Archive for month: February, 2013

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ABCs of eCommerce Search

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Time and again, industry reports have proven that eCommerce site search, navigation, and merchandising are make or break technology for your eCommerce revenue and operations. Survey data shows the potentially strong downside of poor site search:

  • 85% of site searches don’t return what the user sought
  • 22% of searches return no results
  • 80% of visitors will abandon if the search is poor

Poor site search leads to lost visitors, poor conversion rates and lower e-commerce revenue.

On the other hand, an investment in “Best In Class” e-commerce and merchandising is easy to justify.

  • For a smaller retailer with 10,000 visitors per day and an average order size of $50, a conversion rate increase from 4% to 6% can mean an increase in annual revenue of $3.6 million.
  • For a large retailer with 100,000 visitors a day and average purchase price of $120, a conversion rate increase from 4% to 6% can mean an increase of $87 million a year.

This white paper is a guide to the essential eCommerce site search features necessary for increasing conversion rates from search over 800%.  Other companies are achieving these results. You can too!

Click here to download the paper

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Homepage Tips to Increase Conversion and Average Order Sizes

We at EasyAsk are always here to help, and while we are the leaders in Natural Language eCommerce Site Search, Navigation and Merchandising, we like to do more than just sell you on what we can do for you, we like to help you help yourself.  Our last blog covered merchandising tips to help you increase conversion rates and average order size, this blog addresses the “Welcome Mat” of your company – the home page of your eCommerce site.  So here are a few tips to help you make a good first impression.

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Online shoppers make their decision to stay or leave within seconds of being on your site.  Those seconds count… either for you or your competitor.  Make them count for you by showing your customers a clean and professional homepage.  Take the time to check your spelling, grammar, and punctuation.  And make sure your site makes it obvious to your customers of what you are selling and where to find it.  Don’t give them a reason to jump ship to your competitors.

Having more than one voice helps.

Telling your customers that you have great products is good… Having OTHER customers telling them that you have great products is better.  Testimonials are an important part of eCommerce sites, especially in this new era of peer-review-driven shoppers.  People trust other people more than they trust a company, by having other customer’s testimonials on your site, you are giving your new customer more reason to trust you, which in turn gives them more reasons to stay on your site and buy more of your products.

Make it known that you are available to help.

Customers want to be able to get ahold of you if need be, so make sure you have a “Contact Us” link and don’t try to hide it at the bottom of your homepage.  Most contact pages are very vague, giving your customer only one way of getting ahold of you, via email.  Don’t make this mistake.  Show your customers that you care and really are there for them by giving them direct access to you.  Don’t limit your contact page to just an email address with a form explaining their reason for contacting you.  Give them the security they need by giving them full access to you, including your hours of operation, address and phone number for customer service.

These three tips are just a few of the things you can do to help keep your customers on your site, which increases the chances of them purchasing from your site, which increases the chances of you upping your conversion rates and average order sizes.

To see how EasyAsk can help increase your conversion rates and average order sizes, visit our website or call us at 781-402-5641.

This has been another helpful tip from your friendly, neighborhood EasyAsk.

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Helpful Merchandising Tips for eCommerce

If you’re in the business of eCommerce then you already know how important having good eCommerce Site Search is, and you already know how important Navigation is, but what about Merchandising?  You can have all the bells and whistles to help your Search and Navigation, but if you aren’t utilizing your site as a Merchandiser, than you’re just throwing money away.

Luckily, we at EasyAsk are here to help with a few tips to make your life as a Merchandiser easier.

The first tip is stay one step ahead of your customers by mixing and matching your items.  Yes it’s nice to see those pants I was looking for, but what about a nice shirt or belt to go with them?  Try offering complete outfits as an option to a customer searching for just part of an outfit.  Cross-selling items that would complement your customer’s searches is a great way to get them to increase their average order sizes, as well as give you a chance to show off some of your products that you are trying to unload.

Another tip is to offer your customers an upgraded version of the products they are looking for.  In today’s world of peer-review-based shoppers, people are shopping more and more based off what their facebook friends or twitter friends suggest.

But what if their friends are cheap and are suggesting a “base” model for the product you are selling?

You don’t want to a customer leaving with a lesser-quality product when there’s a bigger and better one available and your customer didn’t even know it.  Up-selling is another great merchandising tool that can really increase your revenue.  If you are selling products made by competing companies and your customer is looking at Product A, which is a lesser-quality version than Product B, let them know there is a Product B available.

Cross-Selling and Up-Selling are just two of the many merchandising capabilities EasyAsk offers to help put the power in the hands of the merchandiser.

To see what else we have up our sleeve, or to see how your eCommerce site stacks up against some of the industry leaders like The North Face, Lands’ End, TrueValue Hardware and many more, visit our website or call us at 781-402-5641 for a free site evaluation.

This has about another helpful tip from your friendly, neighborhood EasyAsk.

