Ecommerce Shopping Cart Software Solutions

If you are selling online then your success quite often is tangible connected to the quality,functionality and flexibility of your eCommerce shopping cart enabled web software platform.

Selling online is a tricky thing.

As the world continues its transformation into the Google economy, any competitor is often just a click away from your website.

The challenge of making the sale often comes down to engaging your customer not only with a competitive price but also with a user-friendly and content compelling (what some might term "Persuasive") web site experience.

As the selling experience proceeds to be commoditized – especially with the adoption of the very very boring responsive and very impersonal websites – the challenge to differentiate is even more complicated.

Your online ecommerce success boils down to 3 things:
– Good Copywriting,
– Fast Load Times
– Smooth User-Interface

I have spent years on the inside working on upgrade after upgrade with the developers of the Adrecom enterprise eCMS system, one of the original ecommerce shopping cart platforms that evolved from the Webcart platform.

The Adrecom developers have taken the Best Practices from other web site platforms and integrated them into one comprehensive web site solution that is designed for one purpose in mind – make you money from online sales.

If you want to tour the Adrecom platform, visit www.Adrecom.net.

Make the Most out of Microsoft Outlook

I honestly cannot remember how I made it through the days without email. I don’t know about you, but email has become such a vital part of my everyday life that picturing a world without it is just plain terrifying. In fact, using Microsoft Outlook consumes so much of my day that I could probably add contacts, search through my address book, and send emails blindfolded. Obviously, it’s no surprise that I owe Microsoft Outlook my life at this point, but what if my favorite program got even easier and even more beneficial to my mental health? With the three new Outlook add-ons that I discovered, it is possible to further feed my Outlook addiction. Now we all know there are plenty of Outlook add-on options, so it’s definitely necessary to pick a certain few so that they don’t hinder Outlook’s performance. I’ve narrowed it down to three that I simply can no longer live without.

* Xobni

o In all of its small, space-effective glory, Xobni, (inbox spelled backwards), offers the perfect contact searching capabilities. Without taking up much of your screen, (an annoyance we’ve all faced with various add-ons), Xobni can forward, reply, or open a message or file. It can even pull information from Facebook, Skype, LinkedIn, and Hoovers. Added data includes the stats of your email relationship with each of your contacts and their ranking in terms of email frequency.

* Gwabbit

o Yes, Gwabbit is $19.95, but it is an extremely helpful address book builder that gives you the most bang for your buck. Just by scouring the signature block of an email, Gwabbit is able to create a full contact record in Outlook’s address book that goes much more in depth than the information added by right clicking. As useful a program as Gwabbit is, it does have its few glitches. If someone entered their own information incorrectly, all on one line for example, then Gwabbit will record the contact as is. You may have trouble trying to correct the information since Gwabbit will see the contradiction between the email message and the information that you added. All things considered, Gwabbit is a handy little tool for the dependent users of an electronic roladex.

* Google Calendar Sync beta

o Google has such a massive electronic presence that it only makes sense that you should be able to sync your Google and Outlook calendars. This free beta program allows you to since events to or from one calendar to the other, and two-way syncing is also an option. You pick your time interval, and Google takes care of the rest.

Make Your Ecommerce Site SEO-Conscious

No matter what your website is about, your ultimate goal is to make it a popular destination for internet users. Your best bet: SEO. Trying to stay conscious of the keys of SEO while building an ecommerce site can prove to be a challenge. Informative, valuable content is certainly a must in the SEO world, but ecommerce sites typically have much less content than other sites. Also, since products on an ecommerce site are generally constantly changing, it can be difficult to get a good place in search results. Fear not, it IS possible to find SEO success with your ecommerce website. There are a few things you can do, starting with website basics, that will help your site ranking.

