The Benefits of running an eCommerce Business

 

This post was written by Work placement student Anmol Khan

 

Do you know what eCommerce is?

eCommerce is an online shopping business and the key to increasing your sales online. Some of the big brands using eCommerce to their advantage are Amazon, eBay and Etsy.

But why should you move your business online and become eCommerce? Well, it should be for the following reasons…

 

Expands your reach

When creating an eCommerce website, you open yourself up to a much wider global audience, meaning that the potential of your eCommerce company will grow alongside your audience. It also means that you’ll also attain many loyal consumers!

 

Convenience

Online stores are available 24/7, so it’s easier for busy people who can’t physically come to your store. They can just pull out their mobile device and search your website and that’s it. You’ll have the potential to make 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so it’s a win-win!

 

Lower operating costs

Thanks to low-cost platforms, the start-up cost for an eCommerce business is quite cheap! Although there will be many details and challenges to overcome later down the line, the upfront investment is very cheap compared to setting up a physical store! It means that you don’t need to charge a premium on your product or service, and will remain competitive in your market.

 

Feedback

With an online business, it’s a lot easier to understand your consumers and hear what they have to say about your business. They have many options to leave reviews on the eCommerce website or your Social Media, plus with Google Analytics, you can track a consumer’s journey, and improve their experience next time.

 

By taking on their feedback, you’ll also help build a better word-of-mouth experience for your consumers, meaning they would probably share your website with others too. Your e-business will be a lot more successful, and all your doing is listening to your consumers.

 

Magento Shipping Methods

How to configure Magento Shipping Methods

Good afternoon ladies and gents, we’re back again with your favourite weekly segment…#MagentoMonday! This week we talk more about a topic which can win over repeat customers and is imperative for any online e-commerce store…Magento shipping methods.

So to start configuring your Magento shipping methods, you’ll have to go and log-in to your Magento Admin panel. Once you’re through, go to System -> Configuration -> Sales -> Shipping Settings. Click on Origin and enter the address from where you will be shipping your products from (usually a warehouse or wherever your products are stored).

Magento Shipping Method Screenshot 1

Once you’ve done this, it’s time to move on to the Options tab. Now it is up to you if you want to enable the setting Allow Shipping To Multiple Addresses! Some businesses do not offer this function, however, if you do it will really set you apart from your competitors (if the competition is not already doing this). If you do not already know what this feature entails, it allows customers to order multiple products (like 10 pencils) to multiple addresses! You can also set limits as to how many addresses they can ship to, that can be identified as the Maximum Qty Allowed for Shipping to Multiple Addresses field as shown above!

When you’re done with the shipping settings, it’s time to move on to the different shipping methods (as shows below). To navigate to this page go to System -> Configuration -> Sales -> Shipping Settings!

Magento Shipping Method Screenshot 2

As you can see, it gives you several options. For this example, we’ll take USPS! Firstly, you’re going to have to enter the Gateway URL and the UserID. The options that follow allow you to customise the packages that need to be delivered by Container, Size, Weight and more. Once done with this, you are then able to set a Fixed or Calculated shipping price! If you’re offering a free delivery service (with minimum order values), you can also set this. It then goes on to allow you to define which countries you’re able to ship to.

NOTE: Remember to also set a default error message to those whose order is refused!

It’s important that you get this right because it is a part of the checkout process. The checkout process is the last stage before converting your visitors, so you have to make sure you give your customers a great experience. Shipping methods is definitely an integral part, contributing massively to the process as a whole. We hope you enjoyed this week’s article and don’t forget to stay tuned for next week’s #MagentoMonday. Have a great week 🙂

How to upload a Magento Widget

How to upload a Magento Widget

Magento, as you know, is open source; giving it flexibility and almost unlimited capabilities…the fun never really stops (if your idea of fun is coding). Well, this week we’re back, and with how to upload a Magento widget. Magento widgets are small applications with pre-set functionalities that can be installed and implemented on your website. They are really flexible with their capabilities, which means they’re great for promotional offers, content marketing and much more!

Important info:

  • You need Magento 1.4 (or higher) to be able to use widgets.
  • They’re installed and implemented the same way as extensions.

