommerce site. It’s one of those “all bourbon is whiskey but not all whiskey is bourbon” kind of things.

Business owners often understand the need to promote their new brick and mortar store but for some reason believe that the internet is a magical place that people instinctively know to flock to their new site. There are some familiar ways that people promote new brick and mortar stores like hanging a sign, doing a PR outreach to local publications, and hosted events. Each one of those promotional tactics has an eCommerce equivalent that is easy to do.

 Signage = Electronic ad space or splash page

A Nordstrom Rack recently opened in Columbus. Everyone knew it was coming months in advance because Nordstrom bought significant amounts of ad space on billboards and park benches downtown and elsewhere (some of which are still up). It sparked high levels of anticipation and word-of-mouth marketing. The same thing can be done online. Do your research to find out where people would be excited to hear about your store. Check specific facebook (or other social media) groups, search terms applicable to your product or service, and popular blogs.

Since most ads on the internet are pay-per-click you need to give them somewhere to go. That is going to be your splash page. It’s the equivalent of hanging your banner on the fence outside your brick and mortar store that is containing the construction going on. Make sure your splash page has some information about opening, and a place to opt in to an e-mail communication.

 PR Outreach = Blogger & eMagazine Campaign

A press release is often sent out to local print publications about an upcoming brick and mortar store generating curiosity and buzz in the local community. On the web you want to focus on bloggers, podcasters, and eMagazines to do much of the same thing. Reach out to them and offer a sample of an early product. See what it take to be a part of their content. Keep in mind most bloggers and magazines plan their content out very far in advance so you may not get in right away but planting that seed for a traffic pop down the line could pay off dividends for you.

 Parties & Events = Social Media Contests or Give Aways

Brick and mortar stores usually have some sort of grand kick off party, sale, or giveaway. It is a great way to open your store to big crowds and generate word of mouth. These things usually include an offer of some kind although it doesn’t have to. Restaurants do it with practice nights where they give away free food to friends and family. Some stores offer big savings to their first customers. You can achieve the same thing with eCommerce stores with a focus on social media. Try doing a social media contest. Raffle Copter can be a great tool. Or maybe put an opening day discount code and share it on some facebook ads. Social media can be a very powerful tool, but if you are waiting until opening day to start building your audience you have planned very poorly.

Building a successful eCommerce shop is a complex undertaking but the rewards for doing it right are infinite. If most people approach their eCommerce shop with the same considerations as building a brick and mortar store; good location, great design, and efficient promotion the chances of success are in your favor.

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three shadows in the street

Utilizing User-Generated Content in Your Content Strategy

880 461 Gretchen Ardizzone

Your content marketing plan likely includes a combination of a blog, eBooks, whitepapers, video content, social media, and possibly a few other mediums, but one of the most compelling forms of content is created by your consumers. It’s emotional, passionate and powerful. Businesses have a huge opportunity to leverage user-generated content, and here are a few brands seeing success with this strategy:

BaubleBar

BaubleBar’s Co-Founder Daniella Yacobovsky recently spoke at National Retail Federation’s annual Retail’s BIG Show and shared how incorporating user-generated content is a highly effective tactic for BaubleBar. The brand currently integrates selfie snapshots on their website with the customers sporting their various sparkly baubles in a shopable slideshow. Customers simply share their pic on Instagram or Twitter using the hashtag #BaubleBar, or upload it directly to the website. According to Yacobovsky, “A third of site visitors engage with it and the conversion rate for those who do is 2.5 times higher than those who don’t.”

What’s great about this approach is that it gives the consumer a realistic view of how the product might look on them and inspiration for how to style the accessory. Much more compelling than just seeing the product on a white background, and consumers are able to relate more by seeing it on an everyday person rather than a model. And giving the consumer even more reason to share, the brand also selects three of their favorites every month to win $100.

I’ve mentioned before the value Pinterest can provide for businesses, and BaubleBar is no exception here. What’s interesting is though, the brand realized that “pins posted by others drove 10 times more traffic than BaubleBar’s own Pinterest content, so to encourage shoppers to pin, they redesigned and emphasized the “Pin it” button on product pages.” Instead of just thinking about your Pinterest strategy as a separate entity, think about how you can make it useful in the shopping experience and integrate into your website. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve visited websites and pinned items to my style board to serve as virtual reminder, and essentially trail of crumbs to where I can buy the product when I’m ready.

