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Nov 6, 2008 | 3 minute read

CSN Stores Eases Howsers Last Minute FUDDs

written by Linda Bustos

Jason Billingsley shared with me his positive shopping experience with a multi-store retailer while shopping for a birthday gift for his wife Amy, and we both agreed it would make a great blog post. (Unless you've been following Get Elastic for a while, you may not understand the title of this post, please read on...)

A self-described Howser (knows generally what he wants but not specifically - still open to suggestion and in need of navigation aids on-site like filters and product finders), Jason was looking for a jewelry box.

Of course, his first stop was Google. Being a Canadian resident, he didn't want to waste time on a site that wouldn't ship to him, so he Googled "jewelry boxes canada."

One of many niche shops run by CSN Stores,'s search listing snippet included "Look for the items with Ships to Canada Ships to Canada & check out as you ..." This immediately addressed Jason's FUDD (fear, uncertainty, doubt and deal-breaker) of whether this store would ship to Canada. Even if you're not the #1 search listing, your meta description or site snippet can attract the first click, as can a shorter URL.

The genius here is if you just search for "jewelry boxes" (as a US citizen, for instance) this snippet appears:

So Google is intelligently matching keywords to Jason's query. But when you click through, you can't see this messaging on the page, can you?

Actually, if you click on the "We Now Ship to Canada" image, a box appears with more details (nice usability as it keeps the users on the page, and helps boost relevant keywords on the home page):

So search engines can read the keywords, and users can view the detail if they want to. This is the HTML code that Everyjewelrybox is using to accomplish this:

Since Jason has no idea what kind of jewelry box to get, he really needs help filtering his options, especially on a site that sells nothing but jewelry boxes. Add to that, he was cutting the decision pretty close to Amy's birthday, so shipping speed was crucial. We've never seen another retailer use this filter, but Everyjewelrybox had a "Ship Speed" filter:

We are impressed.

Alright, this is definitely not the box that Jason bought for Amy (is it Jason?) But let's use it as an example.

On the page, Everyjewelrybox answers more FUDDs. It reinforces that it ships to Canada (remember, Jason could have used a long tail keyword search and landed directly here) and that this item usually ships within 48 hours. (However, the customer may assume it arrives in 48 hours rather than leaves the warehouse. I would prefer to see "Usually Leaves Warehouse Within 48 Hours").

The page also has easy access to shipping policies and information via pop-ups. If you click on Shipping/Delivery Estimates:

You get this detailed information:

What I love about this is they provide a calendar date, rather than "X business days" which require some mental gymnastics on the part of the customer.

If you're savvy enough to click on "Ships to Canada" (which doesn't necessarily appear clickable), you get a similar pop-up that explains lead time, taxes, duties and return policies for Canadian customers. Jason felt his FUDDs were addressed well, in the right place on the page.

This is a nice touch:

*Some of our suppliers have warehouses located in Canada. Whenever possible, we will ship from our Canadian warehouses to cut-down on transit time to you!

Finally, when Jason added the product to his cart, he appreciated the 3 trust builders along the bottom of the cart: 100% No Spam, 100% Protected (McAfee Secure, but not the traditional McAfee badge which may be something to test) and 100% Approved by the Better Business Bureau.

A side note, is just one of hundreds of niche stores run by CSN stores. Each of these stores are highly search engine optimized - I can't image you can get any more niche than a store dedicated to adirondack chairs:

Jason is presenting a 1-hour webinar on multi-store ecommerce at 9am PST, 12pm EST on Wednesday, November 19th. Even if you don't run multiple stores now, you may find Jason's insights into the perks and pitfalls of multiple stores valuable as an online retailer. Sign up today.