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Wednesday, April 14, 2021

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Amazon Launches New Attack on Retail Rivals

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Closeup shopping cart with US dollar banknote on white background.United state global surplus deficit and copy space concept.

“According to reports, the e-commerce giant is planning to set up over 1,000 mini-fulfilment centres in North America – this month alone, 100 new Amazon distribution facilities will open in the US and Canada.”

The addition of these new mini-fulfilment centres is an attempt to overthrow Walmart, by disregarding its shorter delivery times from suburban areas.

This is a contrarian move in the eyes of Amazon, who historically favoured massive distribution centres close to large cites, compared to the new small fulfilment hubs.

Read the full article here: Amazon Launches New Assault On Retail Sector: Suburban Mini-Fulfilment

Top Email Marketing Services For eCommerce

When it comes to online marketing, email is on top.

Delivering higher rates of interest than any other marketing type, email is your key to building a dedicated database of faithful customers.

Jumping into the world of email marketing, the pure amount of options available can be extremely overwhelming, with each platform promising something new and extraordinary.

Let us guide you through the very best options available on the market right now, looking at features and functionalities that differentiate each from the next.

In order to elevate your online business, these email marketing services have to be at the top of your list:


#1 AWeber

AWeber is a cornerstone in the world of email marketing, known for being reliable and very affordable. AWeber has existed for more than 20 years, and it is believed to be one of the first email marketing solutions.

The main selling point for AWeber is the affordable prices for companies with smaller email lists. AWeber promises professionally designed email templates, guaranteed to impress clients and start nurturing an ever-growing clientele.

Another key feature AWeber is sought after for, are their high rates of email delivery. In the world of email marketing, this is arguably the most important factor; what use are emails that don’t end up in your client’s inbox? AWeber is known for its unprecedented delivery rates, claiming to be the best in the business in this aspect. With a dedicated deliverability team, AWeber’s claims are more than just hot air; they ensure all your emails are delivered.

With a total of six plans, AWeber offers many solutions that change in features and price depending on your number of subscribers. Unless you’re looking to go with the most expensive plan, prices will range between $19 and $149 billed monthly. Annual and quarterly billing options are also available if monthly payments won’t work for you.

Offering a total of six plans, AWeber is extremely flexible, allowing you to pick the package that perfectly suits your business. The plans’ prices grow as you go from the bottom to the top packages, ranging between $19 and $149.

We have written an extremely detailed review of AWeber. Check it out to see if this option is the one for you.

#2 MailChimp

Originally exclusively an email marketing service, MailChimp has also spread its roots in recent times, offering services such as landing page creating and other advertisement options.

Even though MailChimp has started to spread its wings, its email marketing service is still grounded as one of the best.

MailChimp is one of the email marketing giants, with millions of users worldwide. MailChimp makes use of this by collecting data to provide beneficial insights to keep refining all their clients’ email strategy.

The key features that define MailChimp’s strengths are its huge amount of third-party application integrations. These integrations allow you to shape MailChimp to fit your email strategy perfectly.

A few of the most powerful integrations include Shopify, Facebook, and WordPress. For example, MailChimp’s Shopify integration prompts store visitors to subscribe to your email marketing directly from your E-commerce site. 

Slightly less flexible than AWeber, MailChimp gives users the option of four different pricing plans to choose from. Ranging from a free option to around $300, each option’s price scales with the number of email contacts you plan on using.

If you’re torn on deciding between MailChimp or AWeber, check out this article where we compare the strength and weaknesses of the two in detail.

#3 SendInBlue

A straightforward email marketing service, SendInBlue is the go-to choice for beginners. 

Using an intuitive drag-and-drop email editor, less technologically experienced users will have an easy time creating and customizing their email campaigns. This simplicity should not be viewed as restrictive for experienced users, as the editor can still produce professional-quality campaigns.

Even outside of designing, SendinBlue also uses beginner-friendly automation tools that allow users to send emails, construct workflows for automatic follow-up emails, and segment email recipients. Using artificial intelligence, SendInBlue can also determine the best time to send bulk emails, ensuring the highest possible deliverability rates.

SendInBlue offers arguably the best free option of email marketing services, as it allows you to make use of most of their features, only being restricted by an email cap of 300 per day. This allows you to rigorously test every aspect of the software to see if it is worth paying for. The basic premium plan starts at $25 per month. Recently, they also added features like a landing page builder, CRM, live chat, and Facebook ad integration, giving you even more bang for your buck.

#4 Constant Contact

A lesser-known option, Constant Contact, is fastly growing as a potential pick for businesses. Following SendInBlue, Constant Contact also focuses on a beginner-friendly experience.

This service has a super intuitive interface, allowing you to easily manage your email templates, contacts, marketing calendar, and much more.

Taking inspiration from MailChimp, Constant Contact also provides incredibly useful third party integration. Key integrations include powerful eCommerce integrations for platforms like eCommerce and WordPress. 

Providing one of the longest free trials, a full 60 days, you have more than enough time to test the waters before you invest.

#5 HubSpot

HubSpot is quickly becoming one of the biggest names in email marketing. With a large list of useful features, HubSpot aims to breach the gap between beginner and intermediate users, with optional but advantageous features.

Catering to newer users, HubSpot also makes use of a drag and drop editor, adding on to their large library of beautiful pre-made templates (which you can also customize.)

The key to boosting conversion through email marketing is creating enticing and alluring emails, leading recipients to click through to your website.

The email editor allows you to use any of your email subscriber’s contact information to automatically display personalized information in email content, subject lines, and links.

HubSpot also utilizes A/B testing (also known as split testing.)

These insights given to you by split testing are very beneficial to see which of your campaigns perform the best and tell you why.

HubSpot offers an amazing free option, allowing you to send up to 2000 emails for free monthly. After that, upgrading your plan starts at $50 per month.

#6 ConvertKit

ConvertKit is the best email marketing option if you are promoting an eCommerce website.

ConvertKit makes use of pre-made templates, which you can use to customize to fill in your campaign’s information. This is ConvertKit’s weakest aspect, as these pre-made designs tend to be quite lackluster, although they could still get the job done. 

The reason why ConvertKit is the best solution for promoting eCommerce websites is their focus on building campaigns with integrations for landing pages, eCommerce platforms, and other membership sites.

If you are focused on selling products and don’t mind simple emails without distracting elements, this is the solution for you.

As with other email marketing solutions, your subscription price is based on the number of emails you send.

#7 GetResponse

This marketing platform places heavy emphasis on its user-friendly interface. This makes the whole process, from importing your email contact list to finally sending your campaigns, silky smooth.

Their email editor also allows the insertion of custom HTML code, allowing you to customize your campaigns pixel-perfectly. The editor also has mobile optimization, ensuring that your newsletters will look just as good on both phones and desktops alike.

GetResponse is also known for having handy 24/7 support over live chat and email. This is very reassuring; if you ever have any questions, they are there for you.

As with most other email marketing services, the subscription price of GetResponse is determined by the number of clients you will be sending emails to.

#8 Drip

Drip is an email marketing service designed to be used for eCommerce businesses. Drip prides itself in its seamless integration with top eCommerce platforms like Shopify and WooCommerce.

This email marketing service makes use of CRM data to craft personalized marketing experiences to boost engagement and build customer loyalty greatly. 

Drip gives you profound insights into customer habits. You’ll have the ability to tag each action a user performs to get the complete story for every customer. 

This makes it plausible for you to segment your email list based on clicks, previous purchases, opened emails, and much more. Drip specializes in exceptional personalization for each eCommerce customer. These personalized operations will help you develop trust and generate long-term customer devotion.

Drip offers a free 14-day trial before investing in a subscription, the cheapest being $49 per month. This price increases with the number of clients on your email list.

Conclusion

To get the most out of email marketing, you will need to pick a service that provides contemporary features. These features are crucial if you seek success via email marketing in any way, and not using them will put you at a clear disadvantage over your competitors.

Key features are:

  • Automation Sequences
  • Email List Segmentation
  • Specifically targeted email strategies

These features also exist to boost your revenue and save you the precious time of manually scheduling these emails. Reading through the list above, you can determine which platform is the best fit for you.

We trust that this list will guide you as you embark on your email marketing journey to elevate your business above your competitors.

Have any questions regarding email marketing? Let us know in the comments below.

Shopify CSV For Beginners

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Taking a look at an exported Shopify CSV file, you might feel a bit intimidated at first. The truth is, Shopify’s template for uploading product sheets is actually quite simple and intuitive, once you’ve got a good idea of what you’re looking at.

