TaskHusky https://www.taskhusky.com Let our team of experts help you build a thriving Shopify or Shopify Plus store. See why over 5,300 Shopify merchants chose TaskHusky for their development 28715712586 TaskHusky and Weglot: Delivering great websites in all languages TaskHusky has recently partnered with Weglot with the mutual goal to help Shopify store owners build the best possible online experience to maximize their activity without spending hours learning code. In this global market, it’s important your site speaks to everyone. You only have seconds to reel in your potential customer when they land on your site, make sure the content you worked so hard to create is something they can read! Weglot’s translation API integrates seamlessly into your website, delivering the same words in 100+ different languages. Not only that, but Weglot’s technology is optimized to multilingual SEO so that your Shopify store will be indexed on all major search engine in the translated languages. This will help you reach more potential shoppers around the world. Ready to broaden your reach of potential customers? Visit the Shopify App store to install Weglot now. Want to give it a try first? Weglot offers a free 10-day trial. Need help getting set up? We can help you. Submit a task with your preferred languages and we’ll get you up and running. /blogs/ecommerce-insights/taskhusky-and-weglot-delivering-great-websites-in-all-languages //cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/1694/7383/articles/TaskHusky_Weglot.png?v=1553878941 TaskHusky new in stock 0.00 USD 28656402506 How to Avoid Getting Ripped Off by Shopify Marketing & SEO “Specialists” We normally don’t get preachy, but thousands of Shopify merchant entrepreneurs get ripped off every day and it’s starting to make us mad. We were helping a Shopify merchant last week. We have a couple of different marketing services that we offer. One of them is a one-hour strategy call. It’s a one-hour call, but we always spend an additional hour before the call researching the Shopify store, scoping out the competition, grabbing images and code snippets … in short, we prep and prepare and then cram as much value into a sixty-minute conference call as we can. We currently charge $125 for the service. This is NOT a Commercial.  At the end of last week’s call, the guy says to us, "I paid a guy a thousand bucks for help and he didn’t give me half of what you just did." The point is that the other guy – whoever it was – took out a bunch of ads to hook our customer into paying him a grand for a bunch of recycled clap-trap, hype, and echoing. Echoing is a trick of shady consultants to get the target to tell what he already thinks, then repeat back the same information to them – “validating” what he already believes. In our opinion, our customer got ripped off by this other guy, and our customer thinks so too. The more we think about it, the madder we get.  The Truth About All eCommerce Marketing Truth #1 – Anyone Promising to Get You on Page 1 of Google Search is Lying Yes, yes … I know that they have a pocketful of examples of customers that “they’ve put on page one” of Google Search. We have a few of those too. So yes … It CAN be done. BUT no one can guarantee it. Further, no one can even assure you that you will get anywhere near page one without doing a LOT of work – examining the market, plotting the difference between local search and global search, looking at all your keywords and the keywords of competitors, checking out your blog, checking out your existing backlinks, looking at the ads you’re already running, testing your page speed …. there are a LOT more. No consultant in his or her right mind would do all of that work for free. What we all do know is that saying “get on page one” sells … you. Bonus Truth – Here’s a guarantee for you. I guarantee you that I can get you on page one of Google Search … for a complicated set of obscure keywords that won’t really matter to your business. That’s freak’in easy. Bonus Truth – You don’t have to get on page one of Google Search to be successful.  Super-Duper Bonus Truth – Add all this together and what you realize is that your goal should be to improve your ranking on extremely targeted keyword sets that dodge the competition and find the target customers you have a chance of selling to. Truth #2 – Great Marketing Does NOT Always Mean More Sales There are a TON of mistakes the eCommerce entrepreneurs make that impact conversions. To use a baseball term, great marketing just gets you more at-bats. But if you haven’t spent enough time in the batting cage – if you’re a crappy hitter – all those extra at-bats are nothing but wasted opportunities. Before we go on here, I wanted to mention that there is an upcoming online web conference called “Lead the Pack” that is for Shopify Entrepreneurs. You can watch it on your phone or computer and just pick the sessions you want to see. We’ve got one called “The Top 5 eCommerce Marketing Mistakes and How to Fix Them.” Take a look and register here: https://lead.taskhusky.com ... we cover some of these things in detail.  How to Know if You’re Getting Ripped Off on Marketing Services What Are They Telling You That You Didn’t Already Know or Suspect? I heard a psychologist say once that people came to counselors in order to ask questions that they already knew the answer to. I don’t know if that’s true, but it is certainly not true of eCommerce marketing consultants. Not these days anyway. Entrepreneurs are accustomed to experimentation. So, if you suspect that a bit more ad spend on Facebook or a tweak to your ad set might help conversions it is SUPER easy to experiment on those things for $20 and see if it works. You don’t need to pay $1000 to someone on the phone to tell you about it. Sure … sometimes an entrepreneur needs to bounce an idea around or discuss a detail. But you use consultants for that on an hourly basis – you buy an hour of their time. If they do that AS A PART of an overall review, BUT they also tell you things and give you ideas that you’ve never considered, then you might be getting your money’s worth. And if they only “echo” things back that you told them, just run away. What Are They Telling You That You DON’T Want to Hear? Here’s the deal … we genuinely want to help people succeed. Learning to walk requires falling down a bunch of times, and that can hurt. We have made a few entrepreneurs mad by telling them things that they didn’t want to hear. Sometimes that means telling them about problems with their product mix or pricing. Sometimes that means telling them why that hero image design at the top of the site – the one done by their girlfriend that they think is so hot – is hurting their business. Every once in a while it means telling them that their business model is just not competitive. Nobody likes to hear stuff like that. A good consultation that is truly looking out for you and your business will tell you what needs to be said, even if they lose you as a customer in the process. By the way … that session we mentioned at the upcoming Lead the Pack online conference starts with a listing of a LOT of the structural problems that eCommerce store owners try to fix with marketing … but they are not marketing problems. Does Their Advice Mean Spending More Money? It’s simple. Most of the BEST Marketing Advice in the World does NOT mean you HAVE to spend more money. Sure, sometimes you can add conversions by launching a retargeting ad campaign or taking out adds, etc. But there are tons of great things that business owners can do – should do – to make their site perform better across the board. And – in our experience – a lot of the time that means the owner doing some work. The smaller the business the more this is true. Anyone can “buy” traffic. That’s easy. But – unless it’s doing something technical – some of the best and most valuable long-term marketing improvements come from the applied hard work of business owners. That’s just the way it is. A real marketing consultant might tell you to apply some cash to certain efforts, but a really good consultant will tell you a few things that you can do yourself by spending a few hours as opposed to a few more dollars. Do They Tell You the Difference Between “Opinion,” “Best Practice,” & “Secret Sauce?” There is an old military saying … “There’s the right way, the wrong way, your way, my way, and the Army way. We do things the Army way.” There is both a lot of humor and a lot of wisdom in that saying. In eCommerce – and in EVERY business – there is what we call the “secret sauce.” This is the special and unique set of things that make every business unique. It is a combination of brand, technique, ethos, product, service, and style that is really indescribable. It works because it works because it works. But those same little bits often completely DON’T work in other businesses. You will have to discover most of these things for yourself. Sometimes customers will tell you. Sometimes you “just know.” Sometimes it’s because you personally can’t do business any other way that somehow comes out in your own “truth.” Then there “best practices.” These are the basic, tried-and-true things that should serve as the starting place for everyone. An easy example is having a call to action that is easy to see. That's website and eCommerce 101. Often there’s social science research to back them up – for example, why the number of options available impacts conversions and revenue per sale. If you don’t know about these best practices, we’ll tell you all about it and why they’re important. It’s something that all of us agree with, but even with best practices there are exceptions. Finally, there are matters of opinion and style. In other words, they’re just ideas. They might work better, they might not. If we tell you something is our opinion, it’s something for you to consider as an option. It might be valuable to you. Any eCommerce marketing & SEO consultant will explicitly tell you the difference and which applies to which piece of advice they’re giving you  Get Marketing Value, Don't Get Ripped Off I could go on for another thousand words on this stuff – I feel that passionately about it. But hopefully this will start everyone thinking about it and avoid the rip-off artists.  Some of those shady-brady marketing stiffs out there are going to be mad at us for this post. But we can live with that. Thanks for reading, stay safe, and happy selling. Again, if you want to check out that online conference just for Shopify, you can find Lead the Pack here: https://lead.taskhusky.com    /blogs/ecommerce-insights/how-to-avoid-getting-ripped-off-by-shopify-marketing-seo-specialists //cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/1694/7383/articles/PIckpocket_Theft_Steal_Business_Bribe_Business_Rip_Off.jpg?v=1552353755 TaskHusky new in stock 0.00 USD 28611510346 The Top Performing Shopify Sites of 2019 (so far) When it comes to business success you should ALWAYS be true to yourself. But that doesn’t mean you don’t watch what the leaders are doing to see if you can learn something or get inspired by their success. But how do you know which sites to look at? “Best Shopify Websites” Is Not Enough If you do a search for “Best Shopify Websites” more often than not you are going to get a curated list of Shopify sites – the sites that some person thinks are pretty or effective. But that’s not good enough. We want to remove all that subjective opinion and find the Shopify websites that are the actual leaders. Because – as we all know – the best-looking site is not always the one that wins the eCommerce game. How Do You Determine the “BEST” Shopify Websites? No entrepreneur in their right mind is going to share their sales revenue data with us – that’s just not going to happen. But we’ve gotten pretty good at this research thing, so we used a couple of website data providers and cross-referenced their results to discover the top Shopify websites as ranked by total traffic. Since most experts equate traffic ranking with marketing success, we’ll use that for our list. Here is our list of the Top Five Shopify eCommerce Business Websites Right Now, along with some brief commentary on each. The Top Five Shopify Websites Right Now #1 —ColourPop Global Site Rank: #2487Category: Makeup & BeautyLocation: United StatesFind Them: colourpop.com How they describe their business: “Colourpop was born, raised and made with love in the City of Angels. Founded in 2014 by Seed Beauty, we pride ourselves on being wallet friendly and bunny approved. We test our products in the nicest way possible, leaving fur babies to be fur babies and experimenting on people instead (the people at ColourPop HQ to be exact!).” Quick Comment: This website is a referral link monster. They have nearly five thousands sites linking in that point to articles or are referral links.   #2 — FashionNova Global Site Rank: #4412Category: Hip Urban FashionsLocation: United StatesFind Them: fashionnova.com  How they describe their business: “We at Fashion Nova believe the customer is the Star. The girls who rock our styles are adventurous, inspirational and badass. A Nova Star is always the best dressed girl in the room. Her confidence is what truly shines, but her Fashion Nova outfit adds that extra sparkle. We strive to provide awesome service, unbeatable prices and the hottest trends. Our company is based in the heart of Downtown Los Angeles and has five retail locations in Southern California. In addition, we ship globally to Nova Stars around the world.” Quick comment: This site just plain works. They have an exceptionally low bounce rate and a huge amount of page views per visitor. Customers come and stay for a while, and that ALWAYS equals selling success.   #3 — Spigen Global Site Rank: #23,042Category: Smartphone AccessoriesLocation: United StatesFind Them: spigen.com How they describe their business: “Since its launch in 2008, Spigen has earned recognition from producers in the industry, and is now one of the leading global providers for premier mobile accessories. With a solidified reputation and longstanding commitment to customers, Spigen continues to grow while setting new goals on maintaining its core values of smart, protective products.” Quick comment: The site looks great and is super-optimized for speed. And it’s easy to search and navigate for products.   #4 — CitieSocial Global Site Rank: #24,304Category: General GoodsLocation: TaiwanFind Them: citiesocial.com  How they describe their business: “Founded in 2011, citiesocial is curated eCommerce focused on high-quality Home, Electronic and Fashion accessories. We disrupt the Taiwan eCommerce market via selective merchandising, data-driven marketing, and high-efficiency platform development. We aim to create a haven for product discovery, solidified by customer trust.” Quick comment: The entire site is in Chinese, but it is laid out like a classic dropship and referral eCommerce website. But they totally legit earned their spot on our list.   #5 — KylieCosmetics Global Site Rank: #28,449Category: Makeup & BeautyLocation: United StatesFind Them: kyliecosmetics.com  How they describe their business: Kylie Cosmetics by Kylie Jenner is one of the fastest growing beauty brands in the world. Having launched three years ago, Kylie Cosmetics was put on the makeup map, by Kylie’s infamous "Lip Kit," consisting of a matching liquid lipstick and lip liner to create the perfect Kylie pout. Kylie’s never-before-seen concept disrupted the market and changed the face of the beauty industry forever. Kylie has since gone on to expand the collection into a full range of color cosmetics, including eyeshadow palettes, concealers, highlighters, blushes, accessories and more, as well as becoming one of the most renowned and coveted cosmetics brands of 2018.  Quick comment: Kylie Jenner – of the famous Kardashians – is THE most entrepreneurial member of her family by far. Her sister Kim may grab more headlines, by Kylie has both beauty and brains for business.   Honorable Mention – Funco This maker of licensed toys and collectibles does a TON of business at Christmas. On Black Friday their traffic ranked at about #18,000 and would have been #3 on our list back then. But traffic is slower now, so they just missed the cut. Find them: funko.com Our Sources for Best Shopify Websites Traffic data is a very fluid and even volatile statistic. Things change all the time. We downloaded publicly available research data on February 24, 2019, to generate our list. We compared and cross-referenced data from the following sources: BuiltWith, Alexa, TheWebMiner, and LogicInBound. It’s possible that other Shopify websites have blocks or filters in place that prevent our analytics tools and sources from properly measuring results … but not likely. This is a pretty good list. Thanks for reading! /blogs/ecommerce-insights/the-top-performing-shopify-sites-of-2019-so-far //cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/1694/7383/articles/Online_Sales.jpg?v=1551065299 TaskHusky new in stock 0.00 USD 28509438026 The Best Shopify Themes for Health & Wellness eCommerce Brands Health and Wellness brands are one of the hottest eCommerce segments for 2019. There is even a new term for it that is gaining popularity – Self-Care. Consumers are spending less on other categories and devoting more time and resources to Health and Wellness and the experiences that go along with it. It’s only natural that this new generation would shop for their health and wellness products online. The Global Wellness Institute reports that the worldwide market for health and wellness products has exploded to $4.2 trillion. That’s larger than the GDP of Germany. And even if you are conservative in your estimates, the market in the US alone is nearly $200 billion per year. What Are Health and Wellness Products? Health and Wellness products cover a wide array of consumer products, including: Skin Care and Hair Care product Websites Face and body lotions, beard creams and oils for men, grooming trimmers and tools, styling brushes and combs, etc. Diet and Nutrition Products Websites Vitamins, healthy eating, weight-loss programs, muscle-building programs, chef and gourmet, etc. Fitness and Exercise Product Websites Weights and exercise bands, health clubs, exercise gear, athletic shoes, yoga mats and clothing, etc. Therapy and Therapeutic Clothing and Device Websites Massages, fascia and micro-fascial therapy and devices, joint support and braces, compression therapy wraps and clothing, etc. There are literally thousands of products and services in the Health and Wellness category. And consumers who purchase Health and Wellness products tend to purchase several different products and consume them for a long period of time. In short, it’s a good business to be in. If you are a Shopify merchant entrepreneur selling Health and Wellness products online, you need a great Shopify theme. So, we reached out to the top theme creators in the community for their advice about the best Shopify themes for Health and Wellness brands to sell online. What Are the Best Shopify Themes to Sell Health and Wellness Products? There are a lot of great themes available from reliable theme creators in the Shopify ecosystem. But these are our top four Health and Wellness theme picks for 2019. The Turbo Theme from Out Of The Sandbox Out Of The Sandbox is the #1 theme developer in the Shopify ecosystem. They’ve been around and involved in the Shopify community for a long time and they have a great team. Their CEO Brad Miller recommends the Turbo theme for Health and Wellness shops. "The flexibility and performance of the Turbo theme are ideally suited for health and wellness shops, where merchants can recount the personal story behind their products in a dynamic experience that resonates with health-conscious consumers." – Brad Miller, CEO When you visit the Out Of The Sandbox theme products page, you’ll see that the Turbo theme is available in five styles: Chicago, Dubai, Florence, Portland, and Seoul. So, you have some versatility to get the look you want. But Laura – Out Of The Sandbox’s Marketing Director – thinks that the Florence theme style is a great place to start. You can see a ton of live website examples using the Turbo theme here. And Laura got back to us with a special discount code that our readers can use too. If you decide to use the Turbo theme for your Health and Wellness online store, at checkout just use the coupon code: TASKHUSKY15 The Impulse Theme from Archetype Themes We’ve worked with Archetype Themes for a while now and they do great work. We met them at a big Shopify event in Canada and they are passionate about their work. Archetype CEO Paul Pritchard likes the Health and Wellness segment and recommends their Impulse theme.  "Impulse's powerful promotional features and minimal, modern design give you the ability to look as good and sell as effectively as any top brand in the health and wellness space."– a Paul Pritchard, CEO We gave the Impulse theme are look and we can see why they recommend it. It comes with three pre-loaded styles (they call them “presets”): Modern, Vintage, and Bold. They have sample websites for each one. The Bold preset sample is set up for sports and fitness, and the Modern preset sample is set up for fashion. Either of those would be a great starting point theme selection for Health and Wellness. You can check out the Impulse theme on their website and in the Shopify Marketplace. The Handy & Reach Themes from Pixel Union Pixel Union is another stand-out theme and app maker in the Shopify Community. They’ve been building themes for Shopify since 2009. Happy Ten-Year Anniversary guys! We spoke with Ben Moore and Hal Williams about what themes worked best for Health and Wellness products, and they recommended that store owners take a look at the Handy and Reach themes.  “With the rise of mobile commerce, true mobile-first Shopify themes like Handy and Reach are fantastic options. This is especially true in the health and wellness industry, where shoppers are often familiar with the products they're browsing and even more likely to purchase on their phones.” – Hal Williams, Marketing The Reach theme is available in three styles: Natural, Solid, and Plush. To our eye, the natural style is a great starting place for Health and Wellness brands. The Handy theme comes in three flavors too: Light, Cool, and Fresh. All three are great, but the Fresh style seems spot-on for Health and Wellness stores right out of the gate.   You can check out the Handy theme here, and the Reach theme here. Need Help Upgrading or Changing Your Shopify Theme? We help Shopify merchants upgrade and change their Shopify themes every week. It's a very popular task. But things can get a little tricky when you have a lot of apps or products. If you want a hand, start a task and let us know. We're always happy to help. Health & Wellness Sources, Resources, & Links Countries ranked by GDP:https://www.investopedia.com/insights/worlds-top-economies/ Statista Reporting US Health and Wellness market size:https://www.statista.com/statistics/491302/health-and-wellness-united-states-market-value/ Global Wellness Institute reports that the worldwide market for health and wellness products:https://globalwellnessinstitute.org/press-room/statistics-and-facts/ Out Of The SandboxTurbo Theme: https://outofthesandbox.com/collections/turbo-theme ArchetypeImpulse Theme: https://archetypethemes.co/pages/impulseShopify Marketplace: https://themes.shopify.com/themes/impulse/styles/modern Pixel UnionReach Theme: https://www.pixelunion.net/themes/reach-shopify-theme/Handy Theme: https://www.pixelunion.net/themes/handy-shopify-theme/   /blogs/ecommerce-insights/best-shopify-themes-for-health-wellness-ecommerce-brands //cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/1694/7383/articles/Health_and_Wellness_Shopify_Themes.jpg?v=1548613978 TaskHusky new in stock 0.00 USD 28469755978 How a 150-Year-Old Treaty Still Rocks the eCommerce World – and It’s Getting Killed One hundred and fifty years ago – obviously – there was no internet. So, of course, there was no email. But there was also no FedEx or UPS. And there was no radio or television. The ONLY way to communicate over any distance further than you could shout was via mail and parcel delivery by the local postal service. And just like there are international disputes around internet and cloud services today, there were disputes about international mail delivery then. A bunch of countries got together in 1874 and signed a treaty governing international mail and parcel deliveries to eliminate confusion and make things fairer. Agreements were signed. Those agreements are what we now call the Universal Postal Union Treaty. But … Here’s the International Postage Problem Even though the rules and regulations have been revised a few times over the years, the meteoric rise of eCommerce has created a huge imbalance. Because the rates for international postage and parcel delivery are set by treaty, they just do not get updated very often. In an age where technology and innovation are running at a breakneck pace, there is no possible way that an archaic postal governing board based in Europe that is now a division of the United Nations (UN) can keep up. As a UN agency working within a treaty covering hundreds of countries, it literally takes years and years to agree on the color of stamps. Just imagine how long it takes them to agree on pricing. Asian countries – especially China – have been taking HUGE advantage of the loopholes for years. For example, it’s actually cheaper to send a 1-pound shipping envelope from Shanghai, China, to New York City than it is to send the same package from Toledo to Dayton, Ohio – a distance of just 150 miles. You'd think that shipping a product thousands of miles across the ocean would raise your costs, right? Not so in the case of China. The US postal service – and the postal services of nearly every industrialized western nation – actually loses tons of cash on each delivery, and they can’t do a thing about it except pass those costs on to domestic shippers (i.e., you). Why It Helps China and Is Super-Unfair  The median household income in China last year was about 18,371 Chinese Yuan – that’s less than $2700 per year at current exchange rates. That’s about 4.8% of the median household in the United States and 5.3% of Canadian households. So, China already has a HUGE wage advantage when it comes to not only manufacturing goods, but also in building websites, marketing, and fulfillment. If free markets were left alone, the increased shipping costs would offset the discrepancy a bit. But the loopholes in the current UPU then subsidize the delivery and pass the loss onto domestic merchants. Local entrepreneurs in the US and Canada actually help to pay for the shipping of their China-based competitors. It’s crazy, right? Rules and bureaucracy set up by Victorian-era elites are hurting international competition and entrepreneurship in the internet age. What’s Happening Now and Why It Matters In October 2018, the US announced that it was pulling out of the UPU treaty. But these things do not happen overnight. Because of treaty rules, there is a one-year notice of withdrawal required. So, the US will still abide by the terms of the treaty through January 1st, 2020 – one year from now. In the meantime, the US will act more quickly to raise shipment rates on certain parcels and shipping envelopes coming from China within the terms of the treaty. Everyone expects China to do the same in retaliation. But that retaliation is relatively meaningless since there is almost zero small package shipping going to China from any modern nation. Seriously … the number is so small that we can simply ignore it. Importantly, this has no impact on bulk shipments of goods at all. This ONLY affects individual small shipments – mostly direct to end consumers … you know, like the eCommerce packages we all ship every day while trying to make a living on the internet. Net Result – Better & Fairer Competition in International Shipping Obviously, China still has a HUGE advantage when it comes to labor rates across the business spectrum. But the net effect here should be felt by domestic eCommerce entrepreneurs in the US (Canada has not made any similar announcement, yet). It means that delivery costs on individual shipments to end consumers in the US from China will go up. If you are an eCommerce merchant, this could mean one or both of the following apply to you: You will be able to be more competitive on domestic sales vs. overseas competitors shipping small goods directly to consumers. If you use Chinese-based drop-shippers, the shipping costs on small shipments will rise to reflect a more accurate cost of delivery. We expect eCommerce merchants on all platforms will start feeling the changes in the third quarter of the year and the full effect in Q1 of 2020. Of course, we are talking about governments and international diplomacy, so nothing is guaranteed. But we also fully expect the major shipping apps and service providers will keep up on the changes and the charges – which is another great reason to use outsourced shipping services. If you need help getting one of those shipping or logistics apps installed or working properly on your Shopify site, just let us know. If any more developments occur, we’ll do our best to keep you informed. Thanks for reading! Links and Resources Average Canadian Salaries from Workopolishttps://careers.workopolis.com/advice/how-much-money-are-we-earning-the-average-canadian-wages-right-now/ History of the UPU from Wikipediahttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_Postal_Union Official Statement of the White House on Leaving the UPUhttps://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/statement-press-secretary-38/ Good Industry Summary of the Coming Changes by FreightWaveshttps://www.freightwaves.com/news/economics/ups-praises-trump-move-to-renegotiate-international-postal-rates /blogs/ecommerce-insights/how-a-150-year-old-treaty-still-rocks-the-ecommerce-world-and-it-s-getting-killed //cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/1694/7383/articles/TaskHusky_Blog_Post_-_China_Unfair_Postage_UPU_Treaty.jpg?v=1546698101 TaskHusky new in stock 0.00 USD 28447735882 The Power of Habit to Capture eCommerce Customer Loyalty I’ve had a few conversations with eCommerce merchants recently on this topic, so I thought it was worth a blog post. In both cases, they were thinking about discontinuing a product and pulling it from their online store because they were making terrible margins on it even though the volume was relatively high.  Don’t get me wrong … sometimes you HAVE to do things like that. We deeply and intuitively understand that a business cannot afford to lose money. You know that a “but” is coming ….  When Is It OK to Lose Money? When It’s Strategic Marketing. Sometimes selling products at very low margins – or occasionally at a loss – is a part of your strategic marketing plan. In fact, it can be one of the most effective marketing tools of the modern age. And to be clear, I am not talking about “loss leaders.” With a “loss leader,” retailers will sell an item at an intentional loss to gain traffic and additional sales during the window of a promotion. Perhaps the most famous example is selling inexpensive turkeys before Thanksgiving Day in the US. We went into “loss leaders” and other types of promotions in our blog post last month that you can read by clicking here. We’re talking about something completely different here. We’re talking about using the simple, almost mundane sales of low-margin items to manage customer behavior. It’s super-important for consumer items – especially things like health and beauty products, nutrition items, consumables, services, and subscription goods. Really anything that thrives on semi-regular repeat business. And the failure to recognize the power of these things has severely damaged and even bankrupted entire industries – both online and in the physical realm. Let’s start with a broad, industry-wide example when not recognizing this strategic advantage nearly killed a business ... and that industry is still suffering the consequences decades later.  Nobody Wants to Do Oil Changes Back when I was a kid, the dealerships hated doing things like tire rotations and oil changes. The market for those services left skinny margins and it took up a lot of time that their mechanics could better spend doing more profitable, big repairs. And the oil change cars took up valuable real estate in their service bays. Seriously ... they would actively over-charge in order to drive those services away. So, Jiffy Lube came along and systemized the process to do oil changes fast and efficiently. They were completely comfortable making a dollar or two per customer. At the time, that was pretty much all they ever did. Then firms like Discount Tire came along and gave away FREE tire rotation, safety checks, and inflation to everyone. Even if you didn't buy your tires from them. So, you’d think that everyone would now be happy, right? A Marketing Mistake That Almost Killed the Dealership Model The dealerships made a HUGE error (among many at the time). By driving away the smaller, less profitable tasks, they lost control of the customer. The customer no longer thought of them as THE point of service. Now, the dealerships were just one of many possible service choices in the customers' mind. So, they lost the simple, low-margin business AND their existing premium services became less profitable because now they had to advertise and compete for the business since customers did not automatically come to them first. Then, Things Got Even Worse The Jiffy Lube shops added mufflers and brakes, and the Discount Tire shops added alignments. This bit horribly into the kind of work the dealerships WANTED to do and things got really bad because the low-end players had control over the customers' most common service needs. Then the dealers tried to cheat. They lobbied the car manufacturers to make it that if you got a car serviced anywhere except at an "authorized dealer-servicer" it would void your car's warranty. Well, that just everyone mad, so all the small service shops got together and filed a class-action anti-trust lawsuit and things got messy. The dealers had to relent AND pay penalties and fees. Now, the dealers send you ads for tire rotations and oil changes to try to get customers back in the door. But their previous cherry-picking behavior shot them in the foot.  Who Knows About This? Amazon and the Shopify Ecosystem Do Amazon.com is the eCommerce giant everyone uses as an example. This is with good reason. They have magically transformed a relatively small online bookstore into an eCommerce and technology behemoth that poses an existential threat to some major businesses. It will surprise no one that Amazon makes a TON of money. But what many folks have forgotten is that for years, the business made no profit whatsoever. Seriously. Each quarter they would report hundreds of millions of dollars in sales tied to tens and hundreds of millions of dollars in losses. It drove stock analysts crazy. The old-school financial and marketing plans were being stood on their heads.  The vision of Amazon was to establish customer habit. They offered the lowest prices they could with the cheapest – hassle free – and eventually free delivery. They lost more than a billion dollars over the years … right up until they became insanely profitable last year (2017). The app developers in the Shopify ecosystem rely on the same principle. All of the successful app developers have a similar model. They offer free trials and inexpensive entry-level versions. It’s called the “Freemium Model.” The low-price stuff makes little or no money and requires a lot of support and documentation. The big stores pay heavy fees and service contracts for support. All of them want to have the thousand-dollar contracts with the big Shopify Plus stores selling millions per year. But they know that you cannot get the big sales unless you have the small shops too. Sure, the free trials and low fee versions take away perceived risk. But small stores grow into larger stores – that’s what EVERY store is trying to do. App developers know that if the smaller stores establish the habit of using their apps, they will continue to use those apps as they grow. In marketing terms, it’s called being “sticky.” The Moral of This eCommerce Story No, you can’t afford to lose money as a business. Not at all. But believe me when I tell you that you can’t afford to have your customers relying on your competitors for their day-to-day needs because you can’t be bothered with low-margin sales. If you expect them to come back to you for the big stuff or just for your exclusive products, you are betting against human nature. You are betting against the power of habit.  Just keep that in mind. A business cannot afford to lose money overall. But it can be good marketing and economics to break-even on a part of the business and even to lose a little money on an individual sale so long as the operation is profitable overall. If your brand becomes the only thing a customer thinks about when they need something, it might be worth it – and ultimately more profitable. Thanks for reading!   eCommerce Links and Resources Our recent blog post, “Four Holiday Promos for Shopify that Sell and Won’t Damage Your Brand:”https://www.taskhusky.com/blogs/ecommerce-insights/four-holiday-promos-for-shopify-that-sell-and-won-t-damage-your-brand Financial Performance Charts Courtesy Ychaarts.comhttps://ycharts.com /blogs/ecommerce-insights/the-power-of-habit-capture-ecommerce-customer-loyalty //cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/1694/7383/articles/TaskHusky_When_to_Lose_Money_Strategically_for_Marketing.jpg?v=1545514145 TaskHusky new in stock 0.00 USD 28421685322 Feed the Need with Speed - 100% Goes to Support Needy Families Feed the Need with Speed - 100% Goes to Support Needy Families Families across the U.S. are struggling this holiday season. The Shopify Community has been great to us -- delivering another year of double-digit growth. It’s time to give back. So, we’ve come up with a way to up the performance of your eCommerce website AND help families in need at the same time. Now through December 20th you can run our Advanced Page Speed Performance Report on your website for only $29 (normally $69). When you use the special link below, the TaskHusky team will donate 100% of the report revenue to help families in need. That’s right … 100%. Faster sites get more conversions, fewer bounces, and less abandonment … and that means more sales (that’s why merchants LOVE this report). For a limited time it ALSO means keeping the lights on and food on the table for a needy family. It’s the biggest Win-Win-Win in eCommerce history. Click the link below to be a part of the solution and this great opportunity (not limited to Shopify merchants) … and PLEASE spread the joy. Share this with your friends, family, and coworkers. Please Help Me Speed Up My Website & Help Families In Need Happy Holidays, Zachary R. McClung, Founder & CEO /blogs/ecommerce-insights/feed-the-need-with-speed-100-goes-to-support-needy-families //cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/1694/7383/articles/matt-collamer-555626-unsplash.jpg?v=1544337864 TaskHusky new in stock 0.00 USD 28406906954 Black Friday and Cyber Monday By the Numbers for 2018 – a BFCM eCommerce Report Strong Holiday Retail Sales Coming from Strong Economic News in 2018 BFCM last year was a record-breaker. This year promised to be even bigger. There was a ton of great economics news leading in the shopping season. So there is a firm foundation underneath the reported sales results. The main economic drivers were: Low Unemployment Rate in the US – no matter how you slice it, the US is still the biggest consumer market for the holidays. For various reasons – including higher business confidence and reduced regulations – hiring has been strong. More people with jobs means more spending during the holidays. Lowered US tax rates – It’s still controversial in some circles, but lower tax rates put more cash in consumers’ pockets. Surprise Reduction in energy costs – Back in September, oil prices were spiking up. But oil and gas prices dropped more than 20% in late October and early November – just in time for holiday shopping. There are other economic forces at work too. But the point is that this is what economists call “structural” support. It’s not a fluke of blip … it’s basic, nuts-and-bolts consumers spending real money. And we think that it’s going to continue all the way through the first week of January. When the final numbers are in, this could be the biggest Christmas/Holiday season ever for retail – both online and in physical locations. Black Friday and Cyber Monday By the Numbers for 2018 – a BFCM eCommerce Report Let’s jump in with some real statistics. From Atlantic to Pacific, the Traffic was Terrific The total online spend for the five days – November 22ndthrough November 26th– was $24.2 billion. This represents a 23% increase over the same five days last year. Importantly, $10.1 billion of that – 41.7% – happened on mobile devices, more than ¾ of that on smartphones. This is a 44% increase over last year. More than half – 44.3% – of ALL retail traffic came from mobile devices. That’s $201.7 million every minute … $3.4 million every second. Online sales on Thanksgiving Day 2018 jumped to $3.7 billion – nearly 28% over last year. Cyber Monday 2018 was the largest eCommerce Day in History so far with $7.9 billion in sales. Online sales for Black Friday was the second-best day for online shopping, clocking in at $6.2 billion. If you noticed that the internet was running a bit slower over the weekend, now you know why. Another trend is sparking some interest – buy online/pick-up in store. This hybrid, cross-channel retail experience model was still small, but it was up 65% over last year. It’s something to keep an eye on. BFCM Sales in the Shopify Ecosystem Shopify is reporting number in alignment with the rest of the industry. According to their recent post (linked below), Shopify merchants accounted for just over $1.5 billion in total sales for the four days – Black Friday through Cyber Monday. Interestingly, they did not report on Thanksgiving Day sales, which has to be a simple oversight on their part. But thought of another way, This indicates that Shopify stores racked up approximately 6.2% of all BFCM eCommerce sales. That’s pretty impressive. I wonder how much higher that number would be if Shopify had included Thanksgiving Day stats in their estimates. Marketing, Marketing, Marketing – Traffic Sources If you want to be successful in eCommerce during the holidays, focus on the statistics here showing where the traffic came from that resulted in actual sales: Direct to site navigation – 25.9% Email referring – 25.9% Paid search – 21.6% Social media – 1.3% Read all of those statistics again. Yes, advertising works. But the real takeaway – the thing every retailer needs to see right now – is that customers targeted or responded to online merchants that they knew about already. Random search was the smallest part. SEO and most advertising builds sales during the year, but the real value is establishing the relationship with the customer in order to capitalize on that relationship now.  