Because it is basically treated as an extension, there are two options you can go with. Either you can code your own widget or you can use one that is already available on the Magento Connect market. For today, we’ll assume you already know the extension you want to use.

I will section this article into 3 simple steps, they are as follows:

Step 1 – Find your ideal widget:

This is much like what we talked about in last week’s article. You need to identify a few things:

  • What functionalities will you require?
  • Does it fit with your company image? For example, something that’s designed to be a “fun” or “bubbly” widget may not fit a corporate website image.
  • Does it get your message across in the best way possible?

These questions need to be considered a lot before diving in and picking any extension…

Step 2 – Upload your widget:

For this, you need to go on to Magento Connect and obtain the extension key for the widget. Once you’ve got the key from your extension, click the install now button. Thoroughly read the license agreement, and if it all seems good then click the get extension key button. Copy this key.

 

Magento connect manager
 

Now, to implement this go to Magento Admin Area -> System -> Magento Connect -> Magento Connect Manager. The page (as above) will come up and it will ask you to log in again, so log in and get paste the extension key you copied earlier in to the Paste extension key field. Now click on the Install button.

Step 3 – Try it out!

Wait until the installation is complete, once done you should now be able to use this widget.

To implement your widget in to your pages, go to CMS -> Pages (Via the Magento admin panel).

Select the specific page you’d like your widget to appear (which is probably going to be the homepage, but if not locate that other page), click on content (appearing on the left hand side) and then click on the insert widget icon.

 

Insert Widget Icon
 

That should open up a new page with a drop down menu. Choose the widget you want to implement and click insert widget.

You’re all done! Click on save page, now it’s time to check if the widget is working. If it is, congratulations! That’s where the tutorial ends, if it doesn’t work then you may have incorrectly followed some of the instructions and it’s probably best to delete the widget entirely and start again!

We hope you enjoyed how to upload a Magento widget, if you’d like more simple tutorials like this then please comment below. Otherwise, have a great week all 🙂

How to upload a theme to Magento

How to upload a theme to Magento:

We have talked about Magento themes once or twice in the past, however, this time we’re back with how to upload a theme to Magento!

https://www.wow-zone.com/blog/5-best-practices-for-magento-design/

Anyway, as mentioned in previous articles, your theme reflects your business. Keeping that in mind, it’s important to ensure you choose a theme that fits your business’. Today, we’re just going to tell you how to upload a Magento theme so you can do it yourself. If you’re on a budget but need your theme installed properly, this is the article for you! Without further ado, here is how to upload a theme to Magento:

Step 1 – Identify your Magento theme:

As mentioned before, we don’t exaggerate when we say your Magento theme really does represent your business. So the best place to start is have a think about the following:

  • Company colours.
  • Company ethics.
  • Company messages.

Which theme will get these across to your users the best?

Other important things to consider – is it optimised for:

  • SEO?
  • Speed?
  • Magento hosting?

Alternatively, you can create (or have someone create) a custom Magento theme that is tailored to your business requirements. Here’s a cost-benefit analysis we’ve done regarding custom vs pre-made themes to help you make up your mind.

https://www.wow-zone.com/blog/custom-vs-pre-made-magento-themes/

Step 2 – Upload your theme:

Once you open up a theme’s details page, click the install now button (make sure you select the mangento connect version). Then, agree to the license agreement and click get extension key (then copy it).

Now, to implement this go to Magento Admin Area -> System -> Magento Connect -> Magento Connect Manager. It will come up with a screen where it will ask you to log in again, so log in and get paste the extension key you copied earlier in to the Paste extension key field. Now click on the Install button.

Magento connect manager

Step 3 – Activating your theme:

Once the installation is completed, go back to your Magento admin area, and direct yourself to Themes via System -> Configuration -> Design -> Themes.

Now, insert your theme name in the default field and click save config!

Design
The name you put into the default field is usually related to the theme name. So if your theme is called hello, you’d put “hello” into the default field.

Now the only thing left to do is admire your handy work…that’s right we’re done now! It’s as simple as that folks, there’s not an extremely long process involved here just a few simple things.

