ecommerce management
The Ecommerce (MGMT) Management Cooperative is a Giving Manufacturers an Ecommerce Opportunity

Denver, CO, April 20, 2021 –( PR.com )– Ecommmercemgmt.com – Ecommerce MGMT is an ecommerce cooperative committed to one thing, increasing ecommerce sales online for manufacturing companies. The providers involved in the cooperative are best in class. Dedicated to using the right solution for each member situation.

The Ecommerce Management Cooperative is creating big changes manufacturers.

The cooperative created something special manufacturers can now leverage to be successful online. They also have made it extremely cost effective. Which is much needed during these times.

“Many businesses far too often get burned or taken advantage of by marketing agencies. It should not happen, so we make sure it won’t.” – Founder Jeffry Graham

This Ecommerce cooperative packs a punch in its memberships and various programs. With Ecommerce Education through its Ecommerce EDU division. They have built relevant up to date courses in various aspects of ecommerce.

Providing free events, webinars, online courses and a full suite of online solutions you can take full advantage of.

The cooperative helps companies with limited resources leverage the cooperative’s experience to give your business the resources of more powerful companies.

“With Ecommerce moving so fast and so many companies falling behind we needed to act, so we did.” – Co-Founder Curt Anderson

Built to benefit companies looking to grow online. Join this group of industry professionals that all have one common goal, to help your manufacturing company succeed online.

“In Ecommerce, success almost always comes down to execution. So we help them execute.” – Co-Founder Damon Pistulka

EcommerceMGMT.com

Read the full story here: The Ecommerce (MGMT) Management Cooperative is a Giving Manufacturers an Ecommerce Opportunity

april seo news
SEO news in April 2021: More time for your Core Web Vitals

A bit of a scandal involving hospitals and the noindex tag, a postponed deadline for your Core Web Vitals and a whole new editing experience in WordPress. Our SEO experts Joost de Valk and Jono Alderson discussed the latest SEO news in April 2021 in our monthly webinar. If you’ve missed it, or simply want to refresh your memory, I’ll talk you through the highlights of this webinar. Or you can simply (re)watch the webinar yourself, right here!Watch the April 2021 SEO news webinar

In this post, you can read all about the SEO news that Joost de Valk and Jono Alderson discussed during our latest SEO news webinar. If you’d rather (re)watch the webinar, you can find the video right here. And don’t forget to register for the next edition of our SEO news webinar on the 25th of May, 2021!Google news

This month, Google updated their product reviews algorithm and made some changes in Google Search Console. There was also news around the Core Web Vitals that were set to become a ranking factor in a few week’s time.A new product reviews update

Two weeks ago, Google launched a new product reviews algorithm update. Now, Google does a lot of algorithm updates every year. But this one got a bit of attention and came with some documentation. Guidelines that talk about the improvements they’ve made to surface good reviews of products. What’s great about this is that these guidelines tell you what you can work on to rank with your products.

Even if your website doesn’t have any ratings or reviews, it’s worth diving into this as it talks quite broadly about what kind of content Google wants to reward in the search results. Simply put, it all comes down to the quality, authenticity and depth of research you’re showing on your site. But the examples they give can be used to apply to your site in general, so make sure to check it out when you have the time.

This new update seems to have hit quite a few affiliate sites hard. As these sites often collect and review products in a rather simplistic way, Google doesn’t see them as more valuable than say an Amazon listing page. What they really want is in-depth reviews. So, many affiliate sites saw quite a drop in traffic overnight. If you have a similar website, you may need to rethink your business plan. Google will always try to link an online user directly to the right solution, without any middleman.Improvements in Google Search Console

Google Search Console added improved filtering and comparison on Performance reports. With these additions, Google Search Console is getting better at helping you understand the performance and issues on your site. Beforehand, if you wanted to dive into the data you had to export this raw data and run it through another tool. Now you can use Google Search Console to construct more complex queries and filter your data.

There was a bit of a divide in the SEO world about this news. Some SEOs are excited about this addition of regex (filtering), but it is pretty hard to use when don’t know it yet. Because these improvements can really help you understand the performance of your site and spot issues, we would recommend looking into this. And learning a bit of regex to unlock some of the power of this filtering. There are lots of online tutorials that can help you with this.More time for your Core Web Vitals

Let’s talk about Google’s Core Web Vitals, as there was quite a bit of news around them. First of all, Google updated their FAQ page on Core Web Vitals & Page Experience. Why this is good to know? The Core Web Vitals are the first step in a long roadmap of ongoing changes that will impact your rankings. And there is a lot of discussion and confusion about how all the different bits will work. This updates FAQ page solves a lot of the questions people have. It helps us understand how Google measures this sort of information. If you’re not sure what the Core Web Vitals are, check out our webinar on Google’s algorithm update.

