eCommerce Tips Posts

Announcing MagePlus Hosting Plans by Aspiration Hosting

Aspiration Hosting is pleased to announce 3 new hosting plans: MagePlus Basic, Standard, and Advanced offering Magento as a service.

Announcing MagePlus Hosting Plans by Aspiration Hosting

Merchants get the benefits of the services like Shopify and BigCommerce: upgrades, configuration support, and training. However, MagePlus plans come with the unlimited growth potential of Magento.

Now you don’t need a programmer to quickly build a new store. But you can still use a specialist to customize Magento, if you wish.

You can set up your MagePlus store in a single day. Our experts will install Magento and help you configure it, install the theme of your choice, and help you configure the whole store.

We provide 24-hour support through live chat, help desk, or phone. MagePlus comes with everything, from quarterly upgrades to new features and enhancements. Every client gets the Magento admin support services as well.

All our servers are protected by firewalls. We use strong IPTABLE rules that block all requests from IP addresses frequently acting as a source of abusive activities.

Customer Success Story: How Sewing Studio Used ConnectPOS with Gift Card and Reward Points by Aheadworks

We always glad to hear how our solutions help ecommerce marketers from all over the globe successfully conduct their business. And today, we’ll bring you one great example.

Customer Success Story: How Sewing Studio Used ConnectPOS with Gift Card and Reward Points by Aheadworks

Sewing Studio, one of the largest sewing equipment sellers in the UK, looked for ways to effectively provide its services across all sales channels.

For better ecommerce performance, Sewing Studio moved its websites to Magento 2. Another challenge was finding a POS system that will work with Magento out of the box (instead of a less friendly dedicated solution). So, the choice fell on ConnectPOS.

Top Web Hosting Trends in 2018

The importance of web hosting for the digital market grows at tremendous speed. Given this, website owners should always keep an eye on its updates in order to stay on the cutting edge.

Top Web Hosting Trends in 2018

Today, we will discuss the latest web hosting trends that should be definitely considered by every online business. So, let’s get started with cloud hosting.

Cloud Hosting

It’s predicted that soon, cloud hosting solutions will prevail over the entire web hosting market. Due to the high security and uptime, thousands of online brands opt for them.

Briefly, cloud hosting works in the following way: the cloud server itself consists of physical servers located in a secured room. Websites are hosted on virtual servers that obtain resources from this network of physical servers. Still, cloud hosting services are not that expensive, which makes them quite affordable for businesses with small budgets looking for a good value for money.

Although cloud servers are based on physical ones, in fact, they are virtual, which excludes the possibility of any hardware issues slowing down or even interrupting website’s work. So, if some outage still occurs, the system will automatically switch to another server to prevent the site from going offline.

Main Product Subscription Trends in 2018

Product subscriptions continue to gain momentum, and today, they constitute a sufficient market share of the entire ecommerce market.

Main Product Subscription Trends in 2018

Today, we will discuss the most impactful subscription trends defining the ways of further development in this niche.

Ecommerce Subscriptions in Figures

Just to understand the importance of subscriptions, we will walk through the stats:

  • Since 2011, the share of ecommerce subscriptions increased by more than 100%;
  • Additionally, last year, 15% of online customers in the US purchased subscriptions from popular e-retailers;
  • More to it, an average subscriber has at least 2-3 active subscriptions.

The modern ecommerce subscription market can be split into several distinct types. So, what are they?

Ecommerce Subscription Types

Currently, one can distinguish three broad subscription types, as follows:  

  • Replenishment subscriptions;
  • Curated subscriptions;
  • Access subscriptions.

Let’s dwell more detailed on each of them.

Product Navigation Filters in a Web Store: Best Ideas

Product filters is one of the ways customers use to navigate products in an online store and an indispensable tool for convenient customer catalog browsing.

Product Navigation Filters in a Web Store: Best Ideas

Product filtering by such traditional criteria as size, color, etc. just adds to the overall navigation usability but can hardly bring any sufficient competitive advantages.

Rather, you should consider adding some original filter attributes able to make your navigation unique, comfortable, and, this way, standing out of the trivial filtering patterns.

Today, we will determine how product filters can be originally implemented on the example of several ecommerce stores.

Filter by Feature

A few years ago, the H&M world clothing brand offered users the possibility to sort products in catalog by their distinct features. In fact, this filtering option allowed picking items according to a particular occasion: festival clothing, off-duty events, random occasions, etc.

After all, let’s agree that when we are looking for an item to dress on some occasion, sometimes, we just cannot be satisfied with only, say, color and size attributes. Rather, we need an item that fits not only our size and taste but also a particular purpose.

