5 Tips to Simplify eCommerce Software

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Global retail has already gone online, with e-stores popping up all across the web—-polished photos of products brandished on user-friendly sights, add-to-cart functions that tempt and tantalize offline customers and new consumers, the convenience of online payments and select couriers shipping orders to your very doorstep. 

For years, ecommerce has witnessed a steady rise worldwide. Data from Digital Commerce 360 predicts that global ecommerce sales will reach $3.64 trillion by the end of 2020, which shows a 17.9% increase from $2.93 trillion in 2018. 

Meanwhile, CBRE anticipates ecommerce sales to hit $892 billion in the US alone. With these numbers, it’s no wonder that most enterprises are dabbling in online retail and acquiring ecommerce platforms. However, this is just the first step to establishing your store’s online presence and gaining success from it. 

Here are some tricks and tips on how to streamline using your own ecommerce software:

  1. Seek guidance from the experts

In order to optimise the functions of e-commerce software, online retailers need to put up clear metrics for growth, which platform vendors can help you hit. Benchmarks of success vary from company to company, so it’s important to partner with an expert or a team that will aid you in delivering your goals and constructing your future. 

Consider seeking out full-service tools from only the top ecommerce software rather than outsourcing piece-by-piece initiatives to various vendors. That way, your projects will be more cohesive and your key takeaways will be more comprehensive. Select knowledgeable experts with diverse technical experience who will wisely recommend you what’s right for your brand and not just what’s on trend.

working-macbook-computer-keyboard-34577 2.Maximize e-store customization features

Although there are plenty of ecommerce software features, what makes store builders like these stand out is the broad range of customization options that don’t demand a lot of technical expertise for you to be able to use them. Just a crash course or two would be enough to make a difference in your e-store. 

With an ecommerce software, you can select fonts, change site colors, organize pages, and upload photos with your platform’s preloaded stock photo collection. There are even ecommerce platforms that provide you power for total customization so you can create responsive and mobile optimised websites

In addition to having the simplest design tools, most ecommerce platforms allow you to have one of the key features of an ecommerce website: having various payment methods as well as shipping options. This is important because integrating with advanced payment and shipping ecommerce solutions is one of the most tried and true methods for acquiring more conversions than your competitors. Besides this, you can also assign shipping couriers depending on geographical delivery zones. 

As for earning consumer trust, you can implement SSL certification to fortify data security. SSL certificates are the strongest and most versatile protection that can be issued to your ecommerce site. It’s fairly inexpensive and most of all, it makes it easy for e-stores to protect sensitive data.

If fundamental features such as these don’t exist on your e-store, then there’s no chance for you to scale growth. Personalisation is important in running an online store, so get the team behind your website development to implement these right away and make the most out of your ecommerce platform’s features. 

3. Create a marketing plan 

There’s a common misconception when it comes to launching ecommerce platforms. Brand, even those with built-in target markets, believe that if they build or expand their business, the success will surely pour in. However, such a magnanimous move requires reevaluating and taking stock of your brand.

You need to ask your company the following questions: How does your current customer base appear? Are you selling them an item or offering them a service with present market acknowledgement? Are you rolling out a shiny new product in hopes that you can convert offline patrons into online ones? Do you have enough budget for acquisition and attracting traffic? Would your brand be better off from existing traffic in a popular online marketplace?

Be it a platform or a product, any successful launch demands marketing budget and scope determination at the outset; hence, the importance of ecommerce marketing and the right online store marketing strategy.

Ecommerce marketing promotes your online shop through an array of marketing channels to potential customers. It helps you in driving traffic to your e-store, which is why we can also dub it as a bigger internet marketing scheme.

This strategy can assist in developing brand awareness, increasing customer loyalty and eventually, boosting revenues, so if you want to drive more customers towards your online store, purchasing the top ecommerce software is not enough. A marketing strategy is a crucial companion for it. 

For example, we all know that organic traffic is necessary for any ecommerce store to thrive in the long stretch, but putting out content is not sufficient these days, especially since there’s so much noise out there in the online market. You also need to promote your products and services. This is where link building services and other marketing strategies help you in standing out from social and PPC campaigns, pushing you forward in the rat race.

