Monthly Archives: November 2014

  • watchville

    Heard About Watchville?

    “I did not like watches my entire life,” Digg co-founder Kevin Rose tells me. That’s an odd admission for a man who just launched Watchville, an app that aggregates news from top wristwatch blogs, and offers an atomic clock tool to help you set your timepiece and its moon phases.

    But Rose explains, “My father passed away and left me with one really nice watch. It was pretty much all he could afford so he spent a lot of time and care on it, a Rolex.” That inspired him to learn more about wristwatches. Yet when the seasoned technologist looked for a way to keep up with his new hobby, “I realized in the luxury space, when you look for apps, there’s nothing.”

    So Rose pushed his experimental mobile app development shop North to build something luxury wristwatch enthusiasts would appreciate. It’s a far cry from North’s first app, Tiiny, a much more traditional Silicon Valley invention that lets you share miniature photos and videos.

    Tiiny is “interesting enough for us to build out the next few versions” Rose says with a bit of a sigh before acquiescing that it launched a little early. “I would say on scale of 1 to 10, I’d give it a 7.” That’s fine according to the North game plan, which aims to launch new apps every few months, give them time to sink or swim, and then abandon the failures to concentrate on ones with massive potential.

    Compared to typical startup fare, Watchville’s market might sound bland, but that’s why there’s such an opportunity. Other app developers never gave it the time of day.

    For the last year, Rose has travelled to watch events, met bloggers, and established relationships with the top brands. With their guiding hands, he built Watchville, which launched today. If your only experience with Audemars and Hublots are from Jay-Z lyrics, Rose’s app will school you.

  • vsnap

    Howdy e-Commerce fans,

    Last month's meetup was a real blast. Dave McLaughlin dropped in to speak about Vsnap, a platform that allows salespeople to engage with customers via one-to-one video messages. This method that's been shown to boost sales as much as 34%.

    In addition to Vsnap, Dave discussed his previous experiences in the film industry, where he worked as a screenwriter. After working on a film which he claimed to have later disliked, he realized that Hollywood may not have been the right environment for him.

    "I think that technology startups are just a more creative place to be than the film business," he said. "Some people are surprised by that. But in the film business you're really in boxes in terms of what you can do."

    Now, after only a few years of working in tech, Dave is far from an outsider. He's done all of his research on Vsnap's competitors, and is constantly brushing up on his knowledge of social media in order to better assess how he's going to work with them.

    Dave said that the key to success is to work in an area that you're interested in, and that sometimes it could take a while to realize what that is—in his case, it certainly took a few years to realize that he didn't want to be a filmmaker.

    We had a lot of very interesting people who came up to the meetup, who asked very engaging questions that Dave provided very quick to answer to. We're really grateful that we have so many talented and ambitious people who support our meetups, and we're hoping that all of you guys will come to our next event, 'Driving eCommerce Sales with Social Media Marketing,' which will take place on Wednesday, December 10, at 31 W 34th Street on the 7th floor.

  • xiaomi

    Xiaomi to Launch E-commerce Website in India

     

    Following its trend of selling their smartphones exclusively via online retail stores, Xiaomi has now expressed plans to launch its own retail website in India.

    As reported by Mint, the company is in talks to tie up with various partners in order to launch it’s own e-commerce website. However, it may take some time as it can only move forward once it gets approval and the operations are in place. The website is expected to launch in early 2015.

    Xiaomi currently sells its handsets and accessories in flash sales via Flipkart. According to Mint, Xiaomi’s e-commerce website will continue to work in parallel with Flipkart.com. The company has also hired a team of 10 people in India and approximately 40 call centre employees who’ll be handling the website operations.

    Manu Jain, India operations head at Xiaomi had also told Firstpost that the company is in the process of setting up its own e-commerce operations in India. When asked about the timeframe, he said, “It would be very difficult to say. It could happen anytime between the next four to six months.” Manu Jain is also the co-founder of the popular e-commerce site Jabong, and could lend his expertise at designing a site for Xiaomi that suits Indian consumers.

    Xiaomi had registered it’s local unit by the name, ‘Indian Xiaomi Technology India Pvt. Ltd’ in Bengaluru in October 2014, the Mint report added.

