How to Create an Online Store, Part 4: Attract and keep the right buyers

how to create an online store

If you’ve enjoyed this series, you’ll love our new ebook. How Create an Online Store This Weekend is a free step-by-step guide to launching your e-commerce business. In addition to great tips, tricks and advice on building your store, it includes examples and testimonials from 30 successful clients. Download the free ebook today and get ready to sell more!

Welcome back entrepreneurs! Over the past couple weeks we’ve laid out the essential steps in creating an online store. First, we discussed asking the right questions and selecting the right platform. Second, we guided you through building a solid infrastructure. Then, we gave you loads of ideas on how to wow shoppers. Now, with this last and final post, I will help you wrap your noodle around some key search and marketing concepts so you can attract shoppers to your store.

Continue reading…

Want to read more posts like this?


Attract and convert more holiday shoppers with trending keywords

The holiday season is already in full swing at BoostSuite and Bigcommerce. I’m sure it’s the same with you and your business. You might even be a little worried that you missed the rush, wondering what you can do to drive more people to your online store for their holiday shopping.

Well, I have good news. You do still have time to create your own online door-busters and mad-dashes, but only if you get started right away. The first step is realizing holiday shoppers don’t always look like your regular customers. And to ensure you don’t miss out on holiday sales, you need to know what these seasonal buyers are looking for.

Continue reading…

Want to read more posts like this?


Announcing Our New Marketing Site for Small Business,

Guess what – we’ve been working on a new content website for the last few months and today is launch day!

The new site is called and it was created to help you become an expert at Internet marketing, search engine optimization (SEO) and e-commerce!

Our new website is updated regularly with fresh content and will teach you:

  • Search engine optimization
  • Search engine marketing
  • Social media marketing
  • E-Commerce strategy
  • On-site merchandising
  • Public relations
  • Conversion optimization

… and lots of other tips, tricks, strategies and ideas which you can use to either start a new e-commerce business or grow your existing e-commerce business faster than you thought possible.

Go to

View the press release here

P.S. Really important – make sure you like ChiliFries on Facebook and follow ChiliFries on Twitter so you don’t miss a post!

P.P.S. Become part of the ChiliFries community by leaving comments on a few posts you like. It’s fast, easy and is a great way to meet like-minded business owners.

Want to read more posts like this?


New Webinar Series: How to Use Facebook, eBay, SEO and Free Tools to Skyrocket Your Traffic

Overview: New advanced webinar series
Title: How to Use Facebook, eBay, SEO and Free Tools to Skyrocket Your Traffic
When? 1pm CDT on Thursday, June 9th (See this in your time zone)
Register: Click here to register (limited spots available)

We already run regular webinars that teach the basics of e-commerce and BigCommerce, but today I’m happy to announce that we’re adding a third series to our already popular webinars.

Lead by certified BigCommerce design partner and e-commerce experts Madwire MediaHow to Use Facebook, eBay, SEO and Free Tools to Skyrocket Your Traffic is our latest webinar series and the first webinar kicks off at 1pm CDT on Thursday, June 9th (see this in your time zone).

So, what will you learn during this free webinar? Here’s a taste:

  • Easy SEO strategies to dominate your competition on Google
  • How to use Facebook to drive traffic and sales
  • How to generate and submit your sitemap to Google
  • How to push your products to eBay as auction or BIN
  • How to drive huge traffic using Google Product feeds
  • How to improve your SERPs using Google and Bing webmaster tools
  • How to track your marketing using Google Analytics
  • Tools to increase your search engine ranking and traffic

Click here to register (limited spots available)

Want to read more posts like this?


Free Guide: Guerilla Marketing With Social Media

eBook: Guerilla Marketing With Social Media

share on Twitter or Facebook

Well, the holiday season is almost upon us. As a way to say “thank you” for reading our blog (which now has over 50,000 readers a month – woohoo!) I wanted to give you a 27 page ebook that’s been 6 months in the making.

