Monthly Archives: January 2015

  • future of ecommerce

    Hello, Magentians, ecommerceheads... Whatever it is you kids like to be called these days. 

    Since ecommerce is an ever-changing field, it's tough to predict its future.

    However, we've listed ten of our predictions for the future of ecommerce below... And if you disagree with any of them, you're always free to drop one of your au contraire messages below.

    1. More Custom Design

    With more and more companies these days now allowing customers to represent themselves through customer designs, it's likely that the trend will continue...

    NikeiD lets customers design their own shoes, and customers can buy an interchangeable face and strap at Modify Watches. This trend of custom designs and interchangeability will let customers truly express themselves through their clothing, leading for a more powerful trend in the near future.

    2. More Custom... Everything

    Clothes, shoes, glasses and just about everything we thought would never move fully online will all be online. The reason is simple: why leave the comfort of your own when you can get something custom-made to your exact size for less? This is certainly the way of the future.

    3. Virtual Sizing

    The hassle of trying on various sizes will decrease as video quality improves and we're able to measure snad size clothes from the comfort home.

    Because brands vary widely in size charts, it will be even more important for profit margins to avoid returns and exchanges for color, style, design, and fit.

    As a bonus, this same technology will be a boost to the fitness industry as consumers can see their bodies change (For better or worse) from one fitting to the next.

    4. Personalized Brands

    With so much data available now about customers, the e-commerce companies that care enough about their clients to personalize their communication will win the day.

    That means every element of the messaging will be personalized, from the on-site experience to social targeting and especially email. In five years, the communication you receive around shopping will all be rooted in your behavior, demographic and psychographic data.

    5. 3D Printing for Clothing

    Sooner or later, 3D printing will be mainstream—and when it is, we will be able to print our own clothes. How cool would that be? We can even print clothes according to our sizes. You'll be able to walk into any clothing store you want and pick out the fabric of your choosing, then have the machine print out your shirts for you.

    6. Adding Human Elements That Sell

    Although many websites do remember your name (Hi "insert username", welcome back!), the last item you purchased, or suggest additional items you may want, the experience as a whole is still somewhat predictable, cold and calculated. Despite all the bells and whistles, most ecommerce websites are still not much more than electronic catalogs. Completely lacking is the human element; the element that sells to you, or convinces you to change your mind.

    7. Virtual Sizing

    The hassle of trying on various sizes will decrease as video quality improves and we're able to measure and size clothes from the comfort home.

    Because brands vary widely in size charts, it will be even more important for profit margins to avoid returns and exchanges for color, style, design, and fit.

    As a bonus, this same technology will be a boost to the fitness industry as consumers can see their bodies change (for better or worse) from one fitting to the next.

    8. Shopping Experience Convergence

    As Internet shopping became prominent in the '90s, there was a distinct line drawn between brick-and-mortar and Internet retailers. As brick-and-mortar stores started seeing sales slip, they plunged headfirst into the Internet, thus creating click-and-mortar operations. This blurred the lines between physical and virtual retailers.

    9. Algorithmic Recommendations

    Amazon's product suggestions are great because they have so much aggregate data. But they don't have enough data about me from other services and products I own. If they did, I could get an amazing aggregate view of what's relevant to me based on a more complete profile.

    10. 360-Degree Customer Engagement

    It takes six to ten "touches" before consumers buy from a brand. Today's customers are experiencing your product or service across platforms — from mobile, Web, physical, media and referral sources. We can expect to engage consumers where they are and carry that experience across platforms for each of those first half-dozen touches. A customer may first experience your brand from a personal referral, but then may explore on mobile or a tablet before doing a deep dive on the Web.

  • Shopify Vs Magento: Which One's the Better Pick?

    shopify vs magentoOkay, those of you who have been on our blog for a while are probably in the know-how that Magento and Shopify are two of the big names as far as e-commerce platforms go. And while we're constantly pushing Magento on you guys (we are a Magento company after all), we're willing to step back and provide an objective analysis on each platform and let you be the judge.

    The Benefits of Shopify

     

    Shopify has over 100,000 users, and powers everything from small local boutique stores to massive online shopping malls. The platform has built-in speed and security for hosting, integrated payments that allow you to add and remove products, and great customer support.

