Webobble.com Launches Responsive Site on 3dcart!

webobble1Recently, long time 3dcart Merchant, webobble.com unveiled their newly revamped 3dcart site with a fully RESPONSIVE layout provided by 3dcart’s amazing design team!

The project itself was masterfully handled by 3dcart Project Manager, Renisha Glinton who coordinated efforts and worked closely with the design team and the folks over at webobble.com to ensure the merchant’s vision was met.

Apparently, they were very happy with the end result as evident by the wonderful care package of delicious looking cookies which were sent to Renisha this morning!

webobble2

 

Renisha, I wanted to thank you for the great management you provided during my webobble.com [re-design]. Sincerely, Jeff Wolsky

 

 

webobble3We really hope Renisha will share some of these treats with us, but that smile on her face seems to indicate otherwise…  It’s ok though.  She’s more than earned it!

Congratulations to WeBobble.com on the great new design!  Check it out here!

Have you updated your site to a responsive design layout yet?  If so, let us know and we’ll be glad to announce your new look as well!  (Cookies are optional)

Get to Know the Competition: Best Tools for SEO Research

If you are running an ecommerce business and trying to build authority, the best way to design an effective strategy is to take a close look at the competition. What keywords are they targeting? How are they building quality links? And perhaps most importantly: how can you use that information to your advantage?

Because you are in the same industry as your competitors, you probably already have a pretty solid grasp on what your customers are looking for and the most common keywords they are typing into search engines. However, with a little research, you can collected detailed data on both how your target audience behaves online, and how your competitors are achieving success through online marketing and keyword optimization.

Luckily, there are plenty of great tools available that will help you conduct research. Because everyone loves to save money, let’s start with the free services:

Moz’s Open Site Explorer
Open Site Explorer (OSE) is one of many great tools offered through the Moz website, which is the leader in providing the latest in marketing news and information. One side note, the Moz website serves as a great resource for anyone interested in issues related to online marketing and ecommerce. It is a good idea to follow their blog and keep the website bookmarked so that you can stay up-to-date when it comes to online marketing best practices.

Explore Keywords
That being said, OSE will allow you to see exactly what keywords your competitors are using as anchor text and where their site is being linked. All you have to do is visit the tool, type in the URL of a competitor and you can view the top 20 keywords that the site has used as an anchor text. You can even click on the keyword and view a list of hyperlinks that will take you directly to the articles that include that specific keyword or phrase.

Discover Link Earning Opportunities
OSE also allows you to view both the link domains and inbound links of your competitors. You can see exactly who is providing links to their page and how those links are being used. This will give you some real insight into who your audience is and the type of content that respond well to, which will ultimately help you to more effectively shape your own content.

How to Use This Information
Once you know which keywords are working well for your competitors, you can optimize your pages for those same keywords. Use them as anchor text and for internal linking purposes. In addition, you can reach out to other sites who are linking to your competition and offer to write a guest blog post or discuss different ways you might be able to collaborate. If they are already providing links to sites similar to yours, they are an ideal first target for establishing your own linking earning opportunities.

Google Keyword Planner
It is practically impossible to discuss anything related to the internet and SEO strategies without mentioning Google. In this case, Google’s Keyword Planner tool is free, but you will have to create an AdWords account to gain access. Once you have a login, you can perform keyword searches by entering up to five competitors’ URLs at a time and discovering exactly what keywords they are using.

Why Use Keyword Planner Instead of OSE?
OSE users can upgrade their free account to obtain more detailed reports, but Keyword Planner offers tons of information without charging a dime. Not only can you get a feel for keyword performance by viewing impressions, AdWords click through rates and keyword search position rankings, you also have a lot of options when it comes to narrowing your searches. For instance, you can look specifically at certain regions or states or see a list of long-tail searches that contain your target keywords. For a more thorough review of Google Keyword Planner and a look at the features it offers, click here.

How to Use this Information
Because Google Keyword Planner allows you to view very detailed information, it can be an especially useful tool for developing content ideas. You can get an idea of what niche markets may not be getting enough attention and concentrate your efforts with laser focus on a very specific, yet potentially profitable audience.

