Speed up the Returns Process with 3dcart’s New RMA File Upload Feature

NewFeatures7

Almost every eCommerce business deals with product returns and exchanges, sometimes on a daily basis. While often burdensome and sometimes costly, they’re nonetheless a crucial aspect of running a successful online store.

Customers are looking to shop from stores that instill trust and security, and having a great return policy and system in place for handling it can mean the difference between losing a customer and persuading them to shop at your store.

3dcart’s Return Merchandise Authorize (RMA) feature makes it easy for you to process returns and exchanges for customers. Fully customizable, you can control every facet of your returns process, including which choices are available for returns (e.g. money back, exchange, another product), which reasons are available for returns (e.g. item broken, disliked), the content of your RMA emails, and how an RMA is initiated (customer or merchant).

To help streamline the returns process further, 3dcart has updated the RMA feature to support file uploads. Now, when customers submit an RMA, they can share with you images of the product they’re trying to return (to illustrate damage, a defect, etc.). As a store owner, you’ll also be able to upload files to the customer while processing the RMA.

Supported file types include:

  • .gif
  • .jpg
  • .png
  • .tif
  • .tga
  • .pdf
  • .doc
  • .txt
  • .zip

For instructions on how to upload a file to an RMA and retrieve an uploaded image, visit the 3dcart Knowledgebase.

Grow Your Business with 3dcart’s New DIY SEO Service

diyseo

Online merchants are always looking for new ways to drive increased traffic to their websites, but are often too intimidated by the complexities and seemingly impenetrableness of Search Engine Optimization to consider DIY SEO.

In a perfect world, every online merchant would have the marketing budget to hire the industry’s most universally-renowned SEO agency and focus on other aspects of their business. But if you’re a small business owner working with a shoestring budget, or are too much of a “do-it-yourself” kind of person to relinquish control of your business’s marketing plan, then DIY SEO is the most logical and effective solution to better search engine rankings and increased traffic.

To help such online merchants start and manage their own SEO campaigns, 3dcart is excited to announce our new DIY SEO service. The new service offers a comprehensive suite of tools and resources to ensure merchants of every SEO-skill level can find success with their SEO campaigns.

The DIY SEO service includes:

  • Google Analytics setup with Search Console and eCommerce tracking
  • Exclusive access to an SEO monthly newsletter with how-tos, tips, best practices, and action steps to improve their SEO
  • A monthly scheduled report for organic traffic with key metrics to track
  • A monthly broken links report
  • A monthly SEO site audit analysis that displays site speed, page errors, and metatag issues.

If you’re ready to start improving your website’s search engine rankings, drive more traffic to your online store, and increase sales, it’s time to invest in SEO. Get all the tools and resources you need with the DIY SEO service  for $49/month.

Prefer to let 3dcart’s in-house, Florida based SEO team manage your SEO? Check out our fully-managed SEO packages, led by industry experts with Google certifications in Search Advertising, Mobile Advertising, Video Ads, Display Advertising, and Shopping, for phenomenal, quantifiable results.

4 Ways to Write Blog Posts That Actually Get Noticed

ThinkstockPhotos-82557772

So you want to start a blog. From both a marketing and branding standpoint, that’s fantastic news! A blog is a resource you totally control and one you can use to express yourself, communicate with your audience, and promote whatever goods and services you have on deck.

The problem is this: with some 2 million blog posts written every day, how in the world are you going to stand out?

Lucky you, we’ve got 4 pretty good ideas.

Be a Disruptor

You’re a unique person with unique experiences and a unique voice, so it stands to reason that you should have something fairly unique to say to your readers. Say it. Be different. Approach tired subjects from a new angle or use a gimmick as a way to grab people’s attention (just make sure you have something of substance handy to help keep people interested once you have them looking your way).