This update of the FAQ page is also an indication that Google realizes how hard this upcoming ranking factor is. Which brings us to our next piece of news. Although Google has given us a year’s notice on Core Web Vitals becoming a ranking factor in May, they’ve decided to postpone this. Perhaps they’ve noticed that lots of business owners had other priorities due to the pandemic. But it comes down to this: lots of people simply haven’t worked on the speed of their site enough. Google doesn’t seem to be in a hurry with this. But the fact remains that this update is coming and you should definitely work on these metrics.

Hide health prices from Google is barred by regulators

So, we’ve got some SEO news in April that actually made it into the mainstream news. A few hospitals in the US hid their health prices from web searches and this is now barred by regulators. Health providers are legally required to show their prices online, but these hospitals hid their price pages from Google by using a no-index tag. This tag tells Google not to crawl a certain page so it doesn’t end up in the search results.

Now it’s been decided that it’s illegal (in the US) to hide health-related price information from Google. The health providers explained that they had been hiding these pages to better the user journey of their site visitors. They wanted people to land on another page that helps them understand their pricing before see the actual pricing. Be cautious with this, in any field, as this is not the way users want to find the information they’re looking for. You don’t want to force your users through a funnel that is not in their best interest. You will lose people to your competitor who does give away their pricing right away.Other SEO news Three vital click-based signals for SEO

Cyrus Shepard, who is very well-known in the SEO industry, wrote an article on 3 vital click-based signals for SEO. This helps you find your way in all of the ways to optimize for SEO. Essentially, he mentions three signals to focus on: first, long and last clicks.

Getting more clicks doesn’t just get you more site visitors, it’s also a signal to Google that your page is a good fit for that search query. But that’s not all, because you also want people to stay on your site for a while. You want them to read and digest your content. When they leave right away, Google can see this as a sign that your page isn’t giving users what they’re looking for. Lastly, you want to be the last click. This means that people don’t go back to the results and click on another page to find their answer. Being the last click tells Google that your page has given a user the information they were looking for. Give it a read, as this article can help you make sense of what SEO is all about.Guide to the perfect product page for SEO

Another great article that came out this month is by Paddy Moogan, an SEO veteran. His article on perfecting on-page SEO for ecommerce product pages – a cheatsheet offers you a good framework for your product pages. He’s added a wireframe with all the different elements and discusses them all in this post. What’s great about this piece, is that he provides some real-world examples that can help you understand and relay the importance of perfecting these pages for SEO. It’s a great resource for people with an online store.Social news

Pew Research Center has done research into social media use in the US this year. What’s fascinating about it is that they say that social media use in the US has plateaued. Considering the current pandemic this is quite an interesting result. Another interesting finding is that YouTube has grown a lot this year.

As SEO’s it can be tempting to focus solely on search engines and spend no time on social media or video. Especially video can be a complex format that takes time to figure out. We need to jump on this wagon as the data is telling us that this is where people are spending their time. Where they’re starting their customer journey. But, we should not focus all of our energy and time on YouTube alone because social media use changes. We simply need to be more flexible in this regard and do our own research into what our audience is using and what possibilities social media has to offer us.WordPress news Full Site Editing: partly a go for WordPress 5.8

The next release that’s coming up for WordPress is WordPress 5.8 and this release will come with a partial implementation of Full Site Editing. When you’re a user of a Full Site Editing supported theme, this will allow you to give it a try. Full Site Editing is basically a page builder that is built into WordPress itself. It will still need some to grow up, but it’s starting to look very good and feels like something that can pave the way for some really big changes. To give you an idea, Full Site Editing is like the next step in simplifying how people design and fill their pages. Similar to how the block editor (formerly known as Gutenberg) works you will use blocks to create your page and have it look exactly the way you want. It will become a much more fluent experience.

Some of our colleagues are actually working on this. We’re very excited about all the possibilities this will give WordPress users. And the effects it will have on page performance and site speed, with things like only loading the CSS of the elements that are actually on the page. This kind of thing may sound simple enough, but it’s actually pretty hard to do in most systems. All these kinds of tweaks will really help you optimize your site for users and Google. And if you’ve tried the block editor at the start and weren’t a big fan, go and try it out again. It has become so much better than when it was first launched.JetPack Boost

In other WordPress-related news: JetPack launched JetPak Boost. Essentially, JetPak Boost gives you a couple of features that help you speed up your site. This is great and it would be even better if this eventually makes it into WordPress core so that we can make WordPress faster for everyone. A good example of this is the critical CSS technique they’re introducing. You can see this as a kind of lazy-loading for CSS, where the web page only loads the CSS of elements you’re seeing right away. CSS of parts like the footer or something else down the page doesn’t get loaded right away and this helps speed up your pages.Yoast news Latest releases

