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Monday, Apr. 5, 2010 at 11:00 am

When Customer Reward Programs Backfire

April 5th, 2010

Ahhhhh, yes… those ever-so-compelling customer rewards and points.  In addition to discounts and freebies, many companies now offer points as a system of rewards for their customers and clients.  While I’m all for getting an extra 10% off my next pair of shoes, or $15 dollars off my next purchase of $150 (or more), I believe that if you really want to reward your visitors, make it easy for them to redeem these special bonuses.  If…

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FutureNow Post
Monday, Feb. 15, 2010 at 9:32 am

We Converted Online, But Only Because It Was Free

February 15th, 2010

I was just recently married and moved to a new state not too long after the wedding.  Thankfully, rather than receiving gifts from friends and family, my husband and I received a slew of gift cards, the majority of which were to Target.com.  After moving in to a relatively bare apartment, we happily went to our local Target store in order to cash in.  Already familiar with the Target brand, and having a pretty good idea of…

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FutureNow Post
Monday, Jan. 18, 2010 at 1:00 pm

Shopping Cart Optimization: Take This Step Today

January 18th, 2010

stepsIn my last post, I wrote about treating your various sources of traffic differently from one another.  Track the individual conversion rates of your CPC, organic/SEO, email, etc. so you can prioritize the opportunities you have to optimize your web site’s performance.  That is just the first step, though.  Next, you need to separate each traffic source into segments based on the various campaigns or marketing efforts in each traffic source.

Let me use an example. There is…

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FutureNow Post
Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2009 at 8:03 am

The Highs and Lows of a Holiday Gift Card Conversion

December 23rd, 2009
Figure 1

Figure 1

The Holiday (online) gift shopping saga continues!  First, I was buying water bottles, and now I’m shopping for a gift card to send to some relatives.

Instead of taking you through the somewhat exhausting 11-step purchase process I went through for the sake of “convenience,” this post will just call out a few of the interesting high points and low points (with suggested optimizations) on the emotional roller coaster that is online shopping.  While the theme is a…

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FutureNow Post
Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2009 at 8:02 am

Twilight New Moon Online Persuasion Examined

December 16th, 2009

This is a story about Christmas shopping of the worst kind a male can possibly imagine: buying a ‘teen heart-throb’ gift for a younger, female family member.  Well, I guess it could be worse, this gift could have been requested by my wife ;)

I have a certain younger sister-in-law who is a freak for the actor who plays “Edward” in the Twilight movie saga.  I undertook the mission to buy the “Edward” water bottle that was sold through…

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FutureNow Post
Friday, Nov. 6, 2009 at 9:01 am

Shopping Cart Optimization: Canned vs. Custom

November 6th, 2009

If you’re selling online, and you’re interested in Optimization, it simply makes sense to spend some time focusing on your shopping cart. It’s a key area of focus for a few reasons:

It’s often where “low-hanging fruit” grows. Conversion obstacles can often be removed quickly, leading to large gains in a short period of time. It’s an area where you’ve already succeeded in persuading the prospect. They are in the Late Stage of their buying process, so a relatively low investment can give you…

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FutureNow Post
Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2009 at 9:20 am

Keep Them In the Cart this Christmas

October 6th, 2009

OK, Grok faithful, we all know that the Holiday Season is coming fast. Last year was “make or break” for a holidayslot of eTailers, and this season will be critical for many more.

The ones who make it through will be those who are passionate about the customer experience, AND who are able to prioritize their work between now and the “Holiday Crunch” so that the hours expended actually impact the number of sales they make.

Where do you start if you want your…

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FutureNow Post
Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2009 at 9:24 am

3 Ways to Lose an Online Sale

August 11th, 2009

I’m not gonna lie…what you’re about to read was inspired by a real-life online shopping experience.  I won’t mention the guilty site, but I’ll say they sell clothing and jewelry to young urbanites.

As I relate the following three eCommerce mishaps, be thinking about whether you can eradicate all of them from your business by the time the “Holiday Rush” hits. ALL are preventable, if you start today and take one item at a time.

sale.comLet’s start at the “precipitating event;” the spark…

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FutureNow Post
Monday, Jun. 22, 2009 at 9:04 am

The Shopping Cart: How to Answer the 5 Unanswered Customer Questions

June 22nd, 2009

The ecommerce shopping cart is a great place to run tests, as simple changes (layout, copy, color, etc.) often yield fantastic results.  There are unanswered questions in the minds of our customers that we think are obviously answered on the page, but they’re not.  If you’re not sure about what those unanswered questions are, you can back up a few steps and use personas or user testing to uncover them.

Here are 5 key, unanswered questions (beyond shipping costs) of the shopping…

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FutureNow Post
Monday, May. 18, 2009 at 2:51 pm

Can Bad Assumptions Lead to “Gorilla Marketing”?

May 18th, 2009

In the offline world, have you ever been chased by retail staff because you opted not to buy something at their store?

Never?

You mean no one has ever blocked the exit and said something like, “Hey, I saw you put that bottle of wine in your cart, why didn’t you buy it?”

It sounds funny until you realize that most online remarketing services offer to do exactly that to your website visitors.  They’ll pester them with e-mails, pop-ups, and phone calls should…

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