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Does Your Shopping Cart Have a Squeaky Wheel?
Have you ever gone grocery shopping just before a holiday? The aisles are packed with people pushing carts, shelves need restocked, all the checkout lanes have long lines...not a fun experience.
Just like in-person shopping, making online shopping easy and painless is key to getting customers to purchase from your store.
Let's examine the internet shopping process from start to finish exposing some places in the process that your store may have a squeaky cart.
Make the Product Easy to Find
Offer a search capability if your store has a large number of products. Most buyers don't have the patience to wade through 20 pages of products to find what they want.
Share Availability Early On
Now that the customer has found the product, let them know that it is in stock and ready to ship. Right on the product page or when they place it in their shopping cart let the customer know their purchase can be on its way soon. Don't wait until after they've placed the order to tell them it will be another 6-8 weeks.
Streamline the Order Form
Limit your order form to the basics. Shipping information, credit card or payment information, and the quantity and order number are all it takes. This isn't the place to conduct market research or ask for loads of information. Keep the order form short and simple. For future purchases, keep the customer's data on file so they can fly through the ordering even faster next time.
Handling Your Shipping (and Handling)
One big reason many people don't shop on the internet is that they have to pay for shipping. Offer a variety of shipping options to the customer so that she can decide how quickly she needs the item and what she is willing to pay to have the product delivered. Resist the temptation to add large handling fees to the shipping costs. What looked like a great online deal at $19.95 isn't nearly as attractive when shipping + handling brings the total cost to $29.95.
Keeping your online order process simple and straightforward will enhance your customer's satisfaction and the likelihood that they will visit your store again.
About The Author
Megan Corwin is an internet marketing coach who helps work at home professionals grow their businesses. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a complimentary 30 minute coaching session. For more articles and advice about online marketing strategy and solutions, become a member of Megan's online community for work at home women: http://www.wahwoman.com/membership.html
Cheap Cigarettes, Discount Tobacco and Cigars Online - Is It Legal?
Many people online today still believe that buying tobacco products via the Internet is an experience that is doomed to failure. Either, the package will go astray, or the HM Customs and Excise storm troopers will smash down the door and abseil from the roof to collect the pennies that they are allegedly due for "tax evasion".
Are You Making These E-Commerce Excuses? (part 1)
A year ago, I had big plans to re-vamp my web site. I was going to publish my e-newsletter twice a month ? every month, and I was going to upgrade my own e-commerce capabilities. Those were my Internet marketing "resolutions" for 2004.
Choosing on Order Fulfillment Service
When your eCommerce business grows to the point where you can no longer package and ship the orders yourself, it's time to begin outsourcing your order fulfillment. Although all order fulfillment centers offer the same basic services, their individual methods and costs will help you choose one over the other. When selecting an order fulfillment service, keep the following in mind:
7 Questions to Ask A Potential Internet Merchant Account Provider
Recently I went looking for an online merchant account, with disastrous results. I made the mistake of taking information at face value and relying on the ecommerce merchant account provider's good reputation in other areas.
Eleven Things You Must Know About A Drop Shipping Directory And Its Company
1. Balance - You want to find a directory rich in many different categories of products rather than the quantity of products available. Many of the directories try to advertise how many products are available in their directory (i.e. 500,000 products). Why is the number of categories important? A directory will not serve you well if it has hundreds of thousands of products, and none of them are in your product interest category. A directory with a good balance has focused on their categories of drop shipper products rather than the quantity. This gives you a better chance of finding something for your line of business.
Selecting The Right Shopping Cart For Your Website
Shopping Cart Installation And Setup
How Measuring Key Performance Indicators Can Improve E-Commerce Strategy - Part Three
The first article of this series discussed page views per session as a kind of early warning system key performance indicator (KPI) for your website. The second discussed time on site as another warning flag. Both of these articles show specific measurements used to forecast site problems. There are lots of KPI's you can set up to warn you of impending doom or better show your successes but to go through each one would take me till the end of next year. So to wrap up this series, this article will discuss the general metrics you should be looking at as an 'e' business and more importantly why you should be looking at them.
Do Your Online Brokerage Business With Zero Down
If you have little or no capital but you want to do big international business; if your small business is not doing so well; or your capital is low, why don't you turn to the Internet? The Internet is the fastest and most efficient method for the newcomer and the struggling businessperson to become an international broker of goods and services.
Why Ecommerce is Not Ready for My Daughter or Me
As the mother of a teenage clothing fanatic I'm often at my local mall. It occurred to me that the shopping experience for my daughter is attractive to her not because she wants to spend my money, but because the experience of buying itself is so rich to the senses.
Maximize Your Froogling for Increased Website Profits
Are you familiar with Froogle? If you are an online merchant, you certainly should be.
7 Suggestions for an i-Mom Friendly Web Site (e-commerce news and statistics)
The Internet began as a male dominated medium, but those days are long gone and merchants are advised to make sure their websites are female friendly to faciliate the rising surge of busy i-Moms shopping online for their family and friends.
How to Gain Your Visitors Trust
If you are serious about selling on the world wide web and being successful, your number one priority must be gaining your visitor's trust. Without trust you won't sale much and that's really being optimistic. How do visitors know that they can trust a web site enough to buy? In this article I'll show how to gain the trust of your visitors.
