InstanteStore Customizable Template

Had a look at some of the new templates that were recently added by online shopping cart provider InstanteStore. Thought they were just churning out more new templates to add to their collection of existing templates but was rather surprised that all the old templates had been removed and replaced with fresh new ones. Guess the ecommerce shopping cart felt that it was high time they get rid of the design template feel of 2014 and get with the times.

Anyway, what caught my curiosity was the ‘Add To Split Test’ button. Normally most shopping cart software just have a simple button for you to pick the template of your choice. Since there was no instructions written anywhere on the page, I had some fun adding a few free customizable templates to the split test.

Realized that I could only add up to 5 templates to split test as the screen could only accommodate that many! I guess most merchants who have their own online store that is powered by InstanteStore would most probably pick one or two extra templates on top of their original store template to test out.

Bear in mind that one also has to customize the split test templates so that will take a bit more work. But it is definitely worth it for merchants who are planning to upgrade the look of their web store. While the split test doesn’t guarantee that one will make more money but it is a good effort to encourage online sellers who have steady traffic to see which store look is able to convert offering better results.

While doing split test is not something new in the ecommerce world, one of the ways in which online ecommerce service providers could help their merchants is by making it easier for them to measure their online results. Offering easier ways for them to set up their store and compare results is a bonus as experienced online merchants know how valuable it is to constantly measure their sales.

Bottom line, everyone wants to make more money selling online. If they are already making some, they want more. And the only way to sell more is to have a way to improve the selling process and reach more people. This basically entails tweaking the way your store looks to making sure your SEO is done proper along with active social media signals so that your store is alive rather than boringly dead.

Here’s a short video on how to customize InstanteStore’s template and layout :

To know more about InstanteStore, check out their review http://www.thinkecommerce.net/instantestore-review-2014 to get an idea about this ecommerce solution.

Ecommerce Software Reviews

It’s easy to be completely convinced to use any online shopping cart software provider out there. They make their ecommerce software solution look so good. Almost all of them will tell you that they are the best. As in the most easy to use or that they have so many templates that they throw in for free that you would not be able to make up your mind on which to choose for your online store.

Then there’s the tonnes of features that could be quite overwhelming especially for those that are new to setting up an online store. Talk about a whole load of decisions that one has to make. And that’s not even related to actual business decision making yet when it comes to how you want to sell or market your products!

Anyway, it would be easier if new merchants check out some of the best ecommerce software reviews that are available online. That will at least give them a complete overview on what are the options available for them. The reason is because no one will have all the time in the world to test out every single ecommerce solution out there. Unless if you really have nothing to do.

But since time is money, then you might as well ride on the efforts of those who have done a whole bunch of the donkey work reviewing all the popular ecommerce software solutions out there. At least it will give you a bird’s eye view on what is good and what is not so good with some of these shopping cart providers. That will definitely help you to make a decision on what you need for your business and also on what to watch out for.

No one wants to reinvent the wheel. And I’m sure that most of these ecommerce software providers will also check out the review sites to find out what are their short comings so that they could quickly have improvements made. Here’s a link to one of the top ecommerce review sites http://www.thinkecommerce.net which will be of great help.

Watch out for some of the warnings and shout outs that the reviewers discovered. That will help you avoid or know what you can expect when you come to certain stages of setting up your online store. Anyway, here’s a short video on some of the features that you can expect to find with these ecommerce software solutions :

Online Stores Funding Laid-back Lifestyle

Image Of Batu Ferringhi Beach

Not everyone wants to be super rich and drive around in super cars. Really. More and more people want to escape the rat race and live out their lives relaxing and chilling in more affordable and slower paced towns. In many cases, these towns are based in developing countries like Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand.

The advent of ecommerce has allowed this group of entrepreneurs to experience their laid-back lifestyle without worrying about how the bills are going to get paid. They can live very comfortably on $4,000 a month profit and still have lots of spare change.

Under normal circumstances, it takes just a couple of hours of work a day working on an online store to reach that amount, if done properly.

If they ever need to make a bit more, they can always market their stores a tad more aggressively to bring in more traffic and hopefully, more sales. Some have even started new small brick and mortar businesses to pad their income from their online stores.

I’d like to have this lifestyle too, but maybe later. Right now, I for one, enjoy being part of the rat race. But for those who are interested in not having a boss looking over your shoulders, going on round-island scooter rides whenever you like and lazing under a coconut tree while you check on your online store, ecommerce could be the way to go.

CoreCommerce Banner On Main Page

But before you get all weak in the knees and subscribe to the first software you come across, do yourself a favor and carry out some research first. Google popular ecommerce solutions reviews; CoreCommerce review, for instance. Or go directly to http://www.thinkecommerce.net/corecommerce-review have a read about their pros and cons before signing up.