Our latest release of Yoast SEO 16.1 comes with a lot of fixes and enhancements that make the plugin perform better. Together with this latest release of Yoast SEO, we also updated our News SEO and video plugin. With its latest release, News SEO now appears in the post editor’s sidebar in Gutenberg and we’ve improved the user experience quite a bit. We’ve also been working on our Video SEO plugin in lots of different ways to help you rank with your videos even better.Webinars

This month, we’ve held two webinars that allowed us to go deeper into more specific subjects with someone who knows all about it. Last week, our video expert Phil Nottingham told us all about Video SEO: how to boost traffic to your site. You can watch this webinar, during which Phil will talk you through the reasons to get started with video and how to optimize your videos.

A week before that, our expert in site speed Jono Alderson did a webinar on Google’s algorithm update. Watch this webinar to get an idea of why site speed matters so much for SEO, what Core Web Vitals are and what you can do to work on your site speed.Podcasts

We’ve also done a few podcasts in the last couple of weeks. Just yesterday, our podcast with Kevin Indig (director of SEO at Shopify) came out. In this podcast on SEO at Shopify and eCommerce, he provides you with practical tips and tells you all about SEO, eCommerce platforms and webshop optimization.

Before that, we did a podcast with our very own video expert Phil Nottingham. In this podcasts on improving your online video strategy, Phil talks about how to pick the right video strategy for your business. If you want to do more with video and you’re not quite sure where to start, this it the podcast for you!That’s all the SEO news in April 2021

Well, maybe not all the news, but it is most of what Joost and Jono discussed during this month’s webinar. They also had lots of interesting questions to answer, so if you’re interested make sure to watch the webinar. You can find the video at the top of this post. If you’d rather be present for the next webinar in which they discuss the monthly news in SEO and WordPress, we’d love to see you at our SEO news webinar on the 25th of May, 2021. It’s free of charge and also gives you the opportunity to ask them any question you’d like. So make sure to register now!

Read more: SEO news in March 2021: A rise in Google’s zero-click searches »

The post SEO news in April 2021: More time for your Core Web Vitals appeared first on Yoast.

SPOKE – The Ecommerce (MGMT) Management Cooperative is a Giving Manufacturers an Ecommerce Opportunity

https://Spoke.com

Denver, CO, April 20, 2021 –(PR.com)– Ecommmercemgmt.com – Ecommerce MGMT is an ecommerce cooperative committed to one thing, increasing ecommerce sales online for manufacturing companies. The providers involved in the cooperative are best in class. Dedicated to using the right solution for each member situation.

The Ecommerce Management Cooperative is creating big changes manufacturers.

The cooperative created something special manufacturers can now leverage to be successful online. They also have made it extremely cost effective. Which is much needed during these times.

“Many businesses far too often get burned or taken advantage of by marketing agencies. It should not happen, so we make sure it won’t.” – Founder Jeffry Graham

This Ecommerce cooperative packs a punch in its memberships and various programs. With Ecommerce Education through its Ecommerce EDU division. They have built relevant up to date courses in various aspects of ecommerce.

Providing free events, webinars, online courses and a full suite of online solutions you can take full advantage of.

The cooperative helps companies with limited resources leverage the cooperative’s experience to give your business the resources of more powerful companies.

“With Ecommerce moving so fast and so many companies falling behind we needed to act, so we did.” – Co-Founder Curt Anderson

Built to benefit companies looking to grow online. Join this group of industry professionals that all have one common goal, to help your manufacturing company succeed online.

“In Ecommerce, success almost always comes down to execution. So we help them execute.” – Co-Founder Damon Pistulka

Contact Information:

Ecommerce MGMT Cooperative
Jeffry Graham
303-218-7146
Contact via Email
EcommerceMGMT.com

The Boston Herald Says Ecommerce MGMT is Giving Manufacturers an Ecommerce Opportunity

Denver, CO, April 20, 2021 –(PR.com)– Ecommmercemgmt.com – Ecommerce MGMT is an ecommerce cooperative committed to one thing, increasing ecommerce sales online for manufacturing companies. The providers involved in the cooperative are best in class. Dedicated to using the right solution for each member situation.

The Ecommerce Management Cooperative is creating big changes manufacturers.

The cooperative created something special manufacturers can now leverage to be successful online. They also have made it extremely cost effective. Which is much needed during these times.

