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How to Design an Ecommerce Site to Maximize Sales


How to Design an Ecommerce Site to Maximize Sales

ecommerce website jackson tn1If you read the business news that followed Black Friday and Cyber Monday, you would remember that this year ' s online holiday shopping season was predicted to be the biggest in history. Many reported that online sales were up a whopping 16% compared to 2010.

However, despite these impressive trends, ecommerce websites only convert 1-4% of their leads, on average. On the other hand, some of the best ecommerce websites convert upward of 15% of their visitors. So how do they do it?

While there are many factors that go into creating conversions, one thing is certain: Great ecommerce websites successfully connect a user to a product with a system that is efficient, easy and fun.

When designing your ecommerce website, keep in mind there are three basic steps in an online shopping experience. First, a user must find the product she wants. Second, you must showcase the product well. Third, you need to seal the deal with a seamless checkout process. Read on for more details.

1. Finding the Product

Believe it or not, the biggest reason why a shopper won ' t buy something on a given website is not due to its price, your customer service, or a lack of buyer ' s intent. Surprisingly, the biggest reason ecommerce websites fail is because shoppers can ' t find what they are looking for.

So, why is it so hard for websites to guide users to their desired products? The key to understanding this phenomenon is understanding your users.

Great web design has the ability to cater to different user needs in a unified user interface. For the users who know exactly what they are looking for, your job is to help them find their desired product in as few steps as possible. Some users might need more hand-holding, while others just want to casually browse. Each type of shopper presents unique challenges, as well as unique opportunities.

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    The Power Shopper: Power Shoppers know exactly what they want, have sophisticated shopping strategies, and don ' t want to waste time casually perusing your website. For these shoppers, your first priority is to provide them with an awesome search bar so they can type exactly what they want. In terms of design, you want to make sure your search bar is large and presented with enough contrast so it ' s easily visible. Per conventions, place it in the top-right of your website and make sure it is consistent across the entire website.

    As for functionality, it ' s pretty much expected that your search bar should provide suggestions as you type. This allows your shoppers to type a few characters and be presented with potential choices, without having to type out the product ' s entire name. This auto-complete feature can also be leveraged to cross-market products related to the product users are looking for. If you do include these suggestions, make sure to clearly label them as suggestions, not actual results of the search.

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    The Recreational Shopper: If you ' re not a recreational shopper, you probably know one. This type of shopper would prefer to spend an entire afternoon at the mall casually exploring any store that piques his curiosity. They don ' t see shopping as a means to an end; they ' re shopping for the experience.

    While these shoppers are more likely to jump ship and not purchase from you, they provide an incredible opportunity, due to their tendency to be more adventurous and impulsive in their shopping habits. Because these shoppers respond to visual cues, you need to wow them with dynamite photography, featured item showcases, unbeatable deals and the occasional unique surprise.

    Don ' t worry, you don ' t have to blow your marketing budget with a tricked out homepage to lure in shoppers. In fact, some of the best ecommerce websites accomplish an eye-catching and entertaining storefront with simple and creative techniques. A popular women ' s clothing website, Free People, shows off a traditional model spread, but presents a simple, unique twist when you move your mouse over one of the images.     The Reluctant Shopper: This type of shopper is generally uncomfortable and nervous about shopping online. She is typically less tech-savvy and needs more guidance throughout the entire shopping experience. One of her biggest concerns is privacy and security; therefore, she responds well to promising statements of trust and customer service. Because online shoppers cannot physically touch the item they are buying, promoting return and refund policies greatly increases the likelihood they will do business with you.

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    For finding products, these shoppers benefit greatly from gift guides or 'Shopping Wizards: The customer answers a few pre-qualifying questions, and the site provides suggestions that suit her particular needs.

2. Showcasing the Product

Once a shopper zeroes-in on a product, the conversion clock starts ticking. Your number-one goal at this point is to get the user to add the item to his shopping cart. While there are several different ways to arrange a product detail page, several important components will help retain shopper interest and make him more likely to commit to a purchase.

    Photos: Humans are visual creatures and high-quality photography is the key to showcasing your product. If you can only give them one photo, make sure the product has a distraction-free, neutral-colored background. If you do show your product in a lifestyle-oriented setting, make sure the product is overtly emphasized, so as not to confuse the shopper and take attention away from the product.