Juicy Couture

To promote its new sports apparel product line, Juicy Couture has engaged with the photo-sharing platform, Snaps to get consumers involved. Snaps is similar to Instagram but allows consumers to edit and add graphic content to their photos. The app has a two-fold purpose for the Juicy Couture brand: to allow consumers to add Juicy graphic elements related to fitness and working out, and share with friends and family, as well as try on Juicy Couture Sport product to see how it looks on them via their mobile device.

The method is effective in branding the images beyond just a hashtag connection and gives the consumer the chance to virtually try on product, but user-generated content has potential greater than just the selfie.

Warby Parker

I’ve praised Warby Parker in previous posts for their genius marketing efforts, and this may not be the last. The online eyewear brand with a home try-on program wholeheartedly believes in word-of-mouth marketing has found a way to incorporate user-generated content. The brand encourages consumers to use their social network to help in the selection process of their perfect frame by posting a pic of themselves wearing the various options on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook.  Warby Parker’s Co-founder and Co-CEO, David Gilboa, says, “Customers who post photos of themselves in frames are buying at twice the rate as those who don’t.”

It doesn’t have to be just about promoting the product when it comes to utilizing user-generated content, it can also benefit promoting the overall brand.

Nike

While I may be a marketer, I’m no stranger to my own contribution to providing user-generated content. In 2013 sports apparel brand, Nike, carried out one of the most creative initiatives which I was lucky enough to be able to participate in, which resulted in a community of individuals sharing content like you wouldn’t believe…all for a great cause. Nike organized a Women’s 10k event to raise funds for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, oh and did I mention it was all virtual? Given the fact that there was no specific destination for this event to take place, you might think the participation would be low. Think again though.

So how did it work? Everyone had to register and pay the $40 entry fee. Each runner had to commit to running a 10k distance (6.3 miles) over a 2-day period (March 9th or 10th) whenever and wherever they chose—trail, track, road or gym—using the Nike running app to record their efforts. In true race fashion, each runner received a technical race shirt (Nike branded of course), with a blank space for runners to write in the various reasons why they run…for fun, for a cause, for those who can’t, just to name a few. Runners were then encouraged to share their route and run using the hashtag #letsturnitup.

Participants professed great satisfaction with running for a worthy cause, and over the course of the two days, runners logged 29,524 miles on the Nike running app, and filled Nike’s Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter news feed full of stories of individuals and groups participating in the run. Not to mention, raised almost $50,000 for LLS.

Many runners had never used the Nike running app and were exposed to a new run tracking method, at the same time feeling the reward of accomplishment. And while the event may have been virtual, that day connected thousands of individuals through social media. Well done, Nike.

While the brands I mentioned may have big marketing budgets, small brands and entrepreneurs can successfully utilize user-generated content without a significant investment, but with a sound strategy.

Photo Credit: The Real Estreya

Building a Successful eCommerce Site – Part 2

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In part one of building a successful eCommerce site we talked about how the location of a brick and mortar store is the equivalent of the search engine results for an eCommerce site. The gist of what we were talking about is putting the business in the best position for high volumes of traffic. However, high volumes of traffic to your business, whether it be foot traffic or Internet visitors, isn’t going to do any good if the business can’t convert the sale. So let’s look at another consideration that applies to both brick and mortar stores and eCommerce sites; Design.

Brick and Mortar Interior Design = eCommerce Site Design

Quality design makes people feel at ease, it lets them know you are serious about what you do, and it adequately reflects your brand. Good design not only reflects well on your brand, it also influences how people buy. In a brick and mortar store you have the advantage of employees to communicate the brand’s message to potential buyers, but eCommerce sites often don’t have the luxury of face to face communication. This is where design becomes even more important. Consider these things when you start to think about your site design:

Vet Your Designer

Do your research here. Look at their past work. Either ask them for references or look up contact info for someone they worked for and just ask them about it. Actually do that! You might find that they were slow to work with but they communicated every step of the way, which is much better than someone who doesn’t communicate at all and gives you a finished product that vaguely resembles what you want.

Ask Them To Tell You a Story

So you found someone who designs some pretty slick stuff, great! But how are they at telling stories? If they are simply asking you what design choices you want and not at all about what makes your business unique and different, walk away. Just like that. Find someone else. There are hordes of people out there that have the technical skills to make a website work and look good, but most don’t posses the traits required to tell your brand story AND make it look good, which it what sets apart a successful eCommerce site and a mediocre one.