4. Always aim for advancement

Like all things in the virtual realm, online retail is currently ebbing and flowing. Innovations from tech giants such as Instagram’s new marketing opportunities keep the entire ecommerce sector at the edge of their seats. Because of this, ensure that you never miss a beat on your performance. Monitor and test your marketing and user experience scale and optimise based on what you can take away from it.

Launching or maintaining ecommerce platforms also means plotting for their complete life cycle as well as calculating your patron’s lifetime values. Customer retention requires a deeper understanding of what’s propelling your online store’s traffic and conversions. It also requires a realization that both of these are shaped by user experience, which can be crucially proven by insights from regular testing.

Upon starting, keep in mind that you will need to exert optimization in two unique areas throughout the course of time to stay ahead of the competition: your ecommerce software by incorporating new and more developed features and your business by adding new items, options and services.

5. Familiarize yourself with security upgrades 

There has been a massive increase in the level of electronic trade since the internet’s widespread global penetration. A broad range of commerce is conducted online, including electronic monetary transfer, supply chain supervision, internet marketing, online transaction processing as well as inventory management solutions, among others.

With this gigantic uptake comes a slew of security threats, and ecommerce software features must always consider meeting four integral requirements: data privacy. Information integrity, identity verification and non-repudiation. Furthermore, online retailers must also protect clients against a number of external security threats, especially DDos. 

Customers can rest easy knowing that their data is secure thanks to measures like SSL certificates, anti-DDos protection, cutting-edge firewall setup, intrusion alerts, and daily security audits, among others.

The most important tip 

When it comes to ecommerce tips, here’s the most important one: stop making excuses and just start now. If you’re still searching for an ecommerce software to help you out on your business, financesonline.com revealed a list of the best POS systems for starting enterprises. 

The success stories you’ve heard about people kickstarting a company and making five to seven figures are real. Believe in yourself and practice these techniques because you’ll succeed quicker if you do.

Web Design Trends for 2020.

No-one can predict the future. Who knows what the new decade will bring us. That being said, let’s look at some of the trends that have been popping up recently.

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Dark Mode

Not just a setting on your phone anymore. Dark mode began to pop up on some of the bigger websites and apps. What started as a way to treat eye strain, soon evolved into is own design trend. Designers love the ultra-modern look that makes color and design elements pop.

Sometimes the most visually stunning trends have practical beginnings. Dark themes are better for older screens – saving power and extending screen life. 

Also, this dark aesthetic also fits perfectly into one of the biggest graphic design trends of next year. Futurism is in. Get ready for glowing neons as well as dark cyberpunk and dystopian styles.

 

Perfect Imperfections

An evolution of the illustration trend, imperfect hand-drawn design elements are going to replace the perfect geometric ones we have been seeing for a few years. With more designers experimenting with programs like procreate, hand-drawn icons and illustrations are going to become more popular. Clients are more aware than ever that it is not enough to just have a professional-looking website. That there also needs to be a personality behind it and hand-drawn elements are a great way to add positivity and fun to a design.  In fact, this trend may be in rebellion to the pixel perfect flat designs- so flaunt your rough edges and add some human imperfection to your site!

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Soft shadows, layers and floating elements

Also known as the 3D lite look, this trend uses soft shadows and floating elements to create depth and interest. This technique can also be just on text and photos, boosting its popularity with its versatility. 

Taking a page out of the material design book, designers are adding a little extra pop to 2D layouts with super soft drop shadows and by layering elements on top of each other to extend depth. These effects give the design a lightweight feel, as if the elements are floating over each other—a sharp contrast from the classic, impenetrable flat design where the layers seem, well, flat.

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Mixing Photography & Graphics

This trend has been around for a few years but will really take off this year. The overlapping custom graphic over real photographs creates a memorial visual impact. This collage-like technique is extremely versatile; you can use it to add a special cuteness and charm to the otherwise bland product photo (see the example above), or you can use more serious graphics to better communicate complicated or abstract concepts. It’s also a great way to customize boring stock photos and add more personality (a recurring trend) to your web design. 

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Frames of White Space

The full-width website has been the trend for most of the decade. Now, designers seem to be moving towards solid framing and playing with the idea of more whitespace. It gives the site a more structured feel. By allowing each element on the page a generous amount of space, the visuals jump out more. Neatly structured frames around websites create a satisfying sense of order and help prioritize and separate all the different parts of a page.   

