11 search results for “ecommerce api”

What is Heartbleed and How Does it Affect Your Ecommerce Website?

What is Heartbleed and How Does it Affect Your Ecommerce Website?

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Earlier this week, a security flaw known as Heartbleed was published that affects approximately two-thirds of all websites that use SSL encryption. This issue greatly impacts ecommerce websites because every online store that accepts credit cards must use SSL encryption.

Since its disclosure, there have been many news reports about Heartbleed and how it’s affecting websites, software and services across the internet. We want to provide more details on Heartbleed and how it affects ecommerce merchants. Most importantly, we want to stress that merchants and their customers using Shopify are safe from Heartbleed. 

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Why Email Marketing is the Key to Ecommerce Success

Why Email Marketing is the Key to Ecommerce Success

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Whether it’s social media, SEO or content marketing, you’ve got a lot of options when it comes to marketing your business online.

But when it comes time to have a sales conversation and drive conversions, there's one channel that continues to outperform the rest: good old-fashioned email.

According to recent research and surveys:

  • Email has an ROI of around 4,300% (according to the Direct Marketing Association)
  • 80% of people say they receive marketing messages alongside their personal emails on a daily basis.
  • 70% of people make use of coupons or discounts they learn about from email.
  • 60% of people say that receiving special offers is the top reason they subscribe to an email list from a business.

In other words, if your ecommerce business hasn't taken the time to adopt email marketing, then you're leaving money on the table.

And if these stats don't convince you, here are some other factors that might motivate you to start building your mailing list today.

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1 year old!

1 year old!

We released Shopify to the public on June 2. 2006. Wow. Has it already been a year?

Shopify’s success has been nothing short of amazing. Millions of dollars worth of products have been sold courtesy of our software and we managed to attract some of the best designers in the industry to create Shopify stores and themes. Tens of thousands of stores have opened shop and hundreds more join them every week.

The quality of the design work we see daily is the most gratifying aspect of Shopify’s success. Jaded Pixel has always been a very visual company and it’s great to see that good design attracts good design.

But not only did we revolutionize the tired ecommerce industry on the visual design front; the code of Shopify is also much talked about in web development circles. In fact, you could hear people discussing Shopify in the presentations and in the corridors during the recent RailsConf in Portland. We love open source and we contributed a lot of projects back to the community. Without open source Shopify could never have been made. Amongst the contributions were endless enhancements to the Ruby on Rails project, the release of our template language Liquid and our payment processor library ActiveMerchant.

To celebrate our birthday we commissioned Jared Burns of Scrapbook your memories and Vorsat fame to create a new theme for us: Vogue. It’s now available in the Look & Feel section ready to be applied.

Vogue Ecommerce

Vogue is our most flexible theme so far. There are some tutorials for customizations on the demo page such as Adding a logo and Switching Color Palettes.

What’s to come? Jaded Pixel is 100% committed to Shopify and this will remain our focus. Our goal this year will be to make Shopify work better for bigger merchants and help with the promotion of our customers’ products. Things you will see in Shopify in the future:

  • API support to make it dead easy for third party applications to extend Shopify
  • Digital goods
  • Bulk import / export
  • Integration with shipping services such as USPS
  • The Shopify Marketplace

Here are just a few of the things we integrated in the first year of Shopify:

  • Bring your own domain feature
  • Internationalization support of the checkout process. 34 complete translations done by the community!
  • Robust search system
  • OpenID support for login and signup
  • Discount codes
  • Marketing tab to help drive traffic to your store
  • Dashboard tab with realtime visitor statistics
  • Admin-wide quick search feature
  • Fulfillment services support
  • Taxation options for European countries (VAT)
  • Support for sitemap.xml
  • Microformats
  • COD, Money order, Direct debit
  • 5 new themes
  • 19 new payment gateways
  • Google Checkout integration
  • Paypal Payments Pro integration

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Support report

Here at Shopify we’re always looking for ways to improve the Shopify experience. One of the biggest challenges any business can face is providing fast, effective support for its customers.

Our support tracking system, Tender App, helps us track all of our support tickets and gives us statistics on the average support response time per ticket. We’ve recently passed a new milestone. We were able to reduce the average response time per ticket from approximately 1 day down to just over 5 hours! Here is some background on how support at Shopify works:

Up until this year the majority of support for Shopify was performed by one official Shopify staff (Mike), along with unofficial help from our great community of developers and designers (Thanks Caroline, Jamie, and all the others!). This method of “crowd sourcing” support worked well, but over time demand for support grew to the point where this model started to show its flaws. We’ve recently implemented support changes that we feel work to correct these flaws. We hope you’ll feel that way, too!

Just what has been done at Shopify to beef up support?