In Guerilla Marketing With Social Media I share the 7 social media strategies we’ve used to grow our business by 480% in the last 3 years (proof). And because these are all guerilla marketing strategies, you’ll learn how to reach a huge number of people for a very, very low cost.

This has been one of the most successful guides we’ve ever produced – it’s already been downloaded well over 5,000 times by people on our email list (sorry, they got it first!) so I’m confident you’ll love it.

Whether you want to increase sales, attract thousands of Facebook followers, launch a contest, partner with the big wigs in your industry or turn one-time customers into raving fans, it’s all here in this 27 page ebook.

Click here to download our free guide: Guerilla Marketing With Social Media

Want to read more posts like this?


Top 10 BigCommerce Blog Posts of 2010

I was looking over our traffic reports in Google Analytics earlier today and saw that our blog now gets close to 50,000 unique visits a month! I was also able to pull posts in order of popularity, so here they are – the top 10 most viewed posts for 2010:

  1. Presentation: Bootstrapping to Seven Figures – This is a presentation I gave just once to about 3,000 business owners via webinar. In the presentation I run through the guerilla marketing and positioning strategies we’ve used to grow our e-commerce platform, BigCommerce, to just under 10,000 clients without any funding or debt in just over a year.
  2. How to: Promote Your Business on TV In Front of Thousands of Potential Customers for $100 With Google TV Ads – This post is even more relevant now that Google TVs are starting to hit the market. Right from your Google AdWords account you can create a TV advertising campaign for around $100 and start reaching potential customers in under 24 hours. This post explains how.
  3. [Video] How to Spy on Your Competitors Keywords, Traffic & Visitor Demographics -  In this video I show you how you can use two free tools to see how much traffic your competitors get, which keywords they rank for on Google and also the age, income, location, etc of their visitors. You can then use this information in your SEO, SEM and marketing campaigns.
  4. Innovation in the Cloud – 10 Game Changing SaaS Applications – In this post I talk about 10 innovative software applications which are making the move from desktop to cloud easier and faster for consumers and businesses.
  5. How to Write a Profitable Returns Policy – In this post I look at a few things which should be included in your returns policy. Returns policies are extremely important when selling online. If you sell expensive products or if you’re a new store looking to build up your customer base quickly, the best thing you can offer new customers is a lenient returns policy.
  6. Would You Spend 10 Cents to Almost Guarantee Repeat Customers? – By thinking outside the box it’s easy to impress the hell out of new customers. In this post I share one real world example that a crafty Australian tea company is using to get the word out about their brand – at weekend markets of all places.
  7. Head to Head: Product Page Design From Top Online Retailers – In this post I share, compare and discuss screenshots of product pages from sixteen of the top online retailers. You will of course notice a lot of similarities on their product pages, but I’m sure you’ll also notice a lot of small differences. All of the best practices implemented by these top online retailers can be found in BigCommerce.
  8. [Video] 6 Tips for Designing a Beautiful Online Store – In this video I share six tips to help you design a beautiful online store which will attract customers and increase your conversion rate. If you’re not a designer but are thinking about hiring an ecommerce website designer then this video will help you make the decision.
  9. [Video] How to Build a Loyal Fan Base Who Buy From You on Facebook – In this video I explain why setting up a Facebook fan page for your business is so important. I show you the steps involved and discuss how Facebook’s viral effect can attract thousands of people to your business for no cost at all. I also discuss SocialShop, our free Facebook application.
  10. How to Track Visitors and Sales From Facebook and Twitter Using Google Analytics – Using Google Analytics to track visitors can be tricky. In this post I teach you how to track visitors from Facebook and Twitter in a simple, step-by-step fashion, complete with screenshots.

Our blog is now one of the 10 most popular e-commerce blogs in the world, so thank you to everyone who keeps coming back and also to everyone who takes the time to leave a comment. 927 comments were posted on the blog in 2010! If you’re new to the blog then make sure you subscribe to our RSS feed, fan us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter so you don’t miss a post!

Want to read more posts like this?


