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Multiply Your Holiday Shopping Sales in Four Easy Ways

November 26th, 2014 Manasi Kulkarni No comments

The holiday season is around the corner and everyone is rushing to finish their shopping on time. For a busy customer, the convenience of purchasing for everyone in one place and not having to wait in multiple checkout lines can mean the difference between choosing one store over another.

With online shopping being increasingly preferred by the busy shopper, it becomes important for an ecommerce merchant to ensure that he combines the best of online and offline shopping to give the shopper a truly satisfying shopping experience. Here are some tips to take the stress off festive shopping, and make the most of this holiday season for your customer and your business. 

Multi-store browsing

It wouldn’t be a leap of the imagination to assume that a diverse catalog that caters to a cross-section of shoppers would lead to greater sales. While that may be a sound argument to make, it can also be argued that crowding a single web store with divergent products can confuse the shopper and push him towards a niche web store. Not to mention that the design that suits, say, an apparel store might not gel well with a bookstore.

To help you deal with such a dilemma, Ignify eCommerce provides you the ability to operate multiple web stores via a single Manager Panel, and let your customers browse across them with a single integrated shopping cart at checkout. This means that if your catalog has apparel and electronic gadgets, books and tools, you can easily create a different web store for each one of them and link them together. Each of your web stores can be designed to best suit the products and the target audience you wish to attract. All of these web stores are then linked together and shoppers can travel from one store to another from the comfort of their chairs, and complete their festival shopping without having to wait in long checkout lines at the retail stores.

Multi-store browsing

Customers navigate across the multiple web stores by clicking on the different web store links.

Multi-store browsing

An integrated shopping cart makes checking out items from multiple stores a breeze.

Multi-device compatibility

This multi-store browsing facility can be made even more attractive by letting your shoppers shop using any device of their choice. For shoppers always on-the-go, being able to shop on their mobile phones and tablets just as easily as they would on their laptops or desktops is an attractive option.

Ignify eCommerce not only lets you provide your customer such multi-store, multi-device compatibility with responsive web design web stores, it also lets your customers carry over their shopping sessions seamlessly from one device to another. A social media integrated login process lets them login to any of the web stores quickly, where shopping carts can be saved and orders tracked as required. In case of multiple saved shopping carts, they can even be merged to create a new cart and an order placed conveniently; all this without discriminating between the shoppers’ choice of device.

Multi-device compatibility

Responsive Web Design web stores as rendered on a mobile phone and a tablet.

Multiple payment options

Once the shopper fills up his shopping cart with goodies for family and friends, the least of his worries should be a hiccup at checkout, where his preferred payment option is not available. This can force the shopper to abandon his shopping cart and move over to the competition’s web store.

Avoiding this scenario is easy, with Ignify eCommerce’s web stores allowing you to easily set up various payment options such as Credit Card, PayPal, Terms PO, Cash, Check, Reward Points, etc. The backend Manager Panel processes orders just as easily for online payment methods as for offline payment methods. Your customers can also make partial payments against invoices and use different payment options for each part of the payment. This means that no matter how big or small the billing amount, the customer can pay as per convenience and ability.  

Multiple shipping options

For festive shoppers, a major concern with online shopping is receiving their packages on time. Getting your Christmas gifts delivered after New Year is not an option. The uncertainty of delivery makes many shoppers opt for the more traditional retail stores to complete their shopping on time. You can capture these shoppers and even those last-minute shoppers by providing multiple shipping options ranging from 7 day delivery to overnight shipping.

Ignify eCommerce lets you set up various shipping carriers such as UPS, USPS, FedEx, etc. and make them available on your web store for the customer to choose from. Not only can you provide a choice of shipping carriers, the customers can also have different items in their order delivered to different addresses using different carriers. This ability to ship to multiple addresses can be particularly attractive to shoppers who do not want to miss out on the opportunity to send gifts to friends and relatives out of town. 

Multiple shipping options

Provide your shoppers multiple shipping options.

So this festive season make your customer feel like a king and let him shop across your multiple web stores using the device of his choice, place his order with the payment method and shipping carrier to his convenience, and then also have his gifts hand-delivered to different locations on his behalf, without ever having to leave the comfort of his chair!

For more information on how to optimize your web store for the holiday season, please email us at eCommerce@ignify.com.

Manasi Kulkarni is a Product Marketer at Ignify. Ignify is a technology provider of ERP, CRM, eCommerce, and Point of Sale software solutions to organizations. Ignify is winner/finalist of the worldwide Microsoft Partner of the Year Award in 2014, 2013, 2012 and 2011. Ignify has been included as the fastest growing businesses in North America for seven years in a row by Deloitte, Inc Magazine and Entrepreneur Magazine from 2007 to 2013.

Simplifying Ignify eCommerce Web Store Installations with Microsoft Web Deploy

November 17th, 2014 Manasi Kulkarni No comments

For merchants using on premise Ignify eCommerce, installing the Web Store application and the Manager Panel (the interface from which they manage their web stores) in a secure and hassle-free manner is facilitated using the Microsoft Web Deploy tool.

