The Chef Responsive Theme – A FREE Professionally Designed Theme from 3dcart

Here is a preview of our most recent theme “The Chef” — a new, professionally designed responsive theme.

thechef-html5

If you would like to preview the live demo of our “The Chef” theme, you can do so by clicking the link below. Check it out on your phone, tablet or computer; you’re sure to love it for the price, FREE.

3dcart’s Live Demo of the theme “The Chef”

Stay Tuned! Additional New and Updated 3dcart Templates are coming soon!

 

Important Update: Google Shopping GTIN Requirements are expanding soon

After May 16, 2016, Google will require that all brand-name products that have an associated GTIN must be accounted for in product data feeds for Google Shopping campaigns. This means that you or your advertisers must ensure that GTINs are entered properly into product data feeds in order to run Offers in Google Shopping campaigns for those products.

Barcode

Overview

In 2015, Google began requiring Global Trade Item Numbers (GTINs) for products from a list of 50 brands.

Going forward into 2016, Google’s requirements for GTINs will expand beyond those 50 brands to include all products with a GTIN assigned by the manufacturer.

Why Google is making these changes

GTINs help Google understand exactly what you’re selling. When Google understands what you’re selling, Google can help boost your ad performance by adding valuable details about the product and serving the ad in a more relevant way to users. This also means that your ads can serve in more places on Google, YouTube, and Google’s partner sites.

Merchants who’ve added correct GTINs to their product data have seen 40% more clicks and exposure in more types of Shopping ad formats. Merchants who added GTINs to their feed saw an increase of up to a 20% lift in conversion rates .

What it means for you

If you sell brandname products that are sold by multiple merchants, you should take a close look at the new requirements and double check that your product data is correct and up to date.

If you sell used, custom, handmade, or vintage products, this change probably won’t impact you. You can still improve your ad performance by adding unique product identifiers to your product data where they’re available.

What you need to do

If you’re targeting Australia, Brazil, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, the UK, or the US, submit correct GTINs and the corresponding brand for all new, instock products that have GTINs assigned by the manufacturer.

Timeline

  • February 8, 2016: Warnings begin. “Missing GTIN” and “Invalid GTIN” warnings began to appear in your account for products that don’t meet the requirements. Please note that “Coupon code GTIN”, “Restricted usage GTIN” and“Ambiguous GTIN code” will not be enforced.
  • May 16, 2016: Disapprovals begin. You’ll start to see disapprovals in your account for products that don’t meet the requirements. After this date, you’ll need to meet the GTIN requirements to continue serving ads for your products.

How can I get correct GTIN values for my products?

GTINs also referred to as UPCs, EANs, JANs and ISBNs are used by the brandname

manufacturers of a product to uniquely identify it. They are the number printed on the product’s package in one of the following bar code formats:

GTIN Bar Code Formats

The majority of retailers and distributors use GTINs to identify brandname products in their inventory, fulfillment and accounting systems so if your feed currently does not include GTINs, you can likely get them from elsewhere in your organization. If you do not physically manage your own inventory, you can request a list of GTINs from your distributor or the manufacturer from which you purchase your products.

Important: do not create values for GTINs or purchase your own GTINs to fulfill this requirement as this will result in your offers being disapproved. If you believe an item was incorrectly disapproved or legitimately does not have a GTIN, you can request a manual review.

3dcart Success Stories: Featuring TruTech Tools

Trutechtools

3dcart has helped more than 17k stores find success in selling online, a number that has continued to grow with each passing year.

But while a large percentage of our 17k merchants have been with us since their start-up days, an even bigger percentage are clients who have switched over after a turbulent, unfortunate experience with another shopping cart.

Case in point: TruTech Tools, a veteran-owned and operated distributor of testing equipment for energy auditors, HVAC/R technicians, and home inspectors, is a quintessential example of how an ill-equipped shopping cart can stifle a business’s growth and potential.