 

Shopify Apps

Popular ecommerce solution provider Shopify recently integrated two new apps to bring more convenience to their merchants. Ever got boggled down with trying to key in all the shipping details for orders that came pouring in? Don’t have the time to deal with the nitty gritty details of managing your company’s inventory? Wish there could be an easier and faster solution?

Shopify TradeGecko App

Shopify TradeGecko App

Well, the latest app on the block that recently integrated with Shopify was TradeGecko. Based in Singapore but already making waves, this online inventory and order management software company aims to help small and medium sized businesses to manage their inventory and improve customer relationships. This ecommerce solution is currently available on a 21 day free trial for merchants and sellers to try out.

Those using Shopify to power their online store could easily find TradeGecko listed among the company’s impressive list of apps. Depending on the number of orders and products that you need to process a month, sellers could pick the plan that best fits the needs of their business and have the app integrated with their online store.

If you are not sure on what Shopify has to offer, you can visit their main site or check out the Shopify review to get a feel of this ecommerce shopping cart.

Shipping Easy App

The other app that recently integrated with Shopify is called Shipping Easy. This app will come in real handy for those who do not like to keep track of all the minute details of their product shipping – especially if your shipping tends to get a bit more complicated and not as straightforward as other businesses. While some shopping cart providers may have a very simple and old fashion way of configuring shipping, this app takes the complexity out of it while providing an easy to understand interface for merchants and sellers.

Shipping Easy has an impressive list of ecommerce partners consisting of eBay and top shopping cart software providers like Volusion, Magento, Big Commerce, etc. Basically, it makes processing your shipping orders easy, convenient, fast and with real time tracking built in from partner shipping companies which you could track on your mobile any time and any where, a sense of relief.

Shipping Easy’s pricing plan is also quite affordable and worth a try if you have constant shipments to handle. If you would like to know more about Shopify’s ecommerce shopping cart software, you could check out the review here http://www.thinkecommerce.net/shopify-review    

Best Buy Main Page Deals

Best Buy Main Page Image Display With Deals

Showrooming has become the bane of many brick and mortar stores. People walk into a store, compare prices with online stores via smartphones and if the price online is cheaper, they make an online purchase there and then. That’s like a kick in the teeth to brick and mortar store owners.

But showrooming isn’t just affecting smaller stores. Even the big players like Best Buy are feeling the pinch.

So what do you do if you have a small brick and mortar store and is constantly being a victim of showrooming shoppers? No. Don’t close shop. Instead, embrace the technology that drives the showrooming trend and use it to your advantage.

Here’s how.

If you have traditional store, expand to the web by subscribing to an ecommerce software provider. Most are pretty affordable, about $100 a month. This will allow you to sell to anyone in the world. More importantly, it’s a relatively cheap way to increase sales without drastically increasing overheads.

3dCart Main Page Banner

With an ecommerce store, you can you can take advantage of the economies of scale and reduce your selling prices and therefore be more competitive. You can offer your customers the luxury of shopping from the office and then picking the items up themselves on the way home from work so that they can save on shipping charges. There’s just do many things you can do with an online store that will benefit your business as a whole.

There is no shortage of good ecommerce software in the market. Just do a search for reviews on some of the more popular solutions in the market to help you short list the ones to take a closer look at. To be honest, most of the top solutions have around the same features. The key is finding one that you are comfortable with.

So, just do a search for 3dCart Review, for example, or go direct to http://www.thinkecommerce.net/3dcart-review to have a look at what’s good or not so good about the solution.

 

Ecommerce Predictions For 2013, Top 3

Past Ecommerce Predictions

It is not surprising that the increase in sales of smartphones and tablets have contributed the growth of ecommerce. Though people still shopped online via the use of PCs and laptops, that trend is waning. It was predicted in 2011 that more people will shop via smartphones than via PCs by 2013. That prompted 73% of companies to state that they would be investing in mobile channels in 2011.

More people are shopping online via smartphones and tablets, especially those which use the operating system designed by Apple.

2013 ecommerce predictions:

1 – An increase in online sales but with a further decrease in order value, a continuing trend from 2012. This is to be expected as people continue to look to the net purchase a larger variety of items with a larger variation of prices. Inevitably, this will lower the order value.

2 – Predictive commerce programs like Google Now will play a bigger part in ecommerce, especially in localized ads and even SEO. Imagine, 15  to 30 minutes before you leave for dinner, your phone gives you suggestions of 5 restaurants to consider, based restaurants you frequent, distance you usually travel to dinner and the days you frequent those restaurants.

Once you’ve decided where to have your dinner, you can make a reservation directly from your phone. You might even get a discount if you pre order and pay in advance. That’s as targeted as you can get.

3 – Augmented reality could be the knight in shining armor for brick and mortar stores. Just like predictive commerce or context aware commerce, the software makes very targeted suggestions. The best thing about it is the fact that it is real time. Just select a criteria – gift shops, for example – and point your smartphone in a certain direction and suggestions will pop up, complete with deals to entice you.

