Sunday, April 12, 2009

"Gettin' Social" at DreamWorthy 2.0 - The New Standards

Hello Online Shopping Fans and Happy Easter!

We are just dropping by today for some quick announcements about DreamWorthy Gifts. We have a few NewsWorthy items we want to share. This post further clarifies our expectations for a great online shopping experience, and how we are trying to live up to the standards we espouse.


Special Promotions at DreamWorthy Gifts

First, we now have a more robust promotions page. You can see it at

On our site, you'll see an updated list of current special promotions. Currently, they include:
  • Our FREE Shopping Advisor Service
  • An ongoing coupon offer
  • How to save up to 40% by referring friends
  • Other special promotions, currently including two shipping promotions
Here are some additional details.


If you write to and request it, we will make gift suggestions for you. The suggestions get better, the more you can tell us about the person and situation. Tell us...
  • Their First Name:
  • Their Gender:
  • Their Approx Age:
  • What They Like:
  • What They Don't Like:
  • Some Other Things About Them:
  • Occasion (Why You're Buying Them a Gift):
  • When You Need to Give Them The Gift:
  • Total amount you want to spend (including shipping): From $___ to $____.
  • Where to email the suggestions:
...and we'll make some great gift suggestions for you! For free!


Use a coupon you already have or use code DWG20 to save an additional 20% at checkout.


See our Refer-a-Friend promotion on our homepage: Refer friends and they receive a coupon for 25% off. When they buy, you receive a coupon for 40% off! There is no limit to the number of friends you can refer, or the 40% off coupons you can receive. It's the smart way to shop!

Shipping Promotions
  • 25|25 Shipping Promo: Spend $25 | Get 25% Off Shipping!
  • 50|50 Shipping Promo: Spend $50 | Get 50% Off Shipping!

Look Ma,
We Won Something!

Kidding aside, we learned last week that DreamWorthy Gifts won the 2009 Most Wanted Coupon Tournament! We're honored and want to say "Thanks!" to our friends and fans who voted for us.

The tournament started with 32 coupon-offering contestants, ranging from giants like Wal-Mart and to smaller businesses like and See's blog announcement for more details and "Keep On Coupin' On" at!

We're still a little stunned, but I believe this is a real tribute to Social Media/Networking, where we have made some phenomenal friends and fans on Facebook, Digg, LinkedIn and Twitter. Thanks to everyone who voted for us - especially our friends/followers and fellow "tweeters" from Twitter, where we hang out as @DreamWorthy.

"Gettin' Social" at DreamWorthy 2.0
Speaking of Social Networking, we have added some features to our site recently that increase the social aspect of shopping with us... functionality that is often referred to as "Web 2.0." We're not yet, but we are moving in (what we believe is) the right direction. We would certainly like to hear some feedback from you. (Leave a comment or send us an email.)

Product Zoom feature:
See an example here. Place your mouse over the product image and you will automatically activate the zoom feature. Move your mouse over the product to move the zoom window. You can still click the "larger image" link to open a new window with a larger static image.

Customer Reviews by product:

See this link and scroll down to see the area for customer reviews. The image of the candle below shows where a shopper can add a review.

Question & Answer feature for products:
Directly below the area for reviews, you'll see a button to click to send us a question about the product.


Customers can leave a testimonial about their purchase. On our home page, scroll to the bottom, look under "Site Info" and you'll see the Testimonial link. You can also see Testimonials on the home page left panel navigation, near the bottom under "Express Orders."

Wish List & Gift Registry:
This is a fun feature.

From the home page, look on the upper right of the search panel, just below the top navigation bar. When you click on Wish List, you'll see this screen, where you can register on our site or login, if you are already registered. (By the way, registration includes only contact and shipping information.... even though we offer Secure Socket Layering security, we do not store any financial information on our site.)

As a registered site member, when you look at an item, you can add it to your Wish List.

Then, if you tell your friends and ensure they have your email address you used to register, they can shop for you using our Gift Registry. They'll find the Gift Registry on the home page, on the left navigation panel under the Shopping heading. When they click on Gift Registry, they'll see a Wish List login screen, like below.