“Many businesses far too often get burned or taken advantage of by marketing agencies. It should not happen, so we make sure it won’t.” – Founder Jeffry Graham

This Ecommerce cooperative packs a punch in its memberships and various programs. With Ecommerce Education through its Ecommerce EDU division. They have built relevant up to date courses in various aspects of ecommerce.

Providing free events, webinars, online courses and a full suite of online solutions you can take full advantage of.

The cooperative helps companies with limited resources leverage the cooperative’s experience to give your business the resources of more powerful companies.

“With Ecommerce moving so fast and so many companies falling behind we needed to act, so we did.” – Co-Founder Curt Anderson

Built to benefit companies looking to grow online. Join this group of industry professionals that all have one common goal, to help your manufacturing company succeed online.

“In Ecommerce, success almost always comes down to execution. So we help them execute.” – Co-Founder Damon Pistulka

Contact Information:
Ecommerce MGMT Cooperative
Jeffry Graham
303-218-7146
Contact via Email
EcommerceMGMT.com

Read the full story here: https://www.pr.com/press-release/834854

Ecommerce Management
Ecommerce MGMT is a New Game Changing Co-Op for Manufacturers
Ecommerce Management

Ecommerce MGMT is a New Game Changing Co-Op for Manufacturers

Ecommerce MGMT is a cooperative committed to one thing, increasing ecommerce sales online for manufacturing companies. The providers involved in the cooperative are best in class. Dedicated to using the right solution for each member situation.

Denver, CO, February 08, 2021 –(PR.com)– What is the Purpose of the Ecommerce Management Cooperative?

Many people often waste time trying things before they get ecommerce sales going like they want. The Ecommerce MGMT cooperative has bundled all the resources needed to grow your online sales. The cooperative brings these resources together in a way that give businesses the right help needed, and a low-risk option backed up with a results based guarantees.

From events, webinars, online courses, and a full suite of online solutions. Ecommerce MGMT covers the A-Z of ecommerce. From the basics to machine learning and full automation.

“Ecommerce MGMT takes the headache our of growing your ecommerce business.” – Jeffry Graham

The cooperative helps companies with limited resources leverage the cooperative’s experience to give your business the resources of more powerful companies.

What is the main goal of this Cooperative?

This cooperative works to help US based companies win big using ecommerce and digital sales methods. Creating a much stronger together mentality. They help companies reduce costs incurred during the ecommerce ramp up and ongoing management. This effective strategy allows members to compete with larger companies that possess deeper pockets, as well as obtain products and services that would otherwise be unavailable due to costs and knowledge constraints.

Built to benefit companies looking to grow online. Joining a group of industries professionals that have come together to lend a hand to companies throughout the USA.

The Ecommerce MGMT Cooperative is really helping change things up for the better.

Information contained on this page is provided by an independent third-party content provider. Frankly and this Site make no warranties or representations in connection therewith. If you are affiliated with this page and would like it removed please contact pressreleases@franklymedia.com

https://www.thecowboychannel.com/story/43311192/ecommerce-mgmt-is-a-new-game-changing-co-op-for-manufacturers
ecommerce for manufacturers
Manufacturers See E-Commerce As Transformative Yet Too Many Are Falling Drastically Behind

To compete in a global marketplace, manufacturing firms are augmenting their e-commerce strategies with new technologies, such as predictive ordering and artificial intelligence (AI), to make it easier and cheaper to do more business, with more customers. But, for every manufacturer on the cutting edge, there is another that is lagging far behind its peers when it comes to e-commerce.

We recently undertook  research of over 220 global manufacturers and found some stark contrasts between those who are forging ahead and those who have yet to recognize the need for change. While many manufacturers are already implementing digital strategies centred on improving the customer experience as a way to grow sales and streamline operations, others are not. Fifteen percent have been using an e-commerce solution for more than five years, but 13 percent still don’t yet use e-commerce at all.

E-commerce improvements are typically part of a wider digital transformation program: manufacturers see e-commerce as playing a vital or very important role in digital transformation. The top reason given for e-commerce adoption by those already up and running was to increase sales volumes (60 percent). Other important reasons included to offer a 24/7 self-service portal (46 percent), to improve sales processes (41 percent), to be able to share all product and price information online (40 percent, to keep up with competitors (38 percent), and to drive global export sales (36 percent).

Those that have implemented e-commerce are seeing results in both their bottom line, businesses processes and the quality of the customer interaction. Ninety-one percent reported that they saw a financial return on investment in fewer than two years with ten percent seeing a return in as little as two months, and 21 percent in two to six months. Eighty-eight percent saw profitability improve by at least ten percent, with nine percent saying profits had increased by more than 50 percent. Other benefits reported include improvements in order process efficiency (89 percent), an increase in order processing speed (78 percent), a reduction in order errors (71 percent), and faster inventory turnover (70 percent).

