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The Laws of ECommerce

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					                                                  Presented by Daniel Toriola


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                                                         The Laws of ECommerce
                                                              By Richard D S Hill



   ECommerce is about converting visitors to your site into customers.

 A bricks and mortar shop has to work hard to get a prospect to make a special visit or passing
prospects to enter. Then the visitor has an investment in the visit. They have expended time, energy
and money to get there. This means that they are quite likely to make a purchase.

 On the web, visiting your store needs just a single mouse click. This also means that there is little
investment and they can just as easily move to another site.

 So, in ECommerce you really have to work hard to ensure that your bounce, page exit and abandoned
cart rates are as low as possible and your co-sale and up-sale rates as high as possible for the best
possible average order value, return visit rate and account lifetime value. ECommerce success needs
to be judged on the total lifetime value of each account and the average of all accounts.

How to be successful

The key management success factors in retail are:

- Customer service and selling

- Demand planning and management

- Forecasting, allocation and replenishment

- Markdown management

- Merchandise and range planning

- Promotion planning and management

- Store operations


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- Supply chain management

In addition all successful retailers understand:

- The competition

 - Branding – retail is not just products, but an experience with customers selective but willing to pay
for:

- relevance

- excitement

- quality

- simplifying life

- improvements

- Customer loyalty, relationships and awareness:

- promotional campaigns and marketing techniques

- merchandising visual impacts

 - it is not just about price: “Customers move to the lower cost           provider when marketers stop giving
them reasons not to.” Tom Peters.

- Retail is detail - hours, displays, point of sale, categories, isles, music, etc. etc. etc.

 - Retail is news you have to be a "step ahead" and in sync with the consumer’s perception of value:
“It’s not the strongest of the species and not the wisest that survive, but the ones that are most
responsive to change.” Charles Darwin.

 On the web you still need all these skills and approaches, but because it’s so easy to “click away” you
also have to understand a lot more.

 Firstly, understand how people behave on the web - and this applies to all sites not just ECommerce
sites. They go to the web and they search (find), decide and then act. But, that final decision to act -
the one that we want - is based on a whole gamut of emotional factors bound up in trust, ease and
entertainment. See diagram:
http://www.e-crm.co.uk/newsletters/find-decide-act-trust-ease-entertainment.html

Secondly, understand the laws of ECommerce.

- Get visitors to the site

- Search engine optimisation



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- Pay-per-click

- Email

- Affiliates

- Online public relations

- Convert visitors into customers

- Sales

- Special offers

- Coupons

- Associated products

- Recommendations

- Site effectiveness

- Build relationships

- Make sure the site works – fast load times etc. Sounds obvious                 but……..

- Think like a consumer – show you understand what they want

- Be visually clean – clutter does not work

- Be clear about your advantages over the competition – price promise                  etc

- Never rest on your laurels - change your “window” display regularly

- Build trust – don’t oversell

- Make contact by phone, email, letter etc easy – it increases                consumers’ confidence

- Answer emails, calls and letters fast – build your reputation,              service is an investment

- Have logical categories – confusion leads to exit

- Make products easy to find – put them in more than one category

- Put your best margin high volume goods up front – highlight what                 most people buy

- Show the site is secure – get certified

- Have great on site search – multiple navigation routes can make life                easier

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- Consider up sell and cross sell opportunities - offer products that       fit together

- Keep it simple – 1 click navigation if possible, tell people where       they are

- Be transparent – have clear pricing, shipping and returns          information

- List drop down boxes logically – country lists etc. don’t make me         search!

- A picture is worth a thousand words - but people want clear written          information too

- Make sure it’s in stock – having out of stock items show just annoys

- Integrate with your back office – stock control etc

- Give something for nothing if you can - reviews, price comparisons,          cool links

- Show community responsibility – charities you support, show you            are ‘green’ etc.

- Market your site - it's not enough to just build it

- Collect email addresses – send offers and newsletters

- As few pages in the checkout as possible - longer equals more likely             to leave

- Make sure they can easily add and delete products at checkout – I            may have a budget

- Make payment processing easy – don’t repeat what’s in the checkout

 - Make sure your forms use common names for fields so that they're            recognized by toolbars that
have an auto fill function

- Make sure you auto respond – confirm the purchase details            immediately by email

- Make sure you deliver the goods fast – people hate waiting

Do you have retail sites you rate? Let us know. Here are some we rate.

- http://www.millets.co.uk/

- http://www.bluebanana.cc/

- http://www.bluenile.co.uk/

- http://www.jdcycles.co.uk/

Richard Hill is a director of E-CRM Solutions and has spent many years in senior direct and interactive
marketing roles. E-CRM helps you to grow by getting you more customers that stay with you longer.
http://www.e-crm.co.uk/newsletters/e-crm-2008-12-june-newsletter.html

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                                          Ecommerce Hosting - Your Ultimate Guide
                                                                 By Danny Ng



When you are hosting an ecommerce project, you will need a web host that is stable, able to reply to
support requests promptly and be able to provide hosting that will keep you business going great. Not
every web host has those qualities, so you need to make sure you look at several different factors
before you purchase your ecommerce hosting.

 Hosting an ecommerce solution can be very difficult. When you are searching for your next host, you
should check to see if they have any reviews from people who run ecommerce sites, many hosts will
have them. Also, you can ask any potential host if they have an uptime policy in their service
agreements with customers. A quality web host will offer either cash back or a credit for any of their
customers who are experiencing downtime. When looking for ecommerce hosting, you may want to
ask your host about redundant hosting. That means that if one system were to fail, other backups are
in place and switch on to take over for that failed system. While this may increase the price of your
hosting, several hosts offer it and it can make sure that your ecommerce site is online as much as
possible.

 Having an ecommerce site can also require a large amount of bandwidth and disk space, especially
for large sites. Many hosting plans may not be able to accommodate an ecommerce site. You will
either need a reseller hosting package or a dedicated server. While these types of hosting packages
may be more expensive than shared hosting on a shared server, they can help increase your uptime
as well as give you more options for growing your business. Many hosts may offer unlimited packages
that say they can support unlimited amounts of bandwidth and disk space, these are usually unstable
hosts and should be avoided if at all possible.

 When you are looking for a hosting package, you do not want to pay a large amount of money. With
ecommerce hosting, you may be better off paying the large cost upfront rather than losing the money
through downtime and other hosting problems down the road. With most hosts, the more money you
put into hosting, the better results you get out of it. For small ecommerce accounts, you may be able to
skate by with a shared hosting account, but when business gets serious you will really need a
dedicated server or at least a reseller hosting account.

 Different ecommerce sites have different hosting needs. However, if you are using a script to host your
site, or know that you need certain features upfront, make sure to ask the hosting companies sales
department before you spend your money. This will save you not only time, but money as well.
Purchasing hosting for ecommerce can be a very long and arduous process, however, with a little bit of
work you can find a host that will make you perfectly happy for many years to come.

Looking for the Best Web Hosting site? We have the solution for you! Visit http://bestwebsitehost.org
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                                                 Presented by Daniel Toriola




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