How can I track and improve e-commerce sales?

Expert Answers

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E-commerce can be tracked via numerous software packages that allow users to capture data during page visits and product purchases.  The software can capture a variety of information that ranges from the basics to detailed snapshots of consumer patterns.  The analytical information can be invaluable as a tool when it is put to good use.  One of the most important data fields is the zip code often captured during transactions.  The zip code will help narrow down what region is drawn to certain products.  This information can be used to target that area with more direct advertising in either the real world or e-world.

Other analytical tools can tell you how often your online store suffers abandoned carts, which represent people who browsed and thought about a purchase.  These are lost sales which rarely happen in the real world, but are very common in e-commerce.  This type of information will aid in targeting marketing efforts to increase sales.

E-commerce faces different marketing challenges than real world stores.  One of the major differences is the instant ability to comparison shop.  Battling the comparison shopper requires a combination of targeted techniques such as instant discount, time sensitive discounts and easy to read positive reviews.  Other ways to boost e-commerce sales are similar to real world stores and include upselling, sales, product placement and supply-demand illusions.  E-commerce had an advantage over real world sales because e-commerce can use more marketing techniques simultaneously.  However, one disadvantage is the quick pace of consumer driven trends that require constant supervision.

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