Shopify’s traffic source stats are roughly in alignment with industry trends. But they do us a great service by adding conversion rates to their traffic sources. According to Shopify, inbound traffic to Shopify sites converted at the following ratios: Email – 4.38% Direct to site navigation – 4.35% Search (all types) – 3.60% Social – 2.0% We cannot stress this enough. When do you start building your email list and your retargeting strategy for BFCM 2019? Right now. Seriously …. right freaking now. The TaskHusky BFCM Customer Promo As many of you know, we ran a promotion on our blog with email and ad support to promote BFCM sales for our customers this year. It was the first year we've done it, and it was a big success. Here are the results: 93 TaskHusky merchants participated 2,400+ Social Media Engagements 16,000+ Views 329 Registrations for our $100 Visa Gift Card Giveaway Keep your eyes peeled. With all the positive feedback from our community, we will look for an opportunity to do it again. More Sales to Be Had This Holiday Season 2018 Remember, Thanksgiving came as early in the month as physically possible this year. There are several extra shopping days before Christmas this year, so your sales may be spread out a bit more than normal. If you need any additional development or marketing help to keep the energy going, get a task started ASAP. The huge volume is keeping our project queue full, but there’s room for you. Thanks for reading! Good luck and happy retailing! Links and Resources Adobe Digital Insights and Adobe Analytics have been cited by dozens of sources to report and confirm these statistics, so props to them.  “Online Sales Up 23% YoY This Thanksgiving Holiday Weekend,” as reported in CMO.com, Giselle Abramovich, November 27th, 2018https://www.cmo.com/adobe-digital-insights/articles/2018/11/26/adi-thanksgiving-to-cyber-monday-update.html#gs.CFkQyxU Practical eCommerce, “Sales Report: 2018 Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Cyber Monday”https://www.practicalecommerce.com/sales-report-2018-thanksgiving-black-friday-cyber-monday “Black Friday pulled in a record $6.22 billion in online sales:” by CNBChttps://www.cnbc.com/2018/11/24/black-friday-pulled-in-a-record-6point22-billion-in-online-sales-adobe.html Shopify Reports $1.5 billion in BFCM sales:https://www.shopify.com/blog/black-friday-cyber-monday-2018?utm_source=exacttarget&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=blog&utm_content=ecommerce_blog   /blogs/ecommerce-insights/black-friday-cyber-monday-by-the-numbers-2018-bfcm-ecommerce-economic-report //cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/1694/7383/articles/Christmas_Shopping_Mobile_Selfie.jpg?v=1543624305 TaskHusky new in stock 0.00 USD 28395929674 Shop the Best Black Friday Deals and Cyber Monday Bargains from the Best Shopify Stores Ever! Here’s the deal of the year …. Each and every day we work with some of the best Shopify merchants in the world. This year, we asked them to share their best deals for Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2018. We’ve set them up in categories to help you find that perfect gift – and great an epic bargain – while the deals at HOT. [See the important disclaimer at the bottom of this post for terms and restrictions.] Find The Black Friday Deals And Cyber Monday Bargains You’re Looking For Here Find it FAST! Click on the Gift Deal Categories below to jump to the best deals you want. Women’s Clothing, Shoes, Purses, and Accessories Men’s Clothing, Shoes, and Accessories Tech, Sports, Gadgets, and Gifts Hair, Cosmetics, Creams, Lotions, and Treatments Baby, Child, Motherhood, and Maternity Gifts Gourmet, Food, Diet, and Candy Jewelry and Watches Music, Art, and Design Women’s Clothing, Shoes, Purses, and Accessories  Love That Bag www.lovethatbag.caDeal: $30 off items over $300, $70 off items over $700 and $100off items over $1000 in our BLACK BAGS and SALE collectionsSale runs through Tuesday morning, November 27th at 9:00 AM EST.Conditions: Cannot be applied with bags purchased on our layaway plan   Own The Couture www.ownthecouture.comDeal: $30 off items over $300, $70 off items over $700 and $100 off items over $1000 sitewideConditions: restriction apply, limited time, see website for details   Veni. Vidi. Vici. www.vvv.fashionDeal: 50% off on everythingCoupon Code: NoneSale runs through November 26th   Sullen Clothing www.SullenClothing.comDeal: 30-50% off sitewideNo Coupon Code requiredSale runs from November 22nd through November 27th   Lavender Hill Clothing https://www.lavenderhillclothing.com/Deal: 15% off full price and up to 60% off in the saleEnter Coupon Code – BFRIDAY18Sale runs from November 222nd through November 26th   ShopSigal https://shopsigal.com/Deal: EVERYTHING is on sale with discounts up to 50%No Coupon Code required, discounts are already applied to each productSale runs from November 21st through November 26thConditions: Pre-owned coupons not applicable on discounted merchandise.   The Limelight Collection https://www.thelimelightcollection.net/products/dream-in-colorsDeal: $200 off Dream In Colors ClutchEnter Coupon Code – DREAMYSale runs from midnight (12:00 AM) on November 23rd through 11:59 PM on November 23rd.Conditions: None   Wolven Threads wolventhreads.comDeal: 40% off sitewideEnter Coupon Code – standoutSale ends Monday, November 26thAny Conditions: None   Riot Swim http://www.riotswim.com/Deal: 50% off sitewideEnter Coupon Code – BF50Sale runs through November 27th    Keshet www.keshet.com.auDeal: 40% OFFEnter Coupon Code – PURPLEFRIDAYSale runs from 6:00 PM Friday, November 23rd and ends Midnight on Sunday, November 25th Conditions: Offer excludes clearance merchandise   Auguste https://augustethelabel.comDeal: 20% off selected items, special sale landing page https://augustethelabel.com/collections/flash-sale Enter Coupon Code – YESPLEASESale runs through Monday, November 26th at 11.59 PM AESTConditions: No returns for change of mind, or incorrect size choice, on SALE items   Hand In Pocket www.handinpocket.comDeals:20% off orders $299 or less, Enter Coupon Code – heckyeah2025% off orders $300 to $499, Enter Coupon Code – heckyeah2530% off orders $500+, Enter Coupon Code – heckyeah30Sale runs through November 26th   ReVogue www.revogue.comDeal: 10% to 20% automatically applied and extra $82 offEnter Coupon Code – BF300Sale runs through November 30Conditions: Minimum Purchase $500   Ash & Rose Http://www.ashandrose.comDeal: 15% off storewideEnter Coupon Code – Thankful2018Sale runs through November 26th   Primavera Collection primaveracollection.comDeal: 20% OFF sitewideEnter Coupon Code – GraciasSale runs through November 24thConditions: One use per person.   Bar Code Glam WWW.BarcodeGlam.com Deal: 30% Off Entire StoreNo Coupon Code requiredSale runs through November 25that 11:59 PM   Runway Catelog https://runwaycatalog.comDeal: 20% off on all Final Price itemsCoupon code BLK20Sale runs through November 31st Condition: not applicable on previous purchases and not combinable with other offers.   August Ink https://www.augustink.com/Deal: 25% off sitewideNo Coupon Code requiredSale runs through November 26th Bonus: Free shipping on orders $60 and up Conditions: None   Jessy Soutifs Wire-Free https://jessywirefree.comDeal: 15% off entire orderEnter Coupon Code – BFCMSale runs through December 2ndConditions: None   Booty Shawl www.bootyshawl.storeDeal: 15% offNo Coupon Code required, discount applied at checkout Black FridayConditions - None   Burgundy Fox https://www.burgundyfox.comDeal: 20% off sitewide & free shipping  Enter Coupon Code – BIGFOXYDEALSale runs through Monday, November 26th at 11:59 PM PSTConditions: None       Men’s Clothing, Shoes, and Accessories Less One Seven www.lessoneseven.comDeal: 20% off full priced itemsEnter Coupon Code – BLACKFRIDAYStart Date & End Date: Starting now - Monday 11:59 pm MSTAny Conditions: Reigning Champ Core, Stone Island, Clearance items   Prps Jeans www.prpsjeans.comDeal: 30% off all ordersCoupon Code – BF18Sale ends November 25th at midnightAny Conditions: sale items are final sale   Centre Front https://centre-front.comDeal: 50% Off Hoodies and SweatshirtsEnter Coupon Code – BT50Sale runs from November 23 through November 26thConditions: None   Jomers www.Jomers.comDeal: Buy one shirt get your second shirt 50% offEnter coupon code – CYBERMONDAYSale runs from November 23rd through November 27Any Conditions: Sale shirts can be found here: https://jomers.com/pages/shirts   Santos Couture www.santoscouture.comDeal: up to 40% off everythingNo Coupon Code requiredSale runs through November 26th   Pengallan https://pengallan.com/Deal: 25% OFF EVERYTHING IN THE STORE & FREE GROUND SHIPPING*Enter Coupon Code – 25OFFSale runs through November 26thConditions: *Free Shipping is only for customers in the contiguous U.S.   Absolutely Bear Store URL: https://www.absolutelybear.com Deal: 20% off whole collectionEnter Coupon Code – BEARFRIDAYSale runs through November 26thConditions: None   DiLoro https://diloro.comDeal: 15% Off every item on our store, even the discounted ones!No Coupon Code required, discount applied during check-outSale runs through November 30that 11:59 PMConditions: No orders over $1,000,000,000 ;)   Iron Tanks irontanksgymgear.comDeal: 25% Off StorewideEnter Coupon Code – BLACK25Sale runs through November 27thConditions - None   Shape Flexer https://shapeflexer.com/Deal: 1 hat 20% off. 2 hats 25% off. 3 or more hats, 30% off.No Coupon Code required, discount applied at checkout Sale runs through November 26thConditions - None     Tech, Sports, Gadgets, and Gifts Carved  www.carved.comDeal: Buy one get one 50% offNo Coupon Code requiredSale starts November 22, 2018, through Monday, November 26th at 11:59 PMNo conditions   i7pro https://www.i7pro.co.uk/Deal: as listed on the special landing pagehttps://www.i7pro.co.uk/products/iphone-wireless-earpods-w-charging-bank-apple-compatible-earphonesEnter Coupon Code – i7proSale runs November 22nd through November 25thAny Conditions: None   The Shops at Farrington https://shop.fearrington.com/Deal: $20 off + free shipping on orders of $100 or moreEnter Coupon Code – JINGLEBELTIE20Sale runs from midnight, November 22nd through December 31stConditions: not valid on gift cards, classes, or alcohol, and cannot be combined with any other offers or sale items.   Orange Mud www.orangemud.comDeal: 30% off site wideEnter Coupon Code – BF30Sale runs through November 24thConditions: None   Paradise Farm and Tack www.paradisefarmandtack.comDeal: Savings up to 80% off MSRPNo coupon code requiredSale runs through November 26th No Conditions, all discounts are right on the site.   WOW Cup www.wowcup.comDeal: Buy a WOW GEAR 360 Sports bottle and get 50% off any WOW CUP for Babies, Kids, or Mini. No Coupon Code required, automatically applies at checkoutSale runs from November 22 through midnight on Sunday, November 25thConditions: None   Malo’o https://malooracks.com/Deal #1: 35% off on Black FridayEnter Coupon Code – BF35WOWSale runs from 12:00 AM through 11:59 PM on November 23rdConditions: Sale applies to USA residents onlyDeal #2: 35% off on Cyber MondayEnter Coupon Code – CM35NOWSale runs from 12:00 AM through 11:59 PM on November 26thConditions: Sale applies to USA residents only   Fox&Summit Store URL: foxandsummit.com/collections/saleDeal: Get a Wi-Fi Smart Home Device for $13.99 Coupon Code: N/ASale runs from 8:00 AM through 2:00 PM PST on November 23rd onlyConditions: Sale applies to USA residents only   Glamr Gear www.glamrgear.comDeal #1: 15% Off Entire Order (Some Exclusions)Enter Coupon Code – bfri18ggORDeal #2: 20% off 3+ Changing StationsEnter Coupon Code – 3gg18bfConditions: Deals may not be combined, some exclusions apply, see website for details.   The Drop https://thedrop.com/pages/black-friday-cyber-monday-brand-cheatsheet-1 Deal: Multiple Streetwear brands at 30-50% off their entire collectionsCoupon Codes vary, see special landing page above for details.Sale runs through November 26thAny Conditions: None   Best of Times USA www.BestOfTimesUSA.com Deal: 25% off storewideEnter Coupon Code – SHOP 25Sale runs from November 22nd through November 26thConditions: None   Arc-Iris arc-iris.comDeal: 60% off storewideEnter Coupon Code – HOLIDAYSale runs now through January 31stConditions: NoneBonus: For every order we donate 8 meals to a family in need in the USA.   Vape God Shop www.VapeGodShop.com Deal: 20% off everythingAutomatically applied at checkoutSale runs from November 22nd through 11:59 PM on November 26th   Gautier Studio https://www.gautierstudio.com/collections/black-friday-2018Deal: from 15% to 40% on selected itemsNo Coupon Code requiredSale runs from Friday, November 23rd through November 26thConditions: None   A D Zif https://www.adzif.caDeal: 30% site-wide on 11/23, then from 15% to 30% on various collectionsNo Coupon Code requiredSale runs through November 26thConditions: None   Bolster Sleep www.bolstersleep.com Deal #1: $150 off all mattresses, bases, and bundlesNo Coupon Code requiredDeal #2: Also buy one pillow get one half offEnter Coupon Code – PILLOWSale runs through Sunday, November 25th   Swig Life www.swiglife.comDeal: Buy 3 get 1 free Enter Coupon Code – BLKFRIYAY Sale runs through November 26thConditions: None   Everything Truck Parts www.everythingtruckparts.comDeal: 10% Off Any PurchaseEnter Coupon Code – BLACKFRIDAYSale runs through November 30thConditions: Must use Coupon Code during checkout to receive the discount   Super Area Rugs www.superarearugs.comDeal: 15% off storewideEnter Coupon Code – RUG15Sale runs through December 4thConditions: None   Zeal Living http://www.zeal-living.comDeal: Buy One, Get One 50% offEnter Coupon code – BOGO18Sale runs through November 26th   Roosterfin https://roosterfin.com/collections/educational-gamesDeal: 35% Off Total Purchase Educational GamesEnter Coupon Code – BOARDGAMES5Sale runs through November 26thConditions: None   Grae and Crew https://graeandcrew.com/Deal: 30% off entire storeEnter Coupon Code – BFCM30Sale runs through November 26thConditions: None   Bags and Backpacks www.bags-packs.comDeal: 10% OFF SITEWIDEEnter Coupon Code – BLACKSale runs through December 31st   Vape Superstore https://www.vapesuperstore.co.ukDeal: Up to 50% Off E-Liquids & Tech https://www.vapesuperstore.co.uk/pages/blackfridayNo Coupon Code requiredSale runs through November 25thConditions: None   Barn Burner Hockey www.barnburnerhockey.caDeal: 35% off ALL ordersEnter Coupon Code – BARNBURNERSale runs through November 26thConditions: None   The Sated Sheep www.thesatedsheep.comDeal: Buy Two, get 75% off the thirdBonus: we donate 5% to the charity of your choiceSale runs through November 26thNo other conditions   Modern Tribe https://moderntribe.comDeal: Save 10% plus free shipping on any order over $1 Enter Coupon Code – LATKES Sale runs through November 26th at 11:59 PM EST Conditions: None   Zarbeco www.zarbeco.comDeal: 10% off all productsEnter Coupon Code – 10PERCENTSale runs through November 27thConditions: New orders only   Magnet Queen http://www.magnetqueen.com/Deal: 50% OffEnter Coupon Code – BlackFridaySale runs through November 26thConditions: Minimum 15.00 purchase   WelDental https://weldental.com Deal: BOGO 50% Off Water Flossers Coupon No Coupon Code required, discount applied automatically at Checkout Sale runs through November 25thConditions: Purchase a WELFLOS M, Q, OR complete and get a 2nd flosser for 50% Off.   Hockey Sauce Kit www.hockeysaucekit.comDeal 15-25% OFF Everything & Free Shipping on orders over $150Enter Coupon Code – SAUCEHOLIDAYSale runs through Monday, November 26thConditions: None   Groove Gear & Krane Carts www.gruvgear.com and www.kranecarts.comDeal: 33-75% OFF Sitewide SaleEnter Coupon Code – BFNOWSale runs through Sunday, November 25th at 11:59 PM PSTConditions - None   Sunglasses Miami https://sunglass.miami/Deal: 20% Off Your Entire Order For Cyber Monday!Enter Coupon Code – CYBERMONDAYSale runs through November 26thConditions: Cyber Monday ONLY     Hair, Cosmetics, Creams, Lotions, and Treatments Scotch Porter www.ScotchPorter.com Deal: Buy One Single Item, Choose One Comparable Item for FREENo Coupon Code required (discount automatically taken at checkout)Sale runs from November 22nd through November 25thConditions: While supplies last. Offer cannot be combined.   ExtenCity Hair www.extencityhair.comDeal #1: $100 OFF All Lace WigsDeal #2: Save 20% with our Bundle DealsSale runs through November 28th at midnight   Black Ship Grooming Co www.blackshipgroomingco.comDeal: 15% off sitewideNo Coupon Code required Sale runs through Monday at 11:59 PMConditions: None   Uniqso www.uniqso.comDeal: up to 50% discountNo Coupon Code requiredSale runs through November 29thConditions: None   Be Kind Botanicals www.BKBotanicals.comDeal #1: FREE First Class shipping over $30Enter Coupon Code – BFFS30Deal #2: FREE 1ml bottle of Rose on orders over $50 (supplies limited & no code required)Sale runs through November 25thBonus: Free First Class Shipping available only for US residents   Nature Lova www.naturelova.comDeal: 25% OFF STOREWIDE, FREE SHIPPING WORLDWIDEEnter Coupon Code – 25BLACKSale runs through November 26thConditions: Coupon code applies to non-promotional items   La Belle Perfumes https://labelleperfumes.com/collections/black-friday-deals?ls=en-USDeal: An extra 8-15% offEnter Coupon Codes – BLACKFRIDAY1, BLACKFRIDAY2, BLACKFRIDAY3, BLACKFRIDAY4Sale runs through November 26that midnightConditions: New     Baby, Child, Motherhood, and Maternity Gifts Moms Milk Boutique www.momsmilkboutique.comDeal: Up to 40% off toys, car seats, baby carriers, nursing bras, and clothdiapers AND up to $400 in FREEBIES per orderValid on Black Friday only   So Young www.soyoung.caDeal: Up to 75% Off select itemsNo Coupon Code required Sale runs through Monday, November 26th at midnight ESTConditions: Discounted merchandise is Final Sale. Cannot be combined with other offers.   Monkeyroo https://monkeyroo.comDeal: $5.00 off entire orderEnter Coupon Code - HOLLYJOLLYSale runs through November 27thConditions - None   Baby&Taylor babyandtaylor.comDeal: 50% offEnter Coupon Code – BLACK FRIDAYSale runs through November 26thConditions: All the collection except “personalization”     Gourmet, Food, Diet, and Candy myPanier www.mypanier.comDeal: 15% OFF Site WideEnter Coupon Code: THANKS15Sale runs through midnight on November 25th PSTConditions: None   Enliteme www.enliteme.comDeal: 45% off BFCM bundle, free worldwide shippingNo Coupon Code requiredSale runs through November 26thConditions – None   M Plus B Fertility www.MPlusBFertility.comDeal: $8.00 off purchaseEnter Coupon Code – FriendsSale runs through December 1stConditions: Good for first purchase   Bondi Beach Tea Co. www.bondibeachtea.com.auDiscount: 40% off all tea blendsInstant discount link: https://www.bondibeachtea.com.au/discount/BF40Enter Coupon Code – BF40Sale runs through Monday, November 26that 5pm EST Conditions - None     Jewelry and Watches Anne Sisteron https://annesisteron.comDeal: 30% off sitewideCoupon Code – cybermondaySale runs Sunday, November 25th through Monday, November 26thConditions: None   Keepiece www.keepiece.coDeal #1: Buy 2 watch straps get 1 FREEAutomatic - just add any 3 straps to cartDeal #2: 30% offEnter Coupon Code – BFCM30Sale runs through November 28thAny Conditions - None   The Ultimate Cuff www.theultimatecuff.comDeal: 50% off sitewideNo Coupon Code NeededThe sales runs through 3:00 AM EST on November 24th   Tribu www.tribu.co.ukDeal: 25% Off entire shop (terms apply)Enter Coupon Code – BLACKFRIDAYSale runs through 11.59pm Monday, November 26th Conditions: Excludes solid gold and bespoke hallmarked silver   Mathematics NYC https://mathematicsnyc.comDeal: 15% off the whole storeEnter Coupon Code – BLKFRIDAYSale end Friday, November 23rd   Angela Monaco Jewelry angelamonacojewelry.comDeal: 25% off entire site including engagement ringsEnter Coupon Code – BLACKFRIDAYSale runs through November 26th at 11:59 PMConditions: NoneBonus Deals: spend $250 get a $50 gift certificate / Spend $500 get $100 gift certificate    Angelina Alvarez www.Angelina-Alvarez.comDeal: 30% offEnter the Coupon Code – BLACKFRIDAY   FloriWatches https://fioriwatches.com/Deal: BLACK FRIDAY & CYBER MONDAY HOT DEALS UP TO 40% DISCOUNT ON SELECTED WATCHES Enter Coupon Code – BLKFRIDAYSale runs through November 26thConditions: DISCOUNT ON SELECTED WATCHES shown here https://fioriwatches.com/collections/black-friday   Metal Marvels www.metalmarvels.com Deal #1: 30% off all regular priced itemsDeal #2: First 200 orders over $150 get a badass gift set worth $150 for FREEBonus: There’s an entire collection of Black Friday exclusive items. Enter Coupon Code – FRIDAY30Sale runs through November 25that 11:59 PMConditions: Code valid only on regular priced items   Nappy Rūtz www.Nappyrutz.comDeal: BOGO Buy One pair of earrings/Get One FreeNo Coupon Code required, discount applied at checkout Sale runs through November 26that 11:59 PM ESTConditions - None     Music, Art, and Design Sound 4 Less www.sound4less.comDeal #1: 20% off on high-end guitars (which is unheard of!)Enter Coupon Code – ENDOFYEARDeal #2: 17% off on other guitars and accessories (see website for details)Enter Coupon Code – BFCMSale runs through midnight, November 27th   Stag and Raven https://www.stagandraven.com/Deal: 50% off everythingEnter Coupon Code – CHRISTMASSale runs through December 1stConditions: Applies to purchases over £10   Gabo and Mateo www.gaboandmateodesigns.comDeal: 15% off entire store Enter Coupon Code – 15OFFSale runs through November 30th  Important Disclaimer This list of special sales and offers was compiled from a set of submissions by eCommerce retailers. We are providing it as a free service. Sometimes errors occur. No warranty or guarantee is expressed or implied as to the availability of any offer or price on any website listed. Merchandise and prices are “while supplies last” and are subject to change. See retailer websites for more details and to confirm any discounts prior to purchase. /blogs/ecommerce-insights/shop-best-black-friday-deals-cyber-monday-bargains-best-shopify-stores //cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/1694/7383/articles/BFCM_Special_TaskHusky_Bargain_List_Post_2018.jpg?v=1542941947 TaskHusky new in stock 0.00 USD 28387541066 Four Holiday Promos for Shopify that Sell and Won’t Damage Your Brand Four Holiday Promos for Shopify that Sell and Won’t Damage Your Brand From now through New Years, your eCommerce marketing efforts should be in overdrive. If you’ve been reading our posts and emails – and why wouldn’t you, right? – then you know that we suggest a ton of promotions this time of year and support it with two or more emails per week. If you need a refresher, here’s a link to our article, “Black Friday & Cyber Monday 2018 – A Shopify Website Survival Checklist.” You can come back and check that out in a bit. The problem is that discounting and sales can bite too hard into your margins, hurt your brand, and damage the value perception of the products. Here are three practical holiday promos you can run that will jump-start sales without damaging your business or your brand. The Bundle We’ve said it before … the best eCommerce bundlers on the internet are camera companies. Big camera-makers are super-protective of their brand perception and value. Retailers that sell cameras from Nikon and Canon are required by contract to sell those products above a set price. If they don’t, they can be kicked out of the distribution program. So, it’s impossible for these retailers to compete on price at all.  So, they have perfected the bundle. On their own websites and on Amazon you will find dozens of offers for high-end cameras that include lens caps, and tripods, and spare batteries … all kinds of packages. A simple search on Amazon will tell the tale. When I searched for “Nikon Cameras” ten of the top dozen results were bundled deals. Here’s just one sample (image below). See how the camera appears to have all the value of that $699.00 price tag? This way the perceived product value and Nikon brand are protected AND the customer sees a deal with tons of accessories. You can do this too. Bundle a scarf with a woman’s blouse. Bundle a tie and shirt in with a man’s suit. Bundle gloves with an overcoat. Add travel-size versions of soaps and lotions to full-size purchases. The possibilities are endless – your long-term value proposition will survive the holidays while customers give you more clicks. The Free Upgrade The Free Upgrade is similar, but a bit different from The Bundle. It’s perfect when you have products that can be purchased in different quantities or at different trim-levels. The reason it’s so great is that the main product level retains its value perception because that price does not change. This “anchors” the price in the consumer’s mind. The promo is to get more of that product or the more advanced product at the same price. After the sale/promo is over, the more advanced product is still perceived as more valuable than the base product. Mattress sales do this all the time. We’ve all heard the ads saying, “get a king size for the price of a queen.” The price perception for the queen size – statistically the most popular mattress size – is not affected at all. And when the sale is over, the queen mattress will still serve as a price anchor for the king size, which will naturally be more expensive. You can do this too. Gift with Purchase The Gift with Purchase promotion has been mastered by the perfume and cosmetics industries. They do it brilliantly. Not just at the holiday, but several times per year they kick-start sales by selling their main products at full price and “giving” a collection of sample-size products along with it all stuffed into a colorful zippered bag. Often, customers have to make a minimum purchase to qualify and that minimum purchase amount is usually just below the large size of the core product – customers have to buy the big one to get the “free” gift.  Not only does this spur sales, it also gives their customers a psychological incentive to try different products. It’s genius! The regular customers of the full-price anti-wrinkle night cream buy the big size and get a free tiny blusher, lipstick, and lip-moisturizer in a colorful bag. The Loss-Leader Ever notice that turkeys get real cheap just before Thanksgiving? That seems strange, right? Just when the demand for turkey is hitting its peak for the year, the prices drop. On the surface, it appears to fly in the face of every supply-and-demand lesson I had in economics class. But there’s a real solid business reason this happens. The wholesale price of turkey does not really change all that much. But stores zap all of their profit out and sell the turkeys virtually at cost. Stores get you with the low-low turkey price, then you buy all the potatoes, cranberry sauce, biscuits, and pumpkin pies while you are there. They make the profit on the upsell. Customers buy most of their turkeys at Thanksgiving, so they don’t really notice the game all that much. Pick a product from your inventory – something seasonal if you can get it – and put that as the super special deal. Then work like heck to get more business from that customer. Get their email address. Hit them with retargeting ads. Show them related products to add-on. Direct customers from The Loss-Leader to the other promos listed in this article. The loss-leader discount will shield your core products from the perception of discounting, preserving their value and long-term price points. It’s one of the reasons that the big retailers bring in special inventory for the holidays Run Successful Holiday Promos and Thrive These tried and true promos will allow you to run brilliantly effective holiday sales without cannibalizing your future product margins and damaging your brand. Get started now … the next six weeks are where all the magic happens. Thanks for reading!   Shopify Links and Resources Our sister eCommerce marketing company – ShopREscue.com – has a great article about the details of how discounting hurts your business and brand. If you want to dig into the reasons, read this article too: https://www.shoprescue.com/blog/how-to-run-online-discounts-without-damaging-your-ecommerce-business   Here is a link to our article, “Black Friday & Cyber Monday 2018 – A Shopify Survival Checklist” – https://www.taskhusky.com/blogs/ecommerce-insights/black-friday-cyber-monday-2018-shopify-website-survival-checklist /blogs/ecommerce-insights/four-holiday-promos-for-shopify-that-sell-and-won-t-damage-your-brand //cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/1694/7383/articles/Black_Friday_Sale_Buy_Now.jpg?v=1542409948 TaskHusky new in stock 0.00 USD 28362014794 Tuesday Tweaks by TaskHusky - Shopify site JackDoby com - Oct 30, 2018 - The Need for Shopify Speed! We feel the need, for Shopify Speed! In this edition of Tuesday Tweaks we focus on page speed. Shopify merchant JackDoby.com asks about how to get their page load faster. Sure enough, our tests show their site is performing below average. But when we dig in, it's not because of the usual suspects like image size and number of API calls. We diagnose the probable issues and point this Shopify store in the right direction. Welcome to Tuesday Tweaks! /blogs/ecommerce-insights/tuesday-tweaks-taskhusky-shopify-jackdoby-page-speed-performance-seo //cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/1694/7383/articles/Tuesday_Tweaks_Closing_Screen_w_Logo_b97c924f-ce65-4d8e-a2b3-83acee54f95a.jpg?v=1540925947 TaskHusky new in stock 0.00 USD 28205318218 If You’re a Shopify Store Merchant, Here Are the SEO, Advertising, and Conversion Resources You've Been Waiting For If You’re a Shopify Store Merchant, Here Are the SEO, Advertising, and Conversion Resources You've Been Waiting For Bookmark This Blog Post, Seriously … EVERY Shopify Entrepreneur We just got back from sponsoring the Shop Class Tour 2018, put on by the team at Shopify. They did a great job and we met more than a thousand Shopify merchants – from brand new to experienced. We talked and gave free advice to as many as we could – and hundreds of them have subscribed to our mailing list. But here’s the issue … Vital eCommerce Information Still Needs to Get Out There! Everyone wants help with Conversions and SEO and Images and Advertising! These were the most common questions by far. This short article is for you. We have written a bunch of content on exactly these vital topics. So, if you want to know more about those issues, we got you. No charge, no additional sign up info required. It’s all here to help you get started or fix what’s wrong. What are you waiting for? Important Shopify SEO Topics If You’re NOT Doing This You’re Losing the SEO Game … Period. Here is our recent post on Image ALT tag SEO and why it’s important: https://www.taskhusky.com/blogs/ecommerce-insights/what-is-wrong-with-my-ecommerce-site-part-2-image-alt-tag-seo Pirate Marketing – eCommerce SEO with Title Tags and Page Descriptions This is an extra SEO trick regarding things like Title tags and page Descriptions that might be helpful: https://www.taskhusky.com/blogs/ecommerce-insights/pirate-marketing-page-descriptions-what-your-competition-doesnt-know Product Descriptions – Writing for Both Humans and Machines Here’s an article on writing eCommerce Product Descriptions that Persuade, SEO, and sell: https://www.taskhusky.com/blogs/ecommerce-insights/practical-product-descriptions-that-seo-persuade-and-sell Our Most Popular Shopify Blog EVER – Practical DIY Image Prep for Speed AND Quality Here is our blog post from last year which covers the basics for prepping images so they balance for speed and resolution: https://www.taskhusky.com/blogs/ecommerce-insights/a-practical-ecommerce-guide-to-perfect-product-photos Important Shopify eCommerce Advertising Topics Most Shopify Stores Are Wasting Money on Facebook and Google Ads – Fix It This is the article on defining customer personas so that you waste as little money as possible when you start advertising: https://www.taskhusky.com/blogs/ecommerce-insights/without-customer-personas-wasting-online-marketing-dollars Facebook Ads Done Right for the Beginner eCommerce Marketer This is an article on getting started with Facebook Advertising Best Practices: https://www.taskhusky.com/blogs/ecommerce-insights/getting-started-facebook-advertising-best-practices-for-shopify-websites I personally promised to send additional info and resources to a lot of other folks via email. If you’re one of those folks, don’t worry, those email resources are on the way. And there’s one more important note …. Black Friday and Cyber Monday Are Coming Fast – Start Now We are gearing up for the busy season, but things can get busy in November for obvious reasons. If you want us to help, get your tasks started now. That’s it for now. Thanks for reading and good luck!   /blogs/ecommerce-insights/shopify-store-merchant-seo-advertising-conversion-resources-you-have-been-waiting-for //cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/1694/7383/articles/TaskHusky_-_What_Are_You_Waiting_For_Hurry_Priority_Procrastinate_Time_Running_Out_copy.jpeg?v=1540248479 TaskHusky new in stock 0.00 USD 28187525194 Tuesday Tweaks - A Beautiful Website That Needs Image SEO and Risk Reversal Beautiful Website That Needs Image SEO and Risk Reversal Tuesday Tweaks by TaskHusky - VivaScandinavia.com - Oct 9, 2018  In this week's edition of Tuesday Tweaks we help a Shopify merchant who sells modern and functional home decor ... specifically, Scandinavian coffee and tea sets and accessories. The site is really really good. It has a simply beautiful, modern design that is spot on for their branding and is super-responsive. We get a little preachy on some old favorites -- things that a LOT of Shopify merchants miss like good image SEO and Risk Reversal. But this site is a solid winner we can all learn from. Welcome to Tuesday Tweaks! If you want us to do a FREE 10-minute review of your Shopify eCommerce website, you can nominate your business for a FREE Tuesday Tweak review /blogs/ecommerce-insights/tuesday-tweaks-beautiful-shopify-website-that-needs-image-seo-risk-reversal //cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/1694/7383/articles/Tuesday_Tweaks_Closing_Screen_w_Logo_394e7532-bd05-4d89-b8bf-04fb7150f3fc.jpg?v=1539660917 TaskHusky new in stock 0.00 USD 28184248394 Without Customer Personas You’re Wasting Your Online Marketing Dollars When Google Ads, SEO, Content Marketing, and Facebook Ads Are Worthless Believe it or not, getting site traffic is easy. Click-bait sites have it down to a science. But click-bait sites get paid off of traffic itself. If you are in eCommerce, traffic alone will not get the job done. You need the “right” traffic, and getting the “right” traffic is hard. If You’re Having Conversion Problems, Consider Website Traffic Quality When we’re doing marketing and strategy consultations, THE #1 thing that Shopify merchants ask for – by far – is help getting more conversions. There are a lot of things that can impact conversions and overall competitiveness. Here’s just a partial list: Page Design Page Load Speed Risk Reversal Image Quality Shipping Options/Costs/Policies Payment Methods Return and Exchange Policies Pricing and Economics There are a bunch of other things, but that list accounts for eight of the top nine reasons. When we’re doing our eCommerce Strategy Calls and Website Teardowns, we make sure to include those as a part of the conversation and report. Each one is important and needs to be looked at if you’re having conversion issues. But the thing that surprises a LOT of merchants we talk to is the ninth item – Traffic Quality. If we’re digging into analytics and see a higher than average bounce rate and/or an elevated page abandonment rate, we spend some time focusing on the quality of the page visitors. Traffic Quality and Customer Personas When you first decide to start an eCommerce business, you really don’t know who your customers are going to be. But it’s something that you need to figure out fast. That’s because as you begin marketing you are going to invest a LOT of time and money marketing and advertising. You are going to need to get a return on all of the time and money if your business is going to survive and grow. The starting point for that is to create a “Customer Persona.” A Customer personal is a set of descriptions that describe who your target customer is. It should be as detailed as possible. But it also needs to be flexible so that you can make adjustments as you learn more about your real customers. To start, your Customer Persona should include: Gender Age Range Education Level Household Income Range Basic Relevant Geographic Information As you develop more experience and data from real customer purchases, you can add information about their interests, other products that they might buy from competing vendors, and complimentary products and services that they might purchase from non-competing vendors. As you populate your Customer Persona, you can start to target traffic that matches the description – high-quality traffic. The Most Common Marketing Error Ever A lot of eCommerce merchants make the mistake of assuming that their customers are exactly like them. Sometimes that’s true. But the VAST majority of the time your customers are – on average – very different kinds of people, even if you share one or two things in common. Our marketing team consulted with a business that sold replacement tires and custom rims for high-performance All-Terrain-Vehicles (ATVs). This is the kind of equipment used in racing and in extreme sports. So the merchant assumed that their customers were young, adrenaline-junkies who were hooked on extreme sports … just like he was. So his website and marketing were filled with exciting images of people racing, jumping, and doing crazy tricks with their ATVs. But the reality is that the average owner of the target ATV models was forty to forty-five years old, lived in a major metropolitan area, was married, and had an upper-middle-class income. This is the person who made the buying decisions even though his older teenage son might be the one doing the actual riding. The actual buying customer was nothing like the twenty-something entrepreneur who was selling online. The ATV was the only point of commonality he shared with the core market. Do you see the difference here? The marketing and advertising had to satisfy both the rider and the owner to be successful. The images, messaging, and advertising needed to talk as much about safety and resale value as it did about performance. It had to be cool enough for the rider to want it, but also have meaning for the person who will make the purchase. How To Use Customer Personas for eCommerce Your Customer Persona(s) should drive everything you do to promote and market your eCommerce business. It should help you choose the images you use, the SEO optimization you implement, the product descriptions you write, and every ad that you create. These things should be created in the style and voice that speaks to this persona … as if you were speaking to a single individual. Some businesses go so far as to name their personas – especially if they have more than one. For example, the women’s wear retail chain White House Black Market has developed a detailed persona named “Sydney.” They have detailed persona information and even describe her occupation. Employees are trained in customer service and sales techniques to talk to “Sydney” directly as if that particular person were standing right in front of them. Their online eCommerce team uses this description to design the website. Their advertising teams and consultants use it to create every ad. For them, the Customer Persona is mission-critical. A Shopify Persona Case Study In Point We were working with a Shopify website merchant that sells high-fashion bathing suits for women. They were running Facebook/Instagram ads, had the rest of their social running at full tilt, and had a good-looking website that loaded fast. The photography was professional, and the images were pretty-well optimized for speed and resolution. Product pricing was high-end, but competitive with similar sites. They were getting a good amount of traffic, had some sales, and made a little bit of profit. But conversions were in the basement – well below 0.5%. Identifying the Customer Persona Problem When digging into the analytics we saw lots of product page clicks. Importantly, we also saw that nearly all the traffic was coming from social – ads and posts – and almost none was coming via organic search. The retargeting ads were not delivering any return at all. So all that money spent on ads was barely paying for itself. For us, the picture was becoming clear. At this point, our team asked them who their customer was, and they did not know how to answer that question. In their mind the answer was obvious – their customer was everyone. But in reality, that’s just not true. We got a screen capture of the demographics in their Facebook/Instagram ad manager. The ads were not targeted and they were not collecting info on current customers. Going back to the analytics, we found that their Shopify website was operating like click-bait. Their ads and social media posts – with high quality, professional images of young, beautiful models wearing swimwear – were capturing the attention of people who wanted to see all the pictures but were not likely to buy high-end women’s swimwear any time soon. They say that all attention is good attention. And certainly, all those clicks and views didn’t hurt the business. But when you are paying for clicks, page views alone won’t help pay the bills unless you’re selling ads on your website. Paying for clicks and page views from people who will never buy your product hurts a LOT. And since all those initial clicks were non-customers, all those retargeting ads simply compounded the problem – making the merchant pay twice to market to non-purchasing “looky-loos”. All ads you buy – social, Google, retargeting, and in all other media – and all page-views you generate online are wasted money and effort unless the person seeing or hearing those ads and viewing your pages is reasonably likely to purchase your product. Fixing the Customer Persona Problem - Step 1 Based upon their product mix, price point, and preliminary research we recommended a starting point Customer Persona as follows: Female, aged 18 to 36 – any relationship status Male, aged 25 to 50 – in a relationship Education = some college + (they’re a higher-end product) Household Income - $36,000 per year + Countries where English is the primary or secondary language (they are set to ship internationally, but the website is in English only) Special ads for targeting: States and Metropolitan areas near the ocean Sates and Metropolitan areas with warm weather (Phoenix, Las Vegas) Individuals visiting sites/following Cruise Lines, Luxury Resorts, Tropical Destinations In order to test, we recommended that they start with the sample demographic and apply it to only half of their ads. If the results were positive, then apply the demo to additional ads. Very importantly, we recommended that they start collecting as much real demographic information about their customers as possible. Fixing the Customer Persona Problem - Step 2 Next, we recommended that they tweak their SEO. Initially, all of their written content focused on specifications and descriptions. And their images had no SEO at all. All of those items needed to be updated to reflect real-world search terms that might be used by their target demographic. Again, that is as initially described above and should be subject to more updates as information is collected from real-world shoppers who buy their products.  