Today’s Top Ecommerce News

Small business ecommerce: a beginner’s guide to supplier selection (eConsultancy)
“This post is designed for those small businesses that aren’t yet selling online and are getting ready to start. I won’t pretend this piece is for those with lots of experience online. It’s more a starting point to steady the nerves for those that are bamboozled by how complex supplier selection can seem.” boosts its book sales as Amazon spars with a publisher (Internet Retailer)
“As Inc. fights over prices with publisher Hachette Book Group, one of the e-retailer’s main rivals says it has benefited from the dispute. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. sent an e-mail blast to customers last week promoting not only the online availability of Hachette titles from the retail chain, but its offer of 40% off the cover price of those books.”


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CB2 Misses the Filter that Matters Most

Anyone who has ever needed to purchase a rug knows that size is key. You have a specific space in a specific room that you want to spruce up with a floor covering, so of course you need to shop based on those dimensions. This is obvious… or so I thought. But unfortunately when I was browsing the rug selection on the CB2 ecommerce site, it seems like they didn’t get the message.

Arriving on the site, I immediately selected the Rugs option in the main navigation menu. From here, there are 3 ways to shop: View All Rugs, Rugs, and Carpet Squares.

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I clicked on the Rugs option, thinking that there may be additional refinement options when I got to the next page. This was not the case. Read More »

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Today’s Top Ecommerce News

The Value of Coupons in Digital Marketing [Infographic] (Get Elastic)
“This week’s infographic is courtesy of VoucherCloud, and looks at the popularity of online coupons, who’s using them and why.”

5 Ecommerce Content Marketing Ideas for June 2014 (Practical Ecommerce)
“Content marketing is the practice of creating and distributing valuable, interesting, and entertaining content with the aim of acquiring customers and making sales. Content marketers must understand their customers and seek to serve them. The content created in a content marketing campaign is used to build relationships with customers, so that those customers will ultimately learn about and like the seller.”

Five Innovations That Will Transform Ecommerce In The Next 10 Years (Forbes)
“Consumers and businesses create vast quantities of data, which companies are already attempting to extract, purify and process, but at the moment this information is messy and incomplete. The challenge over the next 10 years will be using this big data to make connected, intelligent business decisions faster.”

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The First-Ever Ecommerce Speeding Ticket

The Calvin Klein ecommerce site, although overall pretty user-friendly, has a strange problem. Arriving on the home page, shoppers will see a large banner taking up most of the real estate. This carousel rotates through some featured trends in both the men’s and women’s departments. A list on the left shows what’s coming next, while some text on the right tells a bit about the trend.

That’s all well and good, but the problem comes in when this banner starts to rotate. It’s so fast! Users barely have time to read the text and take in the accompanying image before the next slide rolls in. Take a look at this recording of the site to see what I mean:


Now I know there’s no such thing as an ecommerce speeding ticket, but if it existed, I’d definitely hand it out to Calvin Klein. This ecommerce site needs to slow down and give shoppers time to think! Slowing down that carousel will definitely improve the shopping experience by giving people more time to take in all the styles this store has to offer.

Do you know of other ecommerce sites that should get a speeding ticket too? Share your feedback in the comments!



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Today’s Top Ecommerce News

Cross-device marketing keeps Brilliant Earth a cut above the rest (Internet Retailer)
“The AdRoll mobile retargeting tool shows consumers ads based on what items they have viewed on Brilliant Earth’s web site. For example, a consumer that viewed an 18-karat white gold Halo diamond ring on on a smartphone might see an ad featuring that very ring pop up on Facebook on a PC. “With our customers across multiple screens throughout their days, AdRoll allows us to connect with them regardless of the device or platform they’re using,” says Kristina Simonsen, marketing associate at Brilliant Earth.”

CHART: Retailers Are Offering Free Shipping With More E-Commerce Transactions (Business Insider)
“Top retailers are heeding the call for free shipping by offering that perk with more transactions, according to a new study published by comScore. In the first quarter of 2014, 58% of ecommerce transactions in the U.S. received free shipping as part of the order. One year earlier, just 48% of transactions came with free shipping.”

Females Press the Pin Button (eMarketer)
“eMarketer expects the number of US Pinterest users to climb 15.0% this year, reaching 40.1 million consumers, or 15.9% of the population. Women will make up an overwhelming majority of this group, with 34.1 million female users accounting for 85% of the total audience.”


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Badge of Honor: Skinny Ties

Let’s talk about first impressions. The Skinny Ties ecommerce site makes a great one. With a clean, simple and engaging design, the visual appeal here is definitely awesome. But what earns this site today’s Badge of Honor is it’s cool top navigation. Take a look!

