Technology Focus Connect, Search, Click and Conquer
Three experts offer key pointers on Web site hosting, e-loyalty programs and advanced search engines.
These days, catalogers reach more customers via the Web than ever before, and a growing number of them now receive a majority of their orders online. So in this technology focus, we've grouped together three articles to help marketers 1) better manage their e-commerce businesses, 2) use the Web and e-mail to keep customers loyal and 3) revamp their sites with advanced search capabilities.
1. Might it be wise to switch to a hosted software solution to better manage your e-commerce business? Some analysts feel the days are numbered for traditional order management and fulfillment systems, which catalogers pay for by seat license and manage in their IT departments on their own servers. With primarily small- and medium-size catalogers in mind, technology expert Ernie Schell discusses the pros and cons of migrating to online, hosted services.
2. Do you really need a full-fledged loyalty program to keep pace with your competitors? Research indicates that some targeted Web site improvements and e-mail campaigns can have a positive impact on loyalty by improving the overall online experience. MarketLive's Ken Burke offers four techniques that can make your online offering more relevant to customers' interests and needs, and build retention and loyalty while avoiding the costs of developing and running a formal loyalty program.
3. Should an advanced search engine be a "must-have" for your e-commerce business? A customer's inability to quickly find the products she's interested in is the No. 1 reason cited for not completing a purchase online. Ecometry Corp.'s Brian Dean explains how advanced search engines can make dramatic improvements in reducing the number of searches required to find a specific product, increasing revenue per site visit.
—Nicole Rollender, managing editor