We’ve written a lot about images, product descriptions, and getting started with Facebook/Instagram advertising, so there’s no need to repeat all of that. You can find those articles here: Prepping Images for eCommerce Implementing Image SEO Writing Great Product Descriptions Facebook Advertising Best Practices Pirate Marketing Using Title Tags and Page Descriptions for SEO The Value of Knowing Your Market As expected, traffic volume dropped with a lot fewer “lookie-loos” clicked in. But conversions jumped. Importantly, the results are going to be tested and adapted over time as this fledgling eCommerce business learns more about its real customers and discovers how to get more of the “right” traffic and less of the wrong. If you want to schedule one of our eCommerce Strategy Calls or a complete Website Teardown Report, you can start a task and get them started. Thanks for reading! /blogs/ecommerce-insights/without-customer-personas-wasting-online-marketing-dollars //cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/1694/7383/articles/TaskHusky_Blog_-_Diversity_Diverse_People_Group_Variety_copy.jpeg?v=1539560363 TaskHusky new in stock 0.00 USD 26904100938 Tuesday Tweaks by TaskHusky - AtomicStrengthNutritian - Oct 9, 2018 When Economics Impacts Shopify Conversions Tuesday Tweaks by TaskHusky - AtomicStrengthNutritian - Oct 9, 2018 In this week's edition of Tuesday Tweaks we help a Shopify merchant who sells fitness and sports nutrition products. Their website is pretty good and most of their SEO of Risk Reversal is solid. There are a few minor SEO and experience things to recommend that they should be able to fix easily. That said, even though they have some sales and decent traffic, their conversion rate is still below industry average. After taking a closer look at their products and competition, I suspect it's an issue of economics. Let's see if we can help. Welcome to Tuesday Tweaks!   If you want us to do a FREE 10-minute review of your Shopify eCommerce website, you can nominate your business for a FREE Tuesday Tweak review /blogs/ecommerce-insights/shopify-conversions-economics-tuesday-tweaks-taskhusky-atomicstrengthnutritian //cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/1694/7383/articles/Tuesday_Tweaks_Closing_Screen_w_Logo_259e7f0d-6da1-43be-8d32-a106ee680985.jpg?v=1539094795 TaskHusky new in stock 0.00 USD 26881196106 Tuesday Tweaks by TaskHusky - beerrepublic.eu - Oct 2, 2018 For the October 2nd, 2018, edition of Tuesday Tweaks by TaskHusky we take a look at beerrepublic.eu - a Shopify eCommerce website that sells North American beers, and ales to customers in the European Union.Their website is great ... some real solid work here. Any Shopify merchants that sell overseas - or want to sell more overseas - would benefit by using their SEO techniques.There is some room for improvement. The home page header video feels off-the-mark, they could use some more risk reversal on their product and checkout pages, and they need to make sure that the mobile pages load faster to deliver a better mobile experience.Watch this week's Tuesday Tweaks!   If you want us to do a FREE 10-minute review of your Shopify eCommerce website, you can nominate your business for a FREE Tuesday Tweak review /blogs/ecommerce-insights/shopify-ecommerce-seo-tuesday-tweaks-by-taskhusky-beerrepublic-eu-oct-2-2018 //cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/1694/7383/articles/Tuesday_Tweaks_Closing_Screen_w_Logo_ded47760-a616-4027-8909-f3c336474299.jpg?v=1538453447 TaskHusky new in stock 0.00 USD 26865303626 NISA.com | Tuesday Tweaks EVERYONE wants more eCommerce conversions, and this week's Shopify merchant on Tuesday Tweaks is no exception. We're looking at NISA.co.nz -- a New Zealand-based maker and retailer of premium sports undergarments with an interesting charity aspect. All of the products are hand-made by refugees and they use 100% organic materials. But the Shopify merchant wants better SEO and more conversions.Looks like we have a few usability/accessibility issues, lack of risk reversal, and maybe some unpleasant pricing comps that are getting in the way of more sales and success. Watch the video and let's take a look together. If you want us to do a FREE 10-minute review of your Shopify eCommerce website, you can nominate your business for a FREE Tuesday Tweak review   /blogs/ecommerce-insights/shopify-tuesday-tweaks-taskhusky-nisa-sept-24-2018 //cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/1694/7383/articles/Tuesday_Tweaks_Closing_Screen_w_Logo_0b96e82f-bd2d-4d7a-ae6d-069a03471e01.jpg?v=1537847336 TaskHusky new in stock 0.00 USD 26851770442 Katari.com | Tuesday Tweaks For this edition of Tuesday Tweaks we look at Katari.com. The Shopify site we look at is lovely. The photos are professional and good resolution. The layout is modern and clean. There's just one problem .... NOBODY'S BUYING ANYTHING! Yep, it's a conversions problem. Visitors land on the home page and just bounce away. And solving issues like that can be complicated and require a bit of trial and error testing to get to where things work. But we have some ideas on things that they should look at. (Hint - think about the call to action). If you want us to do a FREE 10-minute review of your Shopify eCommerce website, you can nominate your business for a FREE Tuesday Tweak review. Thanks!   /blogs/ecommerce-insights/katari-com-tuesday-tweaks //cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/1694/7383/articles/Tuesday_Tweaks_Closing_Screen_w_Logo_b417fcd0-5ea1-4fb6-989f-26bb1f2d6a27.jpg?v=1537246812 TaskHusky new in stock 0.00 USD 26849968202 Black Friday & Cyber Monday 2018 – A Shopify Website Survival Checklist Attention all Shopify store owners! Take a look at those calendars. Thanksgiving is only nine weeks away. And with Thanksgiving come Black Friday and Cyber Monday – when retail businesses everywhere see the rush in sales that makes all the late nights and work worthwhile. And even though sixty-three days can seem like plenty of time, when it comes to running a business, it’s tomorrow. That means that you need to act today to get ready. Santa has his list and he’s famous for checking it twice. Let’s find out if your Shopify Christmas will be naughty or nice. Black Friday & Cyber Monday 2018 – A Shopify Website Survival Checklist 1.  Have Stuff to Sell Online During the Holidays This seems like a no-brainer. If you’ve been through a Christmas or two, you have learned – perhaps the hard way – about the financial consequences of running out of inventory when the sales a flying. But this year is a little bit different. Economic conditions are strong – especially in the US right now, which is experiencing record levels of GDP and low unemployment. Respected financial analysts at Kiplinger Report estimate that even with the solid growth of retail last year (+4.2%) that retail sales will be up an additional +5.1% in 2018. The big question for retailers is figuring out which items will sell well, which will not, and how to get your share of the pie. It’s a delicate balance and – quite frankly – one of the perennial challenges of all retail. But what you CAN do is get ready by ensuring that you have something to sell even if you are low on inventory or your customers don’t know what to buy. There are several great gift card apps available in the Shopify marketplace. Gift card apps are great because customers can buy gifts – you get the money now – and current inventory is irrelevant. Some redemptions occur within a few days, but many happen weeks after Christmas has passed when you have a chance to restock. But the best part is that virtual gift cards never run “out,” so you’ll always have something to sell. 2.  Prepare for Email eCommerce Marketing Mania Most of the time, if you send too many emails you run the risk of annoying customers to the point that they unsubscribe. Starting the week before Thanksgiving, all that changes. Customers a looking for great deals and preparing their shopping excursions in the real and virtual worlds. This is the time of the year that they WANT to see all those special deal emails. Do not disappoint them. Get your promotional emails set up now. Plan out your discounting and special deal strategies and get dozens of emails set to go so that you can schedule them well in advance or pull the trigger at a moment’s notice. It is not unusual for retail businesses to send two or three emails per week – sometimes more. And when those customers come to your site, they’ll be ready to buy. 3.  Time Kills Deals – The Need for Website Speed It’s an old adage, but when it comes to closing billion-dollar real estate deals or selling inexpensive Christmas gifts, when the deal is on the table it needs to close quickly. Your customers are more impatient than ever. During the holidays they are super-stressed and pressed for time. If your pages are loading slowly or you make them jump through too many hoops they will walk away. Every page on your site needs to be optimized for performance. That means images need to be properly formatted and sized, old apps need to be removed, and analytics tools need to be streamlined. The faster your site snaps the more sales you will get. This is true all year long, but it is mission critical when the clock is ticking through December. 4.  Retargeting Ads for the Shopify Win If you haven’t used retargeting ads yet, now is the time. Retargeting ads are extremely powerful. It is VERY common for a customer to do a little bit of shopping before they do any buying. With retargeting, your retargeting ad service will “remember” customers who have visited your site. Even better … you can set it up to remember the specific products they looked at. Then, when they are cruising the internet they will see ads for your site and even the specific product they looked at. This is where the big online retailers make their money, and you can too. 5.  Logistics Means Delivery, Delivery Means Success Some businesses can provide free shipping. Others find it difficult to work that into their business model. If you can offer free shipping during the holidays … GREAT! But the most important thing during the holidays is getting it there on time. If you delight them with delivery, they will come back. If you guarantee delivery dates and communicate progress, you will get more sales. There are several delivery and logistics providers. But you need to get them going and test your systems now. Communicate delivery options up front – loud and proud on your website. Tell them that if they order by a certain date that you guarantee delivery by the holidays. Reinforce that messaging on your shopping cart pages because seeing that reassurance cuts down on abandonment. Of course, your customers should get an order confirmation via email. But even better if your systems notify them when an item ships (the last thing you need is a bunch of customer support emails clogging up your workflow this time of the year). 6.  The Last-Minute Reminder Set up your website and email systems to build a separate list of customers who purchase between Thanksgiving week and your shipping cut-off date (whenever that is). Send them an email reminding them of their previous purchase and tell them that you still have inventory available for immediate shipping and that – if they order their last-minute gifts by December XX – their gifts will arrive in time for the holidays. Offer them a special deal or discount as a returning shopper during the holiday period. In retail parlance this is called a “bounce-back” offer and it works REALLY well. The customer already trusts you and everyone has last-minute gifting needs. If you treated them great and shipped on-time on their previous order, they will trust you to make them look good when time is running out. The Time Is Now to Prepare for Black Friday & Cyber Monday All of the checklist items listed above are solid, time-tested, and doable. But you want to do these things now because it is tricky to make changes during the frenzied holidays when even a few minutes of downtime or misfunctioning app can cost you sales. If you need help optimizing your Shopify eCommerce site or installing the apps we’ve recommended, just let us know. We help Shopify merchants with those kinds of tasks every day.  Thanks for reading! It’s going to be a great holiday season and we look forward to helping you all.   Notes and References Kiplinger Retail Sales Forecast for 2018 https://www.kiplinger.com/article/business/T019-C000-S010-retail-sales-consumer-spending-forecast.html     /blogs/ecommerce-insights/black-friday-cyber-monday-2018-shopify-website-survival-checklist //cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/1694/7383/articles/TaskHusky_Blog_-_Santa_Claus_List_Christmas_Naughty_Nice_Holiday_Present.jpeg?v=1537119007 TaskHusky new in stock 0.00 USD 26843938890 Leotard.com | Tuesday Tweaks This Shopify merchant has an AMAZING domain ... they have great images ... they have great videos ... they have great products. But if you make a customer leave your shopping cart for any reason and if you make your return policy and terms and conditions scary and intimidating, well, you need to do it differently. We're going to fix it and help this Shopify eCommerce site get even better conversions. Here’s an overview of the topics discussed in this week’s video. Things Leotards.com does great that you can do too: GREAT domain – serious, it doesn’t get much better than this. Solid use of video of their products in action. Good use of images – their products are super-visual, so this is super-important Our recommendations: One of the THREE email subscription methods is hijacking the site and interrupts the experience. The special promo text at the top is nearly invisible. We recommend de-emphasizing the sizing chart – it’s taking up valuable real estate in position #1. Instead, force positive size selection and the sizing problems will likely be reduced a LOT. Image SEO, Image SEO, Image SEO … seems like I am preaching this every week. The terms and conditions and returns/exchanges info is hard to find, too long, and filled with unfriendly – and unnecessary – legalese. Make it short, sweet, and hard to beat and add related risk-reversal badges to the product pages and checkout. If you need help with any of these things, the developers at TaskHusky do this kind of stuff all the time. If you want us to do a FREE 10-minute review of your Shopify eCommerce website, you can nominate your business for a FREE Tuesday Tweak review.   /blogs/ecommerce-insights/leotard-com-tuesday-tweaks //cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/1694/7383/articles/Tuesday_Tweaks_Closing_Screen_w_Logo_77da6e39-5bc0-4f76-9e53-19d1a21637ac.jpg?v=1536633331 TaskHusky new in stock 0.00 USD 26836336714 EaseLiving.com | Tuesday Tweaks Tuesday Tweaks is where we do a 10-minute website review of Shopify eCommerce websites to help merchants accomplish their goals. It’s completely FREE and the goal is to help them – and the entire Shopify community – get better and be more successful. This week we are reviewing EaseLiving.com. They sell apparel and mobility aids for seniors - a great market segment. The store owner asked us to suggest things that help improve conversions. We found a few things that need to be addressed right away! Here’s an overview of the topics discussed in this week’s video. Things EaseLiving.com does great that you can do too: Clean, easy to navigate website. Great color palate for the target audience. Nice email subscription process and design. Great use of photography. Payment options and checkout process work well. Our recommendations: Top Priority – Fix widgets that are slowing page load speeds. Make sure that the site code is set so that all the things that your customers "see" load first and that widgets and add-ons run later. It's a much better customer experience. Always remember who your target audience is. In this case, that means seniors. One of the most important Accessibility things important to seniors is larger font (type) sizes in menus and body copy.  If you need help with any of these things, the developers at TaskHusky do this kind of stuff all the time.  If you want us to do a FREE 10-minute review of your Shopify eCommerce website, you can nominate your business for a FREE Tuesday Tweak review. Thanks! /blogs/ecommerce-insights/tuesday-tweaks-002-easeliving-shopify-conversions //cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/1694/7383/articles/Tuesday_Tweaks_Closing_Screen_w_Logo.jpg?v=1536070875 TaskHusky new in stock 0.00 USD 26813497418 Kippo.com | Tuesday Tweaks Tuesday Tweaks is where we do a 10-minute website review of Shopify eCommerce websites to help merchants accomplish their goals. It’s completely FREE and the goal is to help them – and the entire Shopify community – get better and be more successful. This week we are reviewing Kippo.com – makers of cool workout gear that has special pockets to hold your smartphone so it won’t pop out while you are exercising. The product was launched via a successful Kickstarter program and – we have to say – the product looks great. Here’s an overview of the topics discussed in this week’s video. Things Kippo.com does great that you can do too: Solid design a good use of a theme by Pixel Union. Great email sign-up process and function. Great use of video for both product demo and lifestyle demo. Payment options work. Pricing is competitive. Our recommendations: Use Risk Reversal – make customers feel better about the sale to lower sales resistance. Wasted marketing firepower #1 – Product Descriptions Wasted marketing firepower #2 – Image ALT tags Update shipping policy – make text bigger. If you want us to do a FREE 10-minute review of your Shopify eCommerce website, you can nominate your business for a FREE Tuesday Tweak review. Thanks! /blogs/ecommerce-insights/tuesday-tweaks-001-kippo-ecommerce-review //cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/1694/7383/articles/Tuesday_Tweaks_Header_Image_DRAFT_1b3a9d8d-ed35-4cbb-9109-0767600d0123.jpg?v=1535419066 TaskHusky new in stock 0.00 USD 26810646602 Getting Started – Facebook Advertising Best Practices for Shopify Websites We have been answering a ton of questions via email and on social media about Facebook ads. It’s a hugely popular ad platform right now, and a lot of Shopify merchants are trying it out. For good reason. If you are selling consumer products in eCommerce, Facebook ads are simply the best value out there. And – like everything else online – there are a lot of ways to do it wrong. Make no mistake. Every business has to find its own “marketing secret sauce” – the mix of content, ads, and other marketing efforts that will help their business grow. But no matter what kinds of ads and creatives you are going to use in your Facebook ads, there are few things that you can do to ensure that you have the best chance for success. Getting Started – Facebook Ads Best Practices for Shopify Websites What Do You Want People To Do? As soon as you start the ad creation process in Facebook Ad Manager, you are presented with a choice. Facebook calls them “Objectives.” If you are doing eCommerce in Shopify, you probably will jump immediately to “Conversions,” and that’s fine. Eventually you will discover lots of ways that other ad types can really help business, but right now we are just getting started and we want to try to get more sales. Click Conversions. Advertising 101: Demographics and Audiences in Facebook Ads Rule #1 of modern advertising is don’t spend money to show your ad to someone who will not buy your product. Sounds simple enough, right? But believe it or not, since the dawn of the media age, EVERYTHING about advertising was about showing ads to as many people as possible and hoping that a few of the target customers were in the mix. But those days are fading fast. Now, it’s all about targeting ads to the specific demographic of people who might buy your product. Facebook calls this “Audience.” In Facebook you can actually upload your own targeted list of customers and leads and create Facebook ad campaigns for them to see … it’s pretty cool. But save that for later when you have a larger list of customers and people in your email marketing list. For now, select the locations you want the ad to appear. For example, if you ship to only the United States and Canada, make those selections. If you are doing a special ad to promote your physical store location, select your state and city. Next, you will get to choose an Age range, Gender, and the language spoken by the audience member. The next one is really important and powerful – Detailed Targeting. In Detailed Targeting you can actually type words that represent specific interests of your best possible customer prospects. For example, if you are selling maternity clothing to US customers, if your ads are appearing in the Facebook feeds of eighteen-year-old males in Germany you are wasting your money. But you can sue the following specifications for your target Audience: Location: United States Age: 20 – 35 (statistically prime childbearing years) Gender: Women Languages: English, Spanish Detailed Targeting: Motherhood, Maternity, Pregnancy Your ads will now only appear in the feeds of people who match those parameters. Makes sense, right.  You can also see that you have the ability to select “Connections.” This setting allows you to target people based upon their Connection to your Facebook page. This is something to think about when you get more experience. Placements Are Critical in Facebook Ads for eCommerce The next section gives you the choice of Placements. We think that this is especially critical, especially when you are just getting started. By default, Facebook selects “Automatic Placements (Recommended).” If you leave this checked, it means that Facebook can (and will) place you ads wherever they can. We DO NOT recommend that you leave it on auto. Bit if you select “Edit Placements” you will have the ability to tell Facebook to only place your ads in specific locations. Here's the deal ... if you leave it set to Automatic Placements, you will get more views. The problem is that – in our experience – those views are very low quality. Remember … you don’t want views, you want action. If you Edit Placements properly, we think you will get fewer views but more actual engagement and clicks and spend less money doing it. Since you are just starting out, we recommend that you limit your ad Placements to Facebook Feeds and Instagram Feeds. That’s it. Unclick all other boxes. Again – in our opinion –“Audience network” and “Messenger” ads are of no value to Shopify eCommerce merchants at all.  Leave “Device Types” and “Specific Devices & Operating Systems” set to “All Mobile Devices” (unless you are selling products for specific devices). The Bottom 20% Rule A lot of professional markets focus on A/B testing. In A/B testing you create two similar ads and run them both to see which one works best. It’s great and it’s an industry best practice. That’s fine when you have a little bit of experience and already have a general idea about what kinds of ad designs and theme work for your products. But when you are just starting out, you have no freaking idea. So we say, do A/B/C/D/E testing and rotate it. Don’t just create one ad. Create a bunch of different ads and run them all. Measure the results to find out what works and then adjust. Do some with humor and some straight. Do some with product images and some with lifestyle image. The point is that you will learn what works for your business by experimentation. We think a best practice for Shopify stores just starting out might look something like this: Create five different ads to start. Let them all run for two full weeks and divide you total Facebook ad budget equally between all of them. Start with a low budget and then slowly increase it as your confidence increases. Use the reporting/management area to measure and NOTICE the differences between what worked and what didn’t. Create one new ad and use it to replace the worst performer from the original set. Repeat, repeat, repeat. Keep creating one new ad and eliminating the weakest ad every two weeks for three full months. Eventually you will learn what kinds of ads are working the best for you and which ones don’t. Then you can decide to change the program and put more money behind your top performers … or not. The point is that you will learn. Getting Creative with Facebook Ads One of the hardest parts of doing something new is just getting started. How do you create an ad in the first place? Where do you get ideas for ads? Well, getting started with Facebook ads has never been easier because Facebook has made a bunch of changes recently. In response to problems with fake account advertising and other things, Facebook will now let you see the ads being run by anyone using their platform. This is SUPER helpful and SUPER easy. Go to the Facebook Search Bar at the top and type in the name of one of your competitors or an eCommerce company that you admire and go to their Facebook page. If it is set up properly as a business page, you will be able to click on “Info and Ads” and see all of the ads they are currently running. It's like a magic telescope into the ads of all your favorite brands. We are NOT saying that you should copy an ad directly. That’s just not right. We are saying that you can learn a lot about what kinds of ads are working for your competition and the larger businesses you admire and then use that inspiration to create your own campaigns. And if you need help creating ads, TaskHusky has a low-cost service that can make ads for you real fast. Time to Get Started with Facebook Ads for Shopify Stores These are the basic best practices to help you get started with Facebook ads. There are a ton more things to know and learn as you get into it, but this will help you get off on the right foot without wasting too much of your ad budget. /blogs/ecommerce-insights/getting-started-facebook-advertising-best-practices-for-shopify-websites //cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/1694/7383/articles/TaskHusky_blog_-_Editorial_Use_-_Facebook_Social_Media_Dashboard_Like_News_Feed_Timeline.jpeg?v=1535077305 TaskHusky new in stock 0.00 USD 26783449162 What’s Wrong with My eCommerce Site, Part 3: Pricing This is a part of our ongoing series of posts to help eCommerce merchants find out what’s wrong with their eCommerce website when things just aren’t working. Sometimes you get traffic, but you aren’t getting many orders. There are a lot of things that can prevent customers from completing orders on your site – including trust, perceived risk, page performance (speed), and a bunch of other things. We’ll get to all of those at some point in this series. But today we are going to focus on one of the hardest topics to tackle … your product pricing.  Your Product Pricing is Killing eCommerce Sales In preparing to write this article, I looked at tons of advice online about how to set product pricing. I’ve got to say it … most of that advice is just not good enough anymore. For example, I found a lot of sites that simply gave formulas and calculations on the different methods of setting a price. Most of them mentioned the practice of “key-stoning,” which is simply taking the base wholesale cost of your product and doubling it. They also almost always mentioned “manufacturers suggested retail price,” which is the price that a product supplier suggests that you sell it for. You might also see online posts discuss “loss leader” pricing (selling one things cheaper than normal to get the customer buying) and other kinds of discounting techniques. But here’s the problem. All those old-school rules-of-thumb are fine for physical retail bricks-and-mortar stores twenty years ago. But none of that matters today. Today, it is all about customer perception and competition. That’s it. And none of those pricing method “ideas” will help you. You need something more. Smartphones – the eCommerce Problem AND the Solution I love both conventional retailers and eCommerce folks. But I just can’t help myself. If I am in a physical retail store looking to buy anything more than $40, I find what I want to buy in the store and the reflexively whip out my iPhone and search for it online. If a trusted online vendor has the exact same thing for more than 5% less and free shipping, BOOM! Click, click, sale made. Otherwise, I buy from the store and take it home now. Heck, a lot of physical retail stores will even price-match based upon an online ad. Here’s the deal … almost EVERYONE does that these days. You probably do too. It’s worse when I am shopping “just” online. I’ll keep two or three browser windows open at a time to compare offers. It’s a hyper-competitive game that has nothing to do with “formulas” or profit margins of business plans. Consumers buy a combination of trust and total offer. The Basics – Do Your Pricing Research I know that it sounds simple, but we’ve found a lot of online entrepreneurs who do little or no competitive research on the products they want to sell. BEFORE you buy products to sell … really, before you launch your online store … go online and search for the products as if you wanted to buy them as a customer. Find the top online retailers selling the same products. Make a list of these retailers and visit their websites every single week. Compare their offerings to yours in every way (not just on price). Is their price competitive? Do they charge for shipping and, if so, how much? What is their return and exchange policy? If you found them online searching for products, chances are that many of your customers will find those folks the same way. So, ask yourself if you can compete at similar prices and offer details. I am not saying that you have to sell at a lower price in every circumstance. There are tons of ways to differentiate yourself and give a better experience that can make small differences in price less important. But you can’t be out of the ballpark (more on that in a minute). When Pennies Count Online In highly competitive product markets, sometimes pennies matter. It’s common knowledge that “99 pricing” is generally effective. That means that instead of pricing your product at $50, you price it at $49.99. On higher ticket items it means pricing the $500 product at $499. Yes … it seems simple and a little silly. But you can’t fight the science behind it and the fact that it DOES work. But there’s more ….  Since your online customers can easily compare prices side-by-side with a simple Google search – and since a lot of retailers know about “99 pricing” – I say try “89 pricing” … or “79 pricing” etc. Again, when you are dealing with high-volume, commodity type items, if you can capture an extra sale or two by shaving a dime or a dollar off the price you should do it. Negotiate for eCommerce Results Another thing that surprises me a lot is how few online retailers negotiate with their product suppliers. Now … if you are a small business eCommerce store selling Nike Apparel and Under Armour gear, you’re probably not going to get anywhere playing hardball with a billion-dollar company. But MOST product suppliers out there will work with you … IF … you are trust-worthy, sincere, fair, and if they believe in your business. When you find that your competition is selling below you, negotiate with your manufacturers or supplier. Once they get to know you, they will tell you how to get a better wholesale price that might translate into a more competitive retail price in your store. Differentiation - What Is It? “Differentiation” is a big word that marketers and economists use, but the idea is really simple. In a crowded marketplace, make sure that your offer looks different or better than the others. This is easier to do when you are selling truly unique products like artwork and crafts or clothes that you make yourself. You might also occasionally get an exclusive from a supplier. It’s impossible to comparison-shop products like that. But differentiation is harder to do when you are reselling mass-produced or commonly-available products. There can be lots of reasons that you can’t beat a competitor’s price. Maybe you can’t purchase at volume yet, so your unit and shipping costs are higher. Maybe everyone is paying exactly the same thing for the product. Maybe your overhead costs are higher. But even if you can’t beat a price, you might be able to beat them in total offer value. Entry-level SLR digital cameras do this a LOT online. The big manufacturers – Nikon, Canon – actually have their distributors sign special agreements and promise not to undercut certain pricing levels. So, to compete better, individual stores have assembled packages – especially on the entry-level cameras. They’ll include lenses, cases, tripods, and a bunch of other inexpensive add-ons for the same price. There is no reason you can’t do the same thing. Customers are even willing to spend a dollar or two more if they perceive that the value is a lot better.  Selling Yoga mats? Include a booklet of your favorite yoga poses and a work-out towel with the order. The towels can be purchased in bulk for less than a dollar each and creating printed pieces has never been more cost effective. Selling coffee machines? Include a pack of filters, a plastic coffee scoop, and a sample pack of flavored coffee – all inexpensive at wholesale. Now you're not just selling a coffee machine, you're selling “everything you need for the perfect cup of coffee delivered right to your door … just add water” for about the same price. Bounce-Back Coupons and Gift Cards If you can’t be competitive on a price, get as close as you can and then give them a premium offer. And the one I’ve seen work many times – especially during the holidays – is the bounce-back. The idea is that you convince the customer to spend a little bit more now and save more next time. You need to understand your product mix and your customers’ buying patterns, but a well-designed bounce-back can turn a small pricing dis-advantage into two sales for a double-win. Let’s say that you sell kitchen gadgets on your website and your warehouse is full of toasters that you sell as cheaply as you can for $29.99. You are doing your competitive research and discover that there is a competing store out there that sells the same toaster for $24.99 – five bucks less than you – and you can’t figure out how they do it and make any money. Well, the first thing to understand is that your competitor might NOT be making any money … they could be selling in desperation or ignorance about their real costs. But none of that matters because you are competing for the sale right here and now. Consider an offer that delivers a $10 gift card or coupon on the customer’s NEXT purchase. If the customer is a serious foodie that likes kitchen gadgets a lot (exactly the kind of customer you want) then they might perceive that your offer is less expensive than the other guy’s offer. The other guy might still get the one-off person who does not buy tons of kitchen gadgets, but you are going to get the repeat customer who does. And one of the little secrets of promotion is that a lot of those bounce-back offers are not redeemed. Either way, you have beaten the competition without having to beat them on the core "price" of the product. How to Set eCommerce Product Prices - Next Time Calculating a pricing strategy is a deep topic. In the last example we floated the idea that your competitor might be pricing in a way that just can’t be profitable. Don’t be that guy. Calculating your pricing strategy is actually a long process that you will only get good at over time as you discover which sales make you money and which ones don’t. Sometimes an entrepreneur discovers that they can’t compete on a certain product line until their volume increases, so they take the loss-leader hit for a while. Sometimes you determine that that product is not a good fit for your business and you close it out and move on. What that calculation looks like – and how the big eCommerce giants do it these days – is a topic for another post someday. Until then, thanks for reading. If you need help implementing a coupon, discount, or gift card app in your Shopify or BigCommerce store, let us know. We do that kind of stuff all the time. /blogs/ecommerce-insights/what-is-wrong-with-my-ecommerce-site-product-pricing-shopify-bigcommerce //cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/1694/7383/articles/TaskHusky_blog_-_Price_Tag_Scan_Commerce_eCommerce_Barcode_Purchase_Buy_Store.jpeg?v=1534258022 TaskHusky new in stock 0.00 USD 26765525066 eCommerce Authenticity - It Matters Let Me Tell You a Story I was traveling and had a layover, so I headed toward the airport food court. I passed three or four restaurant kiosks – a hot dog place, Mexican food, an Arby’s. The employees looked bored. I stopped at the hot dog stand first and was informed that there was a ten-minute wait for hot dogs. It seems that they forgot to turn on the roller-wheel-hot-dog-cooker contraction. How do you do that? Seems to me if you are in the sole business of selling hot dogs – “hot” being one of the operative words – that turning on the machine that makes them “hot” would be sort of automatic. But it was very clear that the employees were not overly concerned about the lack of sellable product. The staff at the Mexican restaurant seemed equally disengaged. The front counter person at Arby’s was pre-occupied with the monitor that displays the orders and how long it took to get it in the customer’s hands. I noticed that this particular employee was apparently assigned the important task of “tap the button WAY before you give the meal to the customer.” Obviously, he was gaming the clock to achieve some automated metric passed down from corporate. Then came the guy selling slices of pizza. He said hello as I walked up. He asked me what my favorite kind of pizza was. I asked him what was the best he had and he told me his favorites. I liked his attitude, so I ordered two slices. He warmed them up for me and served them with a smile. This is not “just” a story of good customer service. This guy wasn’t faking. He liked pizza, he liked working, and he liked people. It’s that last part that really won me over. I can smell a faker a mile off. This guy was authentic. What Authentic eCommerce Is We live in an age where everything is marketed as “authentic.” Quite honestly, I’ve had my fill of “old-school artisan hand-crafted” marketing spin. Don’t get me wrong … I love a good sales pitch. But when you eventually discover that “Ye ‘Ol Grandad’s Antiquarian Purveyor of Organic non-GMO Bespoke Almond Company” is run by a Harvard MBA with a nut allergy, the idea starts to lose its luster. Authenticity matters. Another True Story I love coffee. Really … my passion for the perfect espresso shot borders on the obsessive. I walked into what looked like a quaint, mom-and-pop coffee shop and was presented with an array of cleverly-named and beautifully packaged beans. When I asked the clerk what her favorite blend was for making espresso, I was informed that she didn’t like coffee and she added – with the unpleasant air of pseudo-superiority – “I drink tea.” At least she didn’t try to fake it. Who Are You (as an online merchant)? Several years ago, Saturday Night Live had a bit where David Spade played the part of a flight attendant who said nice things, but said them in a condescending and passive-aggressive way. After he had dealt nastily with a series of passengers, each would be dismissed with a terse “B’bye.” That skit worked because if you had ever done any flying on commercial airlines, you had met a few of these surly flight attendants. You just can’t fake it. Either you’re a people-person or you’re not. If you’re not naturally kind and empathic, saying kind and empathetic things sounds snarky no matter how hard to try, and you’re probably building up some internal stresses to boot. Here’s The Thing Ever have a friend tell you all about how much they hate their job and want to quit? People have their reasons for staying jobs like that. Sometimes the reasons are good ones, but more often than not, the reasons are bad ones. A lot of us have started eCommerce stores to build a future where we can get away from jobs like that. But sometimes it seems like people build businesses for themselves that they don’t really like in order to get away from jobs they don’t like. Running a business is hard enough. Whatever you’re selling, you are going to be around that product all the time. And you are (hopefully) going to be serving a lot of customers. You are going to be taking photos, writing product descriptions, and delivering customer service. If you are taking full advantage of the tools and opportunities that online retail offers, you are also going to be writing blog posts and using social media to showcase images and interact with interested folks. So, just imagine how much harder all of that is if you are “faking” your way through it. You will have a much better life if you like the products you are selling and the people you are serving. It will allow you to take a little pleasure in your work even on the crappy days. You will like the process of work as much as – if not more than – any amount of financial “success” that comes along with it. It’s just that simple. A Bit Of Patience Is Probably The Key Whatever you dreamed life would be like after you started your own eCommerce store, it’s probably a bit different in reality. That’s OK. General Dwight Eisenhauer famously said, “Plans are worthless, planning is everything.” He meant that the process of thinking and strategizing and organizing was vital, but that once a plan was implemented changes would ALWAYS need to be made. Your business is the same way. But if your goal was to achieve an arbitrary definition of “wealth” by selling gourmet herbal teas, when that “wealth” doesn’t arrive as fast as you planned, it can be tempting to add coffees, smoothie mixes, and a bunch of other stuff to your product lines because you saw someone else making a buck in that market. But if you do not like coffee, how are you even going to understand what good coffee is, what makes it a good value, or why bean terroir (growing climate and soil) matter? And are you even going to be happy doing it, or will you feel a little bit of resentment every time you get a coffee order? And what will all those smoothie mix products do for your tea-themed company brand? Brand Is As Brand Does Here’s where I have to be a little careful because – as an entrepreneur – you NEED to be flexible and experimental. But you also need to focus. It’s the entrepreneurial enigma. Experimenting with new products and services can be a really good thing that helps your business grow. But if are running “MotherEarthEnviroProducts.com” but – during the holiday shopping season – you add a bunch of virgin plastic fidget spinners because they are hot sellers … well, you might get a few extra bucks in revenue on Cyber Monday, but your regular customers will feel a little betrayed in the process. You’re going to hurt your brand in a meaningful way. And if you are a micro-business – like 90% of the Shopify and BigCommerce stores out there – and you truly believe that folks should purchase environmentally aware products, then you are going to feel like a little bit of a sell-out at the same time. So really, in this situation, nobody wins. But if you are in the business of selling Sci-Fi themed merchandise, then you can sell both the “Woven Hemp Vulcan Mind-Meld Bean-Bag” AND the “Methane-Powered Battlestar Galactica Plastic Bottle-Rocket.” Make sense? By the way, I think that both of those products would totally sell. I’m reminded of another Saturday Night Live skit starring Mike Meyers. The character ran a store called, “All Things Scottish” and their motto was, “If it’s not Scottish … IT’S CRAP!” Then one day he is joined by his son who wants to modernize and appeal to more customers, so they change the name of the business to, “All Things Scottish … And Pizza.” Yes, as the entrepreneur you have the huge burden of finding great products that will sell to your client-base, negotiating a good price, getting inventory, posting it all to your online store, and then marketing like a crazy-person. All I am saying is that you can’t afford to lose yourself in the process. In the long run, it’s better keep your day-job a bit longer as you build a solid, authentic business brand with a loyal community of customers using consistency, great service, hard work, and patience. Your customers will notice. Thanks for reading!   