3dcart’s 2016 Cyber Monday Sale!

Shopping Online for the Hoidays

It’s the most wonderful time of the year… for eCommerce merchants! In only a few short weeks, shoppers will be out in force, and 3dcart is here to help you boost your online store to new heights.

Get ready for a blizzard of traffic and sales this holiday season by taking advantage of our Cyber Monday specials. On November 28th only, we are offering the following discounts to help you prepare for a successful 4th quarter:

  • 20% off all SSLs: SSL (secure socket layer) technology encrypts all customer data to ensure their personal information remains private. Keep your customers safe, and inspire confidence in your store.

Secure your site now!

  • 50% off all themes: Spice up the look of your 3dcart store with a new premium theme. If you’ve had your eye on a particular look for your site, now’s your chance to get it for half price!

Browse themes here!

  • $1,000 off any design package: Get the custom site you want at an affordable price this Cyber Monday! Choose from 4 design packages tailored for your business needs and budget.

Customize your website design now!

  • Address Verification 1 year for $49 (58% off regular price): Connect to the USPS address matching system to automatically fix mistyped domestic addresses, and eliminate shipping errors, carrier penalty fees, and other problems.

Get the Address Verification app here!

  • 50% off DIY Search Engine Optimizaton (SEO): Our SEO experts will set up Google Analytics and provide you with monthly reports on your traffic and SEO errors, as well as an exclusive newsletter— all the information you need to manage SEO on your site.

Increase your site traffic with DIY SEO now!

  • SEO BOGO: Buy one month of any SEO plan and get one month free! Our SEO plans are fully managed packages that will give your website the best rankings possible. Let our team do all the work for you!

Increase your SEO rankings now!

  • Promo Code for 5 myWebmaster tasks for $100 (a $249.95 value): 3dcart’s experts are standing by to help you with your site through our myWebmaster shop, with such tasks as setting up rules and newsletters, importing data, image resizing, and other technical work that you may not want to tackle on your own. This 5-time-use promo code will be applicable to almost all myWebmaster services (any priced at $49.99). Pick up your code now and enjoy 5 myWebmaster services at a steep discount!

Get 5 myWebmaster tasks for only $100!

These deals are only available for a limited time, so jump on them while you can, and ride high atop the Cyber Monday wave as you get ready to say goodbye to 2016. Ring in the New Year with 3dcart, and watch your sales light up like the North Pole!

Small Business Saturday is Next Week: Here’s How to Take Advantage

Fashion Designer Sitting in Front of Three of Her Colleagues at a Desk

The struggle of the small business is well-known. At times it can feel impossible to compete with the big-name companies who are able to offer vast inventory at rock-bottom prices. But did you know that small businesses employ over half of the US population and greatly outnumber large corporations? It can be said that small business is the lifeblood of America.

A small business is defined as any business with fewer than 500 employees, but the majority are owned and operated by a single person. At 3dcart, many of our customers fall into that category, and our goal is always to help you reach success. You have an opportunity now to boost your online (and offline) presence by participating in Small Business Saturday.

Small Business Saturday is an annual event that was created by a non-profit partnership in 2010 and sponsored by American Express as a means to support the efforts of small businesses throughout the US. The event was so successful that the UK adopted it in 2013. Small Business Saturday now ranks with Black Friday and Cyber Monday as one of the most important shopping days of the year. It takes place on November 26 this year, the day after Black Friday.

Businesses can take advantage by visiting the official Small Business Saturday website and signing up to create custom downloadable marketing materials to post both on- and offline. If your business has a brick-and-mortar location, you can have it added to the small business map maintained by American Express. Many communities run small business celebrations; you can find more details on the official site as well.

On Facebook and Twitter, you can publicize your business’s participation by using the hashtags #SmallBusinessSaturday and #SmallBizSat. You can tweet directly to @ShopSmall which is the official account maintained by American Express, and visit the official Facebook page for direct communication with Amex’s Shop Small team.

Just like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, shoppers will be out in force— however, Small Business Saturday is specifically geared toward bringing new customers to your doorstep. Competition is healthy, but customer retention will give you an edge. In order to build a loyal customer base, you first have to get the word out, and Small Business Saturday is a fantastic opportunity to do just that.

