Shop Talk: Best Practices for Promoting Your E-Commerce Website
Q: "I recently started my own e-commerce website selling natural health products, and I'd love some best practices around how to better commercialize the website to increase sales. Thanks!" — Angela Garcia, team leader, NHT Global
A: Hi Angela, glad you asked! Since you're specifically selling natural health products, I assume that they're consumable (i.e., get used up). That means the key to your success is encouraging people to get into the habit of reordering. There are a number of things you should be considering to optimize the reorder experience, including the following:
1. Email communication: What you say when they're not on your website buying says volumes. Find a reason to capture a customer's email address as soon as possible, then start communicating with them in a helpful, informative manner — don't send just promotional efforts.
2. Business model: Experiment with automatic billing and reordering. If someone is used to paying a recurring charge on their card, they're likely to let that continue on autopilot. Often a free trial (with credit card required) that converts to an automatic subscription unless cancelled is a great way to go.
3. Packaging: Make sure every customer touchpoint, from your website to the product itself, is the highest quality possible. Your customers want to see an attractive and eco-friendly presentation that will make them feel better about their health.
4. Billing and shipping: Fine-tuning the checkout process is key. Often you have to experiment with the credit card fraud settings. If your checkout has fewer steps or form fields, more people will complete it. Sometimes setting your fraud detection measure too tightly (and asking for additional information) can actually cost you money.
Tim Ash is the author of the best-selling book "Landing Page Optimization." He's also the CEO of SiteTuners, an online conversion rate optimization firm, as well as the founder of the Conversion Conference. Tim can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tim Ash is the author of the bestselling book Landing Page Optimization, and CEO of SiteTuners. A computer scientist and cognitive scientist by education (his PhD studies were in Neural Networks and Artificial Intelligence), Tim has developed an expertise in user-centered design, persuasion and understanding online behavior, and landing page testing. In the mid-1990s he became one of the early pioneers in the discipline of website conversion rate optimization. Over the past 15 years, Tim has helped a number of major US and international brands to develop successful web-based initiatives. Companies like Google, Expedia, Kodak, eHarmony, Facebook, American Express, Canon, Nestle, Symantec, Intuit, AutoDesk and many others have benefitted from Tim's deep understanding and innovative perspective.
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