January’s Partner of the Month: Nextopia

nextopia-partner-of-the-month

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 January, our Partner of the Month is Nextopia.  Our team interviewed Sanjay Arora, the CEO and Founder of Nextopia, to help 3dcart merchants get insight into their company and solution.

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

Since launching in 1998, Nextopia Software Corporation has become an internationally recognized site search solutions provider that helps internet retailers sell smarter. With over 1,700 happy customers, Nextopia was named as a 2016 leading vendor by Internet Retailer. In 2016, Nextopia also launched its social commerce solution Evocative, which allows brands to turn their Instagram into a shoppable gallery.

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

Nextopia provides retailers with the tools they need to turn their browsers into buyers. The main features are Enhanced Autocomplete, Navigation, Product Recommendations, Mobile Search, Product Finder, Evocative Social Commerce, On-Site Search, Geo-Merchandising, and Page Builder. While each solution is unique in its own way, cumulatively, they aid retailers increase conversions, average order value, and give shoppers the personalized experience they crave.

nextopia-search

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

Nextopia has been a 3dcart partner for over five happy years. Nextopia provides a seamless integration with 3dcart via their API.

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

Nextopia improves 3dcart merchants on site search by providing the following:

  • Faceted filtering that can be used across their entire site
  • Fully customized Autocomplete
  • In-depth reporting and analytics
  • A learning search algorithm, continuously makes search more relevant as it is utilized by shoppers
  • Built-in fuzzy matching logic, sounds like, stemming tolerance
  • Extensive merchandising personalization tools to help retailers optimize their on-site search results further such a geo-targeting, synonyms, badging, promo banners

5. What are your solutions’ biggest strengths?

Nextopia’s solutions easily integrate with all platforms, provide fast, accurate and intelligent search results, is affordable, and can be done in a timely manner. Both Nextopia and Evocative use a powerful technology that streamlines sales and merchandising efforts, provides vital customer data through back-end analytics, and improves shoppers’ purchase experience.

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

While there are numerous site search solution and social commerce shopping providers available, what truly sets both Nextopia and Evocative apart is that their customers are provided with guidance, Nextopia’s in-house development team support and training and support from start to finish. From the sales representatives providing thorough product demonstrations to customer success readily available with any problems that arise, the Nextopia team truly cares about its customers.

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

Machine learning, artificial intelligence and adaptive algorithm innovation is at the heart of our product strategy. We are incredibly excited to move the needle forward in the realm of search relevance, and are committed to doing so continuously through our in-house, world class, development team.

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

Many retailers think that owning an online store is enough. But it’s really just a small aspect of the entire buyer’s journey. This is where a site search provider like Nextopia can step in and improve the online shopping experience and help retailers turn their browsers into buyers.

To celebrate the Partner of the Month feature, any 3D Cart merchant who signs up for Nextopia during January and February will receive an integration free of cost! Additionally, any 3D Cart merchant who signs up with our new social commerce platform, Evocative, will get to use the platform free of charge for 3 months. Learn more about this offer here.

December’s Partner of the Month: ReadyCloud

 

ReadyCloud ReadyReturns

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 December, our Partner of the Month is ReadyCloud.  Our team interviewed Michael Lazar, Executive Director of Marketing at ReadyCloud, to help 3dcart merchants get insight into their company and solution.

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

ReadyCloud E-Commerce CRM is the result of over a decade of industry-leading e-commerce software solutions that began with shipping software. Relentless improvement and the addition of cloud data storage led to a bigger idea of putting cross-channel e-commerce CRM, shipping and returns into one platform.

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

ReadyCloud Partner

ReadyCloud is CRM for your e-commerce world. It is a robust, cross-channel e-commerce CRM solution. It consolidates your order, shipping and product return information across all your sales channels, and delivers it in one easy-to-use and expandable interface. A growing number of apps, found the ReadyCloud App Store, add even more functionality—ranging from shipping to returns, order management, marketing, third-party fulfillment and more.

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

3dCart is a flagship ReadyCloud integration. It is available now through the ReadyCloud App Store for a free 14-day trial, no credit card or commitment required.

ReadyCloud has been a trusted 3dcart partner for the better part of a decade, through integrated products and services that include ReadyShipper shipping software and ReadyReturns ecommerce returns software.

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

This integration has been specially developed for use with your 3dcart Store. With ReadyCloud CRM your contacts are instantly imported, sorted and updated with repeat business.

  • Instantly adds CRM to your online store.
  • Cross-platform integration connects all your sales channels.
  • Automatically creates feature-rich customer profiles.
  • Delivers real-time sales, shipping and returns visibility.
  • Better forecast sales with on-demand, real-time reports.
  • Tackle your day with the color-coded calendar, customer-focused notes and more.
  • Easily connect the ReadyReturns plugin to add “amazon-like” returns to your 3dcart store. ReadyReturns enables your customers to create in-store, pay-on-use return labels with rules that match your product returns policy.
  • Get FREE users when you refer a user.

Starts at just $12/month per user – no contracts.

5. What are your solutions’ biggest strengths?

ReadyCloud’s strength is in numbers. Your numbers. From knowing what your customers’ habits are, to identifying trending sales across all your channels, it puts you in the driver’s seat to supercharge your customer outreach for stronger conversions and ROI.

ReadyCloud is instant CRM.  Connect your 3dcart store and within minutes see contact and order information synched and organized.  This is a “good bye” to manual entry.  Track packages, tag contacts, set notes and calendar events and more.

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

ReadyCloud brings an entirely new approach to CRM – one that’s focused solely on e-commerce, and one that connects all your sales channels, shipping, returns into a user-friendly platform for more productive and informed sales and support teams.