Ink 4 Cakes finds success by enhancing their site search


drago-kalajdzic-ink4cakesFounded in 2007, Ink 4 Cakes specializes in edible products ranging from wafer paper, icing sheets, and edible printers with edible ink cartridges. The company features high quality, FDA-approved filtered edible ink, as well as kosher certified icing sheets and wafer paper.

Struggling with search

Through shopper surveys, 3dcart customer Ink 4 Cakes identified a major hole in the customer journey from search to sale. Customers who visited the online store struggled with search. The results of keyword search were frequently too broad, resulting in lost sales and an increased burden on the company’s customer support team.

While some customers prefer using keyword searches to find what they’re looking for, others can use a guiding hand, especially when confronted with a large number of potential product matches. Ink 4 Cakes founder Drago Kalajdzic saw a clear opportunity to help connect confused customers with the products they needed.

Making site search simpler

Through the 3dcart app store, Ink 4 Cakes discovered FusionBot and integrated a more faceted, advanced search solution into their online store. FusionBot’s Advanced Search app creates a series of filtering options that can help customers narrow down the products they see based on factors like price, category, color, feature, and more. These filters live in the sidebar of the site’s search page and update dynamically as customers choose the filters they want to use. So, if a customer chooses the “Edible Inks” category, the page automatically updates the other filters to only include the available brands, uses, features, colors, and other factors associated with that category.

Drago wanted to take this solution to the next level. He got in touch with FusionBot directly. Together, they created a custom “Edible Ink Finder,” a feature on the homepage that makes product filtering fast and simple. When customers visit Ink4Cakes.com, they’re able to choose the exact brand and model of printer and what kind of ink they’re looking for using dynamic drop-down menus, then clicking “search.” The website loads a search results page based on the filters, and customers can tweak their search using the advanced sidebar functionality if they need to.

According to Drago, working with FusionBot to build the customer solution was a great experience. “[FusionBot’s] customer service and implementation were impeccable. Very fast and responsive for questions. Highly professional.”

in4cakeshomepage

Icing on the cake

The product finder helped cut back on unfruitful searches that relied too heavily on customers to find the exact wording for the search. In the first month alone, Ink 4 Cakes realized sweet results, including an 8% jump in conversions and a 30% drop in customer support calls.

Because FusionBot is tightly integrated with 3dcart, Drago can control the search experience from the backend of the ecommerce platform. It all runs together seamlessly, creating a central management experience that helps small business owners keep a tight, organized shop.

To learn more about how FusionBot and 3dcart work together, visit the 3dcart app store.

50% of consumers are still anxious about shopping online. 4 tips that will ease their concerns.

woman-looking-at-laptop

You may think it’s a generational thing, but consumers of all ages (half to be exact) are still hesitant to make a purchase online.

Online shopping can save a lot of time and energy, and there’s no denying its convenience! But how do you persuade those buyers who are a bit uneasy about making an online purchase?

We’ve broken down the top four customer fears when it comes to shopping online and provided tips on how to overcome their concerns:

  1. “How will I know if the product will live up to my expectations?”

This is a big one. When it comes to making purchases online, customers don’t get to physically hold the product in their hands before buying, and that requires them to trust that the product they order online will actually be what they’re expecting when it arrives at their door.

What you can do:

  • Have reliable, high-quality, product photos and descriptions on your eCommerce store that allow the customer to get a feel for what they’re buying
  • If you’re selling clothing or apparel, identify what size the model in the photo is wearing as well as their body measurements so the customer has something to compare to.
  • Share customer reviews so that buyers can see feedback from those who have purchased the product(s) before.
  1. “What if I change my mind about the product once I receive it?”

Another common fear among online shoppers is that they’ll experience buyers’ remorse once they receive their product and will end up stuck with something they don’t really want.

What you can do:

  • Go above and beyond with your return policy. Reassure your customers that if they change their mind, they can easily return their purchase without hassle.
  • Provide a return shipping label with your delivery so that customers don’t have to hunt for a return address if they choose to send the product back.
  1. “Is my personal information secure?”