The ecommerce trends for 2013 looks to be exciting. Ads will be more targeted and conversion rates should increase. I, for one, can’t wait for all these ecommerce predictions to come to fruition.

Volusion Main Page Banner

Volusion Banner On Main Page

 

If you have a brick and mortar store as well as an online store, these are exciting times. If you want to get on the online commerce band wagon, remember to do some research first. Look for ecommerce software review site and read up on review likes Volusion Review and so on at http://www.thinkecommerce.net/volusion-review.

Flickr Poised For More Growth

Flickr

Looks like Yahoo’s new CEO Marissa Mayer has been real busy turning Yahoo around. The latest news is that Yahoo’s photo sharing app, Flickr now offers users a whopping 1 terabyte of free storage. I’d say that is very generous. And we all love photos. What more when we get to share it around with as many people as we like.

When asked how much is 1 terabyte equivalent to, Mayer responded by saying that you could fit half a million photos into that same amount of space. If you took a picture every hour, you’d have 61 years worth of photos that you could store into 1 terabyte. Those who are trigger happy with their smartphones and tablets when it comes to taking photos anywhere and everywhere will be very thrilled with the latest revised version of Flickr.

The change was part of Mayer’s effort to revitalize Yahoo and ever since she took over as CEO, Mayer has been paying attention to what users want. She mentioned that she saw an online petition from one of the users asking her to make Flicker awesome again. The result? A brand new spanking revamped version that will please current users as well as attract new ones as the photo sharing app now allow users to download and upload high resolution photos quicker.

With these new changes being announced and implemented along with the announcement of acquisition of Tumblr by Yahoo, looks like we have more exciting things to look forward to as Mayer continues to turn the internet giant around. With Asia being an emerging market of photo and blog sharing, if she plays her cards well, the company could tap into a huge internet user base which will boost Yahoo further to the top again.

 

Is Google Glass Worth Getting?

Google Glass

The recent hoo-haa over the much hyped up Google Glass doesn’t seem to be going away. originally priced at a whopping $1500 for a pair and available only to a selected few, the glasses are considered expensive by most but the demand is there. Maybe the price might drop to a $1000 for a pair. However, if you think you could get hold or borrow your friend’s one, Google does not seem to like it being shared. Hence anyone who has bought or were given a pair of these are not allowed to lend, sell or give them away. Well, I mean you could. The consequences? Google will cut off connection to it.

So those expensive pair of glasses would be totally worthless by then. So what’s all the hype about it anyway? I mean, you would have to have a very fast connection to be able to surf the web and stay connected. If the internet connection is slow or lagging, it would not be a very pleasant experience either. Further to that, would you be comfortable wearing it the whole day?

Doubt you could use it to get plenty of work done especially if you’ve been depending on your laptop or desktop to handle office work all this while. So these magical glasses are not so much for you to get work done. Looking at the videos that were released by Google, it would seem that they are catered more to be used casually in your every day life. Let’s say in helping you to connect with friends, find out what’s the weather, get directions around and to help you take down reminders.

I’m sure it’ll also be able to help you make purchases online but doing online shopping while walking around may not be the best or safest way to get around in the city. Unless you aim on hitting a lamp post or not paying attention when you’re crossing the street.

And what about all these rumors of the PC dying off? Well, if you ask me, the Google Glass isn’t going to replace the amount of PCs that are still currently being used right now. sales may have dropped for the PC but companies and businesses are still depending on them strongly. So if you’re planning on getting yourself a pair of Google Glass, consider whether it’s worth the amount you are going to spend on it and the practicality of it as well.

BigCommerce Best Interface Award

BigCommerce is one of the big guys when it comes to ecommerce software. I’ve always said that their solution is easy to use and, if I’m not mistaken, the good folks at BigCommerce once said that “If your 80 year old grandma can’t use it then it’s too hard!”. That’s a pretty good guideline to base user experience on.

Anyway, I don’t want to say I told you so but I just read a BigCommerce review on ThinkeCommerce.net, a ecommerce software review site, and they just awarded BigCommerce for having the best interface. Can’t argue with that.

I was among the many who have used their solution for a couple of my stores. Their software was comparatively easy to use way back then too. Just like the BigCommerce Review pointed out, maybe a handful of features should be given free. One such feature/app is Daily Deal. Volusion has a similar feature called deal of the day and they are offering it for free, if I remember correctly.

Another interesting this I found out from the BigCommerce Review was that merchants can setup shipping in such a way so that their customers can make in-store pick ups. I read a few articles that displayed stats which prove this to be a popular feature as many shoppers aim to save on shipping. The review also notes that another solution, InstanteStore also offers this feature. However both BigCommerce and InstanteStore have been advised to turn this into an app to make it easier for their merchants to activate this feature instead of going through so many hoops in the shipping section.

Anyway, you can read the review yourself right here – http://www.thinkecommerce.net/bigcommerce-review

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