Web Wisdom from NEMOA

Amy Africa led an impressive panel of e-commerce experts at the 2007 Fall NEMOA conference. The panelists freely discussed their current plans and methods for e-commerce marketing and driving sales to their websites. If you have ever met Amy (or heard her speak) you know she moves fast. Here are some specific tips from the notes we took.

Website Search
  • improve the quality of your text data to improve search results
  • be sure to keep spelling correct and include the ability to find matches when customers' search entry is misspelled
  • never have a failed search show “no results” - instead, have the page that comes up say something like “we didn’t find a match to your inquiry but here are some things that might interest you” and display results similar to the search
Website Updates
  • you can seasonally change the color of your website to give your site a fresh look without adding new content
  • you should update your website at half the number of your repeat traffic - so if people come back to your site at an average of every eight days - you should update your website every four days
  • 40% of your website traffic should be repeat visitors
  • use microsites for specific products, this allows your customers to find what they want more quickly
  • measure the effectiveness of a microsite to see if it improves conversion rates
  • your microsite should have the same navigation as your full website (one of the panelist’s told the story of creating a microsite for a specific group of their customers, in one month this microsite doubled the previous six month sales to this audience)
Abandoned Shopping Carts
  • 55-62% is the average percent of orders that are started on a website and then not completed (known as abandoned shopping carts)
  • you should be able to convert 50% of your abandoned shopping carts into sales
  • you should have an e-mail program that is specifically designed for this task, the first e-mail in the program should go out in the 2-5 minutes after the cart is abandoned. It should start with “Thanks for looking...”
Increasing Sales
  • 80% of online transactions take place in 12 minutes or more - add relevant content as a way to increase time spent on your website
  • 40-60% of a website’s success depends upon the quality of your website’s navigation, consider using images within your navigational system
  • providing cross sell and upsell choices moves your site visitor into the buying process - choices make customers feel more comfortable purchasing
This is just a sampling of the information Amy presented and demonstrates how important it is to keep track of your website data and use it to continually improve your
e-commerce performance. A few more general comments from Amy on marketing:
  • stay focused on selling things
  • view all marketing as one process
  • use a website format that works, there are standards that customers have come to expect (just like in the grocery store - where the milk is near the eggs)

Amy Africa, Eight by Eight: www.eightbyeight.com

Larry Davis, Ross-Simons: www.ross-simons.com
Laura Natto, Cuddle Down: www.cuddledown.com
Hy Schwatrz, S & S Worldwide: www.ssww.com
Don Devine, Lighthouse Marketing, LTD: www.lighthousedepot.com

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