10 Tips for Choosing an Ecommerce Name

It’s been a long time coming, but you’ve finally decided to launch an online store. Congrats! If you have your brand and domain names figured out at this stage of the game, consider yourself fortunate. For most start-up shops, this task can bring up unexpected challenges. There are, however, things you can do when a choosing an ecommerce name to nip those challenges in the bud.

Before you settle on a brand name, for example, always consider the domain name. There’s nothing more discouraging than finding the perfect brand name, only to find out the domain name is taken. And they must go hand-in-hand; your URL is how customers will find your store online. If your brand name doesn’t come up in searches, you will lose valuable customers, traffic and sales.

Your ecommerce name is also set in stone, so to speak. Remember in June 2011 when the online retailer Overstock.com attempted to rebrand itself as O.co? By November, the company had already started restoring the original Overstock name to its website and social media channels following customer confusion. Your ecommerce name is not something that can easily be changed. Make sure the one you pick works on all fronts.

Here are some tips to consider when choosing an ecommerce name:

Be unique. Don’t emulate a competitor. Naming your toy business We "R" Toys, for example, only highlights a lack of creativity. Plus, your customers will see through your tactics and think of your business as playing second fiddle to a bigger brand.

Get creative. Zappos doesn’t exactly scream shoes, but they’ve made it stick. Not only is it quirky, but it’s easy for customers to remember. Same goes for the brand Etsy, which sees 15.6 million monthly unique visitors. Choosing a creative brand name also increases the likelihood the domain name will be available.

Keep it short. Finding a single-word domain is like hitting the jackpot. Not only is a short domain name easy to remember, it’s also easier for customers to type into a browser. Try to keep yours under three words.

Check domain availability. There are a few ways you can check a domain’s availability. You can type the URL into search or you can search for the domain on a site like Whois Lookup. If the domain you really want is taken, you do have the option to buy it. But before you contemplate buying a pre-purchased domain:

  • Check what it’s currently being used for. Does it have an active homepage? If so, you may be out of luck. If not, you can offer to buy it by contacting the owner directly.
  • Consider what you’re willing to pay for it. Depending on the domain name, you could be shelling out anywhere from $200 to $200,000.

Choose the right extension. There are so many extensions, such as .com, .org, .net, .co, and .us. For ecommerce, we recommend choosing .com for your top-level domain (TLD), as well as the countries you will be targeting (grab .ca if your target audience is based in Canada, for example).

Check for trademarks. Think you found the perfect name? Make sure it’s not already trademarked. You’ll want to be able to trademark your own name to stave off copyright problems in the future.

Search social media. Make sure your new brand name isn’t already taken on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. If the handles are available, don’t wait to snatch them up. You can always delete the profiles if your name doesn’t pan out.

Keep it simple, stupid. Leave out odd letter substitutions (think “sk8ter”), which will make your domain hard to remember. This includes hyphens. Most importantly, make sure your domain is easy to spell and pronounce. Pronunciation matters with more and more people using voice search.

The bottom line? You want your brand name to match your domain name whenever possible. This will make it easier for customers to find your ecommerce business by typing your name into a search engine, browser address bar or by speaking.

The experience can be a bit frustrating, especially when it seems every idea you have is already taken. Don’t be afraid to get creative with your brand name. Use an online brand name generator like Name Mesh to get more ideas.

Above all, be patient. Your brand name is one of the most important steps when launching a new ecommerce business. Getting it right will be worth it in the long run.

Landing Page Tips for Ecommerce: Part 2

In our previous blog post, we went over tips for improving the content and functionality on ecommerce landing pages to make them better at engaging users and driving conversions. In this post, we'll present a few guidelines for page layout and design you can use to make your landing pages more visually appealing and memorable.

Balance visual appeal with practicality

Some ecommerce professionals consider the “design” of a landing page as whatever makes it pretty or eye-catching. As such, the layout of design elements becomes one of the last considerations when creating the page. However, this lack of planning can hinder customers from quickly finding important information or navigation elements – making them more likely to bounce. Don't overload users with information upfront. Imagine the page from your customers' point of view, and ask yourself: What do they want or need to know first? What info is vital to convince them to take action?

Break up content to make it more digestible

Keep the text short and actionable for users by formatting your content so that it is easy to scan (especially for mobile users). You can accomplish this by using bulleted lists, separating blocks of text into sections with sub- headlines, and providing detailed information through accordion-style navigation or separate pages.

Leverage color psychology

When making your landing page, don’t just think about what looks good – consider how the colors will work together to resonate with the audience and use this to your advantage. For example, red is known to create a sense of urgency while purple is usually synonymous with luxury or royalty. Consider what color combinations match the tone of the page and use them to subtly reinforce your messaging. Once again, A/B testing is a useful way for finding the options that work best.