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Glowing, lighted color schemes

Another futurism trend. Web designers have been becoming more adventurous with color in recent years, but 2020 may be the most extreme yet. Get ready for bold glow-in-the-dark neons and highly saturated colors. This trend pair nicely with the dark mode one we talked about earlier. It also works well with some of the hold-overs from previous years, such a the huge duotone trend.  Next year is going to be the year of hot pinks, blues, and purples. 

 

In 2020, Web design will be more concerned with adding personality and fun to sites with its use of imperfect graphics and combining photo and graphical elements. Also, futurism is going to be a big trend, with its glowly colors and dark-mode layouts. But again, no one can see the future so we’ll see what unexpected design trends this new decade brings us! 

 

Choosing the Right Colors for Your Website

 

Picking the right colors for your branding can be daunting. Color communicates on an emotional level. Good color choice can influence your users and create positive associations. Poor color choices could just make them go to another website.

In short, color is a fast and direct way to make a good first impression. While overwhelming at the start, you can nail down a color story with some basic knowledge of the science behind color theory.

Choosing a color is more than a matter of personal preference. Colors can have different meanings and can influence people in certain ways. Let’s look at some general meanings and what emotions they can trigger.

Warm Colors:

These can have an energetic effect on the visitor, but when they are used alone they tend to over-stimulate. It is a good idea to mix them with cool and neutral colors for balance.

Red—active, emotional, passionate, strength, love, intensity

Pink—sweet, romantic, playful, warm, compassionate, soft

Orange—warm, enthusiastic, success, determination, friendly

Yellow—youthful, lively, energetic, fresh, optimistic

Cool colors

These have a calming effect on the viewer, and that is why they are the most common colors used on websites. But be careful—if they are overused, they can also have a cold or impersonal feel.

Green—fresh, calm, relaxed, trust, peaceful, hopeful, healing

Blue—comfort, clarity, calm, trust, integrity, loyalty, reliability

Purple—glamour, power, nostalgic, luxury, ambition, spiritual

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This web design achieves a sense of loyalty and trust using the color blue. Design by DSKY

Neutral colors

These are great to mix with warm or cool colors and they are often used to tone down primary colors and provide balance in web design.

Gray—respect, wisdom, patience, modern, longevity, intelligent

Black—powerful, bold, serious, elegant, luxurious, dramatic, formal

Brown—friendships, earth, home, outdoors, credibility, simplicity, endurance.

 

Now that we understand the meaning behind color, we can now choose a primary color.

In order to create a color scheme, your first priority is to establish a primary color for your brand. This should be determined from your logo or other branding materials that exist, but if that is not possible, use the color psychology we discussed above.

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This web design pulls its primary color from the brand logo. Web design by Iconic Graphics

Developing tints and shades.

Once you have a primary color, you want to start choosing other colors to support it. Some websites can get away with using a single color for their design, but most of the time you’ll want at least a few shades or tints to work with.

It is not the best idea to use your primary color throughout the whole design. You can tone it down or brighten up the tint to create subtle contrast while still keeping the same base color. For example, the website below uses a lighter shade of their primary color for the background and their most prominent tint for the call to action buttons to make them stand out more.

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If you want to use multiple colors in your design, check out an online color wheel. Color wheels are used in color theory to create and discover complementary colors. Below are some examples of some of the most common color theory structures in web design. 

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The 60-30-10 rule.

Simple but effective, this rule helps your design archive a harmonious palette when you mix colors. For balance, colors should generally be combined in the proportion of 60%-30%-10%. You don’t always have to go with three colors, but it is a good number to be safe and balanced. Using this method, 60% should be the dominant color, 30% a secondary color and 10% an accent color. This proportion is pleasant to the human eye since it allows the visual elements to emerge gradually. 

 

Contrast 

Color contrast is a vital component of good color use. For example, if you need your users to pay special attention to a specific area of your website (such as a CTA button), you can make use of two highly contrasting colors such as blue and orange for your background and button. 

Be careful, if you use high contrast all throughout the site it will be difficult to read or look at the text. I would recommend that you use high contrast items when you want to highlight key items.

