BigCommerce and Your WordPress Site

WordPress is an amazing option for businesses that are just starting out with their online presence. The WooCommerce plugin allows businesses to easily add eCommerce functionality to WordPress websites. Since late 2018, there has been a new option for WordPress users to dip their toes into the eCommerce world. Businesses no longer have to choose between WordPress’ flexible platform and BigCommerce’s proven eCommerce engine. For WordPress-based entrepreneurs wondering if they should consider adding BigCommerce to their site, here are some factors to consider.

Your Content and Your Commerce

If you have a well-established WordPress site, you undoubtedly have built a network of content related to your business. While migrating that information to a new platform is possible, it is a time consuming and sometimes risky procedure. If you have dedicated time to building your brand through WordPress, the BigCommerce plugin is a great way to add the checkout options your business needs. 

Increasing Your Scalability

If your business is growing, adding BigCommerce’s functionality is a great option. As you start to do more business on your site, the increased activity can drag down your page’s performance. Letting BigCommerce handle the eCommerce side of your business will leave your content pages running smoothly as your user interactions grow. You get all of the advantages of your WordPress site and BigCommerce’s powerful eCommerce platform. 

More eCommerce Options

Choosing BigCommerce for your WordPress site means WordPress developers can quickly add a huge array of eCommerce options to your site. For example, with the BigCommerce plugin, you have access to 65 payment gateways and seamless access to all major global carriers for your shipping needs. Shopping carts developed through this BigCommerce platform can easily integrate sales and discount codes from your website and make the user experience quick and easy. You can also use this BigCommerce plugin to expand your business’ sales across multiple popular platforms like Facebook, Amazon, and eBay.

Additional Security 

Adding BigCommerce to your WordPress site means that you can use their secure checkout service. Working with BigCommerce means that your checkout process is PCI secure out of the box. You will not have to worry about securing your customer data as your business expands. 

 

If you feel like your business is growing beyond your WordPress’ sites current capabilities, adding BigCommerce’s plugin might just be the perfect way to handle your checkout process. If you’re not ready to move off your established site, but you need to broaden your eCommerce horizons, this plug-in is a perfect way to get the best of both worlds. 

Here at Genius eCommerce, we are dedicated to helping your eCommerce business succeed. To stay up to date on the latest eCommerce news and tips, check back in with us for regular updates.

 

Three Valuable eCommerce Features that Require Development

When you partner with an eCommerce platform, you gain the suite of development options offered by that platform. While these options are often more than sufficient for setting up an eCommerce site for any business, there is no way for platforms to offer all of the features their clients would like. When developing your eCommerce website and comparing it to other sites in your industry, you might quickly develop a list of features you would like for your site that are not baked into your platform.

In order to add these features to your website, you need a webpage developer who can physically code them in. By hiring a development team familiar with your eCommerce platform, customization is virtually limitless.  Web development can greatly improve the appearance and function of your website, leading to greater user retention.

Mega Menus

Mega menus are an amazing feature for your eCommerce site. Unlike a standard drop-down menu, these menus often feature categories and subcategories so your customers can browse a wider range of options at a glance. While standard menu options are a standard feature for all eCommerce platforms, they do not include options for creating these comprehensive menus.

Developers can easily create gorgeous mega menus with any of the options your business needs. Whether this includes several subcategory options or the inclusion of images with your menus, almost anything is possible with the right coding.

Search Features

Another common feature that requires development is custom search. Most eCommerce platforms come with search features that allow for faceted search. This allows users to customize their search in terms of brand, size, color, and other common facets.

If your business requires a more specific facet, you’re going to need a custom search. For example, if you run a business that sells plants, you might have customers who want to search your products by how much light they require. This functionality will be valuable in assisting your customers to make purchases, but no platform is going to have a “light level” facet built into their search functions.

Auto-completing search terms are another feature that customers appreciate. Several developers are able to add coding to your search features to include auto-complete and recommended search features. Features like these make it easier to navigate your site and add a professional touch that users appreciate.

One Click Purchasing

Another valuable function that many platforms do not include is one-click purchasing. Made popular as a feature for Amazon Prime, the eCommerce giant now offers this to all of its customers. Rather than adding a product to a cart and then moving to checkout, one-click purchasing takes the customer straight to checkout.

