Many online shoppers love bargain hunting and utilize a comparison shopping engine for research along with finding the perfect etailer they can trust. When a potential customer comes across your site through a product or merchant review in a shopping engine the first time they are likely in research mode. Once the customer moves from the research phase to buying phase they are usually going to purchase from a site discovered during the research phase. Of course you will need to have a good reputation for this to happen; negative reviews will nail the coffin shut very quickly. The more positive exposure the greater probability you are to turn potential customers into real customers. Google ranks comparison shopping engines on its first page of results for products more and more it seems including results from Google Product Search. You have probably seen the “Shopping Results” link either when searching for one of your own keywords or when shopping for yourself.
You can now get ten different e-commerce templates for Miva Merchant 5.5 shopping cart software. You can purchase the Miva Merchant skins and have them professionally installed. You also have the option of self installing the skins on your online store. There will be more skins released in the future so keep an eye out for new releases.
All online store owners want to increase traffic to their site and the less it costs the better. Many small business owners may not know where to start when it comes to getting their website to show up in Google, Yahoo, MSN, Ask and others. There are many free resources out there to help some one learn if they are willing to spend the time. Here is an overview of two of my favorites for getting started.
Every ecommerce store owner wants (or should) to make thier site customer friendly and improve conversion rates. Usually these two go hand in hand with measuring & testing of your site needed to find improvements. Most people know about Google Analytics but what else is out there to help you optimize your site? Here are five tools, two from Google and three from other companies, that will help you figure out what can be improved with your online store.
San Diego, CA, 2008/09/19—Miva Merchant (www.mivamerchant.com), a leading supplier of e-commerce software and services to small and medium sized businesses and Innovative Merchant Solutions (IMS) (www.innovativemerchant.com), an Intuit Company, today announced that they have entered into an agreement to attach payment-processing services to store owners who purchase the popular Miva Merchant e-commerce platform.
In our latest newsletter we went over using Google Trends, Google Insights and Microsoft’s Keyword Forecast to spot keyword trends for seasonal product offerings. There are also some great tools to measure keyword use in blogs and twitter to give insight into social media discussion trends. This data can be just as valuable since it is straight from the consumers mouth coupled with what is being said, not just the keyword in a silo.
Last year’s Miva Merchant Conference was a great success and we are already planning the next one for 2009. The Miva Merchant Conference is one of the most intimate social conferences you will attend all year. Meet & greet with fellow Miva Merchant store owners, partners, developers, designers, support staff and internal Miva Merchant experts. Join us for golf Thursday morning and a cocktail reception that evening. Here is a brief overview of what you can expect at the biggest event for Miva Merchant store owners.
Building an online store is just the beginning in an ecommerce business that is destined to grow and become more profitable each year. Once you have your site up to approximately 100 visitors a day or 3,000 visitors a month it is time to start figuring out where you can make improvements. The first step is to use an analytics tool such as Google Analytics, ClickTracks or WebTrends. Google Analytics is very powerful and best of all you will love the price, free!
Tapping into the holiday season is a great way to maximize revenue over the busiest shopping time of the year. From Halloween through New Years is a great time to capitalize on consumer spending by catering to customers seasonal shopping sprees. The best online stores start planning as early as June for products & promotions to add for the holidays. Last minute rushing to offer a product or put together a promotion often leads to leaving revenue on the table. Start checking with distributors and manufacturers early on seasonal products for the year. It is common for holiday products to change each year and offering what is hot this year is better than advertising last year’s old news. You also want to secure inventory for promotional products so that you are not left with a bunch of unfilled orders from an overwhelming response to a hot product. No one wants to see a gift on backorder so avoid order cancellations with proper product stock.
Online Store Usability
Your online store has about 5 seconds to impress a visitor enough to stay and shop. In order to maximize the impact you can have in this short first impressions window is to have a fast loading site that is inherently easy to follow. Take note of sites such as Amazon.com, BestBuy.com and Ebay.com who have all mastered selling online. An easy to follow navigation structure, security logos to build trust, search box and pictures representing top products & categories are all keys to having a very easy to use online store.