Test the Zapier Integration

zapier

3dcart is now on beta stage on Zapier. We need your help to test the integration, create zaps, give us feedback and suggestions, and simply try connecting your 3dcart store to countless other apps.

Zapier makes it easy to connect applications and move data between them. You can use Zaps to connect any two Zapier-supported apps to each other. Explore the Zapier app directory here.

To start, enter your email address in the box below and we will send over more details!



Test the Pay with Amazon Integration

Pay with Amazon

3dcart is now on beta stage on Pay with Amazon. We need your help to test the integration and give us feedback and suggestions.

Pay with Amazon is the fast, easy and secure way to pay on desktop, tablet and mobile. Pay with Amazon makes it easy for hundreds of millions of Amazon customers to buy on your site. There’s no need to create countless usernames and passwords – your Amazon account credentials are all you need.

To start, enter your email address in the box below and we will send over more details!



Vantage Glasses Responsive Theme – A FREE Professionally Designed Theme from 3dcart

Here is a preview of our most recent theme “Vantage Glasses” — a new, professionally designed responsive theme.

vantage-glasses-html5

If you would like to preview the live demo of our “Vantage Glasses” theme, you can do so by clicking the link below. Check it out on your phone, tablet or computer; you’re sure to love it for the price, FREE.

3dcart’s Live Demo of the theme “Vantage Glasses”

Stay Tuned! Additional New and Updated 3dcart Templates are coming soon!

Audit Your Shipping Carrier to Maximize Your Shipping Spend

Shipping boxes with globe

From a P&L perspective, shipping costs are typically the 3rd largest line item just behind merchandise and labor cost. On average, e-commerce merchants spend 10% of their revenues on shipping costs. The financial investment of shipping product to customers means that auditing shipping spend and invoices is crucial to a business.

Shipping managers usually have one objective…to fulfill orders and quickly. These team members have little time to assume responsibility for additional workload. How can shipping managers be expected to meet the ever present deadlines to ship orders plus review previous shipments to ensure that they were delivered, much less on time?

Given that more than $2 billion dollars of shipping refunds go unclaimed annually for packages delivered late, outsourcing the monitoring and claiming of refunds is an important alternative for a business to maximize its shipping spend. Where do the unclaimed refunds result from? Both FedEx and UPS offer a 100% money-back guarantee on packages delivered late by 60 seconds or more. With an estimated 5% of shipped packages arrive late, monitoring the activity on your account with your carrier is crucial to the bottom line.

In addition to the Late Delivery audits, Invoice Audits track your carriers’ invoices for incorrect feessurcharges, and rates including:

  • Lost and Damaged
  • Manifested Not Shipped
  • Address Corrections
  • Residential Surcharges
  • Duplicate Charges
  • Shipping Charge Corrections
  • Rating Errors
  • Unused Account Charges
  • and other billing related errors.

With the identification and filing of refunds and credits being a complex and time consuming process, a business should consider taking advantage of a refund and invoice auditing company allowing them to focus on fulfilling orders, not claiming due refunds and credits.

Information is presented by 71lbs. 71lbs is dedicated to helping businesses maximize shipping spend. Solutions include money-back guarantee refunds, invoice auditing, lost and damaged claims and consulting on opportunities to manage and optimize supply-chain expenses.  

3dcart Success Stories: Featuring Boxiecat

Boxiecat

Subscription services are a fundamental selling point for countless 3dcart stores. Today’s customers demand more than a speedy checkout; they want to shop at reliable stores that can conveniently deliver their favorite goods when and where they need them.

Boxiecat, a subscription cat litter store, provides cat lovers with just that: set-and-forget, high-quality litter deliveries.

Josh Wiesenfeld, a life-long cat lover, founded Boxiecat in 2011 in response to an aspect of cat-care that he’d always found tiresome and rather expensive. “Cat litter is the one aspect of having cats that isn’t entirely enjoyable,” Josh explains. “Traditionally, getting litter is very inconvenient—it’s heavy to lift and lug, as well as a waste of time and gas. It’s an essential item but requires constant trips to the store. If you run low or (worse yet) run out, it can cause behavioral problems for your cat, and she will let you know she is displeased in very unpleasant ways.”

To meet the needs of everyday cat owners like himself, Josh set out to launch an online store that would allow customers to set-and-forget deliveries. “The market had a clear gap,” Josh recalls. “I knew I wanted to start the business—but nearly as exciting for me was the chance to become my own first subscriber.”

