Stop Fraud in Its Tracks: Protect Your Business with FraudWatch

FraudWatch

For online retailers and their customers, the threat of fraud is a growing, debilitating fear.

In 2015, retailers reported an average of 206 fraudulent transactions per month, up from 156 in 2014. And it’s not big businesses feeling the brunt of fraudsters’ onslaught. Small businesses, frequently exploited for their lax security protocols, suffer the highest frequency of fraud.

According to a study by LexisNexis,  the volume of fraud has risen considerably in the last year, with the average number of successful fraudulent transactions having grown 32.1% year over year in 2015. Every dollar of fraud is costing merchants $2.40, up from $2.23 just one year ago, with fraudulent transactions accounting for a startling 1.47% of a merchant’s revenue.

In addition to irreparably tarnishing a retail organization’s brand and reputation, fraud is a revenue-draining nightmare, with financial loss stemming from lost and stolen merchandise, chargeback fees and fines, shipping expenses, canceled orders, and wasted labor.

Fraud may have cost merchants more than $102 billion last year, but that doesn’t mean small businesses can’t take precautionary measures. FraudWatch, an industry leading fraud solution, helps thousands of businesses minimize risk and loss associated with fraudulent transactions. Engineered to assess the threat of a transaction based on twelve key indicators, FraudWatch is a powerful tool that can safeguard the integrity and security of your business, helping you stay a step ahead of savvy fraudsters,

Key FraudWatch features:

  • Identify potentially fraudulent orders before they’re processed.
  • Minimize risk and loss with FraudWatch Score, which will assess the threat level of a transaction based on 12 key indicators .
  • Community Alert displays positive or negative fraud history based on reported information from the 3dcart community.
  • Report suspicious transactions to warn other vendors.

To start protecting your business against fraud with FraudWatch, visit the 3dcart App Store.

How to Maximize Multichannel Selling Advantages for Small Start-ups

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Benefits of Multichannel Selling

The idea of multichannel selling is purely based on growth and profits of eCommerce ventures. The concept is very simple and revolves around the logic that the more platforms you are present in, the more visible you will be and more customers you will win. So, when an eCommerce seller establishes presence in more than 2 platforms of sale, the entity benefits in several ways:

  • Gains greater exposure to unique visitors that are particular to the respective platforms
  • Wins trust among buyers with their virtual omnipresence
  • Experiences a whopping growth in orders flowing in from each individual marketplace / comparison shopping platforms
  • Enjoys greater profits without having to wait for it for months

Myths Surrounding Multichannel Selling Busted

There was a time, not very long ago, when sellers were pushed to believe that multichannel efforts are best when taken up by mid- to large-sized sellers who can support extended integrations with each individual platform while having enough funds to invest upfront for the purpose. There was a general belief that smaller, low volume sellers may have to squeeze out their last breath to spread into just two platforms let alone the idea of multichannel efforts. The reality, on the other hand, is very uplifting:

  • Considering the fact that multichannel selling is a growth-based idea, it is perfect for smaller sellers who wish to increase their business volume within a set period of time.
  • The orders that flow in and the profits that flood in eventually balances the cost of integrations and other support solutions that the sellers may have subscribed to
  • For those worried about processing and completing orders across all platforms, it will be good to know that harmonizing order completions across all platforms of sale is getting easier by the day with more and more sophisticated solutions being launched by third party eCommerce support providers.
  • There is a long list of successful sellers who have narrated their motivating multichannel selling experiences that literally speak of going from rags to riches.