Hootsuite
While the list of free keyword and link research tools could go on and on, we should also take the time to discuss social media monitoring tools that allow you to see not only what is trending in your industry, but also what people are saying about you and your competitors. Hootsuite is just one available tool that allows you to manage all your social media accounts in one place, and provides you with all sorts of insights into what other people in your industry are up to.
While Hootsuite is compatible with all social media sites, it is perhaps most helpful in sifting through Twitter newsfeeds and making sure that you don’t miss important mentions in the overwhelming amount of information that is updated every few seconds. You can set up search streams that show mentions of certain products, companies or trends.

How to Use this Information
In the world of social media, a trend can last just a few hours before the next big hashtag takes over. If you are able to monitor and identify trends as they gain traction, you can be a leader and drive visitors to your site with the perfectly worded and timely tweet. Being just a couple hours behind can mean that you missed a key opportunity to capitalize on a trend that would have spoken directly to your audience. Keeping track of your social media mentions can also help you curtail any bad publicity. Be on the lookout for unhappy customers who may be criticizing your company and take a moment to address their concerns before their posts get too out of control.

One of the great aspects of modern marketing, especially for ecommerce businesses, it that there are so many free tools available. You can gain real insight into your industry, your competitors and the direction you should be taking your company just by visiting a few free sites. While there are also plenty of paid services that may offer more customer service and instructional tutorials for beginners, there isn’t necessarily a need to shell out money if you are still trying to keep spending to a minimum. You can gather important data on competitors and SEO strategies and help your business grow even on a shoestring budget.

To Learn More about 3dcart Marketing Services and how our SEO Team can help you increase sales and traffic, visit http://www.3dcart.com/ecommerce-marketing-services.html

Last Call for Beta Testers of the New Admin Interface

placeitThanks to all the merchants participating in the Beta of our new Admin interface.  We’ve been receiving great feed and have our development team actively working on these updates.

The details on the updates applied to the new admin are being posted in a private section of our Forum, please register to get access to the admin updates.

For any current 3dcart Merchant, interested in participating as a Beta Test, there is one last opportunity to participate in this round of testing. Please sign up by visiting this page and we’ll contact you soon with the details to help us make 3dcart the best ecommerce solution.

3dcart Mompreneurs Part 3

What is a mompreneurs

For the month of May, we are celebrating hard working moms who use 3dcart to further their entrepreneurial journey. From startups to established businesses, these companies have one thing in common – they were started by multi-tasking, eCommerce-loving, passionate mothers.

1. customicing.com.au

CustomIcing 3dcart store

“We are 2 mums with 5 children between us, that began our business while both still working our “real jobs” and having tiny children. It was tough going and at times a test on our patience like we had never imagined. Today we can sit back a little and be very proud of what we have created with CustomIcing.com.au.”

2. mommynecklaces.com

mommynecklace 3dcart store

“Mommy Necklaces are the safe and stylish solution to accessorizing motherhood. Our company began with the observation that a bright, engaging necklace could make a difference in focusing a distracted baby. We specialize in nursing necklaces and functional, fashionable jewelry for you, your style and your needs. Mommy Necklaces are created with USA manufactured durable cording, non-toxic beads and a custom closure that is designed for even the most determined baby. Mommy Necklaces is run by a team of amazing moms who believe in the beauty of motherhood and work hard to make each of our customers feel valued and appreciated!”

3. elemeno-pee.com

elemenopee

“We are a natural baby business who educates families on the benefits of raising children more naturally. From environmental to health to financial benefits, raising children to be eco-conscious benefits all of us and is healthier for baby. We know that different things work for different families, budgets and lifestyles, so we are here to help every mom be the best mom she can be. We hire moms to be advocates for our brand and our mission, with consultants currently in over 15 states helping us to educate and fulfill our mission of helping moms be the best mom they can be!”