    For marketing campaigns, Shopify also allows you to quickly and easily create landing pages, which is a key differentiating factor between other all-in-one platforms (and some DIY platforms).

    As for SEO, Shopify creates 100% crawlable, clean code. They allow custom title tags, and meta descriptions, even on collections, in addition to other essentials like WebMaster Tools, sitemaps, and the prevention of duplicate content.

    Other perks include a customizable site set-up, CMS product management, and new order notifications sent directly to your email and to your mobile phone.

    The Benefits of Magento

     

    Like Shopify, Magento has plenty of add-ons avaiilable for it, as well as a wide array of customization. Additionally, Magento is known for being user-friendly, and low on cost (in fact, the Community version is free). Magento has a wide community of users who have developed many extensions and plugins, and can help with support at any time.

    Magento's templating architecture allows you to customize pretty much everything so you can create your site exactly as how you want it. The software is open source so you have full control over the code so you can develop the functionality you need.

    The platform was built with SEO efficiency in mind, giving your products a better chance to appear on Google, Bing, and beyond. There’s also plenty of room for custom SEO implementations for those who have the knowledge and skills to do so.

    Closing Thoughts

     

    There you go, an objective overview of both platforms (we told you we can do it).

    At the end of the day, readers, the choice is yours in regard to which one you want to go with... But if you make the choice to go with Magento, Hara's always here for you.

  • ecommerce company3 Strategies Your Ecommerce Company Should Borrow from Amazon

    A lot of companies envy the big dog... And Amazon has been the big dog for quite a long time. But instead of envying the competition, why not learn from it?

    The big dog can be a great guide as any to model yourself on. Here are three online shopping techniques from Amazon that should be utilized by every retailer to provide consumers with an unbeatable shopping experience.

    1) Free Shipping

    UPS and comScore have reported that 58% of shoppers abandoned their cart because shipping costs exceeded the cost of total purchase.

    In other words, the number one reason why more than half of your consumers aren't converting is based solely on the cost of shipping; it's not always easy or cheap to offer free shipping to customers, but ultimately it can be a financially effective decision.

    A simple way to do this without losing profit is to pinpoint your average order value and average shipping costs, and offer free shipping on a minimum purchase amount that covers your average shipping cost and provides enough profit to increase your average order value.

    You can also combine strategies to reduce the cost of free shipping, like bundling or shipping in envelopes, too.

    2) Onsite product reviews

    Extensive online product research has become a crucial part of the buying process for consumers: a whopping 88% of consumers reportedly research products online before purchasing. The online shopper's attention span is short, and if they go off-site to search for product reviews, there's a good chance they won't return. Additionally, including product reviews on-site might be effective in attracting the customers of your competition.

    3) Cross-selling related products

    The cross-sell is a very important ecommerce strategy for increasing that all-important average order value. Amazon is fantastic at this: each product for sale includes a 'customers who bought this item also bought' section.  A shopper with a specific product need is unlikely to doa  deep dive into your assortment after they've found what they're looking for.

    In order to be successful in the highly competitive retail indusry, it's imperative that independent retailers adopt some of the successful strategies utilized by top tier ecommerce sites like Amazon.

  • magento twitter feed

    Twitter is a great social tool for connecting with people, but many marketers miss the point as far as how useful it is to market to customers.

    Promoting your Magento store via Twitter can be a useful way to promote your business. On Twitter, you can post updates for a featured product, promotion, or event that your business is having.

    Twitter also provides a very straightforward API implementation, and can be very lenient in terms of bandwidth. Wit a basic account setup, you can even run 1,000 updates per day.

    Since so many people are becoming members of Twitter each day, it is definitely a great platform to look for prospective clients and get linked with them. Listed below are a few features.

  • You can enable and disable Extension


  • You can manage number of Tweets

  • You can add your own Magento twitter feed URL

  • Linkup # and @ tags from your Magento Twitter Feed

  • You can show Follow twitter button too

  • It's having an Options for open the links in same or in new window

  • You can choose to display the latest Tweets in left or right sidebar of your Magento store
  • Tweeting: Ideas for your store's tweets

    If you look at other businesses on Twitter, you'll see that there are a number of ways to promote your store on Twitter without losing followers by being too "spammy".

