Ecommerce and Shopping Cart Optimization

Dec 6, 2007 - 2:24 pm 3 by
Filed Under PubCon 2007

WebmasterWorld PubCon 2007 Las Vegas Ecommerce and Shopping Cart Optimization

Moderator: Joe Laratro Speakers: Rob Snell, Managing Partner, Rob Snell Ethan Griffin, CEO & Founder, Groove Commerce Panelist: Jimmy Duvall, Director, E-Commerce Products for Yahoo! Small Business, Yahoo!

Expert ecommerce panelists take a look at ecommerce sales specifically designed to sell products. Topics include optimization, as well as shopping cart, monetary, presentation, and traffic issues.

Ethan Griffin, "7 Habits of Highly Effective Shopping Carts"

1. Designing for Success

- The top 100 eTailers prefer a 2 column, centered designed. The next most common design is 2 column, left justified design. However, there is no one size fits all solution. You have to test to see what converts best for your product.

Example sites: -- -- -- -- Make sure your proceed to checkout buttons are highlighted and easy to find. Make sure you have contact information easy to find, same for shipping info.

Try to have a mini-cart show up in the sidebar after users have begun adding items to the cart. This gives them easy access to the products they've already selected.

Take people through specific funnels to optimized product pages. (Checking analytics and seeing what keywords people are searching for is helpful for this).

2. Internal Site Search

It's not an option, it's a requirement. Make sure your site search is displaying relevant results. Check the Google Analytics site search report. People that utilize site search convert at a rate 5 times higher than other visitors. If you're not doing your site search well, then don't make it prominent.

No results page is your chance to save a customer/sale. Offer the visitor other options... best sellers, links to similar categories, etc?

-- (Site Search Results Page) -- (No Results Page)

3. Why Should I Trust You?

Establishing trust with your visitors is important. Assure them your site is secure, your business is solid, responsible and fair. Footers are a good place to put all of your assurances... again, years in business, security, guarantees, credit cards accepted, etc. Remind users that you value their privacy and personal information.

4. Make Buying Simple

-- Show progress -- Eliminate distractions -- Reduce shopping cart abandonment -- Relay error messages in a friendly, useful manner.

Single page checkouts often help conversions by reducing distractions and generally making the process more simple and quicker.

5. Let Your Site Be Known

-- Internal Linking -- Header Tags -- Page Titles -- Anchor Text -- Image Optimization

6. An Image Says a Thousand Words

-- Your images sell your products -- Telling a story with your images -- Multiple images -- Comparing product images; make sure you're using the most enticing photo available. If you only have blah pictures, get new ones shot.

7. Climbing the Ranks

Pay attention to your off-page SEO. Increase your inbound links through:

-- Online Press Releases ( is used as an example) -- Directory submissions -- Blogging/Link Baiting -- Shopping Feeds (make sure you optimize your data feeds)

Rob Snell, "Pimp Your Products, Sell More Stuff"

The more content we put up, the more our sales went up. First, we got a spokesmodel (Rob's brother Steve), then we wrote buyer's guides. The buyer's guides answer the questions the buyers are going to ask before they call us and ask. We're also starting to add videos. We haven't seen an increase from this yet, but it's new and I think it's going to really help things.

The problem that people run into with their ecommerce sites is that most retailers copy and paste their vendor information right onto their sites. So everyone sounds the same. Exactly the same. These retailers are being lazy. They're not adding any value to the customers.

So how do you pimp your products?

Be an expert. You know so much more about your products than your customers do, and in general retailers aren't doing a good job conveying their knowledge to their users.

Offer your opinions on your products. Offer testimonials. Tell the users what to buy.

Make your own images. Again, you don't want to look like everyone else; but, make sure you're making high quality images.

Get all the content from the manufacturer. Get stuff from on the box, in the box, advertising, instruction manuals, etc. The more content the better. Remember, it's easier to get forgiveness than permission. I'm not telling you to violate copyright... but I'm not telling you I'm not doing it, either. I've never had a manufacturer call me up and tell me to quit promoting their product.

Use the keywords the customers will use.

Just remember, pimpin' ain't easy.


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