Blue Fountain Media Reveals Techniques Behind Great Ecommerce Websites by prweb

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									Blue Fountain Media Reveals Techniques Behind Great Ecommerce Websites
Ecommerce websites offer businesses an opportunity to drive sales to anyone with access to the web. Utilizing the web enables them to reach a far larger base of customers than possible through retail outlets alone. Blue Fountain Media has developed a list of key best practices that set the top ecommerce websites apart from their competitors.
(Vocus) June 30, 2009 -- Ecommerce websites offer businesses an opportunity to drive sales to anyone with access to the web. Utilizing the web enables them to reach a far larger base of customers than possible through retail outlets alone. Blue Fountain Media (www.bluefountainmedia.com) has developed a list of key best practices that set the top ecommerce websites apart from their competitors. There are a number of important factors that are key to successful ecommerce website design. Simple Messaging and Product Focus Any good business has a very simple mission statement. Simple missions don’t imply a small business opportunity. Google’s mission is very simple: organizing the world’s information and making it universally accessible. Google’s business isn’t small. For any business or website to be successful, it’s very important that their messaging is clear and succinct. Most successful ecommerce websites make sure this messaging is clearly communicated on the website itself. What is the website trying to achieve or sell in one short simple sentence? At the same time, it’s smart to focus the ecommerce website on a narrow niche. Focusing on a niche means not competing with everyone. When you compete with everyone, you face stiff competition in large ecommerce players like Walmart and Amazon. These big players are able to utilize their massive scale to drive down prices and eliminate their competition. No one wants to be competing with the giants who sell everything. Focus the ecommerce site on a specific niche and establish credibility and loyalty within that niche. After succeeding in one niche, the site may then branch out into related categories, using an existing audience as a lead for future revenue streams. In this way, it’s possible to come to dominate a category and build a strong business. Unique, Differentiating Design Many new websites appear bland and uninspired. Often, they are based on template designs that copy other websites. A unique, differentiating design that evokes a brand will create an immediate and lasting connection with visitors. Creating this emotional connection will help to drive sales on an ecommerce site. Provide the user with a memorable experience on the website - something they will remember after visiting, and ideally, recommend to friends. In addition to the unique aesthetics, the website should be clear, concise and very easy to navigate. Natural and intuitive navigation allow users to browse without having to think. As an example, breadcrumbs are an effective way to show users where they are located within the site. User-friendly navigation ensures visitors can browse to purchases without difficulty. Encourage Repeat Visitors It’s important to provide users with reasons to return to a site. Personalized, customizable features are a strong
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incentive as they provide users with a sense of control over their experience. A customizable homepage will appeal to each user’s interests. Perhaps the site can allow users to track specific products of interest or new product launches on the homepage. Such ability would make the user feel special and unique upon returning to the site. User-generated functionality (forums, blogs) enables users to interact with others and have their questions answered. This level of interaction encourages repeat visits through fostering a sense of community on the site. Good ecommerce website owners know to update content as frequently as they would like the visitors to return. If they want visitors to return a few times a day, there should be fresh content on the site every few hours. Customizable features, user-generated functionality, and freshly updated content are all compelling reasons why users would return often to the ecommerce site. Finally, Marketing Site owners are often ecstatic that they have finished building the beautiful website with product focus that encourages repeat visitors. It’s great! But it’s also not good to forget about marketing. Newly launched websites will have hardly any traffic because no one knows about them. No one should expect people to spontaneously type in the web address once the site is launched! There are many ways to market an online site. Search engine optimization is the most cost-effective strategy that has the most enduring effect. It takes some time to implement but it’s worth the wait. In addition, viral marketing can be a low cost way of generating traffic. Enable users to share products, recommend products, tell friends and share content on the major social-media sites. These features provide the site with the ability for viral distribution.

The bottom line is that ensuring fresh traffic is critical to driving sales on the ecommerce site. Once the site has launched, it’s an important milestone, but important marketing work remains to be done. Putting all these pieces together is what makes Blue Fountain Media’s ecommerce sites great. ###

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Contact Information Megan Hilts Blue Fountain Media http://www.bluefountainmedia.com/ (212) 260-1978

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