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    If your design doesn ' t allow you to display the photo at such a large size, make sure you give shoppers the option to view the photo in a modal window. Don ' t offer them a zoom tool that limits them to a small quadrant of the photo. There ' s no reason to not display a large photo in its entirety.     Price: Price is perhaps the biggest reason why a shopper will abandon your website and look elsewhere. While determining prices is outside the scope of this article, you can do a few things to help sweeten the deal. First, display the price boldly and clearly. Don ' t make users register or add the item to their carts before showing them the price. This will certainly annoy users and cause them to leave in droves. If your price is discounted from the suggested retail price, show them the discount because everybody likes to know you are giving them a deal.     Reviews: Social influences have a profound effect on our shopping behaviors. You can tout the virtues of your product with fancy and elaborate prose, but shoppers won ' t believe one word of it until it ' s been confirmed by an independent customer. While positive reviews will motivate users to take the plunge and purchase an item, negative reviews give you a unique opportunity to either make product changes or respond to customer concerns publicly. This open and proactive approach to giving and receiving feedback ultimately gives your website more credibility, which translates into loyal customers and repeat sales.     Add to Cart: Because your call-to-action entices the user to click on the 'Add to Cart button, you must give plenty of attention to optimizing it for conversions. Try the following tips to increase your conversion rate.

    Use the words 'Add to Cart. This may seem like a no-brainer, but shoppers can either be apprehensive about the commitment of 'Buy Now or confused when they see 'Add to Bag. The convention of the words 'Add to Cart is non-committal, and leaves them comfortable to keep on shopping. It ' s your most important button, so don ' t hide it. Use bold colors that contrast well with your design and attract attention. Try choosing a color that is not used anywhere else in the design to really set it apart. By making the button plainly visible, shoppers won ' t have to wonder how to add items to their shopping carts. Any time spent searching for the 'Add to Cart button is time in which the shopper will reconsider her motivation to purchase.

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    When your shopper clicks on the 'Add to Cart button, make sure to show her some indication that the item has been added to the cart. Don ' t take her to the shopping cart. If you take her away from the product page and force her to the shopping cart, you lose the opportunity to cross-sell, and the user will be less likely to keep shopping.     Related Products:Offering shoppers suggestions gives you the opportunity to feature items they wouldn ' t have stumbled upon otherwise. Some shoppers might not be savvy in searching, but are more likely to wander through your website based on the suggestions they receive. Because the biggest reason for a lack of conversion on ecommerce websites is not being able to find the desired product, this feature gives you the unique opportunity to customize the products your customers see based on their browsing history.

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    Deals: Without a doubt, shoppers are responsive to deals and promotions, and the king of all deals is free shipping. Marketing guru Seth Godin dedicated a whole chapter of his book Free Prize Inside! to Amazon ' s success with its free shipping model. In order to offer this and still make a profit, make a minimum purchase amount, but don ' t make it too high. A minimum purchase amount will encourage shoppers to spend a little bit more just to get free shipping.

3. Sealing the Deal

So, you ' ve gotten your shopper to add a cornucopia of products to his shopping cart, but it ' s not time to break out the bubbly yet. One of the biggest hurdles a shopper must overcome is the often plagued and cumbersome checkout process, beautifully portrayed in this video.

While shopping is fun, spending money isn ' t. Your job is to get customers through the payment as quickly and painlessly as possible. I ' ll offer some helpful tips.

    One-page checkouts increase conversions. Long forms with many steps require the browser to load a new page, proving detrimental to a shopper ' s patience. One A/B Split Test study determined an improvement of more than 20% when users were able to checkout with one click of the submit button.     Provide instant chat. A study by BoldChat found that 76% of shoppers want to have instant access to a customer service rep during the checkout process. Instant chat not only lets you help your users with technical problems, but it also allows you to encourage them to complete their order.     Follow up. If you ' ve been keen enough to capture a customer ' s email address in the first steps of the checkout process, you have a unique ability to recover a lost sale if she decides to jump ship.