When they enter your email address and security code, they see your Wish List and are able to purchase gifts that you really want.

Share Feature ~ Tell Friends:
This graphic is a picture of a product page. On it, you can see where to add a customer review, the image zoom, Wish List and our last new feature, the Share this item link. When you click the envelope link, you can complete a form to send an email to a friend (or multiple friends) to tell them about this item. You can send a 500 character message and even copy yourself.

And with that said, faithful readers, we'll wrap up this ShopWorthy post for now. Thanks for reading, and as always, happy shopping!

Until next time,

Your friends and Shopping Advisors at DreamWorthy Gifts

Sunday, April 5, 2009

5 Things All E-Commerce Websites Need To Succeed

Hello online shopping fans! Welcome back to ShopWorthy - A Blog About Online Shopping!

In our ongoing effort to provide you with information about all aspects of online shopping, we are taking another interesting twist for this post.

Last time, we shamelessly wrote about our own online store and shared how we are trying to live up to our own standards about online shopping.

This time, to approach things from another angle, we have asked Ken Ramirez, owner of, to share a perspective from the side of an experienced Web site developer, who has helped many other e-commerce biz owners. At the end, we'll share a special link where you can learn more about Ken as a person and his businesses.

But without further ado, let's learn from a real expert about the...


5 Things All E-Commerce Websites Need To Succeed
By Ken Ramirez
Axsys Technology Group

When Mike and Kali from asked if I would be interested in composing a guest post for their awesome blog, I jumped at the opportunity. What I didn't have at that point was a solid topic to write about. Little did I know that the topic would find me.

In case you don't know who I am or what my company does, a short introduction is in order. My name is Ken Ramirez and my company (Axsys Technology Group) provides website design, hosting, and e-marketing services. A very common task for us is to design and build e-commerce websites.

Most clients start by telling us what they wish to see visually, but have no clue as to what should happen behind the curtain. These days, of modern search engines, Web 2.0, and computer savvy users, what goes on behind the scene is just as important (if not more important) than what you see visually.

Furthermore, when I present our options list to our customers, at first, most don't understand what the options are, let alone why they need it. When I thought about this, it became clear as to what I would want to guest-post on a blog operated by the owners of an e-commerce website. That way, perhaps we could help a few of DreamWorthy's readers in case some are in the process of building an e-commerce website, and have no clue where to start (other than what they'd like to see visually).

Think SEO Now, Not Later

As a brand-new online store owner, one of the first decisions you'll have to make is to decide what to name your domain name. Easier said than done. When picking your domain name, think utility, not coolness. You'll probably come up with fifty cool names that you're proud of. Perhaps because you think that they are witty or slick. But your name should be blatantly obvious of what you sell. Stay away from words like Best, Greatest, NumberOne, or other adjectives that seem more like boasting than actual facts.

Next, don't forget the big three meta-tags in your pages: Title, Description, and Keywords. Many websites make the mistake of using the same title, description, and keywords across the entire website. It is especially important that you DON'T make this mistake in an e-commerce website. Your product pages should contain meta-tags that represent what is actually being displayed. For example, if you sell chairs, and the currently viewed product page is a black plastic chair with chrome legs, that is what you should put in your title, description, and keywords.

Another common mistake is the use of parameters in the URLs provided as links. In order to explain this one, let me provide an example. Let's say you have a page containing a list of products for a given category. Each item in the list might have a link to view the full details for each product. The link is followed by search engines (when crawling your website). However, each link looks something like this:

http: //

http: //

This doesn't provide the search engines with any information about the actual products that you sell on your website. A better choice would be to have URLs that resemble the following:

http: //

http: //

These last three examples have information that a search engine can sink its teeth into in order to rank you better.