Set Yourself Up For Flexibility

We have written about why we love WordPress here before, but I can’t stress to you enough the importance to have your site built on a system that you can manage yourself. Most designers, and frankly people in general, tend not to be the best communicators, especially when you need something done urgently. The power to make changes yourself will be priceless over the life of your business.

One should place just as much importance on site design just as one places importance on the interior design, product placement, and customer flow of a brick and mortar store. In the end, good design will last the life of the business and pay for itself ten times over. Take your time and find someone who can help tell your story with finesse and efficiency.

Stay tuned for part 3 of Building a Successful eCommerce Site.

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Building a Successful eCommerce Site – Part 1

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Some people believe that having a successful eCommerce site for their business is as easy as putting it on the internet and flipping the switch. “If you build it, they will come” right? No. The fact of the matter is that most people can easily see the need to put the work into building a brick and mortar shop, but simply can’t wrap their minds around putting the same thoughts and considerations into building their business online. To put things into perspective, let’s look at the considerations required to build a successful brick and mortar store and put them in eCommerce terms.

Brick and Mortar Location = eCommerce Search Engine Results

Location. Location. Location. Even the most inexperienced entrepreneur knows the value of a good location. In the brick and mortar world it’s simple; if you want a busy shop put your store on a busy street or highly populated area of town. In the eCommerce world search engine results are the same as that busy street. If you’re on the first page of results the busier the street is, and in turn your shop.

The big difference between brick and mortar and eCommerce is the ability to choose your location. With brick and mortar one searches far and wide for that perfect location. A location on that busy street is probably more expensive than others. Often you pay a premium for those truly exceptional locations. With eCommerce look at it this way; you don’t get to choose your exact location, but you can invest wisely to build your site optimized for that first page of results. It’s kind of like building your website on that busy street.

Make sure you are paying attention to key words, meta descriptions, and page content. With a brick and mortar, one picks the location, builds, and is done. With eCommerce search engine optimization (SEO) is an ongoing thing. If you do it right from the start it makes it much easier to build off of through the life of your site. Set aside some money in your budget for this reason, just like you would pay that premium rent for that busy street location.

Stay tuned for additional insight into Building a Successful eCommerce Site with this three-part series.

Photo Credit: balleynecc

dog staring at a laptop screen

The Top eCommerce Sites We’re Addicted To and Why

880 461 Nathaniel Seevers

You Better Shop Around

Getting started with eCommerce is a great way to prove certain business models these days. Resources like Shopify, WordPress with WooCommerce, Big Commerce and so on, make it fairly easy to get started selling your widget online. However, running an eCommerce site that allows you to sell your widget and running an eCommerce site that’s enjoyable for the user to buy from are two completely different things. So with that, here are the top ecommerce sites we’re addicted to and why we feel they’re doing it right.

Luke Pierce

Although I have never bought anything on the site, Uniqlo is one of my favorite eCommerce sites on the web and it keeps me coming back. I love that the second the page loads, you are already shopping. Although things are simply displayed in a grid format on all pages, it still looks natural as they incorporate just the right amount of white space to break things up. Aside from the looks, the shopping experience is straightforward and to the point. The quick look feature they have on every item is nice because you don’t have to leave the page you are shopping on to get a closer look and see the variety of colors and patterns they offer things in. Although I am still not a customer of theirs (and I have been aware of the site for years), their no-nonsense design and simple shopping will have me pulling the trigger soon.

Gretchen Ardizzone

While it just launched this week, the new Toms Marketplace eCommerce site has already captured my heart (and a little of my wallet too). The online site was created by socially conscious shoe brand Toms in an effort to support other like-minded brands and businesses. Consumers shopping the Marketplace now have access to more than 200 products (home goods, apparel and accessories) from about 30 companies and charities that have been carefully selected and curated by the Toms team. Causes supported with this initiative include: opportunities to assist children in need, educational funding programs, aide in basic health and funding for project research, job creation, nutrition via meal programs, and access to clean water. read more

Creating Effective Calls-to-Action

842 452 Nathaniel Seevers

Whether you’re running on online store or not odds are you would like visitors to your website to take some sort of action once they get there. Could be as straight forward as clicking buy now or add to cart, or maybe filling out a contact us form, maybe registering for a newsletter, or downloading your e-book. Creating effective calls-to-action can mean the difference between your site being a truly useful business tool or just on online address book.

The major factor to whether your visitors actually convert or not is your call-to-action (CTA). Once you’ve clearly established what your ideal actions or conversions look like, and your ready to add the appropriate CTA, check your plan against the following: read more

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