Best Subscription Box Ideas for Christmas

The subscription model takes online shopping experience to the new level, as it obviates the need to order the same products for several times.

Best Subscription Box Ideas for Christmas

Since the sales model is highly popular among customers it can certainly become a subject of interest for multiple merchants and the current digitals market proves it definitely.

In this article, we will briefly consider the major benefits of subscription programs for online merchants and give some ideas for subscription boxes that can be implemented in this Christmas season.

Subscription Model Benefits

The benefits provided by the subscription sales model for online merchants are just obvious.

Recurring Revenues

Subscribed customers are return clients, which means return profits for a web store. Moreover, subscription programs prevent customers from going through the irksome checkout process every time they need to make a purchase. This convenience, in turn, only enforces their loyalty to a brand, which may result in continuous subscriptions and recurring purchases for store owners.

Forecastable Profits

Having steady recurring revenues, online merchants can forecast the future profit amounts during certain time periods more accurately. Moreover, this allows merchants to plan their future expenditures and investments reasonably, which means effective finance distribution.

Straightforward Inventory Management

With the regular purchases of subscribed customers, online merchants can also predict their future stock demands. In other words, they will be able to plan the items in stock to be required just soon.

12 Tips to Boost Facebook Sales during the Christmas and New Year Season

Although online merchants are often worried about sales losses during the Christmas and New Year holidays, in fact, this is a perfect time for enhancing the purchasing activity if the appropriate sales channels are used.

12 Tips to Boost Facebook Sales during the Christmas and New Year Season

In this article, we will find out how holiday sales can be driven in a web store with such a powerful social platform as Facebook.

12 Tips to Increase Facebook Holiday Purchases

Learn About your Audience

Before starting an ad campaign on Facebook, you should find out what audience segments are interested in your brand. Using the Facebook Page Insights you can do this quite easily.

The service gives you the information about the visitors’ behavior on your Facebook brand page, including the number of people reached by your posts and the number of those engaged by them, your average response speed to customers’ questions, and so on.

With the information provided by Page Insights, you can determine your audience segments and then decide how your holiday advertising campaign will look like.

Experiment with Ad Types

When it comes to ad creation, Facebook demonstrates all its power here. Depending on the format of your content, the service allows you to create various types of advertising posts.

Besides the traditional photo and video ads, you can design, say, carousel ads, to which up to 10 images can be uploaded. This ad format allows you to promote a variety of holiday sales in a single post.

Other ad post types include link ads with hyperlinks to, say, the holiday catalog of a store, dynamic product ads, local ads, canvas ads (full-screen interactive ads adapted for mobile devices), etc.

Note that you can also perform A/B testing of your ad posts to find out which post types work better. For this purpose, use the Facebook Split Testing feature.

How to Effectively Promote Upsells and Cross-sells in a Web Store with the Aheadworks Extensions

Up-selling and cross-selling are the methods that are widely used by ecommerce businesses to increase the purchasing activity in their web stores.

How to Effectively Promote Up-sells and Cross-sells in a Web Store with the Aheadworks Extensions for Magento 2

In this article, we will consider how online merchants can reasonably implement these methods to drive sales by taking advantage of the Aheadworks extensions.

Why Up-sell and Cross-sell Products?

According to the statistics, the up-selling method can increase sales in a web store by 4% and more.

Effectively organized up-selling and cross-selling techniques can positively impact the following web store performance aspects:

  • The number of product orders;
  • Conversion rates;
  • Customer browsing and purchasing experience.

So, let’s consider how online merchants can effectively use these methods.

Up-selling & Cross-selling Best Practices

Offer Product Upgrades

The up-selling method can be used in a web store by offering upgrades to the related product items. In this case, customers who dissatisfied with the overall quality of the product chosen can buy its more advanced version at a higher price.

By this way, a merchant encourages customers to make a larger purchase. For example, the Dell hardware store offers up-sells to customers in the form of more advanced configurations of their products right on the product pages. The ProFlowers resource uses this technique by offering upgrades to its vases.

Organizing a Complex Web Store Hierarchy: What are the Benefits for Ecommerce Businesses?

Today, large web store owners strive to expand the network of their stores and enter the new niches of the market by creating multiple websites, stores, and store views.

Organizing a Complex Web Store Hierarchy: What are the Benefits for Ecommerce Businesses?

In this article, we will consider the major benefits of having a web store hierarchy of multiple websites, stores, and store views on Magento 2 for online merchants. But first, we will learn about the peculiarities of each level of this hierarchy.

What is a Web Store Hierarchy?

