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Changes In Search Engine Optimization And Marketing

Changes in Search Engine Optimization and Marketing

Search engines continue to be a critical part of any eCommerce strategy. While social media may have taken some of the thunder away from search engines for brand awareness and recognition, the majority of people looking to buy online still use search engines for product discovery.

Over a year ago we sat down with our resident search engine expert, Neil Lemons, and discussed how search engine marketing worked with eCommerce. This time we’re sitting down with Neil again to discuss some of the major trends and changes in search engine optimization and marketing:

What are some things retailers overlook from time to time in regards to optimizing their site to make it friendly for search engines?

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Online Sales Tax In The United States

Online Sales Tax in the United States

Sales Tax money

The online sales tax situation in the United States is a big concern for online retailers and can be a difficult topic to understand. A recent study from Stamford University indicated that a national online sales tax could decrease online purchase volumes by an average of 12% across all channels (although this could be financially negated by the upward trend in increased average order values). The addition of this tax would be a unique and challenging obstacle for all online retailers in the country.

Another unique aspect about online sales tax in the U.S. is that each state has different laws (or lack thereof) on whether it collects online sales tax and how it collects the tax. For example, last month Pennsylvania announced they will begin taxing online sales for companies with a physical presence in the state. As state laws currently stand, only online retailers with a physical eCommerce presence (i.e. distribution center) in a state can be subject to online sales taxes from that state, meaning online retailers do not have to pay an online sales tax in states where they do not reside.


Currently there are three online sales tax bills Congress is considering, each very unique in their own way yet with some similarities:

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Customer Ratings and Reviews – Benefit or Burden?

Historically, consumers have always talked to their friends and family about products and services. Does the baker around the corner have good bread? How do the shoes fit at the local shoe store? As products moved online, so did the voices of consumers who now trust the product experiences of consumers who they have never met or interacted with. Approximately 88% of online consumers now read online reviews before making a purchasing decision; a number that has continued to increase over the past five years and continues to go up.

So what are some of the benefits and burdens of customer ratings and reviews? Let’s take a look below…

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Understanding Gender And ECommerce

Understanding Gender and eCommerce

Men and Women eCommerce

Men and women have shopped differently for generations, well before the first eCommerce store launched. While it’s easy to translate the differences in retail settings, (low height shelves in women’s stores, hands-on product displays in men’s stores) for some retailers making the transition online has been more difficult when it comes to optimizing their online shopping experience for their targeted gender.

Here are some of the ways the tendencies of the different genders affect eCommerce…

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Canadian eCommerce and United States eCommerce – A Comparison

The state of eCommerce in Canada is unlike many other places in the world. The adoption rate of new technology in Canada is among the top countries in the world – almost the entire Canadian population is connected to the internet thanks to its dense urban population and smartphones in Canada will be owned by approximately 15 million people by 2014 (40% of the expected Canadian population). Despite the “early adopter” mentality Canadians have toward technology, many consumers surprisingly still prefer to shop in-person than online. Canada has been ranked as an “average” eCommerce country, with online sales expected to make up approximately 5.3% of the country’s total spending by 2016. Why has Canada lagged behind the United States (and other countries) in eCommerce when they are among the pioneers in other avenues of technology – and most importantly – will this change in the future?

Let’s look at some research to answer these questions…

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Tactics to Stop & Prevent Cart Abandonment

eCommerce abandoned cart

Getting consumers to visit an eCommerce site is a task within itself – retailers spend thousands on e-mail marketing, SEM campaigns, and display advertising in hopes of driving traffic to their eCommerce site. Site designs are practical and finding products is easy, yet the shopping cart abandonment rates are at an all-time high of 72% and are expected to increase in 2012. Consumers are visiting eCommerce sites but are not “pulling the trigger” on purchases, especially when they are new to the site, and combating this behavior is becoming more difficult.

How can retailers deal with rising cart abandonment rates? To find out more information on the topic I sat down with our cart abandonment expert and eCommerce strategist, Doug Mitchell…

What are some current tactics retailers are finding effective in combating cart abandonment?

Re-targeting e-mails are easily the most effective way to curb cart abandonment, but adding a persistent cart to a site (where items remain in the cart after a customer exits the site) is also important. Throughout the site adding a cart icon with the number of items currently in the cart is also a good tactic as it makes consumers aware they have items in their cart, especially if they are returning to the site and may have forgotten about the items.

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