Let’s go through each data-field together so you can start importing and exporting in Shopify like a pro!

Handle:

Handles are unique names for each of your products. 

This handle determines this product’s URL. For example, if you enter women-snowboard as your handle, the link to that product would be the following: https://yourstore.myshopify.com/product/womens-snowboard 

These names can contain letters and numbers, but no spaces.  

Dashes are used in place of spaces, for example: Anti Oil Solution Wash will be entered as following: 

Every time a new handle is entered into the spreadsheet, it will be treated as a new product. Therefore, if you wish to add more images or variants of a product, you should have multiple lines of the same handle

Title: 

This is where you enter the name you want your product to display on the store. 

For example, if you entered Dark Chocolate Almond Squares as your product’s titleit would display as following on your shop: 

Titles are simply entered into the spreadsheet as follows: 

Body (HTML): 

The text you enter in this field will be used as this product’s description. 

For example, if you enter the following into your Body (HTML)  

It will display as following on your store: 

You also have the option to use HTML tags to format your text in this field. 

A few examples of HTML tags: 

Bold text:  <b> Enter your text here </b> 

Italic text: <i> Enter your text here </i> 

Vendor: 

(Requires a minimum of 2 characters.) 

The text entered here will be used as the vendor for your product. 

By default, Shopify will just use your store’s name as the vendor name. 

Vendor names are entered as following: 

Type: 

A product type that can be used to sort and filter products on your store. 

For example, the product type of a white T-shirt, will be entered as following: 

Customers on your store can sort products by type, to help them find what they are looking for. 

Tags: 

(This can be left blank.) 

Tags are used to filter and sort products in your store. These tags are entered between quotes, and separated by commas. For example: 

When customers search your store, typing one of these tags will then show them all related products. 

Published: 

(This can be left blank.) 

Determines if your product is visible in your store. By leaving this field blank, the product will automatically be visible. 

Option1 Name: 

(This field should be used if your product has multiple variants) 

If your product does NOT have variants (for example, different sizes or colours), simply enter the following: 

If your product DOES have variants, (for example, different sizes or colours), this field is used to define the variant name. 

For example, if your product comes in different sizes, enter the following: 

Option1 Value: 

This field is used in conjunction with the previous field, Option1 Name 

If you entered Title into the previous field, simply enter Default Title into this field. 

If your product DOES have variants, for example, three different sizes (small, medium, and large), the following should be entered: 

Option2 Name & Option2 Value 

(Can be left blank, no need to enter Title) 

This is the same as the field Option1 Name, but for when your product has TWO variant variables. 

For example, a shirt that comes in different sizes (Small, Medium, Large) and different colours (White, Red, Green) would be entered as following: 

Option3 Name & Option3 Value 

This is the same as the previous field, but for when your product has THREE variant variables. 

For example, a shirt that comes in different sizes (Small, Medium, Large), different colours (White, Red, Green) AND different materials (Cotton, Polyester, and Linen) would be entered as following: 

Variant SKU: 

(This can be left blank.) 

Your product or variant’s SKU (Stock Keeping Unit) is entered in this field.  

This SKU code is used to track stock if you use an inventory tracking service. 

For example: 

Variant Grams: 

(This can be left blank; default value is 0) 

Your product or variant’s weight is entered in this field in GRAMS. 

Do not add a unit of measurement, just a number. 

Variant Inventory Tracker: 

This field includes your inventory tracking service for this product or variant. 

Valid entries include: Shopify , fulfillment-service-handle 

In most cases, Shopify , will be used: 

 (VALUES ARE CASE SENSITIVE) 

If you are not using an inventory tracking service, enter FALSE. 

Variant Inventory Qty: 

(This can be left blank; default value is 0) 

The amount (positive integer) of the product or variant that is available for sale. 

For example, if you have 5 of this product in stock: 

Variant Inventory Policy: 

This field defines how to handle orders when inventory level for this product or variant has reached zero. 

Valid values are: deny, continue 

deny will stop selling when inventory reaches zero, while continue will allow sales to continue into negative inventory levels. 

Entered as following: 

Variant Fulfilment Service: 

The product or variant fulfilment service used.  

Valid values are: manual, shipwire, webgistix, amazon_marketplace_web. 

If unsure, just enter manual 

Enter as follows: 

Variant Price: 

The price of your product or variable is entered here. DO NOT PLACE ANY CURRENCY SYMBOL HERE, JUST THE NUMBERS. 

For example: 

Variant Compare At Price: 

(This can be left blank) 

Enter the “Compare At” price for your product or variant here. The Compare At price is the original price for a product that is on sale. When you enter a compare at price, the product displays a sale price

Entered as: 

IMPORTANT NOTE: The Variant Compare at Price column can be blank, but if you leave this column blank and check Overwrite any current products that have the same handle. Existing values will be used for any missing columns. when you upload the CSV file, then the existing “compare at prices” for these products in your Shopify store will be deleted. 

Variant Requires Shipping: 

(This can be left blank, blank = FALSE) 

If your product or variant requires shipping, enter TRUE 

If your product or variant DOES NOT requires shipping, enter FALSE (or leave blank) 

Variant Taxable: 

(This can be left blank, blank = FALSE) 

If you wish to apply taxes to your product or variant , enter TRUE 

If you wish to NOT apply taxes to your product or variant, enter FALSE (or leave blank) 

Variant Barcode: 

(This can be left blank) 

The barcode, ISBN or UPC of the product or variant. 

IMPORTANT NOTE: The Variant Barcode column can be blank but if you leave this column blank and check Overwrite any current products that have the same handle. Existing values will be used for any missing columns. when you upload the CSV file, then the existing barcodes for these products in your Shopify store will be deleted. 

Image Src: 

(This can be left blank) 

Enter the URL for your product or variant here. These images aren’t variant specific, meaning you have to specify the Image Src for each respective variant. 

This is entered as following: 

IMPORTANT NOTE: The Image Src column can be blank but if you leave this column blank and check Overwrite any current products that have the same handle. Existing values will be used for any missing columns. when you upload the CSV file, then the existing images for these products in your Shopify store will be deleted. 

Image Alt Text: 

(This can be left blank) 

Enter text that describes your image. This is useful for when your image cannot be displayed due to an error. 

Entered as following: 

Collection: 

Enter the name of the collection you want to add this product or variant to. If it’s an existing automatic collection, then the product needs to meet the conditions for the collection. If the collection doesn’t already exist, then a manual collection is created. You can add a product to only one collection. 

Learn more about Shopify Collections here

How To Bridge The Gap Between Ecommerce And Retail

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“Many thought ecommerce spelled the beginning of the end for physical stores. But now it’s clear that digital platforms and offline stores are not competitors, but allies who complement each other’s capabilities.”

Even though online stores offer clear advantages like being able to accept mobile payments, easily access user reviews, and conveniently check stock availability; physical retail branches offer the edge of personal interactions. At times, there’s nothing better than actually seeing the product and physically interacting with it, before a purchase.

Read the full article here: Bridging the Ecommerce-Store Experience Gap

Affiliate Marketing With Shopify

As one of the biggest e-commerce platforms globally, Shopify aims to cater to both small and enterprise-level online stores, as well as anything in between.  

A big factor that plays a role in Shopify’s flexibility is its powerful, ever-evolving app store. Businesses that choose Shopify as a platform have access to an absolute goldmine of apps, allowing you to build and refine your store around your needs.

Recently, the addition of affiliate marketing apps on Shopify stores has been blowing up. In Layman’s terms, affiliate marketing apps aim to increase revenue by incentivizing (using commissions) current customers to recommend their store’s products to others.

Why should I use affiliate marketing?


Having a strong affiliate marketing program means reduced ongoing costs, as well as reduced risks. Hiring a marketing & sales team is expensive, so why not recruit an army of affiliate partners that can generate the same, if not more sales, without the investment.

Affiliate marketing also greatly increases your web-reach; since your reps will be advertising your businesses via their social media, blogs, and all other online content. This also means a great load of work is lifted from your shoulders, as these marketing attempts would previously be your sole responsibility! Also, seeing buzz being generated by lots of different people will leave any prospects impressed with your products.

Upping your game, you can even recruit influencers or other prominent social media figures to promote your product, guaranteeing thousands of new eyes being laid upon your product.

How much money can I make from affiliate marketing?


