The Cart Blog

Thursday, October 25, 2007

The latest from Amazon

Filed under: Business Services,Cart Vendors — thatsoftwareguy @ 4:34 am

Web King Amazon.com has just announced the Amazon All Business Center, which includes WebStore by Amazon, an interesting looking hosted e-commerce application. The pricing on WebStore is $59.99/month, and you can list your own items which you will fulfill along side Amazon.com items that they fulfill. This is an extension of the existing aStore offering, where affiliate marketers (called “associates”) can list Amazon items and get referral fees.

Each of the two store options has a different look and feel, with some different configuration options. You can check out a demo aStore at http://astore.amazon.com/demostore-20 and a demo Webstore at http://atthetrailhead.com/.

Here’s the press release on the All Business Center from Amazon.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Free Press Releases

Filed under: Publicity — thatsoftwareguy @ 8:20 pm

A great list from the folks at Mashable.

KonaKart updates

Filed under: Cart Vendors — thatsoftwareguy @ 6:57 pm

KonaKart – one of a small number of Java based carts, just announced a release; InfoQ discusses it here. I spoke to John Hornsby of KonaKart about the advantages of using Java (versus PHP) for cart development. My thinking was that the biggest win was the elimination of bugs up front because of Java’s type-safety, but John’s take was much more expansive:

“Different people will have different reasons for choosing Java over PHP but generally it gives you a far richer, more-elegant, multi-tiered development environment than PHP and offers much greater scope for scalability, security and performance.”

The abundance of formally trained, professional Java software developers can’t hurt either. It will be interesting to follow this work as it develops. Good luck to the KonaKart team!

Using feedback to improve sales: the Return-O-Meter

Filed under: Cart Features,Sales — thatsoftwareguy @ 6:38 am

A great idea from ShoeLine.com – the Return-O-Meter. Return-O-Meter

When you’re shopping for a shoe, you can quickly see not only how frequently the shoe was returned, but the reason for the return.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Allowing Comments in your Blog?

Filed under: Blogging,Communication — thatsoftwareguy @ 7:11 am

It’s a classic question: allow comments, trackbacks, pingbacks, or not? There really is no right answer; it really depends on your motivation for blogging. Let’s look at some common justifications for answers one way or another, and then I’ll provide my thoughts.

And on the flip side:

My thoughts on the topic:

  • If your motivation behind blogging is to build a community, then allowing people to have their say-so (within reason) is imperative.
  • If you’re a WordPress user, run Akismet. It greatly reduces the amount of comment spam you will have to manage. (Aside: if you value your time, and Akismet saves you time, please consider supporting Akismet financially.)
  • Steve Pavlina argues he gets enough feedback by email. Fair enough – but if you’re not Steve Pavlina (or someone equally well known), you probably shouldn’t rely on this.

Monday, October 22, 2007

MMM: Golfing with one leg

Filed under: Motivation — thatsoftwareguy @ 4:39 am

Sean Lewis lost his right leg in a mortar attack in Iraq. He found his prosthetic leg got in the way of his golf swing, so he took it off and now golfs with one leg. The Wall Street Journal (subscription required) wrote about Lewis and pro golfer Jim Estes, who volunteers to help wounded soldiers learn to golf as part of their physical therapy.

You can see a picture of Lewis golfing here.

You can read more about the PGA and their involvement with Wounded Warriors.

Motivational Quote:

“It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.” — Epictetus (55-135)

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Email Coupons Make People Spend More

Filed under: Discounting — thatsoftwareguy @ 8:04 pm

A very interesting post from MailChimp discussing research from Harvard about how coupons cause a “small windfall” effect, reducing sales resistance.

Preparing your cart for Christmas

Filed under: Sales — thatsoftwareguy @ 2:56 pm

A interesting post from Palmer Web Marketing.

I really like idea 1 (emphasis mine):

Offer Bounce Back Discounts: Think about how much traffic your site will receive during the holidays. How can you harness that traffic to create year long business? Consider offering a good discount incentive for customers to come back and shop in January. You can automatically email them a coupon after each order, or send one along with the package. Make sure that this coupon is not valid until after the holidays.

Idea 7 is a great trust-builder:

Prominent “No Hassle” Return Policy: our return policy should be easy to find. Consider re-packaging it as a ”no hassle” policy in order to calm the fears of first time buyers.

And idea 25 … well, That Software Guy is all about upsells disguised as discounts. :)

Bundle Products: Gift selection is much easier when related items are grouped together in some sort of gift basket or bundle.

Email Tips

Filed under: Email — thatsoftwareguy @ 6:58 am

I found a handful of interesting articles last week about managing your email lists:

Finally, a great example of a powerful marketing email is provided by Varien, quoting an email from ToolPrice.com.

Cultural trends that change business

Filed under: Buyer Behavior — thatsoftwareguy @ 6:22 am

Here’s a great post from Nametag Guy Scott Ginsburg called “35 cultural trends that (should) change the way you do business.” My favorite? Number 18, which I thought really should have been called, “Trust is a must.” Checklist for online vendors:

  • SSL certificate not just for checkout, but for account creation and login?
  • Contact information (esp. telephone number) all during checkout?
  • Physical address at the bottom of the page?
  • Following up on emails within 24 hours?
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