Extendware Aligns with Blue Swallow as Official Development Partner

Extendware is excited to announce our recent partnership with the E-Commerce Agency, Blue Swallow. At Extendware pride ourselves on our top of the line Magento Extensions. Our priority lies with the quality and service that comes with our extensions, and therefore want to focus our time on improving and adding more add-ons to our store.

We know that may times Magento Stores can be different and require more attention after installation. To make sure our customers are getting the best in timely and efficient service, we have outsourced Blue Swallow, a quality E-Commerce Agency.

At Extendware, we believe that you are in excellent hands as the developers at Blue Swallow Group are well versed in Magento and work 7 days a week to ensure our customers are taken care of as urgently as possible. 

Blue Swallow is an experienced e-commerce agency, curating a highly skilled team of Magento specialists, serving clients on a local, regional and global scale. Our qualified team of hand-picked and individually trained developers is certified and highly skilled in Magento, Drupal and WooCommece platforms. We have a combined 7 years’ experience in web development, native mobile/app development, performance optimization, third-party extensions customization and bespoke software development. 

Our working philosophy is based around providing a high degree of efficiency and efficacy, without compromising on quality and having a tailored approach to each individual project. This ensures that all our valued clients get a premium service and the highest degree of quality

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Social Media Tactics to Help Drive Traffic to Your Ecommerce Site

Ahh social media. It’s your best friend and your worst enemy. I’ll admit I had a few years where I refused to be a part of it, but it slowly crept into my life aPhoto-1nd before you know it I was checking my Facebook page at least 5 times a day! But I wasn’t checking in for the latest gossip about The Bachelorette, or stalking my ex boyfriend’s pages. No, I was actually using Facebook and other social media outlets for news and information. Today, more then ever, people are using social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and more to promote their businesses, and I knew that’s what I had to do to be successful and reach the right people.

So marketing on social media must be a piece of cake right? Wrong. Attracting consumers to your site through social media is easier said than done. To be successful in the world of social media, you need more than just tactics…you need a well thought out marketing strategy.

 

Here are a few questions to ask yourself before you begin the adventure into the wild world of social media.

What Am I Trying to Accomplish?

Start thinking about the various goals you are setting for yourself and be specific! How many followers are you striving to reach? How many conversions do you want? Traffic? Audience Growth? It all matters and ironing out a concrete goal plan is key to making this all work.

What Do Your Customers Want?

You may think you know what they want, but it is amazing the insight you will get when you just ask! Using social media is a great way to ask customers on a personal level; “Hey what is it you like about us?” “What can we do to make things easier?” The feedback here is priceless information to better your business.

What’s my ROI?

Ok, so if you aren’t getting a return on your investment then you are doing something wrong. Or maybe you had some reach but its not what you expected. That’s ok. Try another campaign, change up your strategy, audience, creative…it’s all about the results and the more you experiment the better your financial results will be.

It’s All About the Dataanalytic

Customer behaviour such as where your social media traffic is coming from and which types of content receive the most views is crucial in leveraging data. You can discover best practices this way, and if one thing doesn’t work, try new factors the next time and don’t forget to reference your history often. Some social mediums have a dashboard with this information similar to Google Analytics. Get the Google Analytics Dashboard Extension for Magento Here!

Sharing is Caring

Most people don’t visit social media sites with the intent of shopping. I know I don’t, yet somehow I wind up joining seminars, buying books, and linked out to Amazon on nearly every visit! This type of marketing is about building relationships first and actual sales are second. Establishing trust is the best way to engage with your target customer. Statistics reveal that people will typically interact with 5 pieces of content before even making a purchase.

So once your plan is in place, its time to start using some tactics to make the most of your social media presence, promotions, and marketing.

Social Media Tactics

Paid Advertising

Paid options can help to dramatically increase your sales. You can push people to website for specials, social page for likes, even sign people up for a newsletter. You don’t have to have a large budget either, its more about your message, demographics overall campaign.

#Hashtags

In the beginning I was confused on what this # sign even was. What they do is help your content become easily discovered and expand the reach of your posts. They are great for interaction but make sure to avoid over using them, and stick to just one or two per post or else you might be labeled as a #hashtagaddict.

Reviews

Let’s face it, when booking a hotel, or choosing a restaurant or new purchase, we all look to reviews from other people! The same goes on social media, so take your success stories and brag a little.photo-2

Feeds and Buttons

Make sure to promote your social pages on all that you do. Buttons are a great way to share on your website, and feeds like twitter are another fun way to engage with people in the social world on your site.

No Sales Pitches

Sales pitches are a great way to lose customers. We aren’t selling encyclopedias door to door here! A better method is to share content in your posts, stories, news, tips and tricks or anything that engages the consumer. I use the word engage a lot because that’s the key to all of this.