Like every great story, the Akron, OH, based company boasts a tale of humble beginnings. Their first online store was designed by a high school kid – a point of origin that many businesses new to eCommerce share. Fueled by a desire to grow and expand their online presence, TruTech Tools joined forces with shopping cart provider Zen Cart – a decision they though would put them on the fast track for success.

Of course, like most things in life, things hardly turn out the way we anticipate, and they rarely go wrong in the way we expect. Jim Bergmann, CTO of TrueTech Tools, recalls his business’s motive for choosing Zen Cart. “As a small business, we looked for the lowest barrier to entry, and Zen Cart was free. But hardly anything is really free. We found there was a huge tradeoff for website novices in that there was no customer support.”

Without access to support and having very little experience in running a website, Jim had a tough time solving everyday issues. What Jim needed to succeed was guidance and best practices – something Zen Cart was ill-equipped to provide.

With frequent downtime plaguing their online store, Jim decided to look for another shopping cart, one that wouldn’t stifle or hinder his business’s success.

After researching his available options, Jim and TruTech found a home at 3dcart. Jim cites 3dcart’s 24/7 helpful Support Team, expansive learning resources, and solid platform as the primary reasons for choosing 3dcart. “3dcart was light years ahead of Zen Cart in terms of what we needed our software to do,” Jim says. “It was the perfect platform to continually learn more about running an online store. We wouldn’t be where we are today without it.”

In 2008, after just one year with 3dcart, TruTech Tools grew by a remarkable 1000%. And their success didn’t stop there: In 2009, sales increased by 200%, another 20% in 2010, and a whopping 35% increase in 2011.

Jim attributes his online store’s success to the power and scalability of 3dcart’s platform. “It doesn’t matter how great of a house you build,” Jim adds. “Everything comes down to how solid your foundation is. 3dcart has been that foundation for TruTech Tools, from our days as a small startup up until the present.”

To read more about TruTech’s eCommerce journey, visit 3dcart Success Stories.

Want to share your own story with the world? Fill out our form to be featured on our website and/or blog. 

Stay tuned! We’ll be sharing more success stories soon!

North Apparel Responsive Theme – A FREE Professionally Designed Theme from 3dcart

Here is a preview of our most recent theme “North Apparel” — a new, professionally designed responsive theme.

north-apparel-html5

If you would like to preview the live demo of our “North Apparel” theme, you can do so by clicking the link below. Check it out on your phone, tablet or computer; you’re sure to love it for the price, FREE.

3dcart’s Live Demo of the theme “North Apparel”

Stay Tuned! Additional New and Updated 3dcart Templates are coming soon!

Test the Zapier Integration

zapier

3dcart is now on beta stage on Zapier. We need your help to test the integration, create zaps, give us feedback and suggestions, and simply try connecting your 3dcart store to countless other apps.

Zapier makes it easy to connect applications and move data between them. You can use Zaps to connect any two Zapier-supported apps to each other. Explore the Zapier app directory here.

To start, enter your email address in the box below and we will send over more details!



Test the Pay with Amazon Integration

Pay with Amazon

3dcart is now on beta stage on Pay with Amazon. We need your help to test the integration and give us feedback and suggestions.

Pay with Amazon is the fast, easy and secure way to pay on desktop, tablet and mobile. Pay with Amazon makes it easy for hundreds of millions of Amazon customers to buy on your site. There’s no need to create countless usernames and passwords – your Amazon account credentials are all you need.

To start, enter your email address in the box below and we will send over more details!



Vantage Glasses Responsive Theme – A FREE Professionally Designed Theme from 3dcart

Here is a preview of our most recent theme “Vantage Glasses” — a new, professionally designed responsive theme.

vantage-glasses-html5

If you would like to preview the live demo of our “Vantage Glasses” theme, you can do so by clicking the link below. Check it out on your phone, tablet or computer; you’re sure to love it for the price, FREE.

3dcart’s Live Demo of the theme “Vantage Glasses”

Stay Tuned! Additional New and Updated 3dcart Templates are coming soon!

