How to Create a Homepage that Converts

The homepage of your website is inarguably the most important, if not the most visited page on your website. Roughly 50% of your visitors arrive at your homepage, and with only a few seconds to capture their attention, its design needs to be nothing short of stunning.

But a great homepage is more than just beautiful. Through a captivating design and compelling content, it quickly illustrates to customers that your store is where their needs will be met. It tells customers who you are, what you sell, and why your product is the answer, with just a quick glance.

Whether your home page is suffering from a high bounce rate or you’re already using a gorgeous responsive design, there’s always room for improvement when it comes to your homepage. Design practices are constantly evolving, with new “best practices” heavily influencing the effectiveness of a business’s web design.

To help online store owners convert more visitors into customers, 3cart offers professional services designed to make the homepage as effective as it can be. Proven to lure more customers, increase customer browsing time, and improve the user experience, 3dcart’s design add-ons are the easy solution to giving your brand a discernible proposition.

Home Page Carousel Banner/$299

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  • 3 beautiful, professionally designed banners
  • Designs uniquely tailored to your brand and business

Featured Homepage Categories/$500

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  • Highlight several groups of products on your homepage
  • Displays next to featured products
  • Draw more attention to specific products

Ready to make your homepage the best it can be? Let 3dcart’s design experts help you start increasing conversions. Visit the 3dcart App Store to get started.

Understanding Same-Day ACH and the business impact

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It’s said that time is money—business is expected to move fast and you would expect your money to keep up. However, whether you realize it or not, the U.S. banking infrastructure does not move as fast as what you would imagine in a world where we can get deliveries within 24 hours. When we can get a giant package delivered almost within the same day, why can’t bank transfers do the same?

However, changes are coming. Soon, businesses and consumers will have the ability to access bank transfers that occur “same day”. But first, some background…

You are a business, a merchant. You move money in and out and around every day. What you may not realize is that every time you make a transaction that goes to or from a bank account, you’re using the ACH network.

What’s the ACH network?

In short, the ACH network is the “rails” connecting all U.S. bank accounts and financial institutions. Using ACH, money moves between bank accounts. Every time you pay for your utilities via your bank account and routing number (rather than your credit card information), you’re using the ACH network.

Today, an ACH transfer takes about 2-4 business days. The reason there is this delay is because the ACH network relies on the manual process of submitting a digital file once a day (i.e. a batch of the individual credit card payments, direct deposits, utility bill, etc.) at a financial institution. There is also a delay imposed from the banks so they can ensure that the funds coming from one bank account will in fact be in that bank account, etc.

When time is money, this is a long time to wait for money to clear into your bank account. NACHA, the managers of the ACH network have adopted a rule allowing for Same-Day ACH to improve the speed at which ACH transactions occur.

Understanding Same-Day ACH

Same-Day ACH is a new rule that allows for payments to occur within a much shorter time frame than before. NACHA—the managers of the ACH network—have implemented this rule to match the expectations of the market so money moves more closely to the speed of business.

Same-Day ACH doesn’t introduce any new technology into the process, but rather improves how the process is running. Remember that batch file we mentioned earlier? Same-Day ACH adds two more windows of submission to that file. So instead of that file getting submitted once, it will get submitted multiple times each day—so funds will get on their way quicker than before.

All transactions will not be Same-Day by default. For businesses wishing to operate more quickly, get access to funds sooner, there will be a fee charged by the banks for Same-Day ACH transaction.

Those fees are still TBD, since Same-Day ACH hasn’t started rolling out to the public yet. NACHA has required banks to implement Same-Day ACH in three phases.

Phase 1 – September 2016 (for payouts):  Ability to receive and process Same-Day credits becomes mandatory, and additional processing windows are added. The two processing windows are at 10:30AM ET and 2:45PM ET, with new settlement times at 1:00PM and 5:00PM ET.

Phase 2 – September 2017 (payout and collect payments): Ability to receive and process Same-Day debits—in addition to credits—becomes mandatory.

Phase 3 – March 2018 (a new settlement window): Must make Same Day ACH funds sent before the cut-off window available to the payee by end of business on the same day.

The way to best be prepared for Same-Day ACH, is to make sure you understand potential benefits and uses….

Same-Day ACH Benefits to Business

Leveraging the ACH network to power your business payments can prove cost effective and more practical than relying on credit cards alone. For example, if you’re running a marketplace like Etsy or Jane.com, it’s most efficient to pay out to your vendors using the ACH network. If you were able to have those payouts to vendors in just 1-2 business days rather than the standard 3-4 business days, you would not only have a more efficient operation, but you would also have happier customers who get paid speedily.

Certainty of payments: Same-Day ACH also offers the benefit of efficiency and time savings. For your accounting department, they won’t have to worry about waiting on money to come in to accounts payable.

Improved control with payroll: With Same-Day, since you’re not waiting the standard length of time for direct deposits, if you made an accounting mistake in payroll (an added zero or an incomplete file), then you could more quickly reconcile the issue.