  • Trying to figure out how to compete with all the how-to car mechanic videos on YouTube? Do you repairs dressed like a clown or with a bluegrass band playing live in the background.
  • Want to write about politics but fear the niche is saturated? Talk presidential debates or argue against the death penalty while baking cupcakes for the first every politically themed food blog.

Use Images

Did you know that including colored visuals increases your audience’s desire to read your blog by a whopping 80 percent? That’s a massive jump in readership, all because you made an effort to add pictures. It makes sense; would you rather sift through a blog about helicopter use in action flicks or simply snort back laughter while viewing an awesome graphic like this one:

1mage courtesy of http://DavidStilesBlog.com
1mage courtesy of http://DavidStilesBlog.com

Smart business owners know that people like the pretty pictures, too. Why else would nearly 75 percent of bloggers surveyed say that they already include some kind of image in their content?

Think Evergreen

You might be tempted to write about trending topics or current events in hopes that strategy will get you increased visibility, but there are major issues with that tactic.

  • When a topic is trending, it means that lots of people are writing about it, making it that much harder for you to rank and get noticed.
  • That topic might not even be in your niche, thereby weakening your brand (or at least not helping you grow it).
  • That blog will only be good right now and then it’s already outdated.

Evergreen content, on the other hand, is useful today, tomorrow, next year, and (hopefully) beyond. You can regularly repost your evergreen content on social media and breathe it back to life. Quite often, it’ll catch fire and start attracting traffic months after it was originally posted.

As digital guru Jeff Bullas wisely put it, “Evergreen is what sticks.” Evergreen content doesn’t go stale or become irrelevant. Write content that sticks and your blog will become a resource that really matters.

Solve Your Reader’s Problems

When I first started blogging, I looked at each blog as an opportunity to solve my own problems. My blog was going to help me get rich, become an authority in my field, get my name out there, boost traffic to my website… the self-serving list went on and on and on. All of those wants and desires are fine – after all, we’re not in business to fail, now are we? – but little did I know that I was going about achieving those goals in the worst way possible.

Focusing on yourself is a recipe for disaster. Very few people can carry off pure egotism with any kind of real success, and even those folks provide a service by being incredibly entertaining. And that’s the key – they’re solving their users’ problems by relieving their boredom. To write blogs that totally slay, you need to solve your readers’ problems, whatever those problems happen to be.

Are you ready to find success by problem solving using the power of the written word? As it turns out, winning may be just a blog post (or two) away.

This was a guest blog post from 3dcart partner, Trumpia.
Author Bio: 
Garret Henry – Garrett is a freelance writer, born and raised in the great state of Pennsylvania. He is passionate about all things marketing and SEO. You can find him on Twitter: @garrethenryllc1

Sources: http://www.onblastblog.com/, http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/visual-content-marketing-strategy#sm.00000u45lh2neod1hxdkvr0s8lzud, http://www.marketingprofs.com/articles/2015/27698/2-million-blog-posts-are-written-every-day-heres-how-you-can-stand-out, http://www.jeffbullas.com/2016/04/22/increase-authority-evergreen-content/, https://www.orbitmedia.com/blog/blogger-analysis/

3dcart Success Stories: JustPoppin.com

JustPoppin2

JustPoppin.com is the premier destination for gourmet and premium popcorn. A small, family owned business based in Venice, Florida, JustPoppin.com is a favorite among discriminating popcorn connoisseurs everywhere. Their renowned products, including hard to find varieties such as organic mushroom popcorn, heirloom kernels and hulless popcorn, are sought by home poppers, small businesses, organizations, and everyone in between.

Founded by husband and wife, Jennie and Buck Smolow, JustPoppin.com emerged onto the popcorn scene in 1998 with big goals and major expectations: to deliver their customers scrumptious tasting popcorn, blazing fast delivery times, and unparalleled customer service.

To help the business achieve their goals, JustPoppin.com sought the help of a few third party tools.