Another good example of filtering products by their features is the Hunter clothing store. Here, the brand placed focus on physical characteristics of particular items. This way, shoppers could sort, say, shoes by such features as:

  • Waterproofing
  • Water resistance
  • Grip, etc.

Again, here, the brand allowed shoppers to find the items that corresponded to their specific needs and not just to some general preferences.

Flawless Mobile Shopping with the Aheadworks Extensions

With the growth of mobile commerce, the need to adjust web stores to mobile devices is now beyond question.

Flawless Mobile Shopping with the Aheadworks Extensions

We already discussed how to arrange a mobile checkout in an ecommerce store. However, one should note that before proceeding to the checkout stage itself, every mobile shopper should go through the whole shopping path seamlessly and comfortably.

Today, we will learn how to provide mobile users with a convenient mobile shopping experience ensured by the Aheadworks extensions. But, first, we’d better start with some vivid statistics.

Mobile Shopping Stats & Facts

Undoubtedly, mobile adaptation is among the top ecommerce trends, which is proved by the following facts:

  • Over the last 6 months, 62% of smartphone users made purchases from their smartphones;
  • Also, 40% of mobile shoppers will likely leave a website due to mobile commerce issues;
  • More, last year, 50% of all mobile searches were made with a purchase intent.

Considering the above facts, now, let’s explore the main aspects of the mobile shopping process that we can efficiently handle with the Aheadworks extensions.

Catalog Search

It all starts with finding the right product in a store catalog. There are several ways to find a product, but the shortest one is, perhaps, on-site search. Using it instead of continuous browsing, a user can just type a query in a search bar and enjoy the results closely relevant to their target products.

Since typing on mobile devices is not that simple, there is always a high chance of typos. In case of the native Magento functionality, wrongly typed search queries are likely to bring no search results. So, the user has to type the query once again and feel quite irritated about the entire process.

However, with the Advanced Search extension, your mobile shoppers will quickly find what they need in the catalog even if they type their queries incorrectly.

How to Visually Present Product Offers in a Web Store

Being introduced to customers in the right way, ecommerce product offers do not just improve visual appearance of a web store, rather, they give additional promotional opportunities to merchants.

How to Visually Present Product Offers in a Web Store

In one of the previous articles, we’ve already discussed such a powerful offer presentation tool as popup windows. Today, we will cover some other beneficial ways to present product offers on retail website pages with the help of Aheadworks extensions. So, let’s begin with some statistics.

Why Visual?

As a web store owner, you may promote your offers through traditional advertising means such as email newsletters, paid ads, and so on.

But, let’s take a look at a couple of figures proving the necessity of constant on-site promotion in the form of banner sliders, related product blocks, and add-to-cart popups to be discussed later in this very article:

  • 72% of online shoppers interact with banner sliders on retail website pages;
  • More to it, 23% of them zoom sliders in to view the presented info in more detail;
  • And, on average, 60-70% of loyal consumers are more inclined to repeatedly make purchases (in case they are properly motivated to do so).

We’ve already stated that on-site product offers contribute to the overall visual appearance of a web store. Moreover, for 93% of shoppers, an attractive look of a web store plays a crucial role when making purchasing decisions.

Keeping all this in mind, let’s explore several product offer types each of which can be fruitfully implemented in your store and again prove the above figures.

Banner Sliders

Banners with rotating images are a good way to deliver marketing messages with product offers to visitors since they immediately catch eye.

You may experiment with different banner types by adding, say, in-page and widescreen banners with custom images and animation effects to main, product, and category pages of a website.

Using PHP Composer to Install Aheadworks Extensions for Magento 2

Acting as a completely straightforward system, Magento 2 allows smoothly arranging ecommerce operations in a web store.

Using PHP Composer to Install Aheadworks Extensions for Magento 2

Still, the work with this platform can be even more convenient if such an effective solution as PHP Composer is implemented.

PHP Composer Benefits

PHP Composer is a package dependency manager that allows conveniently installing and updating any PHP software.

More specifically, with Composer, a Magento 2 store owner gets the following benefits:

  • Quick Magento installation. The Magento 2 system itself can be downloaded and installed via Composer. This way, the manager assembles and updates all the conforming dependencies so that users do not have to handle them manually.
  • Reusable packages. All the installed third-party libraries can be repeatedly used and kept updated automatically.
  • Module arrangement. For those users who install third-party Magento 2 modules via Composer, the manager updates the required versions and manages the corresponding dependencies smoothly.

