What online sellers should know about apparel and sales tax


When it comes to online sales, the clothing and apparel industry is set nearly double between 2014 and 2018. This growth has provided huge opportunity for small businesses and online retailers. However, online sellers should know that when managing sales tax, clothing sales can be tricky.

From local taxing jurisdictions, to whacky sales tax rules, this blog will cover the 5 things your online apparel store should know to make sure you’ve got your bases covered. Here are some common pitfalls and how to avoid them!

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5 Tips for Ecommerce Advertisers


As an online retailer, how do you bring more searchers to your website? Especially, searchers that are ready to buy.

Here are five quick tips for creating winning search advertising campaigns. And if you’re a 3dcart customer, you can log onto your customer dashboard and click on “Marketing – Special Offers” to redeem $100 in free search ads from Bing Ads.

  1. Focus on ad copy. Provide searchers with a good reason to come back. Showcase your products and don’t show the same ad over and over again. Refresh your ad copy often, highlighting new products and top sellers.
  1. Use Bing Shopping Campaigns. Make sure your products show up everywhere searchers browse. Bing Shopping Campaigns give you more control over targeting, easier management of products, and deeper insights into performance data.
  1. Get more sales and leads with ad extensions. Ad extensions help make your campaign more effective and attract more relevant customers to your business. With ad extensions, customers can easily call or find your store, navigate to specific pages on your site, download an app and more.
  1. Get mobile-ready. Make your website mobile friendly so it’s easy for your customers to browse and buy on the go. Then, capture more visitors by targeting your ads to mobile devices.
  1. Stay up to date with new search terms. Interests and search terms are always shifting — keep up with the changes by reviewing and expanding your keyword list. Don’t neglect less-common keywords, which typically have a lower cost per click. Use Campaign Planner in Bing Ads to search for current, relevant keywords.

Clearly Susan Gets Responsive with 3dcart


3dcart isn’t just changing the face of retail; we’re spearheading the Mobile Revolution, helping businesses small and large grow their sales and traffic one website relaunch at a time.

When a client approaches us looking to re-do their site, we point them toward Custom Responsive Design: stunning, brand-centered designs engineered to work flawlessly on any device or screen size. Whether you’re dreaming of a design so big you’ve been told its creation is impossible, or have only the vaguest idea of what you’re after, we can bring your vision into existence. For every project, our team of design experts painstakingly researches and analyzes industry, demographics, company goals, analytics, content and current website to ensure flawless results that exceed your expectations.

Case Study: Clearly Susan

In 2001, Clearly Susan’s founder Susan Rehm turned her passion for hand painting into a profitable business, selling hand painted glassware, wine glasses, cake plates, dinnerware, serving pieces, furniture, pillows, and signs. Now, more than a decade later, Clearly Susan has a earned a reputation as the premier destination for magnificent, one-of-a-kind artistic masterpieces, helping people affordably add a touch of personalized elegance, beauty and charm to their homes and offices.

And consumer interest in hand painted glassware and furniture isn’t the only thing that’s rapidly growing. The eCommerce market is booming, fueled by the increasing number of people researching and buying on mobile devices – a trend that shows no signs of stopping. Global mobile commerce, which now accounts for 34% of all eCommerce transactions around the world, is expected to grow 31% in 2017, as bigger smartphones and faster wireless networks make it easier for consumers to shop on their phones.

Seeking to maintain her business’s stellar reputation for unmatched customer satisfaction, Clearly Susan set out in pursuit of a responsive solution. With her years at 3dcart having been nothing but a positive experience, Susan decided to entrust the 3dcart design team with the challenge of bringing her website vision into existence.

Clearly Susan’s website relaunch features a gorgeous new look, smarter navigation, and intelligent filters for an improved user experience and higher customer satisfaction. The new design, combined with 3dcart’s SEO service has provided clearlysusan.com with tangible results: “I am very pleased with the results. My organic traffic is improving and my bounce rate has gone down. Plus, the right kind of traffic is now staying for longer.”

Why Responsive Matters

3dcart and Clearly Susan aren’t the only ones recommending businesses adopt a responsive design; your customers are, too.