The affiliate marketing industry is rapidly shaping up to be one of the best modern marketing strategies. Looking at statistics, it’s reported that spending on affiliate marketing in the United States was predicted to reach around $8 billion by 2022. This is a huge growth from its humble beginnings in 2010, back then only garnering around $1.6 billion.

Another study provides a closer look at exactly just how much affiliate marketers are making. Results from this survey show that 9% of affiliate marketers churned out more than $50k from this marketing strategy in 2016. The majority of online merchants (around 65%) said they were getting between 5-20% of their annual profits from affiliate marketing alone.

Creating an affiliate program using Shopify apps


With Shopify’s easy-to-use app store, setting up an affiliate program for your store is super simple. Begin this process by browsing the app store and installing an affiliate program app of your choice; our personal favorites include Secomapp & Bold.

Let’s take a deeper look at these two apps, and what they bring to the table:

Secomapp: Affiliate Marketing


Secomapp is used and trusted by more than 30,000 Shopify merchants to help their business flourish. Secomapp focuses on affiliate marketing’s idea of no upfront costs – exclusively paying when sales are actually made, leading to huge traffic & revenue boosts.  

This app allows you to customize your program’s monetary incentives personally, ensuring a streamlined prize-progression for all your affiliates. Affiliate tracking is accurate and automatic, resulting in a very smooth experience for both referrers and new affiliates.

Setting up the app is a breeze, with a quickstart guide available to everyone, as well as detailed documents and a super dedicated support team that work around the clock to answer any customer queries.

Bold Loyalty Points & Rewards


At its core, Bold allows you to create a loyalty point system, creating a retention program in minutes. But Bold also, of course, allows the creation of a referral program. 

This referral program allows you to offer incentives to new customers, reward existing customers for successful referrals, customize your program with minimum purchase amounts, and much more!


Conclusion


Affiliate marketing is a very intruiging option for upcoming online-euntrepeneurs due to its low-risk high-reward dynamic. With a click of a few buttons, you can install one of these apps and take your online store to the next level.

Shopify Email Launched Globally

shopify email service launched

Shopify has announced the launch of its new email service, Shopify Email. It is free of charge for all their merchants until the 1st of October 2020.

This is good news for all shop owners, as up to this point one had to use other 3rd party email service providers. No respectable store owner can run a professional website using a Gmail or yahoo address. It lacks professionalism and does not build trust in the brand. Shopify is plugging a big gap in its product offering for merchants with this new feature. It is much easier launching your email within your store, than using another hosting company and having to struggle with DNS settings, etc.

There have often been issues with bad integrations with 3rd party apps that have frustrated many users. This also removes the fear of contacts being copied by unscrupulous App developers.

At this time it is still not known if it will be including important features such as DKIM and DMARC alignment into this new service.

No Setup Required, Fewer Hassles

It does not require any setup and works in your dashboard under the Marketing tab. This is a big plus for users who might not be tech-savvy or those frustrated by constantly struggling with email issues. Who among us has not had issues with constant requests for our passwords or having to call tech support every time your mailing program updates?

Shopify takes on Newsletters Giants

The new services also come with a host of extra benefits in direct competition with newsletter services providers.

One of the most exciting features is templates, which make it easy for users to setup up stunning email campaigns in seconds. The designs look clean and simple as well as easy to update. I’m not sure how much customization is allowed but that might be a good thing when it comes to responsiveness and compatibility.

Built-in Templates

Another compelling feature is that the templates will automatically pull in your company logo, colors, and fonts. This will ensure that your brand identity in your marketing emails is aligned with your store

Shopify already offers powerful analytics data and this is now brought through to the Email section. You will be able to track insightful info about your email campaigns. This is is a must if you want to understand what is working and what needs improvement.

Shopify is taking on the big guns in email marketing by including attributes that used to be the sole domain of the likes of Mailchimp and Active Campaign. Tools such as the ability to segment your users by spending habits in your store will be a fan favorite with merchants. Shopify Emails might be one of the reasons for the split in 2019 between Shopify and Mailchimp as the latter must have seen this as direct competition for their core business.

Extra features, such as the ability to schedule emails and more advanced templates, will be rolled out in the future.

What is the cost of Shopify Emails?

Pricing at first glance looks affordable. Your first 2500 emails are free (although it is not clear if this is per month or lifetime). After that, it will cost you $1 per 1000 emails. This is very generous considering that for now there seems to be no limit to the number of subscribers.

This is certainly an exciting addition to Shopify’s product offering. It also comes in a time when merchants need all the tools they can get to help retain customers and reach new ones. Shopify Emails will also make it a much more attractive offer for new customers who prefer a one-stop solution.

What this means for all the Newsletter Apps in the Shopify ecosystems is another question altogether.

Competitors like Bigcommerce will be keeping a close eye on developments such as this. Up to know they have only offered email forwarding but this might change if the new feature becomes more popular.

This is, however, a positive move from Shopify as they continue to expand on the list of services that come with their e-Commerce solution. It is exciting to see that the Ottawa based e-Commerce giant continues to update and improve its product offering.

Click here for the full article on the Shopify Blog: Shopify Email Is Rolling Out Now and Completely Free Until October 1, 2020

How to Increase Sales: Frictionless Ecommerce

“Successful ecommerce outcomes are shaped by understanding what consumers want and how they want it. The essence of frictionless shopping is making it easy for consumers to make a decision and check out.”

Are you making it easy for customers to purchase and return to your website? The key to successful online stores is making it easy to do. This concept isn’t mutually exclusive to only ecommerce websites, but it’s especially critical.

The goal of frictionless ecommerce is sales. Focus on removing obstacles that stop sales, your conversion rates will flourish..

Read the full article here: How to Increase Sales to an Ecommerce Site

Top Online Store Optimization Tips That Will Increase Sales

Top Online Store Optimization Tips That Will Increase Sales

How to improve your conversion & abandoned cart rate, SEO ranking, sell more products and build the best online store possible

1. Experiment Constantly. You can also learn more tweak more and make your online shop better. 

2. Put money back in your business.

3. Collect email addresses from day one and start the conversion with your audience through newsletter app such as Aweber.

4. Nurture relationships with influencers in your niche.

5. Clearly display shipping & return information so your customers are left with no surprises. Unknown costs kill conversion rates so be transparent. 

6. Write quality product descriptions that describe the product in detail. The customer cannot pick up and touch your products so make sure that your description gives them a clear picture.

7. Design a website that is visually appealing but does not take away from your products. 

8. Find online shops that inspire you, study them, improve on what they are already doing right or not so right.

9. Ask for feedback from your customers regarding your store & products. Use focus groups and heatmaps to constantly get feedback and test and tweak using this information. 

“We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better.” Jeff Bezos, Founder of Amazon

10. Make sure your product categories make sense to customers, not just you. Don’t make them think and make sure it is clear and easy to navigate.

11. Set up your social media platforms from Day 1 and actively post to each platform on the schedule that you can maintain. Find your voice with these posts and remember to stick to 80% informative and only 20% selling. 

12. Create valuable content that inspires & educates your customers through multiple forms of media; video, articles, how-to guides, infographics, etc 

13. Video is king in online content. It drives the most engagement and must be part of your marketing strategy. Online video editing tools have made it easy for anyone to create unique content for their brand. 

14. Offer free shipping if possible. Calculated shipping at checkout hurts abandoned cart rates

15. Make sure you have a budget for advertising. When you first launch no one will come to your site if you don’t advertise. Adwords, Facebook Ads, Social Media Ads is a good start but don’t throw money at it blindly. Set specific targeting goals for your campaigns, do A/B testing, and keep refining. 

16. Study your abandoned cart rates, find potential issues, and keep improving the fall-off rate.

17. As the owner, you should talk to your customers. Check-in by email, phone, or WhatsApp. Use Live Chat to find out what they need in real-time on your site. 

online store customer review tips
Listen to your customers

18. Build quality links through guest blogging or by creating sharable content.

19. Use Upsell and Cross-sell apps such as Bold Upsell to boost shopping cart size.

20. Use free trials for Shopify apps to test which ones work for your store. Make sure to back up your theme before installation.

21. Test everything in your store before you go live. Test mobile responsiveness, do test orders with a real credit card, shipping rates, all links, anything that might hurt the customer experience.

22. Do SEO Optimization on your site. Check for broken links, do SEO optimization on images, product pages, H1 & H2 Headers.