7 Reasons to Make your Magento Site a PWA

Progressive web apps are a developing technology, and with Apple now supporting them in the latest iOS update, their time has come.

7 Reasons to Make your Magento Site a PWA

Transform your Magento website and store into a seamless mobile experience and gain a range of benefits!

What is a Progressive Web App?

Historically, for the most part, websites and apps were two very different beasts requiring duplication of effort (across iOS, Android, and other platforms) and creating competing ways to sell to customers.

Now, fortunately, web coding has caught up with smartphones. Progressive web apps (PWA’s) help your website become the app simplifying the workload for your business.

When accessed, the website creates an app icon (just like a shortcut) on the user’s device taking them straight to the site. It offers the benefits of update alerts always being current and secure by default with HTTPS and transport layer security, and much more.

1. Follow the Trend to Mobile

A growing percentage of users now do their shopping on a mobile device over a desktop website.

Research suggests over 27% will do so in 2018! That figure goes up as the age-range goes down, and mobile devices dominate internet browsing time.

Basically, your audience is going mobile and you need to follow them updating your Magento 2 website to a PWA will enable you do so efficiently and save on the cost of app development and subsequent maintenance and updates.

Ecommerce Performance Enhancements with the Aheadworks Extensions

When utilized properly, sales funels help to improve the whole analytical process.
Ecommerce Performance Enhancements with the Aheadworks Extensions

In our previous article, we explained an approach to ecommerce performance tracking based on sales funnel models. Today, we’ll discuss how sales funnels help to improve ecommerce business performance. Additionally, we’ll consider the Aheadworks extensions able to produce a positive effect on your KPI’s.

The Indirect Impact Zone and the Area of Direct Influence

By the levels of influence, each sales funnel has two areas: the so-called ‘Indirect Impact Zone’ and the area of direct influence.

The first one can be influenced only indirectly since most of the traffic sources do not really belong to a company.

The second one is entirely formed on our side where the success is significantly determined by our actions.

The indirect and direct influence areas of a sales funnel

The indirect and direct influence areas of a sales funnel

Also, any funnel has its own diameter and flow rate determining its potential throughput. For the ecommerce sector, the limitations of diameter are mostly determined by server capabilities, which can be easily expanded if necessary.

Ecommerce Performance Tracking with Sales Funnels

We all know that ecommerce performance tracking is complicated. The number of existing metrics and parameters is over 100 and even more.

Ecommerce Performance Tracking with Sales Funnels

However, it’s well known that if you try to accomplish too many tasks simultaneously, you will be successful with none. So, what is the most appropriate number of measurements for daily tracking? Let’s find out.

Ecommerce Sales Funnel Examples

5-level Sales Funnel

Of course, it depends on your goal, but most likely, daily monitoring is accomplished to make sure that everything goes as planned. So, in this case, is the amount of sales is going to be enough for daily tracking? Well, not quite.

The thing is that sales describe only the bottom line of a business but do not actually explain the conditions and circumstances shaping the result. It may happen that sales remain fixed, while some other factors begin changing.

So, using sales as the only KPI, we are deprived of the possibility to detect early negative shifts in the environment or inside the company.

But how many KPI’s for daily tracking do we need? According to the Miller’s law, the number of objects an average human can keep in mind at a time is 7 ± 2.

Ecommerce Marketing Automations with the Aheadworks Extensions

By automating routine marketing tasks with right tools, web merchants can organize their ecommerce operations more productively.

Ecommerce Marketing Automations with the Aheadworks Extensions

Today, we will discuss the most powerful ecommerce marketing automations to be performed in a Magento 2 store with the Aheadworks extensions.

Why Automate?

When properly utilized, the automation of marketing process becomes an indispensable solution for every online store. The stats below just prove this importance:

  • Consider that 68% of web marketers believe that automation boosts customer engagement;
  • More to it, 58% view automation as a tool that ensures additional revenue opportunities;
  • And, for 58% of marketers, ecommerce marketing automation streamlines communication with customers.

So, what are the tools able to prove all the above figures? We’ll find them soon, but before we need to find out the key ecommerce marketing aspects that should be automated.

Email Campaigns

When arranging multiple email campaigns at a time, it becomes difficult for marketers to manually track and fulfill all activities with multiple emails and even email chains. And, the larger the customer base in the store is, the more challenging this task may become.

Small Business Kit: Quick Start of your Business

Merchants who start an online business want to get a ready-to-operate web store asap without spending much time to find the solutions that suit their needs.