When doing anything online, people want to know that their personal information will be protected. This is especially important when it comes to online shopping because customers are typically providing sensitive information such as their home address, credit card number, etc.

What you can do:

  • Only ask for customer information that is absolutely essential for the purchase
  • Make sure your website is secure and protected with an HTTPS connection.
  • Use a secure credit card payment process. Verified by Visa or MasterCard SecureCode are two examples that will assure your customers their credit card information is protected.
  1. What if I have questions or concerns before, during, or after my checkout process?

The one disadvantage to shopping online is that customers don’t have a salesperson in store helping them make decisions and providing answers to their important questions.

What you can do:

  • Have a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) page on your website that answers common questions customers might have about the products and the purchasing process.
  • If you have the resources to sustain it, consider offering a Live Chat feature on your website where customers can speak to someone in real-time about their questions and concerns.
  • Have a contact email that customers can send their questions, comments, concerns, and feedback to—and actually respond!

 

Seeing is still believing.  Before the 3dcarts of the world, a consumer would touch the merchandise before they’d buy.  Make your webstore as close to this real experience as you can.  Your site is the sales person.  Your product is a grouping of pictures and text.  But your customer is still a real, live human.

Good luck!

This was a guest blog post by eBridge Connections. eBridge Connections delivers powerful, cloud-based ERP and accounting integration solutions that automate vital business processes while eliminating the need for manual data entry. Leveraging reusable connectors, data touch points and business rules instead of individual maps, eBridge Connections can implement and maintain integration solutions with greater efficiency, ultimately leading to a lower total cost of ownership for customers. Our universal platform supports over 30 accounting and ERP systems including products from Microsoft, Sage, SAP, NetSuite, and Epicor. With connections to the leading eCommerce carts and marketplaces, CRM applications, and hundreds of EDI trading partners, eBridge Connections has become the integration platform of choice for businesses worldwide. Learn more about eBridge Connections here.

November’s Partner of the Month: eBridge Connections

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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 November, our Partner of the Month is eBridge Connections.  Our team interviewed Lauren Macdonald, Marketing Coordinator at eBridge Connections, to help 3dcart merchants get insight into their company and solution.

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

eBridge Connections was founded in 1993 by Colin Brown. His vision was to develop and deliver a powerful solution that would move and integrate critical data between an organization’s business applications (eCommerce, CRM, EDI) and their ERP or accounting system.

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

We deliver powerful, cloud-based ERP and accounting integration solutions that automate vital business processes while eliminating the need for manual data entry. Leveraging reusable connectors, data touchpoints, and business rules instead of individual maps, eBridge Connections can implement and maintain integration with greater efficiency, ultimately leading to a lower total cost of ownership for customers.

Our universal platform supports over 30 accounting and ERP systems including products from Microsoft, Sage, SAP, NetSuite, and Epicor. With connections to the leading eCommerce carts and marketplaces, CRM applications, and hundreds of EDI trading partners, eBridge Connections has become the integration platform of choice for businesses worldwide.

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

Our universal connector “plugs-in” directly to 3Dcart.  Why does this matter: this means that orders, inventory, shipping numbers and product detail are always entered right in both the “cart” and the accounting system.

We’ve been a partner of 3Dcart since the start – too many years to count now!

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

eBridge Connections powers 3dcart integration with the leading ERP and accounting packages such as Microsoft Dynamics, Sage, NetSuite, SAP Business One, Epicor, and many others. The benefits of this integration for 3dcart merchants are:

  • Eliminates the need for manual data entry between 3dcart store and the merchants’ accounting package
  • Allows 3dcart merchants to save time and money while avoiding the possibility of costly errors
  • Increases the speed of data exchange, improving customer service efficiency
  • Frees up merchants’ time and resources to focus on growing their business

5. What are your solutions’ biggest strengths?

The biggest strengths of an eBridge Connections integration solution are:

  • A fully-managed solution with connectivity, data translation and compliance all handled in the cloud; no on-premise software required
  • Shared business rules that replace the need for mapping and reduce the total cost of ownership
  • Bi-directional, automated data integration between 3dcart and a connected ERP or accounting system
  • Multi-store, and multi-platform (Marketplaces, CRM, EDI) support
  • Access to ePortal, which is our web-based application for data/document management and archiving

Unlimited, 24/7 access to a North American-based support team

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

Our universal connector allows us to plug-in connections from pre-built solutions for all of the leading eCommerce platforms, and accounting/ERP packages. This means that eBridge Connections can implement, deploy, and maintain integration solutions with greater efficiency than other solutions in the market. This ultimately leads to a lower total cost of ownership for our customers.