4. bumbini.ca

bumbini

“As a mom of two small children, I remember how confused I was when I was researching cloth diapers! We want to help parents feeling the same way, so have tons of resources to help you make an excited and confident leap into cloth diapering! With out great selection of diapers and accessories, you will love Bumbini!

5. nancyaugust.com

NancyAugust

“We do children’s formal wear! We love kids and we make clothes that kids love.”

6. rufflesandribbon-com.3dcartstores.com

rufflesribbons

“I am a work at home mom business owner, and the owner of Ruffles and Ribbon Boutique. I am a clothing designer and, I showcase some of my favorite designs for both humans and pets on the Ruffles And Ribbon website where the ready to ship items are available for purchase and custom items can be ordered. I specialize in designing one of a kind, special occasion attire and accessories for kids, pets, and adults. My designs are perfect for photo shoots, parties, pageants, or any other day you want to look and feel like royalty.”

7. worldmusicalinstruments.com

worldmusic

“World Musical Instruments features over 2,000 musical instruments from around the world. Everything from kids musical instruments to professional musical instruments and lots of instruments for the recreational music maker in all of us!”

8. nancylaplacedesigns.com

nancy

“I’m a jewelry designer and metal smith. I sell wholesale, direct and take commissions for custom jewelry. I’m a single mom with two children. I started my jewelry business as a side business. Now, six and a half years later, I’m designing jewelry full-time, having left my day job 2 years ago. AND I’M LOVING IT!!”

 

If you are a mompreneur you want to become one, contact 3dcart today & get a free premium theme!

May’s Featured Partner: Refund Retriever

 

Refund Retriever 3dcart Partner3dcart currently partners with over 200 ecommerce companies, and constantly adding new ones. These partnerships allow online merchants to expand the 3dcart functionality to specific business needs.

Each month 3dcart highlights a featured partner. For the month of May, the Featured Partner is Refund Retriever. Our team interviewed Brian C. Gibbs, Refund Retriever’s President to help 3dcart merchants get an insight of their company and solution.

What all does Refund Retriever do?

Not many merchants know when using Fedex or UPS they are entitled for a refund if they deliver your package by even one minute late. Since shipping carriers don’t notify you of the late package and voluntarily refund your money, that is where we come in.   We monitor your FedEx & UPS accounts for late packages, bogus accessorial charges, duplicate package charges, and much more. Setup only takes a few minutes. Refund Retriever will audit all of your UPS & FedEx invoices, find these late packages and billing mistakes, and save you some serious money. Once we have access to your invoices, we are off and running without any more hassle on your part. It is a set it and forget it service.

Could you share how Refund Retriever started out?

Refund Retriever was started in 2006 by me, Brian Gibbs, after I attempted to hire another company to audit my own UPS and FedEx invoices. Being disappointed with the results, I began to audit my own invoices by hand with great success. I then started to develop software to automate the whole process, and the rest, they say, is history.

How long has Refund Retriever partnered with 3dCart?

We partnered with 3dCart in early 2014. 3dcart customers can sign up with Refund Retriever and get the first month of service for FREE.

How much does it cost?

There are no monthly fees, setup, or cancellation costs. Our only fee is a percentage of any successful refund credits we obtain for your account. This is typically a 50/50 split of money you would not have received otherwise; it’s like free money.

What are your solutions’ biggest strengths?

We write all of our own software and programming internally. No third parties ever have access to your sensitive information. In addition to finding all your late packages and billing mistakes, we offer a full suite of included shipping reports and analytics. We provide reports that include: actual discount rate by service levels, accessorial fee summaries, DIM weight summaries, cost per pound shipped and many more. We also offer something no other auditing company out there will provide for free: small parcel benchmarking. How do you know if your rate for UPS Ground is comparable to the next guy? We are able to measure your discounts with similar sized clients. I hear this about 10 times a week, “My rep said I am getting better rates than he has ever seen.” Well that might be true, but as a Refund Retriever client you will be able to really see for yourself.

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

Our software is currently on its fifth version. Refund Retriever is constantly updating our software technology and looking for new ways to save our clients more money. We are developing reports that will not only view your shipping history on different time frames, but also on an invoice by invoice basis. We are currently working on providing clients with a weekly shipping summary email.

