eCommerce Site Optimization Tips

With a focus on search and conversions

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While there’s no telling what shoppers might be willing to brave this year for the sake of low prices, an eCommerce site shouldn’t remind users of a military gauntlet.  Speakers at an SES Chicago session called "eCommerce 101: Optimizing your Shopping Cart for Search and Conversion" discussed ways to make shopping experiences pleasant and productive, instead.

(Coverage of SES Chicago continues at WebProNews Videos.  Keep an eye on WebProNews for more notes and videos from the event this week.)

Ethan Giffin, the CEO of Groove Commerce, started by recommending that sites never present a simple "no results" page.  Rather, these situations should be used as an opportunity to promote best-selling products.  This makes it easier for customers to take action, which should always be a top goal.

Pete Olson, Amadesa‘s vice president of product management, continued that thought by suggesting that businesses test cart and checkout flow and take action on the results.  "A 10% lift in conversions represents a 10% lift in revenue," he pointed out.

Vic Cleary, 2 CheckOut‘s eCommerce strategy manager, agreed, saying, "Small changes can be a big deal."  A small change let his company earn an extra $8 million per year, for example.  So he recommends identifying the customer, testing incremental changes, and then just repeating the process over and over.

Chris Boggs
 Chris Boggs

Finally, Brulant‘s manager of SEO, Chris Boggs, stated, "It’s easy to optimize the site, but you have to make it search friendly – big difference."  Check, in particular, that URLs are search friendly, and consider using sitemaps and robots.txt in unison.

Boggs also noted, "You’re spending a lot of money on optimization, but creating unique content is just as important."

eCommerce Site Optimization Tips
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  • http://www.marketingminefield.co.uk Marketing Tips

    E-Commerce sites could do a lot worse than look at Amazon and copy as much as what they do as possible. Amazon’s very good at recommending related products, giving excellent search results, and making the ordering process as simple as possible.

  • http://llcoperatingagreement.blogspot.com/ Joe

    I’ll echo the above comment about Amazon. They have to be the Cadillac for ecommerce optimization. The way they track individual buyer’s habit and make suggestions of other products based on past purchasers. Or after you place an item in your shopping cart they inform the user of similar products that customers purchased along with the one just placed into the shopping cart. I personally have been upsold by Amazon using this tactics.

  • Steve

    Amazon was the leader of e-commerce, even though research shows that more Americans are non book readers, but Amazon is able to uses its tactics to drive customers into buying books and other stuff.

  • http://www.moovinonup.com/ website design

    I do agree testing should be a big focus on your website

  • http://www.yieldmoney.com Linus

    My only grouse about Amazon is that they can get cluttered at times, but that saying, they are still pretty well-organized and their search is pretty good at finding what you need.

    • http://www.diamondonnet.com/ Diamonds

      Sometimes its hard to find the items you want but once you get the item number somewhere or the name of the item, then you can just use their search to bring the right results. Their navigation isn’t very accurate.

  • http://www.orangedwarf.com orangedwarf
  • http://inchoo.net Toni Anicic

    Recently I attended a webinar ran by Magento (eCommerce solution) and Google team. They explaind the integration of Google’s website optimizer into Magento shopping cart and showd us how small changes can make a big deal on our conversion rates. You should check out the post on that topic (http://inchoo.net/ecommerce/magento/magento-and-google-website-optimizer/)

  • http://k12tshirts.myshopify.com Mark

    Testing is crucial in determining what works and doesn’t, but it dosen’t stop there, making changes quickly is a must, and then continue testing, it’s a never ending process

  • http://www.orangedwarf.com orangedwarf

    Have a strong believe that by creating a basic website, taking into account only the basics of the “preached” SEO recommendations you can find everywhere, in additon with a participation in Google AdWords will offer you a high ranking.
    The trick is in the AdWords!
    I have seen terrible sites…from a SEO point of view….with little relevance and only limited external links but participating in AdWords and with a ranking of 5.
    This while my own site www.orangedwarf.com is a reasonably well built site but without participating in AdWords and hence a ranking 0!

    Anyone having similar experiences??

  • http://car2be.com/ Used Lotus

    Vic Cleary, 2 CheckOut’s eCommerce strategy manager, agreed, saying, “Small changes can be a big deal.” A small change let his company earn an extra $8 million per year, for example. So he recommends identifying the customer, testing incremental changes, and then just repeating the process over and over.

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