Saturday Night Live images credit NBC and SNL.com - fair editorial use. /blogs/ecommerce-insights/shopify-bigcommerce-ecommerce-authenticity-it-matters //cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/1694/7383/articles/Store_Entrepreneur_Open_Happy_Launch_Blue_Pretty_Owner_copy.jpg?v=1533223131 TaskHusky new in stock 0.00 USD 10724704330 This Time It’s Personal   We spend a lot of time on the TaskHusky blog talking about creating the perfect product images or describing a magical unboxing experience. We share our fun trips to conferences, like out time at Shopify Unite 2018 and the recent one to IRCE 2018. But today, we’re going to be a little different ... we are going to get really personal and share our inspiration. Things We Care About … A Lot The moment you visit the TaskHusky website, you likely get the impression we are crazy dog people. From our logo to our About Us page, our passion and affection for man’s best friend are pretty obvious. There are more dog toys and tennis balls scattered around the house then there are pictures on the walls. They’re everywhere. Oreo (the husky) and Dagwood (her brother and best friend) are the rulers of this castle and they know it. In short, they are what inspires us at TaskHusky. Your developer should be like a good dog – always available and happy to help. Oreo and Dagwood are more than just dogs to us. And they are more than “just” a part of our brand. They are members of our family and as far as we’re concerned, they are the ultimate best friends. They are always there when you need them and they don’t demand much back (other than lots of belly rubs). It’s no surprise that – when dealing with some of the toughest situations in life – we rely on them to have our backs. From seeing-eye dogs to emotional support and from search and rescue to K9 units, they’re the extra support we need. For Me, It’s More Than Personal When I was 15, my grandmother was diagnosed with breast cancer and a year later my Mom was diagnosed with stage IV stomach cancer. Unfortunately, we lost them both within months. It was the hardest time of my life. But, there was a dog named Maggie. She was there for every tear, every heartbreak, and always there to listen. That bond and love are a big part of what made me a crazy dog person. Fast forward a couple years and Oreo came into my life as a pup. As you know if you have a dog, you can’t just have one dog, they need a friend. One day browsing through the SPCA of Southwest Michigan website, I came across Dagwood. He was a five-year-old Shepherd-Lab mix. I fell in love with him, but I wasn’t able to bring him home at the time. A long six months crept by and he was still there. Being an older dog and an energetic 100 lbs, people passed him by. Like so many other older dogs, he wasn’t the ideal “adoption” candidate. Finally, one day I went down to see him again and he ended up coming home with me. He’s been with us for five years now. Just like Maggie all those years ago, Oreo and Dagwood are there for all my ups and downs. And that’s why we have supported the Society to Prevent Cruelty to Animals of Southwest Michigan (SPCASW), and other charitable organizations over the years. At the Intersection of Life, Work, and Love – Cause Collars What started as an idea to test the real-world eCommerce strategies and techniques we recommend to our customers and readers has blossomed into something a lot more. It’s also become a way for us to share our unbridled love of dogs and passionate to support them. Today - July 13th - is Oreo's birthday. Which makes it the PERFECT day to launch the new Buttwaggers line of beautifully designed dog collars & leashes on TaskHusky.com. It’s the perfect compilation of everything we care about … and you can be a big part of that too. Each one will have a custom design that supports and promotes awareness.. And the best part is that we’ll be donating 10% of each sale to reputable organizations.   We are super-excited about the launch of this project and the positive impact it can have. We hope you will join us and other pet-lovers in supporting these great organizations. We’d love to tell you more about it or answer any questions. Feel free to reach out to oreo@taskhusky.comand let us know. Thanks for reading! /blogs/ecommerce-insights/this-time-personal-giving-back-cause-collars //cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/1694/7383/articles/TaskHusky_-_Support_Charity_Heart_Give_Help_Social.jpeg?v=1531445796 TaskHusky new in stock 0.00 USD 10679222346 Dakota v Wayfair - What the Supreme Court Sales Tax Ruling Means for Your Shopify or BigCommerce Business The Court’s Reversal on eCommerce Sales Tax is Not as Bad as You Think We have been reading a long series of breathlessly written articles speculating that the recent Supreme Court ruling on eCommerce Sales and Use taxes equals the end of the internet as we know it! Fortunately for all of us, that’s just not true. Although the ruling is important, for now at least, smaller eCommerce businesses will likely remain unaffected because of existing state laws and minimum applicable thresholds at the state level called “economic nexus” (more on that in a minute). But tools and automation are in place to help every online Shopify and BigCommerce store quickly and easily comply, and TaskHusky can even set it up for you if you want. We’ll give you the complete run-down in this article.  But before we get started, we need to remind everyone that – even though we are experts in the Shopify and BigCommerce platforms for eCommerce, we are not attorneys and we do not give legal or tax advice. Make sure you read the disclaimer at the end of this article. Let’s get started …. The Dirty Secret – eCommerce Sales Taxes Have Been Around and Legal Since 1992 The World Wide Web was born in August of 1991. And eCommerce really didn’t come along until a few years later. Since then, the last twenty-five years have seen an eCommerce explosion and – if you have a Shopify or BigCommerce site – you are a part of that revolution. But believe it or not, the entire set of laws regarding sales tax on the internet have been operating according to a few Supreme Court rulings from 1967 and 1992 – before there were any online stores at all. In fact, those ruling were applied to cases regarding out-of-state mail order catalogs and phone sales. It’s likely that most – if not all – of the Supreme Court justices at the time had never even heard of the internet at that point. In a nutshell, those rulings said that one state could not force a business in another state to do anything at all – including force them to collect sales taxes. But the court ruled that a state COULD impose taxes and regulations on businesses and citizens located in their own states. That’s why the test for whether a business has to collect sales tax has been “physical presence.” But most states don’t call their sales tax a “sales tax.” They actually call it a “sales and use tax.” It’s an important difference and it has allowed states to charge the equivalent of sales tax on citizens as a “use tax” if they buy stuff out-of-state. They only do that now for super-big purchases and on businesses because – quite frankly – it’s ridiculously hard to collect sales taxes from individual people. So states just kept quiet about it, biding their time until they could find a way to cash in. Some think that this is their time.  How Does the Supreme Court Internet Sales Tax Ruling Impact Your Shopify or BigCommerce Store? Simply stated, if an eCommerce retailer is just doing business locally, they are already collecting and paying sales tax. None of this applies to you and you can go about your day. This new ruling only concerns eCommerce businesses in the United States that are selling products and services outside of their home state. And even then, it won’t apply to most small businesses unless they cross an important threshold called an “economic nexus.” What is an “Economic Nexus” and Why Do We Care? When you add up all the potential sales tax jurisdictions – including state, county, and city – there are more than 12,000 possible combinations. Each one can assign its own rate according to state laws. It’s potentially a freaking nightmare. Everyone agrees that this could be a huge problem. Even the new Supreme Court ruling points this out and suggests that states formalize an “economic nexus” definition covering their own state (or Congress can do it for them). The pointed to South Dakota as an example. An economic nexus is a threshold – go above this line and you have to collect and report sales tax; stay below it and you do not. It is universally agreed that if you are physically located within a state, you have to collect sales taxes for sales to customers in that state. But aside from that physical presence, South Dakota says that an out-of-state business does not have to collect sales taxes for their state until their yearly sales volume is equal to or greater than $100,000 or more than 200 sperate transactions per year. So, if you are located in Virginia, unless your sales into South Dakota alone exceed $8,333.00 or 16 transactions per month on average, you’re all clear. Technically, each state could set its own nexus point. But smaller states will likely just copy each other while big states will run the numbers and set their own. The way these kinds of things go, we will likely end up with about 20 or so nexus points which will make things a bit easier. But it also means that you could reach nexus in larger states like California, Texas, and Florida more quickly while not reaching nexus in smaller states. But this is so new that it’s impossible to speculate at this point. Things Could Change Again One of my favorite quotes about government comes from a Gideon J. Tucker. He famously said, “No man’s life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session.” The point is that up until now, state and local governments were prevented from changing up their tax laws with respect to internet sales. But now that the Supreme Court has reversed itself, things could change quickly. But fortunately, there are tools and automation services to help us get things done and stay in compliance. Tax Automation Services It doesn’t matter how large your eCommerce business is, you must make sure that you are compliant. And all that tax compliance covers a lot of data points across those 12,000 tax jurisdiction combinations. One thing seems fairly certain … you shouldn’t be staffing up and assume the liability for all of that complexity when there are perfectly good services and automation tools that will do it for you at a reasonable price. We found more than a dozen online services that claim to deliver just this kind of valuable service. We are not ranking them or playing favorites. But we have experience with two in particular that have worked out well and made our Shopify and BigCommerce merchants happy. TaxJar If you are looking for an up-and-coming, entrepreneurial service that is growing fast in the eCommerce space, take a look at TaxJar. They have good integrations for Shopify and BigCommerce and their accuracy and support are well regarded – starting at just $17 per month. We can help you install and activate their service if you need it. Here is a link to the TaxJar website: https://www.taxjar.com Avalara Avalara is the most established company specializing in eCommerce tax compliance. In fact, their sales tax service is included by default in nearly all major eCommerce platforms – including Shopify and BigCommerce. Pricing varies. If you need help activating Avalara in your shop, start a task and our developers can help you out. You can read more about Avalara on their website: https://www.avalara.com/us/en/index.html One More Thing … Potential Advantage for Small Businesses Remember that each state is going to set up their own “economic nexus” that determines when sales taxes must be collected. This nexus is defined by physical presence (an actual "real" location) and sales volume on the number of transactions and/or on total dollar amount. It’s fair to say that businesses like Amazon.com will EASILY reach this threshold in every single state. So that means that they will be required to collect sales taxes everywhere. But … This is not advice, but consider that a small business – which is normally at a significant disadvantage on pricing and costs when competing with Amazon and the big-box eCommerce stores – now have a small pull-back advantage. If their sales are below the thresholds set, then sales tax is not an economic factor for them. Just an interesting idea … but time will tell. Summary Although the new Supreme Court ruling feels earth-shaking, the reality is a bit more mundane. Most Small businesses will not be affected in the short term, and larger eCommerce stores have easy access to automation services to help businesses stay in compliance. Even better, if state and use tax applies to you, these automation services are fully integrated, have good reputations, and are very affordable … even for small operations. And if you are on the Shopify or BigCommerce merchant platforms you have us to help when you need it. In short, eCommerce is going to continue on just fine.  Additional Links and Resources Shopify wrote up two articles that support our current opinion on these matters, they’re worth reading too:https://www.shopify.com/blog/economic-nexus-ecommercehttps://www.shopify.com/enterprise/south-dakota-v-wayfair-economic-nexus BigCommerce wrote up two helpful pieces as well:https://www.bigcommerce.com/blog/south-dakota-v-wayfair/https://www.bigcommerce.com/blog/online-sales-tax-ruling/ Here is the New York Times piece on the topic:https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/21/us/politics/supreme-court-sales-taxes-internet-merchants.html Disclaimer This article and references are written around breaking eCommerce news as a free service to the community. It represents our experience and opinions only. Things are changing all the time and no doubt other experts will have other opinions. As new developments occur and as new information becomes available, we might change the way we think of things too. Importantly, we are not attorneys and we do not give tax advice, so we think that it is important to consult those professionals if you think that any of this applies to you and your business. Thanks for reading! /blogs/ecommerce-insights/dakota-v-wayfair-what-the-supreme-court-sales-tax-ruling-means-for-your-shopify-or-bigcommerce-online-store //cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/1694/7383/articles/Sales_Tax_Blogs_-_Supreme_Court_Ruling_Building_Plaque_Session.jpeg?v=1529979893 TaskHusky new in stock 0.00 USD 10674667594 TaskHusky at IRCE 2018 [Above: Zach and the Blues Brothers crew representing professional Shopify and BigCommerce task development by TaskHusky at IRCE 2018] TaskHusky On A Mission At IRCE 2018 In our mission to bring great small task development services to the universe of Shopify and BigCommerce stores of the world, last week we went to IRCE – the Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibit tradeshow. It … was … a … blast! We met up with existing partners and made some brand new friends – theme creators, app developers, and digital agencies who have customers that need a little help now and then. And a lot of individual Shopify and BigCommerce merchants stopped by to chat too. The tradeshow estimates that 6500 people attended the three-day event. And there were hundreds of booths. Shopify came BIG and put on a great show with a starship-themed booth for ShopifyPlus complete with special effects. BigCommerce was there too and even put on their own side-event called the Growth Summit – we stopped by for a visit there too. [Above: ShopifyPlus had a huge "Starship" booth at IRCE this year] Representing Pro Development Services at IRCE We’ve gone to a lot of Shopify events and we also attended the BigCommerce Growth Summit, but this was our first time attending and exhibiting at a big, international eCommerce event like IRCE. And as you can see, we made sure that everyone had a great time. We had the Blues Brothers in our booth – hey … it’s Chicago! They were there to make sure that everyone who wanted to got a great, memorable selfie. Everyone got a pair of our awesome TaskHusky sunglasses to take home while we introduced them to who we are and what we do. [Above: Our TaskHusky table with those Oh-So-Bluesy sunglasses] And that was really interesting too. We told everyone that TaskHusky makes eCommerce problems go away. We fix the issues and make the website tweaks that agencies and big developers don’t want to do … and that’s why everyone loves us. It’s a special niche, and we fill it professionally with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. What made that so interesting to me is how people embraced that simple message and commented back to us. So, without further ado, here are: The Top Ten Comments Made About TaskHusky at IRCE 2018 “Oh I get it … you didn’t build the house, but you’ll come and fix my fence.” Yep. We’ll even install the fence if you want. “You’re like the Uber for Shopify!” Never thought of it that way, but sure. Start a task when you need us, we’ll leave you alone when you don’t. But all of our developers are full-time with us. “Sounds like personal tech support.” Right. But only for Shopify and BigCommerce stores. Specializing on platforms keeps us efficient and costs low. “Unlimited revisions and no contract? Sounds too good to be true.” We hear that a lot. But it’s true. The task isn’t done until you’re satisfied. “I want new header images and specials formatted and installed every week … I could just set that up as tasks and you’ll do it?” Sure … love to help. “You’re like a website handyman.” Exactly … but we work over the magical internet and don’t get to wear those cool toolbelts. “Theme updates always break stuff … you fix that?” All the time. It’s one of the most common tasks we do. “You guys have the best booth at IRCE.” The customer’s always right. But our service is even better.  :-) “That’s way cheaper than the agency.” They’re not set up to handle small tasks. We stay in our lane. That’s why agencies and development shops love us and send us customers. “I need you!” Yes … yes you do.  ;-) Bringing Our Shopify and BigCommerce Message to the People Things worked out so well that we are going to try to outdo ourselves at IRCE again next year. If you got your photo taken with the Blues Brothers in our booth this year, you can look at all the photos – and download yours – on this special IRCE gallery page:https://www.taskhusky.com/pages/irce  If you are a digital agency, theme creator, or app developer and want to talk about how partnerships with TaskHusky work, check out our Partners Page:https://www.taskhusky.com/pages/partner-with-taskhusky If you are the owner or admin of a Shopify or BigCommerce store and want to get a task done, just start a task and we’ll get‘er done. Thanks for reading! /blogs/ecommerce-insights/taskhusky-at-irce-2018-shopify-bigcommerce-event //cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/1694/7383/articles/TaskHusky_at_IRCE_-_Blog_Header.jpeg?v=1529002540 TaskHusky new in stock 0.00 USD 10668769354 Shopify Unite 2018 Overview – What You Need to Know and Why It’s Important A Complete Overview of Shopify Unite 2018 Since we are official Shopify Experts, a few weeks ago we had the opportunity to attend the big Shopify Unite 2018 event in their home-town of Toronto. This is an event for developers, so there were sessions and content specifically geared toward Shopify Theme creators, App Developers, System Integrators, Website Developers, and supporting developers like us at TaskHusky. But there were a TON of announcements about coming products and services that can make a real difference to eCommerce businesses. Well, there’s no reason to keep all that news a secret, so we are going to share with you what we believe to be the highlights that you care about (see bullet list below) and keep all the boring technical stuff to ourselves (API changes, development SDKs, app opportunities, etc.). There is no way to capture everything because we simply couldn’t see every presentation – but here’s our list of the top stuff and a few comments along the way: Review of Last Year’s Accomplishments Huge International Push Multi-language Interface International Currencies International Payments A few Missing Pieces Shopify POS Unified Views New Hardware – chip reader Here’s a Tip What Was the Price of that Again? Hello Dynamic Checkout Process! Marketing Admin Portal Advanced Discount Types More Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality = “Augmented Retail” Shopify Gets Real … as in a Physical “Shopify Store-Store” Review of Shopify Last Year Shopify CEO Tobi Lütke opened up the event with a keynote that reviewed some of the biggest accomplishments from last year. As Shopify developers that work with front-line Shopify entrepreneurs every day, we know what we think was important and what our customers think was important. But it’s interesting to see what the top brass at Shopify thinks was important. On that score, we largely agree. Lütke talked about total number of stores, total sales across the Shopify platform, number of app sales, etc. All that was great and spoke to the audience of Shopify partners in attendance. But he also specifically mentioned the growth of multi-channel opportunities on the Shopify platform. He called-out the Amazon and eBay sales channel integrations for special mention. These are a big deal indeed. If you want to read more about those developments, read our article about the eBay and Amazon sales channels here. Side note: Strangely missing – IMHO – was any mention of the Shopify Arrive App which I have used and really like. Maybe because they are still working on the understandable plethora of additional email integration issues. I still think that it was a top-tier development from 2017, and you can read about it here. Huge Shopify International Push Multi-Language Admin Interface for Shopify We have a bunch of Shopify development customers who speak English as a second language. So when Shopify made the announcement that six international languages were coming to the Admin interface this year, we knew a bunch of people would take notice. No doubt, Shopify leadership is eyeing the huge overseas eCommerce entrepreneurship market for this platform as well. First up are French, German, and Japanese which should arrive this summer. Then, likely in Q4, Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, and Italian follow. There are a lot of analytics and strategy that went into choosing these six languages and which ones to work on first – including things like existing Shopify customer base, projected market, and competitive landscape for eCommerce platforms. I have seen numbers from other sources and think that their analysis is spot on here.  Shopify to Support International Currencies for All Merchants This is pretty cool. Again – soon to be available on all Shopify plans – merchants can opt to let customers pay in their native currency format via Shopify Pay. To be clear, the VAST number of Shopify stores do not (yet) sell internationally. It’s a huge headache for oh-so-many reasons. This feature addresses one of the headaches on the customer-side and the merchant-side. If you turn on this feature and use Shopify Pay, you can select currencies to support. Then the customer will automatically see the currency associated with their region and buying habits. The Shopify platform will do the currency conversion at the going rates and even round the resulting price so that the customer sees a nice – retail pretty – price in their native currency. Again … this is super-cool. If the customer buys, then you get your deposit on the same regular schedule with the rest of your Shopify Pay deposits. And the system will be fully integrated with accounting reconciliation. Boom! Shopify Pay Accepts Overseas Payment Methods This is another really valuable feature. The Shopify Pay team has just done a lot of hard work here.  In the US and Canada we are so used to seeing Visa, Mastercard, PayPal, and ApplePay (etc.) that we sometimes forget that most of the world does not use those payment systems. There are simply dozens of bank transfer and chat-pay systems that we just have no clue. And if you are a smaller merchant, there is no way to get all those things set up at reasonable rates on your own. Just like with currency conversions, you do not have to implement this. But if you use Shopify Pay and do, the customer will automatically see the payment gateway systems that they know and are comfortable with. This will lower the friction of the transaction. And these payments via overseas gateways will integrate with Shopify’s fulfillment and fraud management functions. I don’t know about you, but I have logged in to a few Asian eCommerce sites. Sometimes the payment button is for “Alipay” (from Chinese eCommerce giant Alibaba). I do not have an Alipay account and have no intention of getting one anytime soon. I imagine that a customer in Southeast Asia might feel the same when visiting a North American eCommerce site. So I get the value proposition. As eCommerce becomes even more global over the next few years, the value of this hard work will start to be recognized. Both the currency conversion and international payment gateway features will start with the currencies and payment gateways of Western Europe and Southeast Asia. A Few Missing Pieces All this international stuff … really, really great. Seriously. But there are a few missing pieces that I have to believe Shopify is working on. Both are related to overseas shipping. Not only is it hard to get overseas shipments sent at anything close to a reasonable cost, but there are legal import/export/customs requirements and paperwork galore, and they are different everywhere. Shopify kind of side-stepped those issues for the moment, but I get the impression that they are working on it. In my opinion, the first step is to get it going in the EU. That is the easiest problem to solve since the EU has a more unified set of related regulations. Once you get a package passed customs into any EU country, you’re kind of home-free since shipping between EU countries does not require much more paperwork. If I were to guess, I would say that Shopify needs to get a distribution warehouse in a friendly EU country and get blanket paperwork for that location. Then arrange for a logistics partner to streamline things in and out of that location. Once that proof of concept is done, the next stops should be Japan and Brazil. But I will trust that the top folks at Shopify will take this suggestion and run with it … because I’m certain that they read all of my blog posts.  :-) Shopify Point of Sale (POS) If you are new to Shopify POS, it’s the on-premise payment system offered to physical merchant locations. It’s basically a software-driven cash register linked to your inventory that you can run from your iPhone, iPad, or Android device. At the conference, Shopify bragged – deservedly – that more than 70,000 stores were using the Shopify POS system last year. They announced three big things about the Shopify POS that you should be aware of. Unified Orders View The biggest change to Shopify POS is the new “Unified Views.” What this means is that the POS system is now linked across all your sales channels and – if you have more than one location – all of your physical stores too. You will be able to “see” the inventory everywhere it exists and manage sales and shipments from any sales channel. Have a physical store selling T-shirts and the customer in front of you wants it is X-tra large? You can see if another store has that size. Get an online order for the gray leather handbag? You can print out the shipping label to the location where it’s in inventory and ship it directly from there. This is the kind of technology solution usually reserved for enterprise organizations. Now, you can have it too. New POS Hardware Currently, the Shopify POS has a swipe-and-chip reader available. Coming soon is a chip-and-tap payment device that is completely wireless and Bluetooth compatible so that you can actually walk around the store with it if you want to or just plug it into a base station. It will accept all major tap-to-pay systems like ApplePay, GooglePay, etc. Shopify Has Tip for You This announcement sent a cheer through the crowd that I did not expect. The Shopify POS system will now allow customers to tip store staff. The cheering in the crowd means that life for all the coffee shops, service businesses, and food vendors just got a little bit better. Shopify POS Price … Say What? Previously, the swipe-and-chip reader available to physical retail stores cost $49. Now it will be free with the Shopify POS system. The new chip-and-tap reader (which does look pretty cool) will be $49. And here is the BIG news …. Previously, adding the POS system to your Shopify store cost an $49 per month for the “retail package.” That retail package will now be no extra charge. If you have a paid Shopify account, you can add the “retail package” with the basic swipe-and-chip reader for no extra cost at all.  [Shopify product team drops the microphone and struts off stage.] Shopify Dynamic Checkout On day one, Director of User Experience (UX) – Cynthia Savard Saucier – demonstrated the new “Dynamic Checkout.” Fancy name aside, this is a new simplified purchase checkout option that – if the demo is to be believed – can cut the checkout time down to a mere 8 seconds. Shopify must really be tired of everyone explaining Shopify developments by comparing them to competitors and such. But in this case, there is simply no escaping it. Because Shopify Dynamic Checkout works just like Amazon 1-Click. But that’s NOT a criticism … that’s a HUGE compliment. It integrates with ApplePay and Shopify Pay and such and “remembers” where customers ship to most often and the payment type that they most often use and pre-enters all that info and authentication in the cart. Then it’s a simple matter of using the fingerprint of facial identification on the smartphone to complete the transaction. They are calling this effort a drive toward the “checkout-less checkout” – a completely frictionless system. And yes, it works and it’s cool. Marketing Admin Portal Another part of Cynthia’s presentation was a new marketing administration portal. She didn’t call it that, but that’s kind of how it works. It is a way to manage ads and promotions from one central location in the Shopify admin interface. Importantly, it has an open API (Application Program Interface). That is an acronym that basically means app developers can write code in their apps that communicates with Shopify about marketing things. It also puts Shopify in the driver’s seat for ad-spend. The presentation had screen-captures and text taking about getting help choosing advertising purchases, doing basic SEO, setting up retargeting campaigns, and setting up promos. She even said that the system can make recommendations about specific ad buys. But the system was not demoed, so we didn’t get to really see it in action. I get the feeling that it is not quite ready for prime time and that Shopify is going to rely on third-party app developers to build on top of it. And that’s fine. We’ll see what comes from it. Advanced Discount Types The one part of the marketing administration area that was immediately recognized as a significant value was the new advanced discount types. This TOTALLY makes sense. Merchants will now have the ability to quickly and easily set up Buy-One-Get-One (BOGO) offers, quantity discounts, percentage discounts, free shipping promos, etc. And this is one of those things that merchants have been asking for a long time. The best part was the promise that this new marketing portal and advanced discount types would be included in all Shopify plans. Shopify Augmented Retail It’s no secret that Shopify has been focused on bringing Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality to the platform. My first exposure to the possibilities here was in the Ikea app. That app recognized surfaces and allowed you to virtually “place” Ikea furniture in a room as viewed through your smartphone or tablet. It’s pretty cool. Shopify envisions bringing this technology to the small merchant. They ran a recorded demo – actually rather well-done – to show the possibilities. And they had an actual demo studio set up at the event, so you know that they are putting a lot of effort into it. First off … let me say that this is really neat and it’s a technology with an important place in the future of retail. But all that virtual reality takes a LOT of work to make happen. It starts with the 3D display platform – let’s call that done, because we saw the demo and it runs on modern smartphones and web browsers. But the next thing is that all those products have to be digitally scanned by specialized equipment and rendered into 3D models. At the event, Shopify was actively asking for partners to start doing just that for retailers. I have to be honest … that’s going to be a tough sell. It means that a small online retailer would have to send their product to a 3D Imaging Partner, and then that partner would have to upload it into Shopify’s 3D image library and send the product back to the merchant. That is a lot of time and expense. You need volume and resources to make it happen. Bigger shops can do it right now. If Shopify is reading this (and why wouldn’t they, it’s blogging GOLD) I suggest that they approach product folks first. In my experience, most online stores get at least some of their product images from the manufacturers. Sure … everyone wants to get a fancy digital camera and set up a studio in their garage and buy a white screen and green screen, and then get a lighting kit, and then edit all those images …. see what I mean? That’s why manufacturers provide images a lot of the time – especially for smaller merchants. My guess is that Shopify’s vision of “Augmented Retail” will gain tipping-point adoption when enough product suppliers include the 3D Imaging Models with their promo kits … just like they do now with basic product images.  A Shopify “Store-Store” Shopify also announced that they will be opening a real, actual “location” this year. They called it, “Shopify Going Multi-Channel.” They showed architectural renderings of a physical store where existing and prospective retail entrepreneurs could come in to get advice and purchase Shopify (subscriptions) and products (card readers, etc.). They did not give a location or opening date. No one I spoke to seemed sure what need this would fill, how they would choose an optimal location, or how it would make things better or different. So, I will just leave this revelation here at the end of this article without further comment. Shopify Unite 2018 Was Great I need to make sure that I mention that the entire Shopify team did a really great job on Shopify Unite 2018. I have been to more than a hundred technology and platform events over the years – literally ... a lot of them. The event was well organized and thoughtful. Production values were good, branding was spot-on, the WiFi worked (you’d be surprised), catering was really good, people were friendly, and the location was fun and unique. So as I write this article I raise my glass to them all and say, “well done!” I hope that I get the opportunity to go again next year. If you have any questions or need help setting up or tweaking your eCommerce store, just let us know. We are always glad to help and look forward to working with you. Thanks for reading. /blogs/ecommerce-insights/shopify-unite-2018-overview-what-you-need-to-know-and-why-important //cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/1694/7383/articles/Shopify_Unite_Main_Stage.JPG?v=1527996530 TaskHusky new in stock 0.00 USD 10661298250 GDPR Compliance Checklist for Shopify and BigCommerce If You Are a Shopify or BigCommerce Merchant, Here’s What You Need to Know About GDPR Right Now You’ve probably seen it all over the news and maybe even received emails warning you about the impending implementation of GDPR. Yes, there are lots of changes and important things for eCommerce merchants to consider. But it’s not big and scary. In reality it’s a new set of laws and regulations that make a lot of sense. All of the articles and guidance you see online mentions that this is very new law, and that the information provided does not constitute legal advice. We say the same thing about this article. That said, after some basic information, this article provides a basic 9-point GDPR Checklist to help Shopify and BigCommerce merchants get to compliance. What is GDPR and Why Does it Matter? “GDPR” stands for “General Data Protection Regulation.” It was adopted a few years ago to expand and supplement previous consumer data protection laws cover the European Union. You are hearing a lot about it in the news now because it goes into full effect on May 25, 2018. We give a lot of details at the end of this article about specific rules and regs in the GDPR, but everything boils down to this: The GDPR states that each individual person owns their data no matter how individuals and businesses collect it and no matter what clauses exist in their website terms of service. Does GDPR Apply to Your Shopify or BigCommerce Store? Legally, GDPR applies to residents of the EU. But the GDPR likely applies to you and your business no matter where you are located. There are two reasons for this. The first is that GDPR is widely viewed as a successful and reasonable set of regulations to protect online shoppers and internet users. Already, governments outside of the EU are drafting legislation of their own using GDPR as the model. We suspect that substantially similar – and even identical – regulations will be in place soon in many countries. The second reason that GDPR applies to you and your eCommerce store is that the rules don’t apply just inside the EU. There are some questions around enforcement, but the rules apply to all EU residents whether or not the individuals (referred to as “data subjects”) are in the EU at the time they visit your site. And it also doesn’t matter if your site is hosted in the EU. This law – at its core – is about protecting the data rights of individual citizens, and that’s something we can all support, right? So, because of those two reasons, we say that GDPR applies to every business website … period. And since there are potential financial penalties involved, we all have to pay attention. Fortunately, Shopify and – to some extent – BigCommerce are on-the-ball with their platforms and make it easier for their merchants to comply. Enhanced Rules for Acquiring eCommerce Data Consent Under the old rules, a business could put a few clauses in their website terms of service and put a cookies notification on their website and probably be in compliance. The new rules are greatly strengthened. If your website is collecting data about a customer – any customer – there needs to be a clearly visible consent notification and it needs to link to a clearly-written, easy to understand policy that states what specific data is being collected and how it is going to be used. New Individual User Rights In the GDPR for Data Subjects As we’ve said above, a “data subject” could be anyone who visits your site. If you use tracking pixels and cookies, this applies even if they never fill out a form or make a purchase. The new rules give data subjects the following rights: Data Breach Notification – if there is a breach or if your website or third-party apps are hacked, you have to let everyone who might be impacted know within a specific time period of when you discover the breach. Right of Data Access – all of your site users and customers have the right to see and even get a copy of all the data you collect on them. Data Portability – customers and visitors can take that data and give it to someone else … even a competitor of yours if they want to. We don’t see this as a huge risk. Data Erasure … “The Right to Be Forgotten” – this means that if a customer or visitor requests it, you have to delete all of the information that you have about them from your files and systems (except data that you are otherwise required to keep by law such as revenue and taxes collect, etc.). Remember ... GDPR is built on the concept that the person – the data subject – owns the data about themselves, so they have control of it. “Privacy by Design” – The Importance of the Platform One of the big advantages for Shopify and BigCommerce merchants is that they are responsible for maintaining the core architecture and infrastructure. GDPR require privacy and security provisions to be built into the core systems. As a merchant on a managed platform you don’t have to worry about that side of it. But you do have to worry about how you hand data, your privacy policy, and how data might be handled by any third-party apps that your site has installed. The terms that GDPR uses for this difference is “data processors” and “data controllers.” Shopify and BigCommerce are data processors, and you are a data controller because you tell the platforms what to do and when to do it.  