Don't Be Anti-Social

Many new websites are incorporating social media websites into their marketing plan. Doing so could be as simple as joining and incorporating the buttons into your website. These buttons can then be used by your visitors in an effort to spread the word about something interesting they found on your website. When one of your products makes it to the likes of Facebook, Twitter, Digg, and other social media websites, it could mean the difference between success and failure. Furthermore, you can incorporate this feature into every single one of your products to make it easy for your visitors to spread the word for you.

Another upcoming practice is the ability to update your status on various social websites with new product entries as you add them to your website. This can be automatic if your website developer is familiar with the Application Programming Interface (API) supported by the social website you wish to provide updates for. On most social websites, as you add an update, the status is viewed by all of your friends (connections). If your friends comment on your status, their comment is viewed by their friends. This means that you could potentially reach hundreds of thousands of people...all from a single product update that made itself over to one or more social website.

Get Your Feed On

These days, it's becoming incredibly important for your products to appear on multiple shopping websites that point back to you for the final purchase. These sites provide product comparisons for the consumer and ease their product purchase decisions. The point is, you have to spread your wings a bit to make a bigger sale (or at least more of them). Sites that provide comparison features, pricing, discounts, etc., include: Google Base,,, and many more.

Again, an experienced e-commerce development company will know how to add features to your store that will allow you to automatically forward your products to these other sites, based on a feed from your website to theirs. You should not have to perform double-entry. Most of these websites provide a public API that can be used by your website to communicate with them, easing the path to reach more customers.

This essentially translates to more sales for your company.

More Than Just A Pretty Picture - Rotating Banners

This is a visual component that can be used to display multiple products, specials, discounts, new items, etc. to your customers. However, just displaying pretty pictures is not enough. The images should act as clickable regions with specific words that state "click here to learn more" or something similar, in order to make it obvious what is expected of the customer if they see something that catches their interest.

When the potential client clicks on the image, they should be taken directly to the product's detail page, where they can view options, sizes, and most importantly, be able to add the product to the cart with a simple click of a button.

X-Sell Marks The Spot

X-Selling (a.k.a. cross-selling) is a technique that sometimes causes a customer to additionally buy something beyond what they intended to buy. For example, say they came to your website in order to buy one specific thing. When they got to the detail page, they clicked on the "Add To Cart" button. Next, they're shown the cart displaying their grand total and the list of products that they've added to the cart. Finally, right below the cart, or sometimes above the cart, they're shown a few other products that either:

A. Complement the last product added to the cart.
B. Other customers typically have brought when they also chose the last product added to the cart.
C. Is a good alternative product than the one last added to the cart (especially if it is more expensive).

When deciding how many products to X-Sell, a good number is 3. More than that is a bit overwhelming for the customer.


Now that you know what your online store should have, you're probably wondering the same thing that most of our customers start to think about next...what's it going to cost in order to add these features? There's good news and bad. First the bad, it does add more cost to your initial base when you start to add these features to your website. Now the good news...most of the features that I've discussed above, are now available as an add-on for most e-commerce engines. If your design company builds your e-commerce store on one of the existing e-commerce engines, the added expense should not be overwhelming.

You'll probably have to pay for a license (if there's a cost involved for integrating the add-on). You'll also have to pay for the extra time that your e-commerce development company will need in order to add the component to your e-commerce website.

If your e-commerce website designer has never heard of any of these features for your potential website, walk away and find someone else to build your online store.

And remember, if all else fails, feel free to give us a call at 954-499-5594 or write us at If you want to learn more about what it takes to run and operate a successful online business, read our blog at


Well, faithful readers, this is the end of this special post. Even for you die-hard shopping fans, I hope it has been intriguing to see things from the perspective of a potential e-commerce site owner and the professionals who design sites to be efficient, effective, marketable, and profitable.

As always, please feel free to provide feedback to Ken or us, by leaving a comment or writing to us at Mail @ And to learn more about the kind of person that Ken Ramirez is, and more about his business, see a special post at our other blog called DreamWorthy Friends.

And with that said, faithful readers, we'll wrap up this ShopWorthy post for now. Thanks for reading, and as always, happy shopping!

Until next time,

Your friends and Shopping Advisors at DreamWorthy Gifts