  • Some companies give voucher codes to Twitter followers—a good way to entice new customers
  • Others use Twitter to host competitions for free items—a good way to reward existing customers
  • You can also release products to your Twitter followers before releasing them to other customers
  • Displaying your Twitter updates on your Magento store

    Twitter can be a powerful tool for your store on its own, but you can integrate Twitter with your Magento store to drive existing customers to your Twitter account, which can help to generate repeat customers.

  • Magento and DL Prime

    Magento DL Prime Integration allows you to connect your Magento webstore into the DL Prime 2000/3000 ERP. This ERP allows you to manage your reseller and consumer stores centrally. It also allows you to import product and customer data. You can also provide customers with real-time pricing and stock availability data as well as set customer specific pricing in your webstore.

    Features include:

  • Import of products and items from ERP as batch
  • Real-time integration of customers, customer specific pricing and product availability
  • Real-time transport of orders to ERP including payment
  • Creation of customers in ERP
  • Fetch customer-specific order history from ERP
  • Fetch customer-specific order history from ERP
  • Magento and DL Prime Orders

    Orders and sales are the live blood of every business, and we take all order information very seriously.

    The process starts with complete audit trails capturing every last detail about every order placed to a fully customized order logic. Magento Dl Prime Integration can support every default scenario. And if you have special order requirements, our expert staff can consult with you and help ensure all information is captured and communicated correctly.

    Magento DL Prime Integration also handles order comments and modifications to orders. Its main strength is streamlining orders and order flow, and providing full visibility toward the customer and you and your customer service staff.

    Shipping

    Shipping methods and shipping rates can be setup in Magento to reflect your business realities in DL Prime Integration. Are you using UPS WorldShip and have it seamlessly integrated with your system? No problem, we'll just add Magento to the mix and make sure that it reflects all shipping conditions and rules that you require. Do you want to pass on your amazingly low shipping rates to your customers or do you use other ways to streamline your shipping process? All shipping information is fully transparent in both systems, and you can service your customers from DL Prime as well as they can view all information in Magento.

    For more information, check out our Magento and DL Prime Integration page.

  •  

    What The Google Trusted Stores Program Can Do For Your Business

     

    Want your business to assure customers that it is a great place to shop?  Then, you should seriously consider signing up to the Google Trusted Stores program.

     

    What is the Google Trusted Stores Program?

    If your business registers to the Google Trusted Stores Program, then your eCommerce store will be awarded with a Google Trusted Store badge.  This badge shows that your business is Google Certified.  This highlights your business’s fantastic customer service and the reliable delivery times of its shipping service.  A Google Trusted Store badge will also place stress on positive customer reviews.

     

    What can a Google Trusted Store badge do for you?

    A Google Trusted Store badge highlights the good features of your company which will increase the confidence of new customers to shop at your site.  This trust will increase sales and profit.  Google Trusted Stores can also help you qualify for seller ratings in AdWords and Google Shopping.  Seller ratings let your customers know that you provide an excellent shopping experience which is a huge advantage for attracting new customers and increasing sales.  To qualify for this, Google Stores will collect customer reviews of your business.  If successful, seller ratings will appear in a chart rating the experience your eCommerce business provides from 1 to 5 stars.  1 star being poor, and 5 stars being fantastic.

    Google Trusted Stores can also increase the amount of visitors to your site using review extensions.  Review extensions are displayed the line below your AdWords ads.  They contain snappy, positive information about your service.

    The badge can increase the conversion rate on your website.  Conversion rate is simply transforming the number of site visitors into paying customers.  Plus, more customer attention will increase average order size and create higher profit.

    Many businesses with Google Trusted Stores badges have been successful.  For example, Lancaster pet supply store 'That Pet Place" was awarded a Google Trusted Stores badge for their commitment to provide fantastic customer service and impressively quick delivery times.  The Google Trusted Store badge helps 'That Pet Place' attract new customers and gain their trust to buy at its online store.  Find out how the Google Trusted Store badge has helped them at:  http://www.thatpetplace.com/google-trusted-store

    Bare Necessities is a women's lingerie site which has also benefited from its Google Trusted Store badge.  It promotes a hassle-free returns policy and expert fit advice in their product information section.  A Google Trusted Stores badge can help both small and large businesses increase sales.

