E-commerce Link: 'Tis the Season to Buy
In addition, one-and-outs can be reduced by meeting customer expectations from search engine traffic. First, it is important to lead your users to the most relevant landing pages. Next, make sure trust-building elements (satisfaction guarantees) and site-wide promotions (free shipping) are visible beyond the homepage. Finally, deliver on the promise of the paid search ad or natural search result.
4. For the Holidays, Give Shipping and Delivery Center Stage
According to Forrester Research's report Shipping Issues Continue to Plague Online Retailers, shipping and delivery issues were rated as the top problems/complications shoppers experienced during the 2007 holiday season. The top three included:
- "Shipping prices were higher than I expected" at 48 percent;
- "The item I purchased was not in stock or was back ordered" at 39 percent;
- "Shipping ended up taking longer than I expected" at 30 percent.
To overcome these challenges, give shipping and delivery center stage by communicating this information early and often throughout your site. Important details to provide include shipping cutoff dates, delivery time frames, in-stock status, shipping fees and customer service links.
5. Promote Worry-Free Shopping
Although many people are becoming more comfortable shopping online, it is still important to reassure buyers by promoting worry-free shopping. Here are three ways to accomplish this:
- Make return and shipping policies, privacy policies, customer service contact information, and product guarantees clearly visible on your site.
- Consider displaying security messaging or certification logos, such as Hacker Safe and VeriSign, within the main page template.
- Aggressively promote free shipping offers.
Implementing these five proven tactics can help you achieve your goals for this important 2008 holiday season.
Ken Burke is the chairman, founder and chief evangelist of MarketLive Inc., an e-commerce technology services provider based in Petaluma, Calif. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.marketlive.com/sitereview.