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FutureNow Post
Friday, Nov. 27, 2009 at 7:00 am

Who Is REALLY Ready for the Online Black Friday?

November 27th, 2009

Well, Grokkers, the Holiday Season is officially upon us–Happy Black Friday! Most of FutureNow’s good advice about optimizing for the Holidays has already been given, and hopefully you’ve been busy acting on it.  Many merchants are about to lock their sites down so no major code changes will put their Holiday transactions at risk.

Amazon.comStaying in a mediocre hotel in Albany, NY (with mediocre WiFi) got me thinking about another optimization tactic that we forgot to post about this year: SITE PERFORMANCE.

[Note:…

...continue to read "Who Is REALLY Ready for the Online Black Friday?"

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
Friday, Oct. 23, 2009 at 8:00 am

Let Them Build Before They Buy

October 23rd, 2009

Us Grokkers are continuing to focus on what types of things eRetailers can work on to make Holiday Shopping more enjoyable (and persuasive) for their prospects.

Enter the “Product Configurator.” While it sounds a bit like an evil robot out of control, what we’re talking about today is simply an online application to allow prospects to customize a product on their way to buying it. This can be a lot of fun for online shoppers if done well, and lead to…

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FutureNow Post
Monday, Oct. 19, 2009 at 9:00 am

How Much Pre-Holiday Optimization is Enough?

October 19th, 2009

Lots of our clients and prospects are asking questions along the lines of: I want to optimize before the Holiday rush, but I don’t want to introduce too much change at such a critical time.

A valid question/concern, to be sure.  Our answer is, of course, “It depends.”  However, here are a few approaches that we’ve seen work:

Extreme Effort Until a Certain Datedecision

Look at your previous year’s analytics and the upward trend of conversions closer to the holidays.  …

...continue to read "How Much Pre-Holiday Optimization is Enough?"

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…

...continue to read "Keep Them In the Cart this Christmas"

FutureNow Post
Wednesday, Sep. 23, 2009 at 10:39 am

Website Redesign Roundup

September 23rd, 2009

Lots of talk about redesigning websites lately. Maybe it’s because summer is ending, and the Holidays are right around the corner (for e-Tailers, that is)?

needchangeFirst, there was Jeff Sexton‘s post about asking the right Persuasion Architecture questions before redesigning, which was inspired by a Seth Godin post. Then, Jakob Nielson had some good thoughts from the Usability camp about redesigns and how radical they should be.

Mr. Nielson’s thoughts resonated with me given that our OnTarget product is generally focused on incremental improvement of clients’…

...continue to read "Website Redesign Roundup"

FutureNow Post
Tuesday, Sep. 15, 2009 at 12:59 pm

Cross-post: How to Improve a Product Page, Part 1

September 15th, 2009

Today, Ralph Wilson’s internet marketing resource, Web Marketing Today, posted Part 1 in a two-part video interview with our Bryan about concrete ways to improve product pages for higher conversions.  In it, Bryan explains how FutureNow took on the product page design of eCommerce heavyweight Land’s End, and shows how you can use layout changes to test the buying path on your own product pages.

If you’re interested in improving your product detail/landing pages and cross-selling, this video (and upcoming Part 2 video)…

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FutureNow Post
Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2009 at 10:22 am

Top 10 Online Retailers by Conversion Rate: July 2009

August 25th, 2009

Here are the top 10 converting websites for July 2009*. These are based on Nielson Panel data and are calculated by user to final conversion. Conversion-rate data is based on visitor conversion rates, not session conversion rates: i.e., No. of unique customers/No. of unique visitors.

1. Schwan’s 35.2 2. Keurig 31.3 3. ProFlowers 26.0 4. Vitacost22.5 5. Blair 22.4 6. DrsFosterSmith.com 22.4 7. Woman Within 21.3 8. Amway Global 20.5 9. Roamans.com 18.7 10. Office Depot 17.9

*Source: Nielsen Online / Marketing Charts

Benchmarks according to the FireClick Index

Fireclick Index 7-09

Increasing your conversion rate…

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FutureNow Post
Thursday, Aug. 20, 2009 at 2:37 pm

Low Hanging Fruit: Cherry Picker or Lettuce Picker?

August 20th, 2009

shutterstock_cherry_pickingWhen you think of a cherry picker, do you conjure up images of someone who only picks the easiest or ripest fruit? Or does it perhaps have some artisanal connotation, waiting until only the proper time before action is taken?   Is that how you go about optimizing your web site?

Or are you a lettuce picker? The sort of person that toils for long hours in the field and accomplishes a long day’s back-breaking labor of work that most…

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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…

...continue to read "3 Ways to Lose an Online Sale"

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