Landing Page Tips for Ecommerce: Part 1

A landing page is a web page created specifically for convincing visitors to act (i.e. to sign up, buy, download, etc.). Like the sales displays or helpful associates at a brick-and-mortar shop, your ecommerce site's landing pages can be a deciding factor in getting shoppers to complete a purchase, or dive deeper into your site for more information or other products. To help make your landing pages as successful as they can be, we've assembled the following tips into a 2-part guide. In this post, we'll cover some important considerations for content and functionality that can make most types of ecommerce landing pages more effective.

Clear paths & CTAs

Landing pages serve as informational gateways about your products and brand - they are rarely the last step in a buyer's journey. Whether your goal is to get visitors to "buy now," "contact us," or "learn more," the content and navigation on your landing pages should make it as easy as possible for customers to take the next step. To figure out the optimal placement of these elements, use A/B testing to find a configuration that works best.

Go beyond plain text

Plain text may clearly communicate everything you want it to, but not every user responds to that. A landing page that uses a variety of content types – especially video – can increase information retention and conversion rates. Create video demonstrations of your products, or other types of visual content, to grab users' attention and quickly communicate key information about your product offerings and/or CTAs.  

Simplified lead-gen forms

If your landing page is geared toward getting users to "sign up" or submit info, you need to make it as quick and easy as possible for them to complete this process. Keep the required fields to a minimum and only request the information you truly need – you can always follow up for more detailed information later via “complete your profile” emails or pop-up prompts. As a rule: make it possible for customers to complete actions in a few steps as possible.

Next week, we'll supplement the above info with layout and design tips for making landing pages that are more appealing and engaging.

Localization & Ecommerce: Tips for Expanding into New Regions

More and more companies are trying to change up their merchandizing strategies in preparation for entering new global markets. Beyond translating marketing content correctly into various languages, e-tailers also need to reevaluate information like item specifications and sizing details to align with regional norms and local consumer protection laws. Social standards as well as neighborhood laws are also critical factors to think about with development into new markets. To help ensure that your website and product information is comprehensive, relevant and accessible to foreign audiences, follow these guidelines.

Make updates to product specifications and descriptions

When expanding your reach to global customers, it's critical to localize product information across webpages and promotional content. This includes revamping SKU info with market-appropriate specifications (e.g. converting imperial measurements to metric) and descriptions that properly translate into your target audiences language(s) and/or dialect(s).

Research cultural norms and make changes accordingly

Ecommerce sites that sell to different regions need to consider numerous cultural aspects, such as seasonal trends, societal norms, and holidays. For example, the color purple is associated with aristocracy, royalty, and riches in many parts of the world. However, in Brazil and Thailand, purple is associated with somber occasions and periods of mourning. Your product offerings and item descriptions may need to be customized according to these kinds of nuances.

Guarantee Quality Control and Legal Compliance

Policies concerning labeling, licensing, and merchandising all vary between countries. For example, many regions have different labeling formats and information requirements for ingredients, country of origin, and health warnings. Sellers (especially those with large item catalogs) may require sophisticated product information management systems to assist them with making and tracking changes for regulatory compliance quickly across numerous markets.

Quick Tips for Selling your Products on Google Shopping

More and more ecommerce businesses are adopting omnichannel strategies to get their products in front of more customers around the web. Most e-tailers are already familiar with adding their products to channels like Amazon and eBay, but what about Google Shopping?

In a nutshell, Google Shopping is a pay-per-click advertising channel, but instead of text ads, users are shown robust product listings from your website within Google. These shopping-enhanced adverts mostly appear under Google's "Shopping" tab. But, if you've optimized your adverts properly, they can also appear in Google's main results for certain user queries. When a user clicks on your ad, they are directed to a product page on your website. Since many consumers begin their "buyers' journey" with a Google search, this can be an effective way of reaching new customers.

The factors Google considers when deciding what search queries should trigger your ads includes not only your bidding activity, but also the content of your product listings. Therefore, in order to get the best ROI from Google Shopping, you need to strategically optimize the content of your listings.

For example: per Google, listings that contain poor-quality images may be prevented from appearing in search results. Read Google’s guidelines for high-quality images and make sure your listings are meeting this criteria.

Additionally, Google wants to present users with complete information related to their queries. To help your listings perform better, take the time to fill out all of the requested fields (Title, Description, Product Category, Availability, etc. etc.) with complete and accurate information. Then, put a process in place to make sure your listings stay up-to-date with relevant info.

If you take care to cultivate your listings, analyze performance data, and bid strategically, Google Shopping can be an effective addition to your business’s omnichannel presence.