  • A Google survey found that 64% of visitors were less likely to return to a site that wasn’t mobile-friendly, while 74% were likely to return to mobile-friendly sites.
  • More than 58% of American adults own a smartphone and almost 60% of all website traffic is from mobile devices.
  • 80% of consumers regularly user their smartphones to shop online.
  • Research predicts that by 2020, mobile commerce will make up 45% of total eCommerce sales.

Google now uses mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal in search results, which means if your website isn’t mobile-friendly, you’re losing sales.

Ready to get responsive? 3dcart wants to elevate your business to the next level.

View 3dcart’s design packages to get started.

3dcart Introduces New Automated Google Feed Service


Google Shopping is growing in merchants’ hearts everywhere.

And what’s not to love? Google Shopping makes it easy for businesses to connect with customers, increase their online visibility, and gain an edge over their competitors. Search for any product these days, and you’ll be treated to a useful, clean view of deals from all over the Internet.

With so many benefits, you’re hopefully selling your products on Google Shopping, too! Having grown tremendously since its launch in 2011, Google Shopping ads are more than ever critically essential to bringing in new customers and increasing traffic.

To help online store owners more easily manage their Google Shopping ads campaigns, 3dcart is excited to announce our new Automated Google Feed service. In a just a few simple steps, you can now easily generate a feed of your products for use on Google Shopping.

To learn how to generate a feed for your Google Merchant account, visit the 3dcart Knowledgebase.

10 Social Media Marketing Ideas for Your eCommerce Business in 2017

Social Media Ideas

The start of a new year is a time to reflect on the past and plan goals for the future. If your social media strategy isn’t as successful as it used to be, maybe it’s time to revamp your marketing plan. We’ve compiled 10 social media marketing ideas to spark a new change for your eCommerce business in 2017. It’s not too early to be thinking ahead.

  1. Get your customers involved

Customers are expecting you as the company to gloat about your products, but if they can see real people using your product your credibility will skyrocket. Your company will become instantly transparent and more relatable if you can get customers involved. Post a picture of them using your product on social media or post a great quote from a client testimonial or customer review in the form of an image.

  1. Utilize live video

If you’re having a company party or company outing, share the experience through live social media video. Post a status on Facebook or a tweet on Twitter and set it to live mode. You can also use the real-time video app called Periscope. You could even give a live tour of your office or warehouse facility to give customers a better insight into day-to-day operations. Engaging your audience in a transparent way like this opens doors for more trustworthy relationships, and exposes the great personalities behind the scenes.

  1. Use #hashtags

Hashtags on Twitter or Instagram is a great way to connect people from all backgrounds.

Use industry-related hashtags to gain traction from users searching for those words specifically. This is a great way to gain new leads from people who may not have heard of your company otherwise.

  1. Start conversations

Turn your social media posts into forums for your customers. Pose questions to get conversations started, like asking them how they feel about a breaking news story in your industry or how they relate to/if they’ve experienced the subject of a blog post you’ve published in that post. If you can create a little community of your customers within your social profiles, their loyalty is bound to stay true through the camaraderie of others.

  1. Tease a marketing campaign

If you’re planning an extensive content marketing campaign use social media as a way to tease the launch. Post every day as a countdown and format the posts to fit the style of each social media platform. For example, use creative hashtags and an image on Twitter, post a teaser video, link to a landing page, or photo for a longer-form post on Facebook, and use more professional language with a possible photo on platforms like LinkedIn and Google+. Social media teasers should be used to build anticipation and excitement.

  1. Implement a scheduling tool

Manage your time and social media posts better by using a scheduling tool. Great examples of free tools include Buffer or HootSuite that provide analytics, posting to multiple social media sites at once, posting images/videos, and suggestions on the best time of day to post. Scheduling tools also serve as a great way to repurpose content to fit the best platform possible with the visibility of each in one place.

  1. Make it personal

Big and small companies can benefit from showing off their staff behind the scenes. Post photos or videos of your staff to display their personalities and faces to customers. In doing this you’re creating a more personable image to something in eCommerce that may seem abstract from the outside. Your staff will feel individual and special and customers may find something they can relate to besides a product or idea.