Ingredient #1: A Powerful eCommerce Platform

JustPoppin.com turned to 3dcart looking to provide their customers with the best online shopping experience possible. Equipped with 3dcart’s hundreds of built-in-features, tools, and expert Technical Support, JustPoppin.com was able to their once unheard of business into a world renowned popcorn empire. Their line of products, once consisting of only mushroom popcorn, rapidly expanded to include Flavacol and coconut popping oil, gourmet popcorn, popcorn seasoning, popcorn equipment, and popcorn supplies.

Ingredient #2: A Cart Abandonment Tool

Looking to grow their business and increase sales, JustPoppin.com turned their efforts toward tackling cart abandonment. With the help of Cart Closer, a cart abandonment app, JustPoppin.com was able to dramatically reduce cart abandonment while protecting their margins. By using Cart Closer’s filter and offer login, the popcorn shop was able to create enticing tiered and free gift offers capable of winning over hesitant shoppers while maintaining profitability. JustPoppin.com used two campaign methods: one that offered a flat percentage off, and a free 12-pack of movie theater-style popcorn.

Today, Jennie and Buck’s popcorn shop continues to grow with each passing year, winning over popcorn fans one order at a time. So what’s their recommendation to new store owners?

“Keep your processes simple to allow you to systemize as much of your business as possible. Provide good, useful information on your website so customers know what they’re buying before they order.”

Visit 3dcart Success Stories to learn more about JustPoppin.com’s eCommerce journey.

We Made a Decision Tree of the Best Places to Sell Online. Here’s How We Did It.

One of the most important decisions you make when you start your eCommerce business is what marketplaces you’ll sell on. As we just learned with the quick acquisition of Jet.com by Walmart, the eCommerce landscape is frenetic. There are a lot of options and they change at a moment’s notice. It’s easy to get lost in all the commotion. Ecomdash works with business owners of every type, so we wanted to create a resource for them to better navigate the marketplace landscape, something like a roadmap. After a couple of late afternoons spent scouring seller restrictions, we created a decision tree that helps sellers know the best place to sell their items online. We even threw in a side-by-side comparison of listing fees. Scroll all the way down to see the full infographic.

The Process

Our goal in putting together this flowchart was to create an empowering document for eCommerce business owners. Originally, we conceived of this project as a direct comparison of the marketplaces. We believed we could use seller fees and restrictions to create an objective assessment of the “best value” for sellers. We quickly discovered as discussions went on that what we were trying to do was a fool’s errand. There were too many variables to consider. The best value for sellers depended more on the product than the marketplace.

For example, imagine a jewelry seller who makes rope bracelets by hand. Which is better for that seller: Amazon, eBay, or Etsy? We could try to put together an objective evaluation of seller fees, but we’d be left with a lot question marks. Is this a business owner or an individual seller? Have they purchased UPCs for their listings? How many listings is the seller posting? Does the seller have the time to apply for any special permissions for their marketplaces? Instead of viewing the questions as a detriment to our project, we decided to let them drive the project. Why let the marketplaces dictate the questions when we could let the questions dictate the marketplace?

The Questions

So, we had our concept. We then had to figure out what questions to ask to guide our research. The first and most important question we came up with was whether or not the product was pre-owned. Some marketplaces are designed to sell new merchandise. They gear their marketing efforts towards shoppers who value consistency and reliability over quirk and novelty. Generally, we found these marketplaces to be Jet.com, Rakuten, Sears, and Amazon. Other sites have audiences a little more willing to accept uniqueness in exchange for a better deal, or the thrill of a rare find. This applies to eBay, Etsy, and Newegg.

We went on to ask other important questions, such as how important “seller freedom” is. Amazon is a great site for consumers, which is why we recommend every ecommerce seller should be on the site, but their restrictions were by far the strictest of all the marketplaces we researched. Amazon’s strictness on sellers is what makes them so successful. Customers know they can trust Amazon purchases. If the freedom to price, photograph, and describe your products however you want is important to you as a seller, Amazon is likely to be a bit frustrating for you.