In general, the hierarchy of any Magento 2 web store can be organized in the following way:

Web Store Hierarchy Example

By default, every Magento 2 installation has one website, one store, and one store view. Still, online merchants can add any number of websites, stores, and store views and, thus, organize a more complex hierarchy of their web stores.

Let’s consider the levels of this hierarchy in more detail.

Global

Global refers to the Magento 2 settings for the website that is created by default after the installation is completed. Those settings include inventory, prices, and other parameters that are initially specified by a merchant and then used for stores and store views.

Website

A website is the basis of a web store. From the same website, an online merchant can manage several stores. For different websites, Magento 2 merchants can create individual customer bases or, inversely, organize a universal base for all websites depending on their business goals. Default currency options, product prices, tax rules, shipping methods, and the like are also managed at the website level.

In addition, Magento 2 merchants can set up multiple websites with different domain names and IP addresses. This is reasonable when a merchant wants to create several stores for one website with, say, individual checkout processes. In this case, each store should have its own domain, IP address, and security certificate.

12 Tips to Get Many Product Reviews in a Web Store

Product reviews can strongly influence any online business either improving or damaging its reputation.

12 Tips to Get Many Product Reviews in a Web Store

Still, both positive and negative reviews are needed, as no one will perceive a brand with only a positive customer feedback as trustworthy. In this article, we will give you some tips on how to increase the number of product reviews left by customers in your web store.

How to Get More Reviews People will Trust

Engage Customers by Email

An email notification is a reliable way to encourage customers to leave reviews about your products. It’s recommended to send emails a week or two after a purchase was made in your store, so customers are ready to share all the pros and cons of the product they used. This way you can attract both satisfied and angry customers, of course. But, that’s exactly the point to make the entire picture of your feedback more natural.

If you run a Magento 2 store, you can use the Review Reminder extension for this very purpose and send automatic review reminders to your customers by email.

Add Categories and a Rating System to Reviews

Complex reviews provide readers with more detailed information about the quality of the product and other purchase aspects. So, instead of making simple review forms that include only general information about your products, consider adding more attributes to review forms.

Ask about the quality of the customers support, delivery services, particular product features, prices and fees, and the like depending on the specifics of your product. Moreover, you can also add a rating system and allow customers to evaluate each purchase component individually. Or you can add it to the whole review so that readers could evaluate its general usefulness and value.

Gift Cards Make Gifting Simple

With no doubts, gift cards became common ecommerce products, just like clothing and electronics, and are widely used by both small retailers and huge international businesses.

Gift Cards Make Gifting Simple

The reasons for this are obvious – customers like purchasing gift cards for their relatives, friends, colleagues, and other close people. The advantages of gift card products for businesses are also clear. Any gift card is able to:

  • Increase brand awareness. In order to redeem gift cards, their recipients often visit your store for the first time. And if all the aspects of the shopping experience suite them well, they can become your regular customers.
  • Get payments in advance. Gift cards generate early cash flows even before you start shipping items to end customers.
  • Generate more sales. Quite often customers with gift codes are inclined to make purchases more expensive than the nominal value of the received cards. So, this way you can encourage higher average order values in your store.

Note: Consider that 65% of shoppers spend extra 38% above the nominal amounts of their gift cards, according to giftcardgranny.com.

Going deeper, there are two basic types of gift cards – physical and virtual. The last ones are primarily used in ecommerce, but online merchants may sell both or, even better, mix the above functions and distribute gift cards applicable across all the channels. Anyway, let’s dwell on the virtual type of gift cards, as it is primarily used by online retailers.

Managing an Ecommerce Blog Effectively with the Blog Extension

When arranged correctly, a blog becomes a powerful tool that helps online businesses to drive more sales to their web stores.

Managing an Ecommerce Blog Effectively with the Blog Extension

In this article, we will consider which aspects of the ecommerce blog management should be taken into account by content marketers and describe how the Blog for Magento 2 extension by Aheadworks can help them here.

Visual Appearance

Obviously, when doing blogging in a web store, businesses should provide quality content in their blogs. Still, the look of blog pages, including their design and layout, is the aspect that should also be carefully considered by content marketers, since ugly looking blog pages will hardly encourage visitors to read them.

According to the study conducted by Google, people find more visually appealing websites less complex. In other words, the smaller is the number of elements “overloading” a blog, the more visitors it will attract.

Another study conducted by Kissmetrics proves that the articles containing visual data, attract more attention than those with a plain text. For example, articles with images get 94% more views than articles without them, while posts with videos included can bring almost 300% more inbound links to a blog. Infographics also remains a powerful visual tool, as Hubspot claims that they are liked and shared on social media three times more often than ordinary posts.

