Monthly Archives: March 2015

  • Using 301 redirects in Magento indicates that a page has moved permanently. This practice is often used after a site migration, most importantly to avoid the irritating 404 page not found errors.

    Aside from being frustrating to the visitor, losing valuable search results and old links pointing to pages that have new URLs is very costly and detrimental for your e-commerce store.

    How to Create 301 Redirects in Magento:

    1. Log in to the Magento Admin Panel

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    2. Find “Catalog” in the top navigation, hover over it for the drop box, click on "URL Rewrite Management."

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    3. Right under the top navigation, on the upper right hand side, there should be an orange button that says “Add URL Rewrite.” Click on it.

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    4. Beside "Create URL Rewrite," find "custom" in the drop-down menu.

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    Fill out the following URL Rewrite Information form.

    For the ID Path and the Request Path fields, insert your old URL:

    i.e.: oldexampleurl.html

    For the Target Path, add your new URL:

    i.e.: newexampleurl.html

    Lastly, for Redirect, choose: "Permanent (301)"

    The Description field is meant for notes to your own team if you want to document when these URL rewrites in Magento took place and why.

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  • breadcrumbs

    What are breadcrumbs? When we hear the term, we might think about the trails we used to make for the pigeons when we were younger. This wouldn't be a far-off guess, because the origin of the term actually does come from the Hansel and Gretel fairy tale in which the two children drop breadcrumbs to form a trail back to their home.

    But fairy tales aside, the technical definition of breadcrumbs is a type of secondary navigation scheme that reveals the user's location in a website or Web application. They're convenient because they allow users to keep track of their locations within programs or documents.

    So if you go on most pages on a website—such as ours—you should see the breakdown as follows:

    Home page > Section page > Subsection page

    In Magento, the way to notify the server where you want the breadcrumbs to be is through the Page IDs Path.

    breadcrumbs

    Notice how in our screenshot example, you can probably guess where the home page, the section page, and the subsection page is just by seeing the numbers breakdown. (And if not, here's a hint: they're all placed linearly.)

     When Should I Use Breadcrumbs?

     

    You should use breadcrumb navigation for large websites and websites that have hierarchically arranged pages. E-commerce websites are a great example, because oftentimes they'll feature a large variety of products is grouped into logical categories.

    Don't use breadcrumbs for single-level websites that have no logical hierarchy or grouping. A great way to determine if a website would benefit from breadcrumb navigation is to construct a site map or a diagram representing the website’s navigation architecture, and then analyze whether breadcrumbs would improve the user’s ability to navigate within and between categories.

    Breadcrumb navigation should be regarded as an extra feature and shouldn’t replace effective primary navigation menus. It’s a convenience feature; a secondary navigation scheme that allows users to establish where they are; and an alternative way to navigate around your website.

  • store manager for magento

     

    Hey Magenticians! We've implemented some new features in Store Manager for Magento that you might find exciting.

    Store Manager for Magento is designed to quickly and effectively manage your Magento online store. Designed to enhance the functionality of default admin web interface, Store Manager for Magento also offers cool new features, automates routine tasks and simplifies day-to-day operations.

    Store Manager for Magento is easy-to-use application with simple installation. Our user-friendly wizard allows you to select a few options like: to create a shortcut or not, install plugins and report tool or not —basically all you need to do is simply click on the next button. So it doesn't require any special skills to run and you can concentrate on your basic business tasks.

    Other Features for Store Manager for Magento

     

    Other features of Store Manager for Magento include ultimate management of your Magento attributes (attribute groups are available and can all be edited in the same window). And did we also mention multilanguage support? This feature allows you to manage all languages in your online store.

    The Customers Management section also provides you the opportunity to add, edit or remove customers. Secure connections are ensured by SSH support, and the Store Manager for Magento package also comes installed with a Database Backup/Restore option, which is aimed at helping users to ensure data safety before performing bulk operations.

    Overall, Store Manager for Magento offers you many great options that come installed with our package. Send us a contact inquiry below if you'd like to hear more information.

    World Class Support

     

    Some companies can install your software, and then leave you dead in the water, scrambling around and scratching your head in terms of what you do. We understand. Not everyone is a tech-savvy software guru like some of our programmers. You don't need to worry, though, because we'll have your back.

    Our IT guys are on 24/7 to help you install your package, as well as respond to any queries that you have once everything is up and running. Remember: just because the software is easy-to-use, it doesn't mean that you won't have any questions. Call us, and let us know what they might be. We're the experts.