For sites that link customer payment data to account, this can even be used for instant purchases with no further steps. These tools are extremely valuable for cashing in on impulse purchases and streamlining the purchasing process. Having customers view their cart before checkout can lead to indecision. The faster you can allow a customer to go from the initial desire for a product to purchase, the less chance that your customers will reconsider.

 

To learn more about features that will improve your eCommerce site’s performance, turn to Genius eCommerce. Our experts are here to keep you up to date on the latest tips and news in the world of eCommerce.

 

Choosing a Design Theme for your eCommerce Site

The web design theme you use for your eCommerce site can have a major impact on your business. Whether this is positive or negative depends on how much research you put into your decision.

Consider your users: The number one criteria when choosing a theme is your user base. Many businesses that are trying to appeal to a young and trendy audience will have the most success with modern minimal templates. This style is currently in vogue and does not provide an abundance of distractions from your call to action. Flat themes typically feature light backgrounds and darker text, making your content really pop off the page.

A full-width template is a great option to achieve a very contemporary look. For a more traditional design, a boxed width design is another great choice. These templates include a border around your content and tend to be perfect for websites marketing to other businesses.

No matter what theme option you choose, you will have some empty space on your page. While it might be tempting to fill that negative space, it’s important to avoid over-saturating the user. If you have a lot to say, consider a simple link to another page where you can go more in-depth.

Choose the right header: A strong header sends a strong message. As soon as a user lands on your page, the header should be the first thing that draws their eye. A bold, bright image is truly worth a thousand words. You can tell an entire story about your brand with the right combination of graphics and text at the top of your page. If that story appeals to your user base, it will leave them hungry for more information.

You also want to be sure that your header leaves enough space for users to want to continue their journey through your site. A header that takes up half of your page might make your website appear underdeveloped.

Instead of extending your header vertically, you might want to extend its width beyond the rest of your content, guiding users from the literal big picture to the important details about your business. The right balance between the “curb appeal” of your header and the substance to back it up will be what keeps users interacting with your website.

Check out your competition: If your business has competitors with a successful website, take some time to navigate them. It’s never a great idea to use the exact page template as a competitor, noting their successful layout features will help you improve your own site.

Does your lead competitor place their menu above or below the header? How do they lay out their links or organize their products? All of these factors can contribute to their success and might be a huge help when deciding what your customers want to see for your business.

You should also consider the inverse, what does their site lack? Are there clunky or unnecessary features on the competition’s website? Avoiding their mistakes is a great way to give your site a superior layout.

Menu designs: Your menus are your user’s travel guide to the rest of your website. You need menus to point users towards your products and more information on what you offer as a brand. Whether you feature a simple dropdown menu or what a custom designed mega menu, making your site easy to navigate is key to retaining users and increasing visit durations.

Factors like whether you want to include subcategories to your menu can affect the ease of use for your website. A challenging menu will lead to increased bounce rates, but having too many subcategories can be confusing to users. Be sure to test your own menus and make sure they serve as an efficient gateway for visitors to understand you and your product line.

Branding: What is more important to you, your brand or your products? The idea of your brand is important, and how you feature it on your site will send a message to users. You definitely want your pages to prominently feature your brand logo so visitors will see and remember it.

If your brand is the focal point of your business, you will want that logo front and center. This works well for businesses that are selling a “lifestyle” that goes with their products. For markets like footwear, sometimes having a popular brand of shoes is more important than having shoes in general to consumers. These businesses will want to display that brand first and the products second.

If you want your products to speak for your brand, placing your logo off to the side or in a corner might be a better choice. This placement will give visitors an idea of who you are, while still maintaining your site design’s focal point to display your products. For businesses that want customers to display their product’s utility, or do not have powerful brand recognition, this product fronted design will focus visitors’ interest on what you have to offer.

 

Keep your business up to date with Genius eCommerce. Our experts compile news and tips on every facet of eCommerce so you can always find new ways to improve your site and your business.

Let’s Talk Google Ranking Factors

Over the years, another new factor in ranking on search engines like Google has popped up. In 2014, it was HTTPS. In 2015, mobile usability was a factor. In 2016, it was content development. In 2017, the focus was back on HTTPS. Last year, in 2018, the focus was on page speed, particularly for mobile.

