So far this year we’ve looked at past trends, ecommerce statistics and tried to predict upcoming trends by analyzing shopping cart reviews and feedback. In this coldfusion shopping cart news post, we will look at the little things that can affect the performance of a web store. We will also look at what the big boys are doing in terms of reaching out to customers and finally, see how some stores are making brave moves by going against the norm.
The first thing we shall look at in this installment of coldfusion shopping cart news is how some stores are making tons of sales just by offering a particular service for free. We have some merchants who sell similar products but each store caters to its own particular niche. However, there are some stores that are similar in almost every way but somehow, one manages to outsell the other by quite a margin. We have identified what we thought was the deciding factor and researched this further. Apparently last year, quite a number of customers bought from stores which offered free shipping for all or if not all, then for a number of their products. This was not the case in previous years as customers did not consider shipping as a major determining factor.
Some analysts believe that the current economic situation has caused shoppers to be more prudent in their spending. Free shipping is “value” that they look out for when looking for good deals.
For stores which cannot afford to offer free shipping, charging a flat rate to all destinations or to a certain region/country would be a good alternative. Now is the best time to test which strategy would work best for your store by conducting a A/B split test. Remember, nothing is set in stone so stores have to be able to adapt to the whims of shoppers.
Our next coldfusion shopping cart news item has to do with how the big boys like Ebay and Amazon are reaching out to potential customers.
Smart phones have been selling very well despite the current economic situation. Hot smart phones include the iPhone, phones based on Google’s Android and the Blackberry. The thing that makes smart phones so unique is their apps. Smart phone users download or purchase their desired apps and use them to do anything from calculating calories to finding restaurant reviews and locations. So it was only a matter of time before mobile (m-)commerce would start taking off.
However, m-commerce was supposed to take 2009 by storm but didn’t. Many were still adopting a wait and see attitude but it looks like 2010 could be the year of m-commerce. Certain coffee shop chains and even a few airlines have already created apps and distributed them for free, allowing customers to order and pay via their mobile devices through a credit repository.
If there’s 1 shopping cart tip that might shock merchants it’s this following one, but rest assured this strategy has worked wonders for many in terms of gaining customer confidence.
Many merchants are not too comfortable revealing information about product returns. The theory is that this might cause potential customers to think that the site provides products or services that are wanting in quality. However, it’s important to note that people return goods for many reasons and most of them have nothing to do with product quality. For example, some people who buy sports shoes online might return them because they wanted them in a larger size, with more cushioning or with better support.
This information could be crucial to other shoppers. It would help potential shoppers make more informed decisions and may actually help reduce future returns. Of course you might lose a handful of customers but you’ll gain the trust and loyalty of many more.
One way to go about this is to present the information in a review format with a few variable rating systems. For instance, a person who has just bought a pair of shoes would be invited to give a short review (perhaps with the sweetener of a gift certificate) and the person would also be invited to rate the product on a few factors like “Size true to fit” and “Re-purchase likelihood”.
But don’t just stop there. You can also show what product the customer eventually ended up with after the original product was returned. Even if the customer review was not flattering to the store and there was no alternative purchase made, constructive suggestions can be made in reply to the bad review. This shows that the store sincerely wants to please its customers.
This is a bold move, to say the least, but those of you who are really confident about the quality of your products and services may want to take this leap of faith.
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