 

Working with images.

In some cases, it might be helpful to start your color selection process by looking at images. If you already have images in mind, you may be able to pull out the main colors from them. When working with multiple images, it can be hard to create color harmony in the design. There are several ways of balancing your images:

-Consider turning them to grayscale

-Adjust the vibrancy of the images to bring down the tone

-Use neutrals to balance the images

-Create a gradient overlay with the hues of the color palette that you’ve chosen for the web design.

Colors can be powerful when used correctly. They can promote emotions or actions from your users. While color is an important tool in web design, it is just one among many you need to create an outstanding website. Check out our other posts to get some more tips and tricks in regards to web design. 

 

How your offline sales drive the expectations of your online customers

 

It can be easy to group your customers online and offline, providing different purchasing experiences for each. For example, you may think your online customers want to be able to checkout quickly, while your local customers want the expert advice of your store staff and will spend longer in the store than they would expect to online, or you may set up impulse buy zones, or strategically sell related items inside your store, but won’t set the same up online.

 

We understand. It can be much harder to picture your customers shopping online than when they’re in the store so making that important addition to your physical store is often obvious and easy.   Good news: Your customers online are the same as those in your store, and their expectations are often very similar and driven by choices you’ve made in your store or stores in your industry.

 

Your website should be as informative as your staff

 

Many people view their online site as a place for customers to find products and check out as quickly as possible. Although it’s important to intuitively allow customers to complete their purchase quickly, they will need all the information they would normally get in the store. With the ability to pick up the product, no box to view, and no staff asking if they have any questions, they’re often left to fend for themselves.

 

Ask your staff what the most common questions they receive are and use this information to populate an FAQ, your product page, or even a knowledge base for an AI-based chat.

 

Organize your products like a brick and mortar store

 

When organizing your brick and mortar store it’s likely that you know which items are commonly purchased with other items, which items are going to be popular, and which items are purchased as the result of an impulse buy decision. You may also move certain items closer to your staff when you anticipate questions, or close to other related items because you know they’ll be purchased together.


When your customers begin shopping online at your store they will expect the same sort of organization and assistance. Take a look around your store to see what selling organizational techniques are working for you. Does grouping all accessories into one aisle make it easier for your customers or do they prefer accessories for an item to be placed next to the item itself? Are the products in your store group by season, activity, type of product? If it’s working well in your store, you may want to do the same online.

 

Don’t be afraid to drive your extra sales in the same way

 

When organizing your store you’re always conscious of ways to get those extra sales, from adding the right products by your till, tucking away impulse items on the end of the aisle or presenting your best sellers or big sales right at the front of your store. 

Here are some key suggestions for accomplishing this on your website:

 

  1. Highlighting sale items on your home page is a great way to move some top-selling products. Try adding a carousel that’s consistently updated with popular on-sale items.
  2. By adding related items in a carousel on your product page, or creating dynamic searches for related products you’ll make it easy to find groups of products you normally place near each other.
  3. Just like in your brick and mortar store you can have products in more than one place. An outdoor GPS unit could show up in your sales section, in related products, in your GPS category and in your outdoor electronics category all at once! 

 

It should be just as easy for your customers to get more information 

 

One of the biggest benefits to a customer entering your store is the ability to instantly get advice and feedback from staff who know your products best. The biggest advantage you have when competing against big-box retailers online is that you are much more equipped to offer this same service online.

 

  1. Offer chat during the hours that your store is open. Incredibly likely that the majority of your online sales will be during the hours that you are open.
  2. Do you have products without a given price? If you’re not sure how to sell these items online, offer the ability for your customers to request a quote, book a call, or otherwise receive the same help they would receive in-store.

 

There are only a few suggestions here, but you know your customers best. We recommend that you survey and talk to your local customers about what keeps them coming to the store, what they gain from you and what gives your local store the advantage of other local and online stores. Be creative, and find ways to offer those benefits online as well.

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Preparing your accounting software for an integrated website

When building an integrated ecommerce website you’re going to need to have certain key information prepared. It’s important to remember that what’s in your accounting system will sync to your site, and this means that any notes you may be placed in your product descriptions, or funny pictures you’ve uploaded could also end up on your site. You will also be shifting from using your accounting software exclusively for accounting, to populating the data on your online business presence as well.  Before launching a product line on an integrated ecommerce site, check to make sure you’ve completed the following steps:

1. Know your customers

Before you begin setting up your products you’ll want to understand your customers and the type of information they’ll need to make a purchasing decision.