    Please check out our Store Manager for Magento page for more information.

  • magento bluecherryHara Partners provides the most streamlined Magento BlueCherry ERP integration in the market. Working closely with the Magento BlueCherry ERP has been a great success and allows Hara Partners to provide a streamlined solution.

    BlueCherry® by CGS is one of the leading technologies for the apparel and fashion industry. BlueCherry® offers an entire suite of solutions tailored to the apparel life-cycle, from concept over manufacturing to fulfillment. Incorporating all aspects of the fashion industry BlueCherry® helps greatly streamline operations. With a proven track record to reduce cost and increase productivity BlueCherry® is a clear winner.

    Integrate Magento with BlueCherry® in less than 2 weeks

    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.

    More On BlueCherry

    Like most fashion, apparel and consumer goods industry professionals, you are constantly challenged to meet fast-changing consumer demand for more innovative products and more frequent product releases. Yet you are also tasked with reducing costs and cycle times, and to generally doing more with less.

    How do brands, manufacturers and retailers streamline operations to deliver products in today's omnichannel business environment?

    The BlueCherry® Enterprise Suite brings together the broadest collection of fully integrated solutions, including apparel ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) software and fashion PLM (Product Lifecycle Management) software, to support your specific needs and challenges. Covering your entire concept-to-consumer process, this award-winning all-in-one software solution enables you to save time, control costs, increase productivity, and gain visibility and control over your entire in-house and supply chain operations.

  • e-commerce solution

    The best e-commerce solution lets you customize everything from your website's design to your storefront's interface and background processes. This allows you to create an online store that looks and works exactly the way you want it to, while aking your life easier by simplifying your e-commerce business. 

    Why Magento?

    Magento is the most flexible full-featured e-commerce solution available to all types of businesses. Since it's an open-source software, you can use it as-is out of the box, tweak it with slight changes or completely tailor it to your business's needs. 

    The software offers endless customizations through thousands of plug-ins and extensions available in the Magento community, from third-party sources or even your own developers. And because it's so flexible, Magento is fully scalable to grow and change as your business does.

    Whether you need basic e-commerce features for your online store or advanced options to accommodate growth, Magento has a solution for your business.

    A Cost-Effective E-Commerce Solution

    E-Commerce business owners who use Magento praise the software's cost-effectiveness. You no longer have to pay for monthly subscriptions like with other e-commerce software choices, which typically limits things like the number of products, users and transactions available to you.

    From free versions of the software to free and paid plug-ins and extensions, Magento can get your online store up and running at little to no cost.

    Magento offers different types of solutions to fit your business. For many small businesses, Magento Community can be a great way to get started with the software. This free version of Magento is fully supported by a community of Magento users who can help you modify the software for your business. You can also host this open-source software on your own server, giving you more choices to fit your Web-hosting budget and control your back-end processes.

  • discounts and coupons

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Discounts and coupons are powerful marketing tools that allow you to give your clients special offers on products or categories, allowing wholesalers to purchase at special rates, providing incentives through your offline advertising or help clear 'difficult to sell' stock amongst many other uses.

    What Are the Differences Between a Coupon and Discount?

    The key differences between a coupon and a discount is that a coupon requires a special code to be entered during the checkout phase, whereas a discount will apply to all of your website visitors, as long as the conditions you can set below are met.

    Coupons are therefore espescially useful for promotions in magazines or other forms of advertising.

    Coupon / Discount Effect

    You can choose between Free Standard Shipping, Flate Rate discount or percentage discount. You can set up more than one coupon or discount at a time to have combinations of these.

    A flat rate discount would be 20% off if you spend over $150 on our store.

    A percentage discount would be '5% discount on all our goods.'

    Working Name

    You have to assign a name or phrase to the discount you create. This text will also be shown to your website visitors to inform them of the discounts available so it should be meaningful and short.

    Some examples of a 'Working Name' would be 'Free Standard Shipping on orders of $35 or more,' '10% discount if you by 3 or more products from our store.' You can also remove the text that appears on the store with this addition in your includes.asp file.

    Coupon Code

    If you're creating a coupon, you will need to assign a coupon code. This is the code your website users will need to enter to access the discount.

    FOr instance, if your coupon code is GH777733D then in your magazine advertising you could put the following 'Special offer' for readers of this magazine. Enter the code GH777733D during checkout to receive a 5% discount.