Podcast #8: How to Improve Your Google AdWords Click Thru Rate By At Least 25%

Length: 12:25

Overview: Today I share a simple strategy which you can use to improve your Google AdWords click thru rate by at least 25% and possibly by up to 300% or more depending on how they’re performing now.

Description: In this, episode 8 of my podcast, I’ll show you how you can get predictable improvements to the click thru of your Google AdWords ads – without spending more money (possibly while spending less) and without being a Google AdWords guru. If you implement this strategy I’m confident you’ll reduce your SEM spend and increase your click thru rate, thus getting more visitors to your website for less money, effectively reducing your average cost per click (CPC) at the same time.

Like this podcast? Why not subscribe on iTunes?

Want to read more posts like this?


Presentation: Bootstrapping to Seven Figures by BigCommerce Co-Founder Mitchell Harper

If you haven’t already guessed, I’m big on educating people. A few weeks back I put together a presentation called “Bootstrapping to Seven Figures” which took me about a week to create.

Basically it contains the core ideas and strategies we’ve used to build our company to over 50,000 clients and high seven figures in yearly revenue. I shared my presentation with around 3,000 people on a webinar I did recently for one of our design partners and was blown away by the response – I even managed to score two marriage proposals before I was done!

Anyway, I wanted to share the exact same presentation with you, our loyal clients. If you’ve just started your business and you’re looking for a way to grow your sales to $1,000,000 within 12 months then this is it.


Download it here

Want to read more posts like this?


Get up to $100 in Google AdWords credit when you sign up for BigCommerce


Hi everyone. Over the last few weeks we’ve been working closely with Google to put together a special offer for all new and existing BigCommerce merchants. Starting today, anyone who signs up for a BigCommerce paid plan will receive up to $100 in Google AdWords credit.

Google AdWords ads promote your business alongside relevant search results on Google, right where potential customers are searching for the products you sell. There are literally millions of ecommerce stores which use Google AdWords as their online form of marketing with great success.

All existing customers will also receive an email later today containing instructions on how to redeem their Google AdWords credit as well.

So, how much Google AdWords credit will you receive?

  • Bronze merchants receive $50 Google AdWords credit
  • Silver merchants receive $50 Google AdWords credit
  • Gold merchants receive $75 Google AdWords credit
  • Platinum merchants receive $100 Google AdWords credit
  • Diamond merchants receive $100 Google AdWords credit

To learn more about Google AdWords please see this page on our web site. We’ve also updated our pricing and plans page to include details on the Google AdWords credit as well.

This is just one of the many partnerships we’ve got lined up over the coming months to help you get the most out of BigCommerce. We’ll be making some further announcement in the coming weeks. If you have any questions feel free to leave them below and I’ll be happy to help.

Want to read more posts like this?


[Video] How to Double the Conversion Rate of Your Google AdWords Ads

All online marketing budgets should include a significant budget for Google AdWords. If you understand how to create effective ads that attract the right audience and a high click-thru rate, you can easily generate a 100% or more return on investment for every dollar you spend. In this video I’ll share with you a formula you can use to create highly effective Google AdWords ads.

Don’t let the simplicity of the formula fool you, however. The formula has been proven by thousands of successful online marketers and works extremely well in the B2C space, so if you sell products such as t-shirts, makeup or computers primarily to non-business users from your online store then you should be able to use this formula to generate a great ROI from Google AdWords.

In the video I mention that you don’t need an SEM (Search Engine Marketing) company charging you thousands of dollars a month to create or man your Google AdWords campaigns. You can do it yourself, especially if you’re just starting out. It’s not hard, and once you learn the basics you’ll have everything you need to get started. The key is to ALWAYS monitor your ads and split test no more than two different versions of your ad at once.

You can then take the best performing ad, tweak it and test those tweaks. This way you can slowly but surely increase your conversion rate over the period of a few short months. It’s worked for us countless times and I know it will work for you, so give it a try.

This video is the third of many which we’ll be publishing on our new YouTube guru channel, BigCommerceDotCom. Check it out and make sure you subscribe so you don’t miss future videos.

Want to read more posts like this?