Gather the important specifications, brands, and even the categories they expect to shop before you start. Take the time to understand what additional products may pair well with each other and what angles or features need to be highlighted in product images.

2. The Basics

Start by performing an internal data audit of all SKUs you will be selling online.  Each SKU should have the basics, including a name (short description), long description, and images. This is the bare minimum required to have your products online. If you’re not looking to have filters or advanced searches, you can include all of the specs and information you’ve determined to be required into your long description. If you want to build a better experience, move on to the next step.

The way you manage and describe your products will likely change from how you had done so previously. Where you previously were considering only an accounting-related context for your information, you should now consider almost exclusively how the information will appear on the web when displayed for your customers.

3. Getting the most out of your integration

It’s extremely likely that when you surveyed your customers and users of your store you discovered that by adding filters, properly categorizing your products, and prominently displayed key product specs can make the purchasing process. Many accounting packages will allow you to create custom attributes and associate them with the product. If you’re selling clothing, consider adding size, or material. If you’re selling electronics you may add voltage or wattage as some options.

Categorizing your product in your accounting software can also save time when setting up products online. Your product category structure should resemble how your customers expect to find product, and not reflect your account processes.  Remember, products don’t have to only belong to one category. If you think your customers may search by use type, item type, even activity, you’re often able to put one product in many categories, making your products easier to find.

4. Pricing

You will no longer be managing prices in several places, which will offer you increased flexibility in managing your pricing. Features supported in accounting packages such as customer-specific pricing, sales and discounts, and margin-based pricing can all utilized on your new website. Ensure you’ve set up your accounting software so that each product has a price designated for your site. If you’re operating with customer-specific pricing, ensure all your customers are seeing the appropriate price. 

5. Start saving time

Go ahead, launch your website. You’re about to reduce the administrative cost of your orders and begin making it easier to reach a wider audience. Enjoy!

A Guide To Drop-shipping for Beginners

 

Choose your products and build your brand

Your brand and your website will be defined by both you and your products. Before you’re able to build your site, you’ll need to first decide which products you’ll sell, how they’ll be curated, and how to build your brand around these products.

 

Choose products you love

You’re going to be spending a great deal of time supporting, selling, and advertising the products on your site. Without a passion, you’re unlikely to enjoy your work or pursue the business for an extended period of time. Your customers will know whether you’re passionate, and by sharing their passion you’ll drive sales and build a business you enjoy being a part of.

 

Choose products you know

Though you’re not producing or even shipping the item, you will still be the face of the products and the company and you’ll be required to support the products. Having a great understanding of the products and how they’ll be used, as well as the type of customers who purchase your products will ensure you can provide quality service and support.

 

Build a brand image that your customers can relate to

Your design, your branding, the context of the text on your site, and the way you advertise to your customers will all be driven by the product you sell and the type of customers that will attract. 

This is the time to be creative and set yourself apart from your competitors. Survey potential customers, join forums and communities and understand who you’ll be selling your product to.

Find your suppliers

 

Once you’ve chosen your products it’s now time to find suppliers who support dropshipping. First, you’ll need to define where you want the products to come from, the margins your business will require, and then begin reaching out to your suppliers, getting samples, and building your product offering.

 

Shipping Speed

One of the most popular choices for dropshipping products is to order direct from distributors and producers in China. This has very recently taken off with sites like Wish, and services such as Oberlo. Though these are incredibly convenient from a seller’s perspective, it’s undoubtedly complex from a shipping perspective. Yes, it’s free, but taxes and duties could be incurred, and shipping can take several months. Your shop is likely competing with Amazon, Walmart, and other online retailers, which means you’ll need to compete to provide products equally fast and offer the same types of prices. Thankfully, you do not require the same level of staff or warehouses as many of your competitors. 