I still believe face to face interaction with our clients is a top priority. We attend hundreds of tradeshows, so meeting us in person is easy! Up next: the IRCE 2015 in Chicago this June. Stop by booth 440 if you would like to speak with me in person.

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To learn more about Refund Retriever and how it can help you automate the process of requesting refunds from the shipping carriers, Register for our Free Webinar on “How to get refunds on late shipments” on Tue, May 26, 2015 @ 2 pm EST.

3dcart Mompreneurs Part 2

What is a mompreneursFor the month of May, we are celebrating hard working moms who use 3dcart to further their entrepreneurial journey. From startups to established businesses, these companies have one thing in common – they were started by multi-tasking, eCommerce-loving, passionate mothers.

1) blossomingmama.com

Bloosomingmama

“Blossoming Mama is a family owned and operated natural parenting store with a wide range of products to support your family through antepartum, maternity, home birth, postpartum, and raising baby.
I am Erin, a breastfeeding, babywearing, cloth diapering mom of two boys who recently resigned from the corporate world to pursue my passion for more natural parenting. And with that Blossoming Mama was born. I want to provide local and online moms with the tools and supplies needed to make your natural parenting desires come true without the need for multiple shopping trips.”

2) www.spunkyfans.com

spunkyfans 3dcart

“Spunky Fans is the result of a life-long dream, a step of faith and the love and support of an amazing family. We specialize in making your game day spunky and stylish. Dress your best in our huge selection of custom team fan clothing. From tailgates to everyday, Spunky Fans is your source for items in your favorite team colors.”

3) www.nurtured.ca

Nutured.ca 3dcart eCommerce store
“Began in 2006 as a small home-based business to bring cloth diapers and baby carriers to Canadian Maritime families Nurtured Products for Parenting in Halifax, Nova Scotia will mark 10 years in 2016.
The store has grown in the last decade to be an Eco friendly store that celebrates a growing family from building a baby registry to moving into booster seats. Customers enjoy the mompreneur start and continuation, the hand-picked selection, and the information provided with each purchase. ”

4) bellymoms.com

bellymoms.com 3dcart eCommerce store

“As a mother of two girls, and being a professional engineer prior to being a full time mom, I always felt the void of a wardrobe that lacked style and statement. That led me to design my own clothes and bring this to the entire world with fashionable maternity and nursing wear that is comfortable and affordable for every mom to must have to celebrate their pre and post pregnancy phases.”

5) 5freckles.com

5freckles 3dcart entrepreneur  “5 Freckles is an online retailer that designs and produces innovative kids’ products. The company was founded by Kawaynna Chernesky and her mother Jennifer Johnson in 2007. As a mother of two young children, Kawaynna noticed a lack of unique and imaginative products available to them. She founded 5 Freckles hoping to inspire creativity and imagination in kids by creating fresh, fun, new magical products and to give other parents more choices for their kids.”

6 ) sleepeezmats.com

sleepzz 3dcart store

“I am a mother of two who makes Children’s Nap Mats and Mei Tai baby carriers. I sell the nap mats on our website and am hoping to add the baby carriers soon. My business affords me the time to spend with my children as well as earn some income to help support my family.”

7) centerstagepersonalizedgifts.com

Personalizedgifts

“Center Stage Personalized Gifts offers parents a chance to put their kids in story and song! Our Personalized book star your kids, their friends, hometown and more. Our CDs feature famous characters such as Mickey Mouse, Veggietales and Elmo. Kids love to hear their favorite characters sing their name.”

 

If you are a mompreneur you want to become one, contact 3dcart today & get a free premium theme!

3dcart Mompreneurs

What is a mompreneurs

For the month of May, we are celebrating hard working moms who use 3dcart to further their entrepreneurial journey. From startups to established businesses, these companies have one thing in common – they were started by multi-tasking, eCommerce-loving, passionate mothers.