How Small Startups can Fuel Their Multichannel Efforts

It can be said with confidence that smaller sellers can make a very healthy march towards multichannel selling and striking gold. Keeping the following essential factors in mind can help maintain a safe distance from possible hassles and bottlenecks:

  • It is always good to start with two to three well selected platforms rather than jump into 5 platforms at once.
  • Never select marketplaces blindly. Before starting to integrate, ask the following questions of the platform in consideration:
    1. It is compatible with the volume of your business?
    2. Does it support the nature of your products?
    3. Does it hosts the type of customers you are targeting?
    4. What are the marketplace fees and are they favorable to your business?
  • When choosing platforms to use, at least one should be a well-known, result-based comparative shopping engine.
  • Choose the right shopping cart solution along with the right integration partner. Well-designed shopping carts like 3dcart are usually equipped to handle easy multichannel selling especially when powered with the integration support of developers like ChannelSale. Choosing proper solutions will not just help you streamline and automate your multichannel operations seamlessly but it will also help in reducing your integration costs to less than half of what may otherwise be required.
  • Be aware of assistive tools and softwares, especially those associated with fee and profit calculations, FBA calculation, fraud prevention etc., can help save hundreds to thousands of dollars every single month which is nothing short of a blessing for smaller ventures.

This guest blog post was written by Steve Burns, Sr. Marketing Executive at ChannelSale. Since 2007, ChannelSale has been enabling online merchants to reach more customers globally across 200+ online marketplaces, comparison shopping engines and affiliate networks by way of automating sync for product listings, orders, inventory across multiple shopping channels via a single software interface.

4 Ways SMS Helps Any Business Drive E-commerce

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No matter what type of business you’re in, e-commerce is increasingly important to your bottom line. Over the past two decades, the Internet has fundamentally changed the way commerce takes place. Despite already enormous growth, it’s showing no signs of slowing down. Between the last quarter of 2015 and the first quarter of 2016, total e-commerce grew over 15%.

If you need help capturing more e-commerce, you need to take a look at implementing an SMS marketing campaign. Here are four ways SMS has the power to drive e-commerce for any business:

  1. Incredible Response Rate

When you send an email or direct mailer, it’s hard to know whether or not your message is actually getting read. With text messages, you can be certain they are. Amazingly, 98% of all text messages are opened by the end-user. Perhaps more importantly, 90% of those messages are read within the first three minutes. If you need to deliver an important message quickly, SMS is simply impossible to beat.

  1. The Mobile Audience is Enormous

Providing a direct connection to the mobile audience is another reason all businesses benefit from SMS. Here are somestatistics that show the increasing power of reaching out to mobile users:

  • Just under 7 billion people own and use mobile phones.
  • In North America, mobile traffic consists of 36% of all Internet traffic.
  • 67% of all consumer are comfortable making purchases on their mobile devices.
  • Almost 75% of users who makes a mobile search end up taking further action.

Clearly, there is an enormous mobile audience that is actively looking to use their mobile devices to research and make purchases. If you can reach them via SMS right on their phone, you’ll have a significant advantage over the competition.

  1. Providing Free Added Value

Sales and promotions are a good way to drive immediate revenue, but they can be problematic. You’ll make less profit on each sale. Beyond that, you could be training your audience to only make purchases when you’re offering a discount. This ends up attracting customers who aren’t as profitable as you’d like.

SMS, on the other hand, allows you to add value without taking money out of your pocket. You can use text messages to send shipment updates or an alert when an out-of-stock item is ready for purchase again. Another useful value-add is offering your SMS list early access to new products or existing promotions.

  1. Dynamic Targeting

When somebody opts into SMS marketing, you can begin gathering information and segmenting them automatically. One good way to take advantage of this is by creating different lists for users who look at specific products or services. You can even set-up an automatic text message campaign to begin the day after a user creates a shopping cart and then ends up abandoning it. You can create as many dynamic campaigns as you want and rest assured that your customers read the messages.

Has SMS helped you drive digital sales? Make sure to leave any suggestions or questions of your own in the comments below!

Author Biography

Sophorn Chhay

Sophorn is the marketing guy at Trumpia, a mobile content delivery service that allows users to customize their one-to-one marketing efforts by interconnecting and optimizing all digital platforms. As an innovator in two-way SMS messaging, Trumpia’s mission is to empower brands and public figures with interactive access to their audiences, reaching targeted affinity groups in a personal way. Trumpia delivers world-class content such as video, ticketing, polling, products sales, contests and giveaways.