Keywords, keywords, keywords. Among SEO basics, your choice of keywords is a standard issue that has a huge effect on the ranking of any website. Before you get started, remember the importance of staying organized in the development of your website. You may want to create a spreadsheet that will allow you to keep track of all of the keywords that you choose. For your homepage, start with broad terms and phrases that you think your customer would enter into any search engine’s search bar. If you’re selling books on your website, the obvious choice would be things like “discount books,” “online bookstore,” or “buy books online.” As you look through your webpages, narrow your terms accordingly. Keywords like “fiction books,” “mystery novels,” and “autobiographies,” are obvious choices in narrowing down the genres of your selection. If you can prevent it, don’t use the same keywords on every page of your site, and don’t try to stick in as many keywords as you can on every page. Each page stands on its own when it comes to search engine ranking. Don’t underestimate the importance of the keywords you choose because you’ll be using them in these four places:

* Navigation/Links – As you set up your site navigation, you’ll want to use your keywords in the categories and page names you create. You’ll also want to put your keywords in your URL’s if you can, but do be conscious of the length of your phrases in both cases.
* Breadcrumb Trail – Breadcrumb trails help your site’s visitors see where they’ve been and generally look like this: home > fiction books > mystery novels. Googlebots follow these trails, as well.
* Alt Tags / Image Attributes – The keywords you place here are also indexed to major search engines.

More Tips about Assessing Your Website: Diagnose Your Problems

Today I’ve got more tips about ways to better the traffic to your website by pinpointing the exact issues that are hampering your site.

Again, it’s all about self-diagnosis and understanding your website’s problems. Without knowing the root of the problem, it’s impossible to fix it. Is your website brand new? Is your content informative and interesting enough? Have you broken any of the ethical SEO commandments? You may have to take a step back from your website to truly observe the problems that you’re having. Most importantly though, make sure you actually have a problem before you start changing your website and fixing things. Yes, that fact should be an obvious one, but you will probably be tempted to believe that a decrease in your overall indexed pages means that you have a serious problem. However, Google may have just de-indexed any ineffective or duplicated pages that you might have. If your search traffic hasn’t dropped off, chances are you don’t have a significant search problem. Remember, sometimes change can be good. If you’re still convinced that there is a problem with your website, these tips should help direct you towards any traffic dilemmas that you’re facing.

* Crawl efficiency – it’s one of the keys to getting on the good sign of your friendly search engine crawlers. You’ve got to let them know which pages are the most important for crawling purposes. You want the engines spending their time on the pages that are important to your site rather than the non-productive error and registration pages that take away from your valuable content.

* Be sure to create comprehensive sitemaps for each of your categories by creating a sitemap index file that links your multiple sitemaps and submitting it to Google Webmaster Central. This will give you great insight into how well Google is crawling all of the different aspects of your site. You also gain access to all of the tools and graphs in Webmaster Central sitemap reports. This way you can see how much and which areas of your content is being crawled and how much of that content is being indexed. For example, you might notice that Google is crawling all of your content in one category, but indexing only 25% of it. This will give you a great place to start trying to figure out why.

SEO Tactic to Avoid #2: Faking URL Rewrites

Today’s SEO tip is about the importance of using discretion in all of your URL writing.

Let’s face it – even the most diligent SEO guru has a lazy moment or two. Spurred on by that devilish voice in your head, it takes all of your will power to deny taking the easy way out when it comes to handpicking keywords to put in your URL. What you want to do is throw a few directories in front of your previously existing URL; what you should do is take the time to rewrite the elements that actually propel the page’s content. Although that tiny addition to your URL seems completely harmless, you have been warned! True, if the legacy URLs are redirected to the new keyword URL to maintain link popularity and de-index the legacy URLs, you’ll probably see no consequences. Sure, your now much longer URL will probably get indexed and therefore be free of any impact, but beware! You would hate to be accused of the ultimate sin: keyword stuffing!

The best way to avoid keyword stuffing is to keep it simple. A URL of four or five words that sounds natural can be perfectly normal. I would warn against using a URL that looks like this: http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2009/feb/23/honda-formula-one-bernie-ecclestone-richard-branson-jenson-button-bruno-senna-mercedes-benz, (yes, this is actually real). First off, it’s just too long. No one would ever physically type a URL of that length if they saw it in print. Second, it looks spammy! A URL like that combined with this particular site, itself, is constantly losing credibility. Not only are almost all of The Guardian’s URL’s typically like this, but its articles are full of pointless and annoying links. Generally, it’s very easy to associate these over-stuffed and obnoxious URLs with a lack of value. Is sacrificing quality really worth a few measly SEO points? Make sure to consider keyword proximity and density before writing your URLs to avoid sacrificing the integrity of your website. Stick with keywords and leave out the junk – adverbs, adjectives, pronouns – think about exactly what your target audience is looking for and what they would type into Google to find it.