So what will the factor be in 2019? Better yet, what factors, in general, are more important when it comes to ranking? There is so much to consider and some of these ranking factors may go hand in hand and have direct connections you may not notice.

Today, Genius eCommerce will talk ranking factors on Google and what goes into improving your rankings in 2019, the factors that will really move you forward this year. This is who we are and what we do, staying up to date and providing updates, trends, news and more in the eCommerce world.

High-Quality Content

Through the years, content remains king of your marketing efforts. The quality of your website writing and blog content is just as important now as ever before. Content needs to provide valuable information and add value to the customer. If there is no value, it will hurt your overall rankings with Google.

But, how do you do this?

Be mindful of what your customers want to know. Writing content that is geared toward your customers’ search queries goes a long way. Search intent provides great research on what your customers want to know from you or find from you. An analytics report can give you the insight you need to see what search results people are clicking and using to get to your website. You can then set up your content based on what you find.

Keyword research is not needed to rank with search engines, but it does serve as a basis for creating quality content. This can be an easy roadmap to regularly producing content that stays focused on topics and draws in visitors.

Your snippets on search engines can be just as important as the content itself. Rich snippets mark text and data using schema for better visibility on Google’s search results, which can lead to a better click-through rate, a lower bounce rate, and more conversions.

Finally, remember the importance of voice search and how many people have voice-activated devices such as Siri, Google Assistant or Amazon Echo. Voice search has been a growing trend for several years and with so many devices out there that respond to vocal cues, you want to optimize your search queries to respond to how people speak.

Be Mobile Friendly

Years ago, the way to be “mobile friendly” was to create a mobile version of the website. Instead of creating a mobile website that is hosted elsewhere, creating responsive websites is the way to go to achieve great rankings today.

There is no preference over mobile websites on Google, but having a responsive website is the recommended format that works best with their algorithms. In a time when mobile-first indexing is the thing, the mobile version of your website becomes crucial.

Website Security

In 2017, 30 percent of results on page one of Google were using HTTPS. Creating a secure website has become more important because some browsers will flag websites as not secure, most notably Google Chrome. With 45 percent of internet users using Chrome as their browser, this can pose a problem if your website is not secure.

HTTPS becomes essential, then, to show that your website is secure and can be trusted.

User Experience

User experiences is another important factor when it comes to SEO. You have to see it through your customers’ eyes and have an understanding of what they expect to see and want to see.

For many people, that has as much to do with appearance as anything. If a website looks good — has good graphics, images, content, and layout — it will keep the customer engaged and interested.

The way a website is laid out is another factor in this. It should be easy to navigate to and from different categories and headings with a proper site architecture.

The layout should be as simple as possible so that navigation remains easy and it shouldn’t take the customer much effort to find the product they are looking for.

Optimization

Part of the user experience is the waiting or lack thereof. People don’t like to wait for webpages to load, so having the website optimized to have a great page loading speed for all platforms, desktop and mobile included, is important. Slower websites tend to struggle because they are so often clicked by the customer and that visitor returns to the results because nothing happens.

In addition to page speed, having your on-page optimization completed will go a long way as well. Your technical SEO holds a stake in your position on search engines too, so taking care of these little behind the scenes aspects of optimization will also help.

Finally, don’t forget about link structure and metadata when planning your optimization. Little things like having title tags prepared and polished, having meta descriptions completed and having strong backlinks to boost your SEO are all important and help you build your results.

With these tips on the factors that can help you rank with search engines the way you want, you will see that, with time, the results will be there as well. That’s how Genius eCommerce is helping you, providing the latest updates, tips, trends and more on the eCommerce space.

Be sure to continue reading the Genius eCommerce blog for more on how we can help you stay up to date on everything you need to help stay informed during your eCommerce efforts.

How To Make Your Landing Pages Stand Out

A landing page to a website is like walking through the door of a brick and mortar location. It is the first place you see when you enter an eCommerce website. Landing pages are different than the homepage in that they are a more targeted location to place customers in the right spot for the products they want.