 

Margin

 

Similar to competing on popular marketplaces, by competing as a dropshipper you’re likely to be competing against others selling the same or similar products. Only a few things can set you apart from your competitors, with the price being one of the most important factors. Keeping prices down will require you do both reduce overhead and the cost of shipping. If your distributor has multiple warehouses or, numerous shipping options, or options for packaging or distribution, consider collecting data as early as possible to improve optimizations down the road.

Quality

By using sellers within your nation, or even local sellers, you can easily build relationships that ensure the quality of your products is maintained.

Some key drawbacks to importing products is that it can often be difficult to receive samples, shipping can be expensive, and quality can vary wildly. When dropshipping products, make sure you have a distributor whose quality you can trust. Ask yourself this: Would you recommend your products to a friend? If the answer is yes, you’ve found a great distributor.

Building your website

Building a site that fits into the niche you’re selling is going to be key, but ensuring the right products are on your site is important as well. Your distributors will likely have tens of thousands of products or more, and you’ll need to decide which of those will be selling on your site, which you’ll support, and which products do not fit in.

If you’re entering products manually, writing descriptions, and uploading images, there is an investment for each item added to the site. You’ll need to choose each item carefully.

Integrating your website to your supplier feed allows you to automatically add thousands of products, reducing the investment and allowing you to offer a catalog of products. By receiving information directly from the supplier you’ll be able to easily add new products as they become available, ensure the accuracy of the information, and reduce the investment required for the sale of each product.

There are a few ways to do this, including direct integrations, applications, and EDI. When choosing who to integrate, ensure you research your competition. If the supplier data is highly accessible, such as with many integration apps with pre-integrated suppliers, you’re likely to have considerable competition cutting into your margins.
EDI allows you to connect with nearly any supplier online and handles all documents and information that will need to be exchanged between your site and your supplier, eliminating manual risk. 
Now that you have your suppliers, products, and your site, you’re all set!

Begin selling!

 

 Visual Hierarchy

When designing a website, information needs to be conveyed quickly and clearly. Deciding what you want your users to pay attention to and in what order is what we call visual hierarchy. Learning about visual hierarchy can help your site feel more organized, let your users find information faster and promote the content you feel is most important.

Reading Patterns

Recent studies show that readers first scan a page to get a sense of its content before committing to reading the content fully. Using this, most web designers have established two scanning patterns that work well on the web.

F-Patterns

F-Patterns work best on traditional, text-heavy pages like news articles and blog posts.  Readers will scan the page, looking for bold subheaders or topic sentences that relate to the content they are looking for. Anyone that has used Google has interacted with an f-pattern. You scan the bold linked headings only stopping to read the text underneath if you think that one of the results is the content you are looking for.

Z-Patterns

Z-patterns are employed when the information is not presented in block paragraphs. In this pattern, a reader’s eye first scans the top of the page, where the most important information is likely to be found then shoots down to the opposite corner at a diagonal and does the same thing across the lower page.

Place the most important information in the corners and orient other important information along the top and bottom bars and connection diagonally.

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Facebook’s login page is an example of a z-pattern

Size

People will often read larger content first. Large differences in content sizing will typically override reading patterns and order. In the below example, most users will read the title “Mr.Simon Collison” first, even though there is text above it. This is a great example of using size to highlight important information. But use size sparingly. If everything on your page starts off large, it’s hard to use size to emphasize. As a rule, keep your body copy to a 12pt-14pt scale.

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Space 

Spacing is an important but often ignored part of creating a balanced visual hierarchy.  It’s the idea of leaving white or blank space around an element. Failing to allow some amount of blank space can leave your site looking overcrowded and confusing, drowning your users in too much information. Using white space allows your users’ eye a place to rest and a path to travel through the design. Leaving space allows you separate and organize elements on your site. Good spacing allows you to group elements together and isolate focal points. In the example below, the designer leaves plenty of space between and around each section, creating a clean and balanced design.

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Color

People love color. Our eye is drawn to certain colors ensuring the content is hard to miss. Clever use of color on your site can help highlight important information and be a visually interesting way to differentiate between elements on a page. Your brain naturally enjoys things that contrast, so your eyes will focus on objects that stand out due to their difference in color from the surrounding objects.