Images

Nothing draws the eye more than a compelling product image. This gives your customers a chance to share with others and repost. Using platforms like Instagram and Pinterest are perfect for this. You can also encourage people to post images of your product in use! I had my friends all share photos of my clothing line and I got more comments and likes then I have ever had. Boom!

Relationships

No not Tinder that’s a different blog for a different day! You can build relationships many ways in social media especially by being attentive to messages and comments and making sure to respond to everyone. It may seem time consuming but will make a difference in a sale. Another fun way to interact is by joining similar interest groups. You can keep up on the industry, check competition and chat with like minds.

Keywords

Using high-conversion keywords in your posts can increase their visibility and you can then reach people beyond your followers. Just do some keyword research to find the terms consumers are searching to find content related to your industry, business, and products/services, and integrate them into your posts.

Consistancy

Posting content on a regular basis is critical to improve customer engagement and drive more traffic to your eCommerce website. Frequency can vary based on your market, but consistency is key to show your audience that you’re interested in constantly sharing valuable content. To make this process easier and save time, use a marketing automation tool such as Around.io so you can schedule posts in advance.

Blog It

blog-it-2If you have a great blog (like this one),you will certainly want to share it with your online social groups. Again, a great way to keep things relevant and allow your followers to share and stay in the know with all you are doing.

Keep it Simple!

No one likes information overload. Keeping it short and sweet you’re your updates attract more engagement on social media than longer posts. If you can tease with engaging headline, your followers are more apt to read it and then share the content if its brief and compelling.

As you can see, there are tons of ways to drive more traffic to your site using social media. I once thought it was a simple process, but it is much more complex but can be so much fun too with the right mindset. Good luck and try not to get distracted by the Farmville or Candy Crush invites!

Check out Extendware’s Social Media!

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Optimizing the Shopping Cart: 12 Steps for Magento Users

T he shopping cart is the most important component of your e-commerce business. In order for your business to survive, your customers need to be able to make their way to the “Complete Order” button easily and quickly. Magento enables users to create user-friendly shopping carts, allowing you to maximize ROI. Here are the best practices for creating a streamlined checkout process with Magento:

  1. Provide checkout buttons at the bottom and top of your site.

Today’s Internet users are more distracted than ever, and one checkout button just isn’t enough. Place checkout buttons at both the top and bottom of your website. That way, customers can begin the checkout process Checkout-buttonsno matter where they happen to be on the page.

Checkout buttons should be in contrasting colors that catch users’ attention. As with most elements related to shopping carts, usability outweighs aesthetics.

  1. Allow customers to continue shopping

Some customers want to continue shopping after adding an item to the shopping cart, and you need to make it easy for them to do so. Shopping cart pages should include a visible “Continue Shopping” button.

  1. Product-DisplayProvide a related products display

By showing customers products related to the items already in the shopping cart, you can increase the average purchase order. There are extensions available for Magento that automatically display products that are frequently purchased together.

  1. Minimize the number of steps that customers must take to complete checkout

There’s a reason why Amazon has established a one-click buy feature. It’s an established fact in e-commerce that more steps to complete a purchase means fewer orders. While most e-commerce businesses cannot implement a one-click purchase feature like Amazon does, streamline the process so that buyers go through only one or two screens before finalizing their purchase.

  1. Implement proper authentication procedures

However, don’t skirt on authentication procedures. Trust is critical to any e-commerce business, and customers appreciate seeing that basic security measures are in place. A two-factor authentication system is industry standard.

  1. Don’t ask for the same information repeatedly

Entering in the same information more than once is tedious, so don’t make customers do it. This means, for example, that you should provide a checkbox for customers who have the same shipping and billing addresses (as most of them do).

Also consider which information is truly vital to collect. While it may be useful to know demographic information about your buyers for marketing purposes, requiring users to enter in too much information is a turn-off. In addition to being tedious, many e-commerce buyers worry about privacy issues and become suspicious when they are asked too much personal information.

  1. Give customers a variety of shipping optionsShipping

When you are able to offer customers more choices for shipping, you increase your business’ credibility. Again, look to Amazon as a model. For most purchases, users can choose from at least three different shipping options, from more expensive selections that allow quick receipt of purchase to more budget-friendly choices.

  1. Better yet, offer free shipping for large orders

Studies of e-commerce buyer behavior have repeatedly demonstrated that many customers balk when they discover high shipping fees. In order to remain competitive, more and more businesses are offering free shipping in order to offset the effects of shipping price shock.

Setting a minimum order price for free shipping is particularly effective because it incentivizes customers to buy more items.

  1. Show customers their savings

If you’re providing customers with savings via special deals or a rewards program, show them exactly how much they’re saving. Knowing this information will make them feel confident in the purchase and more likely to buy from you again.