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

We like to think big. Our growing team of developers is hard at work creating new integrations every day. We’re building apps and plugins that add all sorts of versatility and functionality to ReadyCloud, ranging from shipping, returns, order management, email marketing and so much more. The sky is the limit!

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

Step up your e-commerce game… connect with your customers in new ways that help shape future sales. Learn the seasonal patterns of your target base, and use this data to drive more conversions while improving loyalty and retention. ReadyCloud will get you there. Don’t take our word for it. Test drive it today for 14-days with no credit card or commitment.

Getting to know your customers goes further than just providing a quality product or adequate service. ReadyCloud CRM helps you expand the relationship by creating instant customer profiles that deliver real-time order, shipping and returns history. With cross-channel integration, you’ll be able to find out what your customers are really doing. So the next time you craft a newsletter, marketing email or launch a sales campaign, you’re a step ahead.

To celebrate the Partner of the Month feature, any 3dcart merchant who signs up for ReadyReturns during January will get 1 additional user license with your premium license! Learn more about ReadyReturns here.

Offer valid 12/1/2016-12/31/2016

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

ebridge-connections

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

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.

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.

last-day-to-ship-for-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.

historical-rates-for-december_refund-retriever

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:

UPS

  • 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

  • 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.

October’s Partner of the Month: Refund Retriever

 

refund-retriever-flyer

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 [email protected] 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

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.

5 ways to get more sales by tweaking your shipping methods

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One of the many challenges of being an eCommerce store owner is getting more sales. You might already have social media strategies in place or maybe you rely on word of mouth to generate sales but did you know one of the best ways to increase sales is by tweaking your shipping methods?

According to a study done by north american technographics 44% of shopping cart abandonments are due to shipping and handling costs being too high, and 22% were due to shipping and handling costs being shown too late in the checkout process! Just by tweaking those two things you can reduce shopping cart abandonment by 66%! Here are 5 ways that we have found to make the highest impact on your conversion rate by tweaking your shipping methods!

1. Offer free shipping over a specific cart value, higher than your average order, automatically.

Shipping charges are the number one reason customers abandon their shopping cart but offering free shipping across the board is not always a viable option for every eCommerce store; you might have a really low average order value that would cause you to lose tons of money on shipping or you might have really large and heavy items that are too expensive to ship for free on their own, so you can always exclude them from your free shipping promotion. The solution? Offer free shipping over a certain cart value! Free shipping with conditions can be your most successful marketing tool.

When determining your free shipping threshold it is important to know your average order value, if you set your threshold too low you risk lowering your average order value. If you set your threshold too high you risk increasing your shopping cart abandonment rate. The best way to set your free shipping threshold is by adding the price of one item to your average order value. For example: if your average order value is $50 and your average product price is $25 you should enable free shipping over $70. By using this strategy NuFace increased their orders  by 90% and increased their average order value by 7.32%! That’s a massive boost in sales! And we are just getting started!  

2. Offer expedited shipping as well as free shipping

Now that you have conditional free shipping setup you can move to our second tweak! Many online retailers are giving their customers more options at checkout, by only offering free shipping you can be excluding a large portion of customers. Sometimes people prefer to spend a little on shipping in order to get their items faster and sometimes it’s a necessity, you never know when a customer might really need your product before the weekend! By offering expedited shipping methods on top of your free shipping method you can be sure that you are covering all the bases and not losing customers to another retailer that can get your customer their product faster. This tweak might not increase your sales as much as offering free shipping but it is an easy tweak and the improvement to the customer experience is priceless!

3. Give your customers the most accurate rates possible. Do not overcharge / undercharge

When a customer’s cart does not qualify for free shipping it’s important to charge your customers the correct price for shipping. Getting this right can be tricky! The best way to calculate shipping without over or undercharging is by pulling the shipping cost directly from the courier in real time. This is called courier calculated shipping. Make sure these rates are accurate by comparing your prices being displayed at checkout with the prices you are being charged by your courier this will ensure that you are not losing money on shipping or losing a customer due to high shipping costs.

4. Show shipping options before checkout

With shipping it’s important to clearly set the expectations before the customer checks out, even with free shipping customers want to know when to expect their product in the mail and the sooner they see these dates in the checkout process the better. By not posting your expected delivery dates you may end up losing customers that are used to the current speedy shipping standards that are so prevalent in online retail stores. Sometimes customers will be browsing for a product that they need for a certain date, displaying the expected delivery date before the final checkout step will help build confidence and trust and help you secure those high priority orders!

5. Put extra thought and care in the packaging of your items

One of the biggest complaints that affect future sales and return orders is caused by lack of packaging: Products damaged in shipping. This is a relatively easy fix! Be sure to package delicate products properly with bubble wrap / packing peanuts. No matter how good your products are nobody wants a damaged product! This is also a great opportunity to strengthen your branding and company image, when someone receives a shipment from you it is the first physical impression they receive, put some nice touches on it and you will be sure to leave a lasting impression on all your customers!

How Advanced Shipping Manager helps online retailers manage their shipping methods

Advanced Shipping Manager is an app that integrates with 3dcart seamlessly allowing total control over your shipping rates. Advanced Shipping Manager makes setting up conditional free shipping a breeze (with or without excluding items), and also allows you to display accurate shipping rates and delivery estimates for all your shipping options!  No matter how complicated your shipping rules are Advanced Shipping Manager can handle them all!  Using our app, you can easily quote real-time rates from parcel and freight couriers, support dimensional weight calculations, and much more!

Speak with our customer support to see how we can help handle your shipping methods any time!

This guest blog post was written by Ryan Stango, Marketing Director of KingWebmaster.