Landing pages can have a 5 to 15 percent higher conversion rate and are great for lead generation. Many landing pages get overshadowed by the homepage or product pages when it comes to preparing these pages and designing them.

At Genius eCommerce, we focus on all aspects of eCommerce websites from design to development to content and more. This is who we are and what we do, keeping you informed and updated on tips, trends and more in eCommerce.

Today, we will look at some tips for landing pages and ways that you can make yours stand out.

Avoid the Homepage – Your homepage should never serve as a landing page. There can be too much wording and visitors can easily get lost in their search. Having a dedicated landing page will perform better at generating leads and creating conversions, which is the primary focus of the page.

Include Specific Elements – Each landing page you create should have several different elements, among them a headline and sub-headline, a description of the offer, an image or video that supports the content, and any supporting elements such as testimonials, logos or security badges. Perhaps the most important element is to include a form on the landing page that allows you to get information. At the very least, if a form is not possible, include a call to action button to get visitors to the next step.

Limit Navigation – Unlike your homepage and product pages, the goal of a landing page is to give the visitor what they are looking for immediately. With this in mind, keep the navigation options on these pages to a minimum or not even present at all. This way, there is no possibility that they can wander off the landing page to a different page that does not pertain to their interests.

Clear and Simple Objective – Landing pages are also designed to give a clear and concise definition of what the page is about. A landing page should not be too wordy or hold too much information. Limit the amount of copy and additional media on the page to the necessities and keep the content organized. The most important thing is that the call to action is clear to the visitor.

Match Content – Consider the conversion path when creating landing pages. If a visitor comes to a landing page through a PPC ad, consider the language of the PPC ad. By echoing the same message as the previous ad, the customer feels like they are where they need to be and more likely to process. Give different information from the ad and they are more likely to click the back button.

Create Multiple Landing Pages – Every time you have an offer or new campaign, create a new landing page. The more landing pages you create, the more opportunity you have to connect with customers, generate leads and convert.

Using these tips can help you create landing pages that can be successful with the right message and products.

At Genius eCommerce, our goal is to keep you informed so you can succeed in the eCommerce space. It’s who we are and what we do. Continue reading the Genius eCommerce blog for more.

Why Excellent Customer Service is a Necessary eCommerce Trend

Shopping online is convenient. That’s why people love eCommerce. They can shop from anywhere at any time. With the growth of the eCommerce industry and the convenience it provides, having great customer service is important.

The customer experience can drive your entire business. It helps create repeat customers and gives you a solid reputation. Future customers may search for reviews on your business, and providing good customer service and a quality experience can lead to positive reviews that generate new business.

To make for a quality customer experience, you need to meet people’s expectations with a smooth checkout process, quick response to inquiries and a fast website.

At Genius eCommerce, it is our goal to be a source for trends in the eCommerce industry that you should know. This is who we are and what we do.

Here are some tips on how to achieve excellent customer service for your website.

Checkout – Any extra unnecessary steps should be eliminated. Many customers will start to abandon shopping carts if the checkout process takes too long. Focus on having customers fill out the essential information only and make the checkout process as quick and easy as possible and allow customers the capability of saving their information so they can check out even faster if they are a repeat customer.

Be Engaged and Responsive – An online presence gives you the opportunity to engage and interact with your customers. A timely response can be critical to achieving success in the eCommerce space. Customers may have several questions and if they are not addressed in a timely manner, they may go somewhere else to complete a purchase. There are many ways to interact whether you use social media, email, phone, or a live chat feature on your website. Having a live chat on your website is another growing trend within the industry that has been received well.

customer service

Personalization – The customer experience can be personalized by reading your customers purchase and browsing history. Websites that are developed well have the ability to complete this and read information about the customer through their histories to see what products they may be interested in. Consider how much Amazon has benefitted from this, recommending products based on previous purchases and searches to display products the customer is more likely to buy.

Feedback – If you are interactive with your customers, seek out feedback to find out what the perception of your business is and how you can improve. If there is criticism from a customer, address it. This is a great way to see which areas you excel in and which areas you need improvement, and it also shows a dedication to your customers that you are trying to improve and taking suggestions and criticism seriously.

By having a quality customer experience, you connect with your audience and can help influence future purchases with customers new and old alike. You can address any questions or issues with your customers and provide assistance for them.