    Today, Xiaomi, known as the ‘Apple of China’, sells their products online with one of India’s largest e-commerce company Flipkart.

    According to reports, Xiaomi’s Redmi Note has launched in India and will be available in two variants: 3G dual-SIM, priced at Rs 8999, and a 4G variant priced at Rs 9,999. In an exclusive tie-up with Airtel, the 4G variant will sell in select Airtel retail stores. Flipkart has confirmed that registrations for the Redmi Note will open today at 6pm and the phone will be launched on December 2 as expected.

  • magento themesAnyone who's even vaguely familiar with web design probably knows how important a theme is for their website. A theme has largely two types of users: the audience-type user who sees the theme from the aesthetical and usability perspective; and the creator-type who goes through an additional layer of the theme experience by taking part in building the Magento themes.

    For the audience-type user, a store experienced is defined by the store's capability to fulfill his or her tactical and emotional demands. But the second user who must fill the creator role might be looking more for efficiency—i.e., the ability to complete a set of developmental tasks which will determine the store experience.

    Since designers already have the graphical end of things covered, we've compiled a list of tips that will help you with maximizing your work-flow efficiency in Magento.

    1. Maximum Customization Power

     

    Magento allows you to update the look and feel of your store in the category and product level, which gives you more power to market and promote the product (in addition to granting you a store with endlessly unique design).

    Have you ever imagined presenting each product in its own customized product info page? Magento lets you do just that, by providing you a qucik way to customize your product presentation in a per-product and per-category basis

    2. Multiple Magento Themes

     

    Magento allows you to load multiple themes at once, allowing you to swap between a default store design and temporary event/season-specific ones—all at the command of a few key strokes.

    3. Uninterrupted Workflow

     

    Thanks to the help of Magento's fully object-oriented programming, all modules are immediately accessible via template tags from any template files. And because Magento comes feature-rich straight out of the box, you'll never again have to be dependent on a programmer to finish all the simplest tasks for you.

    Magento also thrives on an extensive network of knowledgeable community members that include the official Magento team, so you'll never have to think twice about where to go for guidance once you need it.

    4. Minimize Debugging Time

     

    Have you ever wasted precious hours looking for the unclosed markup scrutinized by your validator?

    The validator may tell you what's wrong, but it never seems to be able to tell you what's happening.

    Magento’s modular backend brings with it a modular template system that minimizes the amount of (X)HTML you need to handle at once. That means less fuss for you so that you could focus on the truly important things in life.

  • magento newsThe Magento News Module by Commerce lab is a free module which allows you to display fully-fledged news on your website.

    The module has a number of flexible tuning options including the option to create categories, add comments to each news item, add pictures to news and a lot more.

    What's more, this extension can be used as a blog on your own website. The Magento News Extension will help you make your store more interactive and will keep visitors cognizant of the latest business updates, developments and achievments.

    An additional value to the extension is integration with social networks like Google+, Facebook and Twitter. Additionally, you can even upgrade the module to the Great News Module, an upgraded version which features more flexibility and customization possibilities.

    News Magento Extension Key Features:

    • The ability to create news categories and their sub-categories
    • The ability to bind each category to a particular store
    • Structural separation of news for a short and full description
    • The possibility to set a period of news publication (Publish From: Date, Hours, and Minutes; Publish until: Date, Hours and Minutes)
    • The possibility to set data on publishing (date/time/category)
    • The ability to add photos for each news article – both to the short and full description
    • The ability to set META-data for the news (keywords, description)
    • The possibility to leave comments on the news page
    • The ability to set access parameters to leave comments
    • The option of approving/blocking comments
    • Ajax pager for easy switching between comments
    • Integration with social networks: Google+, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn
    • Print version for every news for easy opportunity to print it out
    • RSS-feed for each news category
    • Usage of Magento WYSYWIG-editor for simple news editing
    • The ability to export News into CSV file
    • Possible upgrade to Great News Extension
    • Easy installation
    • Open source
    • Compatibility with the latest versions of Magento.
    • The ability to insert news as block with parameters in WYSYWIG-editor, such as
  • Paypal debit card

    Paypal debit card offers some incredible features for both the consumer and the business owner. As a Mastercard company, the options and locations the card can be used is almost limitless. Paypal debit card can stay in your wallet while you make your purchase on your phone. There are no fees while using the Paypal debit card in the US. There are minimal fees internationally.