  1. Cross-promote social media accounts

In the bio section of each social media account, fill in the contact categories with other social media profiles. It’s an efficient way to boost SEO rankings and clicks, while also exposing customers to additional news about your company they may have missed on just one social media account alone.

  1. For hire platform

Ditch the traditional way of job posting and expand your resources to include social media platforms. Social media posts are easily shared so they’re a great way to promote open job positions with the click of a button. Include a link to the job position landing page and encourage potentials to share the post.

  1. Offer tips and tricks

Break down a traditional blog or insider secrets as tips and tricks on social media. Post little snippets that are easily consumable. This could be in the form of inspirational quotes, a quick list, tips from your CEO, or even a joke. Social media is a scannable medium so format tips and tricks in the same way.

So what’s the goal?

The goal of any company, and eCommerce specifically, is to build engagement with your audience. Fortunately, in today’s ever-changing social landscape, connecting with your customers is easier than ever. A beneficial outcome to building engagement is generating leads. With leads comes more brand awareness, and within that brand awareness through social media, you want to convey the value of your company and highlight the benefits you want to be best known for. Make your business more transparent and get customers involved. Help them to feel like they’re a valued member of your story and engage in authentic conversation. Social media is free advertising so take advantage of it.

This was a guest blog post by SkuVault. SkuVault is a Warehouse Management Software with eCommerce integrations that helps you get orders to customers faster, reduce labor costs, and reduce out-of-stocks. With SkuVault, you can locate any product in your warehouse at any time using barcode scanners.

Holiday Shipping and How It Will Affect the Money Back Guarantee Policy

When UPS or FedEx deliver a package after the guaranteed time, you are entitled to a refund credit for the shipping charges. Ground packages are also included. These GSR (guaranteed service refund) late package refunds are only provided upon request; You do not get them automatically. UPS & FedEx offer a great money-back guarantee policy on late deliveries; However, they don’t necessarily make it easy to get these refunds. With the holiday season coming up, you can definitely expect to see some changes in the money back guarantee policies with your carriers.

Blackout Dates:

FedEx Express

  • Nov. 23 for shipments that are delivered within 90 minutes of the published delivery commitment time.
  • Dec. 19 – Dec. 24 for shipments that are delivered on the published delivery commitment date.

FedEx Ground

  • Packages tendered to FedEx Ground for delivery on the day after Thanksgiving will be scheduled for delivery on that day if the recipient business is open, but in any event, the delivery commitment will be extended to the next business day for application of the money-back guarantee.
  • FedEx Ground® and FedEx Home Delivery® Nov. 28-Dec. 24, 2016. – no guarantee

UPS Express

UPS Air and international packages picked up or delivered within the United States are guaranteed throughout the holiday season.

Commitment times for Air and international Air packages scheduled for delivery Nov. 25, Dec. 18 – Dec. 24 and Dec. 31 will be extended as follows:

  • UPS Next Day Air Early and UPS Worldwide Express Plus will be extended by 90 minutes
  • All other Air and international Air services will be extended to end-of-day.

UPS Ground

  • Nov. 27 – Dec. 3 and Dec. 18 – Dec. 24. – no guarantee

We’ve created a chart based on the carriers and services for you to use so you can guarantee that your packages reach your customers by Christmas.


Historical Rates For Late/On-Time FedEx and UPS Deliveries in December

We decided to collect the data based off the historical late and on-time delivery rates for the FedEx and UPS invoices of our customers that were shipped out in December for the past three years.

  • In December 2013, 18.35% were late and 81.65% arrived on time.
  • In December 2014, 13.38% were late and 86.62% arrived on time.
  • In December 2015, 15.55% were late and 84.45% arrived on time.

In the last three years 15% of all packages shipped in December arrived late and were eligible to receive full refund credits.


UPS and FedEx rate changes for 2017

Once the holidays are over you will start to see some changes in your shipping spend with both FedEx and UPS. Here’s what to expect:


  • Daily rates for UPS® Ground service will increase an average net 4.9%.
  • Daily rates for UPS Air and International services will increase an average net 4.9%.
  • The Additional Handling charge will be assessed for UPS Air and International packages with the longest side exceeding 48 inches, instead of 60 inches.