Something new in e-commerce: the Echo System Build
How four partners build and manage an exclusive art posters web site by emulating the way the echo works. Imagine a top-notch photographer, some demanding visitors and an e-commerce site that wants to make money. But not at any price and in any conditions, within a policy of exclusivity and selectivity. You have got three quarters of our "Echosystem Build":
Products for a Successful Web Business
There are F words in business. We have seen many small businesses on the internet flourish and fulfil their dream, but sadly we have seen some flounder and fail because they had the wrong product.
Google to Compete with PayPal?
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Online Customer Service - The Cornerstone of a Successful Online Business
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Selling Globally Through a B2B Exchange
Participation in B2B Exchanges is increasingly becoming one of the fastest growing marketing methods for businesses looking for augmenting their client base beyond their local markets. Any good B2B Exchange offers direct contact with thousands of prospective buyers in a single location. For some new participants of a B2B Exchange, it appears to be a goldmine as they discover unexpected quantity of readymade clients without much effort from their side. Of course, there are many other great benefits companies can reap from getting involved in a B2B Exchange.
7 Key Steps To Reduce Refunds and Chargebacks
One sure-fire way to loosing out big time on your business profits is from incidences of excessive refunds and chargeback requests. If the number is high in any period you could risk loosing your third party merchant account altogether. So what do you do when there are some who will request a refund within 15 minutes of purchasing your product? Or even more pettier are those who will wait until the last possible moment to request a refund. Well not all is lost because merchant account providers are very well informed as to the credit card numbers of persistent refund and chargeback claimants. Just like their list of fraudulent credit card users, stolen credit cards etc they have a database of what I call "Refund Junkies". There appears to be no end to the unethical tactics some people will use to get your product for free.Use the following tips to further safeguard against refunds and expensive chargeback costs. The good news is that refunds are easy to process and do not carry any additional fees. However as a merchant you want to ensure that refunds are kept to a minimum.1. Clearly State the Billing NameFirst and foremost state the name of your third party credit card processor on your sales pages and include them in your terms and follow up email receipts so that customers are fully aware of what company name will appear on their billing statements. This will reduce the number of customers who do not recognize the billing name on their statements from contacting their credit card issuers for a chargeback. This one factor can lead to an unprecedented number of chargebacks claims.2. Provide Your Customer Support DetailsProvide your email address so that customers can contact you regarding any queries about their order. Make sure that you answer them in a timely manner to avoid unnecessary delays. If a customer is not responded to promptly they are very likely to make a refund request.3. Offer Lifetime UpdatesOffering your customers lifetime updates to your product and services to add value and will encourage them to remain customers in the knowledge that they will always receive your most current edition of your goods.4. Reward Loyal Customers With Exclusive PrivilegesOffer your customers a product that can be used freely as long as they are fully paid members, as part of a membership site. Or use a tool which is only available to customers and cannot be accessed after a refund request is made. As long as your offer is valuable to your customers and members you are will substantially reduce the number of refund requests.5. Provide The Best GuaranteeYour guarantee could become a thorn in your side if you have a very short time span before customers can test out and use your product. But studies show that the longer the guarantee period the less refund requests are made because customers are more comfortable with their rights to cancel if the product or service does not meet their needs.This is at your discretion as a merchant so testing is important to work out what is best for you. Remember to take into account that some third party processors have a limit on the maximum refund time their merchants can issue to customers.6. Accurate Product DescriptionsAvoid making bold claims that are "too good to be true" if you cannot deliver the results. You could be setting yourself up for a big fall and your customers will request refunds if your product description does not fulfill their needs. You could also be breaking the law and be liable to charges if a law suit is brought against your company. Make sure your sale letter accurately reflects your goods for sale and highlight the TRUE benefits of owning the goods.7. Surprise BonusesIt is a great surprise when you buy something and receive additional unadvertised bonuses. This can warm your customers to your company and can only please them. It also demonstrates that you do not need to publicize your bonuses because you believe in your product so much that it will sell on its own merit.Dispelling MythsAll too often I have read articles and statements claiming that with third party merchant accounts there are no chargeback fees and that you never have your company name display on customer statements. These claims are inaccurate. The facts are that some do not have chargeback fees. I have personally researched 90+ third party processing companies and have contacted them to verify certain key points in their terms of contract and fee schedule. There are some third party processors that do not issue chargeback fees or refunds, such as can be found with some digital gold currencies. In this case the merchant must initiate a refund directly to the customer.There are some third party processors who do not levy chargeback fees but you will find that these are very few in number and they will typically have a higher processing fee to cover their costs. Don't be mistaken in thinking that third party processors do not pass on chargeback fees to their merchants. You only have to read their terms in full to find out exactly what you can expect to be charged for per chargeback incident. I highlight these important facts in my book The A-Z of No Merchant Accounts for your convenience.
Dont Get Ripped Off Getting A Merchant Account
Far too many people get ripped off when setting up a merchant account for their online business. The biggest reason is that they don't understand their options and are intimidated by the whole process. Now, armed with the proper knowledge, you don't need to become a victim of this process.
Short Story: The Benefits of Shopping Online
Maria's new lifestyle: Short story about the benefits shopping on the Net has given to a dedicated artist.
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