    No matter what your business specializes in, the Google Trusted Stores Program can really help you increase sales and public attention.  The best part?  It is completely free.  All you have to do is sign up at:  http://www.google.com/trustedstores/for-businesses/

    For more information about the process involved in signing up to the program, visit: https://support.google.com/trustedstores/answer/1669761?hl=en

     

  • e-commerce solutions

    Launching an online store can be a simple thing—if you know what you're doing.

    Thankfully there are many tools online that will set you on the right track. So if it's been your dream to sell online, now is the time—here are 15 e-commerce solutions to help you get started.

    1) Symphony Commere

    Don't want to hire an IT team to manage your online store? No problem.

    Symphony Commerce is a commerce-as-service provider that handles all the back office, infrastructure and IT aspects of running an e-commerce business, so that you can focus on selling products and growing your brand.

    It takes care of everything from servers to warehouses, and provides a one-stop-shop for inventory and storefront management, marketing, order fulfillment and shipping.

    The service also includes responsive Web design, so your online store looks just as great on smartphones and tables as it does on a desktop.

    2) CommerceHub

    Finding suppliers is never easy. The issue with suppliers is that are already wary of working with new online stores, and the lack of brand recognition makes it hard for e-commerce startups to compete with large retailers that already have longstanding relationships with them.

    CommerceHub, a merchandising and fulfillment platform, connects online retailers with suppliers and large retailers that channel their products to smaller online stores. This service essentially makes you the middleman between the supplier and the customer, meaning you won't need to find wholesale suppliers and invest in a warehouse to manage your own inventory.

    3) Ocoos

    As it turns out, e-commerce isn't only for retailers. Non-merchants can sell their services online, as well.

    Ocoos offers an expanded e-commerce platform specifically for small service-based businesses. In addition to its DIY website builder—which lets businesses create a professional website with no tech skills required—Ocoos also provides streamlined back-office administrative tools to easily manage customers and sales. This includes customer relationship management (CRM) integration, social media tools and appointment scheduling, as well as sales tracking, report generation and the ability to export QuickBooks and Excel data.

    4) PayStand

    PayStand is a payments service which gives businesses access to a new model for payment transactions, saving businesses as much as 75% over traditional methods.

    PayStand also bridges the gap for accepting Bitcoin for mainstream businesses. With features like multiple payment options, fixed monthly costs, web design and automatically generated social network links, this easy-to-setup system can get business prepared for online payments in minutes.

    5) Vee24

    e-commerce solutions

    Vee24 is an online customer engagement platform which utilizes video technology to allow online retailers to engage with their customers as well as answer any questions and concerns seamlessly.

    Vee24 offers three products—VeeStudio, VeeChat and VeeKiosk—which are geared to make customer service simple and successful and to impact key business metrics such as online conversion and customer loyalty.

  • magento retailpro connector
    Magento RetailPro Connector combines point of sale, store operations, CRM, inventory management, merchandising, and accounting systems in a software platform that streamlines back-office processes and increases efficiencies. The system is geared towards retailers seeking a scalable, configurable and easy-to-use infrastructure to support growth.

    The software provides a number of measurable tools, including stock rebalancing, SKU tracking and item performance metrics, for retailers to fine-tune their businesses and track against key performance indicators (KPIs) within the application.

    Why Modern Retail?

    We’ve integrated hundreds of POS and ERP systems and we know what it takes to have a successful integration. We provide a complete Integration Solution whether we develop your Magento website or not; that’s why we install our integrator and do the initial import of data, making sure the attributes are mapped correctly – as well as provide you with full ongoing support. We work closely with Retail Pro as well as Magento, so that you have the best integration possible.

    Product Specialties/Features:

  • POS - Automatically calculates and adds sales tax, accepts payments in multiple tenders (cash, check, credit, debit, gift card), allow customer info tracking, employee sales tracking, complete discounts/offers/special promotions, and allows for voids or returns.
  • Inventory Management - The system updates inventory instanaeously with every purchase of return allowing for real-time view of all levels. Maintain vendors, departments, items, styles, colors, sizes, SKUs, serial numbers, costs, prices, counts, and even item images.