Josh comprised a detailed check list of essential criteria, including the ability to automate the payment and shipping process, and set out to find the right eCommerce platform to fulfill his vision. After thorough research, however, it soon became clear that only one shopping cart was offering everything Josh needed to launch his store: subscription capabilities, a scalable platform, secure hosting, 24/7 technical support, and connected order fulfillment through ShipWorks.

Having been with 3dcart since his start-up days, Josh can say with certainty that 3dcart really is everything a small business needs to succeed in selling online.

“As a business, 3dcart works hard at connecting with their customers on a much more personal level than you see in businesses today. That dedication helps ensure Boxiecat’s online storefront will be there to meet our subscribers’ needs.”

To read the entire story behind Boxiecat’s online success, visit 3dcart Success Stories.

Want to share your own story with the world? Fill out our form to be featured on our website and/or blog. 

Stay tuned! We’ll be sharing more success stories soon!

April’s Partner of the Month: Grasshopper

Girl in Apron with Cell Phone

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 April, our Partner of the month is Grasshopper.  Our team interviewed Len Bruskiewitz, Manager of Partnerships at Grasshopper, to help 3dcart merchants get insight into their company and solution.

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

Grasshopper was founded in 2003 by 2 undergraduates at Babson College who were running businesses and needed a way to handle phone calls while they were in class. After winning a business plan contest, they launched a service that gave entrepreneurs/small businesses a toll free or local phone number that when called, would play a company greeting, allow callers to choose a department or individual number and then route that call to any phone in the world. Over the years the range of features has grown to help over 250,000 small businesses run their operations better. In May of 2015, Grasshopper was acquired by Citrix and continues to be a fast growing and profitable division of the company.

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

Grasshopper offers a Virtual Phone Service that lets an e-commerce merchant run their business from their mobile phone. In just a few minutes, you can be making and receiving business calls using our iPhone and Android apps. Features include multiple extensions for your team, calls forwarded to any phone number, SMS/text messaging, voicemails transcribed and emailed, and more. Our service assists merchants in 3 main ways; by helping them sound more professional (with a company greeting and multiple extensions), by letting them run their business from anywhere (with calls forwarded to any phone in the world on a custom schedule, voicemail to email, inbound/outbound texting and inbound fax to email) and by helping them separate their personal and business lives (with business calls announced before connecting and an app for both iOS and Android that lets them make calls from their business number – not their personal mobile number).

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

We have partnered with 3dcart since early 2016.

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

In addition to the benefits of sounding more professional, running their business from anywhere and separating their personal and business lives, merchants can use different phone numbers/extensions to track the effectiveness of marketing campaigns. For example, a merchant can embed a different phone number on each page of their site (or every banner ad) and then be able to see which drove the most calls.  Additionally, based on an A/B split test done by KissMetrics, a website with a phone number listed on it saw conversion rates 0.5% higher than the exact same site without a phone number.

  1. What are your solutions’ biggest strengths?

The company was founded by entrepreneurs and we continue to focus on the needs of small businesses – not large corporations. Although most of our customers get their accounts up and running all by themselves in 20 minutes or less and never need help, we have an awesome support organization that is available for free 24 x 7 via a toll free number. We also have a feature set that provides the things e-commerce merchants need, without requiring them to understand the complexities of a business phone system.

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

One of the main differences between Grasshopper and other solutions is that we do not sell phone hardware – we know that merchants already have all of the phone equipment they need to run their business – their mobile phones. Another difference is that since calls made to/from our service are delivered over mobile/landline networks (rather than the Internet), call quality tends to be much higher than VoIP providers. Finally, we have enabled SMS/text messaging for local/toll free numbers – which most other providers have not.

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

We do not pre-announce features but are continually working on new functionality based on customer feedback and our own research into technology trends.

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

According to BIA Kelsey, 60% of local businesses do not have a phone number on their website. With Grasshopper, you can set your business apart from the majority by having a business phone number available that prospects/customers can call or text. What is even better is that the number you post is not your personal cell phone – so it can be routed to whoever on your team is “on call”. Finally, our service plans start at $12/month and our typical customer pays about $30/month – so the cost of sounding professional is about the same as a few cups of coffee.

Learn more about the Grasshopper app here.

