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The New Ecommerce: Current Best Practices

Ecommerce Must Haves graphic

From Tomorrow’s Ecommerce: Designing Tomorrow’s Ecom Website Today Haiku Deck

The Haiku Deck above is about the New Ecommerce. We’ve written (or are writing) three blog posts to support trends we see in the new ecommerce including:

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Current Ecommerce Best Practices

Ecommerce best practices are alive with change. Every year we see new “best practices” sprout up and take hold for the holiday season. Here are a few ecom best practices we think will be important this holiday season:

  • Easy Free Shipping.
  • 2 Way Free Shipping for clothes and shoes.
  • Sale, New & Best Seller merchandising.
  • Him, Her & Kids merchandising (where applies).
  • Deal of the day (not just for Woot.com anymore).
  • Ask for User Generated Content.
  • Ask to join mailing list (popunders).
  • 30 – 120 Day Satisfaction Guarantees.
  • Social Curation & following back

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Social curation is a pet peeve we discussed at length in It’s The Conversation Stupid: New Rules of Branding in a Social World. Social media isn’t about proving how elite you are. Social media is a conversation and it takes two to have a conversation.

When your brand follows 5% or 10% of those who follow you, and for some major brands the follow-back numbers are much lower than that, you send a “we are too good for you” signal no one can afford these days. Collaboration and working together rule our social and mobile times. Find reasons to follow more than 50% of those who follow.

Its so easy to make someone’s day by following back and it costs NOTHING to follow back.

Another pet peeve is ecommerce shopping sites that look like information sites. Information sites, websies trading information for traffic and affiliate cash, are looking more and more like commerce sites. Commerce sites often look like…well its hard to tell. Give yourself the 3 second test. If you know what a site wants you do do in 3 seconds or less it gets a passing grade.

If a customer has to THINK about what they are supposed to do your ecommerce site loses.

Creating Online Community

Creating a sustainable online community should be every ecom team’s goal. We don’t sell things like Crazy Eddie anymore. We sell by developing relationships or by levering relationships we have to create “Friends of Friends” marketing.

Here is what the old “conversion funnel” looked like:

Old Conversion Funnel graphic

You can see how much EFFORT it takes to get so little – thousands go in only a few convert. What would happen if we re-thought our funnel to be more in line with social shopping and Friends of Friends marketing? The new conversion funnel looks like this:

New Conversion Funnel with Social Shopping graphic

Now we put less in and it does more. Our brand advocates help our marketing break through the filter bubbles that normally stop our messages:

Friends of Friends marketing defeats filter bubbles graphic

In the new ecommerce we create content to establish authority. Immediately ecommerce merchants should begin asking for help. Ask your 1% Contributors and your 9% Supporters to become brand ambassadors. Create a page where you describe the MISSION of your Brand Ambassadors and include a signup form. Be careful not to PAY brand ambassadors in the traditional sense. You don’t want to spoil the “altruism” of their “give”.

Brand advocates should be MISSION not JOB focused.

We are careful to slow our creation pace once authority is established. Once your community begins to fill your site with User Generated Content sponsors should shift jobs from creators to curators. Don’t STEP ON voices emerging from a fledgling online community. Curate and reward UGC  and your online community scales faster and better.

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Passionate cancer survivor, Internet marketer and former Director of Ecommerce who believes in Margaret Mead's quote, "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." Glad to be an "Editor of Chaos".

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