Introducing Performance

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Today we’re announcing a new theme template called Performance. Like its name suggests, it’s designed and built for a high performing online shop that does a high-volume of online sales.

Where our first theme, Flagship, is designed more for complementing an already offline brand, this Performance theme is designed more for online only brands without much of an offline presence.

Its salient features are:

  • Minimal product configurators allow your users to quickly get through all of the design options by reducing the amount of screens they need to design a particular product.
  • Guided checkouts with progress indicators to help walk your users through the multi-step ordering process from shopping cart to payment to confirmation.
  • Built-in policy pages handle all of the necessary legal and shop policy matters you need to communicate to your users when you have no real offline relationship with them.

Some screenshots of Performance…

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Continue reading “Introducing Performance”

The Top 3 Hidden Costs Of Building Your Own Back-End System For Your Ecommerce Site

Many bespoke brands who are just getting their ecommerce sites off the ground think that building their own custom solution for their back-end business operations (i.e. shopping cart, coupon codes, etc.) will save them money instead of using a pay-as-you-go service provider who charges a monthly fee. What a lot of them don’t take into account though, are the all costs hiding under the surface, just waiting to cut into their bottom lines. Here are the 3 biggest hidden costs of going it alone:

  1. Maintenance costs. If you’re a typical online retailer, as you grow, your needs will change. You’ll switch or add new systems and features often. And if you have a custom solution, you’ll need to break it apart, and rebuild it, every time you make a change. All these little maintenance costs here and there start to add up really fast.
  2. Turnover costs. There’s no guarantee that the hired developers will work out, especially if they’re freelancers. The developer may leave for another job, could be tied up with other work, or might not even have the expertise to carry out enhancements later on. So, if you have to go out and hire a new developer each time you want to add a new feature, that developer will have to read through someone else’s code. That’s a nightmare for developers, and they will surely charge you extra for it. And that’s just the hard cost. If you’ve ever hired people before, you know it’s risky business. What if they don’t work out?
  3. Opportunity costs. The biggest of the hidden costs are what you’re missing out on during the time it takes to build your own solution. A complex and highly functioning ecommerce site takes a long time to build and even longer to test and debug.  This means you could go many months forgoing sales and branding opportunities leaving a lot of money on the table.  Just imagine six months or longer without a sale… But the opportunity costs are not only about missing sales, they’re also about branding & marketing opportunities.  An online shop creates a whole new way for customers to engage with products and brands online. So as the time goes by to build it, so do more customer engagement opportunities.

PCs: Still The Device of Choice For Ecommerce

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Yesterday, Mashable posted a chart that shows Americans still prefer to do their online shopping on a PC rather than on a mobile device.  In fact, a whopping 73% chose to shop on their PCs while only 14% did so on their tablets and just 12% used their smartphones.  This may come as a surprise to some given the recent ubiquity of mobile devices and ecommerce apps.

I think it has much to do with screen sizes. Online shopping is a very visual activity, and the larger the screen size, the better the visuals. Squinting into a small screen like on a phone to discern the texture of a certain shoe’s suede for example, just isn’t very appealing to most consumers.  Continue reading “PCs: Still The Device of Choice For Ecommerce”

How Bespoke Tailors Are Coming Into The Digital Age

Netscape founder and prominent Silicon Valley venture capitalist Marc Andreessen famously wrote back in 2011 that “software is eating the world”, disrupting industries such as books, music, TV, and retail. His most dramatic example of “software eating a traditional business is the suicide of Borders and corresponding rise of Amazon.” He cites that “in 2001, Borders agreed to hand over its online business to Amazon under the theory that online book sales were non-strategic and unimportant.” We all know now how that strategy worked out for Borders. When’s the last time you bought a book there instead of on Amazon?

In addition to the entertainment industries, Andreessen argues that “companies in every industry need to assume that a software revolution is coming.” And surely one is. In fact, we’re now starting to see even one of the most time-honored, most traditional, and non-techy industries – bespoke tailoring – being changed by and benefiting from this digital revolution.

Here’s how some bespoke tailors are coming into the digital age, and using software to better serve their clients, and improve their tailoring businesses:

Continue reading “How Bespoke Tailors Are Coming Into The Digital Age”

A Better Online Experience Begets A Better Offline Experience

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Your savvy clients deserve a better online experience with your brand.   They’re becoming increasingly digital and they want to interact with your products virtually.  But never mind that.  The real reason for giving your clients a better online experience is that it begets them a better offline (in-shop) experience – even for the most traditional bespoke craftsmen.

To be clear, a rich, sophisticated, and immersive online experience doesn’t have to mean incorporating all of the necessary features for selling & accepting orders online such as a shopping cart, payments gateway, and coupon codes.  It simply means giving your clients a way to interact with your products online:  to explore your materials, visualize them as finished products, and then flip, rotate, zoom, and compare them to their heart’s content!  Continue reading “A Better Online Experience Begets A Better Offline Experience”