Enhancing the Ecommerce Product Page Efficiency

Before we highlight Best Practices for Product Page of an Ecommerce Website, it will be interesting for you to visit our two previous posts; the first was on best practices incorporate with Ecommerce Web Design, and the second was on Ecommerce Website Promotion. This is the third one, which is also associated with ecommerce best practices, and I am sure it will be helpful to the ecommerce web designers, online retailers and ecommerce SEO professionals. When we picked a particular PRODUCT PAGE from the product-listing page, there were two goals in our mind, to keep existing customers and to engage new customers. If we concentrate on the areas or items that enhance the efficiency of product pages, then it is easy to convert the visitors into buyers.
To increase the USABILITY, see how it is worth to add or improve the following Product Management Features on the ecommerce product page,
  • Stock Levels: Make sure to display the level of stocks you have in your store e.g. 'items in stocks', 'in stocks', etc.  if you cannot indicate this to the product page, then for the customer who already put an order for that product will have to wait for your response, and afterward you have to apologies by sending an email that product is out of stock, which creates a bad impression of your ecommerce store.
  • Use of Images: These are necessary, one of the most significant elements in a shopper deciding on whether they will buy. Ensure product imagery is lavish, of proper size, very good quality and indicates the product in various outlooks.
  • Demonstrate product using Videos/Images: Include as many as you can, each image or video you can supplement for your products provides you more chances of being found in search engines and imparts customers an extreme visible walk-through of your end products before they purchase.
  • Ability to zoom the images: Consistently enable your product images to be enlarged and make sure the enlarged version is in fact larger. You will be surprised of the lot of eCommerce websites that uses the same image for both the image outlook at product page and the zoomed image.
  • Utilize Multiple Tabs: It is prominent in secure your product pages don't look too littered, but at the same time, show all the vital information that the consumer might wish to go through in addition to delivering the search engines something large to crawl. Find out more about CSS or jQuery, it is likely to show a tabbed area which could be cast off to break up information such as description, reviews, specifications, etc. and by doing so, make sure it does not influence the design and layout of your product pages.
  • Display Everything: In spite of you believe it is not related, show it! What you might think over worthless information could rightly be vital essential for one of your shoppers. The more substance the better, break it up into relevant areas like utilizing the tabbed method above, for instance.
  • Related Product list: Mention related products on product pages so that if a specific product doesn't go with the precise needs of the shopper, they can outlook close and related products that may be what they are looking for.
  • “Add to Cart” Button: This is immense. Be sure that your “Add to Cart” button is extremely noticeable. Test different sizes and different colors to see, which performs best for your ecommerce site. Make sure it is positioned toward the topmost of your product page and not at underneath.
  • “Buy Now” Button: Ensure each product has a “Buy Now” button. Make the button large enough that customers can view it, but not too large that it vies with the product image.
  • Customer Reviews: Let customers to leave product reviews and be honest, show them all, in spite of, they are bad reviews - honesty and clarity go a long way in eCommerce. It is better to approve an unsatisfactory review but explain to it with a justification.
  • Voting: Allow your consumers to vote your products up and down, this provides other consumers an excellent idea of the level of acceptable your product range has and would enable consumers to sort them by popularity too.
  • Rollovers: Think about rollovers, which can show extra information to the customer (which retains them an additional click through to the page). This could be at a category level when observing products in a list which when turned over displays a tool-tip showing sizes that the product is stored in, for instance.). This could likely be used for images at the product page while rolling over the images that zoom the image to show in considerably closer detail.
  • Social Links: Make sure to contain links to “like” functionality as it helps share your product to the visitors' Facebook wall, and other relevant social media accounts.
  • Warranty information: Containing a powerful warranty program will put consumers at ease. E.g., Offering Lifetime warranty is very beneficial.
You can quickly quote here to get more advice to optimize your existing or pre-launched product page.
We schedule best practices on shopping cart and checkout around next week.