Follow Sophorn on Twitter(@Trumpia), LinkedIn, Facebook and Google+

3dcart and Bablic Team Up to Offer Store Owners One Click Website Translation

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Expanding business operations and increasing sales is a tough feat for many small to medium sized eCommerce businesses.

With 73% of today’s Internet users browsing in a language other than English, it’s unsurprising that the average retailer is losing out on countless potential sales. Customers want to visit websites in their own language, and regardless of your store’s gorgeous design or low prices, they’re not about to shop at your business if they’re unable to read your content.

To help online merchants overcome this obstacle, 3dcart has partnered with Bablic, an easy website localization solution. By adding just one line of code to your website’s header, you can add any language to your 3dcart store. Choose from machine translation, human translation, or manually translate your content yourself – no programming required.

In addition to translating content, you’ll be able to replace images, fix style issues, and edit nearly any website element with just a click in Bablic’s cutting-edge visual editor.

Ready to increase traffic, user-engagement, and conversions for your online store? Try out Bablic’s 14-day free trial! Learn more by visiting the 3dcart App Store.

3dcart Success Stories: Featuring American RV Company

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American RV Company features more than 12,500 RV parts, including generators, hardware, kitchenware, electronics, lighting, and more. But before it found massive success as an online store, the RV parts store found initial success per a humble sales channel tactically utilized by countless aspiring entrepreneurs: eBay.

In 2005, American RV Company’s founder was working for another manufacturer of RV parts, a business that earned a whopping $270 million annually at its peak. Just a short while later, armed with invaluable industry knowledge (50+ years) and an unstoppable drive, American RV was born. Unfortunately, only two years after the launch of the up and coming manufacturer, the RV industry crashed, and the fledgling company was forced to hurriedly sell their acquired parts via eBay.

In 2011 the business bounced back stronger than ever, boasting a catalog of more than 12,000 products. As the business grew and expanded, acquiring more and more parts via wholesale, it was finally time to expand beyond the limitations of eBay in favor of a dedicated online store. John Nelson, general manager of American RV Company, says the company’s eCommerce search revealed 3dcart as the front-runner.

But as the RV parts store continued to grow with the power and features of a hosted eCommerce solution, new demands emerged that would test 3dcart’s capabilities: “We needed something more robust, so we decided to implement an ERP system. Forecasting, inventory planning, automation, coordination—these were features we needed to help us upgrade our business,” recalls John.

American RV eventually settled on SAP Business One, and John and his associates hit the eCommerce market yet again to evaluate which platform would work best with their chosen ERP system.

“We pitted options like Magento against 3dcart,” John says. “In the end, 3dcart’s advanced API won the day. It gave us the flexibility we needed to build a completely integrated technology backbone for the company.”

John attributes his business’s success in large part to 3dcart’s powerful system: “One of the factors that really sets 3dcart apart is its third-party integrations,” John explains. “The company is willing to play nice with other solutions. 3dcart’s leadership knows that some businesses need functionality beyond the scope of an ecommerce solution.”

American RV Company is able to provide top-quality customer service via third party integrations such as GoDataFeed, Lexity Live, Amazon and Google Checkout, and 3dcart features like CRM and the built-in newsletter feature.

The RV parts store hasn’t abandoned their roots either: “We still push products through eBay, who we’ve been with since the beginning. They process around 15 percent of our total sales, and we pay fees on all of it,” John says. “But we do eight times the sales with 3dcart than we ever could have done with eBay—and we keep all of that revenue. What we save on fees is huge.”

To learn more about American RV Company’s eCommerce story, 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!

Expand your business across borders: 5 things you should know.

Global Commerce

Foreign markets present extremely valuable opportunities for ecommerce stores, whether big or small, and it’s time for you to consider taking advantage of them. There are tons of advantages to selling in other/new markets that can make the effort put into localizing your 3dcart store well worth it. For example, demand or supply could be different abroad, and that might allow you to charge higher prices. In several cases, your competition may not yet be present in a specific territory, which means you can benefit from the first-mover advantage if you enter it fast enough. Sometimes expanding abroad is not really a choice, due to declining demand in your domestic market or to the market being saturated by too many competitors. Whatever the reason to expand cross-border, there are many things you should pay attention to in order for the expansion to be both successful and profitable. The 2 most important areas that we should look into are localization and service.

