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The most complete Canada Post shipping solution is now available for Magento

Canada Post V2 by CollinsHarper.com

Collins Harper is pleased to announce we have upgraded and released a new Canada Post shipping module!

The most complete Canada Post shipping solution currently available for your Magento store, the Collins Harper Canada Post 2.0 Shipping Module is built on Canada Post’s newest Web Services API (2012) to provide a completely streamlined shipping solution for the Magento merchant.

Our latest shipping module includes a host of new features accessible directly from Magento, including:

  • Retrieve Live Shipping Quotes from Canada Post
  • Create Shipments with Canada Post.
  • Print Shipping Labels.
  • Create and Send Return Labels to Customers.
  • Create and Print Manifests (for Canada Post Commercial customers).
  • Allow merchants to require signature for specific packages, or require insurance coverage for valuable packages.
  • Allow customers to have parcels delivered directly to a Post Office in Canada.
  • Allow customers to select advanced delivery options (Leave at Door, Card For pickup, Do Not Safe Drop, etc.)
  • Integration with Google Maps to view nearest post office.
  • Fully bilingual
  • Auto-generate and Print Customs Documents for US and International Shipments (requires appropriate product configuration)

Having efficient tools to manage customer shipments can spell the difference between losing or retaining a customer. The Canada Post V2 Magento module helps translate your efforts into customer delight, enhancing your brand value. With the feature-packed latest version, Canada Post V2 is the smart choice to make. Watch our online demo here.

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Abandoned Shopping Carts: the Achilles Heel of eCommerce

Online sales are taking over. From 2002 to 2011, annual ecommerce spending went from 72 billion to over 256 billion, according to comScore Internet Marketing Research Company. This surge in online consumer activity has brought about millions of virtual stores and some stiff competition amongst retailers. Because of this, online business owners need to make sure they’re doing what they can to attract customers and guide them through to a satisfactory sale completion… and avoid the issue of abandoned shopping carts.

There is so much work that goes into making a successful online business. First, you have to put time and money into building an attractive storefront. Then you work on getting healthy traffic flow and marketing your products in an appealing way. Once these tasks have been completed, nobody wants to have a sale dropped in the final step of checking out! It’s terrible to see potential revenue sitting in an abandoned cart.

How can you avoid this? Well first, let’s look at what causes it.

What can cause shopping cart abandonment?

There are a number of factors that leave a cart abandoned but here are some of the leading reasons.

The cost of shipping is too high.
The shopping cart check-out process is too long or complicated.
The online store doesn’t seem trustworthy.
The customer simply gets distracted or changes their mind.
Consumer decisions are made around these factors and in the end, you’re left with an uncompleted sale and lost revenue. Shopping cart abandonment is a serious problem. Depending on whose study you’re reading, it’s reported that anywhere from 30% to 75% of online sales are dropped with items in the cart, before the sale is complete.

How can we combat cart abandonment?

Snip Shipping Costs: There are several things you can do to cut down on carts being dropped due to shipping costs. Most simply, you could offer an across-the-board lower shipping cost. If shipping costs seem fair and are closer to what the customer would expect to pay if they were shipping the product on their own, the sale is less likely to be dropped. If that isn’t a route you want to take, offer incentives such as free or discounted shipping with orders of more than say… $50. With a multi-store pickup module users can choose where they’d like to pick up their order or using a GEO lookup module, customers can search the closest store to their postal code. Promotions like this help take your customer to sale completion and boost the total amount of a sale. The important thing here is to figure out which shipping model works best for your company. Options include free shipping, store pickup, shipping by weight/price/item or flat rate shipping.

Un-Complicate the Check-out: To avoid confusion or distraction due to a long or complicated check-out, simplify your process! This is an incredibly important step in cart retention. The check-out process should have as few steps as possible and even offer 1-click check-out in certain situations, such as for returning customers. This means your store should not require registration to complete a purchase, should not ask questions that take a lot of time or are too personal, and should take all possible credit cards.
Address Anxiety Over Site Security: Security is a big concern for many consumers and as an ecommerce merchant, it’s your personal responsibility to keep the customer safe and make them feel comfortable giving you their credit card and personal information over the computer. PCI-compliance is the first step to making sure you’re e-store is protected but in such a competitive market, it’s best to go the extra mile and make sure you’re using one of the few shopping carts that go the extra mile with online security and are PA-DSS compliant. Using a tokenization payment module can help make your customers feel safe by keeping your customers on site without the risks associated with storing credit card data. Because everything is secured offsite, merchants can minimize the need for repeat data entry the next time a customer shops at their store. Once you’ve protected your customers, tell them! Let them know you’ve taken care of them with a verification seal on your home page and at the beginning of their check-out process.