    For any unauthorized purchase, the Paypal debit card has a zero liability policy. Instead of only getting particle money back, you will get all of it back. There is no annual fee and you can withdrawal money from any ATM. The debit card also offers a 1% cash back on certain items. There is a complete list of the items on the Paypal website.

    Paypal Debit Card Benefits with the Application

    The Paypal debit card is an easy to use on the Paypal application, downloadable for both Apple and Android users. The application has is partnered with many banks, so the consumer can add and store their cards in one convent location on the Paypal application.

    Once you download the application, is a simple two step process. First, you plug in your email addressing and password combination. Second, you find the business location and purchase. It's secure, so there is a constant reassurance that you are protected.

    You can buy online, in store or on your way to the store. If you pre-order, you can skip the line and automatically get your purchase as soon as you walk in.

    Sharing and sending money is also easy and free within the US. Internationally, the fee is between .5% and 2% per transfer. You can even send reminders to your family and friends for helping with different jobs.

    Paypal Debit Card Business Benefits

    Businesses pay the fees for consumers to use the Paypal debt card. However, the rate is rather low. Businesses pay, at most 2.9% per transactions. Having the partnership with Paypal creates more customers and more sales. The fee seems minimal when sales start to rise.

  • bluecherry erp

    BlueCherry Suite is an apparel software solution used to streamline operations, reduce costs, and effectively integrate supply chains. Commonly used by retailers in the apparel industry with both b2c and b2b components, BlueCherry includes a comprehensive suite of integrated solutions, such as ERP, PLM, BI, and EDI capabilities.

    The Magento BlueCherry Connector is able to connect both Magento and BlueCherry ERP seamlessly together in real time. 

    • Inventory Inquiry/Advice - Document 846 communicates inventory levels from BlueCherry to Magento; ensuring that Blue Cherry is the Inventory Master
    • Product Price Sales Catalog - Document 832 can be used to add products from BlueCherry to Magento. Additional information may need to be added to Magento, which is provided through our streamlined product import
    • Purchase Orders - Document 850 are used to pass orders from Magento to Blue Cherry including shipping, tax, and discount details as separate line items
    • Shipping Notice/Manifest - Document 856 is passed from Blue Cherry to Magento after fulfillment
    • Return Merchandise Authorization and Notification - Document 180 handles returns and provides full visibility for the customer through Magento

    More on Magento BlueCherry ERP

    All transactions are fully accounted for and visible in both systems. This allows for the greatest flexibility and reliability. The BlueCherry Magento module leverages the EDI standard. This basically means that Magento can be connected to BlueCherry ERP just like you would add any other EDI player.

    The Magento BlueCherry integration is largely standardized through the EDI format prescribed. However business logic can vary and can take different payment methods, payment terms, fulfillment times etc. etc. Our team will be able to review with you all your requirements and help you model your business flow with the BlueCherry Magento Module. All-in-all you could be up and running in less than one weeks time, run some intensive tests and be off to the races with one of the most seamless Magento ERP integrations on the market.

    If you think the Magento BlueCherry Connector is the right solution for your business, please check out our Magento BlueCherry Connector page, and give us a call.

  • GrouponGroupon has recently announced that they are releasing a new travel discovery app called Groupon Getaways, which will grant users access to more than 25,000 deals in destinations all around the world.

    The Getaways team in Seattle is responsible for the app that has been in development for roughly a year. Groupon's acquisition of European travel app Blink in September 2013 played a key role in its development, with Blink bringing in significant mobile and travel expertise to the company.

    In addition to Getaways, Groupon's Seattle hub also works on computational marketing and other parts of Groupon engineering.

    "The teams in Seattle are contributing to the evolution of Groupon, and in turn helping to shape and grow our mobile e-commerce marketplace," said Groupon spokesman Nicholas Halliwell, in an email.