Faster payouts for the gig, on-demand economy: Even with the flexibility in schedule offered by these roles, unfortunately that doesn’t mean your providers get timely payment. With Same-Day this turnaround time could be reduced and payouts get delivered quicker.

Consistency from on-time payment: If you initiate an ACH payment ON its due-date, that payment will be late since you’re waiting on it to clear for a few days. Same-Day ACH payments provide improved flexibility and certainty.

Since Same-Day ACH has yet to be released, the question remains how those banks offering up the service will enable its use; how will banks and financial institutions provide Same-Day ACH and what will it cost to use Same-Day?  Questions will surface, but one thing will remain true—any step toward faster payments is a step in the right direction.

This was a guest blog post from 3dcart partner, Dwolla.
At Dwolla, we believe that accessing the ACH network should be seamless and simple so you can get back to business and on with ensuring your customers are delighted. Our flexible ACH API, infrastructure, and expertise in bank transfers offer one of the nation’s most robust platforms. If you’re interested in Same-Day ACH (or standard ACH) we’d like to hear from you.

Encourage Repeat Business with Automatic Reorder Reminders

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A great online store is designed with its customers in mind, capable of delivering a memorable shopping experience before, during, and after checkout.

While your website’s design is crucial to securing sales, it’s important to remember that not every customer that visits your store intends to make a one-time purchase. Countless items require regular replenishment, such as coffee, pet food, e-cigarette liquids, and mechanical parts that wear down quickly. And if you’re lucky (and savvy) enough to secure a customer’s loyalty, that means they’ll be back time and time again to repurchase your goods.

For many customers, however, remembering when to reorder isn’t always an easy thing. Unlike an empty tube of a toothpaste, which can be quickly remedied with a trip to any convenience store, customers that run out of your product are left in a rut, deprived of their beloved good, and likely a bit peeved, too.

Helping customers avoid such pesky situations can not only boost sales for your online store, but dramatically improve customer satisfaction, too. With 3dcart’s 3dReminder Reorder Service, you can help ensure customers are always well-supplied with their renewable products. Customize and configure email reminders that will automatically be sent to your customers, notifying them that it’s time to reorder their item.

3dReminder highlights include:

  • Configure your reminder settings to specify the frequency options available to your customer
  • Specify which products will have reminders available
  • When your customer orders a renewable item they can sign up for reminder emails during the ordering process

Ready to improve your customers’ user experience and start boosting sales? Visit the 3dcart App Store to get started.

Increase Sales and Exposure with 3dcart’s Newly Updated Gift Registry Feature

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Few ecommerce features are as universally beloved and utilized as gift registries.

Why all the fuss? A gift registry allows customers to create a list of products for special events such as birthdays, weddings, or the arrival of a new baby, which can then be easily shared with friends and family. They’re a powerful eCommerce tool for driving traffic, referral sales, and increasing customer satisfaction, all without you having to lift a finger.

And there’s no need to look farther than your Online Store Manager. 3dcart’s built-in gift registry can give your store the edge it needs to win the business and loyalty of today’s demanding shoppers, equipped with all the features your shoppers want and need.

Recently updated to include new features, some highlights of the 3dcart Gift Registry are:

  • Automated updates to registry
  • Customizable gift registry invitation email
  • Shareable registry URL
  • Password protected registries (optional)
  • User-friendly registry search by title, event date, or first and/or last name
  • View registry details for existing, disabled, and expired registries
  • Login to customer registries to view, edit, and add items
  • Export your store’s gift registries
  • Automated email notification to registrant each time a registry item is purchased (optional)

Having a gift registry can mean the difference between losing and securing your customers’ lifelong loyalty. Want to add a gift registry to your own online store? Visit the 3dcart Knowledgebase for step-by-step instructions.

Heel Farm Responsive Theme – A FREE Professionally Designed Theme from 3dcart

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

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If you would like to preview the live demo of our “Heel Farm” 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 “Heel Farm”

Stay Tuned! Additional new and updated 3dcart Templates are coming soon!

oming soon!

Lure Back Potentially Abandoned Shoppers with 3dboost

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3dboost, a powerful tool for creating time-sensitive popup offers, debuted just over a month ago, and has already been widely adopted by hundreds of 3dcart merchants.

Praised for its ease-of-use and advanced features, 3dboost allows for unparalleled customization. Store owners can easily create compelling ads that perfectly match their website’s unique design, giving them the edge they need to boost sales and outperform their competitors.

Although 3dboost is a multipurpose popup tool, its “user-triggered” scenario, which allows popup ads to appear when a visitor’s cursor abandons your page, is one of its more awesome (and incredibly powerful) features. With a “user-triggered” popup, online merchants have a second chance at preventing shoppers from abandoning website, and securing sales they’d otherwise have lost.