1) kraftoutlet.com

KraftOutlet a 3dcart store
“I am a stay at home mom/folk artist/online retailer. I started my online businesses years ago to promote my handmade folk art. As that business grew I had customers and other crafters ask me where I got my cut business cards, tags and labels. I saw a need for these items and purchased an online business from a women who wanted to go back to school. I increased sales in that company and saw a need to sell the products I was printing on, specialty paper and labels. That is how Kraft Outlet was born. I had my site with the same company that hosts my printing company but due to huge growth we found that this was not working and switched to 3Dcart. Soon after the switch to 3Dcart, Country Living magazine named us as a “Website We Love” in their October 2013 issue. I have been an online retailer all of the time my kids were in high school and college. You can handle a business and raise kids!”

2) beheresoon.com

BeHereSoon a 3dcart store
Be Here Soon celebrates gifts for expecting moms and baby too! A mother owned and operated business Established in 2001. Marian Thompson, owner, began her company after having two difficult high risk pregnancies. “As a mother of four children myself, I appreciate the needs of pregnant mothers and those shopping for expecting women. Motherhood and family have been and continue to be my biggest motivator/inspiration for operating my business”.

3) amibamonsters.com

amibamonsters.com 3dcart store
“I am a mother of three children that travel a lot. On one of our many trips, all three of our kids were slumped over in their car seats which looked very uncomfortable. So we pulled over and tried our best to prop them back up…with no luck. So it was time to look for a solution online. When we searched, nothing out there really stood out to help with the “slump” so I brain stormed with my son and came up with an Amiba Monster. Shaped like an microscopic amoeba, these travel headrest pillows are idea for traveling for children aged 4 and up. They are all unique and come with a personalizable birth certificate. We have multiple pillows from body travel pillows for kids, adult size travel pillows, and normal headrest size pillows.”

4) bellezajewelry.com

 bellezajewelry.com
“Our business is run by myself and my daughter. We are former web professionals and decided to start our jewelry business in 2009. We have worked with a lot of cart software both hosted and server side. We feel our business which is run by two moms, we couldn’t do the volume we do without our 3d cart. We do everything ourselves from the look and feel of the site, to the photography, to the products we hand make and source to shipping. We also have active home lives and run this business solely online.”

5) SquirrelCheeks.com

Screen Shot 2015-05-04 at 10.44.09 PM
“Squirrel Cheeks is an online children’s boutique specializing in wholesale apparel and accessories. I’ve been selling online for years and love having 3dcart as my webhost. I have grown bigger and bigger over the years thanks to the tools the website provides.”

6) funkymonkeypants.com 

funky monkey 3dcart
“I set up my business in 2009 when my daughters were 6 months and the eldest 12 years. I started up funky monkey pants as we used cloth nappies (diapers) on my daughter and I kept getting asked about them. It is a family business my daughter did the first 2 logos, dad does website stuff, partner does the accounts.
The business has grown and we now sell toys, toiletries and eco cleaning products we also have a unit on our industrial estate with a shop area and are stocking a full range of organic clothing in the winter .”

7) vintagetreasures-ornaments.com

Screen Shot 2015-05-04 at 10.45.02 PM
“I was in love with glass Christmas ornaments and remember my grandmother’s old ornaments hanging on the tree. Then one year…my husband bought me glass ornaments in the shape of vegetables…bell pepper, potato….I knew right then I had to find a way to get more of these treasures. The rest is history.”

3dcart version 6.6 update

2015-04-24_1807

This week, we went live with 3dcart version 6.6. The rollout is part of our continued strategy to bring our customers rapid innovation through agile software development.

Here are the new items we think you’ll find most important.