The Results

The result of this process was an infographic that’s uniquely seller-centered. Many artifacts that attempt to answer a similar question to ours focus mainly on the marketplaces. By focusing on the seller and the product, we hoped to provide a more actionable and more useful resource for business owners faced with difficult decisions.

best-places-to-sell-online ecomdash
You can read our full thoughts on our blog.

This was a guest blog post by Dion Beary at Ecomdash.

Dion from EcomdashDion Beary writes about eCommerce, television, and sci-fi movies. His passions are Twitter, casseroles, and 00’s rap. He uses his job as a content creator for ecomdash to prop up his addiction to Chuck Taylors and Vans.

Say Goodbye to Busywork with Zapier

zapierRunning a business may not always entail backbreaking work, but it is often comprised of daily, time-consuming tasks. Whether you’re running a small bakery or a large electronics shop, odds are there are facets of your business that you’d be happier not handling.

But what if there was a way to simplify business operations? A way to cut out all of the tedious work that eats into your valuable time, and give you the freedom to get back to the work that matters most to the success of your business.

Zapier, a web automaton service, can help you do just that. With Zapier, you can build “Zaps” which can automate varied parts of your business.

So what’s a Zap, exactly? It’s a blueprint for a task you’d like to do over and over again, made up of two parts: a trigger and an action. An example might be “When I get a new entry from a Wufoo form, create a new lead in Salesforce.” Once you’ve created a zap, you’re all set – Zapier will continue to run it automatically without any guidance or additional effort on your part.

Zapier supports hundreds of apps. You can mix and match nearly any combination of triggers and actions to automate just about anything and everything. Quickly and easily eliminate repetitive, tedious tasks without having to rely on expensive freelance developers to build you a custom solution.

Ready to start effortlessly moving data between web applications? Visit the 3dcart Knowledgebase to get started.

Google to Penalize Mobile Sites with Intrusive Popup Ads Starting January 2017

GoogleMobileUpdate

Google has announced a major upcoming update in its continued effort to move toward a more mobile-friendly internet. Starting January 2017, Google will begin cracking down on intrusive mobile popups and interstitials.

The new policy is intended to combat the frustrating and jarring experiences users encounter when they’re unable to easily navigate to the content they were expecting. In a blog announcement, Google states that websites that have popup ads that cover an entire page or interfere with a site’s main content will be ranked lower in Google’s search results.

“Pages that show intrusive interstitials provide a poorer experience to users than other pages where content is immediately accessible. This can be problematic on mobile devices where screens are often smaller,” said Google Product Manager Doantam Phan in the blog post. “To improve the mobile search experience, after January 10, 2017, pages where content is not easily accessible to a user on the transition from the mobile search results may not rank as highly.”

Examples of intrusive interstitials to be penalized include: Instrusiveads

Optimize your website before 2017 with 3dboost

To help prepare for Google’s upcoming update, 3dcart store owners are urged to optimize their websites for mobile-friendliness. With the help of a dynamic tool like 3dboost, you can create ads that won’t be penalized by Google.

3dboost allows you to create beautiful, time-sensitive offers in various formats, including “sliding bars.” Offers can be customized to require multiple page views before an ad will display.

3dboost offers unparalleled customization, with the ability to control every facet of your offer’s design, including:

  • Images
  • Text
  • Colors
  • Style
  • Dimensions
  • Background overlay effect (10+ transitional effects)
  • Buy Button (optional)

Unlike traditional modal popups, which 3dboost additionally supports, 3dboost’s customizable sliding bars will allow you to attract and appeal to shoppers on every device without fear of your website being penalized by Google.

To learn more about 3dboost, visit the 3dcart App Store.

