Phil started from first principles, detailing how you’d go about running a successful mail-order company; be nice to the customer, don’t over-charge on postage (or include free postage) and give consideration to shipping overseas. He then went on to discuss issues that relate to ecommerce sites, things such as online payments, selling via online market places (like Amazon and eBay), legal requirements, SEO, social media and web analytics.
I found the market places stuff to be particularly interesting. These market places seem to be costly to run, as they charge relatively large commissions, but they take all of the hassle out of ecommerce. If we had lots of products to sell, we’d certainly consider doing it via Amazon; they have a really interesting offering.
As always, SEO and social media are important to your site’s success and Phil covered some important aspects of that. I believe the key is to keep writing content and publishing it wherever you can.
Finally, he went on to discuss web analytics so that you’re able to see what is happening on your ecommerce site. We use Google Analytics but we’ve never used the goals and funnel functionality to see how your sales are stacking-up and how your customers are progressing through the check-out process of the web site. Loads of customers drop-out during the check-out process; you can really see why Amazon implemented one click purchasing!
Anyway, it was a good seminar and if Business Link is still in existence when you read this and are running the event again, I’d recommend attending.
Jason Timmins – Technical Director – Micro-Business Maintenance Ltd – Business IT Support