Audit Your Shipping Carrier to Maximize Your Shipping Spend

Shipping boxes with globe

From a P&L perspective, shipping costs are typically the 3rd largest line item just behind merchandise and labor cost. On average, e-commerce merchants spend 10% of their revenues on shipping costs. The financial investment of shipping product to customers means that auditing shipping spend and invoices is crucial to a business.

Shipping managers usually have one objective…to fulfill orders and quickly. These team members have little time to assume responsibility for additional workload. How can shipping managers be expected to meet the ever present deadlines to ship orders plus review previous shipments to ensure that they were delivered, much less on time?

Given that more than $2 billion dollars of shipping refunds go unclaimed annually for packages delivered late, outsourcing the monitoring and claiming of refunds is an important alternative for a business to maximize its shipping spend. Where do the unclaimed refunds result from? Both FedEx and UPS offer a 100% money-back guarantee on packages delivered late by 60 seconds or more. With an estimated 5% of shipped packages arrive late, monitoring the activity on your account with your carrier is crucial to the bottom line.

In addition to the Late Delivery audits, Invoice Audits track your carriers’ invoices for incorrect feessurcharges, and rates including:

  • Lost and Damaged
  • Manifested Not Shipped
  • Address Corrections
  • Residential Surcharges
  • Duplicate Charges
  • Shipping Charge Corrections
  • Rating Errors
  • Unused Account Charges
  • and other billing related errors.

With the identification and filing of refunds and credits being a complex and time consuming process, a business should consider taking advantage of a refund and invoice auditing company allowing them to focus on fulfilling orders, not claiming due refunds and credits.

Information is presented by 71lbs. 71lbs is dedicated to helping businesses maximize shipping spend. Solutions include money-back guarantee refunds, invoice auditing, lost and damaged claims and consulting on opportunities to manage and optimize supply-chain expenses.  

3dcart Success Stories: Featuring Boxiecat

Boxiecat

Subscription services are a fundamental selling point for countless 3dcart stores. Today’s customers demand more than a speedy checkout; they want to shop at reliable stores that can conveniently deliver their favorite goods when and where they need them.

Boxiecat, a subscription cat litter store, provides cat lovers with just that: set-and-forget, high-quality litter deliveries.

Josh Wiesenfeld, a life-long cat lover, founded Boxiecat in 2011 in response to an aspect of cat-care that he’d always found tiresome and rather expensive. “Cat litter is the one aspect of having cats that isn’t entirely enjoyable,” Josh explains. “Traditionally, getting litter is very inconvenient—it’s heavy to lift and lug, as well as a waste of time and gas. It’s an essential item but requires constant trips to the store. If you run low or (worse yet) run out, it can cause behavioral problems for your cat, and she will let you know she is displeased in very unpleasant ways.”

To meet the needs of everyday cat owners like himself, Josh set out to launch an online store that would allow customers to set-and-forget deliveries. “The market had a clear gap,” Josh recalls. “I knew I wanted to start the business—but nearly as exciting for me was the chance to become my own first subscriber.”

Josh comprised a detailed check list of essential criteria, including the ability to automate the payment and shipping process, and set out to find the right eCommerce platform to fulfill his vision. After thorough research, however, it soon became clear that only one shopping cart was offering everything Josh needed to launch his store: subscription capabilities, a scalable platform, secure hosting, 24/7 technical support, and connected order fulfillment through ShipWorks.

Having been with 3dcart since his start-up days, Josh can say with certainty that 3dcart really is everything a small business needs to succeed in selling online.

“As a business, 3dcart works hard at connecting with their customers on a much more personal level than you see in businesses today. That dedication helps ensure Boxiecat’s online storefront will be there to meet our subscribers’ needs.”

To read the entire story behind Boxiecat’s online success, visit 3dcart Success Stories.

Want to share your own story with the world? Fill out our form to be featured on our website and/or blog. 