    Don ' t require registration. A Forrester Research study found that requiring users to register before checking out decreases ecommerce conversions by a staggering 23%. While registering users is a great tool for identifying repeat shoppers and making the checkout process more streamlined, make this an optional step. Also, consider using Facebook Connect or other social media sign-in widgets. These tools allow shoppers to register with your site without having to create a unique account.     Use cookies. A cookie is a small amount of information a website puts in a user ' s web browser so that it can remember something about him/her at a later time. You can leverage this simple tool to remember a user ' s shopping cart or shopping history, so when they do visit your website again, they can pick up where they left off.

Selling online is as much an art as it is a science. You need the creative prowess of both a marketing and design genius to attract customers, and the keen eye of a usability guru to make conversions happen. However, implementing the suggestions provided above should help increase your conversion rate, and lead to happy and satisfied customers.

A Guy's Guide to Pinterest



One of the first things I noticed when I signed up for Pinterest earlier this week is that several of my female friends and acquaintances were already on the site. It was as if they had been holding out on what many are promising will be 2012's hot ticket in the social networking space.

Of the 16 people Pinterest said I knew who were already using the site, 14 were women. Over the course of the first day, five more women I know added me and I suddenly felt like I had ventured behind some secret curtain. That is not surprising: in December, Mashable reported that 59 percent of the site's visitors were women between the ages of 25 and 44, and that 58 percent of its visitors in the previous 12 weeks had been female.

Pinterest is a visual pin board where you can collect images you find on the Web and arrange them in categories with links back to the original site. It's been described as being like a binder or folder that you use to store everything you clip from magazines and newspapers, but you have the added advantage of seeing what all of the people you are connected to have been clipping and saving.


"Our goal is to connect everyone in the world through the 'things' they find interesting. We think that a favorite book, toy, or recipe can reveal a common link between two people," the Palo Alto-based company says in its Mission Statement. "With millions of new pins added every week, Pinterest is connecting people all over the world based on shared tastes and interests."

Once I had added a few people and pinned a few images, the second thing I noticed is that my main feed resembled the walls of the college apartment I shared with three other guys in the mid-nineties. We barely had enough money for books and beer, so our decor was mainly posters thrown out by video rental stores (remember those?) and stuff torn out of magazines.


We added the images as we found them, each making our own contributions over time. They were occasionally enhanced with a hand-written comment (often crude) on notebook paper and taped to the image. After four semesters of living there every inch of available wall space (as well as the back of the toilet seat) was covered with found items.

I didn't really "get" what we were doing with the walls of 17 Southpoint Drive, but I liked it. And after just a few days of playing with it, I'm not sure I "get" Pinterest just yet, but I like it. If creativity is defined as taking two or more seemingly unrelated ideas or concepts and finding a way to link them together, Pinterest may be a breeding ground for visual creativity.

One of the first things I noticed when I signed up for Pinterest earlier this week is that several of my female friends and acquaintances were already on the site. It was as if they had been holding out on what many are promising will be 2012's hot ticket in the social networking space.

Of the 16 people Pinterest said I knew who were already using the site, 14 were women. Over the course of the first day, five more women I know added me and I suddenly felt like I had ventured behind some secret curtain. That is not surprising: in December, Mashable reported that 59 percent of the site's visitors were women between the ages of 25 and 44, and that 58 percent of its visitors in the previous 12 weeks had been female.


Pinterest is a visual pin board where you can collect images you find on the Web and arrange them in categories with links back to the original site. It's been described as being like a binder or folder that you use to store everything you clip from magazines and newspapers, but you have the added advantage of seeing what all of the people you are connected to have been clipping and saving.

Getting Going

Pinterest is still an invite-only site, although existing users can invite friends and I had my membership within a day after requesting one through the main site. I logged in with Facebook the first time and then connected my Twitter profile to my Pinterest site. Pinterest let me add people I already knew and recommended some others who seemed to have interests similar to mine.

After my profile was set up, the last step was adding the "Pin It" button to the bookmark bar of my browser. The Pin It button lets me quickly post photos I find on the Web sites I visit. (I will say the feature does have some trouble recognizing photos on certain sites, but the problem was occasional and nothing that too debilitating.)


First Impressions

One of the more pleasing aspects of Pinterest is that it's new enough to be free of marketing and advertising (although that's likely to change). The site design lends a "quiet" feel, and puts more of an emphasis on the photos instead of the captions and comments users are required to write to accompany them. That's a stark difference from most other social networks I use, where the emphasis is on the pithy comment accompanying a video or photo, and users often have to click on the image to make it bigger.