A further driver for investment in e-commerce is the growth in the range of products being sold over the web. Despite the technical and bespoke nature of many manufactured products, 68 percent of manufacturing respondents agreed that 100 percent of the industry’s products will be sold online. This indicates a market readiness, alongside confidence that e-commerce solutions can and will offer the sophistication required to handle even the most complex purchases.

Many manufacturers also believe that ecommerce will help open the business up to new markets. Seventy-one percent of manufacturing respondents believe that they will sell direct to the consumer, cutting out wholesalers and retailers, in the future. This is another huge change, disrupting traditional manufacturing marketplaces and supply chains. Forward-thinking manufacturers will need to choose systems that will work successfully in both B2B and B2C markets and, as importantly, be able to make the best use of the data it already has to offer better customer experiences.

The research also revealed that many manufacturers are moving beyond e-commerce and embracing some of the newest technologies. Seventy-three percent say they use or intend to use artificial intelligence (AI) to enable automated and/or predictive ordering. Similarly, 81 percent already use or intend to use machine-to-machine communication for automated/predictive ordering.

As customer expectations of online speed and convenience continue to grow and competition ramps up, successful business strategies will increasingly depend on using technology in selling as sophisticated a way as it is used in the manufacturing process itself. It’s clear that manufacturers who accept that the market is changing and respond accordingly will be those best placed to succeed.

– By Manufacturing.net

How Ecommerce Management Is Transforming Retail

We expect more from retailers than we once did. If we’re looking a specific product online, we expect that the site can also inform us where we can check it out in person. And, if we’re in a store and the products we want aren’t there, we expect store associates to be able to locate it for us either online or in another store, and help us obtain it immediately.

Those aren’t unreasonable expectations today, but shopping didn’t used to be this way. A few short years ago, brick and mortar and online stores were barely connected — if an online store even existed at all. If the merchandise we wanted wasn’t available, we were pretty much out of luck.

Now, leading retail brands are transforming customer experiences with seamless transitions that blur the lines between shopping online and in person. Powered by sophisticated ecommerce and order management software, unified omni-channel shopping has swept the retail industry. Today’s consumers are already comfortable with the tech-enabled ease and convenience of shopping this way, and they have no desire to go back to how things used to be.

“87% of shoppers begin their hunt in digital channels, while 71% of shoppers prefer to leave a store with a product in hand.”SALESFORCE AND PUBLICIS.SAPIENT | SHOPPER-FIRST RETAILING REPORT 2018

Moving at the speed of shoppers.

Modern ecommerce management systems are equipped with powerful tools to help retailers keep pace with shoppers across multiple channels and touchpoints, resulting in truly unified, omni-channel customer experiences.

In today’s retail landscape, these omni-channel “buy anywhere, fulfill anywhere” experiences are key to customer satisfaction. By combining an ecommerce and order management system with real-time inventory optimization throughout stores, distribution centers, and transit, it’s also easier to achieve than ever before. Now you can ensure that customers can buy, receive, and return the products they want, when and where they want.

The “buy anywhere, fulfill anywhere” approach applies to all of a retailer’s brands and global markets, too. A sophisticated ecommerce management system can unify a retailer’s approach to shopper journeys from every owned brand — as well as across different nations, currencies, and languages.

“79% of customers are willing to share relevant information about themselves in exchange for contextualized interactions in which they’re immediately known and understood.”SALESFORCE RESEARCH | STATE OF THE CONNECTED CUSTOMER, OCTOBER 2016GET THE REPORT AI-powered predictive intelligence inside ecommerce management systems can also personalize shopper journeys at every touchpoint. This is especially important for retailers, because 71% of customers use their mobile devices to make decisions while shopping in a store. Predictive intelligence streamlines customer journeys by presenting shoppers with personalized search results on mobile. At the same time, AI can help store associates upsell and cross-sell with product recommendations based on customer data.

Seamless omni-channel retail experiences.

Today, there are virtually no boundaries between shopping online and in person. This has brought great convenience to consumers, as well as great success to brands that have embraced omni-channel retail and ecommerce management systems — like Commerce Cloud.

American big-box pet retailer PetSmart is one of those forward-looking brands. PetSmart used to have a siloed approach to customer relationships, but they knew that 360-degree insights would help them truly put customers first. Using Commerce Cloud, PetSmart replatformed its entire website just a few weeks before the holiday shopping season. The new capabilities within Commerce Cloud gave PetSmart the flexibility to innovate faster and the ability to handle the major scale and peak volume of shopping events like Black Friday more easily than ever.

