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Get Better Results with eCommerce Platforms

October 03, 2015 4:19 PM
Posted by Peter Carson
ECommerce platforms like Pinnacle Cart are only as effective as the distinct strategies used by online store owners to woo and keep customers.

If you've already subscribed or purchased the source code for shopping cart software, bear in mind that you still have to decide the final layout of your online store.

Essential features and functionalities are most likely already pre-packaged with your software  it's just a matter of deciding which features to use prominently in your store and which ones to "hibernate" for the meantime.

Here are some guidelines that will help you decide which features to prioritize:

1. Discounts, discounts everywhere!  People love discounts, however small. This is one of the main driving principles in marketing and sales: give a discount, gain more profit.

Getting a discount often feels like winning the lottery to many buyers. Apart from special or recurring sales, you can also offer free shipping or at least, discounted delivery fees when people purchase several items from your store.

For example, you can offer free shipping if the customer bought at least $100 worth of merchandise from your store.

"Free shipping" is one of the biggest "deal makers" used by companies like Amazon to sweeten their deals. If you want to drive sales in particular product categories, all you have to do is promote the product category on the main page to attract interested buyers.

It's important that you inform people of your special discounts and freebies during the product selection phase so the thought of getting something for free will stay with your customers until they reach checkout. A customer will anticipate the "freebie" (even if it's just free shipping) and it will increase his motivation to complete the checkout of his/her selected items.

2. Save user registration for last. In the world of online shopping, filling up forms is the last thing that anybody would want to do. That's why you should be careful in designing the checkout process. Unless your customer is ready to provide payment information, don't ask him/her to fill up a user registration form.

The registration form should only contain the essential fields needed for you to fulfill the transaction.

Avoid adding random promotions and other unnecessary elements (like surveys) when asking your customer to fill up a user registration form. There are more effective ways to get that type of information from customers. Reserve the checkout page for payments and asking for names and street addresses.

If you want to promote other products and hold customer surveys, your most viable option would be to capture emails through an opt-in system. You can offer vouchers and discounts to entice customers to give you their real email addresses.

Be sure to remind your customers to whitelist your store's main email address so your promotional emails don't end up in the spam folder. Email services like Gmail and Yahoo Mail take spam very seriously. Whenever you email your customers be sure to provide something of real value so they don't get tired of receiving your messages

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