https://vontikakis.com Latest blogs posts on vontikakis.com https://vontikakis.com/articles/rss 4 ecommerce mistakes and how to avoid them Often small mistakes that may exists in your business operations or even technical level may cost you in new orders, because usually confuse or irritate visitors. Small changes or improvements to your online store could have a high impact on the increase of conversion rates at all types like add to cart, purchases events etc. A common problem is the transactional emails.

Automatic email notifications

Automatic email or transactional email are all these emails that are sent from a web application or website to users after specific actions taken in real time. In the case of an online store, order confirmation email, sending a discount code after subscribing to the newsletter and more.

If these emails end up in the spam folder then it is a problem because the client is not informed of the relevant actions regarding his order. There are many reason that these notification are marked as spam, one of them is when a webiste site is hosted on a server with too many others site that they are spamming.

So the entire Ip address may have entered on blacklist from an email provider like gmail etc. To check this, you can put your domain or ip in the email checker, if there is a problem, one solution is to use a transactional email services provider.

Order confirmation by phone

The time of shipment of the order when the products are available should be shipped the same day or at the latest the following day. I had make three online orders from three different online stores with pay on delivery option, two of them shipped their orders immediately, the third one just called me next day, but I did not answer, because i could not that time. Next day I had some tasks to focus on and I did not answer immediately, when i call back later I realized that they just wanted to make confirmation of the order through the phone.

Then weekend was coming, I picked up the parcels from the other two on Saturday, with the third one delaying one week. During this period various conditions change, such you may change your mind or you can find the same product at a lower price, so is possible to cancel the order. So the delivery of the parcels matters should take place in a very short time.

Inaccurate shipping fees

There are many times when on delivery the final total price may be different from that one we saw on checkout page of eshop when you choose pay on arrival option. For example, an order can be made in a free fee shipping day at an online store, but on receipt by cash on delivery shipping cost has been charged.

The cost of transport is usually small, eg 4 or 7 euros, but the lack of precision can damage the reliability of the store and not only this, but one may not order again.

Well designed design

As for design appearance a well-designed online store with good elements of interaction could make a difference to the user. There are a lot of free theme in all known ecommerce platforms but by taking a premium theme or even ordering a professional web design theme with unique design can increase your conversion rates, also contribute to your business branding overall.

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https://vontikakis.com/articles/view?id=151 Fri, 01 Feb 2019 00:00:00 +0000
Smart Shopping Campaigns from Google Google has make available in its advertising platform a new campaign type that names smart campaign. With this option, you can simplify the management and optimization of pay per click ads. It is mainly targeted at small businesses where they do not have the time and staff to manage their online advertising.

So ads can be automated in effective way across all Google networks, the Search Network, Display Network, Youtube, Gmail. Apart from the positive ones, there are also negative ones, such as less flexibility and concession control. Otherwise, you need to devote enough time to learning pay per click, but let's first say what are the shopping campaigns.

Shopping campaigns

This type of campaign is mainly aimed at retailers who have online stores and their products target the retail market. To start such a campaign, you'll first need to open a Google Merchant Center account.

Then upload the Product Data Feed, which is the a list of the products you sell, including prices, photos and other features. This list may be a csv file that you have edited in excel or a link to an xml file on your online store, which is automatically generated at frequent intervals. Next, you'll need to sign into your Google Adwords account and create a new sales campaign and link the corresponding feed at the merchant center.

 

 

The problem that arises in the Greek market is that the shopping ad campaign is not yet available in Greece but if you have an export activity or dropshipping you can link your merchant account and sell to countries in the European Union where Google Shopping is active. As to the limitation of google shopping is expected to come to Greece but until then you can use Google Merchant Center to put product feed data and create retargeting campaigns and smart remarketing campaigns respectively.

Smart shopping campaigns

Some basic requirements for creating smart campaigns that you need to install global tag on the website or online store to track conversions. First of all, let's define what is  a conversion, is any useful action that a visitor makes to the site, such as adding a product to the cart, subscribing to the newsletter, completing a purchase, etc. The number of visitors who take a specific action toward all visitors is called a conversion rate. In addition, the Global Site Tag must be integrated and a list of at least 100 active repeat marketing users available.

 

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https://vontikakis.com/articles/view?id=149 Fri, 11 Jan 2019 00:00:00 +0000
How to use product data feeds When you manage an ecommerce store a good idea is to have a general representation of the products with functionality to export them in various data formats. These data formats could be files or streams that could be transformed and include necessary information such as products descriptions, prices, availability etc. This way you could put products in selling channels like online ad platforms and comparison price sites. Importing your feed in facebook you can start running facebook dynamics ads which have higher degree of relevance to users as result higher CTR.

Facebook Catalog

Let's take an example how we will import our catalog data in facebook. The simplest way is to go directly to the facebook.com/products  which is the catalog manager. Pressing New catalog we import our data feed to facebook, it accepts four type of formats which are rss xml, atom xml, csv, tcsv. These feeds can be uploaded manually or generated daily in a specific link in our online store . The content of such files has to be accurate and well defined. If there is any problem or missing info on some items like the brand or mpn code this item will not be accepted during the import process. A tool to test the content of your feed is debug tool

There some necessary fields also some others are optional, but one very important is the category of each item which should following the Google's product taxonomy.