23. Use Retargeting Ads to expand your reach.

24. Ask your customers for photos of them enjoying your products and share that on your website, blog, product pages, and social media

25. Ask for testimonials. This can be set up automatically with Shopify Apps such as Judgeme.

26. Use Flash Sales, countdown clocks and limited stock counts to drive urgency. 

Magento online stores compromised in the biggest campaign to date

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Over the weekend, more than 2000 Magento stores were hacked. Security researchers describe this onslaught as the largest hacking campaign in the last five years.

These stores fell victim to a Magecart attack, with hacker groups exploiting Magento’s shopping cart system, allowing them to gain access to these stores and sowing malicious scripts inside these stores’ source codes. These scripts skim customers’ payment information that they entered while checking out.

“On Friday, 10 stores got infected, then 1,058 on Saturday, 603 on Sunday and 233 today,” said Willem de Groot, founder of Sanguine Security (SanSec), a Dutch cyber-security firm specialized in tracking Magecart attacks.

Willem de Groot, founder of Sanguine Security (SanSec) tracked these attacks starting on Friday. To the horror of shop owners, the original 10 attacks from Friday increased tenfold by Saturday, before slowly dying down through Sunday and Monday.

De Groot added that these recent attacks trumped all previous campaigns, with the previous record of 962 compromised stores, not holding a candle to these new numbers.

Most hacked stores were running an EOL version

The SanSec founder stated that a recurring flaw in all the compromised stores was that they were running an immensely outdated version of Magento’s software.

This version of Magneto had stopped receiving updates over four months ago, meaning it reached end-of-life (EOL).

Industry giants including Adobe, Mastercard and Visa, voiced warnings about incoming attacks on outdated stores over the spring.

In the months leading up to the attacks, several web security experts noted that new Magento 1.x (EOL versions) vulnerabilities were non-existent. This is very atypical, as the 1.x versions of Magento were crippled and plagued by security flaws.

Experts predicted that hackers were patiently waiting for 1.x’s EOL to rear its head, to ensure Adobe’ could not patch out their brutal attacks.

Recently, ads selling Magento 1.x vulnerabilities were unearthed from underground hacking forums, confirming experts’ suspicions that attackers purposefully staggered their assault.

magento-zeroday.png
Advertisement for the hack, posted by user “z3r0day”.
Image: SanSec

On a lighted note, Adobe’s initial warnings did severely lessen the blow of this campaign, with the number of outdated stores being cut in half as of June 2020.

Nevertheless, a number of high-traffic sites are still running the EOL version of Magento, solely relying on firewalls to ward off attackers.

While this may be PCI compliant, this is extremely risky and store owners are urged to update their stores immediately.

Ecommerce Trends in 2021

In 2020, eCommerce’s growth was catapulted due to circumstances, causing a hyper-inflation in advancements, boosting digital evolution by years in the span of a few months.

To say 2020 was different, would be the understatement of the year. Stores flocked to digital platforms, coffee tables turned into conference rooms, business and retail has been turned on its head.

The magnitude of storefronts migrating to a digital platform last year, has never been seen. Before 2020, prospects were already on their way to steadily becoming digitally dependant, even while shopping. Now, after growing used to social distancing and limited travel, customers have grown accustomed to having their retail wishes granted at the push of a button. 

As a result, brands have had to improve their digital presence, as online interactions grew from around 42% in 2019, to 60% in 2020.

Taking the US as an example, research from McKinsey shows the shocking number of customers preferring new, online brands over old retail ones. Over 75% of Americans switched to digital shopping alternatives due to convenience, safety, and reliability. Of course, safety also plays a large role in this huge increase, as the fear of COVID-19 led customers to choose the safe, contactless method of online shopping.

Learning from last year, let’s take a look at the predicted changes and trends coming up in 2021.

The merge of social media and eCommerce

As social media and eCommerce continue to morph together, social media platforms will continue to build on the fantasy of “seamless” shopping. This transformation is prevalent in multiple social platforms over the last few years, including Facebook and Instagram’s marketplace. In 2021, we expect to see brands take it one step further, adopting even more eCommerce capabilities. 

This social media takeover further cements eCommerce as the go-to choice for Millenials and Gen-Z, the main social media users. 

The shift to social media will also challenge brands to re-think traditional definitions, such as “frictionless shopping,” expanding the definition to now include effortless checkouts directly from social media apps.

Delivery: the new normal?

Understandably, delivery services have become extremely popular this year. For example, Uber Eats and Amazon have warped the way customers order food or groceries. Even these huge companies were straining throughout the year to meet demands during the pandemic height.

Now, as the fear of retail shopping translated to the increase of online shopping, people have gotten used to convenience. It’s clear to see the delivery of online goods isn’t slowing down. On the contrary, 2021 might yield the need for even more delivery services. As partnerships with last-mile delivery services will become more common as retailers seek to leverage their physical stores to fulfill locally placed online orders. 

A turn of tides: Retail copying eCommerce

Even though eCommerce was king this year, retail branches aren’t going anywhere. As with most things this year, retail stores are also transforming. As opposed to the traditional design mentality of eCommerce stores mimicking the retail experience, this year has caused retailers to do the exact opposite. Major retailer Walmart has already started morphing their physical stores by taking inspiration from online shopping. These changes help apply the eCommerce concept of “seamless shopping” to physical stores.

Along with this, the synergy between retail and online stores are also growing, as delivery methods such as Buy Online, Pickup In-Store is becoming familiar components of shopping culture. Continuing these technologies’ support, convenient features such as contactless checkout and queue management will also become key. 

Sourcing customers through Artificial Intelligence

Arguably one of the most important and fastest-growing technologies of the current age, artificial intelligence is also extremely beneficial for eCommerce.

AI is already being used in eCommerce to make smart product suggestions, help shoppers envision products better, and support you with customer inquiries. In 2021, AI is going to assist you in finding your customers too.

Utilizing intelligent algorithms, current trends will be analyzed and compared to your products, customer behavior, and sales channels to help you adjust your products for maximum exposure. Getting your hands on this technology will result in enormous profit boosts with minimal effort.

ReCommerce, giving your old belongings a new home online

ReCommerce, or second-hand commerce, is expected to see a revival next year. eCommerce experts claim that the second-hand market is expected to double within the next five years.

With customers becoming more aware and motivated by product sustainability, the reselling of luxury items will shape the reCommerce industry’s future. This exciting new eCommerce trend holds great potential for any entrepreneurs looking to start a reselling business.

Conclusion

There has never been a better time to dive into eCommerce. If any of the listed upcoming trends tickled your inspiration, let us help you show your idea to the world. 

What’s Next for Ecommerce and Online Shopping?

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FutureOfEcommerce_EcommerceDevelopment

The devastating economic consequences of the pandemic cannot be overstated, with millions of businesses being crippled or even closing their doors. However, out of the ashes of fallen retailers, Ecommerce rose and shined like a phoenix. The popularity of online marketplaces has grown monumentally over the last year, but what does the future have in store?

“Collaboration has always been the name of the game in ecommerce, and 2020 has made that more true than ever. The next several months are going to be a crucial period in ecommerce history, determining who the viable players will be for the next generation of virtual shopping.”

Growing Your eCommerce Website

Starting your eCommerce journey is an exhilarating experience. Seeing your online store come together, with all your products ready to be sold to people all around the world, is truly exciting.  

However, chances are that this excitement might quickly transform into disappointment, as you face issues such as low website traffic, minimal sales, and hosting issues. These problems (and many more) are extremely common for eCommerce-newcomers and are often the pitfalls that cause their great ideas to fail.

The climb to eCommerce success is a treacherous expedition, but with these tips and tricks, you will reach the top in no time.

Read the full article here: eCommerce Optimization Guide

Print On Demand with Shopify and Printify

The idea of starting a print-on-demand business is one that many people find enticing. 

This business strategy alleviates several problems that up-and-coming online stores might experience, including carrying inventory and back-breaking setup costs.

You’ve heard the success stories, now the question is, why aren’t you doing it? There is no better time to start than the present, and using Shopify and Printify, you’ll be printing money on demand in no time.

In this article, we’ll be looking at the features of Printify, as well as glossing over tips and tricks to get the most out of your POD store on Shopify.

Why Printify?

Starting a business selling custom products allows you to create your own personal clothing line or cater to your niche.

This business model is made possible by print-on-demand, a fulfillment model that allows you to produce these products without storing your own inventory.

