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osCommerce Webmaster's Guide to Selling Online

Vadym Gurevych

Increase your sales and profits with expert tips on SEO, Marketing, Design, Selling Strategies, etc.
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Book Details

ISBN 139781847192028
Paperback428 pages

About This Book

  • Turn your e-commerce site into a money-making enterprise
  • Full of practical tips and tricks to improve profit with osCommerce
  • Professional advice on choosing the best contributions

Who This Book Is For

This book is for anyone administering an osCommerce site, including webmasters, content managers, store owners, and marketing managers, who do not need to understand PHP or MySQL to benefit from this book. The tips and techniques described in this book can be applied to any small, medium sized e-commerce site.

This is not an implementation guide; developers implementing osCommerce-based e-commerce sites would benefit from reading Deep Inside osCommerce: The Cookbook.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Increasing Profits and Sales with osCommerce
Why osCommerce?
What is the Book About?
Profits First
The Strategy to Profit
Chapter 2: Advertising an Online Store
What can be Advertised?
How to Advertise
Chapter 3: Search Engine Optimization
Why SEO?
SEO When Switching to osCommerce from an Existing Website
Understanding External and Internal SEO
Hiring an SEO Specialist
Tracking SEO Campaign Results
Chapter 4: Dynamic Content to Improve Sales
Dynamic Content: What and Why?
Different Types of Dynamic Content in osCommerce
Chapter 5: Building Customer Confidence
Ensuring Server and Database Safety
Information about the Business
Customer Information
Product Catalog
Placing Orders
Order Processing
Chapter 6: Design to Sell
Main Principles of E-Commerce Design
Design that Helps Sales
Design Matches Products
Design Matches Target Audience
Design Compatibility
Multicultural and Multilingual Designs
Design Recommendations
Fast Design
Updating osCommerce Design
Chapter 7: Improving Product Catalog
Making Navigation More Obvious
Product Listing
Product Information
Going International
Chapter 8: Increasing Order Value
Increasing Order Values for Customers
Increasing Order Values for Store Owners
Offers Being Reasonable
Increasing Profits and Not Necessarily Order Totals
Selling Related Products Together
Minimum Order Amount Strategy
Complex Products
Design of the Shopping Cart Page
Chapter 9: Increasing the Turnover via Promotions and Special Offers
Which Products to Promote
Recommended Retail Price and Purchase Price
Special Prices
Quantity Discounts
Discounts Based on Order Value
Discount Coupons and Gift Vouchers
Avoiding an Addiction to Discounts
Winning Market Share
Chapter 10: Improving Conversion Rates and Customer Experience
Why Improve Conversion Rates?
Conversion Rates in osCommerce
Paths that Convert Visitors into Customers
Page Elements that Improve Conversion Rates
Wish Lists and Quotations
Payment Methods
Error Handling and Confirmations
Customer Account
Back End Improvements
Chapter 11: Understanding and Using Reports
Tracking Visitors
Tracking Sales
Tracking Stock
Tracking Customers
Chapter 12: Repeat Customers
Why Repeat Customers?
Customers and Repeat Customers
How to Keep in Touch with Customers
Loyal Customers
Chapter 13: Afterword

What You Will Learn


  • Calculate and monitor profits
  • Monitor and track efficiency of advertising campaigns
  • Optimize your osCommerce online store for search engines
  • Internal and External Search Engine Optimization (SEO):
  • Getting popular on search engines
  • Web page optimization
  • Structure and dynamic content
  • Keyword selection
  • Back-linking strategies
  • Make your SEO campaigns pay off
  • Superb ideas for appealing store design
  • Reach profitable new markets by fine-tuning your product catalog
  • Best practices for product listing and product information pages
  • Build and maintain customer confidence
  • Run a properly planned promotion campaign
  • Use and extend the reporting facility of osCommerce
  • Practical insights on creating custom reports
  • Improve your process and efficiency while maintaining business profitability
  • Convert customers into repeat customers

Detailed Table of Contents:

In Chapter 1 you will see a brief introduction to osCommerce, and learn how to calculate and monitor profits.
Attracting visitors to your website is an essential task to gear the business up.