Spice Up Your Marketing Campaigns with Professionally Designed Banners

FacebookBanners

The attractiveness of your advertisement banners plays a critical role in the success of your marketing efforts. Today’s demanding shoppers care about more than just a price tag. They’re looking for businesses that share their philosophy and passion – brands that present a unique proposition in an increasingly humdrum eCommerce sea of clones.

Shoppers are hard to sway these days in large part to the ubiquitous presence of online advertisements, unconsciously accepted as an unavoidable aspect of the online experience. To capture a click and draw a customer into the sales process, your ad needs to be visually appealing and capable of eliciting strong emotions. Anything less than amazing will result in nothing more than a cursory glance, and more importantly, countless lost sales for your online store.

To help merchants generate more traffic and maximize profits, 3dcart is launching a new Banner Design service. Launching with two packages, the Banner Design service is for store owners looking to advertise through AdWords or Facebook.

Banner Design package details:

AdWords Display Banner Design

  • 1 professionally designed banner
  • Preset layouts optimized for Google AdWords
  • $200/per banner set

Facebook Banners Design

  • 6 unique, professionally designed banners
  • 1 dimension per banner optimized for Facebook
  • $200/per banner set

Ready to let a team of illustrious designers elevate your marketing efforts to the next level? Learn more about AdWords and Facebook banners at the 3dcart App Store.

 

Delight Your Customers with New Payment Solution Pay with Amazon

amazonpayments

Amazon is one of today’s most trusted eCommerce companies across the globe. As the leading e-retailer in the United States with more than 107 billion U.S. dollars in 2015 net sales, Amazon is an internationally trusted provider of consumer goods, digital content, and local services.

Customers everywhere can’t get enough of the Amazon brand, recognizing its logo as an unspoken symbol of trustworthiness, security, and integrity.

With 3dcart’s newly added payment gateway Pay with Amazon, your online store can benefit from Amazon’s immense popularity and trusted brand. Pay with Amazon makes it easy for Amazon’s 285 million customers to quickly and securely checkout from your store on any device, including desktop, tablet, and mobile.

Instead of having to go through the hassle of creating yet another account, Amazon’s shoppers can conveniently check out at your store using their existing Amazon credentials.

How does it work? Customers simply select “Login with Amazon” during the checkout process, enter their existing Amazon credentials, and voila! All of their shipping and payment methods linked to their account will appear.

With the help of Amazon’s trusted name, your business can put to bed lingering doubts about the security of your website and start reducing cart abandonment.

To get started using Pay with Amazon with your online store, visit Pay with Amazon.

*Special Launch Offer from Amazon
Sign up for Amazon Payments between 9/15/2016 – 10/15/2016 and receive free processing in November.

*For existing Amazon Payments merchants, Pay with Amazon will replace Checkout by Amazon, set to be discontinued in 2017. Amazon Payments support will be available to help 3dcart store owners make the transition.

Increase Your Business’s Visibility with Automatic Google Shopping Feed

Google Merchant CenterBillions of people use the internet everyday to research and buy products, yet a large percentage of online businesses aren’t doing everything they can to capitalize on this shopping trend.

Harnessing the power of online marketing is one of the most crucial facets of running a successful online store, and few online marketing channels are as powerful as Google Shopping. By putting your products in front of Google users, you can easily advertise your products to a global audience, increasing traffic and sales for your online store.

But creating, submitting, and updating a Google Shopping feed isn’t always a fast or simple task, especially for merchants that lack the interest, time or energy for marketing.

3dcart’s Automatic Google Shopping Feed Service makes it easy to capitalize on Google’s dominion over the web. Merchants can get their products in front of eager shoppers without to waste time setting up, reviewing, and updating their feed.

The Automatic Google Shopping Feed Service includes:

  • Setup of Google Shopping Feed
  • Automation of Google Shopping Feed to submit to Google once per day.
  • Monthly review of Feed to make sure everything is submitting properly.
  • Google Merchant Center setup for product feeds.

To learn more about how you can automate your Google Shopping feed, visit the 3dcart App Store.