Furthermore, we are the friendly Canadian company that is proud to say all of our integration solutions are built, maintained, and supported in-house, with no reliance on 3rd party software or developers. This is different than a lot of our competitors who tend to outsource work to other locations.

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

We want to keep empowering the merchant.  Our goal is to make order automation easy, owned in-house and scalable as the business grows, and changes.  If the merchant changes accounting systems, or adds new eCommerce sites, we want to be able to grow with them.  Oh, and we want to have fun too.

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

With an eCommerce integration solution from eBridge Connections, customer and sales order information from your online store is automatically entered into your back-office ERP or accounting system. In turn, product information, inventory, and shipping details are updated automatically on your eCommerce platform to provide customers with essential and up-to-date information.

Our job is to handle the flow of data from one system to another, so that you can get back to focusing on what you do best—selling awesome products online!

To celebrate the Partner of the Month feature, any 3dcart merchant who signs up for eBridge Connections during November will automatically receive 10% off the license fees for their first year! Learn more about eBridge Connections here.

Offer valid 11/1/2016-11/30/2016

Process Payments Quickly and Easily with Vantiv

Vantiv-LogoHaving a versatile, secure, and innovative payment processor for your online store is an important facet of building and maintaining a competitive edge. Businesses and customers alike need a payment solution capable of adapting and responding to evolving market conditions.

3dcart’s newest payment partner, Vantiv, offers a variety of exceptional payment solutions ideal for businesses of all sizes. With support for all major credit cards brands, international, plus popular alternative payment options, Vantiv is a robust payment solution designed to help businesses thrive and succeed.

In addition to their cutting-edge core payments processing, Vantiv offers a host of value-added solutions including:

  • Fraud protection and tokenization: Vantiv’s proactive fraud protection and tokenization helps to protect your store’s reputation and security.
  • Improved Authorizations: Account updating helps your store to optimize approvals and reduce revenue-draining attrition.
  • Reporting: Review critical information, including data analytics and insights, to help you increase efficiency and maximize revenue.
  • Alternative Payment: Vantiv supports popular alternative payment brands like eCheck for increased customer satisfaction.
  • 24/7 Support: First-line support is available via live chat 24/7/365 to assist with technical processing issues.

Ready to take advantage of Vantiv’s robust sets of capabilities? Integrating Vantiv into your store is fast and easy; sign up for a Vantiv account to get started.

Recover Lost Customers with 3dcart’s Abandoned Cart Saver

NewFeatures2Cart abandonment plagues online stores of every industry, every day. Whether you’re the owner of a niche crafts shop or a popular, growing brand, you’re losing sales.

According to industry research, today’s average online shopping cart abandonment rate is an astonishing 68.63%. That means you’re losing nearly seventy out of every one hundred sales to abandoned shoppers, and more importantly, that your revenue is potentially only a fraction of what it could be.

Abandoned carts are unfortunately an inevitable aspect of running an online business, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to combat it. Through an effective email recovery campaign, you can persuade a large percentage of shoppers to return to your store and complete their purchase.

With 3dcart’s new Abandoned Cart Saver, you can easily create and manage compelling email campaigns that match your brand’s unique style and tone. The Abandoned Cart Saver gives you complete freedom to easily personalize every facet of your email campaigns, with all the tools you need to sway reluctant customers to complete their purchase right at your fingertips. Customize your campaign’s email message from scratch, optionally save time using a pre-built template, and specify the intervals at which your emails are delivered for maximum effect.

You can start improving your online store’s order completion rate today by creating your very own abandoned cart email right from your Online Store Manager.

For a step-by-step guide, visit the 3dcart Knowledgebase.

What online sellers should know about apparel and sales tax

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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!

Read more

5 Tips for Ecommerce Advertisers

Bing

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

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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.