  1. Allow customers to register for reward programs

The moment of checkout is your best opportunity to gain a long-term customer. Make sure that buyers have the option to register for your site while checking out—and make the process easy.
While many customers are wary of signing up for fear of being spammed, offering future deals and savings provides a strong incentive for registration.

  1. Let customers provide feedback at time of sale

feedbackEveryone appreciates being heard. Providing an optional comments box at time of purchase starts off the customer-seller relationship off on the right foot by letting buyers know that you care about their input.

  1. Use a shopping cart recovery system

Among e-commerce experts, it’s no secret that abandoned carts cut into profits. In 2015, the estimated cart abandonment rate was an astonishing 68%. Implementing a shopping cart recovery system helps businesses to gain back some of this lost business. Sending friendly reminder e-mails to customers who didn’t complete the checkout process gains additional sales. If you can provide a discount to sweeten the deal, shopping cart reminders become all the more effective.

Optimizing the shopping cart is critical for the success of any e-commerce business. All of these tweaks can be made with Magento. Investing in expert-designed Magento extensions makes it easy to create a great checkout experience, thereby maximizing your ROI.

We hope you find these tips useful to enhance the checkout process of your Magento Store, until next time!


Shopping Cart Price Rules Extension Overview

Extendware’s Magento Shopping Cart Price Rules, you can create new promotions that are not possible in default Magento stores. With 24 different price rule actions, you will be able to create much more powerful promotions to attract customers to your store and products. For example, you can create rules like, “Buy a shirt and get a discount on a tie” or “Buy 2 of a product and receive the 3rd for free”. Why wait? Take action now and create much more powerful promotions to make your online business successful!


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Maximize Your Marketing ROI with Irresistible Product Pages

If you’re like most e-commerce business owners who use Magento, you invest in paid advertising to drive targeted traffic to your store.

So it’s very important to receive strong ROI (Return on Investment) on your marketing campaigns. Here’s how to optimize every product page to receive great ROI on each dollar you spend on advertising.

Show stunning images of your product

The quality of a product image can make or break a sale. E-commerce experts strongly advise against using stock images of a product, or images with poor resolution. Take original, high-resolution photographs to sell your product. We recommend 4-6 different shots per product for most industries. While some e-commerce entrepreneurs invest in professional photography, a less expensive alternative is to buy or make a lightbox to take better, more detailed photographs. Once you post images to the product page, make sure that viewers have the option to zoom in.

Don’t just show the product as a still object. Whenever possible, use shots that show the product in action. Photographs that include children and pets are known to be particularly high-converting, so if appropriate include these adorable models in your shot.

If your product requires a demonstration, include instructional videos (or links to videos) on the page itself. Like this one for our Full Page Cache Demo. People want to know that they will be able to use your product with ease.

Make sure products are catalogued properly

Screen Shot 2016-05-16 at 8.51.06 PM

You want to make it easy for customers to navigate the storefront. Maybe the specific product page they first clicked on isn’t for them, but you still have a valuable potential customer. A well-organized catalogue allows customers to find similar or complimentary products easily, maximizing your sales.

 

Write a Product Description that is Easy to Read and Informative.

Interested buyers will read product descriptions in part or in full, so make sure that yours are engaging. A good rule of thumb is to emphasize benefits over features. To explain further, let’s say you’re selling a cellphone with a 5.5” screen. The screen dimension is a feature. But the benefits of a 5.5” screen are that users will be able to read messages more easily, use a range of other applications, and play Angry Birds better.

Even for selling technical products, avoid large blocks of text that are nothing more than technical explanations. You can place the product specs at the bottom of the description, but the description itself should be readable and relatable for buyers. Also, make sure to avoid typos and other errors that damage your company’s credibility.

Create a Layout that Maximizes Sales

Studies show that web users generally read content in a pattern that graphic design experts refer to as an F-Pattern: First users look at the main horizontal line, then the main vertical line, followed by any secondary headings (horizontal lines).

Many users will not read every word of a page, but rely on these markers to determine their interest. Design your product pages so that the most important information is conveyed in these critical junctures. A compelling image on the sidebar can have a big effect.

You can learn more about the F-Pattern and how to implement it here.

Test your Product Pages and Track your Conversion Rates

While this post reviews general best practices, every market is unique. To ensure that you’re not missing out on possible conversions, try making use of A/B testing so that you can find out what your audience responds to best. Only through careful tracking can you deduce the ROI on your marketing efforts, and work to optimize it.

Before publishing a product page, e-commerce business owners should ask themselves these questions:

  • Are the images high-quality and compelling?
  • Is the product catalogued in a way that makes sense?
  • Does the product description sell the product’s features?
  • Is the page layout conveying the most important information in the right places?
  • Do you have a system in place to track conversion rates?

If you said yes to all five questions, your product page is ready to go. Making these tweaks to your product pages can have massive effects on your business’ bottom line.

 

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