Localization

Localization is quite a broad concept but it basically means to tweak your business so that it meets the standards, tastes and preferences of the new market you are expanding into. Ideally you should create a comfortable and familiar experience for your new user, and make them feel “at home”. But what does localization mean in practice?

  • Website language: First and foremost, your website should be translated into the local language. Plenty of studies show how online buyers tend to avoid buying from websites in a foreign language, or a language they don’t understand perfectly. The translation should be accurate and present in every part of the site, including checkout, product description and all in-site messages (popups, forms etc.). This sounds like a daunting task, and it used to be until a while ago. Now there are several easy and affordable solutions, like Bablic, that allow you to achieve a perfectly translated website with minimal effort, all while being cost-effective for small and even new businesses or startups. It’s a perfect solution to the biggest barrier ecommerce owners come across when looking to expand their customer base.
  • Prices and checkout: Asking customers to make calculations is bad for business. All prices should be listed in the local currency so that customers can immediately understand them without having to check today’s currency exchange rates. Most payment systems are equipped with multi-currency prices and checkouts by default, otherwise there are several good plugins and add-ons available on the market. If there are specific payment methods that are particularly popular in the new target market (special credit/debit cards, electronic wallets, gift cards or others) you should seriously consider adopting them and even specifically showcasing that you accept them. Having them available immediately will reduce friction and help increase conversions and sales significantly.
  • Customer Support: This is a subject touching upon both localization and service. Ideally you should provide service to your customers in their native language. Additionally, your customer support representatives should be aware of common issues or requests that usually come from customers in a specific region. This aspect could become quite expensive, so my suggestion is to do this gradually. Initially, it may be enough to create a very exhaustive and comprehensive FAQ section in the local language, where your customers can find all the information they need. This will hopefully reduce the need for direct contact. Once your sales volumes justify it, you can look into outsourcing Customer Support to an native-speaking external contractor or hiring a dedicated employee. It’s very important to give all Customer Support representatives (especially external contractors) proper training on products and policies, and make sure you are able to check on the quality of their work (by reviewing tickets, emails etc.) to make sure Customer Support stays high-quality. Don’t forget that Customer Support is your voice when customers seek your assistance, and they should represent your business properly.

Service

Needless to say, service is a crucial part of ecommerce. If you are expanding into a foreign market you should aim at offering the same level of service you are offering in your domestic market. Customer Support, as discussed above, is fundamental, but there are 2 more aspects that deserve to be looked into: shipping and fulfillment.

  • Shipping: Large online retailers such as Amazon.com and others figured out early on that customers buy less when they have to pay shipping fees. That’s why ecommerce websites usually make the magic words “Free Shipping” very well visible in the page. If you are shipping cross-border to another country you will probably have higher expenses. You may want to consider adjusting prices to secure your margin, but possibly leaving shipping fees untouched (better if free). You should perform some research about the shipping company you choose for the new territory. It is possible that a courier working great in one country has some problems in another (limited reach, slow delivery times, bad reputation etc.), so make sure you choose carefully.
  • Fulfillment: Ecommerce is a very competitive arena, so your customers expect delivery of their purchases within reasonable times. If you are shipping to a country that has difficult logistics, such as distance, difficulty with communication, or customs that take too long to clear your merchandise, you may want to take a fulfillment center into consideration. It may sound like a big commitment but don’t worry, no need to go rent a warehouse just yet. There are many options to outsource these service to external contractors at reasonable prices. Just remember that holding stock in a fulfillment center has an impact on your finances. Not just the cost of storage per se, but also the cost of the merchandise stuck there on hold waiting for customers to buy. Use your analytics to make sure you use the fulfillment center wisely, giving priority to those items that are more in demand and that will move out quickly to generate revenues.

