Tips and Tricks Posts

Customer Success Story: How Sewing Studio Used ConnectPOS with Gift Card and Reward Points by Aheadworks

We always glad to hear how our solutions help e-commerce marketers from all over the globe successfully conduct their business. And today, we’ll bring you one great example.

Customer Success Story: How Sewing Studio Used ConnectPOS with Gift Card and Reward Points by Aheadworks

Sewing Studio, one of the largest sewing equipment sellers in the UK, looked for ways to effectively provide its services across all sales channels.

For better ecommerce performance, Sewing Studio moved its websites to Magento 2. Another challenge was finding a POS system that will work with Magento out of the box (instead of a less friendly dedicated solution). So, the choice fell on ConnectPOS.

Top Web Hosting Trends in 2018

The importance of web hosting for the digital market grows at tremendous speed. Given this, website owners should always keep an eye on its updates in order to stay on the cutting edge.

Top Web Hosting Trends in 2018

Today, we will discuss the latest web hosting trends that should be definitely considered by every online business. So, let’s get started with cloud hosting.

Cloud Hosting

It’s predicted that soon, cloud hosting solutions will prevail over the entire web hosting market. Due to the high security and uptime, thousands of online brands opt for them.

Briefly, cloud hosting works in the following way: the cloud server itself consists of physical servers located in a secured room. Websites are hosted on virtual servers that obtain resources from this network of physical servers. Still, cloud hosting services are not that expensive, which makes them quite affordable for businesses with small budgets looking for a good value for money.

Although cloud servers are based on physical ones, in fact, they are virtual, which excludes the possibility of any hardware issues slowing down or even interrupting website’s work. So, if some outage still occurs, the system will automatically switch to another server to prevent the site from going offline.

Flawless Mobile Shopping with the Aheadworks Extensions

With the growth of mobile commerce, the need to adjust web stores to mobile devices is now beyond question.

Flawless Mobile Shopping with the Aheadworks Extensions

We already discussed how to arrange a mobile checkout in an e-commerce store. However, one should note that before proceeding to the checkout stage itself, every mobile shopper should go through the whole shopping path seamlessly and comfortably.

Today, we will learn how to provide mobile users with a convenient mobile shopping experience ensured by the Aheadworks extensions. But, first, we’d better start with some vivid statistics.

Mobile Shopping Stats & Facts

Undoubtedly, mobile adaptation is among the top e-commerce trends, which is proved by the following facts:

  • Over the last 6 months, 62% of smartphone users made purchases from their smartphones;
  • Also, 40% of mobile shoppers will likely leave a website due to mobile commerce issues;
  • More, last year, 50% of all mobile searches were made with a purchase intent.

Considering the above facts, now, let’s explore the main aspects of the mobile shopping process that we can efficiently handle with the Aheadworks extensions.

Catalog Search

It all starts with finding the right product in a store catalog. There are several ways to find a product, but the shortest one is, perhaps, on-site search. Using it instead of continuous browsing, a user can just type a query in a search bar and enjoy the results closely relevant to their target products.

Since typing on mobile devices is not that simple, there is always a high chance of typos. In case of the native Magento functionality, wrongly typed search queries are likely to bring no search results. So, the user has to type the query once again and feel quite irritated about the entire process.

However, with the Advanced Search extension, your mobile shoppers will quickly find what they need in the catalog even if they type their queries incorrectly.

How to Visually Present Product Offers in a Web Store

Being introduced to customers in the right way, e-commerce product offers do not just improve visual appearance of a web store, rather, they give additional promotional opportunities to merchants.

How to Visually Present Product Offers in a Web Store

In one of the previous articles, we’ve already discussed such a powerful offer presentation tool as popup windows. Today, we will cover some other beneficial ways to present product offers on retail website pages with the help of Aheadworks extensions. So, let’s begin with some statistics.

Why Visual?

As a web store owner, you might promote your offers through traditional advertising means such as email newsletters, paid ads, and so on.

But, let’s take a look at a couple of figures proving the necessity of constant on-site promotion in the form of banner sliders, related product blocks, and add-to-cart popups to be discussed later in this very article:

  • 72% of online shoppers interact with banner sliders on retail website pages;
  • More to it, 23% of them zoom sliders in to view the presented info in more detail;
  • And, on average, 60-70% of loyal consumers are more inclined to repeatedly make purchases (in case they are properly motivated to do so).