Importing products in Magento

Importing products in Magento

So, we haven’t been pushing out our #MagentoMonday articles as we usually have been…It’s been an EXTREMELY busy period, especially with #DigitalZone and the launch of Mr Mango Delivery’s website. But now it’s BACK! Guess you all just needed time to miss it to realise how much you loved it, eh? No? Okay 🙁

We listened to the people who reached out to us, saying that they wanted more technical knowledge. So that’s exactly what we’re going to be providing. Without further adieu; here’s our article on importing products in Magento!

Firstly, log in to your Magento admin panel (Captain Obvious strikes again)!
Once you’re through to the backend of the website go to Catalog -> Manage Categories

Importing 2

Create the categories you will need for the products you’re uploading (Ie if you’re selling Footballs and you want to distinguish by colour, your categories would be “blue”, “green” etc). Don’t forget to save each category!
NOTE: Every time you save a category it should give you a category ID. It is recommended that you keep a note of these IDs in a simple notepad file (write it exactly as follows):

• New Category 1 (ID: 1)
• New Category 1 (ID: 2)

Of course where we’ve put the number 1 and 2, you just replace with the IDs you’ve been given!
If you want to give your products any additional attributes (that the standard Magento doesn’t have), you can do so now! To do this, simply navigate to Catalog -> Attributes -> Manage Attributes -> Add new Attribute.

Importing 1

Now it’s time to manually add a template product to your Magento store. Make sure you include all attributes in that product (as you will be exporting the item and using it as a template for the rest of the product batch). Save the new product and then it will appear in the products list part of your Magento store.

Now we move on to the exporting part. Go to System -> Import/Export -> Dataflow – Profiles -> Export all products. Under Profile Information -> Store choose the store where you will be importing the products (match it to the store where you created the sample product). Once you’re through, make sure your settings match the settings that we’ve done in the screenshot underneath. Then click “save profile” located in the top right corner!

Importing 3

After doing this, click the button on the left side menu that says “run profile” and on the page it takes you to click “Run profile in popup”.

Once this is done, go to your Magento directory (under /var/export). The file name should be “export_all_products.csv”. Now you have to use an FTP Client to be able to download this to your computer. Once downloaded, open it using Microsoft Excel. Start adding the products you want to import into your site now!

NOTE: Make sure you are copying/pasting the correct attributes in the correct columns. Also, use the category IDs you made a note of earlier to categorise your products.

Once you have assigned the products their correct attributes and category IDs, it’s time to start importing them back into your store! Go to System -> Import/Export -> Dataflow – Profiles -> Import all products. Upload the .csv file you were working on then click “import all products”, then “run profile” and select the .csv file you uploaded. Finally, click “run profile in popup” and it will all start importing! Once done, you’ll get an import success message.

That’s it, now enjoy staring at your imported products for countless of hours (should you wish to do so) or maybe just get on with some work…Anyway that’s us done now! Enjoy your day folks 🙂

5 innovative Magento websites

5 innovative Magento websites

When we had the idea to write about the 5 innovative Magento websites, we knew it would be a hit with our readership. This week we browsed the internet far and wide to find you some amazing Magento websites that you could really take inspiration from. With that being said, let’s take a look at 5 innovative Magento websites:

Mom & Popcorn:

First on our awesome list of innovative Magento stores comes Mom & Popcorn. Now, at first glance, this website really does aesthetically please the user. Users are met with an array of colours, made up from a lot of popcorn. As well as looking the part, it also reinforces their brand…which really brings in that 20th-century nostalgia! Using a modern website to convey a brand that reflects the 1950s has never been done so elegantly…take a look for yourself:

Mom and Popcorn

BrewShop:

What really stood out to me about this website was the brand message. Their company is unique, they like to differentiate themselves to other beer brewery suppliers. This message was consistent. As you can see it says in bold letters “Brew your own beer to be as unique as you are”, on top of this they have the image of a strange (and topless) man which some may find humorous (we certainly did)…it’s definitely NOT what I’d expect but at the same time it just works. Good job guys!