Four Ecommerce Best Practices for 2011 – II

Hope you like Four Ecommerce Best Practices for 2011 – I, if you have gone through. It contains best practices for ecommerce website design (index page, global, customer services) to increase the conversion.
This is the second part, and it is all about the best practices for ecommerce website promotion - on-site and offsite. Many times, you may have heard about the terms, Ecommerce Marketing, Ecommerce SEO, SEO tips for Ecommerce Site, etc. This post is exactly focusing on the areas that are directly or indirectly responsible for the promotion of an ecommerce website. I have determined some areas that can best fit into the category of Marketing and Technical.
Best Practices for E-commerce Website Promotion:
  • Marketing
  • Technical
Let’s start with first,
Marketing (off site):
  • Landing page creation – You can create and optimize landing pages for each category or each primary keyword that best described your products, which will especially help in your PPC campaign as well.  You can after analyze which pages have most conversion.
  • Targeting keywords for your products – This is truly difficult part for any site owner. You can use keyword research tool and identify the best suits of keywords for the products, whether it could be the short tail or long tail. You can also use the synonyms of the keywords based on Latent Semantic Method, which describe to contain keywords related to a particular keyword, e.g. Ecommerce, E-commerce, Electronic Commerce, SEO, Search Engine Optimization, etc.
  • Set up a blog to the site – Why is it necessary to have a blog for an ecommerce website? The answer is to gather the people of having interested to find more information, resources about the products or services, which you are selling. Post at least once in a week in the blog with the targeting keywords in titles and the content. Make sure your blog post title should be attractive. You can even link out from the blog post to the top category, landing or product page of your ecommerce website.
  • Follow up surveys – Send out the survey forms to your existing customers to know their behavior about your ecommerce website, products and services.
  • Send an email newsletter – This is the best and affordable way to keep communicating with your existing customers via sending the newsletter, which includes the promotional offers, coupons, discounts, etc. Even you can highlight the new products with their features.
  • Create Facebook page – Facebook fan page is one of the excellent way to build friends, fans for your store by the references of your existing customers. You can share the special offers also.
  • Create a Twitter account – Twitter is a micro blogging in which you can quickly announce the special offerings, introduce new products, features products, etc. to your existing customers.
Technical (on site):
  • Accessible in multiple browsers – Make sure that your ecommerce website work perfectly in all major browsers, e.g. Firefox, Chrome, Safari, and IE, etc.
  • Multiple sorting to navigation (color, size, gender etc.) – Sometimes people leave your site as they cannot able to find out the product of their choice. The best solution is to provide sorting option in the home page that distributes all the products by color, size, gender etc.
  • Keywords in title tag – Make sure to include targeting keywords and brands in the title, which are not more than 65 characters.
  • Keywords in Meta tags Recent algorithm changes suggest that there will be no more impact of Meta description to the ranking henceforth. You can now include the targeting keywords relevant to the content.
  • RSS feeds – Two areas you can use RSS feed in your site, Product, Category page and Blog. It informs your shoppers if they subscribed to the product feed about the new product. They can also subscribe to the blog to keep updating with the products of your ecommerce website.
  • Keywords worthy and easy to understand URLs – Make sure to include keyword in your URL with underscore “_” sign. You can remove the unnecessary stings of numbers and letters from the URL so that it makes easy for human to read.
  • Image optimization – Make sure the images are in good quality and perfect in size. If you want to show a product, use jpg. For logo, you can use png or gif format.
  • Use “title” and “alt” attributes in your image – For better visibility and usability of your product image in search engines, you can use keywords in “title” tag (link source) and “alt” tag (image source).
If you have more ideas about ecommerce website promotion, you can share them in the comments.
In our next post, you will find the best practices for product pages.