Which brings us to our GDPR eCommerce Compliance Checklist. GDPR Compliance 9-point Checklist for eCommerce Sites on Shopify and BigCommerce 1)  Review Your Third-Party Apps #1 – Delete Unused Apps First things first … since we help so many Shopify and BigCommerce sites with development projects and performance improvements, we have seen hundreds of sites that have lots of unused apps installed. This is perfectly natural. Entrepreneurs like to experiment and try to things to improve. But even if they are not “active,” take this opportunity now to uninstall anything that you are not using and getting value from. It is a good idea to get rid of unused apps on a regualr basis on a regular basis anyway (improves site performance). The TaskHusky team can help you with app deletion if you need it (start a task). 2)  Review Your Third-Party Apps #2 – App Inventory and Documentation Al the third-party apps and themes that you want to keep will have their own privacy policies. Download copies of them and store them in a safe file on your computer. Make a list of these apps and note their GDPR statements, including what data they keep and how to contact them if you get a data request from one of your site visitors. Shopify is requiring that all apps post a privacy policy, so that helps. And if the theme or app is owned or controlled by Shopify, they are taking the responsibility to make sure that they comply. If a third-party app of theme does not have a privacy policy or is not GDPR compliant, you might need to replace them to be compliant. 3)  Sales Channels You can bet that if you are using Amazon, eBay, or Facebook as sales channels they are on top of this GDPR change-over. You still need to document them in your privacy policy, but those big guys will likely have their GDPR act together. If you are using other sales channels and affiliate services, you have to verify that they are GDPR compliant. 4)  Payment Gateways Same goes for payment gateways. Shopify Pay is reporting compliance, and so are PayPal and the other big services. But still get their documentation in your files to keep yourself safe. If you are using a smaller payment gateway service, take a hard look at their GDPR policies and statements and – if they don’t have any, you have to act on that. 5) Product Drop Shippers and Logistics Vendors A lot of Shopify and BigCommerce stores use drop shipping suppliers that ship directly to your customers. They need to be complaint too. Ditto if you are sending your products to a third-party logistics/delivery company 6)  Make a List, Check It Twice Gather a complete list of all the personal information that you collect about your customers and site visitors AND all the kinds of information collected by your apps, themes, sales channels, payment gateways, product drop-shippers, and logistic companies. You will need to include it in your revised privacy policy. 7)  Appoint a Data Protection Officer Even if you are a one-man shop, GDPR needs to have you create a point of contact for regulators and the public. That can be you, or it can be an employee. But this person has to have real authority to ensure compliance with GDPR and – if they are negligent – they can be held accountable. This info needs to be included in your new privacy policy. 8)  Revise Your eCommerce Privacy Policy Now that you have this comprehensive list of the kinds of data collected by your site and all the services running on your site, you have to include this list in your privacy policy telling potential visitors and customers what data you might be collecting if they visit your site or place an order with you. Some of that data will be the same. For example, the customer’s name and shipping address might be collected by you and several of your apps and services (you only have to list it once). You also need to let people know that they can request a copy of their data and even have their data deleted. And you need to provide them a written, easy-to understand and follow set of instructions on how to get those things done that aligns with your internal process to actually do them. This will include the contact info (usually an email address) of your Data Protection officer if they need help or have a question. To be clear, unless you are a big company with high volume, we think that these kinds of requests are going to be few and far between. But you need to understand that you are obliged to have these policies and be ready to comply. If you are on the Shopify eCommerce platform, then the Shopify Privacy Policy Generator can help, and even include the required information from Shopify as far as their data collection practices. 9)  Gaining Customer Consent in GDPR Whenever you are collecting information, the customer must be empowered. This means that in all cases, consent must be: Freely given – which means not coerced, tricked, or bundled with other things. Specific – you must clearly identify why that info is being collect and why it’s important. Informed – you must tell folks how that information will be used. Clear and Unambiguous – writing things in simple, everyday language that can be easily understood (no “fine print” or “legalese” allowed). For example, if you are collecting email addresses for your marketing campaigns your opt-in form must state that the email will be used for marketing, promotions, special offers, etc. You can’t just say “get our newsletter” because that’s not super-clear.  More Shopify and BigCommerce Resources for GDPR Don’t let all of this overwhelm you. It seems like a lot, and sure, it’s going to be work that you may not “want” to do. But it’s important and as time goes on customers are going to want to see businesses comply with GDPR and similar regulation because everyone wants to have data privacy and protection. There is a lot more information online. You can read Shopify’s guidelines and instructions here, and you can access BigCommerce’s help files on GDPR here. And there are some other, less-common requirements – such as special rules for websites that do business with children – so we have also included a more general listing of links and external resources below if you want to dive deeper into the regulations for all kinds of websites and businesses. Thanks for reading. Additional GDPR Links and Resources A searchable, digital version of the new GDPR requirements and regulations: https://gdpr-info.eu The official GDPR website for reference: https://www.eugdpr.org A summary of the GDPR on Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Data_Protection_Regulation A summary of the preceding EU data privacy directive on Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Data_Protection_Directive An article in The Guardian newspaper in the UK that provides a good overview: https://digitalguardian.com/blog/what-does-gdpr-mean-for-you Shopify GDPR Guidance for Merchants: https://help.shopify.com/manual/your-account/GDPR/GDPR-merchants Shopify’s GDPR White Paper: https://help.shopify.com/assets/pdfs/gdpr-whitepaper.pdf BigCommerce GDPR Help Files: https://support.bigcommerce.com/articles/Public/General-Data-Protection-Regulation BigCommerce’s Privacy Policy: https://www.bigcommerce.com/privacy/   /blogs/ecommerce-insights/gdpr-checklist-shopify-bigcommerce-compliance //cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/1694/7383/articles/TaskHusky_blog_ost_-_GDPR_Complaint_Compliance_Mobile_Phone_iPhone_Computer_Regulation_Law_EU.jpeg?v=1526783922 TaskHusky new in stock 0.00 USD 10651598922 What Is Wrong with My eCommerce Site, Part 2: Image ALT Tag SEO This is a part of our series of posts to help eCommerce merchants figure out what’s wrong with their eCommerce website when things just aren’t working. If you are a customer of ours, you know that we offer complete website teardowns to help eCommerce entrepreneurs. We provide a fresh set of eyes and walk through the entire site and deliver a detailed report with specific recommendations based up on our experience. I do a lot of these website teardowns, and there is one common needed – I would even say vital – recommendation that I have to include in 90% of the reports that I write …. Your eCommerce Images Are Killing Your SEO First, let me get a few things out of the way. Images are crazy-important for eCommerce. This has been well established. In fact, in previous blog posts we have provided resources for finding the best free eCommerce images on the web and then specific instructions on how to prepare them for your site so they look great and load fast (we provide links to those resources below). The good news is that those messages seem to have gotten through and – even though there are exceptions – most of the time I am finding that product images are formatted fairly well these days. That’s great, but …. When I start a website teardown I send out a questionnaire that – among other things – asks what the website owner wants to accomplish. More traffic is almost always one of their top objectives. And tons of websites are leaving piles of SEO gold on the table. An Introduction to Files Names and ALT Tags for eCommerce Images If you are using computer, you probably understand with a file name is. When you take a picture with your digital camera or even your cellphone, the hardware assigns a default file name to that image in order to keep them organized. Take a look at the photo below. It’s a fully-licensed image that I downloaded from iStock – a paid-for image subscription service. Now that I’ve downloaded it, I can see that it is “named” as follows: iStock-627428718.jpg But how I found it is the important thing. To locate this image, I typed “blue purse” into the search field on the iStock website. iStock has “tagged” this image with a bunch of potential search criteria to help their customers – like me – find the kinds of images we are looking for. They know that there is no chance that I will type “627428718” as a search term. So, they have attempted to figure out how an actual human would ask for it. Here are the search tags that they have applied to this particular photo: Blue Handbag, Stock image, Purse, Bag, Blue, Change Purse, Leather Makes sense, right? Well, Google tries to do the same thing. Images are an important part of how Google gauges the relevancy of your website to the text of the search. How Image ALT Tags Began Back in the days of dial-up internet and pterodactyls when I was a young techie, ALT tags were used to display a description of the image in plain English if the website timed out before the image loaded or the resource was unavailable. That’s where we get the term “ALT.” It was the “alternate” display if the image failed to load. Then it became an important factor in website accessibility because sophisticated website automation-readers would read the image description out loud to internet users with diminished eyesight (which is why many larger sites are required to have logical ALT tags by law). Over the years, Google has embraced these little bits of computer code to help them deliver search results that make sense. That’s how we got where we are today.  Shopify eCommerce Image Uploads By Default I am going to use Shopify as an example because that’s the platform I spend most of my eCommerce time in, but this is true of all eCommerce platforms. If you simply upload the example image above into your Shopify eCommerce site as a product to sell, it will appear in the website code something like this: <img src="//cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/1234/5678/products/product-image-iStock-627428718.jpg?v=1234567891" alt=" "> Yes, it’s a boring string of numbers that only a computer could love. This doesn’t “hurt” your SEO … unless your competitors are smart. If your competitors are smart, they have managed the image information to beat you at the SEO game. But you CAN win this game.  Smart eCommerce Image ALT Tags Start as File Names No matter how you got that image or where it came from, when you have a new image to upload the first thing you should do is name it logically. Now I understand that having that original file name (or number) in there might be important. It can prevent duplicate image names and help you locate the original image in your files if you ever need it. But creating a new logical file name will make the whole process of maximizing you SEO easier. The first thing you should do is make a copy of the image. Keep the original in an archive folder, preferably on a thumb drive, online backup service, or separate device. Then rename the copy to something searchable while keeping the original photo number in the name. For example: Original File Name “iStock-627428718.jpg” Potential New File Name “Blue-Handbag-Purse-Bag-Change-Leather-iStock-627428718.jpg” In this case, if you are uploading multiple views of the same product, you can differentiate them by adding words like “front” and “top” the name. Separating each key search word with a hyphen is important in the file name because all computers “see” file names without spaces in them. Then, when you upload the image to Shopify or another modern eCommerce platform, you will see that you have the option to add either an ALT tag or a description. For this text, I say keep it easy by reusing the file name without the added, non-searchable bits and remove the hyphens. Then save as usual. Now when you upload the image it will appear in the code something like this: <img src="//cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/1234/5678/products/product-image-Blue-Handbag-Purse-Bag-Change-Leather-iStock-627428718.jpg?v=1234567891" alt="Blue Handbag Purse Bag Change Leather"> Take a good look at that code. Google’s spider-bots don’t “see” the picture of the product (they’re working on that, but they don’t yet). What those Google spider-bots “see” is that code snippet, and that’s one of the very important things they use to figure out if your eCommerce website is relevant to the search being performed. When a customer searches for a “blue leather handbag” online, you will have a much better chance of scoring that visit if you have taken care of this in advance. And there is a HUGE side benefit. Organizing and aligning your image file names and ALT tags this way will also help you keep them organized AND SEARCHABLE on your computer if you need to find them again. eCommerce SEO, A Beginning There are a lot of other things that are important to eCommerce SEO. We may cover those in future posts. But eCommerce image file names and ALT tags are the most common missed opportunity that we see in our website reviews which makes it a PERFECT topic for this entry in our “What Is Wrong with My eCommerce Website” series. If you need help adding ALT tags to your eCommerce website and product images – or if you want a thorough website teardown review – start a task and we’ll help you get started. Additional Links and Resources on This Topic Here is a list of additional resources and sources for more information (click the titles below):  Our Blog Post, “The Best LEGAL Sites on the Web for FREE eCommerce Marketing Images and Photos” Our Blog Post, “A Practical eCommerce Guide to Perfect Product Photos” "Google Image Publishing Guidelines" /blogs/ecommerce-insights/what-is-wrong-with-my-ecommerce-site-part-2-image-alt-tag-seo //cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/1694/7383/articles/TaskHusky_Blog_-_Product_Photo_Photography_Image_eCommerce_Sell_Selling_Online_Store_Lighting_copy.jpeg?v=1525143698 TaskHusky new in stock 0.00 USD 10639638602 The Product Reveal Experience – Thinking About the Box There’s a common cliché that says, “Think outside the box.” We’ve all heard it. It means getting your head out of the status quo and group-think and trying to innovate. But the truth is, if you are selling things online, you should be spending a lot of time thinking ABOUT the box More importantly, you be thinking out-of-the-box about the box. Wow … that can make your head hurt. I am not talking about the normal stuff – packing costs, shipping costs, damage rates, and such. I am talking about something that you might not be considering, but that is more important to an online business than most eCommerce companies know. Let’s start with a story. Box By Dre – a Product Reveal Success Story I am on my third set of Beats by Dre headphones. Yes, I love music and I am a musician myself. Yes, I know that there are better pro headphones out there. Yes, they are a bit over-priced. Yes, I have my reasons, yadda-yadda-yadda. We are not here to discuss the pros and cons of high-end headphones. No matter what your opinion of the actual product, all reasonable people can agree that they changed the way headphones were delivered. I have been buying higher-end headphones for decades – all the way back to when I was a kid in the late 1970s listening to Fresh Aire recordings from American Gramaphone. For most of those years, even top-end headphones were delivered in cheap blister packs or simple cardboard boxes filled with flocked, vacuum-formed plastic inserts. Then in 2006, along comes Dr. Dre who brilliantly recognized a market niche between cheap Sony polystyrene-coated ear-blasters and professional studio head cans. But he also knew that if he was going to sell his new innovation at a higher price point, he had to communicate that quality differentiation before the customer ever purchased the product. And Dre did it with packaging. Beautiful hand-wrapped boxes with magnetic, fold-over flaps and double-printed black sleeves. Inside the box, each set of headphones came with all the cables and cords you would ever need and even a custom carrying case. It was beautiful. When I purchased my first pair of Beats By Dre headphones, I kept that packaging. It felt wrong to just throw it out. The packaging communicated specialness and value. When I wanted a pair of sports earbuds, the Dre website was the first place I looked. When it came time to replace my main headphones … ditto. I didn’t even have to think about it. Your eCommerce Product Reveal Experience Think about your own experiences with products. I’m willing to bet that you have had a similar experience where the quality of the packaging and delivery actually became an important part of the product experience for you and impacted your behavior as a product evangelist or repeat customer yourself. This is your Product Reveal Experience. It’s what occurs in between shipment delivery and before a customer's first use of your product and it’s important. It's when a product is revealed to your customer in person for the very first time. Physical retail stores have known this for years. Everything from Tiffany’s signature robin’s-egg-blue boxes to branded shopping bags and tissue at the local clothes boutique. If you don’t believe this is a “thing,” check out the thousands of “unboxing” videos on YouTube where people volunteer their time to share this experience with each other. I consult with a lot of internet entrepreneurs and I have told my Beats By Dre story – and similar stories – many times. The first thing that I hear is usually, “That’s great, but we don’t have the money/time/margins/know-how to do anything like that.” Those comments miss the point. It can be something easy. You don’t have to spend a fortune on printing and custom box design to improve the Product Reveal Experience. The Important Points Amazon and the other eCommerce behemoths might beat you in delivery speed, but you can beat them in total experience. In fact, some of the biggest retailers online do a terrible job at it – stuffing their goods into dirty mylar envelopes that look like they were packed by disgruntled chimpanzees. Remember these important points: Your Product Reveal Experience is everything that occurs between shipment delivery and when the customer starts using your product. It is a part of the total customer experience and it can have a big impact on customer satisfaction. It has branding value – raising or lowering the value perception. As an element of both brand and satisfaction, it can impact retention and Lifetime Customer Value (LCV). Almost by definition, this means that a great Product Reveal Experience cuts down on profit-killing returns. It’s not just about the box. The care shown in packing and thinking about the customer can be the key factors in a great Product Reveal Experience. EVERYONE can impact their Product Reveal Experience for the better, even on a tight budget. More Examples of Brilliant (and Practical) Product Reveal Experiences GreatBigCanvas.com – Cleaver Problem Solving Hanging pictures is a pain in the butt. When my wife and I moved into our new house three years ago we needed EVERYTHING. It was more than twice the size of our loft apartment with huge barren walls everywhere. We ordered our first contemporary art print from GreatBigCanvas. When it arrived, it was packed well in innovative but plain, brown, industrial-grade boxes. But it included a little hanging kit with special nails, a small plastic level, and detailed instructions to make sure we got it hung right the first time. It’s got to be less than a dollar’s worth of stuff in a Ziploc bag stuffed into every box, but it made the job easy. We came back and purchased literally dozens more art prints from them. PedestalSource.com – an Inexpensive Surprise Treat I have written about these guys before. They are an “old-school make heavy things out of wood” carpentry shop. But not only has PedestalSource mastered social media (YouTube videos of every custom project made), but they’ve mastered the Product Reveal Experience. Our order arrived with a nice little installation kit and a handful of hard candies – you know, Brach’s peppermints and Butterscotch. It made me smile … and has got them mentions in three of my blog posts over the last few years. Brownies.com – Consistent Quality Presentation and Brand Association Great boxes and simple tissue fold-overs held by a quality sealing label and serving up delicious chocolate. It just works. Since I know that it is a good total experience, I send their brownie packs from Brownies.com to friends and customers as gifts all the time. I KNOW that I will not be let down because their quality presentation is on a par with the quality experience I try to give all my customers. Their brand reflects my personal brand, which is why I am comfortable using them. Get it? Gathre.com – Following the Apple and Beats By Dre Model Gathre is a great customer that we work with on all kinds of projects. They manufacture and sell a line of protective mats for infants, children, and families. They are high-quality and stylish. If you are a follower of this blog, you know that we did a write up on their business a few months back. As a part of our work with them, I received a sample product delivery. The box was simple, but beautiful with peek-a-boo vents showing the item within and well-crafted, fully-wrapped sides. It felt special, and that’s the point. If Apple made baby mats, this is what they would look like. Wrapping Up The point is that all different kinds of products will all different kinds of margins and target audiences have found ways to make their Product Reveal Experiences valuable to me … the customer. And it doesn’t have to cost a lot at all. Everyone can make a point of finding ways to delight their customers with a Product Reveal Experience that delights, amuses, and adds value to their business and brand. Thanks for reading! /blogs/ecommerce-insights/the-product-reveal-experience-thinking-about-the-box-ecommerce //cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/1694/7383/articles/TH_Blog_-_Golden_Gold_Present_Gift_Reveal_Surprise_Glow_copy.jpeg?v=1523755651 TaskHusky new in stock 0.00 USD 10627973194 What's Wrong With My eCommerce Site Part 1: Product Selection This is a part of a new series of posts to help eCommerce merchants figure out what’s wrong when things just aren’t working. What’s Wrong With My eCommerce Products? You’ve read the expert articles. You’ve listened to the podcasts. You’ve followed the gurus. But now that your site is set up and you’re getting traffic to your site, you’re still not getting any sales. That SUCKS! We like to think that internet and online eCommerce success are simple formulas. Do this, don’t do that, add a little more of this other thing and you will soon be minting eCommerce gold while sipping mojitos on the beach. That’s not how it works. The internet is a powerful equalizer. It brings opportunity to everyone. But opportunity does NOT equal success. You are still going to have to put in the work. This article assumes that your site is set up correctly and you are getting traffic to your site. We will write other articles for the times when your site is not set up or getting traffic in future posts. But for now, you have visitors and you are just not selling anything. In this scenario there are several things that could be wrong, and we have to check each one of them. Let’s start by trouble shooting your product selection. Ask yourself if you are violating one of these cardinal rules of eCommerce product selection. Rule #1 – Don’t Chase an eCommrce Fad I was recently helping a Shopify merchant out on their site. They were selling fidget-spinners. Well … more to the point, they had fidget-spinners on their site and weren’t selling any of them. They had red ones and green ones and blue ones and all kinds of other ones. Nothing … nada … bupkiss … they hadn’t sold a single one yet and wanted to know why. For this merchant the answer was in the fact that they were selling lots of other products in their store, but they had heard that fidget-spinners were the “hot thing” and so they added them to their line up right away to cash in on the trend. So now they had traffic and an inventory of a hot-selling product without any revenue. Turns out that this was a symptom of a larger problem. They started their site to market Army Surplus style merchandise and had found some loyal customers. But they were impatient for more sales. It wasn’t long before they had added other things to their inventory like kids play pools and farm tools. They did that because they got a good deal on them and wanted to turn a quick profit on them. Sometimes that can work in the short term. What the merchant wasn’t aware of is how those items were actually hurting their brand. Core customers had just started to come to them for the kinds of camping and survival gear that they expected from an Army Surplus vender. The play pools and tools actually started to distract new customers arriving for the first time in search of their core offers. So even though the toys and tools temporarily bumped up sales as impulse purchases to existing customers, it made it harder for new customers to find what they wanted – the army surplus merchandise that the expected to find. The fidget-spinners were just one more distraction. I am not saying that you don’t pay attention to trends and even fads when they are in your wheel house. Neither am I saying that you shouldn’t be flexible enough to change direction when the market shifts. I am only saying that chasing the whims of every trend raging across the interwebs is treacherous when you are trying to build a brand long-term. Having the latest, hippest thing can actually hurt sales if you are “just” trying to grab at some quick, easy bucks. And this is related to our next rule …. Rule #2 – Remember Who Are You Selling To Online You read a lot in the marketing blogs about creating “personas.” If you are new to the idea, creating a persona is way of defining your target customer – the more detail the better. The point is, if you can picture a real person in front of you as your prototypical customer, that image will inform everything that you do in your eCommerce website. Even if a business doesn’t have a formal, written persona description, I have never seen a long-term successful business that didn’t understand their customers on that kind a level. It’s that simple.  You can prove it to yourself with a simple thought-experiment. Close your eyes and imagine your mother of father standing in front of you. Got it? OK, now describe your core product to them in fifty words or less. Now imagine a five-year old child and describe the same product. It’s different, right?  You talk to people of different ages different ways. You talk to blue collar workers differently than you talk to business executives. You talk to a church pastor differently than the guy sitting next to you in a sports bar. It’s natural to you. You do it every single day in every conversation that you have … you probably just never thought about it. In eCommerce, you never get to “see” your customers. They arrive at your site and click through your pages and processes. The only evidence that they were even there is an order report and a blip in your Google Analytics … maybe a registered tracking pixel. And because you never actually “see” them face to face, the process is a lot more impersonal than retail sales used to be. And that’s OK for the most part IF that impersonal distance does not reflect itself on your website. If you are selling product to a father who likes to take his kids camping and fishing, everything about your site and emails and images and text – and even the product you sell – need to be created while thinking of that guy. If it doesn’t, it can be really hard to persuade him to make a purchase. Rule #3 – Would You Buy It and Why OK … this one is going to be a problem for a lot of you out there. But the truth needs to be said. Even though it seems like people will buy just about anything and everything online, that can be deceptive. On eBay, you can get away with a little bit of that because that’s the purpose of the platform. On a modern, professional eCommerce site it’s completely different. Let me explain this by telling you my personal investment philosophy. I have a small (very small) retirement account. It’s my future and I manage the investments in the hopes of growing it faster. I am old enough to have been a working tech pro during the “dotcom bubble” of the 1990s. Folks were buying stocks when they had no idea what the products were, or if there even was a product. It was crazy. I have seen other people manage their investments and get caught up in in hype and trends like that, and I have seen those folks lose as much money as they made. Here’s the point … I have a rule to never ever invest any money unless I have personally used and like the product. It’s that simple. This has caused me to miss out on a few high flyers. But I haven’t picked that many duds either. Sure, I look at other things like growth and profitability. I even watch a few investment shows. But even if EVERYONE else thinks that a stock is going to rocket to the moon, if I do not personally like the product made by the company – if I wouldn’t actually buy it myself because of its good quality and a good value – then I will not invest. You should stock products in your online store for the same reason. No, I am not saying that you avoid stocking products in the color orange because you don’t like orange. That would be silly. And I am not saying that you don’t stock a variety of products, even some where you “prefer” something a little different. I am saying that if a product is not good enough for you, it’s not good enough for your customers. Even some passionate entrepreneurs lose sight of this. They add products to their catalog because they’re easy, or have a nice margin, or just to fill out the selection. But the lack of your engagement with your product catalog gets communicated to your customer in funny ways … ways you might not expect. In the language and images you use and in the way you support the product. And worse, if you are positioning yourself as an expert in cool widgets, but you are selling poor quality or lame widgets, everything on your site starts to come off as a lie. Your customers might spend all their visit time looking at your low-quality offerings and the bounce back to a Google search before ever seeing your really good stuff. Sure, there are successful eCommerce businesses out there that will sell you just about anything and everything. But they are few and far between. Most of us are specialty retailers. If you are one of those, hopefully you like the products you sell and – most importantly – the people who use those products. You care about all of it. If you care, your products will be better. You may even personally try them out for yourself before you publish them out to your site. Yep, it’s hard work. No, there are no real short cuts. What Else Could Be Wrong With Your Online Inventory of Products? When it comes to products there are a lot of other things to consider as well. Style and fashion do impact everything. Having enough and the right kind of variety is important too. Having good descriptions and product images are vital these days (read our article on the subject). But there are a lot of online resources for those kinds of things already, we’ve written some good stuff ourselves that you should look at. But they take a back seat to the three rules I’ve just laid out. If you have followed all the product rules and your site is still not performing, it’s time to look at the next thing on our list. Stay tuned to this blog for our next post in this series: “What’s Wrong With My Site Part 2: My Traffic Quality Sucks” /blogs/ecommerce-insights/whats-wrong-with-my-ecommerce-site-part-1-product-selection //cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/1694/7383/articles/TaskHusky_Blog_-_Pray_Technology_Broken_Frustration_Frustrate_Bad_News_Sad_copy.jpeg?v=1521293356 TaskHusky new in stock 0.00 USD 1512538126 Choosing the Right Shopify or BigCommerce Theme: The 4 Things You Need to Know Picking the Perfect eCommerce Theme for your Shopify or BigCommerce Store Whether you are starting your eCommerce shop for the first time or it’s time for a complete website upgrade, getting the theme right is numero uno. There are a lot of articles out there to help you choose the perfect Shopify theme or BigCommerce Theme for your store. But things change all the time and the advice of two years ago just is not as relevant today. For example, if you look at articles from a few years ago, everyone was talking about the importance of making sure that your theme was mobile-responsive right out of the box. This is still very important, but ALL themes created in the last few years have that feature built in. And images have taken over the web in a really powerful way. So all the major theme developers have also built-in great image management tools to make sure that they look great. The advice of yesterday also focused on have a variety of good apps and a solid community of support for the themes. But if you are building out your store on Shopify or BigCommerce, this solid app developer and support community are two of the reasons you probably chose those platforms in the first place. That means that we can skip things like that for the most part. That frees us up to talk about things like the basic design, function, and economics of your eCommerce theme that are important to your future sanity and success. Yes … having the wrong theme can drive you a little crazy and we want to help you avoid all that mental stress. #1 – Remember That Your Products Come First Have you ever seen art hanging on the wall and you liked the frame but hated the picture in it? I had a friend one time buy a piece of art at an estate sale because he liked the frame. He threw the picture away (it was a creepy painting of a clown from a do-it-yourself kit). Think of your ecommerce theme as the canvas and frame from your products. The first order of business is to make sure that your product look their best on your Shopify or Big Commerce site. As a rule of thumb, think of the level of detail in a theme as the inverse of your products. If you are selling visually simple products like lotions and creams, books and training materials, or software and services then a more ornate theme will do nicely. Even solid color page backgrounds might be appropriate. But if your products are visually interesting themselves, then you want to go with as clean and simple a theme as you can fine because the products themselves provide all the visual interest you need. This is true of fashion, art, furniture, photography, and most other detailed and visually interesting products. The same holds true for color. If bold colors are an important attribute of the products you are selling, then you want your theme to be light and neutral so as not to distract. And besides … some colors just do not look good together. That’s why most art exhibit walls are flat white – no one sees the wall at all because they are supposed to be looking at the art hanging on it. Makes sense, right? Here’s our first example, FirerclyCurious.com is an art and design retailer on the Shopify platform. Since art and design are the priority, notice how the theme sits WAY in the back in sparse elements of white, gray, and black. The first things you see are products and design images … as it should be. Contrast that website with this one … store.BenJerry.com sells ice cream (you know you want some). The theme is simple, but they have no need for modern style. The site is about fun tasty fun. Background colors actually support the brand well. One additional note on style … remember that you have a logo. I know that sounds funny, but you do not design branding and logos to fit or look good on your theme. That’s backwards thinking. You design a logo to establish your brand. You need to pick a theme and use colors that compliment and highlight the brand you have envisioned. #2 – How Many Products Will You Be Selling? Some themes work really great supporting hundreds of individual products (SKUs). Others just don’t do as well. And you have to think a little bit ahead of yourself. You don’t want to build out a new site now and then have to redo it again in six months because your product line is expanding. As you are searching for your theme, keep you vision for the business firmly in mind – don’t get dazzled by some darling design. Pick one that can take you where you want to go for the next three to four years, if possible. Shopify even does a really good job of allowing you to search their theme store for small inventory themes and large inventory themes. NovaScotiaFisherman.com keeps it simple. They have just 28 products in their Shopify store, so keeping all of their goods in one big grid makes complete sense. But … AustinBazaar.com has hundreds and hundreds of products in a bunch of categories. In their BigCommerce shop they need to focus on organization so that the guitar players do not end up looking at drum kits, because that NEVER works out well for anyone. #3 – Blog Blog Baby You are reading the TaskHusky blog, right? We spend a lot of time and attention on our blog for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is that we are passionate about what we do. But it also cannot be denied that content marketing is awesome and powerful for building a business. If you are not planning on blogging for your business … well, stop right here and go read this other blog first. You’ll thank me later. If you ARE planning on blogging for your business, then think about that right now. All major eCommerce themes on the Shopify and BigCommerce platforms support blogging. But we have to give the edge to Shopify because their blogging development is just further along. So, if you are planning on using Shopify, there are a few themes – even some free themes – that I think really do a good job of presenting blogs well. Here are three examples you can check out to get started: Boundless – free theme, clean and modern Vogue, by Pixel Union – stylish Palo Alto, by Page Mill Design – great for telling a story #4 – Money Matters There are free and paid themes on both the Shopify and BigCommerce platforms. It is not uncommon for theme developers to build themes for both. The free themes are actually pretty good and you can do some minor customization rather easily (change background color, increase font size, etc.). When it comes to paid themes, there are really three paths to go by. You can buy a stock paid theme from either the Shopify or BigCommerce theme-stores. You can have that stock theme professionally modified and customized. And you can have a custom theme built from the ground up. Buying a Stock Shopify or BigCommerce Theme On both Shopify and BigCommerce, stock paid themes run from about $140 to $240. There is a good selection and most have customizations and built-in versions to change the layouts. You will find that they theme developers offer basic support for their products and have good documentation to help you navigate and get set up. Buying a Stock Theme with Professional Tweaks/Modifications Most merchants purchase a stock theme and just need a little help