The list of print-on-demand companies available is endless, and choosing the correct one to fit your vision can be tricky. Luckily, Printify has proven to be the solution to most, if not all, businesses looking to explore print-on-demand.

Printify is unique for the access it gives you to a large network of printing partners scattered worldwide. Not only does this mean there is a larger variety of products to choose from, but it also lets you personally pick your printer based on the country you want to sell in for quick and cost-effective shipping. 

Printify’s product catalog features the following:

  • Hoodies
  • Shirts
  • Stickers
  • Shoes
  • Blankets
  • And 250+ more

Printify features

Out of the box, Printify presents itself with lots of useful and easily understandable tools and features; here’s a quick rundown of what you’re getting.

Easy-to-use mockup editor

Want to see what your design will look like on a shirt, skirt, or bag? Printify comes with a built-in mockup editor, allowing you to upload high-resolution images of your design to place on potential products.

This is a drag-and-drop editor, allowing even beginners to easily place and manipulate their designs onto products of different sizes, colors, and more.

Affordable product costs

Printify offers some of the best products & price ranges available. These low prices mean that even young entrepreneurs, or people starting with little capital, can start a print on demand business.

These blank products that you purchase, serve as a canvas for your design to be printed on. These products come in tons of different styles and materials, to perfectly suit your needs. Available products range from shirts and scarves to leggings and tote bags.

If you’re a premium Printify user, you also gain access to a 20% store-wide discount when purchasing products to be printed on.

Unfortunately, the natural trade-off is that the quality of the products and the printer’s service might vary based on who you choose to work with.

A comprehensive network of Print Providers

Printify is what’s known as a vendor network, meaning it sources and prints products from providers around the world. This also means that products, shipping costs, location, packaging, and creation times will depend entirely on which printing partner you choose, and where they are located.

Printify gives you more than 90 locations to choose from, including the US, UK, China, Australia, Germany, the Czech Republic, and many others. You will want to pick the location that’s closest to where your target audience is, ensuring the fastest possible shipping times and low shipping costs to them.


How much does Printify cost?

The basic version of Printify is free but the app also offers a premium and enterprise plan. The premium plan comes in at $29 per month, while the enterprise plan costs depend on your business needs, it is for high volume businesses that need custom integration and features.

Free vs Premium

Printify’s free version should be fine for most merchants, as it has all the features you need to get started. Note that even though the app itself is free, Printify takes a cut from profits you make from sales.

a Premium Printify subscription ups the limit of online stores to a total of 10, gives you access to the self-serve help desk, and also provides an up to 20% discount on all product purchases from Printify.

The Premium plan is recommended to those who plan on having high volumes of sales, where the discount provided can net you a higher profit margin. Printify allows you to upgrade your plan at any time, so when you’re ready to scale, simply upgrade your plan accordingly.


How do you set up your print on demand store?

Printify is available to use on almost all eCommerce platforms, although we highly recommend Shopify.

After finding your way around Shopify, consider enlisting eCommerce experts to ensure a seamless shopping experience and eye-catching aesthetics. For example, you will want to have a email marketing plugin to be able to send out cart-abandonment emails, as well as the functionality to create discounts or coupon codes. While it costs you right now, great design will pay off generously in the future.

Once your Shopify store is up and running, adding Printify is as easy as pie. Simply navigate to the app store and search for Printify, before adding it to your store in a matter of clicks.

immediately when opening the app, you are greeted with more than 250 blank products to choose from and the ability to create mockups, now you are ready to start creating!


Printify allows anyone searching for a flexible and cost-effective print-on-demand solution that lets you locate printing partners that ship worldwide.

With their goal to break down the needlessly complicated global printing industry, they aim to make printing on demand a breeze.

This way, everyone gets a chance to do what they do best: create awesome designs, make sales, and see their business thrive.

Is Artificial Intelligence The Next Step In Ecommerce?

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“The COVID-19 outbreak has changed the way people perceive eCommerce. It is now their first choice when it comes to acquiring goods. As picky customers continue to browse through these online shops, the only platforms that offer the best customer experience will retain them and earn profit in the long haul. So, artificial intelligence will assume the role of their knight in a shining armour if they want to deliver a seamless shopping experience.”

More and more eCommerce and retail brands are starting to utilise artificial intelligence to improve their customer engagement. The goal of using artificial intelligence, is to shape an intuitive customer experience to prospects with different levels of technological experience.

In the near future, the eCommerce industry will be fuelled by positive user experiences. To ensure that they adapt to these new standards, businesses have to deliver unbeatable customer service, backed with new artificial intelligence.

Read the full article here: How artificial intelligence in eCommerce can be a harbinger of next-gen customer experience?

Facebook Launches Facebook Shops: Branded Stores within Facebook & Instagram

facebook launches facebook shops

Merchants will soon be able to create custom online storefronts within Instagram and Facebook. With Facebook Shops, you will be able to sell directly through Facebook and customize the look at feel of the storefront. The products, stock, and shipping will all still be handled within Shopify(or your e-commerce platform of choice) as Facebook Shops is only a simpler version of your store.

Enhanced integrations and styling options

You will have control of the branding to keep it in line with your brand id, whilst staying true to the unique styling of the native app. Merchants will be able to display store collections as tiles to best showcase the product catalog. The focus is very much with mobile in mind with this new feature. Facebook Shop will be available on Instagram for select users (those who have enabled product tagging) and will roll out to Facebook at a later date. 

You can set up the app in your Shopify store backend in the meantime while you wait for it to become available. 

Checkout is still handled by Shopify.

This powerful new tool will be good news for cash strapped merchants affected by the current economic crisis. Potential customers can browse through your Facebook Shop, search and buy products, all within the social media platform.

Live Chat has become a must-have for all online retailers and has a significant impact on sales and abandoned cart rates. Customers need an easy multi-channel option to help interact with stores. Facebook Shops includes the ability to chat with customers through WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and Instagram Direct. 

Some of the biggest news was the following from Facebook’s press release:

“And in the future, you’ll be able to view a business’ shop and make purchases right within a chat in WhatsApp, Messenger or Instagram Direct.”

Facebook Shops WhatsApp Integration
Facebook Shops WhatsApp Integration

Integration into Live Shopping will provide more exposure options for retailers, and further cement Facebook’s footprint into the e-commerce landscape. 

“Soon, sellers, brands, and creators will be able to tag products from their Facebook Shop or catalog before going live and those products will be shown at the bottom of the video so people can easily tap to learn more and purchase.” Facebook Blog Post

Shopping on Facebook Live
Shopping on Facebook Live

Instagram Shop is exciting news for the millions of social media influencers looking to monetize their brands. They will now be able to list their products in their profiles in a new Shop tab.

Shopify’s Facebook App Upgrade

Shopify also announced a new, more advanced Facebook channel that will streamline the process of syncing your products with Facebook. 

From the Shopify Blog: 

“Meet your customers where they are. It’s the golden rule for every business.”

“You can bring your products to Facebook and Instagram’s digital market with a shopping experience that feels native to each platform, on any device. Showcase your distinct brand and products by customizing the colors and layout of your Facebook Shop, and organize product collections into featured tiles to match the look and feel of your Shopify store” Shopify Blog Post

The rollout of Facebook Shops will continue over the coming months with more features being rolled out. This is welcome news for merchants and customers and will offer a more seamless experience when shopping online. It might also be good news for Facebook investors as this new initiative is sure to boost ad revenue for the social media giant. 

This together with the latest update and upgrade to the Pinterest App is music to the ears of the over 1 million Shopify Merchants.

The world is moving more and more online and features like this will be a great asset for online retailers or those looking to start selling online. Users of the social media giants are already comfortable spending hours on the platforms each day. Doing your shopping there is not that far a jump to make, and deep integrations like the above will further cement these shopping habits. 

Good news for e-commerce but not so much for brick-and-mortar only retailers. 

Facebook will be partnering more closely with the following e-commerce platforms: 

  • Shopify
  • BigCommerce
  • WooCommerce
  • ChannelAdvisor
  • CedCommerce
  • Cafe24
  • Tienda Nube
  • Feedonomics

Live Interview with Mark Zuckerberg

eCommerce Fraud: Synthetic Shoppers

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With last year’s enormously rapid migration toward digital transactions, crooks saw tons of new opportunities to exploit unaware online shoppers. 

Synthetic identity fraud is one of the schemes that are steadily on the rise, where criminals use a mixture of factual and false information (including phone numbers, emails, physical addresses) – to build an identity that can be used to purchase products online.