“Salesforce enables us to connect with our customers authentically. To help them in every step of their pet’s life. To see that growth and to see how much we are empowered to actually deliver against our business strategies. That’s very freeing.”BETH MCCORMICK | VP COMMERCE AND CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT TECHNOLOGY, PETSMARTWATCH THE STORY Commerce Cloud has also streamlined ecommerce management for the multinational German athletic brand PUMA. To maintain a consistent aesthetic across all sites and deliver unified customer experiences across all channels, PUMA used Commerce Cloud to reconfigure its entire web presence in under 90 days. To ensure success, Commerce Cloud teams provided PUMA with support and training throughout the process. It all paid off — PUMA’s new website exceeded expectations and broke company records.  

“If it weren’t for [Commerce Cloud] and the consultancy that they provide for us, we would have had a really difficult time. These things have increased our sales in ways I didn’t see coming.”KEN KRALICK | HEAD OF GLOBAL ECOMMERCE, PUMA

-Salesforce Team

E-Commerce Software, Some Things To Think About?

If you have an online store, you need shopping cart software to smooth the purchasing process. These top, tested, e-commerce platforms will have you managing stock and fulfilling orders in no time.

A shopping cart is an integral part of any online retail store. It must work well with your online catalog, customer service desk, and payment processing gateway. If your shopping cart drops the ball with any of these tasks, you’ll soon be out of business because you won’t earn regular return transactions. Your web hosting platform typically comes with a shopping cart, but we recommend, well, shopping around. When it comes to shopping carts, you must consider many factors, including the type of shopping chart you’d like to integrate into your business, the store you’re operating, your target audience, and how you prefer to sell the products or services.

What Is E-Commerce Software?

Shopping cart software lets you track and manage product inventory, as well as fulfill and ship orders. It helps you maintain a product database, track sales, market to customers, and maintain a loyalty program. In many cases, you can also use offline channels to sell and even run a blog.

Even better, there are numerous turnkey bundles available that combine custom or name brand shopping cart solutions with e-commerce-focused web hosting services, banks and payment processors, as well as e-commerce fulfillment and warehousing operators. The problem with such complex, do-it-all services, however, is that it’s tough to know how to evaluate them or even where to begin. Don’t worry, we’re here to lend a helping hand.

Reasons You Need a Shopping Cart

Before we talk about what to look for in a shopping cart, you may be wondering why you need one. As mentioned earlier, many web hosting services now offer e-commerce packages as part of their hosting plans, using built-in tools or integrating with open-source tools. And that’s definitely an option. But it boils down to just how much extra work you, as a small business owner, want to put in to manage your store from scratch. It’s just another set of hoops through which to jump if you have to set up your own merchant account and payment gateway. Plus, everything is on the web now: If you make your customers place an order and then call you with their credit card information, you are going to lose a lot of sales.

A PayPal button on your website is a good first step, but if you want to operate an attractive, modern online storefront from which people can shop day or night, then you really are better off using full-featured shopping cart software instead of trying to glue all of the e-commerce parts together on your own. Running a cart streamlines the relationship between buyers and sellers by handling multiple payment methods, collecting tax, and calculating shipping costs. A straightforward shopping experience means buyers get the product faster, too. And a happy customer is just good business.

Shopping Cart Prices

It’s hard to choose a shopping cart strictly based on price. Some carts provide advanced features, but impose restrictions on transaction or monthly data transfers; others limit a plan’s features by price. Most shopping carts offer templates (also known as themes), but some may fence off popular ones into their premium packages. That means you must pay more money for an attractive website. A website builder is useful for customizing these templates.

Some carts may be really cheap, but charge fees for transactions and for add-ons that let you integrate with third-party tools. Depending on your requirements, you can expect to see prices as low as $9.99 and as high as thousands of dollars per month. As always, it pays to read the fine print.

There are two types of transaction fees to keep track of when evaluating shopping cart services and software: the ones charged by the shopping cart and the ones charged by the payment gateway. You can’t avoid the payment gateway fees; whichever service you select will charge a certain amount per credit card transaction. That’s the fee from Authorize.Net or PayPal, for example.

Some shopping cart apps charge an additional transaction fee for using the app regardless of the payment gateway. This means you pay your shopping cart vendor a certain percentage per transaction before the payment gateway collects its fee. Consider this scenario: A customer came to your store and paid $100 via PayPal. Your vendor will collect $3.20 for that transaction and PayPal will collect $3.20 (the actual amount will vary based on your PayPal account type). Shopping carts typically offer bandwidth restrictions if they don’t charge transaction fees.