We’ve already stated that on-site product offers contribute to the overall visual appearance of a web store. Moreover, for 93% of shoppers, an attractive look of a web store plays a crucial role when making purchasing decisions.

Keeping all this in mind, let’s explore several product offer types each of which can be fruitfully implemented in your store and again prove the above figures.

Banner Sliders

Banners with rotating images are a good way to deliver marketing messages with product offers to visitors since they immediately catch eye.

You might experiment with different banner types by adding, say, in-page and widescreen banners with custom images and animation effects to main, product, and category pages of a website.

Using PHP Composer to Install Aheadworks Extensions for Magento 2

Acting as a completely straightforward system, Magento 2 allows smoothly arranging ecommerce operations in a web store.

Using PHP Composer to Install Aheadworks Extensions for Magento 2

Still, the work with this platform can be even more convenient if such an effective solution as PHP Composer is implemented.

PHP Composer Benefits

PHP Composer is a package dependency manager that allows conveniently installing and updating any PHP software.

More specifically, with Composer, a Magento 2 store owner gets the following benefits:

  • Quick Magento installation. The Magento 2 system itself can be downloaded and installed via Composer. This way, the manager assembles and updates all the conforming dependencies so that users do not have to handle them manually.
  • Reusable packages. All the installed third-party libraries can be repeatedly used and kept updated automatically.
  • Module arrangement. For those users who install third-party Magento 2 modules via Composer, the manager updates the required versions and manages the corresponding dependencies smoothly.

7 Reasons to Make your Magento Site a PWA

Progressive web apps are a developing technology, and with Apple now supporting them in the latest iOS update, their time has come.

7 Reasons to Make your Magento Site a PWA

Transform your Magento website and store into a seamless mobile experience and gain a range of benefits!

What is a Progressive Web App?

Historically, for the most part, websites and apps were two very different beasts requiring duplication of effort (across iOS, Android, and other platforms) and creating competing ways to sell to customers.

Now, fortunately, web coding has caught up with smartphones. Progressive web apps (PWA’s) help your website become the app simplifying the workload for your business.

When accessed, the website creates an app icon (just like a shortcut) on the user’s device taking them straight to the site. It offers the benefits of update alerts always being current and secure by default with HTTPS and transport layer security, and much more.

1. Follow the Trend to Mobile

A growing percentage of users now do their shopping on a mobile device over a desktop website.

Research suggests over 27% will do so in 2018! That figure goes up as the age-range goes down, and mobile devices dominate internet browsing time.

Basically, your audience is going mobile, and you need to follow them. By updating your Magento 2 website to a PWA, you will do this efficiently and save on the cost of app development and subsequent maintenance and updates.

Ecommerce Performance Enhancements with the Aheadworks Extensions

When utilized properly, sales funels help to improve the whole analytical process.
Ecommerce Performance Enhancements with the Aheadworks Extensions

In our previous article, we explained an approach to ecommerce performance tracking based on sales funnel models. Today, we’ll discuss how sales funnels help to improve ecommerce business performance. Additionally, we’ll consider the Aheadworks extensions able to produce a positive effect on your KPI’s.

The Indirect Impact Zone and the Area of Direct Influence

By the levels of influence, each sales funnel has two areas: the so-called ‘Indirect Impact Zone’ and the area of direct influence.

The first one can be influenced only indirectly since most of the traffic sources do not really belong to a company.

The second one is entirely formed on our side where the success is significantly determined by our actions.

The indirect and direct influence areas of a sales funnel

The indirect and direct influence areas of a sales funnel

Also, any funnel has its own diameter and flow rate determining its potential throughput. For the ecommerce sector, the limitations of diameter are mostly determined by server capabilities, which can be easily expanded if necessary.

Ecommerce Performance Tracking with Sales Funnels

We all know that ecommerce performance tracking is complicated. The number of existing metrics and parameters is over 100 and even more.

Ecommerce Performance Tracking with Sales Funnels

However, it’s well known that if you try to accomplish too many tasks simultaneously, you will be successful with none. So, what is the most appropriate number of measurements for daily tracking? Let’s find out.

Ecommerce Sales Funnel Examples

5-level Sales Funnel

Of course, it depends on your goal, but most likely, daily monitoring is accomplished to make sure that everything goes as planned. So, in this case, is the amount of sales is going to be enough for daily tracking? Well, not quite.

The thing is that sales describe only the bottom line of a business but do not actually explain the conditions and circumstances shaping the result. It may happen that sales remain fixed, while some other factors begin changing.