When creating a blog post, the length of it should also be taken into consideration by content marketers. In ecommerce, the optimal length of a blog post published on a site depends on the industry in which the related business operates.

Recently, Neil Patel, the well-known SEO specialist, conducted a study of the optimal length of blog posts depending on the topic that guarantees high conversion rates. For example, in the Gadgets industry, the optimal length of a single blog post is 300-500 words, while for the Fashion industry, this value is notably higher – 800-950 words. The unsurpassed leader here is the Film industry with the 1500-1700 words average length value.

Introducing Magento Security Scan Tool: New Way to Enhance the Magento Store Security

The Magento team has recently introduced Magento Security Scan Tool designed to check Magento stores for potential vulnerabilities as well as for conformance to the Magento security best practices.

Introducing Magento Security Scan Tool: New Ways to Enhance Web Store Security

In this article, we will briefly review this new tool and describe how online merchants can use it in their work.

Magento Security Best Practices

Any web store can become an object of the hackers’ interest. Hackers may attempt to steal personal or payment information from this site to make fraudulent transactions. We already talked about these issues and the ways of their prevention in our article about the illegitimate customer payment protection in Magento 2.

Magento has its own approach to the security of a web store that includes several time-proven practices covering the main possible vulnerabilities.

RMA Major Aspects: How to Handle Them with the RMA Extension by Aheadworks

Whether they like it or not, sometimes, online store merchants should deal with RMA requests of customers dissatisfied with the quality of products purchased.

RMA Major Aspects: How to Handle Them with the RMA Extension by Aheadworks

To manage the RMA process in a store effectively, online merchants should take care of the major aspects of this process. In this article, we will describe these aspects and consider how the whole RMA process can be managed with the help of the Aheadworks RMA  extension for Magento 2.

RMA Process Major Steps

Ideally, during the RMA process, an online store merchant approves a return request of a customer, as it corresponds to the return policy established in a store. In this case, the RMA process generally has the following sequence:

RMA Process Major Steps

Each product return process starts with the RMA Request Creation step, during which a customer completes the required fields in an RMA request form before sending it to a merchant. It’s important that such form allows customers to describe the reasons for the return request in as much detail as possible and to provide all relevant information about the item to be returned.

Once the form is completed, a customer submits it, usually, by clicking on the corresponding button below the form. Then, it comes the RMA Request Verification & Authorization step, during which the request is checked by a store admin for conformance to the store’s product return policy.

Black Friday & Cyber Monday 2017 in the Aheadworks Store: Single Items at Bundle Prices!

As November comes to an end, we are happy to announce that the traditional Black Friday & Cyber Monday season of discounts in the Aheadworks store has already begun.

Black Friday & Cyber Monday 2017 in the Aheadworks Store: Single Items at Bundle Prices!

Black Friday & Cyber Monday 2017

From November 24 until November 28, we provide a special discount for our products. Using the Black17 coupon, you will be able to buy any our Magento extension or theme in the store at a 25% discount.

Our customers can increase the size of the available discount even further and save more by taking advantage of Magento 2 Package (available only for M2 products) with 3+ items in their shopping carts. Using it you can save up to 40% off the initial price.

Make a great deal in our store during the most grandiose sales season of the year!

Visual Search Technologies in Ecommerce: How Do They Change the Online Purchasing Experience?

Visual search technologies allow users to find the required information on the internet through the input of images as search queries.

Visual Search Technologies in Ecommerce: How Do They Change the Online Purchasing Experience?

Today, these technologies become more and more widely used in the ecommerce area. In this article, we will determine the nature of visual search technologies in more detail and consider several examples of their use by online merchants.

The Past and the Present of Visual Search Technologies

Since the appearance of the World Wide Web, people have been interested in finding not only textual information but also visual information, like images or videos, on the internet. Users typed tags, keywords, and even short explanatory texts to describe the visual data they wanted to find. Still, such search method could not always provide accurate results.

With the advent of the content-based image retrieval functionality applied to large image databases, the visual data finding process changed significantly. Due to this technology, search engines became able to analyze the content of an image itself, not only tags or keywords associated with that image as it was before.

In other words, from that time, images were classified by colors, sizes, shapes, and other types of information that could be derived by a search engine from a particular image.

In 2010, Google made a new breakthrough in the visual recognition field by releasing Google Goggles, a visual search application that was initially designed for Android smartphones.

The application could identify visual data, such as product images, product labels, barcodes (QR codes), and the like, to provide additional info about them as well as to search for related images on the internet. Users need to only take a photo of a particular object and scan the snap with the Google Googles app.