To wrap things up, the more you succeed in creating a friendly, familiar and gratifying experience for your customers, and the more they will buy, wherever they may be. Obviously a happy customer is a returning customer. The best thing you can do to check if you did a good job is to imagine having to buy something in a foreign online store. What are the things you would NOT like as a customer? Now go back to your website and make sure your customers never have to deal with them.

This guest blog post was written by Gabriele Manasse, the co-founder of Bablic. Bablic is the most cost-effective and advanced website translation service available to small & medium businesses, online stores and startups. You can translate your website by simply adding one-line of code onto your pages using Bablic

3dcart Launches New High Traffic Plans to Help Medium-Sized Businesses Grow

HighTrafficPlansIf you’re a medium-sized business, having an outage or a slow-loading site can cost you tens of thousands of dollars per year. Customers have more choices than ever when it comes to shopping online, and businesses that aren’t able to deliver an around-the-clock exceptional user experience are missing out on countless potential sales.

Growing businesses need a reliable, secure, and scalable eCommerce solution to meet their evolving needs, which is why 3dcart is introducing new High Traffic Plans. Ideal for businesses that require fast performance and high availability during peak traffic time, the High Traffic plans are engineered to provide an industry-leading uptime of 99.9% and blazing fast speeds, 24/7/365.

In addition to offering bank-grade security, unmatched server uptime, and speed-optimization, the High Traffic plans offer extra bandwidth and access to a personal Technical Account Manager. Furthermore, the High Traffic plans offer unlimited number of products, no transactions fees or order limits; and access to Enterprise-level features.

Two price-tiers, capable of meeting any medium-sized business’s needs, are available:

  • High Traffic Plan — $199.99/month and offers 60GB of bandwidth
  • High Traffic Plan Plus — $499.99/month and offers 250GB of bandwidth

For more information on 3dcart’s High Traffic Plans, visit 3dcart.com.

Targeted popups can drive major email list growth and revenue

In ecommerce, your goal as a marketer is to both convert new visitors, as well as drive frequency of purchases from repeat buyers.

And as you likely already know, owning a direct email relationship with your leads and customers is critical in achieving these goals. Increasingly, you’re likely seeing more and more websites using popups to capture leads and display promo codes.

Why is this trend coming back so quickly? Because it works, and it works really really well. There’s really three types of email capture popups:

  1. Sign-up campaigns. This is a simple “join our email list popup” that may mention the subscriber can expect specials, offers and announcements, but refrains from using a specific offer to incentivize the subscription.
  2. Offer campaigns. Just like it sounds, an offer backed-popup uses the promise of a specific promo code or coupon, after the visitor signs up.
  3. Sweepstakes campaigns. This is more of a “enter to win” type giveaway. Where at the end of the campaign schedule, a winner, or group of winners will randomly be selected.

Depending on your brand, margins and campaign goals, one or all of these popup types could be worth exploring. We looked at 100 million data points around popup conversions by content type, and found the following.

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Clearly, sweepstakes driven popups offer the most incentive to join and convert at 15%, followed by offers which convert 5%, then sign up campaigns which convert at 1%. Clearly, the higher the incentive, the higher the conversion rate.

For most businesses, sweepstakes don’t make sense, so it’s best to focus on targeted offer campaigns. After analyzing hundreds of millions of data points from email capture campaigns, here’s our recommendation for high performing, targeted popup campaigns for ecommerce sites:

Welcome Offer

Have a nice, branded popup that you target to first time visitors, offering them a small promo code in exchange for joining your list. It’s important that this looks great on desktop as well as mobile. It’s fine for the desktop version to use nice images and your logo, but just be sure the popup loads quickly on mobile. Having a simplified mobile version of the campaign is also a good idea.

Screen Shot 2016-06-28 at 11.31.32 AMDesktop welcome offer.