Keep reading the Genius eCommerce blog for more updates, tips and trends on the eCommerce industry. This is who we are and what we do, and we want to keep you up to date on everything you need to know.

Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality and Why They are Trending

The world of eCommerce continues to grow every year. In fact, it is expected that the worldwide eCommerce market will have an increase in sales of over 246 percent by 2021.

The reason for this is that more people are willing to make purchases online as technology becomes more advanced and transforms the shopping experience.

One of the reasons is a growing trend of augmented reality and virtual reality. Today, we will explore what augmented reality and virtual reality are and why they are trending.

At Genius eCommerce, we stay up to date on the latest trends in the eCommerce world so you can stay in the know. It’s who we are and what we do!

Augmented reality is defined as the integration of digital information with the user’s environment in real time.

Virtual reality is defined as an artificial or computer-generated simulation or recreation of a real-life environment or situation.

The difference between the two is that augmented reality uses the existing environment and overlays the new information with it, whereas virtual reality creates an artificial environment that makes the user feel like they are experiencing a situation first-hand.

augmented reality virtual reality

VR devices are already a popular trend that has developed over recent years. Between video games and immersive television experiences, virtual reality is a way to add yourself to the action as you would in a video.

From an eCommerce standpoint, the way people are experiencing virtual reality is through virtual showrooms and product portals. Whether it is viewing a shop in a virtual setting of a showroom before you physically go to buy or see the product or just a high-quality viewing of the product, the realistic view adds a real-life shopping experience to the eCommerce world.

eCommerce stores can take advantage of virtual reality by providing a glimpse at the product, the expected view of a product or a showroom without physically being there, allowing a look at the general setting before you ever attend. Ultimately, it becomes part of the shopping experience without getting in the car and going to a location. It’s a way to see how a store looks before you ever visit it or to see the product before making a purchase.

A way augmented reality is being implemented is through real-life product visualization. This feature is allowing customers to not only see a product before they purchase it, but to view the product visualized within their home. For example, if you were shopping for a new table, you could see what it looked like in your dining room before ever making the purchase with an augmented reality visualization.

These features both create a more immersive and involved shopping experience, which is ultimately the goal. People don’t want to shop the way they did before. They want to put technology to use, and you have that chance to reach a whole new client base that is interested in completing an entire purchase process from browsing products to check out, all in one place. Giving them the full experience of shopping in a brick-and-mortar location without leaving the comfort of their home is certainly a way to keep interest high.

Now that you have seen how a more immersive experience with augmented and virtual reality is changing the eCommerce world, you can start to take the steps to develop your website to give the user experience that customers desire.

Stay tuned for more eCommerce tips, tricks, updates and trends with Genius eCommerce by reading the Genius eCommerce blog. Remember that we keep you up to date on everything eCommerce so you can stay in the know. It’s who we are and what we do!

Apps That Can Enhance Your BigCommerce Marketing

If you have an eCommerce store with BigCommerce, you know that it is one of the leading platforms in eCommerce for a reason. In addition to having great website designs and well-developed websites that load quickly and are responsive, there are a lot of tools within the BigCommerce platform that can make marketing that much easier.

BigCommerce offers a number of apps that can enhance your marketing and make your shopping experience that much better for users.

Today, Genius eCommerce will look into the details about some of these apps. Here at Genius eCommerce, we put the focus on staying up to date on eCommerce tips, tricks, and trends so you can get the most out of your eCommerce experience. Here are five apps that you should consider for your BigCommerce store.

Klaviyo – If you are looking to step things up in email marketing, Klaviyo is a great way to take your data and turn it into meaningful analytics so you can use them to your advantage. Through this app, you can customize email marketing content or use one of Klaviyo’s many automated templates. By integrating Klaviyo with BigCommerce, your data will be transformed so you get an understanding of what your customers are looking for based on previous browsing, purchases, campaign engagement, and other shopping patterns.

klaviyo bigcommerce

Nextopia – Your eCommerce store will not get far if the products aren’t presented in a way that encourages visitors to become customers. That’s where Nextopia can help. Nextopia creates solutions that help customers search for products to help increase conversions. The advanced settings of Nextopia will allow customers to search for products and produce accurate results, including providing suggestions for personalized items. Products can be sorted by color, price and many other attributes, making it even easier for customers to find what they want.