Brew Shop

SweatShop:

Next up on the list comes Sweatshop.com. Everything about this website is smooth, from the easy to access products to the clear CTAs (call to actions) and even their checkout process. What really appealed to me though was the impact the banners had. Let’s face it, if you were a kid you’d probably be begging your parents to get you a pair of trainers…just look at this banner. How’s that for impactful? The home page is essentially the center of your website, in most situations a user will land on your home page.

SweatShop

Syntix:

Syntix is another store which is definitely worth a mention. What do they do? Provide lubricants for all sorts of businesses in different industries. As boring as it sounds, it was a big surprise to see that their website is actually kind of…fun. Yes, the crisp design combined with visually appealing imagery makes you want to stay on the site and find out more. The colour scheme is true to the brand and there is no “website clutter” which means the spacing is good.

Syntix

Hello!Lucky:

The second you land on this website, it gives you a sense of relaxation. This website is another example of space being used well, it works for this website in particular as it reinforces their brand. Whilst the colour white isn’t the most visually appealing, it stimulates creativity and this works amazingly well with this website. 

Hello Lucky
That just about concludes this list of 5 innovative Magento websites. If you feel like we’ve missed an important one out, let us know in the comments below. Don’t forget to have an awesome Monday…Peace out people! 🙂

 

5 conventional ways to drive more traffic to your Magento site!

5 conventional ways to drive more traffic to your Magento site and increase sales!

All eCommerce websites rely on a constant volume of traffic to keep their website “on the map” and secure them sales. On our #MagentoMonday segments we waffle on about conversion a lot, but what good is converting visitors on your site if there is no-one to “convert”? 

Create content:

As you know, we wouldn’t advise anything we haven’t tried ourselves. Well, we can tell you we generate hundreds of more website visits per month by publishing our #MagentoMonday AND #inthezone posts. We only publish two posts a week, but who’s to stop your website doing 3 or 4? Initially, you’d want to start at one post per week, to keep everything manageable. After getting into the habit of one per week, push yourself for two then three etc. If you need to, hire a content writer. There are plenty of freelance content writers out there, however, it is a lot cheaper to do this in-house! For most of our clients, we publish regular blog posts in order to get their online presence up. If you feel like your SEO is lacking, give us a call on 0121 285 1100 and let’s talk about how we can grow your brand! On top of this, we are now beginning to upload regular videos to our YouTube channel. As you know not everyone likes to read, some people find visual information more fun to process. There are many different ways of publishing content, try them all and see what works for you! 

Submit your content to Reddit:

Following on from my point of publishing content; if you think people will genuinely find your content entertaining or useful, submitting it to a website like Reddit will bring in those extra few views. Just be careful not to look spammy as people will be able to tell straight away whether you’re genuine or not. If you’re an e-commerce site, you may even be able to bring in a few orders from aggregator sites like Reddit. 

E-mail marketing: 

It’s amazing what a regular e-mail marketing campaign can do for you. Not only does it have the ability to generate sales, it keeps you “front of mind” with your potential customers. It doesn’t take long to set-up a good e-mail campaign, you can even do it for free using software like MailChimp! Make sure to include the necessary call to actions and try to encourage sales without forcing them…

Social Media Support:

You always hear digital agencies blab on about how social media is a “great tool” to support your business. Well, that’s because they’re right. If you go on our channels, you can see that our content is able to get a lot more exposure. Once you get into publishing content on your social channels regularly, you’ll enjoy it! For us, it seems like less of a chore now and more of a “fun task”. Remember; be different, experiment with different types of content and eventually you’ll hit the jackpot of engagement!

Don’t neglect on-page SEO:

The purpose of on-page SEO is to increase your visibility on search engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo etc. This is still considered as one of the most important tactics to boost your website traffic. Try and target keywords which aren’t very competitive, otherwise, your website will get lost on page 10+. For example, if you’re a business selling bikes, you wouldn’t use the keyword “Cycle”. Instead, you’d probably go with something like “Cannondale Mountain Bike 19″ wheels and mudguards”. On top of this, use the keyword a few times in your content to strengthen that specific page’s SEO and increase your chance of visibility via search engines.

