15 Common Mistakes in E-Commerce Design and How to Avoid Them (via @smashingmag) - Selling online can open up huge new markets for many businesses.
These are all great tips. I've had to, at one time or another, correct them all. There are several low hanging fruit easy to fix tips like making sure people know where you are (your contact information should be ways to find and not a PO box) and making sure your return information is easy to search, find or popup.
Inside the easy, low hanging fruit are two tough but valuable ideas:
* Internal Search
* Shopping Cart
Search touched about half of our sales when I was a Director of Ecommerce. Some say great navigation can eliminate search. I don't agree. We live in a search culture thanks to Google so people are going to search your site. Using search to build and merchandise highly effective landing pages is an ecommerce MUST.
There used to be great SaaS tools you could add into your site like Endeca. Now most CMS build in some of those expensive features. I'm a Director of Marketing at Atlantic BT ( http://www.atlanticbt.com ). We've done about 50 Magento installations and Love the platform for its sheer POWER. Magento has many of Endeca's better ideas in their CMS or you can buy plugins to augment this open source platform.
Shopping cart's take sophisticated A/B testing at last and, if you have the budget, multivariate testing (MVT). True MVT creates a regression analysis of all possible variables and provides the best combinations of alternatives. Small tweaks in the cart can mean millions so I recommend using MVT testing tools such as Adobe's Test and Target to get an accurate read. Never blunder into cart renovations since you would be violating first law of Internet marketing, "DO NO HARM."
So tackle all of these ideas, but understand the article mixes the complicated with the easy :).M