  • Beta of Single Page Checkout v2. Our new simplified Single Page Checkout is now in Beta and available to all 3dcart merchants. Including the latest usability standards for ecommerce, this new checkout will help increase conversions in your online store.
  • Google Trusted Stores Update. The GTS integration has been updated to support Google’s latest changes. Being a Google Trusted Store reassures shoppers that you’ll provide a great customer experience. Apply today – it’s easy and free..
  • WePay Integration. New Payment Integration with WePay Payment Provider.
  • Shipping Update For Dimensional Weight Calculation. With predefined boxes for your items, the system will now determine the best fit for your products based on their dimensions.
  • Responsive Transactional Emails. All the transactional emails, including Order Notifications, and product specific messages, have been updated to Responsive Emails. It’s easy to update to the latest version directly from your control panel.
  • Admin Account Security Questions.Enhanced security for your 3dcart account with security questions that will protect your sensitive information when is time to retrieve your Admin Panel password.
  • Adobe’s Aviary Integration.Easily edit images from the 3dcart Control Panel with Adobe’s Aviary built-in integration.

We’re always looking for feedback, feature ideas and ways to improve the software overall. Don’t hesitate to send us your thoughts through our feedback portal at http://3dcart.uservoice.com .

For merchants interested in perusing the entire list of bug fixes and feature updates, visit the announcements section of the 3dcart forum. Happy selling!

 

April’s Featured Partner: Searchspring

searchspring-banner
3dcart currently partners with over 200 ecommerce companies, and constantly adding new ones. These partnerships allow online merchants to expand the 3dcart functionality to specific business needs.  Each month 3dcart highlights a Featured Partner. For the month of April, the Featured Partner is Searchspring.  Our team interviewed Scott Zielinski, Searchspring’s Co-Founder to help 3dcart merchants get an insight of their company and solution.

How did Searchspring start out?

In 2007, Our co-founders Scott and Gareth teamed up to create SearchSpring, a hosted ecommerce site search solution that makes it easier for shoppers to find the right product. The duo have grown the company to serve over 650 merchants across the U.S., Europe and Australia. Ingenuity and dedication to customer service is at the heart of our culture.

What’s the main service SearchSpring offers?

Our technology provides best in class site search results and management flexibility. Our site search service is backed with advanced analytics, various merchandising tools, and automated SEO capabilities. SearchSpring delivers enterprise-level software without enterprise-type fees.

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

Quickly integrated, SearchSpring’s AJAX code snippets can be added to a 3dcart website template easily. SearchSpring’s team works directly with each client providing full integration and management for each domain set up. Clients can fully customize SearchSpring to improve search result relevancy, product visibility, website bounce rates, and overall ecommerce performance. Complimenting 3dcart’s already stellar platform offerings.

What are the benefits for 3dcart Merchants that use SearchSpring?

On average, SearchSpring processes roughly 7 million queries for 3dcarts user community per month. 3dcart merchants who receive a minimum of 30,000 visits a month, an average order value of $25 – $100, and are utilizing SearchSpring maintain onsite search conversion rates of 6-10% and overall conversion rates of 4.1% – consistently above ecommerce industry averages. The addition of SearchSpring to 3dcart improves onsite search conversions by an average of 280%.

 What are your solutions’ biggest strengths?

SearchSpring is a high touch, white glove service. Our implementation process is painless for our merchants. In addition to our rockstar support, SearchSpring is an innovative solution featuring our learning search capabilities powered by our IntelliSuggest technology.

How’s your solution price structure?

Our pricing is real cut and dry. SearchSpring bills based on your overall monthly traffic with a starting point of $499.95/mo.

How does SearchSpring compare to similar solutions in the market?

While there are “similar” products, SearchSpring continues to innovate and lead the industry for best in class site search. As one of the only US based site search providers, located in Colorado, we are a phone call away.

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

SearchSpring has a dedicated team to future product development. We are constantly working to expand our feature set and overall benefit to our merchants. Some things to keep an eye out from SearchSpring are more analytic options, advanced merchandising and marketing tools, and increased artificial intelligence.

Any other thoughts for our readers, who are mainly ecommerce merchants?

Every shopper that visits your website leaves data behind. This data should be consistently used to improve and polish relevancy via site search. Items viewed, items purchased, items searched, filters selected in the navigation, discount vs. new product sales performance can all be useful to improve website offerings and create hyper-relevant site search results. Use site search analytics to help and understand your shoppers, think about creative ways to utilize search data for a better shopping experience.

Click to learn more about SearchSpring’s integration with 3dcart.