These are just a few of many ways to drive more traffic to your Magento site. We implement tactics like these on a daily basis to ensure our clients are satisfied and it allows us to bring results to the table! If you aren’t happy with the volume of traffic, level of sales or anything else similar to this, contact with us NOW! We offer a no-obligations free report which highlights where improvements can be made on your site…

CALL NOW: 0121 285 1100

5 tips to create an amazing Magento design

5 tips to create an amazing Magento design

A good Magento store is built on a few different components and good design is one of them. It is imperative that the design is spot on for your website as this is what will attract visitors/keep them on your site. With that being said, we wanted to focus on design this week. So here are 5 tips to create an amazing Magento design:

Set objectives for design:

Every time we have to build any kind of store/website, we always go through this phase. You have to really sit down and think what your website’s objectives are. Generally speaking, Magento is mainly used for e-commerce stores. So the main objective of said stores is usually high conversion. Then you have to think how will I achieve this? If you’re working with an agency like us, don’t be afraid to ask them for their advice!

Map your customer’s journey:

Following on nicely from the last point, now it’s time to map your customer’s journey! You have to think about where you want the journey to start and end. Keep in mind these two points:

  • Customers will not want to go through loads of landing pages before they reach the end destination.
  • If a certain page is taking too long to load, they might just back out.

Have clear, actionable text:

We’ve all heard of call to actions and if you haven’t then it’s probably best to just turn the screen off and walk away (just kidding). Having call to actions is a great way of getting your site visitors to do what you want them to. People literally need to be told exactly what to do, so make sure there is no ambiguity. For example, saying “Click here for 20% off” is a generic example…we’re sure you can do better! Get creative and play around with a few different examples. Another thing to mention is that by having CTAs, it reduces bounce rate. People aren’t coming on to your domain and just leaving straight away because you’ve told them to interact with your site!

Use different forms of multimedia:

Once people are on your website, keep them interested. ­­Did you know visual information is processed 60,000 times faster than just text? Well, now you do! It’s worth mentioning that you can also combine CTAs with images. For example, you can make a banner clickable. On this banner you can have a CTA so it’s a little more compelling. Just remember to experiment with different banner designs and text…

Work closely with designers:

You, as a businessman, have a vision for your website. The best way to communicate this vision is working closely with the designer, period. At Wow Zone, we have set procedures in place to ensure the client’s needs are being fulfilled by our team. This includes regular meetings, expert opinions from our CEOS and more.

NOTE: Don’t forget that if the designer says something is for the better, it probably is. Don’t doubt their expertise.

That finally concludes this week’s Magento Monday article. Stay tuned for next week because we have some powerful information coming to you STRAIGHT from our designers/developers. Have an awesome week and stay classy.

5 impressive UK Magento websites

5 impressive UK Magento websites

Normally, our Magento Monday segment is about improving your website. This is done by going through many different aspects, like design, writing compelling content, upgrading your software etc. However, this week we decided to change things up. For once, we wanted to list 5 websites that are “doing Magento right”. So here are 5 impressive UK Magento websites.

 

Peacocks.co.uk

Most of you will have heard of Peacocks before, but for those of you who aren’t familiar, they’re a clothes retailer.

Peacocks home page

Just from landing on their home page, you can see a giant sale banner which catches the eye as well as going with the colour scheme. On top of this, all of the relevant information is displayed with simplicity. This is definitely a good design, so props to them! Think I may just do some clothes shopping right now…be right back folks…

 

Betterbathrooms.com

So now we move on to another great website, if you haven’t been on better bathrooms then you have not lived…

Better Bathrooms home page

So first off, we can see a timer which is 1 day away from finishing. Right off the bat, this compels the visitor to check out their offers. To accompany this, we are given the information that they’re an award winning company, with a price promise next to this too. The good offers are also displayed on the home page, plus it’s written that there is a finance option available. This will appeal to the people who aren’t able to buy their product outright, thus appealing to more people. Overall, a very friendly/welcoming site, gives a trustworthy vibe. Makes you feel very welcome, so good job!

 

FurnitureinFashion.Net

So, again we have another really great Magento site. Furniture in Fashion are definitely winning with that awesome attention grabbing banner. Any time someone is having a sale that is higher than 50%, it needs as much attention as it can get. That’s why they’ve decided to switch up the colours on the banner to make it stand out from the white/black on the rest of the page.