  • FedEx Express rates will increase by an average of 3.9% for U.S. domestic, U.S. export, and U.S. import services;
  • FedEx Ground and FedEx Home Delivery rates will increase by an average of 4.9%, with FedEx SmartPost rates also changing;
  • the FedEx Express and FedEx Ground U.S. domestic dimensional weight advisor will change from 166 to 139;
  • FedEx Freight rates will increase by an average of 4.9%; and
  • The FedEx Freight extreme length surcharge will change from $88 to $150 and be applied to shipments 12 feet or greater compared to the prior 15 feet

This was a guest blog post by Refund Retriever. Learn more about Refund Retriever here.

3dcart Strengthens Support with New Customer and Developer Advocate Roles

3dcart is at the forefront of technological innovation, empowering entrepreneurs all over the world with the best eCommerce tools, resources, and technical support in the industry.

We’re committed to helping our merchants better manage, grow, and expand their businesses – a goal we accomplish everyday with the help of dedicated, amazingly smart people. We’ve built a team that isn’t just hard-working and driven; they’re passionate about helping us change the future of commerce.

Today, we’re excited to announce that our talented team has expanded yet again with the addition of two new advocacy roles.

Customer Advocate (Victor Del Rio)

Our Customer Advocate is entrusted with an important responsibility: to help us better determine what’s best for you, our customer. Plainly speaking, he’s your #1 advocate, painstakingly researching and reviewing requests, complaints, and feedback from your perspective. With this insightful information, we can easier pinpoint customer pain points, bring about prompter resolutions, ensure any reported problems do not occur again, and most importantly, improve customer satisfaction.

Developer Advocate (Shavoy Jones)

Our Developer Advocate’s primary responsibility is to make it easy for third-party developers to work with the 3dcart platform. In addition to assisting with API needs, our Developer Advocate meticulously researches and reviews issues and requests, and works closely with management to ensure developers have the tools and resources needed to succeed. By forging a closer relationship with developers, we’re able to offer 3dcart merchants access to the industry’s latest, most cutting-edge apps and designs.

We have more exciting developments planned for just around the corner, so stay tuned! In the meantime, check out our Product Roadmap for a glimpse of what’s to come.

October’s Partner of the Month: Refund Retriever



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 October, our Partner of the Month is Refund Retriever.  Our team interviewed Brian Gibbs, President of Refund Retriever, to help 3dcart merchants get insight into their company and solution.

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

Refund Retriever have been auditing FedEx and UPS parcel invoices for late packages and billing mistakes since 2006. All of our programming and technology is developed in house, no third parties ever have access to our programming or your information.

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

5-10% of FedEx and UPS packages arrive late, even if it’s late by 60 seconds, you are entitled to a full refund! Refund Retriever tracks and estimates all shipments, determines what’s late, and contacts FedEx and UPS for each refund.

There are no setup, monthly, or cancellation fees. We get paid after the carrier credits you and if you are 100% satisfied with our service. If there are no refund credits, you owe us nothing!

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

Refund Retriever has been a partner with 3dcart since 2013.

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

When a company doesn’t have a shipping audit system in place to discover whether refunds are owed for shipments that were delivered late, a lot of unnecessary shipping costs will accrue. This can obviously affect profitability. Companies must file claims in order to receive the refunds owed by FedEx and/or UPS for late deliveries and billing mistakes which makes collecting all that more difficult. Companies often do not monitor these kinds of small expenditures that take place every day in their organization. Although most businesses seek to control expenses, they don’t consider how quickly these refunds can add up. By hiring Refund Retriever, you are relieved of all that work in exchange for a small percentage of the money we collect for you in refunds. Doing this yourself would require many man-hours and this may end up costing you more than you would gain in collected refunds.

5. What are your solutions’ biggest strengths?

Many top company executives have decided to turn the job of monitoring and collecting refunds due to late shipments and billing mistakes over to Refund Retriever. Our company specializes in looking for discrepancies between what services were ordered and paid for and what services were actually rendered. Our particular area of expertise is in shipping recovery and the services we provide will definitely reduce your overall shipping costs by 5-10%.