How to keep Momentum after a Kickstarter Campaign

Man Running with Money Bag

Kickstarter campaigns are becoming the norm for new products sold online. People love contributing to and sharing these campaigns to their friends, family, and social media followers. There is something about helping-the-little-guy that compels people to spread the word; to do their part to gain awareness of a new idea. But, what happens after the Kickstarter has ended and the intrinsic coolness and newness of your product wears off?  You need to be proactive to continue getting your product seen and shared by media, visitors, and customers.

Any successful store owner will tell you that the biggest factor in growing sales is generating more views of your product, store, and media. There are dozens of ways – both free and paid – to generate views. However, not everything will translate directly into sales. Some channels – such as word-of-mouth referrals – will always produce higher conversion rates, and paid ads will inherently carry more risk. By focusing on creating more word-of-mouth referrals, you will drive higher quality traffic to your store and pay less for each new visitor than traditional advertising.

Reach out to bloggers to review your product

Bloggers are often looking for exciting new products to write about. However there are so many new products that it’s important to actively reach out through email and social media. Remember that most successful bloggers get contacted every day, so many will not reply right away, and most will not reply at all. You should expect a less than 10% reply rate, so be persistent.

A great way to turn a typical article into a word-of-mouth referral is by sending the reviewer your product. In exchange sending them a sample, you will get a write up – and depending on the amount of followers from each blog – the results could be substantial and long-lasting. In fact, most of the organic traffic (other than Facebook) to my sites comes from blogs that were posted over a year ago.

Facebook and Retargeting Ads

It’s important to continue targeting and retargeting individuals within your audience. Remember that the popularity of your product is fresh off Kickstarter, and eventually traffic will slow unless you continue to drive high quality traffic to your store. Facebook Ads are a great way to start small (I recommend a budget of $100-200/week to begin) and target audiences with very specific interests. For example, if you are selling golf accessories, you could target individuals who follow Golf Magazine.

Retargeting Ads are also critical to keeping the momentum. Retargeting keeps your product in front of people who triggered an action on your store, such as adding an item to the cart, visiting a certain page on your site, etc. You should find an affordable retargeting software to build and manage your campaigns – I use Perfect Audience and it has proven to be quite good.

Optimize Embedded Media Image

Kickstarter.com does a great job of optimizing embedded media links to show an elegant video thumbnail and short messaging. However, many stores have yet to spend the time customizing this very important yet relatively unknown web feature.

Facebook has instructions to add meta tags to your media, however myself and several peers had trouble navigating their debugging tool, so my team built a simplified version for merchants using Coopt. With our tool, you can choose to optimize for video or an image.

Below is an example of how important optimizing embedded media is. The first image is before we optimized using the Facebook meta tag instructions.

Optimizing Media on Facebook

Give something back for sharing

After the Kickstarter campaign has ended and the sentiment has worn off, you have to try harder to get your fans and customers to share your product. We have found that the most effective way to scale this objective is by offering instant rewards sharing. By offering a reward for sharing, you take the guesswork out of getting shared. Instead of hoping that people will share, you must create a transaction that is simple: customers get X% cash back for sharing. Coopt provides the platform for this, and even automates the reward and share process so no additional work is needed by the store owner.

 Conclusion

Success on Kickstarter does not mean success on your Store. You must dedicate time and sometimes money to sustain and grow revenue. If you have any questions please leave a comment or email me at bryan@getcoopt.com.

About the Author: Bryan Gardner is the founder of the Coopt app and a seasoned store owner. He has 3 successful Kickstarter campaigns, most notably for Fly Pedals, the worlds first Universal Clipless Bike Pedal Adapter. He has consulted over 1,500 store owners on best practices to increase traffic, sales, and conversion rates. 

Classic Time Responsive Theme – A FREE Professionally Designed Theme from 3dcart

Here is a preview of our most recent theme “Classic Time” — a new, professionally designed responsive theme.

classic-time-html5

If you would like to preview the live demo of our “Classic Time” theme, you can do so by clicking the link below. Check it out on your phone, tablet or computer; you’re sure to love it for the price, FREE.

3dcart’s Live Demo of the theme “Classic Time”

Stay Tuned! Additional New and Updated 3dcart Templates are coming soon!

About a simple little thing called honesty and how it impacts brand image

Truth sign

In today’s world of aggressive marketing strategies, buzzing social media and huge promises, businesses tend to forget about the very nature of people. More often than not, they want to build a brand image based on completely wrong premises. Spin doctors and marketing experts like to prepare campaigns where they pinpoint strengths, pros, advantages or even false promises.