    Number Available

    With some promotions you may want to limit the number available. For instance, '5% discount to the first 50 people who purchase.' If you do not want to limit the number available, just leave the field blank.

  • A small e-commerce business owner can assume many functions — from marketing, sales, human resources, information technology, and research and development. Fortunately, there are some terrific online tools to help you perform just about any company task.

    Below, we've compiled a list of online tools to help you run a small e-commerce business. There are tools to schedule customers, collaborate with a team, manage social conversations, distribute content, build and analyze websites, and more. All of these tools are relatively inexpensive, and several are even free. If your favorite tool isn't listed, be sure to include it in our comments below.

    Slack

    e-commerce business

    Slack is an internal messaging app for your team. Slack features real-time messaging, file sharing, one-to-one and group conversations, online images and video, rich link summaries and integration with services you use every day. 

    What's the Cost?

    Free account for 5 integrations and 10k message searchable archive. Paid plans start at $6.67 per usual per month.

    Asana

    Asana is a tool for team tasks and conversations. Organize your tasks into shared projects for your initiatives, meetings, and lists. Keep conversation with tasks, instead of scattered across email. Get automatic updates about tasks that matter to you. Visualize your team's goals and milestones with calendars and dashboards.

    What's the Cost?

    Get started for free. Paid plans start at $21 per month for 5 users.

    Wave

    Wave offers a platform of financial applications, for small e-commerce businesses with nine employees or less. The tools include invoicing, accounting, payroll, payments, and more.

    What's the Cost?

    Accounting, invoicing, receipts, and personal finance applications are free. Payroll application starts at $9 per month, payments application is 30 cents plus 2.9 percent per transaction.

    Insightly

    e-commerce business

     

    Insightly is a customer-relationship management system for small e-commerce businesses. It helps you manage contacts, organizations, partners, vendors, and suppliers. The tool allows you to see everything about your contacts, including their background, email history, important dates, and projects in which they've participated.

    Insightly also incorporates project management features, such as creating tasks and milestones, automated reminders, project views, and event reports.

    What's the Cost?

    Free up to three users. Standard plan is $7 per user per month.

     

    Trello

    e-commerce business 5

    Trello is a collaboration tool to organize projects. Trello uses boards, lists, and cards to create projects and develop your workflow. Create lists filled with cards, used with a team or by you. Drag and drop cards, and reorder as needed. Follow your project as the board updates in real time.

    What's the Cost?

    Free. Premium plan is $5 per user per month.

  • How To Tell If People Are Finding My Business

    finding your business

    So your company website has been up for a while now, but you're probably wondering to know: who's actually looking at it?

    No matter which company is hosting your website, chances are they've set you up with a decent set of backend tools which you can use to see all of the statistics on your website, including traffic. However, if your host isn't the most reliable provider of the information you seek, you should never shy away from outside sources.

    What's Your Alexa Rank?

    alexa

    Alexa is a great tool to see how your website stacks up among other websites. New businesses are always disappointed to see that their Alexa rank is unbelievably low, if not altogether invisible. You should always check Alexa to see how you're doing. Keep an Excel spreadsheet and document your ranking so you can see the results on a day-by-day basis.

    Google Yourself

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    This might sound pretty obvious, but if you're not Googling yourself on a regular basis, you're not going to see how you're stacking up against your competitors. This example can't be illustrated any better than through our initial screenshot. We're an e-commerce consulting company, so clearly we're going to be typing in 'e-commerce' into Google on a regular basis. So if you sell hardware, you're going to want to type in 'hardware.' If you sell headphones, then you need to type in 'headphones,' and see how your headphones store is doing. If you're on page 3, hey, you're moving on up. If you're on page 12, then maybe you have a lot of work ahead of you.

    These are all the basics that even a non-techie should know... If you want to dig deeper, you should definitely read some SEO guides online. Keep educating yourself so you can stay ahead of the game, and then slowly you'll see your business succeed.

  • email marketing

    Email marketing can be a very integral facet in running an ecommerce business. Most business owners can underestimate its importance, which is why we're here to offer you several steps, and hopefully with these in mind you'll be able to engage your customers in ways that you never thought were possible.

    1. Re-examine your preference strategy

     

    Most marketers don't take the time to get to know their customers. You might want to build a preference page who ask them about their channel preferences, where you can also inform them about your social media outlets.