Using this tool, the application packages are securely and seamlessly transferred to the merchant’s IIS web server, after which the installation is activated. To import the application packages using Microsoft Web Deploy, the merchant first creates a website for the Manager Panel. The installation process is illustrated in the diagram below.

Ignify eCommerce Web Store application and Manager Panel

The installation process for the Ignify eCommerce Web Store application and Manager Panel.

Some benefits of using Microsoft Web Deploy:

  1. When compared to other technologies such as FTP, Microsoft Web Deploy imports the application packages faster to the merchant’s servers.
  2. The application package is transferred over HTTPS, making it a highly secure transfer.
  3. The automated process reduces chances of error during manual deployment and also speeds up the import and deployment process. It default compresses files, making deployments faster.
  4. Automated deployments using Microsoft Web Deploy can be enabled even across web farms, allowing you to import the application to multiple machines within a web farm if required.   
  5. Administrative privileges are not required to deploy the web application, and server administrators can delegate tasks to non-administrators as well. 
  6. Configuration values can be parameterized during deployment without requiring modifications to the packages themselves.
  7. Microsoft Web Deploy supports publishing databases. When getting started with the Manager Panel and the Web Store, the security and organization databases are required to be installed for proper functioning of the Manager Panel and Web Store.

After the application packages are securely in place on the merchant server, the process directs the merchant to a step-by-step guide to install the Manager Panel and create sample data that can be used to get an end-to-end experience of how the Manager Panel works. Various essential setups have to be in place, and the getting started user interface ensures that you do not miss out on any of them. It is possible to revisit the setup screen and verify the setups at a later stage as well. The merchant can create real-time data after completely removing the sample data.

Once the Manager Panel installation is complete, the getting started process guides the merchant through the installation of the Web Store including the various essential setups required to get your web store up and running. The first step in this process is to download the Web Store application package via the Manager Panel. Once the Web Store package is successfully downloaded, the merchant needs to create a website in the IIS for the Web Store. Using Web Deploy 3.5, the merchant would be able to import the Web Store application package and start the deployment wizard for the Web Store installation.

To learn more about on premise installations using Microsoft Web Deploy, please refer to the slide deck here.

If you have any questions about Ignify eCommerce installation, please email us at eCommerce@ignify.com.

Manasi Kulkarni is a Product Marketer at Ignify. Ignify is a technology provider of ERP, CRM, eCommerce, and Point of Sale software solutions to organizations. Ignify is winner/finalist of the worldwide Microsoft Partner of the Year Award in 2014, 2013, 2012 and 2011. Ignify has been included as the fastest growing businesses in North America for seven years in a row by Deloitte, Inc Magazine and Entrepreneur Magazine from 2007 to 2013.

Making Online Shopping Fun with Social Media Integration

November 5th, 2014 Manasi Kulkarni No comments

In a previous post, we discussed how the Ignify eCommerce Manager Panel is equipped with various tools to help a merchant optimize his social media presence and boost his online marketing efforts. These tools enable merchants to directly share their products, discounts, promotions, etc. from the web store to Facebook and Twitter, lets customers ‘Like’ pages from the web store on Facebook, or ‘tweet’ about them on Twitter. Similarly, customers can share products, discounts, etc. directly from the web store to Google+.

Like and share buttons directly on the product page

Like and share buttons directly on the product page make sharing items simple and instant, giving your web store more social media presence.

Ignify eCommerce further uses social media avenues to make shopping an enjoyable and convenient experience for your customers. Customers can easily login to your web store using their social media credentials, saving them the effort to create new login credentials, while providing the merchant access to valuable profile information about his customers. This information can help the merchant better understand his customers and their needs, while providing customized services and products.

Login via social media

Login via social media makes online shopping simple and convenient, saving your customers the time of creating a separate login for your store.

The integration of social media tools on your web store comes in combination with other SEO tools and Google Analytics/Universal Analytics, making it a comprehensive package that boosts your brand’s online presence and impacts web store footfall.

With Google Analytics, you can keep a track of how many people are actually using your social media login and sharing buttons, which of the platforms receives a greater number of clicks, etc. This data can help you reorganize your social media optimization (SMO) efforts such that your social media presence converts into sales. However, it is advisable to use Google Analytics alongside social media reporting information as provided by Facebook, etc. to get a more comprehensive picture of how your social media tools are impacting your web store’s interaction with your customers.

Shareable content is another important factor to consider when making a presence on social media. It is important to generate content that lends itself to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc. in order to build interest, which will lead to more likes and shares. For example, interesting videos, compelling articles, and high-quality product images are all crucial for building an image on social media and creating brand awareness.

The various social media integration tools combined with full support for shareable content provided by Ignify eCommerce thus help your make the most of your SEO and SMO efforts, and ensure a good shopping experience for your customers. For more information, please email us at eCommerce@ignify.com.

Manasi Kulkarni is a Product Marketer at Ignify. Ignify is a technology provider of ERP, CRM, eCommerce, and Point of Sale software solutions to organizations. Ignify is winner/finalist of the worldwide Microsoft Partner of the Year Award in 2014, 2013, 2012 and 2011. Ignify has been included as the fastest growing businesses in North America for seven years in a row by Deloitte, Inc Magazine and Entrepreneur Magazine from 2007 to 2013.