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Mobile version of the welcome offer. This site used an welcome offer to convert over 10% of first time traffic to the site. The shape of the mobile popup is 350 pixels wide by 400 pixels tall.

Abandoned Cart Offer

Most ecommerce marketers have abandoned cart emails configured, and that’s great. But that only works in scenarios where you have the customers email and they are abandoning cart. What if it’s a first time visitor, and you haven’t yet captured the lead?

Have a second, targeted offer that displays to visitors who have added a product to their cart but are “leaving” the site before completing a purchase.

In this scenario, you’ll want to be sure you can capture their attention with a simple popup promising an offer they can use immediately if they complete the purchase. Since they could be exiting your site quickly, you’ll want this popup design to be quite simple, and stay away from high resolution images. This sort of offer backed popup will help you reduce your cart abandonment rate significantly.

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Abandoned cart offer. This site used an abandoned cart offer to convert over 15% of users not completing the purchase funnel.

Here is some additional data around designing and targeting your campaigns to help you grow your email list faster.

Popup, Banner, or Bar?  The Impact of Display Type on Email List Growth

Marketers love to A/B test campaign creative, yet for the most part the tests are restricted to a single display type. We looked across the three most popular form display types to examine which performs best. First let’s understand each display type:

  1. Popup: Likely does not need explanation. Popups, also known as lightboxes, typically display in the center of the website, or sometimes as “fly outs” in the corner.
    popup-anim_360.png
     
  2. Bar: A full width bar that typically sits either on top of your site, or at the bottom.
    bar-anim_360.png
     
  3. Banner: A more subtle interaction that sits at the top or bottom of a site, but starts in a “hidden” state until triggered, then rolls into sight. banner-anim_360.png

The banner style outperforms both the popup and email bar. It’s easy for site visitors to get frustrated by a popup, and immediately close it down. We’ve also noticed that email bars are perhaps a bit too subtle, and it’s easy for visitors to glance over them entirely, similarly to a traditional embedded form.

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Display Triggers: Timers, Exit Intent, and Tabs

These days, you can use a spattering of different triggers to determine when a visitors sees your list growth campaign. We looked at the three most popular campaign triggers, to understand how each trigger impacts conversions. Let’s first understand how each trigger works:

  1. Timer: The time trigger simply enables you to determine when to display your campaign, based on how long a visitor has been on your site. It could show immediately when a visitor lands, 10 seconds later, etc.
  2. Exit intent: This trigger is growing in popularity. Exit intent tracks your visitors mouse movement, and if the visitor appears to be leaving or “exiting” your site, you can use that as a trigger for your campaign.
  3. Tabs: Tabs, or other visual calls to action can be customized to fit in with your site layout, and when clicked, trigger your campaign to display.

Screen+Shot+2016-03-18+at+10.33.23+AM Screen+Shot+2016-03-18+at+10.33.56+AM Screen+Shot+2016-03-18+at+10.33.45+AM

Though time based, and exit-intent campaigns are most frequently used, the conversion rate of tab triggered campaigns is orders of magnitude higher than the other, “automatic” triggers. We certainly expected that the intent behind a site visitor proactively clicking on a visual cue would lead to higher conversion rates, but we never realized how much more impactful that could be. In an ideal scenario, you’re using several of these triggers in conjunction with one another to maximize your opt-in rate. 

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Note that this conversion rate is measured based on campaign views resulting in signups by initial trigger, not total site traffic resulting in signups.

Exit intent:
exit intent

Timer:
TEN SECONDS

All in all, targeted popups that demonstrate your understanding of visitor behavior, can really help you grow your customer list and drive revenue.

This guest blog post was written by Ben Jabbawy, the founder of Privy. Privy offers an easy to use marketing platform for ecommerce sites trying to grow their email list. Over 30,000 businesses use Privy every day. For more info please check out the Privy app for 3dcart here: http://apps.3dcart.com/Privy.html 

Modern Living Responsive Theme – A FREE Professionally Designed Theme from 3dcart

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

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If you would like to preview the live demo of our “Modern Living” 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 “Modern Living”

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