installing additional apps, doing updates and upgrades, making customizations, or improving conversions so they can focus on their products and delivery. It’s a great way to make sure that you store is not purely “cookie-cutter” and to get the additional features and performance you want in your store. You get all the benefits without the stress. Heck, that’s even our business model. If you want to get started, go here and create a task. Tell us what you want to do … we’re happy to help. Building a Custom eCommerce Theme from the Ground Up Building a custom theme solution is not for the beginner or intermediate merchant. It is VERTY worth-while for larger organizations who know their business in and out and need sophisticated integrations with other business systems. Customer themes can run anywhere from $5000 to well over $100,000 depending on what you need. We are covering it here just to be thorough. But if you want a reference for a custom theme developer, let us know and we can point you in the right direction. eCommerce Theme Summary Getting your theme right is job number one. You don’t have over-complicate the decision, but you need to consider a few things: Products Come First – Remember that you are not choosing a pretty theme … you are selecting the right frame for your products. How Many Product Matters – Some themes are great for smaller inventories and some are better for larger one. Content Marketing – If you are going to make content marketing a part of your business plan – and you should – then make sure to choose a theme with a good-looking and easy to use blog feature built in. Read this article again if you still need to be convinced. The Economics – Free themes are available and they are pretty good. But we recommend buying a good value paid theme and keeping a few dollars aside for custom tweaks. It’s the best combo of good business investment and good design. Thanks for reading! /blogs/ecommerce-insights/choosing-right-shopify-bigcommerce-theme-4-things-you-need-to-know //cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/1694/7383/articles/TaskHusky_Blog_-_Hipster_Millenial_Beard_Choice_Confuse_Think_Decide.jpeg?v=1519877060 TaskHusky new in stock 0.00 USD 1488355342 Pirate Marketing: Page Descriptions and What Your Competition Doesn't Know I was working on some SEO materials for a customer last week. Part of that task was writing the Title Tags and Meta Descriptions for the pages of their new eCommerce website. It’s important to get these things as good as possible right from the start for two important reasons: This information is what the customer “sees” in the search results. This makes it important for getting click-through. While content on the pages might change periodically, these items tend to be “sticky” – changing infrequently. As I was explaining this to my customer, it’s item number two that pinged in my head as something to write about here. That’s because Google recently made some changes to how information is displayed. And since a lot of marketing and website folks leave those descriptions and tags alone, it looks like an opportunity to steal a little attention and search-share from your more complacent competitors. And it’s easy to do. So we have something easy to do that steals search real estate from unwary merchants. Sounds like pirate marketing to me. Argh marketers! Let’s be getting our share of them easy pick ‘ins! Title Tag and Meta Page Description Basics for eCommerce Websites Back in the old days when websites were carved on stone tablets and mobile phones were for making phone calls, there was a whole series of META Tags that were important for websites. Nowadays, almost all of them just don’t matter at all. They’re like dinosaur saddles and Blackberry smartphones … no one knows or cares. But two of these META Tags are still relevant. Some would argue that they are even critical to success. We’re talking about Title Tags and Page Descriptions. Title Tags There are three similar, kind-of-related things in website marketing that some people get confused about – Page Titles, Title Tags, and URLs. Title Tags are not necessarily the same as page titles. Page Titles are important too (for all the same reasons). But Title Tags are what will appear in search results as the large, usually blue text. Importantly, they do not (necessarily) appear on the actual page. The Title Tag exists in the page code. If you are using a major eCommerce platform like Shopify or Big Commerce – or a major CMS like WordPress – you will be able to create Title Tags in the admin area for that page. Target 70 characters or less for your Title Tag. If you do not create a specific Title Tag, then search engines will display the first 70 characters or so of your Page Title. This is different from Page Titles and URLs in important ways. The Page Title is whatever you name the page. Page Titles are usually what appears in your website menu navigation – not always, but usually. So they are usually shorter. This is another reason to use Title Tags. You get a longer string to help with SEO and generating clicks. The URL (Universal Resource Locator) is the detailed web address for each page – usually displayed in green directly below the Title Tag in search results. By default, most eCommerce platforms and website CMSs create a custom URL based upon your page title or the first few English words that appear on the page. But the first few words on the page could be things that do not help you at all for SEO and clicks – words like “the,” “and,” and “on” just do not help at all. You should use the URL editor to make sure that this important SEO real estate is not wasted. META Page Descriptions This is where I think a little hidden pirate gold is buried. Page descriptions are not necessarily the words that actually appear on the page. I think that they should be similar, but different. If you do not create a unique Page Description, Shopify and BigCommerce will create one for you by default using the first few recognizable English words on the page. Don’t let that happen. Here’s why. Page descriptions are the chunks of descriptive text that appear under the Title Tag and URL in search results. So you want to use Page Descriptions as relevant ads to get folks to click through to your page, and then you want page text content to do something else entirely … build confidence, set the tone, immediately buy, etc. Since the text is intended to do different things, you should write them differently. And that brings us to the current opportunity to do a little pirate marketing. Argh! A Narrow Window for Pirate Marketing Google “officially” says that the content of META Page Descriptions do not impact search ranking. Marketers have been debating that point forever, but let’s take Google at their word and say that it is not about ranking. The value of Page Descriptions is not “just” about SEO. Once your search result is displayed, your Page Description is text that – hopefully – summarizes that page’s content and convinces a visitor to click on your link. And importantly, a well-written Page Description that uses all of the available characters takes up more space on the search results page. It’s like making your ad bigger for free. Back in December, Google made a change. Previously, page descriptions were limited to about 160 characters. This is about two lines of text when displayed in search results. Note that I said “about 160 characters.” That’s because Google’s results some times show a few more, sometimes a few less based upon a mysterious “completeness” score that only the dark wizards of Google truly understand. Anyway … the ~160-character display has been around for a REALLY long time and virtually every established website marketer has that hard-wired into their brain at the moment. Now here’s the Google change that your competitors might not be paying attention to.   Bigger is Better Starting in late November, Google started rolling out longer Page Descriptions. The process was completed during December. Now, instead of about 160 characters, Page Descriptions will be displayed to about 320 characters – it's been doubled. Google did this to help users better identify the best search result for them. If you are trying to market your eCommerce website, you see this change differently. You see that instead of two lines of free advertising on search results, you now get four. But almost all websites out there have not responded to this change … yet. Remember that the old Page Description length has been around for a long time and marketers are not used to updating them frequently, if ever. That means that you might have a narrow window of opportunity to beat them to it and capture a little more link juice and a few more clicks from the competition while they aren’t paying attention. Get it? It’s kind of cool. How much additional attention will you get? No one knows since this is a brand-new thing and NOBODY has metrics on it yet. But it’s free and easy, and all it takes is a few minutes of your time. In the battle for attention in a crowded field, having your “free ad” on search results take up more valuable visual real estate than your competitor just can’t be a bad thing … ever. Try it for yourself. Go out and search some keywords that you know that both you and your competitor are using. Look at how long their Page Descriptions are displaying and read them. Are they taking advantage of the full number of characters available? Does the wording of the Page Description do its job of persuading you to click? There are only two possibilities. Either your competitors are doing a good job on their page descriptions and beating you at it or they are not and you can beat them. In either case, grab your eye patch and bottle of rum. Yo Ho Ho … it’s time to get busy. Thanks for reading!   PS: I was not able to find an official response to this change coming from Microsoft Bing, Yahoo!, or Baidu search engines. And they still appear to be displaying only two lines of Page Description text. But since Google has a nearly 92% market share, optimizing for Google is just smart business practice, right? /blogs/ecommerce-insights/pirate-marketing-page-descriptions-what-your-competition-doesnt-know //cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/1694/7383/articles/Page_Descriptions_Blog_Header.jpg?v=1519669405 TaskHusky new in stock 0.00 USD 1459847182 Write Practical eCommerce Product Descriptions That SEO, Persuade, AND Sell You Can Write Practical eCommerce Product Descriptions that Sell Writing great product descriptions seems to be a continuing struggle for a lot of eCommerce merchants. I have helped hundreds of merchants refine their product descriptions and I think that the confusion comes down to four separate issues: Fear of Writing Trying Too Hard to “Write” Saying Too Much Focusing Only on SEO, or Not at All Let’s tackle each of these and then see some practical examples of good and not-so-good product descriptions. And then we will even try to "fix" one of them. Sound like fun? I think so, so let's get the party stated.  Fear of Writing Lot’s of people have a fear of writing. Sometimes it’s because of a general insecurity that comes from being criticized in the past or getting lower grades in English classes when they were in school. Sure, proper grammar and punctuation are important in writing, but that does not necessarily translate into more sales (which is what you want). And yes, there are lots of people who make their entire career out of copywriting and they are REALLY good at it. But you do not have to be a professional copywriter to write copy that sells. So, rule #1 is … you CAN do this. Don’t worry about being “judged” by your writing. The ONLY judgement that matters is if the product is selling. Trying Too Hard to “Write” Good writing is hard, but that doesn’t mean you should try too hard to do it. Let me explain. When most people set out to write, something in them changes. They dig out the dictionary and thesaurus and use words that they don’t normally use. They construct sentences in rigid, formal ways. They mix in product jargon. The problem with all of this is that this is not how people talk to each other. The vast majority of the time we speak to each other in short, efficient sentences with words that we use every day. Sometimes you have to bring in technical terms if they are truly important to the buyer. But if you want clear, powerful product descriptions that sell better, work hard to use as few of them as possible. Take the time to write well, but write as if you were talking to a close friend. When it comes to product sales copy, the hard part is being and sounding natural and real. Saying Too Much Rule of Thumb: Every sale happens in the first fifty words, everything else is details. That’s just a rule-of-thumb, but there are a lot of behavioral science reasons for this – human attention spans, how many words a person can absorb at a crack, and lots of other things. And with so much web traffic being delivered on mobile devices, you’ve got to recognize that only so many words fit on those small screens at the same time. But the real danger when writing product descriptions is that the person writing those words “wants” to say a lot about the product. That’s not a bad thing – the copywriter or merchant might be an expert who knows a lot about the products and wants the customer to have all the info possible. That’s a good instinct, but save all those deep-diving dissertations for a blog post (where it will get you more traffic). In the product descriptions, focus on what the customer needs to know in order to buy. And when you are writing those first fifty words, focus on how the product will make them feel – smart, productive, happy, satisfied, attractive, etc. If more detailed, technical descriptions are needed, push that info down or add a details tab so that the info is there, but out of the way of the sale. Focusing Only on SEO, or Not at All The modern eCommerce copywriter-merchant has to serve two masters – you need the product name, page title, and description to have the right mix of keyword phrases to score well in search engines, but you also need all of those things to be convincing, friendly, and persuasive to the human who will make the actual buying decision. We have to satisfy both man and machine. Like so many other things in life, this means we have to strike a meaningful balance. So, let’s look at some examples. I have pulled all my examples from Amazon … because they are a relatively easy target, have lots of product names and descriptions that are usually written by outside copywriters across a large swath of companies. Calvin Klein – Doing Everything Wrong If you are a regular reader of my posts, you know that I have picked on Calvin Klein before. Seriously, all of their product names are about as boring and non-optimized as they can possibly be. And there are almost never any real product descriptions. In fact, the only way to make their products show up is to actually search for “Calvin Klein” as a part of your criteria. Now imagine that you are a customer who wants to purchase this product. What would you search for? “Men’s” … sure. “Sweater,” … maybe. But you would almost always state a color and some other attribute, right? You might search for something like: “men’s dark gray long-sleeve pull-over sweater” But when I search for that string on Amazon this product doesn’t come up … not at all (I looked at every result). Don’t you think it should? There’s another real problem – and it's one of the big differences between old-school, paper catalog thinking and how people shop online today. This product color is listed as “cadet grindle.” Seriously. I am not aware of any person on earth today who wants to buy a sweater who will instinctively search for – over even understand – “cadet grindle.” And you might be happy to know that this product comes in three additional colors – “pinot grindle,” “black grindle” (not as bad), and “Ash Htr” (whatever that is). And we all know that a well-crafted description that customers can easily see above the fold is your chance to give a great pitch. For Calvin Klein, it's just a blank patch of wasted opportunity.  Orvis – Better for eCommerce, But Not Great So now let’s contrast that with another product in the same category that is doing a bit better. In the Orvis example above, you can easily see that their product name both communicates information that a real person would find valuable in decision-making (even though this is definitely NOT a “sweatshirt”). The color description – claret, a kind of wine – is better, but not great. And there is an actual product description above the fold on the web page that contains decent info – even if it falls flat in persuasion and selling. Let’s Fix the Orvis Product Name and Description for SEO and to Sell Makes Sense, Right? Did you notice that the first words I used in the description were about aspirational feelings? I managed to get a few technical things in there too, but I lead with words that speak to the experience of using the product. And all the keywords are there to maximize SEO. But you can also “read” it like you would read anything else. That makes it believable and understandable to real people. It’s nothing to be afraid of, and it’s not hard. You just need to be concise and think about who you are talking to … both the machines and the real humans who will buy. Thanks for reading! PS - I couldn't help but notice that there were not enough images (photos) in these example products. But that is a different blog post altogether, right? If you want to read some of our articles on great eCommerce product images, you can start eith there two: "The Best LEGAL Sites on the Web for FREE eCommerce Marketing Images and Photos" and "A Practical eCommerce Guide to Perfect Product Photos" [The images and product descriptions referenced in this article were viewed and captured on Amazon.com on February 15, 2018. They are included here in an editorial context for instructional purposes, and therefore are used under “fair use” guidelines.] /blogs/ecommerce-insights/practical-product-descriptions-that-seo-persuade-and-sell //cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/1694/7383/articles/TaskHusky_Blog_-_Frustrated_Write_Writer_Error_Edit_Fix_Block_Create_copy.jpeg?v=1518734262 TaskHusky new in stock 0.00 USD 1253474318 Unlimited eCommerce Development AND Graphic Design - a Powerful 1-2 Punch for Business Success If you run an eCommerce site, you need two things all the time – website adjustment tweaks and eCommerce graphics. And you need them a lot. When it comes to eCommerce development help, new technical needs come up every day. Themes require regular updates, new apps need to be installed, tracking pixels for Facebook and ad retargeting campaigns need to be generated, new buy and call-to-action buttons need to be created, and million other little things that pop-up out of nowhere. And it’s shocking how important graphic design is to growing your business. When you are first starting out in eCommerce, you kind of expect that there will be a lot of design things to do at the beginning – choosing a theme for your Shopify or BigCommerce store, getting your first product images, creating a logo, etc. But once your business is up and running you soon realize that this is an ongoing task. That’s because you will always be adding new products to your site and modern eCommerce marketing is HIGHLY visual. You’ll need things like new hero images, sale and promo banners, Facebook ads, social media posts, and new trust badges to keep the orders coming. That’s just the way it is. Getting More than “Unlimited” In Q4 of last year we launched an Unlimited Development subscription for Shopify and BigCommerce stores. We wanted to deliver an affordable way for online merchants to get more development done at a great value. It’s been great – and subscribing has been a real no-brainer because the service is great and being able to get high-quality small task development and website maintenance at a high-value, predictable cost is a winning proposition. And that got us thinking …. Our customers love this, so how do we deliver even more value? We are very excited to announce that we've added Unlimited Graphic Design to the Unlimited Development subscription … for same great price. This allows our customers to maximize the value of their TaskHusky subscription. Just keep your queue filled with all of the graphics and development tasks you want. You pick what’s done next, and you can manage all of your tasks through our account management portal online. It’s pretty slick. There’s ALWAYS a Catch …. Except This Time There are no tricks or annoying surprises. Just a few basic rules: Each task request has to be simple and easy to explain without a bunch of moving parts. This means that large tasks like theme upgrades, website teardowns, and complicated logo designs aren’t included in the subscription service. We’re happy to help with those tasks, but they are handled separately. The tasks in your subscription queue have to be "single" tasks. For example, if you have three header images and want them all updated, that’s three graphic design tasks. Makes sense, right? Only one request is active at a time. Additional tasks will be stored in queue and worked in whatever order you want. You're always in control. Entrepreneurial Success Kit Got an idea for a new Facebook ad campaign? Jot down your ideas as a task in your task queue and attach a sample if you want to help us get started. Get inspired late at night with a new promotion idea that you want to launch? Describe all the details and move that task to the top of the list – we’ll work on that banner ad next. Did you read about the latest Shopify app to boost conversions? Get that on the list and our development team will help you get it installed. Remember, we’ll do tasks one at a time in any order you want. And since you can launch your tasks any time, from anywhere, you can get our team working on it – even in your pajamas after midnight on Sunday (normal turn-around times apply). This means a TaskHusky subscription is PERFECT for the busy entrepreneur. It’s like an online entrepreneurial project management success kit at a low, fixed monthly rate. And you can cancel at any time … really. eCommerce businesses can get a subscription and work through their dream task list and then stop whenever they want. But the value is so incredibly high, it probably makes sense just to keep it going to keep your products, website, and apps fresh and selling well. It’s the no-brainer of no-brainers. Get all the details and sign up for the Unlimited Development + Graphic Design subscription by clicking this link. Seriously … you’re going to love this plan!   /blogs/ecommerce-insights/unlimited-ecommerce-development-graphic-design-a-powerful-solution-for-business-success //cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/1694/7383/articles/TaskHusky_Blog_Header_-_Unlimited.jpg?v=1517353282 TaskHusky new in stock 0.00 USD 1162870798 Make Buying Faster AND Easier With Shopify Pay If you want to beat Amazon or Walmart or any of the other big-bad-boys of eCommerce at their own game … this is one of the ways to do it. Shopify Is Crushing It We love all the great eCommerce platforms … really, we do. And we have tons of customers running BigCommerce. But Shopify seems to be where all the action is right now. We’ve said it before and it’s worth saying again – Shopify has a vision of eCommerce that fits with the way customers shop and spend online today. It’s that vision that keeps driving innovation on the Shopify eCommerce platform. Over the last few months we have documented some of their recent achievements, including the eBay Channel integration, the Arrive Mobile App, and social media integrations, among others. Not only are these very cool features that help eCommerce merchants sell more online, they also elevate the small-business entrepreneur because they are the kinds of features that have previously only been available to only big-name-corporate-behemoths. With every feature Shopify adds to their platform the eCommerce competitive playing field gets leveled a little bit more. Back in April of 2017, Shopify added a feature that we think is really important. So, technically, this is old news. But we haven’t written about it yet and it’s definitely it is worth talking about as one of those power-to-the-people features that can help you compete. Use Shopify Pay and Accelerate Sales One of the core features in the Amazon shopping experience is its ability to “remember” you. When you come back to Amazon, it remembers what you looked at previously, displays related products to try and hook you in, and – importantly – make buying really easy by remembering your payment and shipping details. There is no re-entering all your details and credit card info over-and-over again. This is no small technical feat – especially given the technical and security issues related to retaining customer payment information in a secure system. This is the problem that Shopify Pay addresses.  Sure, in order to implement Shopify Pay you need to be using the Shopify Payments service – which means using their credit card payment service. But the service and rates are competitive, so that’s not a big obstacle. So, once you are on Shopify Payments you can easily add Shopify Pay. It Works Like This When a customer enters their shipping and payment info on their first order with you, they will have the option of opting-in to have their info save inside Shopify Pay. The next time they check-out at any online store across the Shopify ecosystem, they can simply type in their email address. Shopify Pay will recognize it and send them a SMS text message to their cell phone. This kind of two-factor authorization process is extremely secure and has been proven in lots of high-end services for several years now. And Shopify Pay has been used in live environments for more than nine months. It’s definitely ready for prime time. That means that your customers will not have a steep learning curve. And when shoppers arrive at your eCommerce site, if they have opted-in to Shopify Pay on any other Shopify store, the purchase experience on your site will be faster, secure, and therefore more satisfying. And adding Shopify Pay doesn’t cost you a dime extra. Boom!   Why Things Like Shopify Pay Are Important Think about it this way … it is a great way to make customers as comfortable within the universe of Shopify stores as they are when they are browsing Amazon. And this is an important part of Shopify’s long-term eCommerce vision. They seem to understand two things really well: We are not in the eCommerce business … not really. What we are is in the plain-old commerce business. The world is not divided into online winners and offline losers. Selling today is about marketing and selling to all customers no matter when and where they are or how they want to buy. Shopify "gets it." The triumph of technology is not that it creates efficiency advantages as the playthings of big, institutional players. The overwhelming, natural direction of the internet is as a democratic force putting tools and resources in the hands of more entrepreneurs and individuals. Sure, the Shopify eCommerce platform IS their business and they want to win and make a profit. But ultimately, they know they win when their ecosystem wins. As they keep on building and innovating into their platform they are helping all of us win too. And Shopify Pay is one of those tools to drive that philosophy – which is what makes it cool.  If You Need Shopify Help, Let Us Know You can get more information about Shopify Pay on their website. They have a dedicated webpage to explain the service to your customers that you can link to is a customer ever has a question. And you can learn more about Shopify Payments here. If you need a little help setting up Shopify Payments or Shopify Pay, just let us know by creating a task. We help with this kind of thing every day. And if this article has convinced you to take the leap and build your own ecommerce business on the Shopify eCommerce platform – or even migrate to Shopify form another eCommerce solution – this link will take you where you need to go to set up your account. Thanks for reading! /blogs/ecommerce-insights/make-ecommerce-buying-faster-and-easier-with-shopify-pay //cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/1694/7383/articles/Shopify_Pay_Header_Image.jpg?v=1516667131 TaskHusky new in stock 0.00 USD 865140750 Professional Marketing Tips, Tricks, and Advice – Announcing eCommerce Coffee Talk Technical Development and Coding Are Easy … Marketing is Hard. Let me explain. We do tons of development tasks for eCommerce business. The staff at TaskHusky is really, really good at it. They have high levels of technical experience and skill coupled with an in-depth knowledge of technology that can years to master. But the whole purpose of technology is make an exceptionally precise set of instructions that computers can follow to deliver a desired result. Once you get those instructions right, with a little tweaking and maintenance those computers will do the same thing over and over again … theoretically forever. Modern marketing sits at the intersection of technology, creativity, and social science. It’s always moving and always changing. What worked last month may not work now as human attention gets pulled and tugged by hot topics and shiny objects. Sure, there are sound, battle-tested principles that we follow, but as with all things involving creativity and human behavior in general – anything can happen (and likely will at some point). We got your back – Join us for eCommerce Coffee Talk. What is eCommerce Coffee Talk? eCommerce Coffee Talk will be an online marketing meeting with an open, Q&A format for all subscribers of our TaskHusky Personal Developer plan. Twice per month, we’ll gather together online to talk about: How to get customer attention … and keep it. Guerilla marketing practices that you can do … for free. How to get started with marketing your online store. The latest Shopify and BigCommerce news and why it matters to your sales. How to compete against the big online retail behemoths. What are the best apps and tools to take your marketing to the next level? How to find great blog and social media topics. And anything else that comes up because you get to ask the questions. Rock Your Marketing World in 2018 Everyone is looking for a great ROI. eCommerce Coffee Talk is free. So, this might be the best investment of your time ever … and it could transform how you get new customers and the way you do business. You'll have the opportunity to send us questions in advance via email or chat them to us on the fly during the online meeting if you want. Or you can just listen in for tips and pointers. It’s like a live podcast of friendly eCommerce awesomeness. Oh … and during each eCommerce Coffee Talk, I'll be drinking coffee. I suggest that you have the beverage of your choice handy as well because proper hydration – and caffeination – are an important part of success. If you're already a subscriber, you're all set. Keep an eye on your email for updates and reminders. If you're not on the Personal Developer plan yet, that's OK. It's not too late. Sign up now and you’ll not only get unlimited TaskHusky development tasks, but you'll also get things like FREE domain registration, FREE email accounts, FREE monthly website audits, and a private Facebook help group. It's a great deal and a great way to bring continuous improvement, predictable pricing, and a lot of growth potential to your online shop. You can cancel anytime too, so there's little risk. So, welcome to 2018! It’s time to get to work, and marketing is what needs to be done. Subscribe to the Personal Developer plan, get your beverage, and join the conversation. See you online! (PS - eCommerce Coffee Talk starts Thursday, January 18th at 10:00 AM CST.) /blogs/ecommerce-insights/professional-marketing-tips-tricks-and-advice-announcing-ecommerce-coffee-talk //cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/1694/7383/articles/eCommerce_Coffee_Talk.jpg?v=1515610968 TaskHusky new in stock 0.00 USD 758874126 Start Your eCommerce Blog – It’s Easy, and Here’s How Let’s get this out of the way right now … if you are not blogging for your eCommerce business right now, it is time to get started. IT WORKS LIKE CRAZY for building credibility and driving traffic. The internet is full of stories – doctors, software developers, pet groomers, fitness trainers, and online merchants like you – who testify that starting a blog has transformed their business. I write content here for the TaskHusky blog, and we saw huge increases in organic traffic and conversions within 30 days of ramping up our blog content in 2017. This article is about “how” to get started, and we will spend most of our time on those practical tips. But here’s a quick reminder of “why” blogging helps your business and is so valuable.  Why Blogs Work for eCommerce Business Creating an eCommerce Business blog and regularly writing articles help you in three important ways: Crystalizing Thought – Paul J. Meyer – the famous businessman, speaker, and author – once said, “Writing crystalizes thought, and thought produces action.” Maybe THE most vital part of leadership is communication. As an entrepreneur, the most important things that you communicate are the value of your products and services, instructions on what needs to be done, and why what you are doing is important. Writing articles for your company blog will make you a better entrepreneur and leader. Building Credibility – When visitors come to your site, one of the subconscious questions in their head will be, “Can I trust this business?” Regularly writing articles about topics related to your business, products, and services will demonstrate your knowledge and commitment, and that inspires confidence. Your blog will help you sell. Marketing and SEO – Google and the other search engines know that their business depends on delivering search results that are current, authoritative, and fresh. That’s why all the search engines give extra consideration – more link juice – to websites that are updated regularly with fresh content that matches popular search queries. Your blog will generate more organic traffic to your site. There are very few things that you can do this cost-effectively that will have a lasting and meaningful impact on you and your business success. Super Goodly Writing NOT Required! A lot of people get really self-conscious about their writing skills. You shouldn’t be. Yes … it’s important to spell things well and to use proper grammar. But believe it or not, in today’s online world the value in the meaning of what you are saying is FAR more important than perfect punctuation and subject verb agreement. My eighth grade English teacher – Mrs. Maupin – would smack me with a ruler if she knew I was saying this … but it’s absolutely true. In your eCommerce blog, people will want to see you talk about things that can help them make good purchasing decisions or to learn more about the products. Sure … sometimes a hater will leave a comment criticizing your word choice or some other nit-picky thing. But the VAST majority of internet users – people who communicate on a daily basis by way of smiley-face emoticons and text-message acronyms – will not care too much about all the little bits and pieces. You CAN do this! Write naturally … just like you are talking to your customers face-to-face. There are a lot of scientific studies that show that your natural, authentic writing “voice” will be more believable and effective than stiff, precise prose could ever be. Easy-peasy Pro Tip – There is an online service called “Grammarly.” They have an absolutely FREE version that you install in your web browser that lights up spelling and grammar errors and lets you change them on the fly. I’ve used it inside the Shopify blog tool and it works great. It can REALLY cut down spelling and grammar errors as you type!  Getting Started With Your Blog Starting a blog today is pretty easy for the eCommerce merchant. That’s because all the big eCommerce platforms KNOW that blogs are important, so they have included really solid blogging tools right there in the software. And all the big theme developers make sure that the theme looks good in the blog as well. So, if you’re on Shopify or BigCommerce – or one of the other eCommerce platforms – all you have to do is activate the blog to get started. Choosing Topics to Blog About When we’ve encouraged eCommerce website owners to start a blog, the most common objection we’ve heard back is, “I wouldn’t know what to write about.” Hey … that’s completely understandable! But that’s only a problem when you’re not in the habit of writing. Once you’re rolling, it get a lot easier. If you’re in business – any business – you have conversations each and every day about all kinds of things related to your business. You talk to suppliers about the latest product colors and new features. You talk to customers about how they use your products. You talk about challenges getting products to market. You talk to your friends and employees about using the product yourself. You discuss articles in magazines and trade publications. Each one of those conversations has the ability to become a blog post. The best way to think of your blog is as a conversation. Anything that you think is interesting to talk about related to the business is fair game. Here are a bunch of sample blog article titles that you can use to inspire your next blog post. Heck … you can copy and use them verbatim by just adding the name of your product and other details. Seven Sample Blog Article Topics That You Can Use Now "I Tried Out the New [product name] and This Is Why I Really Like It" "The Hottest New Feature in [product name] is [name of feature]" "The New Color for This Season is [name the color] and It Looks Awesome!" "I Got a Tour of the Factory Where [product name] Is Made and This Is What I Saw" "New Products We Are Launching Next Month" "How to Choose the Best [product name] That’s Right for You" "How to Use [product name] Correctly" There are really no rules. You can write about just about anything related to your business that users and fans of your products might find interesting. If you want more inspiration, look through our articles here on the TaskHusky blog. Our customers use us for all kinds of small task development on eCommerce websites. So, our topics cover everything from marketing to themes and from eCommerce to apps and beyond. You are our target audience, so if you’re interested in it, then so are we. Easy-peasy Pro Tip – The last thing that you want to do is to “have” to come up with a good topic on short notice. Keep a spreadsheet or document on your computer – or even a real paper notepad on your desk – and jot down EVERYTHING interesting that comes to mind. Don’t worry about all the details just yet. You want to remember the core idea and have it handy when it’s time to write. How Long Should an eCommerce Blog Article Be? You will find TONS of opinions on this question, and all of them different. Our opinion is that an article should be as concise as possible and as long as it needs to be to remain interesting and deliver value. Marketing topics like the one we are discussing here require some detail, so it’s a bit longer than most. This article will end up at around 1800 words by the time I’m done with it. But a good rule of thumb is to target at least 700 words and try not to exceed 2000 words. Using Keywords in eCommerce Blog Articles Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a science unto itself. There are lots of tips, tricks, and special tools available. We’ll do another article on keyword research later with more detail. Since you’re just launching your blog, start by using the kinds of words that your customers might use when searching for products like yours on the internet. That’s essentially what keywords are, and including these words and terms in your blog articles will make them show up higher in search rankings and get you more traffic. And that brings us to one of the simplest and fastest – and FREE – ways to find great keywords to include. Simply bring up Google and start typing a word or topic. You will see that Google starts offering you options for searches that might be helpful. Google keeps track of all the kinds of searches that people are doing all over the world. But you can use that to discover your first keywords. Let’s say that you are in the coffee business and you want to write an article about espresso. As you can see in the screen capture below, as I type the word “espresso,” Google offers up a lot of options that a lot of other people have already searched for. This includes things like “espresso machine,” “espresso cups,” and “espresso shot.” If you can find a way to include these keyword combinations in your article text, title, and headings you are taking to first steps to generating more SEO traffic. Go to Google and try it for yourself right now by typing the name of one of your products. Easy right?  A Few Things to Avoid In Your Blog Here are four things to avoid in your company blog: DO NOT dis your competition. It’s tempting, but it actually makes you look bad. DO NOT mention sex, religion, race, or politics unless you are selling products DIRECTLY related to those topics. DO NOT curse. I know that it’s really common these days, but using curse words can be distracting at best. DO NOT say anything negative about any customer (even if you’re dying to tell the story). Staying positive and optimistic always wins.  The Time to Start Your Shopify or BigCommerce Blog is Now If you’ve hesitated to start your own eCommerce blog you are missing out on one of the best business and traffic-building tools available to you right now. You can start for FREE, so there's no risk. And it's easier than ever before to get started today.  