These artificial identities are built to seem like a person who is “new to the world”, with just enough info to make it seem like someone who has recently changed their name or address. This is to make it seem like there is just enough pieces of info to where it is compelling to say that it’s a real person. Criminals then use these fake identities to get access to credit, and then use that to purchase goods online.

Security Experts have been aware of synthetic identity fraud since around January 2019, flagging it as one of the fastest-growing type of financial crime. Now, in 2021, with online stores bigger than ever, fraudsters are taking full advantage of this tactic.

How does this impact online merchants?

For the most part, your store most likely won’t be targeted by these fraudsters, but the trickle-down effect could still effect the eCommerce industry as a whole, as large-scale fraud increases the cost of business for everyone. 

Also, since a fragment of the information criminals use is factual, retailers should secure their systems to prevent data breaches – to prevent the leaking of any personal information of their shoppers.

Criminals use these fake identities to purchase, or effectively “steal” from online merchants.

Ultimately, the impact of this, and other fraud schemes, might lower the chances of shoppers choosing an online retailer – costing merchants valuable business.

How are companies combating synthetic shoppers?

The problem with spotting synthetic identities, is locating what information is being manipulated and how. This makes it extremely difficult to detect and develop detection methods for this type of fraud, as all this information may look very real.

One of the companies on the frontlines of fighting online fraud , Experian, are attempting to artificial intelligence and machine learning to identify how criminals are manipulating data.

Experian then uses this information to target synthetic identities, but this approach requires a large amount of data to be collection in order to compare and cross reference information – to spot small statsitical anomalies.

Even the U.S Federal Reserve System is working stakeholders to fight this incredibly nuanced fraud method.

However, Experian has run into a big problem using this method – false positives, which might lead to suspecting a perfectly good customer of fraud. Unfortunately, this is just the nature of artificial intelligence, as it learns from its own mistakes; whether you are an online store or a bank, you don’t want to lose a customer like that.

A light at the end of the tunnel though, is that there is value in selling the product to someone who is potentially a criminal, but might not be. This is where artificial intellegence comes in handy – as a second line of defence. In this scenario, the AI will flag a potential high-risk consumer, but it is up to the owner of the store to decide how to manage that risk. This is very helpful, as the store owner can then attempt to reach out to the customer, to ensure their validity. Although this sacrifices frictionless shopping, it is well worth the effort.

Shopify Sales Channels – Growing Your eCommerce Business

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re you looking to grow your Shopify store? Expand your reach with Shopify’s Sales Channels:

One of the biggest benefits Shopify offers is the convenient access it gives you to other sales channels. Sales channels represent platforms (websites or marketplaces) where you can sell your products.

How will using sales channels benefit me? 

By connecting all your sales channels with Shopify, you can keep track of stock, manage products, customers, and orders, all on your Shopify dashboard.

Marketplaces are invaluable to online sellers. It allows you to skip the tedious process of researching and reaching customers by reaching them, where they already purchase their products online.

 Let’s take a look at the most popular sales channels Shopify has to offer: 

Facebook:

Social media giant turned marketplace, Facebook is one of the biggest and most important channels to promote your products through.

Facebook Marketplace is a bustling community of eager buyers who are itching to purchase products. Combining this potential huge customer-base with Facebook’s built-in targeted marketing and simple product categorization, this marketplace is your golden ticket to eCommerce success.

Thanks to Shopify’s sales channel integration, you can seamlessly promote and sell your Shopify products straight from the Shop tab on your store’s Facebook page.

After connecting Shopify with Facebook as a sales channel, you gain access to the following helpful perks:

  • Promote audience-growing advertisements on Facebook to increase the traffic to your online store. 
  • Facebooks’ built-in dynamic advertisement targeting can hyper-boost your conversion rates, helping customers discover new products from your store. 
  • Facebook posts can make your existing Facebook followers aware of product promotions or new stock

Requirements:

In order to be eligible to use Facebook as a sales channel, your Shopify store needs to meet a few simple requirements:

  • Your Shopify store needs to be using a Facebook-supported currency. Find a list of supported currencies here.
  • Your Business Facebook page needs to needs to be using the Shopping template.
  • You need a valid customer email (This can be changed in Shopify’s General Settings)

Facebook Messenger

Messenger might seem like Facebook’s awkward little brother, but surprisingly, it’s been making enormous waves in the world of eCommerce.

Matching the intimate 1-on-1 communication it offers, gives customers a feeling of trust while talking to vendors. 

Shopify released a Messenger plugin, which allows customers to use Messenger for the whole purchasing process. This allows your customers to simply and easily buy products through only a chat window!

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Amazon

Arguably the biggest eCommerce platform worldwide, Amazon is a powerful sales channel that is impossible to ignore. Using this sales channel allows you to keep track of both Shopify and Amazon sales.

According to research, 55% of customers start their search for a product on Amazon, even beating search engines like Google. 

It’s clear to see that utilizing Amazon as a sales channel, can have unthinkably huge benefits for your online business.

Using Amazon as a sales channel will also allow you to:

  • Add listings for products new to Amazon 
  • Manage and create offers for existing Amazon products
  • Link your existing Amazon limits to your Shopify account
  • Receive notifications on your Shopify dashboard about Amazon orders.

Instagram

Regarded as one of the world’s most popular social media platforms (right behind its big brother Facebook) – Instagram is the perfect place to boost your audience engagements.

Instagram puts your products on a pedestal, showcasing high-quality images of your stock to charm and guide your customers back to your Shopify store.

Instagram has some enticing statistics to enthrall online shop owners, with 75% of users taking action after viewing a post.

In other words, Instagram is a platform that drives action, turning passions into purchases.

Instagram’s sales channel allows owners to add shopping tags to image posts that link directly to Shopify product pages, allowing them to check out inside of the Instagram app.

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Buy Button

The Buy Button is an extremely flexible tool that does exactly what says. Its simple name might be deceiving, as it functions as much more than simply just a button. This tool allows you to add fully-fledged eCommerce functionality to your existing websites. 

This button can redirect website visitors to products, collections, or straight to a checkout page in your Shopify store. 

The button is also fully customizable, to fit the look and feel of your website perfectly.

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Wholesale Channel

Shopify’s Wholesale sales channel was first released in 2017, to improve Shopify’s wholesale options. This wholesale channel is based on your current existing store, with the same products, order data, and customer data. The wholesale store is accessible separately with its own theme. This page is password-protected, so customers are invited to join the wholesale channel and are given a group, dictating pricing, and other variables.

The wholesale channel is engineered around price lists, allowing you to set prices for specific customer groups. Pricing logic can also be applied against products and collections with customer tags. Both of these features allow the existence of tiered pricing and customer-specific pricing.

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Once you’ve got your Shopify store up and running, you need to be active about promoting and putting your products out there. 

The sales channels we highlighted here take merely a few minutes to set up – but their impact is enormous. These sales channels will help you broaden your store’s horizons and reach new heights.

Wholesale Pricing Discount: The Complete Review

The complete Wholesale Helper Pricing Discount App for Shopify review

Selling business-to-customer (B2C) and wholesale (B2B) is a juggling act. In your one hand, you want to satisfy your B2B customers with pleasing prices, while also keeping B2C customers in mind. 

The appearance of hybrid B2B and B2C stores have become more and more common over the years. Store owners want to provide both wholesale and retail customers with the same smooth and seamless purchasing experience. 

Shopify particularly is used by both B2C and B2B merchants around the world. Shopify offers a vast number of plug-ins and apps, allowing business owners to streamline both the business-to-customer and wholesale experience. 

Even though Shopify comes pre-equipped with a plethora of tools to help store owners juggle these two business models, the use of these third-party apps is what separates the wheat from the chaff.  

The Wholesale Helper tools are guaranteed to broaden the horizons of any online store thinking about expanding into wholesale too. With 7 different apps available, all averaging 4.9/5 stars, it’s clear that these star-studded tools leave business owners more than satisfied. 

We’ll be taking a look at every one of these tools, and how they can benefit YOUR online store.

Install Wholesale Helper App

From $19.99/month. 14-day free trial.

Wholesale Pricing Discount 

Wholesale Helper’s WPD (Wholesale Pricing Discount) tool allows Shopify store owners to offer wholesale prices for set customers and customer groups. This tool is extremely flexible, allowing you to customize the discounts based on customer groups and products. These discounts can be applied to any number of products, collections, or the entirety of your store. 