     2. Track your reports

     

    In addition to looking at each marketing campaign's preference, you should also be tracking consumer interaction with your messages over a period of time. One good way to do this is by tracking consumers over three to five campaigns and roll up their numbers.  That way, a conversion after a series of campaigns can be much more relevant than a click for just one.

    3. Synchronize and correct your data

     

    Many business have multiple sources of consumer data; make sure that your data is updated, and easily accessible to all channels. A simpler way to audit is to check if your 'other sources' of data match up with the master source of data.

    4. Optimizing for mobile

     

    It's not enough to just transfer your laptop messages into a smartphone. Make sure the messages are properly optimized on your device, and use responsive design so that you render cleanly.

    5. Integrate social media

     

    Any good marketer these days should know the importance of social media. If you're sending out emails, you should post all of your email campaigns on your social media sites. You should also post user-generated content within your email campaigns. Speaking of which...

    6. Create compelling content

     

    In this new age of marketing, content is king. If your content is interesting, then your customers will have a reason to keep coming back. So keep that content fresh...

    7. Plan your segmentation strategy

     

    A multi-channel cataloger has created a very laudable segmentation strategy. In addition to buyers and non-buyers, they have taken it further to apply product interests, device interaction, and even house-holding information. Their micro-segments deliver four times better results than normal.

    8. Grow your list, grow your engagement

     

    Brands needs to check their email list size on a regular basis. If you can track your three metrics — net growth of your email list, net growth of email IDs for your direct mail file, and a steady increase in opens and as clicks, then you're good.

    9. Check your communication triggers

     

    Some brands have created automated drip campaigns that are triggered by consumer action. Check the messaging to ensure that it is relevant. If you have not set up automated campaigns, take a look at doing it for some events.

    10. Are you making it into the inbox?

     

    Sadly, many email service providers (ESPs) are no longer vouching for your deliverability. You need to make sure you are "authenticated," your emails are getting through, and your spam complaints are being addressed. An engaged list is going to go a long way to help you with your deliverability.

  • Airmail Shipping Delivery

    Drop shipping requires three major data integrations between the retailer and the supplier: product catalog, inventory, and orders. 

    Product catalog is the collection of descriptive data—title, brand, category, attributes, images—of that physical thing.

    Inventory is the data that tells you where the item is, how many there are, and what they cost you as the reseller.

    An order is where the rubber hits the road. A consumer has purchased a product that a retailer was selling virtually and now that order and fulfillment information needs to be sent from the retailer to the supplier, which physically has the product to ship to the consumer.

    Order Exchange

     

    The drop shipping order process is a two-way street. It's an exchange of data back and forth between a retailer and a supplier. Catalog and inventory are based on a supplier publishing information that a retailer consumes. Orders are created by the retailer for consumption by the supplier, and then there's a secondary fulfillment process from the supplier back to the retailer) of an order being acknowledged and shipped or canceled.

    What follows is a list of the basic order data that should be provided by a retailer to a supplier:

    • po_number. The unique order identifier generated by the retailer's ordering system.
    • line_item_sku. The SKU being ordered.
    • line_item_title. The title of the SKU being ordered.
    • line_item_quantity. The quantity being ordered.
    • line_item_expected_cost. The cost that the retailer expects to pay for the given SKU.
    • line_item_consumer_price. The price that the retailer charged their customer for the given SKU.
    • ship_attention. The name or title of the customer to whom the order is being shipped.
    • ship_first_name. First name of the customer to whom the order is being shipped.
    • ship_last_name. Last name of the customer to whom the order is being shipped.
    • ship_company. The customer’s company name to whom the order is being shipped.
    • ship_address_1. Address 1 line of the customer to whom the order is being shipped.
    • ship_address_2. Address 2 line of the customer to whom the order is being shipped.
    • ship_city. Shipping city of the customer to whom the order is being shipped.
    • ship_region. Shipping region of the customer to whom the order is being shipped.
    • ship_postal. Shipping postal code of the customer to whom the order is being shipped.
    • ship_country. Shipping country of the customer to whom the order is being shipped, using the two-character ISO country code.
    • ship_phone. Phone number of the customer to whom the order is being shipped.
    • ship_email. Email address of the customer to whom the order is being shipped.
    • ship_carrier. The name of the carrier that is preferred to be used for this order. Options could include FedEx, UPS, and USPS.
    • ship_method. Shipping method requested. Only those options supported by the supplier will be supported.
    • signature_required_flag. Is a signature required upon delivery?
    • ship_instructions. Allows for specific direction when the order is delivered.

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