ecartrev's blog

50 Tips To Increase eCommerce Sales Conversion

Here are the first of 50 tips to help increase your ecommerce conversion rate. If you apply these tips, your conversion rate WILL increase. Everyone of the conversion tips have been applied and proven successful in my online stores.

Tip Number 1: Include Company Established Date in Header

3DCart Moves to the Head of the Pack

I like to spread out my stores amongst multiple hosted cart solutions. This prevents me from keeping all my eggs in one basket should things head south with the solution (*cough like MonsterCommerce *cough). 3DCart has been one of my solutions since 2007. When I started, they were a young innovative company that was a little rough around the edges. For instance, the support department was small but still highly responsive. Slowly but surely 3DCart developed into a more and more sophisticated operation.

E-Commerce S.W.O.T. Analysis

E-Commerce Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats

Are you considering starting a new e-commerce business? Yes? Do a SWOT analysis of the industry and your niche within the world of electronic commerce. Below is a general e-commerce SWOT analysis that highlights some on the particulars of selling items online.

Strengths
Ability to compete with other companies global and locally
Implementing an e-commerce business solution allows companies to expand their customer base to a global level without considerable time or expense.

Search Engine Optimization and Online Stores

Search Engine Optimization 101– Marketing Keywords on the Internet

Build it and they will come. This famous line might apply to ball fields but not to web sites. Getting people to visit a web site takes a lot of work. Getting people to visit a site via a search engine when they are looking for something specific is even harder.

This paper will review the process for basic search engine optimization (SEO henceforth). Covered are the basic components of marketing a site to attract specific traffic. These components include keywords, directories, back links and content.

The first step in SEO is to define your keywords. For instance, Amazon.com’s keywords could include; books, online bookstore, etc. Careful thought should be placed in your keyword selection. This phase is the foundation to support all other SEO efforts. Fredrick Marckini in Keyword Selection - The Most Overlooked Element of Success, August 2002, Market Postion had this to say about keyword selection:

How to Switch Shopping Cart Solutions

Switching Shopping Cart Solutions Checklist

Are you considering moving from one e-commerce shopping cart solution to another? Below you will find a checklist that lays out the step-by-step instructions for making the move. Switching website shopping cart solutions isn't as hard as you may think.

Switching Shopping Cart Solutions Checklist

1. Research and select the shopping cart solution that best serves your business’ needs. This is a very important decision. Take your time and choose wisely. Questions to ask include:

A. Does your shopping cart solution integrate with my gateway?

MonsterCommerce’s SEO Catalog

Years ago ASP carts were notorious for having long garbled URLs and bloated code. Both no-no’s when it comes to SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Some for the more forward thinking shopping cart solutions added a mod_rewrite to their product that translated the ASP garbled URLs and code into clean easy to read html. The result was unmistakable. The stores using these solutions rankings improved once the product pages were re-indexed by the major search engines.

MonsterCommerce took a different approach. They allowed their clients the ability to generate a separate copy of their product catalog in html. MonsterCommerce called the feature the SEO catalog. The only problem is that the SEO catalog doesn’t rewrite/convert the asp page into html; rather it makes a copy of them in html. This is a dangerous thing to do in terms of SEO as the search engines frown upon duplicate content. A few merchants reported in our forum that they were penalized for using SEO catalog when some of their pages started to be deemed supplemental by Google. Not good.

Preventing Chargebacks for Online Sales

Just about every merchant will get the dreaded chargeback notice sooner of later. Unfortunately, it’s part of ecommerce and truly hard to avoid. Bearing this in mind, merchants are forced to stay on their toes as the credit card company place all the risk upon merchant's shoulders. An important part of running a successful ecommerce website is minimizing chargebacks so as to not only avoid monetary loss but also to stay in business. If you store racks up too many chargebacks, it won’t be long until the store’s merchant account is revoked.

What is a chargeback?

A charge back occurs when a customer disputes a charge on their monthly statement. The customer calls the issuing credit card company and answers a few question on the charge in question and then the chargeback process is set in motion. A letter is then sent notifying the merchant of the chargeback or charge dispute and from this point forward, it’s up to the merchant to prove the charge is legitimate. If the merchant can’t successfully argue this case, the charge is reversed and money is automatically withdrawn from the merchant’s bank account. To make matter worse, the merchant is then charged with a chargeback fee that is typically in the $20.00 dollar range.

E-Commerce Customer Expectations

What are the hardest things about running an online store? Using the technology? Fighting off competition in a low barrier entry industry? Sourcing products? Sure. All are big concerns. One surprise challenge for new online store owners is customer expectations. For instance, customers might have the following expectations when shopping your store:

You are available to answers their questions via the phone 24 hours a day seven days a week.

Business days? Never heard on them… “I paid for second day air shipping. How come my order didn’t arrive on Sunday?”

Or, “I placed my order an hour ago. Where’s my tracking number?”

3dCart's Free Store Design

One thing that set 3dCart apart from the other asp hosted shopping cart solutions is their free store design for all new customers.

Most other solutions will either offer new stores a selection of canned templates to choose from or charge an extra fee to work up a custom design (typically a hefty fee). Not so for 3dCart.

3dCart will assign you a graphic designer to work with you in developing a customized storefront. The quality of the designs rival that of any other paid service – scan 3dCart.com for yourself and take a look. This offering alone can save a new storeowner $1,000 – $5,000 off the initial startup costs.

E-commerce and Protecting Credit Card Information

The industry is racing to tighten security standards and the online merchant is now burdened with becoming an expert in all the different credit card industry regulations. The onus is on the merchant to protect all the informationthat they gather. Each credit card company has very specific regulations that all merchants that process their cards must follow. Leading the charge are the CISP and the PCI regulations.

About the CISP and PCI regulations:

CISP compliance is required of all merchants and service providers that store, process, or transmit Visa cardholder data. The program applies to all payment channels, including retail (brick-and-mortar), mail/telephone order, and e-commerce. To achieve compliance with CISP, merchants and service providers must adhere to the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard, which offers a single approach to safeguarding sensitive data for all card brands. This Standard is a result of a collaboration between Visa and MasterCard and is designed to create common industry security requirements, incorporating the CISP requirements. Other card companies operating in the U.S. have also endorsed the PCI Data Security Standard within their respective programs.