I can arrange the images I find into categories, which is a feature that has proven popular with brides planning weddings and wanting to remember the visual details of the dress, the centerpiece or the wedding photo poses they want. Others have used it to curate recipes they want to try cooking or craft ideas they want to make, and articles touting new ways to use Pinterest are now an almost daily occurrence.


In addition to following curated lists, it didn't take long for me to figure out ways I could personally use Pinterest. So far I've mainly had fun just browsing images and seeing how other people use Pinterest, but it does seem to hold some advantages over the other sites I've been using to store links and found items from the Internet.

Like a lot of tech writers, I am fashion-challenged when it comes to my wardrobe. Pinterest is a way to keep track of looks I like and find them the next time I go clothes shopping online. I can set up a gallery of my favorite blog posts, or links to the photos of articles I read and liked. I can make a gift registry so people will get me the perfect gift, and I can keep a separate lists of gifts I'd like to give (like I said, I wonder how long Pinterest will remain free of marketers). I like to cook, but often when I clip a recipe sans photo, the list of ingredients isn't enough to jog my memory on why I wanted to try the dish in the first place.

What is a brand Identity?


Isn't it just a logo?


A brand identity represents your company's values, services, ideas and personality. A consistent and well-positioned brand can do your advertising, it can generate loyalty from your customers, and make you the envy of your competitors. Isn't it just a logo? Maybe that's how it starts out but it goes way beyond being ‘just a logo'. Sure, there can be a logo, a distinctive font and colour scheme, but it's how you choose them and pull them all together that sets you apart. "A brand is a symbolic embodiment of all the information connected to the product and serves to create associations and expectations around it." Powerful stuff. But then again, isn't that what you want from your brand?

5 Tips to Getting More Likes on Your Facebook Page



5 Tips to Getting More Likes on Your Facebook Page


In this technologically advanced world, social networking sites have become real popular among the youngsters and even the oldies.   Even a 12 year old has a Facebook account. Since millions and billions of people use Facebook, it is a great way to promote your business, interests or services as the chances of getting noticed are more.   Not all Facebook pages do well and hence here we are to educate you about the 5 tips to getting more likes on your Facebook page.  

Likes are not as hard to get but you need to know certain things to get liked on Facebook.  

Make your page interesting and fun  

The world wants entertainment and a good laugh at the end of the day. Make your page really fun to read and to look at. How to make your Facebook page fun?   You can add some interesting and fun videos, pictures, punch lines, activities or even create contests such as ‘the last post wins free movie tickets for XYZ movie ' .   This can certainly grab the attention of the local audience and get you more likes and comments. But always remember that Facebook has certain rules too. Adhere by the rules and everything else will be fine.  

Good content is the trick  

If you want your Facebook page to be really popular then nothing works better than good content! Did you know that when people go to a website, they just look at first few and last few lines to judge whether the website is worth looking at or not.   Same goes with Facebook page – great catchy content can attract a lot of attention. Make it interesting and interactive so that people get keen to read more. Do not ever use technical language which goes on top of the head. Remember that common people exist in this world.  

Ask fun and interesting questions  

Do you want to grab some attention and get more likes on your page? Then here is the best trick – ask fun questions to people. If you ask boring day to day questions, nobody will bother going to your Facebook page and hence you need to be more creative so that people start talking. Make it more fun and interesting rather than dull and boring. The more conversation means more popularity.  

Invite your friends and foes  

There is nothing wrong in promoting your page among your friends and foes. What are friends for? They will understand what it means to you. Tell them about your Facebook page and they will surely click the like button for you. There is also an invite friend option through which you can invite your friends. Friendship sake!  

URL always helps  

Add the URL to your facebook page on everything you can think of – twitter page, LinkedIn page, business card, resume, skillpages – ANYTHING! This way people will surely look up the URL and 4 out of 10 people will surely hit the like button.   So, what are you waiting for? Get started and promote your page everywhere! Don ' t forget to invite us to your Facebook page!



Happy New Year From Studio Blue Creative



From All of us at Studio Blue Creative, we wish you a Healthy and Happy New Year!!! May your family be first and your chores go undone. May your friends show up at your home. . . just because. May your bottom line be as fat and healthy as the Baby New Year!!

God Bless.

Studio Blue Creative

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