eCommerce Best Practice: The Secrets Behind the Success

By Stuart McLaren on Tue 31 January 2012 in Web & eCommerce

Which products and services sell successfully in the online model and why?

What do you think the top selling product type is online? I’ll share that with you in a minute…

but really, it’s not about the type of product you sell, it is however about the target market.

Most business to business suppliers have a readymade market in their existing customers and best of all the credibility and trust already exists in the brand. For many suppliers, their products will naturally lend themselves to being ordered via the web. The critical thing is being able to offer facilities that make it possible:

Customers will expect to be able to:

  • Buy on their existing credit account
  • Get the same price as when they telephone
  • Saved template orders
  • Multiple staff daily shared/open orders
  • Re-order from a history of what they have had previously

…the list goes on, think what you currently offer on the phone or face to face. These are the critical elements to selling successfully online – it is not just about the product.

What if your products don’t naturally translate to the online model? Pause and perhaps think again…

  • What do you currently sell to you customers?
  • What else could you sell that is complementary or supplementary to what they already buy from you?

It may be that you don’t sell these items at the moment, but do you have a readymade market for these products – you may even be able to back to back the supply of these directly from your suppliers.

By the way books are the best-selling online products.

Delivery charges, what is the best plan?

This subject causes much discussion in the online model:

Should delivery be free? or by weight, size, distance, order value… The list goes on, but the truth is, any or all of these may be valid – in general there are two rules on the web for delivery charges:

1. The Simpler, the better
2. Be transparent & make it clear as early as possible.

Uncertainty about final cost (very often delivery charges) is the number 2 reason for abandoned baskets (I’ll share the number 1 reason with you next time).

Even if it is impossible to give exact delivery charges up front, explain how delivery will be calculated. If you can’t explain succinctly how delivery is calculated, then perhaps it is time to reconsider and simplify!

Thanks for reading – next time I’ll be looking at Web Layout for Success.