These discounts can be set as percentages, or specific amounts on selected collections, products, or customers. The inclusion of wholesale specials will increase your store’s wholesale revenue, by showing them how much they save, while also being able to cater to retailers who aren’t buying in bulk.  

This tool saves you countless hours, setting you free from phone calls and emails of customers who wish to manually order. Just set tag this customer group and set a specific discount for them. 

Wholesale Pricing Discount’s feature/settings panel

Here are a few key features and functionalities of WPD

Volume and Tiered Discounts 

An extremely useful feature is the option of setting up tiered discounts. Tiered discounts allow you to reward customers who bulk order, reducing the product price with the more stock they buy. 

Cross-Compatibility & Integration 

Wholesale Helper’s tools are cross-compatible, meaning you can take advantage of integration with Wholesale Order Form & ReOrder and Wholesale Lock Manager.  

Price or Quantity Discount Threshold  

Set up minimum amounts’ customers need to be paying to qualify for different set discounts. 

Adaptive Shipping Prices 

Allow clients’ shipping prices to be influenced by the amount of product they’re ordering, or by total spent.  

Customizable Payment Terms (Net 15/30) 

Customize and change terms on net orders to perfectly fit your customers.  

NOTE: The Net Order feature requires a small theme update to be functional on your Shopify store. The Wholesale Helper team is happy to apply with this update to you free of charge after you provide them with your shop URL and developer access. 

Around-the-clock customer support 

Any queries regarding the tool will be conveniently answered within a few hours (sometimes even minutes) through email. WPD’s team also offers to help you set up an order form and a password to protect your wholesale section.  

Comprehensive User Guide 

With all these facts and features, subscribers might find themselves feeling a bit overwhelmed starting out. Luckily, Wholesale Helper provides an in-depth guide on how to get this app up and running. This documentation includes a bunch of tutorials and questions to ensure you are  

WPD Subscription Prices 

Pricing for this tool is split into three monthly subscription plans, basic, professional, and enterprise. Most of Wholesale Helper’s tools include a free trial to test out their apps, this tool being especially generous with a 14-day free trial period. 

The basic package supplies subscribers with the bare bones of the tool, still allowing you to create and customize discounts. 

 This package can be enough for novice shop owners looking to dip their feet into the world of Shopify apps, to see how beneficial they would be. The basic package does get your feet wet but is only a puddle compared to the ocean of features provided otherwise. 

Taking a look at the two other subscription models, it’s clear to see that the Professional package is designed for more established businesses, looking to take advantage of WPD’s unique features to take their sales to the next level.  

Still lacking the full list of WPD’s extensive features, the Professional package still leaves store owners with more than enough to play around with. 

Finally, the Enterprise subscription covers all of WPD’s features from top to bottom. Priced at almost $40 per month, this subscription cost is surprisingly low, considering the potential amount of revenue it can generate.  

Popular Customer FAQ’s 

Can I offer other terms instead of Net 15 or 30? 

Payment terms are 100% customizable, meaning you can change it to Net 15, 30, 45, 60, etc…  

Simply open the Net 15/30 control panel from the app’s homepage and adjust the settings accordingly. 

What if a customer has multiple discount tags that conflict? 

If your Shopify store has conflicting discount tags, the highest discount percentage will be applied (lowest price for customer.) 

Is the theme update free? 

Your first base theme update is complimentary. This update usually takes around two hours. You can perform this update yourself, but it is advised that WPD’s professional team takes care of it.  

Themes including a large number of JavaScript code, are subject to charge if the update takes longer than two hours. 

Conclusion 

Wholesale Helper’s Wholesale Pricing Discount tool strikes the perfect balance between an impressive number of features and an easy-to-use user experience. I went through a ton of user reviews, I could almost only find positive reviews, always meeting customer expectations and being praised for their great customer support. 

Install Wholesale Helper App

From $19.99/month. 14-day free trial.

Other Tools 

WPD is Wholesale Helpers’ most popular tool, but it isn’t all that they’ve got up their sleeve, let’s take a look at the other six tools they have available. 

Wholesale Lock Manager 

Managing both your retail and wholesale store simultaneously has never been easier. This tool allows store owners to easily secure their online stores, by password protecting products and pages in a few simple steps. All of Wholesale Helpers’ tools are native to Shopify, allowing you to install and set up in a matter of seconds.  

Key Features: 

  • Provides security for your store’s wholesale section 
  • Easily add/remove permissions to grant people access to your site 
  • Save money by running both wholesale and retail operations on one site (Split with the Wholesale Lock Manager)  

Wholesale Order Form & Re-Order 

Make ordering as simple and seamless as possible for your customers. Many online stores bleed sales by making their check-out process tedious and difficult with constant back-and-forth clicking. Single Page Order Form combines all your products to fit them onto an easy-to-use customizable order sheet. Also included in this tool is the Re-Order page, allowing returning customers to quickly buy products that they have previously ordered. 

Wholesale Helper’s support team is also more than happy to help you to customize the order form to perfectly fit you. 

Key Features: 

  • List all your products and their variants on an easy-to-use order form 
  • Allow customers to re-order products with two clicks! 
  • Customizable 

Pre-Order Helper 

Boost your sales revenue by providing pre-orders on your Shopify store! 

Make sales on products that are out of stock or haven’t even launched yet. Get rid of the tedious back-and-forth via email when customers request pre-orders. This tool allows you to manage and monitor your pre-orders alongside your other sales on your Shopify store. Just like Wholesale Helpers’ other tools, this pre-order form is completely customizable, allowing you to create one to perfectly fit your brand. 

This tool has a completely free version available. 

Key Features: 

  • Allow seamless pre-order option for customers 
  • Analytics on pre-order sales 
  • Works with product variants 

AReceivables 

The quintessential tool to help you track and manage wholesale payment terms. See how much each individual customer owes you, see their past-due orders, and automatically follow up on invoices. All the hassle of hunting down customers, tied up in one easy-to-use tool. 

This tool has a completely free version available. 

Key Features: 

  • Monitor total amount owed by customer 
  • Customizable automatic invoice instructions 
  • Multitude of filters available, easy to sort and find specific customers 

Grow Cart: Upsell & Cross Sell 

The best way to generate more revenue is by selling more to those currently buying from you. This app allows you to upsell and cross-sell products that prospects can add to their cart in a single click. An example of cross-selling is when a customer adds a pair of shoes to their cart, you could sell them a new pair of socks too on their way to the check-out page. 

 This app encourages customers to buy more at once, easily boosting your average order value. It also features integration with WPD, meaning you can upsell and cross-sell retail and wholesale products! 

Grow Cart allows you to manually pick which products show up alongside other products in your store (because who knows your store better than you.) 

Key Features: 

  • Display up to 15 cross-sell products per page 
  • Fully customizable 
  • WDP integration 
  • Prevents cross-sell items from displaying when they’re already in your cart. 
  • Only $1 per month 

Remindio: Remind to Re Order 

Simplicity and automation are the names of the game in eCommerce. Remindio tackles both of those giant tasks, by allowing you to deliver customized, automatic campaigns reminding customers that their stock is running low. This campaign makes it extra simple for customers to purchase from you again, by pre-populating previous orders. 

The app’s easy to use interface allows anyone to create and customize email campaigns, ensuring returning customers. In-depth analytics are also provided, to allow you to see the revenue boost this app provides. 

Key Features: 

  • Automatic email campaign 
  • Works with any Shopify store 
  • Compatible with mobile 

The Wholesale Helper suite includes a wide variety of apps that are guaranteed to boost sales and conversion. These tools are easy to use, and customizable to the core, making them the perfect choice to take your Shopify store to the next level. 

Images by: Wholesale Helper

Top Trending Products in the Coronavirus Pandemic

working-from-home-covid-19-crisis-ecommerce

Physical stores are closing their doors across the world due to the global crisis caused by COVID-19. Restaurants, bars, and clubs are suffering due to this global pandemic as people shy away from crowded public spaces. Malls are closing or forced to put in place social distancing procedures to help reduce the number of customers in the store at any one time. The effects on the economy, jobs, and oil prices have been devastating.
A record 3.3 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits in the final week of March 2020; the highest previous record being 695,000 in 1982. This increased to over 6.6 million one week later.

47 million workers are being laid off in the world’s largest economy. A devasting number that will have a ripple effect on other regions as US consumers decrease spending.