So, using sales as the only KPI, we are deprived of the possibility to detect early negative shifts in the environment or inside the company.

But how many KPI’s for daily tracking do we need? According to the Miller’s law, the number of objects an average human can keep in mind at a time is 7 ± 2.

E-commerce Marketing Automations with the Aheadworks Extensions

By automating routine marketing tasks with right tools, web merchants can organize their e-commerce operations more productively.

Ecommerce Marketing Automations with the Aheadworks Extensions

Today, we will discuss the most powerful e-commerce marketing automations to be performed in a Magento 2 store with the Aheadworks extensions.

Why Automate?

When properly utilized, the automation of marketing process becomes an indispensable solution for every online store. The stats below just prove this importance:

  • Consider that 68% of web marketers believe that automation boosts customer engagement;
  • More to it, 58% view automation as a tool that ensures additional revenue opportunities;
  • And, for 58% of marketers, e-commerce marketing automation streamlines communication with customers.

So, what are the tools able to prove all the above figures? We’ll find them soon, but before we need to find out the key e-commerce marketing aspects that should be automated.

Email Campaigns

When arranging multiple email campaigns at a time, it becomes difficult for marketers to manually track and fulfill all activities with multiple emails and even email chains. And, the larger the customer base in the store is, the more challenging this task might become.

Free Webinar by Aheadworks: Five Tools and One Performance Management Method

On March 15, 5-00 PM (GMT), Aheadworks holds a new webinar. This time, we will talk about ecommerce performance analytics that should be properly carried out by every web store owner.

Free Webinar by Aheadworks: Five Tools and One Performance Management Method

Five analytical tools and one performance management method

able to enhance your sales funnel 

How to sell and track results efficiently

During the webinar, our speakers will highlight the ways facilitating the actual business efficiency and the analytical tools required to increase current sales.

The upcoming event will be particularly useful for both ecommerce startups and mature businesses looking for efficient analytics and performance solutions.

REGISTER NOW 

Speakers

Dmitry Shatkov, Aheadworks Chief Content Officer Dmitry Shatkov, Aheadworks Chief Content Officer
Artem Kuznetsov, Aheadworks Product Owner Artem Kuznetsov, Aheadworks Product Owner

The Most Important Email Marketing Trends in 2018

Email marketing remains one of the driving forces of e-commerce sales, and in 2018, its influence is predicted to grow even more.

Email Marketing Trends in 2018

Today, we will discuss the most promising email marketing trends of the current year.

Why Email Marketing?

By implementing email marketing strategies in their web stores, online merchants primarily get the following benefits:

  • Loyalty Establishment. By sending customers emails with relevant and informative content, merchants establish credibility and, as a result, strong relationships with their target audience.
  • Time & Money Saving. By scheduling email chains instead of individual messaging, merchants save their time. Besides this, email marketing is more cost-effective compared to other forms of advertising.
  • Better Visibility. Since people tend to regularly check their mailboxes, there is a high chance that they will be timely informed about brand’s new offers and engaged with the promotional content.

Undoubtedly, every store owner expects that all the above benefits will be followed by traffic and sales increases, which is quite right.

Email Marketing Future Perspectives

Email marketing trends often change, so merchants should stay abreast of the latest tendencies to make the most of their email campaigns.

In one of our previous articles, we already talked about such a promising email marketing trend as personalization. Now, we will explore some other equally important tendencies that will significantly influence the development of advertising emails in 2018.

Email Automation by Audience Segments

Automated email campaigns segmented by multiple customer audiences can bring great benefits to merchants.

The stats recently presented by the Direct Marketing Association show that targeted emails can increase total email returns on investments up to 77%. Such an impressive figure proves that customers willingly opt for the brands that offer them relevant content in their promotional emails.

A Quick Guide to Popups in E-commerce

Popups are the windows that appear on site pages informing users about the latest brand’s offers.

A Quick Guide to Popups in Ecommerce

Popups are among the strongest marketing tools in the e-commerce area. Today, we will describe their peculiarities and bring some examples of their implementation on retail websites. So, let’s start.

Why Popups?

The primary goal of a popup is to motivate certain customer actions. Those actions might vary depending on the message of a particular popup.

For example, popups work great for increasing the number of email subscribers. Several years ago, the Nikki, In Stitches handmade accessories store managed to drive 1,375% more email subscriptions through popups than through its sidebar subscription form.