1. Support Team grows

We added another dedicated support staff a while back, Peter, to help answer your questions and give direction to your requests. He’s also been busy beefing up the support Knowledge Database as new topics come to light. You can access the knowledge base by using the links at the top of the Shopify support area.

2. Level 2, the next step

We’ve also more recently implemented a rotating Level 2 Support system by which the Shopify developers each take turns addressing problems that require escalation. This is probably the biggest change we’ve made to our support model, and it’s what has allowed us to really speed up support response times. With the old method, questions would be submitted to the developers in a free-for-all type setting, often there would be confusion as to whom the task would go to, leading to slow-downs and dropped-tickets. Now, by working on a weekly cycle with a dedicated developer, it allows our other developers to continue to work on improving Shopify, while still giving you the benefit of dedicated developer support for your tougher problems.

3. Whats next?

As we continue to grow, Shopify support will grow, too. We will be adding new sections to the support system (check out the new API section we’ve just added, and look for more coming soon). We will also be hiring more support staff in the near future to help with these new sections. Also, we will be taking suggestions from you, and others, as to how you feel we can better improve your Shopify experience. Feel free to comment on this article and let us know what you think! With your help, we can make Shopify the friendliest eCommerce solution going.

Happy Selling :-)

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4 Ways Online Stores Can Drive Engagement and Sales With Instagram

4 Ways Online Stores Can Drive Engagement and Sales With Instagram

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Here's a fact.

Instagram just hit 150 million users and is becoming a social platform that’s harder and harder to ignore.

However, what’s more interesting is that recently a study published by L2 Think Tank found that Instagram gives brands 25 percent more engagement than any other social platform out there, including Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

The photo-sharing app has experienced a 900 percent year-over-year growth since its launch and has user demographic composed of roughly 70 percent women and 30 percent men according to the research firm. 

Some of the factors that account for its success have typically been attributed to the fact it’s a native mobile platform and that it almost entirely visual, a winning combination considering the rise of the visual web ever since other visually-dominant platforms like Pinterest entered the picture (no pun intended).

So, Instagram is kind of a big deal, but how can you make it work for your ecommerce brand?

Here are 4 ways to leverage Instagram for your business.

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Selling More Shopify Apps, Part 1: The Decision-Making Process

Selling More Shopify Apps, Part 1: The Decision-Making Process

 

Shopify? Apps? I Thought It Was an Ecommerce Thingy!

It is. If you want to sell stuff or services online in exchange for money – a business model so crazy that it just might work – Shopify is the best, easiest and most hassle-free way to do it. You can use a store that lives on our hosted service or build a program that calls our API to do the ecommerce stuff: the catalog, the shopping cart, the credit card hoo-hah, and so on.

While Shopify does a lot, it can’t do everything. Perhaps there’s a feature that you wish Shopify had, but it applies only to a small vertical or maybe even only your business. Or there just might be some feature that we haven’t thought of implementing yet.

That’s where apps come in: they’re applications that make use of the Shopify API to:

  • Access a shop’s data (with the owner’s permission, of course)
  • Programmatically perform just about anything the shop owner can do on their shop’s admin panel

Want to declare a “happy hour” where you drop the price of an item from 5 to 7 p.m. next Thursday? Shopify doesn’t do it out of the box, but an app can! Want to send a Twitter direct message or SMS text to a merchant whenever a customer places a big order, so s/he can make sure it gets handled properly? You can write an app for that. If you can think of a feature to make the experience for customers or shopowners (or both) better, you can make it an app. And you can make money doing it!

You can reach the 15,000 Shopify users – a very focused, dedicated bunch – and sell apps to them through the Shopify App Store. We know a number of developers who are doing quite nicely selling apps and making Shopify showowners productive and happy, and when our customers are happy, so are we.

That’s what this series of articles is all about: selling more Shopify Apps. If you’re a Shopify App developer (or thinking of becoming one), this series will show you how to sell them better. We’ll also be publishing articles about writing apps, from how-tos to ideas for apps that we’d like to see become real.

The Decision-Making Process

Take a look at Shopify’s App Store, and I’ll walk you through the typical customer’s decision making process when they’re looking for apps.

1. They see your app’s icon, its name and the short description on the App Store page.

When you visit Shopify’s App Store, you see a page like the one shown above, featuring apps displayed on shelves. Rather than being broken up into pages, the App Store’s main page is an “infinite scroller”; you simply scroll down the page to see all the apps in the Store. For the user, scrolling -- especially in the age where most mice have scroll wheels and scrolling-by-flicking is increasingly common thanks to smartphones and tablets -- seems faster and more effortless than paging.