    More On Groupon Getaways

    The app also features same-day bookings with mobile-only deals on hotels nearby with immediate availability.

    Users of the Getaway app that pick hotels in destinations selected by Groupon get five percent of the price back in the company’s imaginatively titled reward points, Groupon Bucks.

    When the company first added a presence in Seattle in August 2012 it had a few more than 20 employees at its offices at 505 Union Station. Groupon now occupies the second, third and sixth floors of the building with more than 200 employees.

    "We're looking to grow by about another 40 to 50 percent," Halliwell said. "We've found Seattle to be a great market for us to locate and grow these important Groupon functions because of the depth of available engineering talent and the entrepreneurial culture of the city."

    Getaways lets you browse by theme and select to search for deals in a specific area on the map to see hotel offers within 30 miles. You’ll also get access to 60 percent off flash deals on hotels and holiday packages.

    The app will be available for the iPhone and Android in the US and Canada.

  • amazon paymentsWith Amazon Payments, hundreds of millions of Amazon customers can pay on your site with the information already stored in their Amazon accounts.

    It's fast, easy and secure and helps you add new customers, increase sales, and reduce fraud costs. Leverage the trust of Amazon to grow your business. 

    • Trusted by Customers. Make Amazon's customers your customers with a simpler way to pay. Amazon buyers are highly satisfied with their payment experience on Amazon. Add Amazon Payments to your site and give them a familiar choice they already know and trust.
    • Increase sales. Capture sales you might otherwise miss from buyers who are reluctant to enter their credit card information. Increase buyer confidence and encourage new customers to buy on your site and return to buy again.
    • Proven Fraud Protection. Reduce your costs and protect your business with Amazon's proven fraud detection. Protect your business with the same sophisticated fraud detection technology used by Amazon at no additional cost.
    • No add-on fees, period. Help lower the total cost of accepting payments for your business with low, volume-based pricing: 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction, or less. You know up front what you will pay because there are no hidden fees or add-ons for monthly use, setup, cancellation or unused authorizations.

    Key Features of Checkout by Amazon

    • Shipping rates and Sales tax: Checkout by Amazon provides real-time shipping and sales tax calculation when customers place orders. It provides tools to easily configure the shipping and sales tax rates.
    • Promotions: Checkout by Amazon provides tools to create and offer customized promotions to your customers.
    • Order management: Checkout by Amazon provides tools to view, edit, settle, and cancel orders, search orders by date, download orders in a text file, and print shipping labels and packing slips.
    • Co-branded payment pages: You can co-brand the checkout pipeline hosted by Amazon Payments with your own logo.

    Key Benefits For Your Customers

    • Convenience: Customers can use the information in their Amazon.com account to complete purchases on your website without having to re-enter their shipping address or payment information. Customers can also place orders instantly using Amazon's patented 1-Click feature.
    • Trusted checkout experience: The secure and familiar checkout experience customers enjoy at Amazon.com is now available on your website.
    • Purchase protection for your customers: Your customers will feel more confident buying from your site knowing that they have the same protection under the Amazon A-to-z Guarantee that they have when they shop on Amazon.com.
  • To list your products on Google Shopping you must have both a Google Merchant Center account and an AdWords account. Note that our integration with Google Shopping only exports base products, not options. If you do need to list products and their options, take a look at these multichannel-listing apps.

    Mapping Your Categories in Google Shopping

     

    1. Go to Products › Product Categories.

    2. Check the box to the left of the categories you would like to map, then click Choose an action ›Bulk Update Google Product CategoriesMapping a parent category does not automatically map its subcategories; they must be mapped individually.

    google shopping

    3. Choose the Google Shopping Category that best represents your store's category.

    4. Click Choose This Category.

    5. Repeat this process for all of the categories that you wish to map.

    google shopping

     

    Enabling Your Products Individually

     

    1. Go to Products › View Products, then click the name of the product you'd like to edit.

    2. Click the Google Shopping tab.

    google shopping

     

    3. Select Enable Google Shopping, then select the appropriate category from the Category dropdown.

    google shopping

    4. Fill out the remaining information that is required for your product. Fields that are listed as (Optional) only indicate that the field is not required to list your products on your Bigcommerce store, however, they may be required in order to list with Google. See Google's Summary of Attribute Requirements to determine what information is necessary for your products.