 

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Fonts

Typographic hierarchy is its own discipline. The way you handle your copy has a big impact on the overall design of your site.  Different aspects of the fonts can really make or break the design such as the category used, decorative, script, sans-serif, serif or script or even the use of uppercase, lowercase, bold or italic, the width of the strokes, etc. In the example below, the designer uses different font weights and italicization to draw the eye to the words “the perfect teas to keep you warm.” This combined with good word placement creates a more dynamic reading experience.  
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When designing a website, an understanding of visual hierarchy will not only allow you to create a visually appealing design, it will also help you determine how to group information, determine what is important and overall improve the flow and usability of your site. 

 

 

 

Eleven ways to quickly improve e-commerce conversion

Tips on Improving E-commerce Conversion

Know your customers

Before you begin working to improve your conversion rate you’ll first need to understand your customers. Ensure you have analytics set up with the proper sales funnels, and consider sending out surveys to find out how your customers want to engage with you, what can entice them to make a sale, and how frequently they want to be contacted.

Keep value propositions above the fold

Keeping the information above the fold means ensuring your customers won’t have to scroll to find what they’re looking for. Your top selling products often have a few key selling points that often make them such great sellers. By keeping this above the fold you ensure that anyone entering your site or landing on the product page knows why they’re there and how you can help them.

Abandoned cart emails really do work

It can often be difficult to convert a first time visitor into a buyer. By sending follow up emails you can bring users that may not have converted back to your site for another look. If you’re concerned some users may be looking at the wrong products try sending out a reminder of the product they have in their cart as well as some related items. Know your customers love coupons? Send out a discount code to users to entice them to return.

Product suggestions are key

Help your customers find the products they need by showing them other, related products.  These suggestions aren’t just for your abandoned cart emails, try displaying them in the cart at check out, or under the product details on your product pages.

Create targeted newsletters

Email advertising isn’t a one size fits all solution. By using an intelligent mail service, or by providing a survey. If you’re selling clothing, make sure that people are receiving clothing appropriate to the gender they’ve selected, or go one step further and send them newsletters based around their personal style.

Make shipping easier

Take another look at the analytics we asked you to collect above. If you’re losing a large number of users at the checkout stage it’s likely because of unexpected shipping costs. Ensure your shipping is simple, so users who are adding products to their cart have a clear idea

Incentivize the buyer to purchase today

Flash sales, weekend sales, and sale countdowns on your site will encourage your users to purchase a product now, without ever leaving the site.

Increase your Google Ad targetting

Vague Google Ads can lead to low conversion rates among new customers. Try creating ad groups with only a single ad, targetting specific products or categories with specific, highly searched language for that product.

Multiple payment options

A sale can quickly be lost in the final stages by not offering a quick and convenient way for your customers to pay. If you’re already offering credit card payments, consider offering PayPal, which can be convenient if the customer doesn’t have their Credit Card on hand.

Check your hosting plan

Several studies have shown that by improving site speed you can improve your conversion rates. A sale is often earned by having a quicker and simpler site than your competitors, make sure your hosting plan isn’t a bottleneck in your e-commerce equation.

Focus on mobile users

If you haven’t updated the look or functionality of your site in several years chances are you’re ignoring over half of your potential customers. Ensure your site is mobile optimized and easily navigated by those on a mobile phone or tablet.

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Six questions to ask your team before finding your next e-commerce platform.

You’ve likely known for a while that you need a new ecommerce website or to update your current site. Knowing that you need it is only half the battle. In order to search for a new platform properly you’ll need to know what to search for in an ecommerce platform. After all, there are dozens of unique plans but only one that is best for you.

Before you begin your search, meet internally to decide what you want to accomplish with the site and how that meets the needs of your customers. To get you started, here are a few questions.

1. Who will be purchasing my products?

In order to build a website that will improve overall sales and revenue you’ll need to first understand who will be purchasing your products, and then begin to design your site to make this process as frictionless as possible.

Prior to beginning the website design and deployment process, it’s recommended that you survey your customers and staff to better understand your customers. What countries are they in? How will they want to receive the product? What are your best sellers and why? Is your client base even comfortable buying online, and how can you ease the transition?

2. What information is required in order for your customers to make a purchasing decision?

Your products and your customer’s purchasing journey are unique and your website should reflect that. Consider asking your customers what’s important to them, what information is required to compare your products, and what they feel may be missing from other sites.