Furniture in fashion home page

As you can see in their logo, the “in” is red. This is also reflected on the home page, as you can see their “what’s new” and “furniture sale” section are both coloured red, for obvious reasons. Not only keeping up with their image, but also making the visitor focus (and potentially click) on those parts of the home page. Talk about hitting two birds with one stone…

 

TileGiant.co.uk

Meet Tile Giant…A beautifully coloured and well designed website. What really got my attention was the “trends” button situated underneath the turquoise “new” icon. Being in the industry that they’re in, trends are a very important topic for their customers. So well played to them, it certainly made me want to click on it!

Tile Giant home page

Clicking on it leads another aesthetically pleasing landing page, with a “spotlight” video of six inspirational trends. Going through their website, I can see that they have a strong colour scheme, which is also reflected on their social media (purple is also my favourite colour so well done guys!). Great site!

 

CowShedOnline.co.uk

Well, this website looks awfully cosy. They’ve updated their main website banner to look more Christmassy, as we know most websites make a boatload of sales during the Christmas period. All of the relevant information for customers is displayed neatly, with some white space that just works.

Cow shed online home page

Below, they have their best selling items of the week, with their newsletter sign up even further below. They have also displayed their various payment options at the bottom of the page, to remind their visitors that they have a payment option available suited to them.

Overall, these are well thought through, top notch websites. Props to the developers, because my user experience on all of these websites was great. I could carry on browsing, if I didn’t have to finish this article. Any website you think I’ve missed? Let me know in the comments below!

Magento Cyber Monday Checklist

Are You Ready For The Cyber Madness?

With Black Friday (and Black Friday weekend) out of the way, there is one more massive sales event that is taking place leading up to Christmas. Some will say Cyber Monday is a good time for shoppers to save a lot of money on gifts, well it is also a big opportunity to secure a lot of sales for e-commerce stores. Cyber Monday is a close second to Christmas in terms of opportunity from online customers. With that being said, you want to make sure your website is properly optimised for conversion. This is why I’ve made a Magento Cyber Monday checklist of things you’re going to want on your site to ensure maximum sales.

Direct customers to your offers page:

This one is obvious, but can tend to be overlooked a lot of the time. Sometimes companies create amazing graphics and re-design parts of their website but at the same time don’t consider that customers need to be blatantly directed to your offers. Creating clickable banners with text that says something along the lines of “Save over £100 on selected items, CLICK HERE to find out more” will see a higher conversion rate. As well as catching the attention of the user, it instructs the user what to do next, in this case click on the banner to find out about the offers.

Put a time limit on offers:

Shoppers also need to be reminded that the offers won’t be there forever. This encourages them to take action before it’s too late. With some of our Magento clients, we were able to put a timer on the offers page, which is a great way of saying that these offers won’t last forever. Back this up with your social media pages, and voila, you should have some more sales on your hands!

Ticking clock

Display your discounted products on the home page:

As well as letting people know they should click to see more of your sales, sometimes that’s not enough. Displaying your best offers will definitely compel the more hesitant users to click through and therefore drive more traffic to your offer section. A nice image of some of your products on sale with something like “save 50% on these” will do the trick!

 

Remind people how much they’re saving:

The truth is, people are more persuaded if they think they’re really getting a good deal. So constantly reminding them how much they’re saving is a great way to really increase conversion that little bit extra. Having the previous price, alongside the new price is good practice. Your product price should look something like this “WAS £100, NOW £50. That’s half price! You Save £50”.

Make use of e-mails:

If you’ve got an e-mail list, why not whip up a quick e-mail to remind people of your offers? Not only will this help drive some traffic, it may keep you in the back of a few people’s minds. If you make it clear to them that the offers won’t last long in the e-mail you may get a few sales just from that!

 

The truth is if you’re missing some of these points, then you’re missing out on potential sales. However, these points are small, it doesn’t take long to design a clickable banner and direct it to your offers page. So it’s definitely not too late! You can still fix up the small issues in time to secure a boost in sales. Why not give them a go? Comment your best conversion methods underneath.