In Chapter 2 we review several ways to advertise and get visitors to your site, including: organic search, banners, pop-ups, link exchange, affiliate programs, newsletters, forums and blogs, and online directories. This chapter has extensive insights on how to track the efficiency (and other variables) of an advertisement campaign.

Chapter 3 shows you how to race to the top of search engine result pages. You will learn methods, techniques, and actions to make your store easily accessible to and indexed by search engines. If you decide to keep ahead of the game and hire a professional SEO consultant, you will want to dig deeper into this chapter where we review aspects of hiring professional SEO consultants and show how to track SEO campaign results. This chapter familiarizes you with the good and bad search engines practices and helps you find which keywords work best

Chapter 4 concentrates on solutions and practices that help authoring original dynamic content, for your users and customers to post content online. We review the benefits of using dynamic content solutions like CMS, forums, blogs, and feeds, and their integration with osCommerce.

Chapter 5 gives you insight on why it is important to build customer confidence and how to do it. We review ways to improve your online store and business model to make customers more confident about placing orders online with your online store.
A good design often spells the difference between failure and success.

Chapter 6 covers effective design of an online store; here you will learn to optimize design for different types of customers and customize it to match your corporate identity. We discuss common-sense approaches to developing design templates and also tackle practical issues like caching and improving page loading speed using database and PHP script optimization to ensure a smoother customer experience.

In Chapter 7, you will learn how sales can be improved in osCommerce by improving your product catalog. It concentrates on improving navigation and making customer interaction intuitive and friendly.

In Chapter 8 we discuss how and why order values can be increased, and what effect this has on the turnover and profit figures. It shows how to increase order values by putting both the customer and the online merchant in a win-win situation. Understand the dynamics of cross-linking products, creating product bundles, configurable products, and employing the minimum order amount strategy.

Chapter 9 covers how to run a properly planned promotion campaign, while keeping an eye on operational costs. The turnover of an online store can be increased by increasing its market share—this chapter shows your how. From grabbing customers to maximizing what you get from your suppliers, running affiliate programs, and B2B programs for trade customers.

Chapter 10 shows you how important it is to monitor and constantly improve the conversion rates of online business, and analyzes how conversion rates affect profitability of the business. It shows how to improve the checkout process in osCommerce, and how to utilize individual customer accounts to increase sales.

In Chapter 11 we further explorer monitoring of the performance of the website by creating and of course understanding various reports, and using statistical information to improve the efficiency of an osCommerce-based online business. In this chapter you will get an insider’s understanding of using and extending the reporting facility of osCommerce, including: reports to plan your advertisement budget, re-arrange advertisement campaigns, track and forecast sale figures, find bestselling and most profitable products, manufacturers, and categories and highlight certain products by marking them as featured, locate best-buying customers and reward them, track stock and ease re-ordering of the most popular products from suppliers, track customers and use previous order history for marketing purposes, send targeted newsletters to customers, and even plan your online store's net profit figures and its profitability.

In Chapter 12 you will learn how the online store can benefit from having repeat customers, and how to convert customers into repeat customers. This chapter shows how to increase this conversion rate by providing loyal customers additional benefits, like a loyalty points, referral bonuses, etc.

In Detail

If you have an osCommerce-based online business, you need this book. Packed with expert guidance on all aspects of building a better online, this book will make your store stand out from the crowd.

All approaches and techniques described here are proven to have worked well for successful osCommerce-based online businesses among the, over 650, all around the globe with which the author has been actively involved as developer, project manager, or online business consultant.

osCommerce is an open-source e-commerce solution written in PHP and MySQL that can be set up on various platforms. More than 10,000 businesses and sole traders all around the world benefit from its features and flexibility. The importance of the osCommerce community consisting of over 100,000 can not be stressed enough as this is where both online merchants and web developers can communicate and find solutions. There are many "contributions" — modules for osCommerce that further extend its functionality — making it suitable for almost every business's requirements.



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