    5. If your product is custom and doesn't have a UPC or EAN, check Custom Item.

    6. Save your changes.

    Enabling Your Products In Bulk

     

    1. Go to Products › Export Products.

    2. Select the Bulk Edit template, leave Export to Microsoft Excel (CSV) selected, and click Continue.

    google shopping

    3. Click the Export my products to a CSV file link, then click the Download my Products file link and save the file to your hard drive.

    4. Open your export file and navigate to the right-most columns where you will find column headers that begin with GPS. These are the columns that you will need to edit for your products to be enabled.

    • GPS Global Trade Item Number — A global trade number associated with this product. In North America, this will be the UPC. In Europe, this will be the EAN.
    • GPS Manufacturer Part Number — A manufacturer part number is used to reference and identify a product using a manufacturer specific naming convention other than GTIN.
    • GPS Gender — The gender of the customer the product is marketed to. This is required for all apparel items in feeds that target the US, UK, DE, FR, and JP.
    • GPS Age Group — The target age group for your product.
    • GPS Color — The color of your product.
    • GPS Size — Indicates the size of your product.
    • GPS Material — The material or fabric that your product is made out of.
    • GPS Pattern — The pattern or graphic print featured on your product.
    • GPS Item Group ID — All items that are color/material/pattern/size variants of the same product must have the same item group id. If you have a 'Parent SKU' that is shared by all variants of a product, you can provide that as the value for 'item group id'.
    • GPS Category — The category (in your store) that you would like to have associated with your product.
    • GPS Enabled — Enable (Y) or Disable (N) your product from being exported in your Google Shopping Feed.

    5. Add a Y to the GPS Enabled column, then enter all relevant information for your products into the GPS columns listed above.

    6. Once you have completed your CSV file, save and re-import it into your store.

    Creating a Data Feed in Google

     

    1. Log in to your Google Merchant Center account.

    2. From the menu on the left, select Data feeds, then click + Data Feed.

    3. Select or enter the following settings.

    • Mode — Standard
    • Feed Type — Products
    • Target country — Select your country.
    • Content language — English
    • Feed name — Choose a descriptive name that helps you understand the content of the feed. The feed name does not need to match the name of the actual file you're submitting.

    4. Click Continue.

    5. Select an Upload Method, then click Continue.

    • Automatic upload — Choose this method if you'd like to create a schedule for Google to automatically download the feed from your store and upload it to your account for you.
    • Regular Uploads by merchant — Choose this method if you'd like to manually download your feed file from your store, and manually upload it to your Google Merchant Center account.

    Submitting Your Products to Google

    AUTOMATIC UPLOAD

    If you selected Automatic Upload above, follow these steps.

    1. Enter a filename in the field labeled What is the name of the file you will upload?. Enter any filename ending in .xmlFor example, google_shopping_feed.xml.

    2. Select a Fetch Frequency (how often Google should download your feed file), Fetch Time (the time of day Google should download your feed file), and your Timezone.

    3. In your Bigcommerce control panel, go to Marketing › Google Shopping Feed.

    4. Select your country from the Choose a Country drop-down.

    5. Copy the feed file URL from the grey box at the bottom of the pop-up window.

    google shopping

    6. In your Google Merchant Center account, paste the copied URL into the Feed URL field, then click Save.

    REGULAR UPLOADS BY MERCHANT

    If you selected Regular Uploads by merchant above, follow these steps.

    1. Enter a filename in the field labeled What is the name of the file you will upload?. Enter any filename ending in .xmlFor example, google_shopping_feed.xml.

    2. In your Bigcommerce control panel, go to Marketing › Google Shopping Feed.

    3. Select your country from the Choose a Country drop-down.

    4. Click the Export my products to a Google feed file link.

    5. Click the Download my Google Shopping Feed file link, and save the feed file to your hard drive.

    6. In your Google Merchant Center account, select Manually upload a file now.

    7. Click Select file, and select your previously downloaded feed file.

    8. Click Save.

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