Google Merchant Center

Another platform that you can import product feeds is google merchant center. There are two reason the first one is to publish in google shopping and second one is the dynamic retargeting ads. Google shopping is not currently available in all countries but dynamic retargeting is, through your adwords account can associate a campaign with a feed from your merchant center account. So prices, photos can appear in display network and user can see again products that have previously visited on your ecommerce store while browsing other favorite websites that running google ads.

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https://vontikakis.com/articles/view?id=147 Mon, 29 Oct 2018 00:00:00 +0000
How to reduce friction in checkout page If you have many people that abandon their shopping cart in your online store, there is a number of reasons for this. One has to do with the fact on how people make purchase decisions. Initially they start from emotional of point and transition logical  after sometime. For someone who starts the checkout time and effort to complete data will have to be at minimum level. If you remove all the elements that cause distraction you can have a smooth checkout process with higher conversion rates.

Clear checkout page from distractions

In modern theme design, you can see frequently long footers with many menus and a newsletter subscription. In checkout page there is not need on having such big footers with all these info data and newsletter form. There are many reasons this, for example a message in the newsletter copy, like "subscribe now you will have 5% discount on your first order" could cause a general disruption. The user could start typing in newsletter, then go check his email and find the coupon code, with a series of events and distraction, the sale  will have high probability to be lost. So the best  solution is to have a different footer in checkout having only minimum related info on the buying process like privacy policy, refund policy etc.

Final total price

A clear view on final price is important because every potential buyer would know precisly what he will pay.  Despite the choice of payment method, shipping destination or discount codes to calculate total price accurately is very important. There are many cases that somebody use a coupon code and there is no proper integration with the payment method so when is redirected to payment provider in screen appears the toal price of cart without the discount. This pure quality integrations can prevent many users from completely the purchase and also lowers trust on the online store.

Customer support and refund policy

When you have  a clear defined return and refund policy this could make more  comfortable users to make purchases in online stores.  Specially items like clothes that you cannot have a clear idea on  quality from a picture. For example someone could order a jacket that could have a good quality, but was  not suitable for winter, it has to be possible to return and taking your money back easily and without problems. Also in e-commerce business refund policy is obligatory by local laws.

Multiple payment methods

Having a wide variety of payment methods do not allow customers to think twice on how will pay. A wide range of payment methods such as credit card, cash on delivery, paypal, wire transfer is important. So do let customers think twice about this, if the user is already a customer in checkout page, he should see first, in the list of payment methods, his preferred one. A good personalized experience  could remove a lot of friction and obstacles.

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https://vontikakis.com/articles/view?id=145 Sun, 14 Oct 2018 00:00:00 +0000
The essential checklist on starting an online store if you start an online business for first time, it is a good idea to have a domain that is either your business name or something related with the products that you sell, a good practice is to choose a domain that is short and easy to remember. In case you have a physical store or you starting a business with ecommerce and searching for products you will have to import the products to your online store,  you can do it manually, automatically using ERP systems or directly from your suppliers in case of dropshipping.

Product Description Pages

Make sure each of your products have a good product description, these are important part of your eshop content so you can provide to customers details about the product features. When writing product descriptions you should always have in mind who is the ideal customer this can affect the conversion rate as much as your seo strategy.

Also products with big and clear pictures can be appealing to customer, so you could outsource the product photo shoots to professional photographers or with a decent smartphone is also possible to capture goods photos, there are a lot of guides in the internet to learn how to capture high quality products photos and tutorials on basic photo editing with free software like gimp.

Standard Pages

Basic pages such as shipping page are important where you analyze the shipping rates and methods as well as the carriers that you will use. This can affect customer purchase behavior because customers may have specific preference on using carriers, not all of the have the same outreach on delivery or the same level quality of services. For example if you miss the delivery may you have to go the local store of carrier to pick up the parcels some of these stores maybe it is not near you.

The page with payment methods is important what such as what are the type of payments methods are available to customers like credit cards, also using cash on delivery methods and what extra fees are applied on this case. The policy of returning products and what are the requirement for refunds  the number of days the customer may hold a product before ask of for a refundt.

Payment Gateways Settings

Payment gateways that your online store is connected is very important because there are a lot of people that prefer to buy with with credit cards online. You have to be sure that your credit card connection with payment gateway is 100% working all the settings like api keys are correct and the test mode is off. You have to make at least one real transaction before yoyu launch your store.

Install an analytics tools like GA

Google analytics tools is a useful tool to measure your traffic and mediums that the visitor are coming. You can have a pretty good idea on what type of marketing channel will drive more quality traffic with higher conversions rates. There are special features on ecommerce that you enable that is related to ecommerce and called ecommerce tracking so you can activate reports that includes data like the transactions Ids, total revenue, average order value, unique purchases, quantities, average quantities, products skus and many other ecommerce related info.

finally you to come up with your marketing strategy to test what is working best for you product could be pay per click advertising on google adwords or on facebook platform, affiliate marketing networks, comparison prices engines, seo and content strategy, building your email list.

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https://vontikakis.com/articles/view?id=142 Mon, 01 Oct 2018 00:00:00 +0000