  • Purchase Order/Receiving Management - Preset your minimum and maximum stock levels for automatic notices to reorder inventory; or set for auto PO creation to even further simplify maintaining your inventory.
  • Price Management - Multiple price levels, suggested pricing, and time-based price changes are all possible.
  • Employee Management - Secure login and monitoring, position-based security levels, cashier tracking, commission tracking, clocking in/out, tracking absencees/tardies, and managing employee performance or productivity.
  • Where Do I Buy This?

    Now that you know the deal, you can find out more about the Retail Pro Connector on our solutions page.

    This entry was posted in Magento on January 22, 2015 by Mai Erne.

  • bergen logistics integration

    Bergen Logistics Integration is a leading fashion logistics provider and is on the forefront of advanced technology solutions, differentiating us from our competitors.  Our journey began by providing order fulfillment, warehousing & distribution, and pick & pack services for high-end fashion clients in RTW, outerwear, sportswear, dresses, footwear, handbags and accessories. While we began, and continue to grow in, the niche of fashion logistics, we are also expanding into other areas such as toy fulfillment, media fulfillment, home furnishing fulfillment, and more!

    With our Garment On Hanger speed-rail, Bombay sorter, and auto conveyor, we are able to process orders quickly and efficiently for the traditional B to B distribution as well as for ecommerce order  fulfillment. Additionally, our clients are able to take advantage of our web-based warehouse management system, REX11, to view pick ticket status, receivings, and inventory levels. Although we lead with technology, our clients never lose that human touch with a fully staffed customer service department in each facility.

    Our warehouse management system provides our clients with virtual visibility of goods with 3 points of scanning for each item and is available to view 24/7. This technology, coupled with our pick & pack services provides a quick and efficient service with a margin of error below industry standards.

    Bergen Logistics Integration Features

    • Automatic email notification when goods are scanned into Rex11 as inventory.
    • Inventory feed and shipping files are automatically exported from Rex11 nightly.
    • Live transmission of pick tickets to Rex11.
    • Live status updates of all inventory movement.
    • Integration with many different ERP systems.
    • Integration with Magento, Shopify, Brandboom, Core Commerce, and more.
    • Proprietary in-house warehouse management system, REX 11,  with our own development team. This means that we are always upgrading and improving.
    • Reverse logistics to process returns and re-stock your inventory as necessary.
    • Special projects and value-added services available when special care is needed.

    For more information, check out our Bergen Logistics Integration page.

  • magento 3pl integration

     

    Magento 3PL integration is a powerful subscription-based integration-as-a-service product providing a real-time integration between NetSuite and any third-party fulfillment center or logistics provider.

    Powered by our Magento Integrator, the 3PL Connector runs entirely within your NetSuite account.

    Communicate efficiently with your 3PL Provider

    • Exports designated sales orders and purchase orders to your 3PL provider
    • Exports return authorization from NetSuite to your 3PL provider
    • Imports shipment confirmation, item receipt confirmation, and inventory adjustments to NetSuite
    • Handles partial fulfillments and multiple packages automatically
    • Schedules email notification for error reporting

    Additional Information

    • More than 50 successful integrations completed with DHL, UPS, Newgistics and others
    • Serves direct industries, including healthcare, power, print, toys, manufacturing and nonprofits
    • Compatible with CSV, XML, JSON and numerous other data transfer formats
    • Built on Celigo Integrator and includes a dashboard to monitor events
    • Provides options for Custom Business Logic as needed (Fees may apply)

    Powered by the Integrator

    Each of our connectors is powered by our Integrator platform—a robust REST-based integration middleware built right into the NetSuite platform.

    You can use this very same Integrator platform to integrate your critical business processes by building out your required custom Data Flows between NetSuite and other SaaS or on-premise software applications.

    Magento 3PL Integration - Final Thoughts

    Many factors go into making the right choice of shopping cart and 3PL systems. Choosing any software solution always begins with a thorough evaluation of your business requirements and clear statement of business objectives. Features and functions provided by various packages and 3PL services should be mapped to business objectives and requirements.

    Integration should always be among these feature considerations. Prebuilt integration “connectors”—typically provided by the vendor—can minimize time spent integrating specific functions. This saves time and money. However, they can also limit the functionality either today or down the road as needs evolve. This dependence on the vendor should be evaluated against the time saved utilizing a pre-built solution.

    To find out more about the Magento 3PL integration, check out our Magento 3PL integration page.

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