Many carts have tiers based on how much monthly data you need. If you expect high traffic volumes and sales, then you should look at unlimited plans or at least something more generous than the typical 1GB of bandwidth. Some shopping carts restrict storage, which limits the number and size of product images you can display. Cheaper plans have smaller storage capacity, so if you have a fairly large product database or plan to have multiple images per product, then you will have to think about how much you need. Otherwise, that monthly bill with overage fees is going to be a surprise.

Monthly data is consumed whenever visitors swing by your website. If you list several images for a single product or you have a long slideshow, then that will eat up data. So make sure you have a generous data allotment. Think carefully about what you want from your store to determine if bandwidth limits or transaction fees make sense for you.

Important Shopping Cart Features

Some shopping carts are better suited for selling physical goods, while others support digital and virtual products, such as ebooks and services. You need to think about the types of products you want to sell before selecting a shopping cart service. Some shopping cart services let you migrate data from an existing shopping cart. They handle bulk, product database uploads, as well as moving customer and order history. If you aren’t setting up a brand-new storefront, then you really need to look for shopping cart software with tools to help with the move.

Look for carts where you can organize inventory and maintain a customer database. If there aren’t any built-in tools, see if you can integrate your cart with a third-party service. If you plan to send emails from your e-commerce website, then MailChimp, for example, might integrate with your shopping cart software. See if you can issue discounts, gift certificates, and run sales.

You want search engine optimization (SEO) tools to help your storefront rise up in search results. You should consider integrating Google Analytics (GA) into the dashboard to understand who is coming to your store and what they are doing. You won’t need GA if the shopping cart provides its own website metrics, but it’s still a good tool to consider using with your store.

Don’t rely on documentation, tutorials, and forums for customer support. Those are great resources but, ideally, you should be able to get someone on the phone or in a web chat, at least. Ideally, the support should be available at any hour of the day. You don’t know when things will go wrong, so why should you have to wait for normal business hours to get help?

Many shopping carts offer trial periods. Take advantage of the trial to learn how to work with the shopping cart dashboard. If you find it annoying to see the placed orders, enter products, or fulfill orders, move on to a shopping cart that fits into your workflow.

Finally, think about security. While many of your customers will shop while using a virtual private network (VPN) service, there are still plenty who won’t. To protect them, make sure your online store and its underlying web hosting provider either offer a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate or can accommodate a third-party certificate you purchase from someone else. In addition, make sure to invest in a dependable website monitoring tool to stay on top of any security or performance issues in real time.

Shopping for the Correct Cart

Take a look at the table below to determine the shopping cart features that you need for your online store. If you already have a store with one of these services and want to tell us about your experiences (good or bad), then let us know in the comments. Have an opinion about a store we didn’t list here? Let us know that, too.

-Pc MAG

b2b ecommerce
What drives your B2B eCommerce?

The easy answer is ‘Amazon-like experience’. The analyst’s answer is ‘consumerization of tech’.

 There are some elements of truths in these answers but the motivations to embrace eCommerce for a retailer or CPG brand is quite different from a company that makes industrial valves.

 At Ecommerce MGMT, we see a steadily increasing interest in sizing up the B2B eCommerce market. Even before the pandemic, eCommerce in the B2B world was growing faster than B2C. The pandemic would have taken all the attention to B2C but B2B has irreversible reasons to embrace eCommerce that are quite different from B2C. 

It is not about post-purchase experience.

In B2C, even if I buy toothpaste it is a want (as against a need). There is a new brand and I want to know if it will shine my teeth better. There is an unboxing experience and there is an expectation that I get it tonight. B2B is none of that. There is a business cycle that determines the procurement cycle. Often the vendors are known. Sourcing is a high-stakes activity in some industries like food where there is a ton of innovation. I do not think we are inventing new materials for the steel industry the way we are making new things go into a burger

It is not about same day delivery. 

It is important that a part must arrive on time. But it is not nearly the same as getting everything the same day. There is certainty in logistics. In B2C where you set your network of distribution centers determine the delivery experience. In B2B there is not such a thing called delivery experience. There is only delivery certainty and SLAs around it.

B2B commerce initiatives usually are a net positive.

The expectation of value is low because of how archaic some of the current channels are. So, when digital commerce is implemented, the ROI is generally high (of course, it depends on how complex the current IT landscape is). But it needs to be sold right.

  The truth of B2C is that customers want more selection, convenience, and good price. Increasingly cause, values, story, fun, etc. come into the mix. Let us call them experiences. But in B2B the anchoring truth is different. No one wakes with feverish anticipation before they open their app to order valves. Nobody wants to fill 27 forms and repeat the same details over and over. No one wants to run through a catalog comparison. No one likes to wait for approvals. No one likes to send ‘gentle reminders’ or quint their eyes when their EDI system throws errors. Yet, that is what B2B buying, and selling is.

