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Jed Wylie – Make Your Website Sell: 5 (More) Golden Rules for Ecommerce Websites

By 123 Reg - April 3, 2013

Make Your Website Sell

In my last blog I gave you 5 of the Golden Rules for Ecommerce Websites. Here are the remaining five all of which are focused on increasing your sales or saving you money. Let’s start with the latter…


If you are just about to start building your ecommerce site then don’t, like many website owners, be tempted to add features like, “people who bought this also bought…” or customer reviews, wish lists or star ratings systems. This largely happens because people see this functionality on Amazon and believe that replicating those features will result in more sales. Honestly, it won’t. There’s nothing more of a turn-off for a consumer than to see ‘no review’, or ‘no rating’ because the traffic isn’t there to create it. It’s best to focus on creating an easy-to-buy interface which gives great information and compels the user to act through sincere, focused marketing. Avoiding these complexities will cost you less and get your website completed earlier.


Nothing motivates people more than the feeling that they’re getting a bargain. This is a powerful psychological buying motivator which any good ecommerce site should instantly take advantage of.  Simply, make people offers, show them discounted ranges, offer additional services as part of the purchase, run a sale and so on. The options are endless.


Here’s an example of an up-sell – A few years ago in America McDonald’s staff asked EVERY customer if they wanted to ‘SuperSize’ their meal for an additional cost. As a result they increased their profits by 25% in the first week. In fact, it became a statistical probability that 11% of customers would say “yes” to the question that cost McDonalds nothing to ask!

An up-sell is one of the fastest ways to instantly increase your profits. Simply, find something that sits with your customer’s purchase and, at the point they buy, offer them an up-sell. Here are a few examples…

  • Camera Equipment… Up-sell; Memory Cards, Batteries, Lens Cloths, etc.
  • Software… Up-sell; 1 Year’s Upgrades, Maintenance, Related Products, etc.
  • Baby Pushchair… Up-sell; Blankets, Toys, Baby Car Seat, etc.
  • Any product that needs batteries…Up-sell; Batteries!

A percentage of customers will respond to your up-sell giving your website an instant pay rise!


Make sure you take every opportunity to get your visitor’s email address and when they give it to you (often though the purchase process) email them immediately and regularly thereafter. You can use this free marketing method to advise them of new products, new sales, deals and up-sell opportunities. The wonderful law of averages means that a proportion of those who you email will buy from you again – it’s exactly the same principle as the up-sell and a no-cost way to quickly increase your online profits!


If 100 people begin a shopping basket with you it’s unlikely all 100 will complete the buying process. In fact you’ll lose some with every click from basket confirmation to registration to payment details to final confirmation. However, you can minimize that loss by improving each step/page.

This is a huge subject so I’m going to confine myself to recommending that you take a look at how the major ecommerce websites use theirs; www.play.com, www.amazon.co.uk, www.johnlewis.co.uk, etc.. Get a sense of how they minimise customer ‘drop-off’ and try to replicate that on your own website. (Hint: The simpler the process, the more customers complete the purchase.)

Now you have 10 Golden Rules you can immediately put into practice and get instant results from. All that’s left for you to do it turn my words into cash in your bank.

Jed Wylie is the author of Make Your Website Sell and works for Morgan Wylie a web design and digital marketing agency in the Midlands.