But if you need a little help getting your blog set up, just let us know by creating a task. We help with this kind of thing every day. And if this article has convinced you to take the leap and build your own ecommerce business on Shopify, this link will take you where you need to go. Thanks for reading! /blogs/ecommerce-insights/start-your-ecommerce-blog-easy-how-to //cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/1694/7383/articles/eCommerce_Blog.jpg?v=1514424471 TaskHusky new in stock 0.00 USD 697925646 Customer Spotlight: Secrets of Building and Marketing a Successful Business on Shopify – Meet Gathre.com We have been working with the good folks at Gathre for a while now. We help them with all kinds of development tasks to keep their website cutting edge. Recently we spent some time talking with Devin Killpack – serial entrepreneur and Gathre’s CEO – to talk about startups, building a business, and achieving success in eCommerce today. Who Is Gathre? Gathre creates and markets their own line of cleanable mats for infants and young children. They are designed to protect floors, tables, and other surfaces from the messiness of food, toys, and coloring books that naturally follow children. And the play mats and all-purpose mats also protect family members from the roughness and messiness of the environment around them. Gathre started out as the brainchild of best friends Marilee Killpack and Jessica Eraso. As mothers themselves, they certainly understood the need. Soon they were designing and crafting their first Gathre mats and selling them in pop-up stores around town. The products were so well-received that a Kickstarter campaign followed to get the business off the ground. Various sales channels were tried – including wholesaling and retail outlets, but their real success has been online, and that’s where the efforts of their eight employees are focused today. Gathre on the Shopify eCommerce Platform The first thing that you should know is that the Gathre Shopify website is gorgeous and the photography is great. You should check it out. It’s built on the Shopify platform and they really took the time to do it right from the start. They purchased the Grid theme by Pixel Union and then brought in graphic design and customized everything. TaskHusky helped code the modifications, prepare apps, and a bunch of other tweaks. We think it turned out great. When they started selling online, their first eCommerce site was on Squarespace, but it didn’t have the features and functionality that they needed. Devin told us that they even considered moving to a WordPress solution. But they really needed a platform with a community, apps, and all the functionality so that it was ready to grow when they were. No one wanted to have to go through this process again, so it had to be right this time from the start. Once they saw Shopify, he they knew that would be their next move. What Was the Hardest Part of Starting Your eCommerce Business? Devin told us that he remembers three hurdles that they had to overcome. First – since there were no direct competitors when they started – explaining the product was both a challenge and a blessing. It was a challenge because they had to make the public understand what they were doing. It was a blessing because it forced them to spend a lot of time boiling their core message down to a pitch that could be quickly understood and effective. It helped them understand their own product and business better and it also proved to them that their idea was a unique one. The second big challenge was managing cash flow. Devin said that when a business is new you are making all kinds of decisions about what to spend and where to spend it. A lot of those are guesses because you don’t know what is going to work and what isn’t. So, startups should spend carefully and watch and manage expenses like the investments that they are. And finally, once the business started to grow they had to really learn how to properly hire staff properly. When you are growing, sometimes all you know is that you’re too busy and need help. But before you hire any position, stop and plan out exactly what that person is going to do and how they are going to do it. If you can’t be specific about the tasks, you’re not ready to hire anyone. What is Your eCommerce Marketing Strategy? So many small online merchants struggle with marketing. So, we were really interested to hear what Gathre did to become so successful. Devin distilled it down to a few core ideas for us: Every business has to find its own channels, but “wherever people are … go there.” In other words, you shouldn’t do radio ads unless your target customers are listening to the radio, and you don’t HAVE to be on Instagram unless your customers are using Instagram. “Don’t be over-bearing of over-sell. Just create good branded content that dives a feeling … make them a part of your community and the feeling that brings.” “Social platforms lend themselves to companies that have a story.” Gathre has a good story, so social media is a natural fit. If you have a physical product and you want to get some attention, give it away. When you do, people will will talk about it. And if you find the right influencer, “pay them in dollars or pay them in product” and watch what happens. And my personal favorite piece of marketing advice, “Try and fail and test and experiment.” What Influences You? (The Reading List) Devin is more of a hands-on scientist … experimenting with different things and learning from the results. But there are definitely some books that he said really helped him learn how to take the business higher. Books Devin loves: “Competing Against Luck: The Story of Innovation and Customer Choice” by Clayton Christianson (introduces the Theory of Jobs to Be Done) “The Innovator’s Dilemma: When new Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail” also by Clayton Christianson “The E-Myth Revisited” by Michael Gerber More Important Advice From the eCommerce Trenches Devin is a natural in an interview and very generous in sharing his time and insights. Here are a few more nuggets from our time together: “We all gather biases as we go through life. Set them aside. Listen to what your customers tell you without any bias.” “You have to ALWAYS be building and getting outside of your comfort zone.” “Business is always changing and it’s not a level playing field. You can’t assume that what worked for other companies will work for you.” What’s the Best Piece of Business Advice You Ever Received? “Every business lives or dies by how they take care of their customers. Without taking care of your customers and putting your customers first you will go the way of all the earth.” We couldn’t agree more, Devin. If you’d like to learn more about Gathre’s products and business, visit their website. If their experience has inspired you to take the leap and start your own Shopify eCommerce business, use this link and you’ll get where you need to go. And as always, let us know if you have any questions or want to implement some of the same solutions in your eCommerce store. We are always happy to help. Thanks for reading! Make sure to share this article with someone you know who wants to start their own business and needs a little inspiration. /blogs/ecommerce-insights/gathre-secrets-building-and-marketing-successful-business-on-shopify //cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/1694/7383/articles/TaskHusky_blog_-_Gathre.jpg?v=1513878939 TaskHusky new in stock 0.00 USD 597426190 The New Arrive App by Shopify – What You Need to Know and Why It’s Important In case you didn’t know it, the good folks at Shopify are into innovation in a BIG way. They even have a separate business unit called “Garage” where product developers work on new apps and innovations. And even in the middle of the current holiday shopping crunch, the Garage team is tinkering away madly on some new stuff for our eCommerce Christmas stockings. They’re sort of like Santa’s elves, but instead of toy trains and dolls they wrote code for all the good little merchants on the Shopify platform “nice list.” We’ve been keeping a sharp eye out for news on what they are working on, and a string of announcements coming out of the Garage unit got us excited, so we called in and got a little info on three new developments that we want to share with you. This is the first one of those. The Arrive App by Shopify – What Is It? As the name “Arrive” might imply, this app is designed to track and inform you about your online shipments and deliveries. Importantly, not “just” the online shipments coming from Shopify stores, but ALL online shipments. So, if you're a Shopify merchant, you might be asking yourself why you should care, right? After all … this is an app for online shoppers to use – not an app that you can install in your Shopify store. Why Store Owners Should Care About the Arrive App If you’re Amazon.com, you have advanced package tracking capabilities. And if your eCommerce customers have installed the Amazon app on their tablet or smartphone, then you can send them push notifications telling them the status of their orders and when packages have been delivered. If you're Dominos Pizza, your app can do the same thing. But these apps can cost tens of thousands – or in some cases hundreds of thousands of dollars – to make. In short, these kinds of specialized apps are for the top tier of eCommerce businesses. If you have a Shopify online store, your site is already mobile responsive – allowing your customers to order online. But the vast majority of us in the Shopify Community can’t afford to have a custom integrated delivery app. That’s where I see the Shopify Arrive App coming in to deliver BIG value to the small business. When it’s fully developed, it will bring the power of enterprise-class tracking and delivery tracking apps within reach of the small to medium-sized retailer. How the Shopify Arrive App Works All eCommerce businesses send confirmation emails for each purchase -- it's standard practice. The Shopify Arrive App connects with an email account and monitors it for all order, shipping, and delivery confirmation emails – including tracking numbers. It processes this information and displays it in the Arrive App and creates alerts (if you want them) – just like the big-boy retail giants. What Are the Limitations of the Shopify Arrive App? Let’s be clear … this thing is brand-spanking new. I am personally testing this initial release right now and there is a way to go. For example, it is currently only available on iOS – Apple devices – through the Apple App Store. And this first version is only compatible with Gmail email accounts. I have no insider info, but they are obviously working to broaden to other email systems and to work on a version for Android devices as well. So I am NOT saying that you should be out there promoting this tool to your customer base just yet. But that day is coming soon. If you are a store owner, have an iPhone and a Gmail account, and want to take a glimpse into the future, you can go here and install it for yourself. The Best Part(s) of the Arrive App Let me put on my economist hat for a second and summarize all the coolness. The Arrive App by Shopify has the potential to level the playing field a bit more by taking away a core advantage of the eCommerce behemoths. Customers of Shopify stores – and all online stores, really – will get an improved, more satisfying shopping experience. There is no additional charge to the store owners. If you send confirmation emails and your customer has the app, you get to play in this sandbox for free. Shopify is making no statements to this effect, but they have a real opportunity here as well. I am just speculating, but even though the Arrive App terms of service promise not to sell of share shopping and shipping data with outsiders, they should be able to glean some serious eCommerce Big Data analytics info for the habits of online shopper that will be, quite frankly, worth a truck-load of money and competitive advantage. It feels like democratic eCommerce capitalism. I just do not see any downside here. Everyone will win EXCEPT the big online retail giants. The Arrive App by Shopify Is Important for eCommerce If this extra dose of coolness convinced you to open up your own Shopify eCommerce store, use this link and it will take you right where you need to go. That’s it for now. Remember that we’ve got two more cool Shopify platform developments to share, so subscribe to our mailing list so that you don’t miss anything. And as always, thanks for reading! Let us know if you need help with anything … heck, that’s what we do here. /blogs/ecommerce-insights/arrive-app-by-shopify-what-you-need-to-know-why-important-shipping-delivery-ecommerce //cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/1694/7383/articles/Shopify_Arrive_Header.jpg?v=1512694978 TaskHusky new in stock 0.00 USD 535756814 Black Friday - Cyber Monday eCommerce Sales Results Report 2017 We’ve been analyzing the technology and economic landscape for a while to help our customers implement marketing plans. Two weeks ago we predicted in an email that this year – 2017 – the Black Friday / Cyber Monday shopping volume was going to be the highest ever. Not “just” because of the trend toward eCommerce overall, but because of the convenience of mobile shopping and the strong macro-economic fundamentals – including everything from GDP growth and low unemployment rate to high consumer confidence. Well, the preliminary numbers are in and … looks like we were right on target. Here’s everything you need to know about holiday eCommerce results so far – including Black Friday and Cyber Monday (our sources appear at the end of this report). Black Friday - Cyber Monday eCommerce Sales Results Report for 2017 Any way you slice the numbers, things are looking great for online eCommerce sales this year. Here are the top-level numbers: Thanksgiving Day eCommerce Sales - $2.87 billion Black Friday eCommerce Sales - $5.03 billion Cyber Monday eCommerce Sales - $6.59 billion Cyber Monday eCommerce Sales on Mobile Devices - $2 billion (30% of total) Cyber Monday Online Traffic - +11.9% Cyber Monday Traffic from Mobile Devices  - 47.4% (39.9% phone, 7.5% tablet) Important Key Take-Away Sales Results Four weeks ago in our Black Friday – Cyber Monday Email Marketing Crash Course, we emphasized the importance of online shopping on Thanksgiving Day. $3 billion proves that point nicely. If you didn’t market to get sales on the holiday itself this year, c onsider taking note for next year. And here’s a bonus pointer … get ready now for more shopping, returns, exchanges, and gift card use on Christmas Day this year. Mobile devices are the future and already account for nearly half of all eCommerce traffic. And interestingly, owners of Apple (iOS) devices continue to convert and spend more than Android device users. The average order value on Apple devices was $123, while Android devices clocked in at $110. Also of note, these numbers do NOT include the $25 billion racked up by Alibaba.com for “Single’s Day” on November 11th this year – a special shopping holiday in China and Southeast Asia. Black Friday – Cyber Monday on the Shopify Platform Shopify eCommerce Sales Statistics Shopify tracks total sales over the four-day period of Black Friday through Cyber Monday – they often simply refer to it as BFCM for short. Total BFCM sales in Shopify stores reached just over $1 billion this year. The overall volume flow was also significantly higher than last year. In 2016, the peak sales load across the Shopify network was $555,716 per minute. This year the peak load was more than twice as high at $1,138,574 per minute … and that’s a crazy level of added volume. Mobile shopping is significantly higher in Shopify stores than on the industry average. This year mobile accounted for 64% of all eCommerce orders in Shopify stores (a 10% bigger share than last year). This is not surprising since Shopify has seen the future and smartly optimized the platform to work great. Holiday eCommerce and Shopify – a Global Event Importantly, Shopify analytics report that Black Friday – Cyber Monday shopping is becoming a truly global online event with eCommerce sales for the period trending over trend in every major market worldwide. The biggest increases were in South Africa, Spain, the UK, Canda, and Germany. For Shopify Merchants, Email IS Still King Building that email list is still eCommerce marketing gold. Continuing a trend we’ve seen for several years, email marketing continued to have the highest conversion rate for Shopify store owners. Customer clicking in via email links converted to successful sales 4.29% of the time, on average – topping search, direct, and even social media in converting to actual transactions. Market source conversion rates in Shopify stores: Email - 4.29% Search - 3.04% Direct - 2.93% Social media - 1.81% The Holiday Season Is Just Getting Started There’s still a lot of work to be done – and it’s not time to pop the Champaign corks just yet – but all internet and economic trends are still pointing strongly positive. Current estimates for total online holiday sales across all categories range between $101 billion to $110 billion (a 7% to 16% increase over 2016). That means that as of November 28th, only half of the anticipated eCommerce sales of the season have occurred so far. The time is now. If you need any help keeping your eCommerce site working the way it needs to this holiday season, just let us know. We are always happy to help. And if you are looking to start your own eCommerce business and want to use Shopify, use this link to get started.   Black Friday - Cyber Monday eCommerce Data Sources used in this report: Adobe Digital Insights | Shopify.com | TechCrunch Single’s Day and Black Friday – Cyber Monday.     /blogs/ecommerce-insights/black-friday-cyber-monday-ecommerce-sales-results-report-2017 //cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/1694/7383/articles/TaskHusky_blog_-_Christmas_Holiday_Decor_Decorations_Ornament_Sign_Wood_Table_copy.jpeg?v=1511990148 TaskHusky new in stock 0.00 USD 470712334 Two Special Black Friday Offers for eCommerce Store OWNERS (about time, right?) Black Friday Deals … They’re Not Just for Shoppers Anymore Here at TaskHusky world headquarters we have been busier than ever helping eCommerce store owners ramp up for the holidays with apps and marketing and tweaks galore. In a way, we’re just like Santa’s workshop. Except instead of elves we have an office filled with eCommerce developer specialists and instead of reindeer we have Oreo wearing a red ball on her nose – and looking darn cute doing it, we might add. Well, this is it. The big week is here and we are all getting ready for what we hope will be the biggest holiday shopping season yet for all of us. And because we think that you – the greatest online stores in the world – should not be left out of the fun, we have created a few special Black Friday / Cyber Monday deals for you too. All TaskHusky Subscriptions – 25% off … for life! One of the big changes we made a few weeks ago was the total revamp of our subscription plan. We are always trying to tweak it so that store owners and agencies can get as much value as possible. Now that it’s ready to go, it’s time to let you know about it with a special, limited time offer. But first, let’s talk about how our subscriptions work. You subscribe … that’s it. Easy-peasy. You get: Unlimited tasks Tasks of any size Unlimited revisions One task at a time A dedicated developer (work with the same person) Predictable costs (no surprises) Your site is ALWAYS up to date with all the tweaks and mods your heart desires Cancel any time You can enjoy 25% off of your TaskHusky subscription forever. Really. The special starts on Thanksgiving Day and runs through midnight on Cyber Monday, November 27, 2017. But you have to start your subscription by clicking this link and use the promo code: BF1725OFF Give Yourself an eCommerce Gift Card (with a 25% bonus!) TaskHusky subscriptions ROCK! But if you’d still rather pay as you go, Santa Oreo – our mascot and Director of Treats – has a special treat for you too. You can get a 25% bonus on your upcoming website tasks or projects. We totally get it … you might not want to do a new project right now since you are ramping up for the holidays. That’s totally fine, because we found a way for you to fund your next task – in advance – so that you can take advantage of all the holiday good cheer. You can prepay and get a 25% bonus. Here’s how it works: Deposit $100 into your TaskHusky account, and we’ll credit you $125. Deposit $200, and you get $250 worth of work when you’re ready. Deposit $1000 now, and you’ll have $1250 in development credit waiting for you when you want to get that big project done after the holidays.  There's no limit. Deposit whatever you want now and get and extra 25% bump up in value. Cool, right?  To get the bonus you HAVE TO USE THIS LINK. Then sign in or create your new TaskHusky account and save a bunch of credits. It’s kind of the eCommerce equivalent of squirrels storing acorns. Or not … you might not like squirrels. And squirrels don’t get “bonus acorns.” But you get the idea. Importantly, just like with the subscription offer, you can only get the 25% Task bonus through midnight on Cyber Monday – November 27, 2017. Let us know if you have any questions. Have a great week and thanks for reading! /blogs/ecommerce-insights/special-black-friday-offers-for-ecommerce-store-owners-task-development //cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/1694/7383/articles/Discount_Shopify_Development_Tasks_for_Black_Friday_at_TaskHusky.jpeg?v=1511199625 TaskHusky new in stock 0.00 USD 426573838 Do NOT Run Out of Online Inventory During the Holidays – A Survival Guide Let me tell you a quick story. My own version of the "Ghost of Retail Christmas Past." My wife and I used to own a few small retail stores. This is back in the 1990s when traditional bricks and mortar malls ruled the retail world at Christmastime. As the holidays approached each year we literally would rent additional storage space near each location and stuff it to the gills with merchandise in October and November because the greatest retail sin we could image was running out of stuff to sell when everyone was buying. Anyway … I was walking around one of our malls in Late October and came across a man who was meticulously arranging the merchandise in his new holiday store. Seriously … his little shop looked really good. We struck up a conversation. This was his first venture into retail and his first holiday season. He had signed up for a temporary mall lease during the holidays. In those days that was VERY expensive, but you could make a ton of cash if you did it right. His temp store was a small, unleased corner of the mall. He had a good location but no rear entrance or storage. I asked him where his holiday back-stock was. He said he had none. I looked around his shelves and saw maybe $13k to $15k worth of stock in total. I quickly asked if the rest of his holiday orders were in route. Nope … he was going to order as he needed … during the holidays. He was out of inventory before the end of November. But due to the requirements of his lease with the mall, he had to keep his store open with an employee sitting there until mid-January. Can you imagine anything more frustrating and demoralizing? When I would step out for a cup of coffee I had to walk right by. For more than a month it would just be a teenager reading a book in an empty store as thousands of Holiday shoppers walked around. Perfecting Shopify Holiday Inventory in the eCommerce Age Things have changed radically over the last twenty years! We use technology not only to sell our wares to a world-wide audience, but also to manage all the logistics of a modern retail operation – from inventory to shipping. But at the center of the gift-giving season it remains the same … it’s a retail sin to have nothing to sell during the last sixty days of the year. It will definitely get you on the eCommerce naughty list. But sales forecasting is equal parts science, art, and luck in the best of circumstances. And even your most reliable suppliers can have trouble getting bulk shipments to you when all the UPS trucks are deployed to residential streets dropping off fruitcakes and knitted sweaters. Fortunately, technology has delivered a few back-stops to help you fill out your holiday wish list – more sales. Let’s look at a few ways that every online Shopify merchant can add sales opportunities without adding a lot of risk and make sure that “out-of-stock” is a rare occurrence this holiday season. Gift Cards Some people think of gift cards as a holiday cop-out. Not me. Especially if your eCommerce site carries specialty products. Sometimes picking EXACTLY the right gift for a person is hard – even if they know you well. Heck … my family loves me, but I am the only Jazz-loving Whiskey-sipping Bass-playing Content-writing member of my tribe. The good people that they are, they can’t tell the difference between a Single Malt and Johnny Walker Black or unerstand that I still need a few of Ray Charles’s rare pre-Atlantic recordings for my collection. A gift card will do just fine, thank you very much. But gift cards are also the PERFECT tool for eCommerce store owners to balance out their inventory flow. You capture the sale now and then process the orders after the holidays when the calendar and clock are more your friend. The best part is that gift cards sold from your Shopify store have zero up front cost and zero carrying costs. And multiple Shopify Sales Channels support the native gift card tools – including Pinterest, Facebook, and Messenger. It’s just a total win all the way around. If you are in a "Shopify Plan" and above (middle tier and higher) there is Gift Card functionality already built-in. You can find information in the Shopify online help docs. But there are also a bunch of third-party apps to help you out if you are on a lower plan or need some specialty functionality. Add Subscription Gifts to Your Holiday Product Portfolio Think about it. This is a holiday gift-giving retail strategy that has been proven for generations. Companies sell monthly gift packages of everything from perfumes and cosmetics to fresh fruit and cheese. I once gave my dad a six-month subscription to “Beers of the World.” This is great for the gift giver and receiver. But it's super-awesome for online stores. If you have a product line that lends itself to this kind of thing, you can dribble out featured products as a part of the subscription and – so long as you fulfill the requirements of your subscription plan and continue to delight the receiver – there is no limit to the kinds of products you can include or the order in which you are required to send them. And all of that happens AFTER the holidays when suppliers can get you what you need more easily. There are several apps available in the Shopify App Store that can help you get started. In-Shopify Product Sourcing First, a word of caution. Your brand is important. As tempting as it may be, you do not want to sell anything and everything on your Shopify eCommerce site. Your customers are likely coming to you because of the kinds of products and services you sell now, and you have likely designed your site to cater to a specific target market. Do NOT mess with that. That said, there are a bunch of companies whose sole purpose for existence is to become a third-party sourcing and fulfillment arm of other Shopify stores. They provide the product, delivery, and sometimes even customization. If these Shopify apps – available from the Shopify App Store – have products that fit neatly into your core target market and style, then the holidays just might be the perfect time to try them out by carefully curating the products you add from their services. Again, it’s a great way to augment your product offerings and provide more selection – especially during the holiday season. If You Need More Shopify Inventory Help During the Holidays It’s going to get crazy out there. The stock market, consumer confidence, and macro-economic indicators are all pointing positive this holiday season for the first time in years. There are no guarantees, but this year has the makings of a record-breaking eCommerce season. Make sure that your inventory and strategy are ready for the potential. If you need help implementing any of these things in your Shopify eCommerce store, start a task and we’ll get right on it. And if you are just getting started in eCommerce and want to give Shopify a try, use this special link to sign up and get started with the most innovative online platform available today. Thanks for reading! /blogs/ecommerce-insights/shopify-online-product-inventory-holiday-survival-guide //cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/1694/7383/articles/Shopify_Inventory_Holiday_Success_with_Apps_and_Services_from_TaskHusky.jpeg?v=1510701087 TaskHusky new in stock 0.00 USD 232783886 An Email Marketing Crash Course for Black Friday / Cyber Monday eCommerce This is it folks! Thanksgiving is just four weeks away, and with it comes the bust-down-the-doors rush of holiday shopping that thrills us and works us to death at the same time. It’s awesome! In order to maximize your holiday season for the year, you simply HAVE to get your email marketing act together, and I’m here to help. Email marketing is still the mac-daddy king of eCommerce promotion opportunities. That’s because where advertising and search engine marketing (SEO / SEM) work well, your email list – coupled with your social media – access your current customers and followers. You know, the folks who ALREADY like your stuff and need gifts. We KNOW that you are pressed for time, so we’ll keep this blog post short and sweet. Now is not the time to be timid. Dive in and get your email marketing together and shine like a Christmas star. And to help, I have included some sample Black Friday / Cyber Monday marketing message ideas to inapire you and that you can even use in your emails if you want to. And those ideas can also be EASILY re-purposed in your social media campaigns to jump off the screen and get some attention. (By the way ... all of the sample message images were gathered from the image and photo services mentioned in our recent blog post that you should really read because it's awesome.) Don’t Believe the Holiday Calendar Mythology Black Friday is, of course, the huge first “official” day of the holiday shopping season. It occurs each year on the day after Thanksgiving and the conventional wisdom says that Black Friday is when everyone shops at stores in person, and then Cyber Monday is when everyone starts their online shopping. Don’t Believe it! It’s a trap! That’s the kind of old-school thinking that will cost you serious money. Let everyone else who has an online store plan on Cyber Monday. You get out there and compete before AND after to beat them to the punch. I guarantee you that in between college football games and turkey-infused tryptophan naps, your customers are going to be on their smartphones. They will be cruising social media, checking their emails, and thinking about their holiday gift-giving. That means you need to break out of the artificial structured thinking that the calendar foists upon you. If you want to capture the biggest share of the online dollar-spend this year, treat Black Friday and Cyber Monday as a week-long bacchanalia of online binge-shopping, because that's exactly what it can be. Create a special Pre-Black Friday email and send it out Wednesday morning. Include special “today only” promos. Then send another “Thanksgiving Day” email with a special offer – and make it your top-selling, most in-demand sales item. Make that deal ONLY apply to that item when purchased on Thanksgiving Day. Send it out Thanksgiving morning early. Then blast a Black Friday special offer on Friday AND a Cyber Monday special offer on Monday. That’s four emails over six days. Importantly, make sure that each offer is unique because it adds credibility and urgency to your campaigns. If you use social media for marketing and/or as a sales channel, post identical offers on your social media platforms as well. And since the marginal cost of sending one more mail is almost zero, even consider creating a “Cyber-TUESDAY” promo too. I guarantee you that someone is going to do that and get some extra sales while their competition isn’t looking. Don’t believe the mythical holiday eCommerce calendar or “conventional wisdom.” The rest of the year, people can get frustrated by too many emails. But this week is different. This special week, EVERYONE is looking for great deals and the first/best deals that generate the most attention will get the sales. Get Creative for the Holidays I’m sure that you’ve noticed this too. Major brands that normally stick to rigid styles and formats most of the year break out of their artistic shells during the holidays. They use bolder typefaces, brighter colors, traditional icon and symbols, and more playful messages. This is definitely the time of the year to be more flexible and creative in your marketing presentations. Of course, it’s important to ALWAYS remember your audience (it’s never, NEVER really about “you”). You don’t want to bust your brand or image. But you can let your creative hair down a bit and have some fun. Most of your customers want you to because they are getting in the holiday mood themselves. When Holiday Stressed, Humor Sells If you’re not funny, don’t try it. But if you have a bit of a sense of humor, this is the time to let it fly. From Black Friday through Cyber Monday you are going to be competing for attention with a bazillion other retailers. You can get more customer attention with great deals, great images, and a gentle poke in the funny bone. But … remember the rules. Stay away from politics, religion, race, and any other controversial subjects. Remember that no matter how “right” you are about any topic you can think of, I would bet serious cash money that some of your customers disagree with you. The season is about fun and solving customer’s shopping problems while having a bit of fun doing it. And you don’t need to make them laugh out loud. Just get them to smile a little and you have their attention. Dip into holiday clichés and puns and reference a bit of pop culture. Rule of thumb: if it makes you smile without thinking negative thoughts about anyone or any group, you are probably on target. Focus Your Holiday eCommerce Emails – One or Two Products at a Time A lot of eCommerce stores try to cram too many offers into their emails, especially in this all-important week. If every email you send has every deal and special offer in it, people will get annoyed. Better to let each email you send feature one or two special products at a time. That way each email the customer opens reveals something new and interesting. You can link them to a landing page with a ton of offers and specials, or you can remarket those other items to them later. But the first point of conversion is to get them to see every single email you send and look forward to the next one. This will get you fewer unsubscribes and more click-through action to your website, which is where the real selling gets done. Stay focused, stay clever, get clicks. Remember to Measure ... Everything Now that you will be trying out some new things, remember to keep track of which emails went out along with the open and click-through rates for each one. It is natural for email campaign open and click rates to decline a tad over time as a campaign rolls out. But aside from the slight trend, spikes up and down will tell you what kinds of emails worked – and which didn’t – with your particular audience. Maximize the value of your email marketing effort this year by learning what works for next time. Use Email Marketing Now to Supercharge Your eCommerce Sales in Shopify and Beyond There are so many more little tricks and tips, but I promised to keep this email short. If you are fairly new to email marketing for the holiday eCommerce sales, this should be enough to get you started. If you are an experienced eCommerce marketing pro, I hope that you still found a few nuggets of value here as well. There’s no time to waste. Let’s make 2017 our best eCommerce selling season ever. As always, let us know if you need any help and share this post with other entrepreneurs and store owners, because, well ... it's just a nice thing to do at the holidays. Thanks for reading. And if you are just thinking about getting started with Shopify for your new eCommerce store, use this special link to get started on the right foot. Let us know if you need help. /blogs/ecommerce-insights/email-marketing-crash-course-black-friday-cyber-monday-ecommerce-success //cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/1694/7383/articles/TaskHusky_Blog_2_-_Santa_Internet_Gift_Speed_Christmas_Online_Shopping_eCommerce_Fast_Convenient_copy.jpeg?v=1509229797 TaskHusky new in stock 0.00 USD 215788046 The Great Questions You Need to Ask of Your Shopify Developer 2017 has really been a watershed year for the Shopify eCommerce platform – the number of eCommerce sites hosted on Shopify has doubled in just the last ten months. Think about that for a moment. The platform has exploded to reach a full 9% of the entire market among the top 1 million eCommerce websites. And not only is it the number one eCommerce platform in its home country of Canada with 25% of the market, but it’s also number one in Australia and tied at number one in the largest eCommerce market in the world – the United States. But the real important statistic is that their growth rate of 100% year-over-year (as measured by BuiltWith) far outstrips the growth rate of the internet over all. And that means that Shopify is not just taking a disproportionate share of the new eCommerce sites coming online, but they are taking customers and sites away from other more established players in the game. It’s simple. Shopify is the hottest eCommerce platform on the internet today. So why am I reminding you of all that? How Shopify Development Is Like A Midwest Tornado As I write this article I sit securely in TaskHusky’s Content Creation Command Center located in the heart of America’s Midwest – Omaha, Nebraska. We get our share of wind-storms and hail, and the occasional tornado. Every time a storm blows through town, hundreds of shoddy neighborhood repair trucks with dubious qualifications and expired licenses swam around town. It’s a popular scam … they take work deposits and then skip town. The locals call them “storm-chasers.” The point is that you have to be careful out there. I remember when WordPress really took off. All of a sudden EVERYONE was a WordPress website expert. People were slapping the WordPress logo on every tech company or design agency online. But I guarantee you that the number or real, true-blue WordPress experts – the really experienced folks who knew their way around the software – did not quadruple overnight. But if you read the About Us pages of their websites, you sure would think so. Our team has been in the Shopify eCommerce game since way back in 2009. Now that Shopify is the eCommerce Belle-of-the-Ball for online retail, we’ve started to see glimmers of the same thing happening in the Shopify community as well. Here come the storm-chasers! Well, forewarned is forearmed. But don’t worry … we’ve got your back. Whether you are talking about a complete Shopify site set-up and configuration or a few small task tweaks to improve performance, there are a handful of questions you should ask your Shopify developer before you let them work on your eCommerce store. Shopify Developer Question 1 - Are Revisions Included? This sounds like a simple thing, but most developers don’t consider the revision process when they quote a job. Making sure that revisions are included really helps you out three ways. First, if something is not working the way you thought it should or because there was a miscommunication of some sort, you are going to need it changed without it busting your project budget. But this also serves another purpose, because if revisions are included it tells you that your developer it pretty confident in their work. They likely know what to expect because they have done the task a hundred times already. And it also ensures that they have the INCENTIVE to do it right the first time. If revisions aren’t included, well … let’s just say that there is a misplaced incentive to not take the time to do it the way you want it, because you’ll be paying for each change order. Shopify Developer Question 2 - Do You Have a Satisfaction Guarantee? A Satisfaction Guarantee is not the same thing as Revisions Included. A Satisfaction Guarantee not only says that the job was done as you expected (revisions), but it means that the project is completed and you are happy with the results. If you aren’t happy, then the task is redone until you are happy. It’s that simple. It takes a special kind of confidence to offer a Satisfaction Guarantee. And yes … it’s completely true that some people will never ever be happy. But in our experience the VAST majority of Shopify store owners are good business people who expect great performance and know it when they see it. So, make sure that your developer guarantees your happiness. Shopify Developer Question 3 - Are You a Shopify Expert? Shopify vets their partner and expert programs pretty thoroughly. Not everyone can get in. And just because someone says – in text form – that they are “experts in Shopify” does not mean that they are actual, official, Shopify Experts. I am not disrespecting any of the really great and smart developers out there who want to do Shopify work. I don’t blame them, Shopify is awesome and the community is great. But being an official Shopify Expert and displaying the official icon means something … and it's a difference that matters. Shopify Developer Question 4 - How Long Do You Have to Approve the Project or Tasks Once Completed? Ok, so let’s say that you have a Shopify developer working on a task and then – over the weekend – you are notified via email that the task is completed. You get to the store on Monday and look around, and it looks pretty good. But then you notice that it’s not working right. So, you reply to the email only be informed that you only had 24 or 48 hours to approve the work.  Yes, it happens. Look … everyone needs to have a window to review and approve things like this. But a day or two are just not enough. Heck, in a small store you might not even have a customer walk through the checkout on a Sunday in August. You simply need more time, right? I recommend that you make sure that your Shopify developer allows for at least five days to check the work. A full week is better. That way you have the time to look and measure the impact on business before giving your final blessing. Shopify Developer Question 5 - Do You Have Experience With Mobile? Mobile is a BIG deal! Una Vaya Cosa! Le Important Sujet! Gosse Sache! Bol’shaya Sdelka! OK, I speak a little Spanish (very little) and not really a word of French, German, or Russian. But, it’s true in any language. If you are on the internet and NOT worrying about mobile right now you are making a huge mistake. All the best Shopify Themes are responsive for a reason, right? As of 2016, more internet traffic arrives at mobile devices than not. And this is only going to get bigger. And since you bought a quality theme (and you did buy a quality theme, right?), your Shopify eCommerce website is going to be mobile-responsive and looking gorgeous on every technology or device platform.  