Stay tuned! We’ll be sharing more success stories soon!

April’s Partner of the Month: Grasshopper

Girl in Apron with Cell Phone

3dcart is currently partnered with over 200 eCommerce companies. We’re constantly on the lookout for vibrant, innovative partners that can bring state-of-the-art solutions and services to our customers.

For the month of April, our Partner of the month is Grasshopper.  Our team interviewed Len Bruskiewitz, Manager of Partnerships at Grasshopper, to help 3dcart merchants get insight into their company and solution.

  1. Please provide some general background and history on your company:

Grasshopper was founded in 2003 by 2 undergraduates at Babson College who were running businesses and needed a way to handle phone calls while they were in class. After winning a business plan contest, they launched a service that gave entrepreneurs/small businesses a toll free or local phone number that when called, would play a company greeting, allow callers to choose a department or individual number and then route that call to any phone in the world. Over the years the range of features has grown to help over 250,000 small businesses run their operations better. In May of 2015, Grasshopper was acquired by Citrix and continues to be a fast growing and profitable division of the company.

  1. What’s the main service your company offers?

Grasshopper offers a Virtual Phone Service that lets an e-commerce merchant run their business from their mobile phone. In just a few minutes, you can be making and receiving business calls using our iPhone and Android apps. Features include multiple extensions for your team, calls forwarded to any phone number, SMS/text messaging, voicemails transcribed and emailed, and more. Our service assists merchants in 3 main ways; by helping them sound more professional (with a company greeting and multiple extensions), by letting them run their business from anywhere (with calls forwarded to any phone in the world on a custom schedule, voicemail to email, inbound/outbound texting and inbound fax to email) and by helping them separate their personal and business lives (with business calls announced before connecting and an app for both iOS and Android that lets them make calls from their business number – not their personal mobile number).

  1. Describe the integration and how long you’ve been a partner with 3dcart.

We have partnered with 3dcart since early 2016.

  1. What are the benefits for 3dcart merchants that use your solution?

In addition to the benefits of sounding more professional, running their business from anywhere and separating their personal and business lives, merchants can use different phone numbers/extensions to track the effectiveness of marketing campaigns. For example, a merchant can embed a different phone number on each page of their site (or every banner ad) and then be able to see which drove the most calls.  Additionally, based on an A/B split test done by KissMetrics, a website with a phone number listed on it saw conversion rates 0.5% higher than the exact same site without a phone number.

  1. What are your solutions’ biggest strengths?

The company was founded by entrepreneurs and we continue to focus on the needs of small businesses – not large corporations. Although most of our customers get their accounts up and running all by themselves in 20 minutes or less and never need help, we have an awesome support organization that is available for free 24 x 7 via a toll free number. We also have a feature set that provides the things e-commerce merchants need, without requiring them to understand the complexities of a business phone system.

  1. How does your solution compare to similar solutions in the market?

One of the main differences between Grasshopper and other solutions is that we do not sell phone hardware – we know that merchants already have all of the phone equipment they need to run their business – their mobile phones. Another difference is that since calls made to/from our service are delivered over mobile/landline networks (rather than the Internet), call quality tends to be much higher than VoIP providers. Finally, we have enabled SMS/text messaging for local/toll free numbers – which most other providers have not.

  1. What plans do you have for future development of your solution?

We do not pre-announce features but are continually working on new functionality based on customer feedback and our own research into technology trends.

  1. Any other thoughts for our readers, who are mainly e-commerce merchants?

According to BIA Kelsey, 60% of local businesses do not have a phone number on their website. With Grasshopper, you can set your business apart from the majority by having a business phone number available that prospects/customers can call or text. What is even better is that the number you post is not your personal cell phone – so it can be routed to whoever on your team is “on call”. Finally, our service plans start at $12/month and our typical customer pays about $30/month – so the cost of sounding professional is about the same as a few cups of coffee.

Learn more about the Grasshopper app here.