Thursday, November 8, 2007

How to Deal with Lazy Shoppers

Okay, I know this is little too fussy on my part, but blame the forum people for coming up with this idea. Nothing wrong with taking time to look at your ecommerce shopping cart. In fact, I still believe in the adage "Simplicity in structure is a true masterpiece and is really deceptive because one doesn't see the hard work behind it." If you can exert more effort to make things simple for your store shoppers, then you score plus points from them.

Much has been said about making the ecommerce shopping cart efficient and so many techniques have been devised to make this happen.

The process of filling up credit card details is a good example. Imagine yourself typing in all the numbers and realizing the fields are separated every 3 digits. Or, if you are required to format the date. Or, if you typed in the wrong details and went all the way till the last page before you got a "Ooops, error in xxx field. Please fill up entire form again!" message. These little things may cause annoyance and even ecommerce shopping cart abandonment. Do you have an excuse?

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Can Your Ecommerce Store Offer More?

Recent statistics say that more and more (or most) users online are largely the rich and upscale shopper types. They book flights, buy jewelry, or transact their bills through the Internet. An ecommerce store may likely be populated with the rather deep pocketed buyers. I'd say this is practically obvious, since you cannot buy unless you have funds to pay for your goods.

My case is different, however. When I'm out to buy jewelry in the malls, I get frustrated by the fact that jewelry stores close shop rather too early at night. Of course, they do it for security reasons. An ecommerce store selling gems and silver earrings is open 24 hours a day. If you wish to order from the catalog, you have the option to pick it up their landbased store or have it delivered to you.

This is a good example of the shift of purchase from brick and mortar to an ecommerce store. Whether buyers are rich or poor, online purchase offers far more options and availability for everyone. The same goes for travel booking and transacting bills online. Instead of going to the landbased bank, bills can be automatically paid online and funds can be transferred easily.

Eventually discount stores such as Wal-Mart will have to offer more high end versions of products to the richer shoppers while still selling low-priced but quality items to the more frugal.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

International Merchant Account - Mo' Options, Mo' Money?

If it weren't for the ability to buy and sell online, would international merchant account providers even exist? I doubt it. Ecommerce merchants are a different breed of sellers for many reasons. They have more options in selling. They have more choices in accepting payments. They are on the forefront of the cutting edge industry and can innovate techniques as much as they can. Above all, they may act as an extension of an already existing brick and mortar store, and thus are able to enhance the consumers' buying experience.

When it comes to expansion, nothing is more beneficial than establishing your business with an international merchant account provider. Without it, it may be impossible to expand your consumer base overseas. Of course there are alternatives but this is the best and most convenient way to do it.

Expanding your consumer base internationally means you would have to create a bigger product catalog, perhaps acquire more ecommerce domains, hire additional customer service staff, or process larger volume of payments. Most international merchant account providers can offer services for any of these needs. All you have to do is research and decide which provider is best for your business.

Monday, November 5, 2007

ECOMMERCE SOLUTION 16 - Can You Really Make Money Having Fun Online?

When you work for money, do you work for fun? Okay, let me put it this way. If your goal is to make money, do you have fun in the process of achieving it? Is it part of your ecommerce strategy to mix business with pleasure?

In the online business industry, there are two types of people. Those who work too hard and forget to play, and those who play too much and forget to work. Which one are you between these two? They say too much of everything isn't always healthy and can get you to the psychiatric ward in no time. And dig this, have you heard of an Internet user in China who actually died after three days of using the Internet nonstop?

If your ecommerce strategy is to earn money online, then get to work and focus on work. If you work to earn money online though, don't take it all dead serious! A lot of merchants get distracted by the entertainment they get in the Internet. But there's a fine line that separates fun and making money. Balance and discipline are the key.

If you're not sure how you're meeting your goals in terms of having fun while going after it, check your hours. Do you spend more time surfing online for games, jokes, and gossip more than working? Do you spend more time getting all geeky than taking a break for outdoors? Create a balance and stick to your schedule. An ecommerce strategy like this is the basis of success, and, well, keeps you sane.

ECOMMERCE SOLUTION 12 - Keep Notes and Stay Alive

Enough said about knowledge being power. The Internet is actually a neural network of gazillions of information, information makers, and information takers that without delving into this aspect of doing honest to goodness research, you will be left in the station when the train starts to chug away. An excellent ecommerce solution is to create space and time where (and when) you can dedicate a part of your online efforts to stocking up on knowledge.

Information doesn't come naturally to most merchants. In fact, some merchants say they're too busy to read or learn anything else outside their business. If you're working as your own boss, spend a day just reading and taking notes, talking to people, listening to seminars, and generally ingesting information relevant to your business. If you have a staff, assign this task to one of them. This ecommerce solution will work miracles on your business.

When I was younger (and until now), I learned the art of keeping notes just enough to remind me of things I encountered, things I might want to do someday, and things that may be useful to my life in the present or in the future. I didn't know this was one hell of a life-changing survival technique. As a consultant for merchants seeking an ecommerce solution, I let them know how learning and note-taking can raise their potential success faster than most merchants in the industry.