The top navigation offers visitors several ways to shop: Collection, Color, Width, Fabric and Pattern. When the user mouses over each one, it opens a drop-down menu showing the sub-categories. But what’s extra-special is the way this ecommerce store shows images and short descriptions for each of these. Here’s the Collections tab:

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And here’s width. It’s awesome to see the various tie widths on the model, too, because it gives better context for the user.

skinnytie3 copyFor a third example, here is the Fabric selection. Providing these close-up swatches is so great for helping the shopper to see the differences between the options so they have a better idea of what the product is like.

skinnytie4 copyIt might seem like a simple thing, but a truly well-done navigation menu can make all the difference for your customers. Clearly Skinny Ties understands the value of navigation, and this retailer did an excellent job of integrating it into the design of the site. Enjoy your Badge of Honor, Skinny Ties. You deserve it!




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Today’s Top Ecommerce News

Google Analytics adds more e-commerce data and reporting tools (Internet Retailer)
“Google Inc. is making it easier for e-retailers to collect more granular data about how consumers behave on their sites and to generate reports about that behavior. The company announced Wednesday Enhanced Ecommerce, a Google Analytics reporting tool designed specifically for e-retailers. Using the tool, e-retailers can run reports that measure how many visitors view individual products, add or remove them from their shopping cart and abandon or complete transactions.”

How Social Media Benefits SEO (Practical Ecommerce)
“Ten years ago, search engine optimization was fairly straightforward: Make sure the search engines can crawl your site, use the right keywords, and get lots of links. As the engines become more and more sophisticated at delivering personalized results, these traditional SEO signals are no longer enough. Social media, however, specializes in the signals that search engines crave: identity and relationships.”

Amazon Plans to Stream Music to Prime Members’ Ears (Ecommerce Times)
“The streaming service would be part of Amazon’s US$99 per year Prime service, which offers subscribers free two-day shipping on many items, video streaming and an e-book lending library. The digital music catalog would be limited to songs and albums that are at least six months old, according to the report, plucked from albums the company is able to license at a discount. All the music would be available to stream on demand.”


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Ecommerce Snapshot: Yoga Direct

Okay, am I crazy, or are some weird things going on in Yoga Direct‘s sale section? This ecommerce site left me a little baffled… Take a look at this. When I arrived on the site, I clicked on the red tab in the left navigation that says “Products on Sale.” When I opened the sorting drop-down, I noticed that one of the options was to sort by “On Sale.” Being that I’m shopping the sale section, I think that goes without saying! This option should probably be cut from the sorting list for this section of the site.

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Also, I have to admit that I’m a little confused about why there are these water props, like kickboards and water barbells, being offered here. Why would these be on a yoga website, and where would I find them normally anyway? There isn’t a tab for “Water Accessories.” Maybe someone can enlighten me about this one. In the meantime, I’ll just suggest that Yoga Direct takes some steps to make their ecommerce store less confusing.

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Today’s Top Ecommerce News

4 Tips for Better Ecommerce Product Videos in 2014 (Practical Ecommerce)
“Many separate studies have established that well-implemented product videos boost sales. Zappos, as an example, reported that videos improved product conversation rates by between 6 percent and 30 percent. Other, albeit smaller, retailers have reported that adding product videos more than double conversion rates. … What followers are four tips for using product videos on your ecommerce site. These examples come from several fashion and clothing sites that are using product videos very well.”

What is local SEO and why do you need it? (eConsultancy)
“Local SEO has grown significantly over the last few years, particularly given the rise of smartphone usage and better connectivity while out and about. Although it has a lot of similarities with organic SEO, it’s ultimately very different. Local SEO is focused on providing results that are relevant to a searcher based on their current location. If I search for ‘best steak restaurant’ on my desktop right now, Google would provide me with results that are nearest to me.”

3 Ecommerce Companies Revolutionizing Buyer Involvement (Inbound Hub)
“Whether we order a customized version of a product already in circulation or buy something that needs to be assembled upon delivery, we like to get our hands dirty. Many ecommerce companies have noticed that buyers like to be in charge and have changed their sales models accordingly. These three, however, have taken customer involvement to new levels.”

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Personalizing Your Ecommerce Store [Infographic]

Customers love when their shopping experience is personalized. That’s why it’s a great idea for ecommerce retailers to utilize personalization on their online stores! Take a look at the infographic below, care of Retail TouchPoints, for some ideas on how to personalize your ecommerce site.

Click to expand.