Better workflows and seamless processes are the truths that anchor any B2B investment. The meta-truth is cost. How can I improve the revenue per employee or at least reduce the cost per employee is an immutable question in B2B?

Here is where I think the ‘systems that build systems’ approach to B2B eCommerce has a lot of merits. It is my pet theory. So please indulge me like you always do.

When B2B companies buy eCommerce systems, they tend to optimize their expectations around what they know from the B2C world. Promotions, Pricing, Merchandising, User experience, Mobile experience, etc. come into the RFPs. None of those matters as much as the systems before the systems.

How configurable is the rules engine? Is there a baked-in ‘Robotics process automation’ feature that makes the inter-organization compliance song-and-dance tolerable? Can sales orders be automated, and approvals be only for exceptions? How can we control the implementation beast and the fat bills from implementation projects that weren’t originally accounted for?

These are the questions that platform vendors have answers for. But rarely they are asked.

The systems that make the current B2B sales archaic are not going to become better because there is a credit card checkout or a pretty catalog with a search interface. Yet that is what you get what you retrofit a B2C platform for a B2B use-case. Systemic changes should be driven through B2B eCommerce platforms before you can truly leverage the power of B2B eCommerce. These systemic changes are often industry-specific, unlike B2C where 80% of selling to consumers is standard.

For platform vendors, the path to market leadership starts with workflow/process re-engineering (SaaS tools that make B2B eCommerce efficient) before they can start leveraging the network effects that their SaaS tools will bring (eventually allowing them to launch marketplace of suppliers). In other words, they need to build software systems that make B2B selling efficient before they build market systems that expand procurement options for buyers in a specific vertical.

– Ashwin Ramasamy

Stanford and duke
Stanford and Duke join certification program to boost diversity education with investors in the C-suite

A partnership between the University of North Carolina’s Kenan Flagler Entrepreneurship Center, the Opportunity Hub and 100 Black Angels and Allies Fund, set up to improve representation and support of diverse founders in the tech industry, is getting more heavy-hitting partners from Duke and Stanford.

As part of the partnership, faculty affiliated with Stanford and Duke will join educators to staff the DEIS Practicum Certificate and Black Technology Ecosystem Investment Certificate programs, which, respectively, try to address ways in which management can engage in diversity and inclusion in a systemic way beyond simply human resources hires and equity in compensation and ways in which more Black investors can become involved in backing startups.  

“In order to address issues like DEI at a systemic organizational level and to address the pervasive issues causing the wealth gap, we need to work together to help make this kind of education more readily available,” said Entrepreneurship Center Executive Director Vickie Gibbs, in a statement. “Together, we are taking action and making progress toward creating a more equitable society and entrepreneurial community.”

The addition of affiliated faculty from the Stanford Technology Ventures program and Duke University does more than just further validate the program, according to Rodney Sampson, the executive chairman and chief executive of OHUB and co-founder and general partner of 199 Black Allies & Angels fund. For Sampson, who also serves as a visiting professor at the University of North Carolina and Duke, the addition of the two schools will mean more exposure among the two universities’ alumni.

“It also expands the reach of these solutions and insights into the alumni and entrepreneurial communities of these two amazing universities,” said Sampson in a statement. 

The framework that Sampson has developed involves a multipronged approach for employers that includes: a review of the extent to which diversity, equity and inclusion is operationalized in corporate boards and governance; in assessments of hiring, promotion and human resources practices; in procurement and vendor services; in innovation and product development; in resources on going to market to reach diverse audiences; in investments into Black and Latino communities; and in monitoring the impact of the business’ operations on the community.

The framework was recently cited in a report from no less auspicious an organization than the Brookings Institution in a paper authored by Amy Liu and Reniya Dinkins.

“When chief executives demonstrate their own work to dismantle bias and create a culture of true belonging, it provides a level of trust and credibility needed for these firms and leaders to collaborate with others in bringing about broader progress and sustained prosperity in their home regions,” the authors wrote. 

For Stanford University in particular, the opportunity to embrace diversity and education training comes as the university tries to rehabilitate an image tarnished after its rush to embrace policies crafted by the former White House administration that called for universities to limit diversity training

“For too long, diversity, equity and inclusion have been an afterthought in entrepreneurship and innovation. I am grateful to be collaborating with thoughtful, action-oriented colleagues to address systemic racism. Together, we’ll be able to create important new network connections between our organizations and to develop learning insights that can be shared with educators and organizations around the world,” added Tom Byers, Keohane Distinguished Visiting Professor at UNC-Chapel Hill and Duke University and STVP Faculty Director.