Four Ecommerce Best Practices for 2011 – I

Why is it necessary to follow the ecommerce best practices? What are the areas that mainly affect if you do not follow the ecommerce website guide? Why to follow ecommerce website checklist, are the kind of questions that have only one answer – the CONVERSION!
What if there is no relationship between the E-COMMERCE WEB DESIGN and CONVERSION, hiring a professional ecommerce web designer is not just the solution. If you have an access of the Internet, you can follow the case studies, best guidelines, and ecommerce design best practices for the sake of success in Ecommerce Business.
The best practices for ecommerce website that I am going to share here is for the entrepreneurs, retailers, merchants who are planning to start an online business through the ecommerce store. In the beginning, whether you decide to start your online retailing business with small ecommerce website or large, success is in your hand and for this, you can follow this simple Four Ecommerce Best Practices.
Let’s see the areas included in this post of FOUR ECOMMERCE BEST PRACTICES for 2011,
  1. Best Practices for E-commerce Website Design
  2. Best Practices for E-commerce Marketing
  3. Best Practices for Product Pages in E-commerce Website
  4. Best Practices for Shopping Cart and Checkout
Let's start with PART I today, the remaining will be covered in our next posts...
Part I: Best Practices incorporate with E-commerce Website Design:  
Index Page:
  • Test your site – Let’s take 7 seconds test of your site by the one who has seen your site first time and close once after 7 seconds, ask them some questions about the company, the products they are selling, area where the shopping cart is, etc.,. If they do not have any answer of your questions, you may have some issues in your ecommerce website design. So fix them with the professional ecommerce web designers. 
  • Logo – Clear and designed in a way that it looks easy to read and understand. 
  • Tagline – It should be under your logo, which represents your company’s mission or vision. 
  • Banners – Highlight the primary products, brands of your store with the attractive graphics, link to the pages where you are offering discounts, coupons especially increasing sale during holidays.
  • Testimonials – You can use this feature to your site with the option of rotating each of your testimonials one by one to gain the comforts of shopping in your store. 
  • Link to your Blog – If you run a blog with your ecommerce site that guides your customer through the products or services you are selling, it is an added advantage to convert your potential blog visitors to buyers by contextual linking with your sites. 
  • Features products of your store – Use this feature o share list of products that mostly sold in your store with the title of features products and it should be 10 or less.
  • Set up, track conversion – Use Goggle Analytics, and set up a goal conversion starting from your shopping cart page to the ending with checkout. You can use funnel feature of GA to tack systematic conversion process. 
  • Navigation – Categorized you products and fit them into the navigation in a way that it makes easy for the customers to find them. 
  • Breadcrumbs – It is good for SEO and easy to find the page that link to in the site.
  • Aware of Conversion rate – Create a habit to track your conversion rate and keep update in your site accordingly. 
  • Why shopping from our store – Include a page that lists all the reasons why someone should buy from your site and not competitors. 
  • Free Shipping – Offer free shipping to get more sales. 
  • Use of Trust SealsTrust Seals to Encash the Trust. Getting customers to rely on your company versus your competitors is the key to get more conversions. Use these trust seals, VeriSign, McAfee, SSL logos, payment logo (PayPal, Visa, etc.), Shipping options (UPS, FedEx, etc.). 
  • Easy to find contact information – You should include the phone number in header area of the website with large font. Make sure to include the email id, phone no. and other contact information that easily find in your site by the customers. 
  • Social Media Presence – We understand the The Relevance of Social Media to E-commerce so Engaging customers using social networks is the latest trend and you can create your website profile in facebook, twitter etc. and share them in the form of attractive social media icons to show that you are actively communicating with your customers. 
  • Call-to-Action items – Make sure to include the call to action items, links, buttons etc. where it is necessary to have and should engage customer to click. E.g. Add to Cart, Buy Now etc.
  • Site search featureSite Search feature helps when visitors could not find the product they are looking for in your site. It should be on top and you can track the queries that visitors used. 
  • Sitemap – For human, it helps to get an idea of all products that where it has been located, etc. For search engines, it helps to crawl all the pages of your site using the sitemap easily. 
  • Privacy page – Add a page for privacy policy, which should be clear and easy to read and understand. It is usually in the footer of the page and make sure it is short, and it clears about the information you are tracking and storing. 
  • Return and exchange policy – You must be clear about the return and exchange policy, which is easy to find and accessible.
Customer Services:
  • Offer excellent customer service – You should create a value of your business in customer’s mind by offering excellent customer services. 
  • Offer a chat feature – Customer like if your ecommerce site contains a chat option, which helps them in many ways like to get support services, to know the discounts, pricing anytime, even in some cases it can help customers for negotiating the prices for some products or services etc. 
  • Easy return policy – Always be clear in your return policy and make sure to complete this process if it happens with any of your customer by satisfying him. 
  • Free shipping on returned items – This is one more area where an online retailer wins a customers’ heart, if they offer free shipping on the items returned by them. 
  • Thanks you after purchase – Once customer puts an order and the items successfully delivered then call him to make sure they receive the product, which could be the first step to build longer lasting engagement with your customer for future order. Even you can send emails too.
  • Have a human answer the phone – I know I hate those automated systems that you get stuck in, so does everyone else. Have someone answer the phone. It will increase your chances of making a sale. 
  • Personalize everything – Make sure to include your ecommerce store name with anything you send them.
Hope you like this post!

