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eCOMMERCE 101

Contributed by BruceClay.com, Inc.

 

 

If this were easy, every site would do it!

The overall eCommerce transaction process involves:

  1. Attracting prospects to a web site

  2. that is properly designed to encourage visitors to browse (as opposed to leave),

  3. leads the visitor to a completed transaction by offering products easily and without undue complexity, and

  4. addresses concerns (perceived risks) that can scare off the potential buyer if left unanswered.

Completing an eCommerce transaction is like buying a house. First, you visit a realtor and scan thru books with descriptions if properties, look at flyers with descriptions, or maybe just discuss some new addition to their inventory. This is very much like scanning search engine results, ezine articles, or reading press releases. They are all external to the actual property and as promotional pieces describe something in terms that you may care about. From this promotional material you make a list and go to visit the property. On the web you would "click here".

Second, you drive to the property with the realtor to see what it looks like. Sometimes, before the car even stops you will say "no, not this one" and drive off. Other times you will stop and take a look. This is often referred to as "curb appeal" -- the property appears to match your needs. On the web, this is usually the first impressions of your home page from the perspective of the visitor, not you. Does it meet their need? Does it offer a solution they seek? Does it "hook" their curiosity? The average home page loads in 48 seconds at 28.8kb, but the average visitor leaves in 35 seconds. Over 80% of all visitors visit only this one page. (Check your server logs now, you may be doing even worse.) Does this tell you something? So, the second component after promotion is to build a compelling home page that addresses the visitors needs and wants without having to scroll, and absolutely presents text in under 20 seconds.

Third, now that the realtor has shown you a property that seems to be what you like (at least from the curb), you want to go inside and see if it solves your problems. On the web, this is navigation, content, value-statements, a process to allow the visitor to buy without undue complexity, and a way to answer any last minute questions so that they will not abandon their purchase over a minor issue. Let the human factor (when needed) contribute to the sale.

Properly done this will take a visitor through the process easily and allow them to become a customer.

Most eCommerce sites do not do these steps properly!

This paper is an introduction to a massive web site offering FREE advice and information addressing each of these topics. If you did not do ALL of these things when implementing your web site, or just want to do a comprehensive final check, then go to our site and use the tools you will find there. Doing one or even two right and the others wrong is a failure. It takes all three to make this work.


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 http://www.bruceclay.com

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