Don’t get me wrong and let’s be honest with each other: bending the reality always has been and always will be part of The Machinery. Now, just for a while, think about taking the high road. Could you win hearts of your customers with being true, authentic and honest? Well, yes. You very well could. In fact that is what customers in post-crisis economy value the most. Don’t worry all you stats-lovers out there, we have numbers for you.

New generation of customers

Geoff Beattie, who is a global practice leader of corporate affairs at Cohn & Wolfe in London published a brilliant piece about real customer’s expectations where he wrote the following:

“Imagine for a second you could dictate and decide what value big brands bring to the world. What would be top of your wish list? A brand’s ability to deliver unique products or services? Would you favor brands that strive to innovate? Do you long for great customer service? In fact, none of these items above made it to the top of the list. According to the October 2014 study on authentic brands by my company, global communications and public relations firm Cohn & Wolfe, the No. 1 quality or behavior which people demand of big brands Communicating honestly about products and services. This is followed by: Not letting customers down and Acting with integrity at all times.”

Let’s have a look at whole picture and dig a bit deeper. 63% of consumers surveyed across 12 most important global markets would spend money on buying from a company they consider to be authentic over and above its competitors. Moreover, 6 in 10 would recommend an authentic organization to family and friends.

Indeed, the leading 91% of respondents agreed that it’s important for companies to communicate honestly about their products and services, and 87% agreed that companies should act with integrity all the time. By comparison, only 6 in 10 felt that it’s important that companies have products or services they cannot live without, as agency MarketingCharts mentions in their analyses.

Universal rule

Being honest and authentic is not just a royalty of big brands. Every single business no matter how big or small, has to take this factor into consideration on every single level, counting in rigid internal processes or communication with customers. Be aware that every single word your company puts out there counts and matters.

This is why your principle of honesty and authenticity must be felt by every single customer you may come across. Saying the simple and sometimes brutal truth may discourage someone who is interested in your products but can save them weeks of frustration. While the customer may have learned that your offering is not a solution for him, it very well may be a perfect fit for his friends, family or business partners. Trust us, he will spread the word about your transparent communication, direct answers and kept promises.

Easy to say, hard to implement yet must-be practice

Practices that we mentioned transfer to all communication channels of your company and mainly into customer support space. Customer service agents have to act with integrity and never get into slippery slope of misleading and misdirection. Adapt to thinking in a long-term perspective and don’t cry about deals that didn’t go according to plan. Valuable feedback and clean authentic image you build this way could lead to ventures 10 times more lucrative.

We at Quality Unit realize this and follow our principles all the time. When you come to contact us and have a look at LiveAgent Helpdesk software, you will not always get answer you will like. Nevertheless, you can be sure that it would be at least truthful.

Bob Dylan once sang: “I saw highway of diamonds with nobody on it”. This road is bumpy and hard to go by, but at the end of the day, it is still made of diamonds. Conclusion of this piece is simple and complex at the same time: Don’t be afraid to speak the truth, be honest and authentic. In a long run, you will succeed.

Michal Kouril LiveAgent

This guest blog post was written by Michal Kouril, head of customer success at LiveAgent – Live chat and Helpdesk software

 

 

 

 

 

3dcart Wins Shopping Cart Software Awards From FinancesOnline.com

3dcart Wins Shopping Cart Software Awards From FinancesOnline.com

Here at 3dcart, we take pride in the creativity and effort we put into developing our services. Our quest to help companies and individuals with setting up an efficient and reliable online store is not only a job for us, but a life’s mission. Today, we can be proud of our work once again, as 3dcart was revealed as the winner of the Best Shopping Cart Software Award and the Supreme Software Award from FinancesOnline, a well-known business software review platform.

In our 3dcart review, the team of SaaS experts who distinguished us with the award discussed in detail their positive experience with our software, particularly with our SmartCategories feature which classifies products automatically and in real time based on your own rules. They were also extremely impressed with our Facebook Store feature which lets you sell via your fan page and also helps your affiliates display products on their profile pages.

3dcart was also the winner of the Great User Experience Award as well as the Exceptional Customer Support Award for best shopping cart software services listed in the FinancesOnline review database. The FinancesOnline reviewers were particularly impressed with the well-balanced combination of usability, flexibility, functionality, marketing options, customization and integration offered by 3dcart. We sincerely appreciate that our users and reviewers notice the effort our team puts into making 3dcart intuitive and into providing the highest quality customer support services.

We are certain that the awards we’ve won will motivate us to work even harder on making 3dcart better and on always providing reliable and helpful customer support.