3dboost makes it easy for store owners to create enticing offers with messages that reinforce value and create urgency. Offer a flat percentage off, free shipping, or any irresistible offer of your choosing, which will conveniently display if and when a shopper is about to leave your website. Jazz up your ad with a background effect, a buy button, and design options for added appeal, ensuring maximum effect.

You can start recovering sales and reducing cart abandonment for your own online store with 3dboost, today. For more information, visit the 3dboost app.

3dcart Earns Google’s Red Premier Partner Badge

premier-google-partnerGoogle Partners has rolled out major updates to its badging program, including the introduction of the new Premier Google Partner badge.

The new badge is designed to recognize Partners who manage a substantial portfolio of Google advertising campaigns and deliver consistently exceptional results for their customers.

The criteria for obtaining a red Premier Partner badge include:

  • Pass AdWords certification in Google Partners (≥ 2 affiliated members)
  • Meet a higher spend requirement across your managed accounts
  • Demonstrate agency performance by delivering strong client and agency growth

Having recognized our accomplishments, Google has awarded 3dcart the Premier Google Partner badge. In addition, we’ve also earned three specializations, which demonstrate our expertise in the following areas as described by Google:

Search Advertising: Demonstrated increased product performance and expertise in basic and advanced search concepts, including best practices for creating, managing, measuring, and optimizing search ad campaigns across the Search Network.

Mobile Advertising: Demonstrated increased product performance and expertise in basic and advanced concepts in mobile advertising, including ad formats, bidding and targeting, and campaign measurement and optimization.

Shopping Advertising: Demonstrated increased product performance and expertise in basic and advanced concepts in shopping advertising, including creating a Merchant Center account and product data feed, and creating and managing Shopping campaigns.

3dcart is ready to give you the help you need to succeed. Visit 3dcart.com to learn how our marketing services and expert team can elevate your business to the next level.

Retain More Customers and Boost Sales with Recurring Orders

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Subscription commerce is the business model of the future, and more and more merchants are starting to take notice.

Thanks in large part to Amazon’s Subscribe & Save service, consumer interest in recurring orders is at an all-time high. Supplements, diapers, pet food, water filters, e-cigarette accessories – virtually every type of service and product is available through subscription services across the web. Customers, eager for discounts and hassle-free payment methods, are turning to subscription billing to simplify their everyday lives.

And recurring orders provide benefits for more than just customers, too. Businesses that adopt a recurring-billing system are able to retain more customers, and for a longer period of time. Consumers who opt for recurring-billing are mentally prepared to make recurring payments, which directly translates to a more consistent cash flow for your online business.

If you’re thinking about boosting sales by adopting a subscription billing business model, your store will require a powerful solution that can meet the demands of today’s consumers, capable of providing a memorable and exceptional shopping experience.

3dcart’s AutoShip plugin is everything you need to start accepting recurring orders in just minutes. With the AutoShip system, customers have the freedom to select their preferred frequency for an item before adding it to cart. And since the frequency is specified per product, customers can have multiple AutoShip orders at the same time. Customers can easily manage their recurring orders from their My Account section, where they have the option to change their order’s frequency, cancel an AutoShip order, and update credit card information.

Some highlights of AutoShip include:

  • Increase revenue by encouraging recurring orders and making them simple
  • Reduce cart abandonment by saving customers time with automatic billing
  • Build brand loyalty, differentiate from the competition and create lifetime customers
  • Create more accurate sales forecasts and gain tighter control over inventory

If you’re ready to start capitalizing on the incredible revenue opportunities presented by recurring orders, visit the 3dcart App Store to get started.

Boost Your Online Store’s Exposure with 3dcart’s New Marketing Dashboard

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Setting up, launching, and managing an online store is inarguably a great deal of work, even when you’re having fun every step of the way. But at a certain point after launch, you’ll undoubtedly start wondering how you can increase your store’s sales and traffic.

With numerous marketing strategies, tactics, and advice afloat, it can be difficult figuring out where to get started in your pursuit for a more successful online store. Marketing channels like social media, comparison shopping engines, SEO, email, and blogging all provide unique benefits, helping to maximize your business’s exposure and increase brand awareness.

Your ability to drive traffic to your online store can mean the difference between success and failure. Whether you’re already creating social buzz on Facebook or managing a Google Shopping ads campaign, odds are there are tools and channels that your store is not utilizing to its fullest potential.

To help you effectively market your online store, 3dcart is excited to announce the release of our new Marketing Dashboard. Comprised of easy, intermediate, and advanced marketing concepts, the Marketing Dashboard’s checklist provides a series of tasks that you can review and perform to help increase your store’s traffic and sales.

You can begin using the Marketing Dashboard by navigating to Marketing -> Marketing Checklist in your Online Store Manager.

For more information about the Marketing Dashboard, visit the 3dcart Knowledgebase.

 

Bakery Responsive Theme – A FREE Professionally Designed Theme from 3dcart

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

bakery-screenshots

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

Stay Tuned! Additional new and updated 3dcart Templates are coming soon!