But … When you add apps and code snippets or tweak the appearance of a site, sometimes you have to make special tweaks to ensure that the mobile user experience (UX) keeps looking great. You might be surprised how many times we’ve been called in to fix the mobile side of some work that someone else has done. An experienced Shopify developer will know what to look for and how to keep mobile UX issues from occurring. And – if something does get out of alignment on mobile – they’ll know how to fix it as a part of the deal. Shopify Developer Question 6 - What is your eCommerce-specific experience? This might sound like a bit of an odd question, right? I mean, it’s Shopify … it’s all eCommerce! Well, yes. But eCommerce is different from other kinds of websites and internet assets. If eCommerce is all you do in your agency, you have a different understanding of things like conversions and cart abandonment and specialized marketing. You get a feel for product descriptions and photography. You have fixed hundreds of inventory issues and installed thousands of shipping and logistics apps. Being an eCommerce specialist is more than just understanding the code, platform, and technology. It’s just different than if you are dividing your time between eCommerce and designing logos or working on regular corporate sites. This is especially true when your livelihood depends on the results. You are playing at a whole new level. For example … there are a lot of gifted college ball players who lettered in multiple sports. But you will never hear about a professional Major League Baseball player who is also a professional linebacker for the NFL at the same time. Yes, individual agencies can have dedicated eCommerce staff. That’s perfectly fine. Just make sure that whoever is working on your site eats, drinks, and sleeps eCommerce because your business deserves a pro.  The Six Questions to Ask Your Shopify eCommerce Developer Six seems like a weird number of items in a blog post. But hey, that’s the list. As always, let us know if you have any questions or need help with a problem of task. We are always happy to help. Thanks for reading! /blogs/ecommerce-insights/great-questions-to-ask-your-shopify-developer-first //cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/1694/7383/articles/TaskHusky_Blog_Header_-_Developer_Questions.jpg?v=1508296167 TaskHusky new in stock 0.00 USD 215712526 Five Small Tasks You Need To Add To Your Shopify Theme Before Black Friday There are exactly six weeks to go before Black Friday and Cyber Monday rock your retail-sales-loving world for 2017. The first thing that you need to know is that there’s still time. Making a few changes here, adding a handful of affordable apps there can make a huge difference – not only in increasing holiday sales, but that carry business-building benefits forward for the rest of the year. Let’s get right to it because there's no time to waste. Five Small Task Projects in Shopify That You Can Do Now for Holiday Success Build Urgency With Countdown Timers If you are a regular reader of our content, you already know that communicating urgency and scarcity is one of the most powerful methods to drive conversions. It’s simple. “Shopping” is not the same thing and “buying.” Customers will be on your Shopify eCommerce website shopping for gifts this season. They are – at some point – going to BUY actually gifts. Your job is to help them buy now on YOUR site before they do more shopping. If the customer thinks that they can come back at any time to make their gift purchases, they are more likely to keep shopping. But hey … you’ve got great merchandise and you are going to deliver, so let’s get them to commit right now. If they can see that a sale or promotional price is ending soon, it can be the perfect bump to get them into the buying mood. And during the holidays, one of the most effective things you can do is give a visual indication of shipping deadlines. This is where countdown timers come in. There are a lot of ways to implement countdown timers. One of our favorites on the Shopify platform is the Countdown Sales Timer by Pixel Union. Not only is it professionally built and supported, but there is a free version so that you can test it out for yourself with no risk. The free version works great, but some of the fancier options and design templates are only available in the paid version. Fortunately, if you want to upgrade it’s only $5.99 per month. We’ve helped hundreds of customers install and configure countdown timers. If you have any questions, just let us know. Use the Holiday Season to Super-charge Your Email List Seriously … traffic will never be higher on your eCommerce website. This is a great time to capture more customers and build that email database of contacts for future marketing. Building your email list was one of the top recommendations in our 2017 Holiday Marketing Guide. But what’s the best way to implement a solution now? The best way to get site visitors to sign up for your emails is to use special offers and discount codes. We’ve all done it. We’ll visit a site and find something we like. Then, that pop-up appears and offers us a promo code to save 20% via email. It works on us, and it works on your customers too. That means implementing pop-ups on your site. But pop-ups don’t have to be clunky, ugly boxes of annoyance. You can use well-designed apps like PixelPop to make your subscription message sing and perfectly match your theme design. PixelPop also integrates nicely with MailChimp – the leader in email marketing – which brings a level of automation to make sure that adding more email addresses does not add to your workload. Again, if you have any questions on implementing this solution, just shoot us a note. “Back in Stock” Means Back in the Black So, that customer has found your site and they have found the PERFECT gift for Uncle Joe … only to discover that you are out of stock. But what they don’t know is that you have another shipment on the way. This can happen a lot during the holidays as your product suppliers get their orders out to retails as fast as they can. Fortunately, the Shopify community has responded and built apps to help you get those customers back to your online store the minute that the next shipment hits your dock. Our current favorite app to help with this holiday-critical task is Back in Stock by app developers Yellow Robot. Not only will it help you salvage sales by emailing your interested customers as soon as the products are checked back into inventory, but it can give you a real-time indicator of pent-up demand. You can access the top products that your real customers are following in the Back in Stock dashboard. So you get more sales and customer insight as well. Sounds like a win-win to us. Hang On to Potential Sales with eCommerce Retargeting Just like we said in out 2017 Holiday Marketing Success Guide, no matter how your customers got to your Shopify eCommerce website, it cost you something to get then there and you can’t afford to lose them. Fortunately, you just don’t have to. Now is the perfect time to implement retargeting. Retargeting is especially powerful during the holidays because it reminds customers of the cool products they saw on your site … while they are searching on other sites. And in most cases, you only pay when those customers click to come back to your site. There are a lot of retargeting companies out there – internet advertising is big business! But on Shopify our personal favorite is AdRoll. It's easy to implement on the Shopify eCommerce platform and the rates are fair. You need to set up tracking pixels and do a little configuration, etc. But if you don’t want to take the time or hassle, we can set it up for you – we do dozens of Shopify AdRoll set-ups each week. But the point is that retargeting ads like these have some of the best conversion rates of any online ads. It’s stronger than search, stronger than social, and stronger than Adwords because they target customers that have already been on your site and looked at your products. Sweet Referrals Taste Like Candy Everyone knows that referral business has a lower sales resistance. These days, you need a referral program. I honestly don’t understand why more Shopify eCommerce sites don’t implement a referral program of some sort. I do so much of my shopping online it’s crazy! It’s convenient and I like it. I refer products and services to friends and family all the time. Sometimes I get an extra discount on my next purchase, sometimes the discount is payed forward to the person I am referring. But really, most of the time I just want to do it. A lot of my friends have similar interests – wine, cooking, Jazz music, technology stuff, etc. I know that if I like a product, they might like it too. I can personally tell you that sites that make it easy for me to refer products get more referrals out of me. If I have to copy the page link and then paste it into an email, most of the time I just can’t be bothered. You CAN make it easy for all those holiday shoppers to refer your products and services this year by using a service that helps them out. Somewhat ironically, we’ve been referring Referral Candy to our customers for a while. And I’ve had a chance to meet some of their team. They are great to work with. So if you are looking to implement a referral program out for the holidays – and we think that you should – the give them a try. The good folks at Referral Candy will even give you a discount off your first few months if you use this link. And if you need any help getting it installed and set up, just let us know. Time to Have Your Best eCommerce Holiday Season Ever Remember folks … there are only six weeks left before things get gloriously crazy. But six weeks is still plenty of time to implement these five small tasks that will boost your holiday sales. As always, thanks for reading and let us know if you need any help. And share this post with your eCommerce friends so they can celebrate a successful holiday season right along with you. /blogs/ecommerce-insights/five-small-tasks-to-add-to-your-shopify-theme-before-black-friday-cyber-monday //cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/1694/7383/articles/TaskHusky_Blog_-_The_Shopify_Small_Tasks_That_Keep_On_Giving.jpg?v=1507932104 TaskHusky new in stock 0.00 USD 215597390 Find a Community and Grow Your eCommerce Business With Facebook Groups In the world of modern marketing, everyone has an opinion about Facebook Groups. Of course, I have my views too. The point is that there’s a lot of conflicting information online and cutting through the noise can be difficult. This stems from the general confusion around social media right now and the intense pressure of advertising and marketing efforts in the social space. Facebook – by far the largest social platform ranked by number of users – has become a constant barrage of posts and ads. So, while Mark Zuckerberg is looking for a new place to store his huge pile of cash, the rest of us are trying to cut through all the clutter to get some real value out of the platform that Mark built. Facebook Groups are currently a great way to get that value. In this post, we’re going to walk through how to find the best Facebook Groups to join for your eCommerce business. But first, let’s review my rules for participating in Facebook Groups as a marketing professional. My 3 Rules of Facebook Group Marketing (Trust Me) Facebook Group Rule #1: It’s NOT About You Whether it’s Coffee Drinkers in Omaha or Needlepoint Fans in Minnesota, the great thing about Facebook Groups is that people join willingly as an expression of their genuine interest in that topic. If you are trying to market coffee products and services in Nebraska, that “Coffee Drinkers of Omaha” group is comprised of just about the perfect set of target customers as you are ever likely to find. WooHoo! But here’s the rub … if all those Cornhusker-loving Nebraska caffeine addicts see you posting a bunch of discount offers and promos for your new coffee shop, they will likely kick you out of the group. That’s not what Facebook Groups are supposed to be about. One of the current thought-leaders in internet and social media marketing is Gary Vaynerchuk. He is a content-generating machine – seriously … this guy is everywhere. But one of his core philosophies is what he calls “Jab, Jab, Jab … Right Hook.” It basically means that you need to deliver a lot of value first … long before you ever get the opportunity to make a pitch for your business. Think of Facebook Groups that way. You first need to join the “community” of real people in that particular Facebook Group. Then you need to be active in that community by participating in discussions and posting interesting and entertaining things related to the topic while liking and sharing interesting posts by others in the group. You need to offer resources and advice about the topics posted without ulterior motives (no selling). If you do all these things, all those coffee-lovers will eventually notice you and your effort. They will start to visit your business and personal Facebook pages to see who you are. They will reach out to you and ask questions. They will start tagging you in their posts to make sure that you notice what they are posting. And they will visit your website. All these things establish your brand in your target market. If you do it right, being recognized as a solid contributor and expert in the right Facebook Group will perform the REAL magic of successful business – you’ll build relationships with real people. And all it costs you is time and the effort of talking about a topic that you should be passionate about already. Facebook Group Rule #2: This Is Long-Game Thinking These days, when you measure the impact of advertising the results can be almost immediate. When you send out a marketing email, within 24 hours you can gauge open and click-through rates. If you hang a 50%-off sign in your window, you know if people liked the offer by the end of the day. Even Facebook Ads report clicks and purchases in real time. A successful effort in Facebook Groups is NOT about getting more business tomorrow. It’s about building your brand and business over the long-haul by joining a community of interested and engaged people. Sure … every once in a while, you will post something and get an immediate return. But the real value – the kind that endures – will build up over months and years. That’s the way of all things. It’s a cliché, but it’s true – consistency and reliability wins the race in Facebook Groups. Facebook Group Rule #3: Trolls Not Allowed I have watched small business owners follow all the advice in Rule #1 and Rule #2, then bomb out because they went negative. That’s not to say that they joined a discussion that was legitimately critical of something. To use our Nebraska Coffee Shop example, if there is a post and conversation thread discussing the poor coffee harvest or the failure of a new line of espresso machines, that’s all fair game. “Going negative” means something else entirely. One of the unwritten rules of marketing is, “Don’t Be a Jerk.” Even if everyone else out there is criticizing one of your competitors, stay out of it. If a group member posts something that is just plain uninformed or in bad taste, leave it alone. Let the rest of the community correct them and deal with any issue. You can’t afford to waste a single ounce of reputation, good will, or positive energy. Besides … you don’t have time to get in an internet flame-war with anyone. OK … those are the rules, and I stand by them. Now let’s find the perfect Facebook Group for you. Find the Right Facebook Group for Your eCommerce Business Joining the right Facebook Group can be like getting instant followers. If you post to a group, everyone in that group has the opportunity to see your content whether or not they follow you personally. They can engage with it by commenting, sharing, and Liking it – all of which helps you build your reputation. Let all the other guys out there brag that they have 500 followers and you only have 50. Followers can be bought, and family and friends will follow just to be polite. If you are an active, respected member of a Facebook Group with 500 members you’re the one who’s winning on social. Not only do you have more people seeing your posts online, but you KNOW that every single one of them is on target and engaged with the topic. Finding Facebook Groups is relatively easy. It all starts with a search inside Facebook. You’ve probably used this search function to find family or friends online. This search field is located on the top left corner of your Facebook page. We can use this search to find Facebook Groups that we’d be interested in. Let’s say that we are in the business of selling craft beers and beer-making supplies in the Seattle area. We start by searching for the word “beer.” When you do, the default setting will show you all the recent posts by your existing followers and friends that mention “beer” on top, with other kinds of results scrolling down below. But notice that a new navigation bar appears that allows you to refine your search. If you click on “Groups” in that navigation bar, the results now show you relevant groups in Facebook. At first glance, that group on top looks pretty good. It’s called “Beer People” and has more than 9000 members! But make sure that you read the details. This group is “loosely centered in Minnesota.” If you are doing business nationally, this might be great. But if you want to cater to the local market, you might need to narrow your search. Let’s refine our search a bit and enter “beer Seattle.” Now we’re getting somewhere. We’ve located an active group – Beer Tasting Seattle – with more than 4000 members. And we can see that it’s a growing group since there are currently 52 “new” members. If we click on this group we can learn even more about them. That click brings us to the group’s entry page. But we can’t see anything yet because – as you can see – this is a “closed group.” There are three types of Facebook Groups: Public, Closed, and Secret. Public Groups allow random visitors to view, Like, and Share content from the group’s posts. But visitors will not be able to create new posts unless they’re members. Closed groups – like Beer Tasting Seattle – allow folks to see the group page and some of the members, but not any of the content. You have to join the group to view, Like, Share, and post. Secret Groups cannot be found by searching. They are only available via invitation – a group admin or member has to send you an invitation to join. It’s nothing sinister … well, we hope not. If you are ever invited to one of these secret groups you will not likely find Knights Templar plotting the overthrow of foreign governments. Lots of individuals and businesses create “Secret Groups” to use Facebook as a kind of private communication and organization tool for projects. Most people never even know they exist. Since Beer Tasting Seattle is a closed group and we are a beer company based in the area, we might want to join the group and try it out. But remember – these groups are a bit wary about who gets access to their members. Some groups are set for immediate/instant approval upon request. Others require a group admin to approve each potential member. And some groups – just like this one – even make prospective group members fill out a short online questionnaire. The point is that – if you remember back to my 3 Rules of Facebook Group Marketing – group members want to make sure that you are an actual person interested in the topic and NOT just a person looking to troll and advertise. You need to convince them that you belong in their group. If you are in a business that you care about and have respectful and authoritative opinions on the topic at hand, this should not be a problem. If your motivations are pure, you’ll be accepted and on your way. Finding Even More Relevant Facebook Groups Let me take you back for a moment to when we first arrived at the Deer Tasting Seattle page. Facebook assumes that – since we clicked on the link to this group – we might be interested in other similar groups. Of course we are! So, if you scroll down a bit on that landing page, in the right column you will come across a section called “Suggested Groups.” In this case, if you do business across the Pacific Northwest, this is a treasure trove of opportunity to join other related Facebook Groups in your region. Should I Worry About Facebook Group Size? In your search, you will see groups of all sizes. The largest group is not necessarily the best one for you. What you want to look for are active groups that are as close to your target community as possible. If you are in the business of photography equipment, a 200-member group that is actively discussing the latest lenses and editing techniques located in your home state might be a better fit than a 1000-member group where everyone is just sharing the latest selfie they took on their iPhone. Always look for the community that is active first, then pick the one you fit best in. The size of the group should be your third criteria. I guarantee you that if you find people who are just as passionate and interested as you, they will help you spread the word to a wider audience. How Many Facebook Groups Should I Join? It’s easy to get excited and join a dozen groups right away. Resist that impulse. Start with one. Get involved and post. Remember that consistency is key. People will want to see you participating and being a good community member. If – after a few months – you find that you can handle more or you want to find a more active community, then join another. If you are doing this on your own, I would suggest that you stay fully involve with no more than three or four groups. You will be investing time and attention in these groups and each of us only has so many hours in the day. A Brief Word on Making Your Own Facebook Group Any Facebook User can create their own group on virtually any topic. But the Facebook landscape is littered with attempts. As you explore you will find thousands of groups with two or three members and others that have been long abandoned without a post in months or years.  I am not saying that you should never make your own group. But if you are new at it, you might want to join a few groups and learn the ins and outs before you take on becoming an admin to your own. Building a new community from scratch is hard. It can be worthwhile, but most of the time it’s better to become a valued member of an existing community.  Go Forth and Facebook Group This is everything that you need to get started finding and joining Facebook Groups that will help you grow your community, your brand, and your business by forging relationships. Remember the 3 Rules of Facebook Group Marketing and you will find success – and even some new friends – in the process. Thanks for reading! /blogs/ecommerce-insights/grow-your-ecommerce-business-with-community-based-facebook-groups //cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/1694/7383/articles/TaskHusky_Blog_trimmed_-_People_Chat_Social_Proof_Comment_Conversation_Communicate.jpeg?v=1507735727 TaskHusky new in stock 0.00 USD 214950350 Keeping Your Customer Data Safe and Secure on the Shopify eCommerce Platform With the recent announcement regarding the huge Equifax data breach, the world’s attention is focused once again on data security and data protection. The Equifax breach is one of the largest on record, but to be fair, Equifax is not alone. There have been a series of data and security breaches. Most are small, but all are cause for concern. The Identity Theft Resource Center has reported more than one thousand data breaches so far in 2017, with three and half months left to go! In an age where information is currency, someone is always trying to pick your pocket. Fighting off the forces of internet evil is a continual struggle. It requires consistent vigilance and a bit of technological savvy. With some eCommerce solutions – especially add-on or open source solutions – maintaining security can be problematic. One of the benefits of using a dedicated, professional eCommerce platform like Shopify is that they have a team of engineers who are responsible for staying on top of security issues online. That said, it’s worth reviewing some of the security protocols already in place at Shopify and also touching base on some of the things you can do to ensure that your store data and customers stay safe. And some of those things will actual have the side benefit of improving your search rankings because Google is on a big security kick right now. Let’s get to it. What Shopify Does to Maintain eCommerce Data Security The first thing that you learn when you are researching security issues online is that the nitty-gritty details of security – the types of firewalls used, the handshake protocols, etc. – are simply not released. This makes sense, right? The last thing that you want to advertise to a would-be thief is a complete listing of everything your did to stop him from entering your house. But Shopify has been forthcoming with answers to user questions and basic details of their security setup. The first thing to know is that the Shopify Platform and network are PCI compliant. The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) was founded by all the big credit and payment card companies – American Express, Discover, JBC, MasterCard and Visa – to encourage companies to implement a standardized set of security measures to prevent fraud. What this means is that – since the credit card companies are often on the hook for credit card fraud – they have a vested interest in helping keep the financial data safe. And they do a pretty good job of it. What also helps is that Shopify doesn’t retain credit card or personal customer info from your eCommerce transactions. The data needed to authorize a transaction is passed directly through to the banks. So “hacking” in to the Shopify network just won’t pay off because there is nothing in there to get to. The transaction passes right through. Ultimately, your customers' credit card info is as safe as your payment processor’s systems. In some cases – maybe even most cases – Shopify merchants use Shopify Payments. Since Shopify is not a bank, they are using a professional, third-party processing company to process payments. All this means is that – even if you are using Shopify Payments – credit card data is not being stored on your site or on Shopify’s computers. What You Can Do There should be nothing you need to do here at all. Even though no one can guarantee that nothing bad will ever happen, Shopify should have this under control. But if you are using a third-party payment processing company, you should ensure that they have their security house in order. You can read more about Shopify's PCI Compliance here.  The Kinds of Information Kept Inside Shopify According to Shopify’s online documentation, your Shopify site retains basic order information. This includes their name, address, and email address. It also lists the product(s) purchased. If you have activated and set-up Customer Accounts, then it also retains the password that they use when they register for a customer account on your store. When implemented, Shopify requires that customer passwords be at least five characters long – which is not too much by today’s standard. It allows the use of special characters, which is great. But since the information stored there is only name, address, and email (no financial info) it is likely secure enough. You can learn all about Shopify Customer Accounts in the online help. What You Can Do Even though Shopify requires only five characters for Customer Accounts, we recommend that your customers use eight-character passwords with special characters and numbers included. It’s an extra step, but every little bit helps. Is Your Shopify eCommerce Store Safe From Other Kinds of Internet Attacks? Sometimes people on the internet seem to just make trouble because they can. Two of the most common types of attack on all kinds of websites are Brute-force attacks and Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks. Shopify has protection measures in place for both of these. Brute-force attacks are when someone writes a program that tries to login or otherwise gain access to a site by literally attempting to login thousands of times in a row. The most common type of Brute-force attack is called a Dictionary attack where the malicious attacker’s systems literally try all of the most common passwords and all of the most common words in the dictionary when trying to login. Fortunately, Shopify’s systems are protected by firewalls and other perimeter security measures that detect multiple login attempts and block them quickly. In a DDoS attack, the bad guys set up multiple computers or devices all over the world and set them to access a website all at the same time – overloading a site's ability to respond to the data and making it unavailable. The most effective method to combat this kind of attack is by utilizing a Content Delivery Network (CDN) that not only makes your website load more quickly no matter where in the world a visitor is, but it also distributes DDoS attacks over hundreds of points. This means that Shopify stores are protected from all but the largest and most sophisticated kinds of DDoS attacks. You can read more about Shopify’s CDN network on the online help. What You Need To Do Again, Shopify seems to have this covered. What You Can Do to Keep Your Shopify eCommerce Site and Data Safe Your Shopify Passwords Even though financial information is not kept (hosted) on your Shopify eCommerce site, malicious people can still make trouble. The most important thing that you can do is make sure that your password is very strong. It might surprise you to learn how easy it is to guess or use "social engineer" methods to guess passwords. Remembering these stronger passwords can sometimes feel inconvenient. But it is definitely worth it. You can use a password vault service to create and store these more complicated passwords. And you should make certain that each person who has employee or admin access to your Shopify store is also using strong passwords. In our opinion, at a minimum your admin passwords should be eight characters long and include letters – both upper and lower case – numbers, and special characters (things like !, @, #, $, etc.). An eight character password as I just described means that there are trillions of possible combinations. That's likely enough to convince a hacker to move on to an easier target. Another important note about passwords is to never use the same password for more than one account. The reason is that the internet bad guys know that people tend to use the same password over and over again. Since we all have accounts all over the place – often pointing to the same email address – if you use the same password on a system that is less secure than Shopify and that system gets hacked, then the hacker might “guess” that you’ve used the same password in other places. You can read Shopify’s recommendations on passwords and password vaults in the help files. Enable Two-part Authentication in Shopify In two-part authentication (sometimes called “two factor” or “two step” authentication), when you go to log in to your Shopify store you enter your email/user name and password just like usual. But then the Shopify security servers send you an SMS text message to your phone or to an app that you install on your computer or mobile device. This SMS message will display an extra code that you enter into the login screen to gain access. We are big fans of two-part authentication, and Shopify has made it available to all Shopify store merchants. If you configure your Shopify to require two-part authentication, then even if your email address and password are somehow exposed, the bad guys would also have to have physical access to your cell phone or computer to log in. That’s why two-part authentication is very popular with all of the big online merchants and payment gateways right now, including Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, and many more. The combination of strong passwords with two-part authentication simply makes website admin access about as secure as you can get with the current state of internet technology. You can learn how to set up two-part authentication in these help files. But if you need help, just let us know. Implement an SSL Certificate for Your Shopify Online Store SSL stand for “Secure Socket Layer” security. We don’t need to get into the technical weeds here, you just need to know that it is a basic security method that protects you and you site visitors by encrypting the data flow between your Shopify online store and your customer. Website visitors can see green text displayed in the URL so they know that their info is being protected, and that builds confidence. We think this is super important – and not just for security. It’s important for your marketing and search as well. A few years ago, Google started giving extra search ranking to website that used SSL. Then, late last year, Google announced that they were going to actually penalize websites in search ranking if they didn't implement SSL. And now, Google Chrome actively warns site visitors if they go to a website that is now protected by SSL by telling them that the site is “Not Secure.” You don’t want that kind of messaging, especially with all the news about data security right now. These days, getting an SSL certificate is easier than ever before. Everyone can even get a real, professional SSL certificate for no cost. Shopify has joined with other tech industry companies to sponsor the free LetsEncrypt service. Shopify is tied into this service and will acquire a free SSL certificate for your site if you implement it. There are some things to consider, such as if your Shopify store is calling images or media from external sources. But we believe that it is super-important for security and marketing, so it's worth the effort. You can read about SSL certificates in the Shopify help files. But if you need help, just let us know. Keep Your Shopify Store Data Safe and Secure Shopify takes care of all the heavy-lifting to keep your eCommerce store data safe and secure. But there are some things that you can do to make sure that you don’t have a problem. If you have any questions about your Shopify store security or need help implementing the recommendations, just start a task and let us know. If you have read this article and it convinced you that Shopify is the right solution for your online business, use this link to sign up for Shopify now and get started. And if you know a Shopify store owner, share thise post with them so that they can keep their data safe too. Thanks for reading! /blogs/ecommerce-insights/keeping-customer-data-safe-secure-shopify-ecommerce-platform //cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/1694/7383/articles/TaskHusky_Blog_-_Cyber_Crime_Data_Theft_Hack.jpg?v=1505963437 TaskHusky new in stock 0.00 USD 26839384138 ShopClass 2018 Golden Ticket Giveaway Announcing the “Golden Ticket” for Shopify Shop Class 2018 TaskHusky is super-excited to be a sponsor of Shopify Shop Class this year. When you’re there, make sure that you stop by our table and say hello. But no matter what, you can register right now to win the “Golden Ticket” – worth more than $1,500.00 to help you get your site up and running right. Here’s how it works. Just fill out the entry form below. After the final Shop Class in New York we’ll pick one lucky Shopify merchant at random to win the “Golden Ticket.” The Golden Ticket Includes If you win the “Golden Ticket,” here’s what you’ll get four incredible prizes to help jump-start your business: A $1000 credit to use any way you want on TaskHusky Shopify development and graphic design services. And your credit never expires, so you can use it whenever you need to make your Shopify store a success. We’ve partnered with industry leader Pixel Union – makers of great Shopify themes and apps – and they have chipped in with two great apps that deliver a super-powerful one-two marketing punch: A full year subscription to their popular Pixelpop App for Shopify. Email marketing is CRITICAL and this app is a great way to build your list. A full year subscription to Ultimate Special Offers – an AMAZING app with a brand new, intuitive interface that lets Shopify merchants create special offers on the fly across nine different types and track the results. You’ll also receive a 1-hour personalized Shopify Consultation Call. Our experts have helped hundreds of Shopify store owners get better results. You tell us what you want to do, we’ll tell you how to get it done. It’s a total value of more than $1,500.00 in focused, Shopify services that you need. It’s like getting a “Golden Ticket” to success. Entering is like the biggest no-brainer in the history of eCommerce. There’s no down-side, no risk, and no commitments. * indicates required Email Address * First Name /blogs/resources/shopclass-2018-golden-ticket-giveaway //cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/1694/7383/articles/Golden_Ticket_Image_for_Shopify_Shop_Calss_page_2018_V02.png?v=1542141204 TaskHusky new in stock 0.00 USD 26782072906 Nominate Yourself for a FREE Website Review One of the services we provide at TaskHusky is a thorough, personalized website teardown review. It comes with a confidential written report, complete with screen captures and specific, actionable recommendations. It’s a great deal. But now is your chance to get some of that benefit for FREE – Announcing Tuesday Tweaks. Each Tuesday, we are going to select one website for a FREE 10-minute review. Our website and marketing experts will review your website and make real-world suggestions to help you: Get Better Performance Improve Conversions Build Customer Trust Improve SEO Whatever needs to be done first We’ll pack as much value as possible into ten-minutes. And every recommendation will be practical – something that you get done now to make your eCommerce website better. A video of the website review will be made and posted on our site and social media so that everyone can benefit. And we’ll send you a personal copy of the video as well. All you have to do is nominate your site and tell us a little about what your goals are. That’s it. It’s easy, and there is no cost whatsoever. Nominate your eCommerce website now and good luck! * indicates required First Name * Last Name * Email Address * /blogs/resources/nominate-yourself-for-a-free-website-review //cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/1694/7383/articles/Tuesday_Tweaks_Header_Image_DRAFT.jpg?v=1534188343 TaskHusky new in stock 0.00 USD 26776305738 Your Website Could Be Working Against You [FREE report] Online businesses just like you spend tons of cash on advertising and marketing to get customers to come to their website. Most of the time, they’re just wasting their money. If your website visitors are not converting into customers, the first things to look at are: Keyword SEO – Keyword SEO not only gets you more visitors, it also gets you the “right” visitors in your target market. Usability – If you site is clunky or hard to use, you shouldn’t be surprised if customers don’t use it. Performance – The #1 reason consumers bounce off a site or abandon a product page is because of slow loading images, pages, and code. Social Media – Do you do a good job of using social media to generate traffic and links? Security – These days, EVERYONE is concerned about privacy and security. If your site is sending out the wrong signals, customers might be running away as fast as they can. These are the basics. But how do you know if your site is having a problem? It’s easy. Getting started with the basics of eCommerce website performance doesn’t have to be complicated. That why we’ve created a FREE reporting tool that will scan your online store and tell you what you need to do first. We want EVERY eCommerce website to be secure and perform, so there is no cost or obligation to get your FREE custom report. Fill out the form below and your FREE eCommerce Website Basic Performance Report will be emailed to you. It’s that easy, and it’s our gift to you. * indicates required Email Address * First Name /blogs/resources/your-website-could-be-working-against-you-free-report-1 //cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/1694/7383/articles/TaskHusky_Website_Report_be0b3315-10dd-48b8-a4b7-bb5464ac0255.jpg?v=1533783989 TaskHusky new in stock 0.00 USD 26772963402 Get More Sales with Great Product Text [FREE eBook] Getting customers to buy online is not about writing text with big words and perfect grammar. It’s about persuading them to buy now with simple, clear, real text that means something to them. And you CAN get more sales with great, persuasive product descriptions. But you also need to make sure that you are writing text that the search engines find. Because even the best, most persuasive text will not get a chance to sell a darn thing unless it shows up when customers search for it online. Fortunately, you can create product descriptions that get the attention of search engines AND convince the right customers to buy now. We have been helping online merchants become more successful for years. So we created an online eBook to help you to write perfect product descriptions for your website. Once you learn the secrets to writing persuasively, you will have more sales and more success. And you can download this eBook now for FREE. * indicates required Email Address * First Name /blogs/resources/get-more-sales-with-great-product-text-free-ebook //cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/1694/7383/articles/TaskHusky_-_Words_Have_Power_Write_Text_Content_Communicate_Language_copy_fff7e66d-3819-4e48-8191-897b9302c2b1.jpeg?v=1533783220 TaskHusky new in stock 0.00 USD 26772930634 Rev-Up Your eCommerce Website Traffic in 7 Days [FREE email tips] We hear it all the time – “I need more traffic to my online store!” You CAN get more traffic fast, and it doesn’t have to cost you a dime. 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You’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain. * indicates required Email Address * First Name /blogs/resources/rev-up-your-ecommerce-website-traffic-in-7-days-free-email-tips //cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/1694/7383/articles/TaskHusky_-_Web_Website_Traffic_Spedometer_Speed_Accelerate_copy.jpeg?v=1533688851 TaskHusky new in stock 0.00 USD