Here are a few examples of search engine friendly linking, which is really easy to do when use a content management system that enables you to just type in the keywords you want to use in your URL, and it creates the links for you. (Btw, you would not believe how many ecommerce sites still use links with SKU numbers instead of model names).

EvePearl.com Beautician to the Stars Web Site Redesign

EvePearl.com has that interesting business combination of a products AND services shopping cart / ecommerce platform like WebCart© that could deliver a customized look and feel for each of her product sets. But at the same time she needed a content platform to offer up information related to her makeover services.

Eve – otherwise known as the Makeup Artist to the Stars – was recommended by the visionary Eisenberg brothers at that newly public web conversion and analytics consulting company FutureNow. A good part about the project was that though it complex in scope, she basically knew what she wanted and that made the core of the project relatively simple. First, Eve wanted a new look and feel for her site. Second is she wanted to introduce a whole new level of functionality for her customers to offer them video casts, interviews, an updated high end photo gallery and lots of other web content she could not easily manage with her prior Content Management Solution (CMS) software. Besides adding in all this brand spanking new function set, she also wanted to be able to manage updating the content on her own.

So the short story is that my angry web designer delivered a first draft in 9 days I think and at it’s core, he made it happen. Just to give you an idea of the process. We reviewed over 500 web sites for keywords like cosmetics, beauty supplies, makeup, beautician and makeovers. We built a spreadsheet of best practices in terms of what links were common between most of the closely competitive sites. We looked for common icons that would give her new site the credibility the customers expected. And finally, we looked at color schemes to see what we could efficiently create without requiring customers to learn a whole new site comprehension.

If you review the Case Studies section of my site, you should find a more comprehensive review of the steps we took to redesign her site and then integrate the old content into the new platform. I am very proud of this site because it took a lot of effort from all parties involved and everyone delivered a noteworthy effort. This does not always happen and that is why I am mentioning it now.

CMKCosmetics.com – Discount Cosmetics Ecommerce Web Site Design

Clearly, CMKCosmetics.com is not necessarily a new web design project but I am posting about it now because it is in a similar industry to EvePearl.com and since I’ve gotten my feet pretty wet with cosmetics, it makes sense to put up a little information about this site too.

CMKCosmetics.com is an interesting situation because she sells cosmetics to everyone in one sense, because everyone has the potential to use her makeup products to look more beautiful. However, she also has an exciting niche market opportunity to sell cosmetics to a very particular type of customer. That niche is served by her brand of Shabbat Cosmetics. These are lipsticks and eyeshadows for example that are formulated in such a way that Rabbis approve of their use on the holy sabbath.

Without getting into the details too much, not only did this site have the opportunity to showcase products for a definable audience, but it also had to take into consideration the social mores of that community. This meant that the photos used on the site had to be meet a certain level of acceptability for modesty. As well, the whole color scheme of the site had to be in a sense “sensible” and not too flashy. That is a tough bill to fill to sell “sex” but not look like it too much.

Well maybe she wasn’t trying to sell sex, but it’s a pretty fine line between getting all dolled up looking good and crossing the threshold to a bedroom. Yet, that may be a male point of view. From the woman’s perspective beauty and all the accoutrements used to enhance one’s beauty, are not really about sex but about a self perception. In the fashion world, you are what you wear – and not necessarily for an ulterior motive.

So the CMK cosmeticsweb project was noteworthy more because of the limitations presented by the niche audience than because it gave me a chance to showcase some enhancements we had made to the WebCart Ecommerce platform. We are always adding new configuration options to WebCart so it is almost like commonplace – though some of the features you will see on CMK are quite nice. look at all the alternate images of the lipsticks to get an idea of what I mean.



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