In our next post, you will find what includes in the following area, 
Part II: Best Practices for E-commerce Marketing:
  • Marketing
  • Technical

Steps to Choose a Solution for Ecommerce Website

Choose an ecommerce solution, what technologies are available for creation of e-commerce sites are the questions that trigger in your mind in the initial phase of an ecommerce website development. For an online merchant, technology is indeed a first strategic choice that will affect in many ways like to accelerate the development of online activities, it may increase or decrease the future costs, etc.
You may come across many articles on ecommerce regarding this but it will be very interesting to read the two simple steps to choose an ecommerce solution,
1. Choosing a programming language:
Just do some research through search engines to find the programming languages to develop an ecommerce website, You will get a hundreds of results to choose the technology, but only two of them covers 95% of market, the PHP and asp.Net. These two languages are the excellent in all cases that they produce high-quality ecommerce websites. The main difference is the cost incurred by each technology.
It is the product of Microsoft. It requires purchasing a license to use this language. Moreover, the website must be hosted on a server, which is compatible to .net framework. For small business merchants, it is hard to afford the cost of using this language. In general, the cost per day incurred by the .Net developers are significantly higher than, the PHP developers.
It now represents more than 80% of dynamic sites in the world; therefore, it is a leader in this category. The reason for his success is simple that it can implement all types of sites; it is completely free, including the tools for its modification. It is therefore, ultimately cheaper for the merchant to develop and maintain the ecommerce website in PHP with a quality performance.
2. Choosing a mode - Custom, Proprietary, or Open-source:
Once a merchant chooses a programming language, the next step is to choose a mode or it’s called platform.
There are three modes, 
Custom E-commerce:
In principle, each site is different. The custom ecommerce software company (e.g. Ydeveloper) is responsible for the production of the site, which begin from scratch and build the complete ecommerce solution for his client. The benefit of this method is to acquire a final site ideally suited to the customer's request, both in terms of functionality and in terms of affordability. This is the most effective solution for customizing an ecommerce website. Choose Ydeveloper for Custom Ecommerce…
Proprietary E-commerce:
In these cases, the agency has developed its own 'skeleton' of the e-commerce site, and proposed to the Merchant, with any necessary modifications.
Open source E-commerce:
E-commerce is not a new activity, excessively back and forth the world. Ecommerce Developers come together in as a community and build the most powerful engine or ecommerce software in their eyes. Sometimes these communities are backed by a commercial structure. When their engine is completed, these communities make it available for online merchants, free of charge. If the engine is pleasurable, thousands or even hundreds of thousands of ecommerce websites around the world will adopt it, each of which can notify the community about the existence of a bug, a missing feature, etc and so it will automatically improve and enhance the quality of a particular open source ecommerce solution.
Many agencies then formed to develop the open source solution or the most interesting, offer these solutions to their customers. These are the examples of some of them:
  • osCommerce
  • Magento
  • X-Cart
  • RoR
Click here for more!