Small Business Kit: A Quick Start of your Business

Today, we will discuss the major issues every beginning store owner needs to take care of before entering the online market. Beyond this, we will cover the solutions able to handle those issues. So, let’s start with customer registration.

Customer Registration

With no doubt, nobody likes going through long and irritating registration forms in order to make purchases in a web store. And, the stats just prove this statement – 86% of shoppers opt out of stores that require them to create user accounts right off the bat.

Now let’s take a look at this issue from the merchant’s perspective. Probably, the most obvious solution here is to allow customers to log in to the store with their social network accounts. This way, they will be able to flawlessly create accounts without the need to specify any personal info once again.

In this case you can think about offering several login options related to the most popular social networks so that the registration process will suit most of your customers apparently.

The Most Important Email Marketing Trends in 2018

Email marketing remains one of the driving forces of ecommerce sales, and in 2018, its influence is predicted to grow even more.

Email Marketing Trends in 2018

Today, we will discuss the most promising email marketing trends of the current year.

Why Email Marketing?

By implementing email marketing strategies in their web stores, online merchants primarily get the following benefits:

  • Loyalty Establishment. By sending customers emails with relevant and informative content, merchants establish credibility and, as a result, strong relationships with their target audience.
  • Time & Money Saving. By scheduling email chains instead of individual messaging, merchants save their time. Besides this, email marketing is more cost-effective compared to other forms of advertising.
  • Better Visibility. Since people tend to regularly check their mailboxes, there is a high chance that they will be timely informed about brand’s new offers and engaged with the promotional content.

Undoubtedly, every store owner expects that all the above benefits will be followed by traffic and sales increases, which is quite right.

Email Marketing Future Perspectives

Email marketing trends often change, so merchants should stay abreast of the latest tendencies to make the most of their email campaigns.

In one of our previous articles, we already talked about such a promising email marketing trend as personalization. Now, we will explore some other equally important tendencies that will significantly influence the development of advertising emails in 2018.

Email Automation by Audience Segments

Automated email campaigns segmented by multiple customer audiences can bring great benefits to merchants.

The stats recently presented by the Direct Marketing Association show that targeted emails can increase total email returns on investments up to 77%. Such an impressive figure proves that customers willingly opt for the brands that offer them relevant content in their promotional emails.

A Quick Guide to Popups in Ecommerce

Popups are the windows that appear on site pages informing users about the latest brand’s offers.

A Quick Guide to Popups in Ecommerce

Popups are among the strongest marketing tools in the ecommerce area. Today, we will describe their peculiarities and bring some examples of their implementation on retail websites. So, let’s start.

Why Popups?

The primary goal of a popup is to motivate certain customer actions. Those actions may vary depending on the message of a particular popup.

For example, popups work great for increasing the number of email subscribers. Several years ago, the Nikki, In Stitches handmade accessories store managed to drive 1,375% more email subscriptions through popups than through its sidebar subscription form.

Popup Types

According to particular visitors’ actions on a site, store owners can show them the following popup types:

  • Exit-intent popups. These popups are shown when a user tries to leave a site. More specifically, the system tracks the movement of the visitor’s cursor on a particular site page and displays the related popup when the cursor leaves the area of the current browser window. This way, the brand presents its offers to leaving visitors to keep them longer on its site.
  • Scroll-based popups. Scroll-based popups appear when the user views a certain percent of a site page determined by a store admin. Ecommerce stores frequently use this popup type on their blog pages. This way, they introduce their offers to users who engaged with a certain amount of the content on particular site pages.
  • Time-based popups. Popups of this type are displayed a while after the user opened a site page. Again, this value is set by the store admin. Time-based popups make their best when they appear 60 seconds or later after the visitor opens the page. At this point, he/she is already engaged with the content of the page, and, thus, more inclined to accept the displayed offers.
  • Content-based popups. This traditional type of popups is shown to users when they open particular site pages, such as, say, home, catalog, product, category, and other ones.

Based on the above popup types, store owners can determine the most appropriate ‘moment of interaction’ with their site powered by popups.

Now, let’s walk through several examples that will let us understand for what purposes online merchants can utilize popups in their stores.

Popup Usage Examples

Welcoming Popup

We begin our quick tour from the so-called ‘welcoming popup’ used by the Naja underwear web store. The popup is shown to users once they visit the store for the first time and offers a special discount on the first purchase for each new email subscriber.

In this way, the brand welcomes new visitors to its site. Moreover, it presents particular offers in a short and easy-to-understand form prompting visitors to become email subscribers with the words ‘be our special guest’ that creates the feeling of a unique offer available for each website visitor.