nextopia bigcommerce

Yotpo – Customer reviews are important to the success of a business. People are especially receptive to what previous customers have to say about a business and that plays a big part in the decision-making process for a new, prospective customer. With Yotpo, you can make it easy for customers to leave a review and easy for you to stay on top of these reviews. Yotpo works by sending an email to a buyer and asking for a review. Yotpo can also allow for integration from social media to gather reviews all in one place. This helps increase your brand’s credibility, to have a number of reviews, and Yotpo takes a lot of the leg work out and lets you gather reviews as you successfully run your business.

yotpo bigcommerce

ShipperHQ – Shipping is usually the last step of completing a sale, but it can be one of the most challenging for everything that goes into it. Managing shipping rates and keeping everything organized for yourself just adds to the challenges. With the ShipperHQ app, you can easily find rates with a rate calculator engine so you hold control over shipping costs.

Rewind – What do you do when you are typing something and make a mistake? You hit undo and correct it. The Rewind app can do the same thing, only for your BigCommerce store. With one click, you can back up your store’s data and everything within it from product details to customer information and more. It’s the best way to back up your store in the event that something goes wrong so you don’t have to sacrifice time picking up the pieces.

These apps all have their benefits to rounding out your BigCommerce store into a great website with quality user experience. Using these apps can alleviate some of the setup work and allow you to focus on the operation of the store, which we know is what you would rather do.

That is why Genius eCommerce is here to help. We are here to help you stay ahead in the game. It’s who we are and what we do!

For more updates, tips, tricks, and trends in eCommerce, keep reading the Genius eCommerce blog.

What is Drop Shipping and Why is it a Trend

Through the course of a year, you will hear about a lot of new trends that emerge in the eCommerce space. One of the trends that will come up in 2019 is drop shipping, a method that many eCommerce merchants are starting to use.

Today, we will look at what drop shipping is and why it is a growing trend in the eCommerce industry.

Drop shipping is a fulfillment method in the eCommerce retail space. The method of drop shipping is that a customer will complete a purchase through an eCommerce merchant. That merchant does not actually carry the item in stock but rather buys it from a third-party and ships it directly to the customer. Rather than owning inventory and trying to move it, the merchant purchases on an as-needed basis, never actually handling the product.

Why is this a growing trend? It is very easy to start using drop shipping and it can help save money. By using drop shipping, you take out a lot of other tasks that can go with the daily grind of running a business that involves retail, even if it is just an eCommerce business. You don’t have to manage a warehouse, you don’t have to worry about packing or shipping, and you don’t have inventory to track.

You can certainly save a lot of money, especially early on because rather than investing a large amount of capital in inventory from the start, you can start an eCommerce business without having to invest a large sum of money.

By not having to purchase inventory or manage a warehouse, you can also avoid a lot of overhead charges. Expenses will always grow as a business gets larger, but by running so much simply through a laptop in a home office, you can still have much less of overhead than a traditional brick-and-mortar store.

People who use drop shipping are also able to sell a much larger range of goods because they don’t need to pre-purchase them. Drop shipping businesses are also capable of being flexible and run in any location and can be easy to scale.

Of course, there are some disadvantages to drop shipping. Margins on products you sell through third-parties can leave low margins and not much of a profit for you, especially if you are just starting out, and the items you list may not always be in stock. Since you won’t be managing a warehouse or keeping inventory, there is no way to be completely certain that an item is always in stock.

drop shipping

Drop shipping is far from a perfect method, but for people who are just starting out and want to begin developing an eCommerce business, it is a great option for allowing someone to jump in without much of a budget. With the right planning and strategy, you can turn your drop shipping business into a success and start profiting from the results.

Did you find this information about drop shipping, a growing eCommerce trend, valuable and informative? At Genius eCommerce, this is who we are and what we do. We stay up to date and keep you informed on the newest and best eCommerce trends so you are in the know.

Keep reading the Genius eCommerce blog for more tips, news, and trends just like this, or reach out to us and let us know what you want to see to keep you informed!