Online Retailers to the Rescue


online shopping google trends
Online shopping trend over the past 12 months

In all this carnage one would think that the e-Commerce industry’s hour has arrived. And in most cases that is true. There has been a large spike in sales for what is seen as essential items, as worried consumers prepare for the worst. People have been infamously stockpiling toilet paper since the early days of the outbreak. Staples such a bread, eggs, milk and toiletries have helped boost essentials retailers’ sales by as much as 120% compared to the same period in 2019. Amazon & Wallmart has seen impressive sales with the supply chain buckling at times.

increase in home fitness equipment covid 19
Increased demand for home fitness equipment due to COVID-19

Sellars of home fitness equipment such as weights, home exercise bikes, yoga mats saw record sales as gyms shut down due to safety concerns.
The effects of forced social distancing have meant that people are looking at more ways to stay fit and fight boredom at home.

Products in demand for the home

Many parents are coming to terms with the new reality of having kids at home fulltime. The challenges of working from home and looking after one’s children have driven many parents up the wall. The sales of indoor and outdoor goods have seen an impressive spike in numbers with table tennis & pool tables being some of the popular items. Xboxes and Playstations have also been flying off the shelves.

Fears of a recession, or even the possibility of depression, are sparking an increase in sales for home and garden items. Especially the sale of seedlings and seeds such as tomatoes, spinach, and carrots has been popular with consumers. Two of the world’s largest producers of seeds has stopped taking new orders as demand spiked.

There has been a marked increase in sales of electric goods as shoppers rushed to buy laptops, printers, and desks to help improve their home office.
Interest and sales of remote working tools are up 150% YoY. Meeting tools such as Zoom burst onto the scene, eclipsing well-known industry favorites such as Skype and Microsoft Teams

Zoom vs Skype Search Trend 2020
Zoom vs Skype Search Trend 2020

The Biggest e-Commerce Losers

The fashion industry has taken a big knock in sales with a 51% decline compared to the same period last year. Luxury goods have experienced a similar slump in sales and many brands are canceling events and launches.

Online search volume for flights, hotels and accommodation bookings has been hardest hit. With the lockdown affecting over half the planet, the sector saw a decrease of 37% YOY. Omnichannel retailers(with both physical and online stores), has also seen a drop in sales with many forced to close.

The current environment will impact the world of offline and online sales for years to come. Many industries have been devasted that looked invisible a few months ago. For others more suited for social distancing, lockdowns and working from, it has become a boom time.

An Opportunity in the Disruption

There will be more economic shocks to come in the months ahead yet there will also be opportunities in the chaos. From the Choas comes new birth

Just take a look at the industries born out of the last economic crisis of 2008:

  • WhatsApp,
  • Groupon
  • Instagram
  • Uber
  • Pinterest
  • Slack
  • Venmo
  • Square

It makes one wonder what new innovative services or products will become “essential” in the years to come.

The Robot industry will potentially be one of the biggest winners. There has been an increase in demand for Service Robots in particular as companies look for contactless solutions. Delivery drones, autonomous guide robots, and cars even food preparation robots that will allow the food industry to operate 24/7. Flippy the Fast Food Restaurant Robot is one good example.

The e-Commerce world will have to adapt and get stronger but it will almost certainly play a significant part for the foreseeable future

What do you think will be the next big service or product in the e-Commerce space? Who will be the companies that take the initiative in the next decade? Tell us in the comments section below.

Sales Reps and Shopify Guide

How to empower your sales team to securely sell more, faster.

As a business owner, you always have one question on the tip of your tongue.

“How do I increase my sales revenue?”

Many salespeople spend a lifetime chasing down this goal and still ultimately failing.

What many salespeople fail to recognize is that right now, we are in the digital age. You cannot continue using sales strategies from the past while holding thumbs that it also applies to this new digital world.

You have to move where your customers are. Online.

Taking your business online is undoubtedly a bright marketing move. 

Now you might be wondering, how do sell my products online?

The answer is simple. Shopify

Shopify is an unbelievable online retail platform. Here are some ways that you can boost your sales sky-high by using it.

Shopify referral widget integration - InviteReferrals

A delightful customer experience

Your website’s look is crucial, as depending on it, most users will stay or leave within the first few seconds of visiting. Out of the box, Shopify gives you access to a few default templates, which, to be honest – are lackluster.

Your best shot would be getting help from a web design company, ensuring that a gorgeous site greets your website visitors. 

50 Best Shopify Stores to Inspire New Entrepreneurs in 2020
Image Source: Shopify

Locate sales weaknesses in your business using Shopify’s detailed analytics.

A big part of the sales-battle consists of is figuring out what works and what doesn’t. Taking a step back and then correcting these unsuccessful attempts is the key to sales success. 

Luckily, Shopify provides users with extremely detailed analytics, focusing on improvement and optimization.

Shopify analytics vs Google Analytics: which offers better ecommerce data?
Image Source: Littledata

Providing you with these stats, you’ll be able to identify:

  • Sales by the hour, month, or week
  • Sales by location
  • Payment methods used
  • And countless other statistics.

Third-Party Shopify apps can help supercharge your sales team.

As countless businesses exist to fill a niche, many online stores possess unique requirements.

This is where apps come into the frame. Shopify’s built-in app store allows you to stretch your online reach even further by giving you access to applications that will easily extend and improve functionality.

An example of a useful Shopify app is Repsorder: Reps Commission.

Before this app, it wasn’t easy to receive the reps’ orders, calculate their commissions, grant them critical data from your Shopify store, etc.

Luckily, Repsorder exists to make this process a lot less tedious for Shopify store owners and their sales reps.

Admin can set the percentage commission they wish to offer so your sales reps can earn commissions from every order you place.

Commissions are automatically generated, so you don’t have to waste precious time going through each order. This way, there is clarity on both sides so that sales reps and store owners don’t have to wait until month’s end to see what they are owed.

This app is perfect for growing eCommerce businesses with sales reps, as it makes ordering, tracking analytics, and getting commissions easy!

Let’s run through a few of the key features Repsorder provides.

Setting commissions percentage

Commissions can be specified per individual product, collection or can be applied across the whole store. This makes it extremely easy to manage commissions, editing them with just a few clicks.

Commission groups can also be created, allowing you to assign various commissions to various sales reps.

Simple and easy ordering for sales reps.

Repsorder gives you access to super simple order forms, allowing a seamless experience between sending orders. Thanks to the app’s integration with Shopify, products’ inventory will always be kept up to date, allowing you to supply customers with accurate stock-keeping information consistently.

Detailed analytics

This app keeps track of all relevant sales information. This includes a detailed list of which rep is owed, showing you which reps are performing the best and worst, while also syncing all this data with Shopify’s already useful analytics.

Super helpful customer support

Have any questions regarding the app? Repsorder’s amazing support team leaves no questions unanswered, responding to emails within a few hours, sometimes even in a few minutes! 

Repsorder: Reps Commissions App Pricing

The Repsorder app gives you the flexible choice of four subscription plans. The basic plan starts at a low $15 per month, allowing up to 3 sales reps while still giving you access to all the app features.

Going up the pricing ladder, the only thing that increases is the amount of sales reps allowed, capping out at 20 sales reps for $60 a month.

The basic plan’s low cost makes this app great for small businesses looking to simplify ordering, calculating commissions, and tracking analytics.

The app also gives users a free 14-day trial run, to test the waters and see if this app fits them.

Repsorder Customer Reviews

We can talk about features and functionalities all day, but let’s see how this app has affected real businesses.

Hayes Bicycle B2B

Rating: 5/5 Stars

“Our business uses this app to allow sales reps to place orders for our customers directly from our B2B (business to business) Shopify site. We have tried a multitude of different third-party apps, but this one was the only solution with all the features we needed. The software is snappy and responsive, easy for our sales reps to pick up quickly. Their support team is also amazing, responding extremely quickly and always thoroughly answering your queries.”

Green Sprouts Retailer

Rating: 5/5 Stars

“Great app with even better customer support! The app’s design is super easy to use and functional without any lengthy setup. It works as expected, allowing sales reps to place orders and track their commision all in one place. We even asked their support team for help with some small customizations, which they happily agreed to help with.”

Conclusion

Shopify has been proven the go-to eCommerce platform for sales teams. At its core, Shopify is already super useful to reps, and the abundance of third-party apps furthering sales-functionalities is just the cherry on top. Among these apps, Repsorder’s Commision app is the perfect addition to any Shopify store looking to avoid the headache that is sales commisions.

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