Best Practices of E-Commerce

Merge will analyze the leading e-commerce web sites on the internet to explore their best practices.


Male Speaker 1:    Thank you for joining us today for Merge’s Best Practice of Ecommerce, A Merge Webinar. I’m Adam Landrum, President and CEO. And I, we’ll go ahead in dive right in. First off we just we have a several assumptions that we want to make first, first is that we assume your basic with the ecommerce basics and we’re going to really, delve into the, the basics of the ecommerce but really more of a, a best practice approach.

We should have about thirty minutes of presentation. And then at the end of that presentation, we can have questions. And because of how go to webinar works, you can ask your questions by posting them in the “questions” box and then we’ll un-mute everybody at the end and be able to answer those questions after the webinar is completed.

So if we can just go ahead and dive on in. You know really our expectation is that you’re going to get a nugget or two to implement on your own ecommerce website. I don’t think that everything is going to be perfectly applicable to you but instead I hope that you get that one, one or, or two different nuggets that will really make a difference for your website.

And also the, what we’ve done is that we’re looking at a group of websites in terms of best practices and many of these are national players including Borders, Barnes and Noble, Walmart and Amazon. And the cool thing about this group is we try to cover a lot of segments where Borders and Barnes and Noble are you know primarily or traditionally bricks and mortar but they’ve obviously have moved a, a significant portion of their business online. We’ll see how they do it.

First is Walmart who doesn’t specialize in books like Barnes and Noble does but, but sells you know quite a bit of books and it’s also you now, online obviously. And then Amazon, which started out as books only and then now has branched out into you know products of all time but it’s solely online. So we’ll, we’ll further look at how these different businesses really approach online and, and you maybe surprised to see that it, it does relatively a similar approach, but we will note some differences.

The, the first off what we want to do is, is really look at what metrics that we want to measure and improve. So overall you know, what we would recommend is that you’re going to be tracking the number of visitors. And you’re not, you’re not, not only are you going to do total visitors but you might want to do new versus returning visitors because if, for instance I believe it was Circuit City, their case study, that they had ninety percent of visitors were returning. So obviously they were familiar with the brand. They knew what the value prepositions was or hopefully they did and they were familiar you know, with the store itself. If, if your traffic, if you’re looking your traffic and it’s ninety percent new, then you may treat your visitors totally different. So really tracking and understanding your new visitors versus returning visitors.

Also, your conversion rate.  Your conversion rate obviously is going to be key because you know we’re going want to improve that over time. So if you’re looking at, you know, a three percent conversion rate in, in under your research you find out your industry does five percent, then you have some room for opportunity to improve and you want to keep your eye on, on that conversion rate.
It also helps you to make any significant change to your website and your conversion rate goes down or up and you know, you can, you can determine how effective that change was to your website. Another thing that you’d want to measure and improve is your average order value. Obviously if your, if your doing, if your averaging, averaging $100 per order and you can increase that to $120 per, or $120 per order then you get a nice twenty percent increase in your sales. And so you might want to look for opportunities to increase your average order value.

And then shopping cart abandonment is another key stat that you want to look at after. You may be getting a lot of visitors there. You may, you may even be getting, you may be getting a lot of people to add such to the cart with signals that “Hey they are interested, they want to buy,” but at some point they’re bailing out. And if that, if that rate gets out control, you’re going to want to understand why, why are they’re not completing the purchase.

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