Smart One Step Checkout 1.1 is Integrated with Three Aheadworks Extensions

The Smart One Step Checkout extension for Magento 2 is a real superjet of your store that brings customers quickly and comfortably to their favorite products.

Smart One Step Checkout 1.1 Integrates with Three Aheadworks Extensions

The unique features of the extension make it equally valuable for both sides customers and merchants enabling the later ones to constantly improve the checkout process until it is smooth and suitable for all customer groups. And, if the market changes in any way or extent, they are still able to adopt the new situation easy and swiftly.

Although the initial power of the module is great, we aim to make it even better rising the benchmark just 3 months after the initial release. Below we’ll show you the main features of Smart One Step Checkout 1.1 and we’re sure that some of them are the ones you can take full advantage of just immediately.

Progressive Web Apps: Why Online Businesses Should Use Them?

The term “Progressive Web App (PWA)” relates to web applications that use the latest web technologies to improve user experience.

Progressive Web Apps: Why Online Businesses Should Use Them?

In many aspects, PWAs resemble traditional mobile applications. However, in reality, they are usual web pages and websites displayed by browsers but mimicking mobile UI and UX.

In this article, we will describe the major peculiarities of PWAs to find out why their use is useful for the ecommerce domain and consider several use cases related to these apps. So, let’s start.

PWA Benefits for Ecommerce Business

PWAs introduce a brand new way to create better frontend and an enhanced user experience. Using the well-known methods like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript developers are able to create advanced interfaces and, in general, convert any website with API in PWA adding service workers and manifest.json to it.

Convenient Architecture

Though each PWA is programmed in its own way, developers are more inclined to use the existing frameworks when creating those apps. In most cases, PWAs look like traditional mobile applications or websites so that users can comfortably work with them in the familiar environment.

And vice versa, even if a PWA looks like something completely different to the traditional web or mobile solutions, it can be seamlessly integrated with the existing mobile app or website structure.

As in the case with any online service, users can access PWAs by entering URLs, and those apps are indexed in Google, Yahoo, and other search engines. This fact undoubtedly plays in favor of PWAs especially when comparing them with traditional mobile apps that cannot be indexed by search engines.

A Guide To Launching A Successful eCommerce Site

With the eCommerce economy poised for growth over the next few years, to be successful, retailers must get their name known online.

A Guide To Launching A Successful eCommerce Site

For retailers venturing onto the web for the first time or those needing the extra helping hand, we’ll walk you through one of the most significant steps to being an online success: launching an eCommerce site!

Successful brands start with creating a fully functional and accessible eCommerce website. This is the perfect place to get the ball rolling on your online success. Follow these simple steps to learn how to get your brand winning on the web.

This guest post is kindly provided by Katie Rose.

KATIE ROSE

KATIE ROSE
DIGITAL MARKETING ASSISTANT AT iWEB
Katie Rose is Digital Marketing Assistant at iWeb, a leading UK based eCommerce agency. iWeb are certified Magento developers with over 22 years experience designing and developing eCommerce websites.

The Importance of Images

Quick fact: customers remember 80% of what they see and 20% of what they read. Images are essential in making people aware of your brand and getting them to remember you!

Incorporate these points to have the ultimate eye candy eCommerce site:

  • The bigger the image the better it is (but remember to compress!);
  • Zooming options to help customers see exactly what they are buying;
  • Include product images from a range of angles;
  • Use all white backgrounds to help your product stand out;
  • All product images must be of high quality, particularly for magnification purposes.

Many businesses ditch the images and add text. Although having detailed product descriptions are a great addition to a product page and can help with SEO, too much text is off-putting to read. Plus, studies show it doesn’t always sink in. Concise snippets of information are all that’s needed on your eCommerce site.

Magento Marketplace Relaunch: Leaving Magento Connect in the Past

A few months ago, a new version of Magento Marketplace completely replaced Magento Connect and became the official repository of the Magento 1 and Magento 2 extensions and themes.

Magento Marketplace Relaunch: Leaving Magento Connect in the Past

One should note that this event happened with the release of renovated Magento Marketplace. In this article, we will consider the major features of the latest Magento Marketplace to find out what these changes mean for Magento store owners.

New Structure and Functionality

New Layout

The layout of the Marketplace site was radically transformed and became more user-friendly. The home page was made much shorter, and now, it contains fewer featured products compared to its previous version.

New Hosting Solutions

The new version of the Marketplace site is hosted on Amazon Web Services (AWS), the cloud-based hosting solution that perfectly suits the needs of various business domains.

In addition, this Marketplace version works with Fastly, which provides fast and secure content delivery processes, and New Relic, allowing business owners to monitor site performance in real-time.