Bring Back Distracted Consumers: There’s a chance your customers are simply getting distracted or changing their minds before they complete a sale. To reduce the chance of this happening, think about what may be causing it to happen. Do you have streamlined, user-friendly navigation to the shopping cart? Is the buying and shopping cart easy to edit and understand? If these types of questions check-out and you’re still looking at lost income from abandoned carts, reach out to your potential customer with emails that offer incentives and discounts to pull them back into the buy. Some shopping carts have this type of feature included in their set-up, which makes it an extremely easy and powerful way to stop shopping cart abandonment. Loyalty points are a great incentive for customers, and using a module like Sweet Tooth, your customers will earn points for purchasing products from your site that can be used for future purchases. This builds brand loyalty and repeat business that can make a huge difference to your sales volume.

After managing your site with the above steps, you will see an increase in cart completion and customer retention. Dealing with these factors can help any ecommerce business owner turn ‘window shoppers’ into buyers and bring back customers that have abandoned their cart.

Thanks ZippyCart!

2011 Holiday Shoppers Turning to Ecommerce Solutions

2011 Holiday Shoppers Turning to Ecommerce Solutions

Ecommerce solutions are the preferred method of shopping for many consumers due to the convenience of 24/7 availability. Some consumers enjoy the one-stop-shop the Internet provides, and others appreciate free shipping and other incentives online retailers offer. Whatever their reasons, more shoppers than previously expected will be turning to ecommerce solutions to complete their holiday shopping this year.

According to new data from the National Retail Federation, the average shopper plans to complete 36% of their holiday gift-buying online this year (up from 32.7% last year). In light of the increase of shoppers planning to use eCommerce solutions this holiday season, e-tailers have become more optimistic than ever before about their holiday sales. Revealed in Shop.org’s eHoliday survey conducted by BIGresearch, 68% of retailers anticipate their online sales to increase by at least 15% or more compared to last holiday season. This expectation is up from 63.8% who felt the same last year.

Shoppers will also be able to take advantage of holiday deals earlier this year. Along with their brick-and-mortar counterparts, some online retailers are planning to begin their 2011 holiday promotions by Halloween. 52.9% of retailers plan to start their Holiday marketing and promotions by next Monday (Halloween), which is up from just 40% who did the same last year. Approximately 37% of retailers are planning to start by mid-November. Thus, shoppers may not have to wait until Cyber Monday (the Monday after Thanksgiving and Black Friday) to snag the best deals of the season.

Shop.org’s head of research, Fiona Swerdlow, suggested companies are taking steps to prepare for the increase in online shoppers. In her own words:

“There’s no question consumers are eager to hit the Web this holiday season, and online retailers are prepping by optimizing their sites, beginning their marketing and promotions early, and planning plenty of free shipping promotions as they aim to provide value and convenience for their shoppers. Online retailers will also leverage their social media and mobile platforms for savvy shoppers on the go, knowing how important customer reviews and comparison shopping applications are to holiday shoppers.”

Specifically, the survey concluded that 51% of retailers have invested in optimizing their mobile commerce solutions and many have also invested in tablet device apps. Companies have also been working on their Facebook and Twitter pages in preparation for the holiday season.

The survey also outlined the primary reasons why shoppers plan to spend more time shopping online:

  • 24-hour availability and convenience are the primary considerations for 43.2% of shoppers surveyed
  • 36.3% admitted they will spend more online this year if shipping comes free
  • The annoyance of fighting crowds at brick-and-mortar store locations is a factor for 37.2%
  • 29.6% of shoppers will turn to ecommerce solutions due to the ease of comparing prices

With this new data, e-tailers are becoming more optimistic about upcoming online sales and re-evaluating their holiday promotions.

Article via ZippyCart

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