You’ll find that many products show generic information – UPC, Description, part number. Try and focus on what’s unique to your industry and your customers. Product or expiry dates, dimensions,  voltage, and region compatibility are all examples of attributes and information your customers may need.

3. What information is required in order to ship and deliver my products?

Depending on the products, customers, and regions you sell in, shipping can be simple or incredibly complex.

One of the most important things to remember in the consumer market is that the simpler the shipping model, the higher your conversation rate for customers, with the most obvious and best shipping model being one that’s free.

Consider gathering shipping analytics from a previous site or transactions. Can the cost of shipping be rolled into your products? Is there a sales threshold that warrants offering free shipping?

If you’re selling direct to businesses or ship a variety of large or difficult to ship items the only viable option may be an integration. By Integrating your store with shipping providers, and maintaining size and weight information for your products you can guarantee that shipping will be accurate, and fair. One significant drawback to this approach is that many customers work within a budget, and may not be happy with a shipping rate that’s unpredictable.

4. Aside from book price, are there any other prices the customer may need to see?

Do your customers need the option for bulk pricing? What about the ability to purchase packs of products, view their discounted price, or request a quote.

Not all stores sell only at MSRP. Your customers will expect to receive the same price they would as when purchasing from their sales rep. If your pricing is specific to each customer, requires price levels or other complexities, consider maintaining pricing using an integration, or an integrated e-commerce platform.

5. What products may need to be associated with one another?

You can both increase sales and encourage customers to buy a complete complement of products directly from your store by bringing products together in creative ways.

“Customers also bought” is a great way to encourage your customers to purchase similar items. You can also manually set up carousels that will allow you to add associated products to a page.  Treat your online store like your physical store, and consider what little additions may help your customers purchase multiple products easily.

6. How are people going to find your products, and how will they expect them to be organized? 

Perhaps the most difficult and important question you’ll ask is how will your customers be looking for your products. By anticipating their journey towards a purchase, you can build promotions, categories, and your homepage to correctly direct customers towards the product or information they are looking for.

Will your customers be looking for certain brands, categories, or use-cases for the product?  If the answer is only of these, then I would recommend building your category structure around this.

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Integrating Your Webstore with Sage X3

 What is integrated e-commerce?

Integrated e-commerce is the process of managing your online store by using data from your accounting software, inventory, ERP, or other key process software.

By creating a connection between these platforms you can begin using data you’re already managing to run your online store.

How can I integrate my website with Sage X3?

There are two popular methods of creating an integrated ecommerce platform. The first is by installing a plugin on a pre-existing website or platform. Plugins typically have a limited set of integration points and rarely interact with other features and plugins on your site.

The second, and most often recommended, is to build your site on a fully integrated ecommerce platform, such as zeckoShop. A fully integrated platform allows you to sync more data fields, utilize more features from Sage, and ensure you’re taking advantage of Sage 

Getting Started

Ready!

Preparation is always the most important part of any large project. Start by setting goals — Whether it’s to improve your design, automate otherwise time-consuming processes, or begin selling to new markets, it’s important to define your priorities before you start.

Find the right platform

Once you know your goals, reach out to e-commerce services providers to receive quotes and find a platform that works for you.

Choose your design and feature needs

Set aside some time to decide what type of information your clients will need to make an informed purchasing decision, what type of actions they’ll want to take when finding products and adding it to cart, and how you can make their shopping experience more efficient. The more you can utilize data that’s already in Sage, the faster your set-up will be for products

Set!

Choose what to integrate

So you’re ready to move to the web? It’s time to decide what you want to bring with you from Sage, and what you’d like to manage manually. Order history, pricing, customer data, item names, and custom fields can all sync up to the web. Make sure the data you’re syncing to the web is determined with your customers in mind.

Install and set up

It’s time to find a platform that respects your time. Many platforms force you to pay exorbitant fees for support and training or force you to watch dozens of hours of videos, read through manuals or hire staff experienced in the platform. Thankfully, many platforms will either take care of the hard work for you, provide extensive one-on-one training, or both! Consider what type of user you are and ensure the install and set-up process is tailored to you.

Launch!

Begin automating your order to cash process and enjoying your new store!

No really, it’s that easy.

Click here to start the process!