Each app is represented by its icon, with its name and a short description (140 characters maximum) to its right. Clicking on the icon, the name or the description will take you to the page for the corresponding app.

There are a number if ways users can sift through the apps in the store. They can filter the apps by category, as shown below:

They can also filter apps by which software or services they integrate with:

And they can also change the way the apps are sorted in the store:


The default sort is “from newest to oldest”, and the other three options are:

  • From highest-rated to lowest-rated
  • From most to least popular
  • Whether or not to limit the results to free apps

Ideally, you want your app to be as close to the top of the App Store page as possible – what they used to call “above the fold” in the newspaper world. Being on top of the list puts you in the user’s path of least resistance and makes it more likely that the user will move to the next step on the path to purchasing your app: your app’s page.

Your app will be on top of the list just after you submit your app for the first time, as it will be newest. However, your app won’t remain the newest forever, so your eventual goal will be to make your app the highest rated, the most popular, or preferably both.

You’ll also want to make sure that your app makes a good first impression on the App Store’s main page. The good news (and the bad news, too) is that once the user sees your app on the page, there are only three things that you have at your disposal to catch his/her attention:

  1. Your app’s icon. Is it visually appealing? Does it hint at what your app does or what its effects will be?
  2. Your app’s name. Is it catchy or memorable? Does it give the user an idea of what your app does or what its effects will be?
  3. Your app’s description. Does it clearly state what your app does or why someone would want to use it, all in 140 characters or less?

Get all three right, and you’ll increase the odds that the user will get to the next step in the decision-making process: moving away from the big list of apps and focusing on just yours.

2. They click on your app’s icon, taking them to the App Store page for your app

If your app has piqued the user’s interest on the App Store’s main page, s/he’ll click on it and be taken to your app’s page, which displays a lot of information about it, namely:

  • The app’s icon
  • The name of the app
  • The app’s publisher
  • The app’s rating
  • How much the app costs
  • Any additional software required by the app
  • The “Install App” button
  • The full description of the app
  • A list of the services that the app can integrate with
  • One or more screenshots of the app
  • [Optional] One or more videos of the app
  • User reviews and responses from the publisher

Each of these items affects the user’s decision-making process, and in this series of articles, we’ll look at what you can do with them to make it more likely that the user will buy it.

Based on experience with app stores of all sorts, from Shopify’s to shareware to smartphone and tablet stores, here’s what the users typically do next…

3. They look at your app’s screenshots and videos first.

Eye- and click-tracking studies show that once the user has landed on your app’s page, they tend to look at the screenshots and videos first. This means a couple of things:

  • You should make sure that you include at least one screenshot of your app in action. Better still, you should include a screenshot for every major feature of your app.
  • Although it’s optional, you should include a video. It could be a video capture of your app in action or something that explains what your app does and why you’d want to buy and install it. The better selling apps tend to include videos on their app pages.

In this series of articles, we’ll cover ways to get the most out of the video and pictures on your app’s page.

4. Then they look at the rating.

A very important factor affecting how well something sells online is the rating. Ever since Amazon, we’ve become quite accustomed to checking the ratings before buying something. It happens not just online, but in real life; I’ve seen people at all sorts of bricks-and-mortar stores – restaurants, liquor stores, big-box electronics stores, car dealerships – whip out their smartphones and check out the ratings for something they’re thinking of buying. That’s why social media and word-of-mouth marketing are hot topics these days: they influence people’s opinions, which in turn can make or break sales.

“Get a good rating” is the obvious advice. Less obvious is how you get that rating. We’ll cover what we believe are best practices for getting good ratings, and through them, good sales.

5. And finally, they read the description.

Once the user’s done with the quick-and-dirty visual scan of your app’s page, they then look at your app’s description. If the user has come this far in the process, they’re close to the point where they make the decision to buy or not buy. The description is where you close the deal, and we’ll show you what successful apps do in their descriptions.

6. That’s when they make their decision.

If you’ve done everything right, this is when the user clicks the “Install App” button. Get enough users doing that, and life’s like this:

Next: A picture is worth a thousand…bucks?

[ This article also appears in Global Nerdy. ]

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How to Sell on Facebook

How to Sell on Facebook

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It's easy for Shopify stores to sell their products on Facebook. 
Install any one of the apps below to add a "Shop" tab to your ecommerce store's Facebook page. Your products will be automatically imported and customers will be able to browse and purchase items directly on Facebook. 
You'll have your Facebook storefront up and running within minutes. The apps run on auto-pilot in the background and automatically sync with your ecommerce store's pricing and stock availability.
Each one of these apps will give your Facebook storefront a different look and feel, so check out the example stores that I link to below. You can read more about their pricing and features by checking out their detailed pages in the Shopify App Store.

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