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Suite Commerce Adds Efficiency to NetSuite, EasyAsk Approves

NetSuite, the world’s most deployed cloud ERP, rolled out Suite Commerce to the masses this week and we at EasyAsk are thrilled.  EasyAsk has been a partner with NetSuite for years, working with them and many of their 16,000+ customers.  With the launching of Suite Commerce, NetSuite customer will now have the ability to really interact with NetSuite as the ease-of-use has become even easier.

Suite Commerce gives NetSuite customers tons of benefits that were not available prior to the launch.  From Business Rules for products, to being able to “pin” a product or announce it on Facebook, to recommending larger order sizes for better discounts while in the shopping cart, Suite Commerce is doing their best to make NetSuite customers feel warm, welcomed and remembered.  And with online sales expected to increase by another 9-12 percent in 2012, these features are just another way to help NetSuite continue to keep their very large customer-base very happy.

As the premier search provider for NetSuite, EasyAsk has already thrived in the NetSuite environment, giving their customers the best in eCommerce Site Search, Navigation and Merchandising capabilities.  But with the launching of Suite Commerce, EasyAsk will have an even better, more efficient playground to rule the yard on.  With dozens of happy NetSuite customers running EasyAsk as their search, the inclusion of Suite Commerce will only increase the capabilities of what those customers can do with EasyAsk’s Natural Language Site Search, Navigation and Merchandising tools.

Companies like Oya Costumes, That Pet Place, Silver & Crystal Gallery, Fusion Beads, and many more are already reaping the benefits of Natural Language Search on the NetSuite environment.  Giving their customers the ability to search how they want and know they are finding the right product on the first try, as well as being able to really take control of their site as a merchandiser, the added benefits of Suite Commerce just means bigger and better things to come for NetSuite customers who use EasyAsk.

NetSuite says “Any Language, Any Currency, Any Business Model”… Well, with Natural Language behind it, any language will be even better understood, the capabilities to use any currency will be increased, and any and all business models will be even better.

To see what your NetSuite site can accomplish with Natural Language added to it, check out our website, or give us a call at 781-402-5641.

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Google Commerce Search Shelved By Google

Going Out of BusinessBack in January at NRF’s 102nd Annual Convention & EXPO we heard rumors that Google was closing down Google Commerce Search. We called, we emailed, but nobody at Google would confirm. Last Thursday, An article in TechCrunch formally announced that Google is “Quietly Shuttering Commerce Search for E-Retailers.”

For any company left in the lurch by this announcement, please check out EasyAsk’s GCS Replacement Program. EasyAsk eCommerce Edition is a has over 19 years worth of R&D, and is deployed on some of the most popular sites on the Internet, including The North Face, Land’s End, J.Jill, Coldwater Creek and TrueValue Hardware.

We’rre not bashful about telling you that we have the best site search available!  Out-of-the box, EasyAsk regularly delivers a 50 to 100 percent visitor-to-buyer conversion improvement. Once results are tuned, sites running EasyAsk have realized improvements of 800 percent or more.

We provide amazing customer support and we’ll help you get up and running quickly. Plus, we’re offering free implementation for the first 5 companies that call us at 781-402-5641 or register on our site to switch.

 

 

 

 

 

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More Proof That M-Commerce is Growing… Amex Syncs With Twitter

According to a release by American Express, card-holders can now sync their Amex cards and tweet special hashtags to buy gift cards and certain products from some of the major eCommerce companies.  With specially priced Amex gift cards and products on sale at Amazon, Sony, Urban Zen and Xbox this week.  Here’s an example: The $25 American Express Gift Card can be purchased using a synced American Express Card for only $15 by tweeting #BuyAmexGiftCard25.

The syncing venture, Card Sync, which first launched on Twitter last March, was designed to deliver coupon-free savings to Cardmembers who tweeted special offer #hashtags from certain merchants.  The full catalog of products for which you can use this syncing for went up last week (Feb. 13th) and are highlighted as favorites on the American Express Twitter page.

Here’s a few examples of what you can start buying with this new #hashtag-sync method: An Amazon Kindle Fire for $149.99, a Sony Action Cam & Waterproof Headband Mount for $179.99, and an Xbox controller for $29.99.

This new movement by American Express is just another piece in the expanding world of Mobile Commerce.  It’s another way to shop on-the-go, which is where more and more consumers are headed.  You don’t have to go as far as what American Express has done, but you better believe you need a mobile eCommerce Site Search that understands today’s customers.

We at EasyAsk have the technology to make your mobile site, as well as your eCommerce Site smarter, faster, better, and with the ability to understand what your customers are looking for as well as how they are shopping today.  Natural Language goes beyond the limitations of Keyword Search, and with today’s mobile-shoppers searching more and navigating less, you need a search engine that understands their entire search.

To see how your site stacks up to some of the industry leaders (The North Face, Lands’ End, TrueValue Hardware, etc.) visit our website, or call 781-402-5641 for a free demonstration and Site Search analysis.

This is just another helpful tip from your friendly, neighborhood EasyAsk.