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

Refund Retriever is a growing company. We believe in providing the best auditing service and customer support.  If you have a question or concern, you can call us at 800-441-8085 or email me at brian@refundretriever.com.  I am the president of the company and I will answer the phone to address your concerns.  We have an outstanding user-friendly client interface where you can view and pay our invoices, see shipping history reports and analytics, or search by tracking number to see all invoice and delivery information.  Here are a few of our reports: DIM weight packages, possible unauthorized packages, late packages, confirmed credits, and much more.

We also have a great referral program that allows you to earn free refunds when you send new clients our way!

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

We are always improving our client interface with more reporting features. If there is a report currently not available, just provide us with the data needed and we can provide everything you are looking for.

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

FedEx and UPS raise rates each and every year, watch your shipping costs on a regular basis. Business owners should not focus on shipping of course, but be aware of the changing rates and proactive in keeping your costs as low as possible.

To celebrate the Partner of the Month feature, any 3dcart merchant who signs up for Refund Retriever during October will automatically receive their first month free! This means any refunds recovered  during your first month are 100% yours! Learn more about Refund Retriever here.

Offer valid 10/1/2016-10/31/2016

Sarabeth’s Gets Responsive with 3dcart

SarabethsThe Responsive Revolution is well underway, and 3dcart is at the forefront of the movement, helping businesses of every shape and size elevate their websites to the next level.

When a business approaches us to re-do their site, we point them toward Custom Responsive Design: gorgeous, brand-centered designs, engineered to work flawlessly on any device or screen size. Whether you’re dreaming of a design so big you’ve been told its creation is impossible, or have only the vaguest idea of what you’re after, we can bring your vision into existence. For every project, our team of design experts painstakingly researches and analyzes industry, demographics, company goals, analytics, content and current website to ensure flawless results that exceed your expectations.

Case Study: Sarabeth’s

Since 1981, Sarabeth’s has been selling delicious baked goods, jams, and specialty foods. Renowned for their beloved “Legendary Fruit Spread” – hailed as the finest fruit spreads and jams in the gourmet industry – Sarabeth’s has grown into a household name, with their package goods sold at upscale supermarkets, gourmet shops, and specialty stores across the globe. Their sixteen restaurants; serving breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner; are situated in prime locations throughout the world such as the United States, Japan, S. Korea, Taiwan, and soon Dubai.

Consumers’ love for the Sarabeth’s brand is growing, but so too is their interest in mobile shopping. Published studies from Forrester Research Inc. predicts online sales will reach $523 billion in the next five years, with an average annual growth rate of 9.32%, as new technologies make it easier for customers to shop on their phones. The company’s research additionally projects that mobile devices influenced more than $1 trillion in total purchases in 2015, and that an additional 26 million shoppers will be browsing and buying from retail sites by the end of this decade.

Aware that Sarabeth’s website needs to evolve in pace with consumer demands and emerging technologies, the multichannel business set out in pursuit of a responsive solution. As a longtime 3dcart customer, Sarabeth’s President and COO, Charlie Apt, knew 3dcart was the perfect team for the challenge. “3dcart is a good fit for our brand and needs,” said Charlie. “Combining Sarabeth’s third-party art direction with 3dcart’s services was relatively seamless, and gave management the confidence that the right people were involved and committed to producing an excellent product.”

Today, Sarabeth’s is wowing visitors with its progressive and technology-driven design. Charlie boasts that company continues to receive phone calls from thrilled customers who frequently compliment the attractiveness of the new website. And although they’ve yet to enter their busiest season, they’ve already noticed a sharp increase in conversions.

Why Responsive Matters

3dcart and Sarabeth’s aren’t the only ones recommending businesses adopt a responsive design; your customers are, too.

  • A Google survey found that 64% of visitors were less likely to return to a site that wasn’t mobile-friendly, while 74% were likely to return to mobile-friendly sites.
  • More than 58% of American adults own a smartphone and almost 60% of all website traffic is from mobile devices.
  • 80% of consumers regularly user their smartphones to shop online.
  • Research predicts that by 2020, mobile commerce will make up 45% of total eCommerce sales.

