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Tuesday, August 17th, 2010
E-commerce Primer

We recently had a great workshop with e-commerce guru Maryssa Miller. Most recently, Maryssa worked with Lacoste and will soon start working at the luxury e-commerce firm Create The Group. During a few days between gigs, she was gracious enough to come in and share some ideas and issues around e-commerce with our Interactive group. Here’s a quick roundup:

  • One of the first things she stressed was how a brand’s “user experience” is based on much more than how the site looks and works. Of equal importance is customer service: How do you handle my shipping questions? How easy is a return? Can I request multiple ship-to’s?
  • Logistics are also key for consumers, so keeping shipping calculations simple is an easy way to get a win for your store. Typically, Maryssa recommends determining shipping by the number of items in an order, or by the order’s value. Try a flat fee, or free shipping for orders over a certain size.
  • Even though you’re running a store, you still need a content strategy. Enriching the site content with ratings, reviews, tags, stories, and blogs is a great way to increase traffic and create a strong emotional connection with customers.
  • Social media is quickly replacing e-mail for marketing to a younger demographic.  Updating Facebook or Twitter regularly should be a priority.
  • Maryssa was quick to point out that CONVERSION is the real factor that generates revenue. The conversion rate will determine whether your store makes money from the traffic or not.
  • Paid search links should always link to a product page sorted by either “Bestsellers” or “New Arrivals,” not just the standard category page. Regarding traffic generation, the mix was roughly: 40% paid search, 40% email marketing, 10% comparison shopping engines, and 10% other:  SEO, affiliates, etc.
  • Last, Maryssa advised using category and search results pages with more information within the product grid to make shopping easier.

Thanks again to Maryssa and good luck with  your new gig at Create The Group.

Posted by: Greg Steinberg

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