Popup Types

According to particular visitors’ actions on a site, store owners can show them the following popup types:

  • Exit-intent popups. These popups are shown when a user tries to leave a site. More specifically, the system tracks the movement of the visitor’s cursor on a particular site page and displays the related popup when the cursor leaves the area of the current browser window. This way, the brand presents its offers to leaving visitors to keep them longer on its site.
  • Scroll-based popups. Scroll-based popups appear when the user views a certain percent of a site page determined by a store admin. E-commerce stores frequently use this popup type on their blog pages. This way, they introduce their offers to users who engaged with a certain amount of the content on particular site pages.
  • Time-based popups. Popups of this type are displayed a while after the user opened a site page. Again, this value is set by the store admin. Time-based popups make their best when they appear 60 seconds or later after visitors load the page. At this point, they are already engaged with the content of the page, and, thus, more inclined to accept the displayed offers.
  • Content-based popups. This traditional type of popups is shown to users when they open particular site pages, such as, say, home, catalog, product, category, and other ones.

Based on the above popup types, store owners can determine the most appropriate ‘moment of interaction’ with their site powered by popups.

Now, let’s walk through several examples that will help us understand for what purposes online merchants can utilize popups in their stores.

Popup Usage Examples

Welcoming Popup

We begin our quick tour from the so-called ‘welcoming popup’ used by the Naja underwear web store. The popup is shown to users once they visit the store for the first time and offers a special discount on the first purchase for each new email subscriber.

In this way, the brand welcomes new visitors to its site. Moreover, it presents particular offers in a short and easy-to-understand form prompting visitors to become email subscribers with the words ‘be our special guest’ that creates the feeling of a unique offer available for each website visitor.

How to Use Coupon Codes in an E-commerce Store: Best Ideas

Customers love discounts, and one of the ways to provide these discounts in a web store is to use coupon codes.

How to Use Coupon Codes in an Ecommerce Store: Best Ideas

In fact, coupon codes with special offers contribute to building long-term customer loyalty. Today, we will talk about the most efficient ways of using digital coupons.

Coupon Code Key Stats

Last year, the Deal Nerd resource conducted a survey of coupon code usage in e-commerce stores. According to its results, 68% of respondents said that they would leave a store that doesn’t offer coupon codes.

Moreover, 54% of shoppers expect to receive discounts as coupon codes sent by email. As a result, 83% of the stores surveyed use email as the top channel for coupon code distribution.

The above figures just prove that coupon codes can greatly increase revenues of any e-commerce store. Now, let’s walk through several important tips telling how to properly utilize digital coupon codes.

Coupon Code Best Practices

Take Advantage of Customer Segmentation

The first thing that should be kept in mind when using coupon codes is that they should be segmented by a customer group. This way, your offers will always be presented to the right audience.

Notice that you can adjust your coupon codes not only for on-site visitors but also for particular email subscribers by sending them coupon codes by email. As a result, you will be guaranteed that your loyal shoppers will not miss any of your special offers.

Leveraging the Store Location Functionality in a Web Store

Online merchants use store locators to primarily help shoppers find the nearest physical outlets or pave the way to brick-and-mortar stores.

Leveraging Store Location Functionality in a Web Store

Today, we will give you some recommendations on how to help customers find the locations of the required physical stores online. First, let’s take a look at the key benefits of the above functionality.

Why Store Locators?

Apart from showing buyers the locations of particular brick-and-mortar stores, e-commerce businesses can benefit from the following advantages of store locators:

  • Customer retention. Customers will be grateful to the brand that helps them to find the nearest outlet when they don’t have much time for searching.
  • Rationalized workflow. The address-related info provided on store locator pages helps contact persons avoid general questions about their address and focus on more specific customer requests.
  • More buying options. With the store locator functionality utilized in a web store, shoppers can find the required products online and then negotiate to pick up them at the nearest outlet.

The above benefits just prove that store locators became an indispensable tool for both merchants and buyers. Now, we will find out how this functionality should be arranged on a website.

Store Finders Best Practices

Take Advantage of Locating

The first feature that should be included in the store locator functionality of any e-commerce store by default is the possibility to find the nearest store based on the current user’s location.

So, shoppers specify their location to find the nearest store, but what does the term ‘nearest’ exactly mean? Are these the stores that located within 100 kilometers or 200 kilometers, or only the stores within the walking distance? In other words, how a shopper can know what the search radius is?

The best solution here is to allow customers to manually indicate the radius of their search in terms of radius measurement units and their values. Consider implementing the solution in your website, and the process of finding a particular store is going to become transparent to your customers.