Google now uses mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal in search results, which means if your website isn’t mobile-friendly, you’re losing sales.

Ready to get responsive? 3dcart wants to elevate your business to the next level.

View 3dcart’s Design Packages to get started.

5 Tips for Merchants to Create Effective Videos

Video has quickly come to the forefront as a key sales tool. With online shopping increasing by 45% in the U.S. this year, the need to add video to your sales strategy is becoming more and more apparent.

Are you ready to start leveraging video?

Here’s 5 tips to create effective video to drive sales and increase traffic:



  1. Target Customers with Video

Before setting out to create your videos, ensure that you have a clear objective. Do you want to show how a product is used or ask your customers to sign up for your e-news program in exchange for a percentage off their next order?

Here are a few video ideas to target your customers:

  1. Create a Facebook video campaign featuring top selling products with a call to action of signing up for e-news to receive 25% off your next purchase.
  2. Create teaser videos on your website of an upcoming early bird sale showcasing top selling products. Have a call to action centered around the date of the event and any requirements to receive the early bird specials.
  3. Create a refer a friend video series and send out in your email marketing to target your current customer base. Ask them to refer a friend to receive 30% off their next purchase when their friend makes a purchase.
  1. Maximize Black Friday Sales (Holiday too!)

With almost 3 billion dollars in online sales alone in 2016 (according to Statistic Brain), Black Friday should definitely be part of your video marketing strategy.

Here’s a few ways to maximize on the biggest shopping day of the year:

  1. Get customers in the Holiday spending spirit by creating a video sweepstakes. Highlight sought-after Black Friday deals and direct customers to your website for enter to win opportunities!
  2. Use video to drive sales from your loyal customers to promote customer-only offers and sneak peaks. Leak these videos on your website, send in your newsletter blasts, and use to target your customer base on social media.
  3. Highlight your most popular items in a video. Show how the item is used or create a series of videos showcasing these items with their special sale prices. Generate some excitement!
  4. Engage would-be customers with videos promoting your exclusive Black Friday sales. Offer new customers an additional 15% off already discounted Black Friday sales when they sign up for your email list.
  5. After Black Friday, highlight your popular products in a video slideshow or create a mini series to showcase your products. Try something like a “12 Days of Christmas Product Spotlight”. Share it on social media and offer an incentive to create excitement and promote the need to purchase.
  1. Influence Customers with Product Videos

Explainer videos are becoming very popular. With the vast majority of online users watching videos, what better way to increase conversion rates and interest than actually showing how a product or service works!

A few ideas for Explainer videos:

  1. Show how a product is used. Show all the moving pieces, how it comes together, and actual use-case scenarios.
  2. Create videos to highlight related products. If you’re selling furniture, show someone how your chair looks with a certain area rug, pillow, blanket, or end table.
  3. Show how a product is put together. One of your most popular items might come with instructions, show your customers how-to put it together and include any frequently asked questions you might receive.
  4. Add your logo to the videos you are creating to build brand recognition and authority.

The greatest part of creating an explainer video is that they promote sharing on social media. Customers like to share information on how products are used or how to do anything!

  1. FAQ Videos

Video is a great way to answer frequently asked questions. Create a series of videos to answer these questions. Include the product in question in the video and answer common questions while demonstrating the products use. Or maybe you sell electronics and are frequently asked how to install an update, go ahead and create a video guide.

  1. YouTube Shopping

YouTube never sleeps, but sometimes you need to take a break to update inventory or take a vacation. Make sure you are actively posting your amazing new videos to your YouTube channel to increase awareness, drive sales, and improve SEO. Tag your videos with important keywords related to the topic, product, and your business. Make sure you’re filling in your video descriptions and adding a url link back to your website and/or product.

By adding video to your online sales strategy, you’re sure to create awareness and increase your sales conversion rates. Always remember to be professional, include clear call to actions, and always make sure your video titles and related content are full of relevant keywords.

This was a guest blog post from RendrFX, a plug and play motion graphics maker allowing for easy creation of motion graphics messaging. Learn more about RendrFX here.