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Holiday Tablet Shopping Facts for the eCommerce Soul

Today’s post is an infographic courtesy of ShopPad, a website dedicated to showing you just how influential the Tablet is to eCommerce.

This infographic has some stats and facts on tablet shopping over the holiday season.

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NutShell:

Tablet Shoppers shopped in the evening and on weekends.  Tablet Shoppers took advantage of Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday.  Tablet Shoppers had a conversion rate of 3.7% and spent an average of over 13 minutes on a site.  189 iPads were sold EVERY MINUTE of Q4 of 2012.  Tablet Shoppers are proving to be more valuable to eCommerce companies than Mobile Shoppers and maybe even more than Desktop Shoppers.

Basically, Tablets are here to stay, and people are shopping on them, converting on them, and affecting your eCommerce numbers on them.  If you are not utilizing, or at least recognizing their capabilities, than you are falling short of your potential.

Just another helpful tip from your friendly, neighborhood EasyAsk.

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Keeping Your Customers Happy is Key: Stats & Tips to Keep in Mind

We at EasyAsk are here for our customers, and we want OUR customers to keep THEIR customers.  So this piece is a friendly stat-and-tip sheet to help.  (By the way, even people who are not EasyAsk customers are allowed to read. You’re welcome.)

The world has changed tremendously since the dawn of the Internet.  Nowadays people look at their phones more than their loved ones.  So Tip #1 is get in front of your customers.  Utilize this technology to the best of its abilities.  Little statistic for you: Ninety percent of retail companies have a Twitter account, but only 29 percent use it to connect to their customers.  Don’t be that company, be the responsive and involved company.

Which leads me to my next Stat and Tip…

Apparently half of your customers will be gone within a week if they’ve tried to contact you and YOU have not responded.  That sounds like quite a risk, so don’t take it.  Tip #2 is Make sure you are responding to your customers needs.  You don’t have to resolve every issue, but you should respond in a timely fashion if they’ve brought up a question or grievance.

Oh, and in case you’re not worried about losing half of your customers, another stat for you: A company only has a 20-40 percent chance of winning back a customer that they have lost. Just FYI…

Tip #3 is Be proactive, not reactive.  Don’t take the chance of having to try and win a customer back when being a little more attentive during the relationship will keep you out of trouble in the first place.  Got a final stat for you: The average business loses one-fifth of its customers annually by failing to attend to the current relationships they have with their customers.

If you take these tips and stats to heart, then you shouldn’t have problem keeping your customers happy, which in turn keeps your business happy and successful.

This bit of advice was brought to you by your friendly, neighborhood EasyAsk.

To learn more about keeping YOUR customers happy with a smarter eCommerce Site, give us a call at 781-402-5641, or visit our website. (Stats for this piece obtained from Multichannel Merchant.)

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Ebay App Proves Mobile Shopping is Changing the Game

With the introduction of Smart-phones and Tablets, eCommerce business has changed dramatically.  Gone are the days of people shopping only on their desktops and laptops.  People today shop on-the-go, and you can either get with the program, or go the way of the dinosaurs.

Is your business ready for this evolution?

Online-shopping Giant, eBay, DOUBLED their Mobile-Commerce revenue in 2012 from their numbers in 2011*.  Their mobile-app appears on over 120 million smart-phones and tablets.  Now, to be fair, having a mobile-app, as well as a partnership with PayPal, certainly helps increase those mobile-commerce numbers (PayPal’s mobile payments increased over 250 percent from 2011 to 2012)*.  But the numbers wouldn’t even be possible without people deciding to use their smart-phones and tablets to shop online.

If you go the way of the dinosaurs, then you are ignoring Mobile Commerce, and are continuing to rely strictly on traditional eCommerce shopping.  That means overrating Navigation and underrating “the Search Box”.

Let me paint a picture for you: You’re in a retail store, and you see a product you’d like to buy… But the price is a little too high for you.  What do you do?  In the past you either swallowed it and paid that price, drove around and went somewhere else, or maybe you went home, fired up the desktop, searched online and hopefully found it for a cheaper price.

Today, that is not the case.

Nowadays people are searching online while never leaving the store, whether through an app on your smart-phone, or by searching on a mobile-site… If the company has one.  Notice I said SEARCHING, not NAVIGATING, because with a 4-inch screen, Navigation is tedious and annoying.

You need a mobile site that understands the way today’s customers think and act.  And you need a site that utilizes eCommerce Site Search to the best of its abilities.  Keyword Search simply cannot do that.  But Natural Language Search understands the intent and context of the entire search request, does wonders with long-tail searches, and understands price constraints.

To see how your Mobile Site and eCommerce Site stack up to those that use Natural Language Search, contact us at 781-402-5641, or visit our website.

 

*(Numbers for eBay and PayPal received from “Showrooming Shoppers Send eBay Soaring” by Rachelle Dragani)

Ready to see how EasyAsk's eCommerce solution can help you? Request a demo!