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Avoid 7 Mistakes on Your Ecommerce Site

Online stores are becoming very competitive, so make sure your services and products are unique. When you have a physical store, you are mostly competing with local businesses. But, if you decide to take your business online, you are now competing with the world! So make sure that your offers are unique and different from your competitors. Here are a few basic tips you may want to look into…

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1. Your Site is Too Slow Every 2 seconds of load time on your site equals an 8% abandonment rate, according to Gomez, the application monitor from Compuware. If you drop your load time from 8 seconds to 2 seconds, your conversion rate actually jumps up 74%. It's easy to see why: Do you want to waste your time waiting for a site to load? Unfortunately, there are a lot of reasons why your site is loading so slowly. Steve Tack, Chief Technical Officer for Compuware, says many ecommerce sites are overloaded with third-party plug-ins for Facebook, Twitter and ad networks — all of which can slow a site down. Another cause is cloud issues: If you're using a content-delivery network (CDN), your site can slow to a crawl if your service provider is having issues.

2. Your Site is Too Complicated If you're asking consumers to take more than five steps to buy something off your site, then you're asking too much. Compuware recommends the following: Welcome/cart contents page Bill-to section Ship-to section Payment module Confirmation/thank you page

3. Your Credit Card Entry System is Punishing Here you may also want to take The Oatmeal's advice about credit card entry fields. Is there anything more frustrating than entering your name, address, 16-digit credit card number and three-digit security code, and then restarting from scratch because you forgot your ZIP code? And yes, if most of your business is in the U.S., why not put the country first on the scroll instead of way down at the end, as it would appear alphabetically? Sucharita Mulpuru, an analyst with Forrester Research, says that there's a standard sequence of information for credit card information. If you mess with that order (by putting the credit card number before the name and address, for instance), then users are apt to enter the wrong info because they've been trained to log such data in a certain sequence. Says Mulpuru: "Follow the industry standard."

4. You're Charging Too Much for Shipping Mulpuru says that if you're charging more than 10% of the total cost of the item for shipping, then you're charging too much. "You're probably depressing your sales significantly," she says. "People are more likely to abandon your cart."

5. You're Overselling Your Tablet App If a potential customer visits your website on her iPad, that doesn't necessarily mean that she's keen on downloading your iPad app. "Don't over-invest in customizing your mobile apps," says Mulpuru. "Unless there's a clear value, most people figure, 'Why bother?'" An alternative is to optimize your site for the tablet experience, something that few are doing right now, Tack says.

6. Your Site Performs Horribly on Certain Browsers You may be a Google Chrome fan, but there's a world full of people who are using old versions of Internet Explorer. Have you tested your site on those other browsers? "Many sites don't perform well across various browsers," says Mulpuru, "so people abandon them."

7. You're Hitting Your Customers With Irrelevant Offers OK, you've completed the sale. This person has indicated that they're interested in what you're selling, so it's natural to conclude that they might want to buy something from you in the future. So why not hit them with offers for things that they're actually likely to buy? Mulpuru recalls, for instance, that after she bought a bed from Costco, the retailer besieged her with offers for ... more beds. While deals on pillows or sheets might have made sense, a bed is something you generally purchase every five or 10 years. Says Mulpuru: "At this point, I'm not in the market for more beds."

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The American Foundation for Saint George Hospital, Inc. - Optimizing content and layout & SEO implementation

The American Foundation for Saint George Hospital, Inc.

Web: Optimizing web content & layout
Online Marketing: Search Engine Optimization (SEO) implementation



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3D Friendly Robot

A client has been using a 3D stock image robot as a company’s mascot, and would like to own the artwork and make it unique. As we all know, using stock images is not the way to go if you want something unique. We were contacted by a graphic design company to create a 3D robot that is friendly and approachable.

We started out with a couple drawings and had a few changes to the selected drawing before moving to the development process. The next steps were to create a robot with the 3D modeler software (modeling, painting, and texturing). We added a skeleton so we could animate the robot character.

Finally, we rendered the character on a scene with a white background using 4 light sources. We generated a 6400X12000 pixels image of it so it would be printed on a 10-foot banner for a trade-show booth.



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Tons of Logos


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20 Ways to Stay Creative


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Increasing Your Web Site Credibility

Increasing Your Web Site Credibility

Source: Stanford Guidelines for Web Credibility - part of the Stanford Persuasive Technology Lab

1. Make it easy to verify the accuracy of the information on your site.
You can build web site credibility by providing third-party support (citations, references, source material) for information you present, especially if you link to this evidence. Even if people don't follow these links, you've shown confidence in your material.

2. Show that there's a real organization behind your site.
Showing that your web site is for a legitimate organization will boost the site's credibility. The easiest way to do this is by listing a physical address. Other features can also help, such as posting a photo of your offices or listing a membership with the chamber of commerce.

3. Highlight the expertise in your organization and in the content and services you provide.
Do you have experts on your team? Are your contributors or service providers authorities? Be sure to give their credentials. Are you affiliated with a respected organization? Make that clear. Conversely, don't link to outside sites that are not credible. Your site becomes less credible by association.

4. Show that honest and trustworthy people stand behind your site.
The first part of this guideline is to show there are real people behind the site and in the organization. Next, find a way to convey their trustworthiness through images or text. For example, some sites post employee bios that tell about family or hobbies.

5. Make it easy to contact you - A simple way to boost your site's credibility is by making your contact information clear: phone number, physical address, and email address.

6. Design your site so it looks professional (or is appropriate for your purpose).
We find that people quickly evaluate a site by visual design alone. When designing your site, pay attention to layout, typography, images, consistency issues, and more. Of course, not all sites gain credibility by looking like The visual design should match the site's purpose.

7. Make your site easy to use -- and useful.
We're squeezing two guidelines into one here. Our research shows that sites win credibility points by being both easy to use and useful. Some site operators forget about users when they cater to their own company's ego or try to show the dazzling things they can do with web technology.

8. Update your site's content often (at least show it's been reviewed recently).
People assign more credibility to sites that show they have been recently updated or reviewed.

9. Use restraint with any promotional content (e.g., ads, offers).
If possible, avoid having ads on your site. If you must have ads, clearly distinguish the sponsored content from your own. Avoid pop-up ads, unless you don't mind annoying users and losing credibility. As for writing style, try to be clear, direct, and sincere.

10. Avoid errors of all types, no matter how small they seem.
Typographical errors and broken links hurt a site's credibility more than most people imagine. It's also important to keep your site up and running.

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