• Build Your Store
  • Your Guide to Setting Up A Store With Us!

    Thinking about selling online but are too afraid of branching into it? Afraid that it might be complicated and difficult to do? Well I’m here to tell you that it’s not as difficult as people think it is. It’s actually pretty simple! The only difficult part is thinking of what you want to sell and the name of your store. Anything besides that is as easy as ABC.

    Signing Up

    The first thing you need to do is SIGN UP! (Obviously)

    Then here comes the tricky part…. (gottcha! I’m only kidding. No part of this will be difficult I promise)

    Choose A Template

    After the signing up process you’ll instantly be directed to the setting up page, where you will first have to choose a template that would fit your store. (also InstanteStore offers a wide variety of templates that are completely FREE for all of our customers)

    Add Products

    The next step is to add all your products. You can add as many products as you wish. InstanteStore also has an option where we allow you to categorize your items. This makes it much easier for your customers to shop. Not to mention it also makes the store much organized without having all your items scattered around. Do not forget to add the name of your product, price, product description and product picture.

     

    And once you have done all that. It should look a little like this. Tadaaaaa!

     

    Design Store Front Page

    Time to make your store beautiful! On the top right hand corner of your store you will find a small paint brush and next to it “Design”. Click on it.

    And this will pop out. This will allow you edit the layout of your page where you can customize the header and texts according to your liking.

    Once you clicked on “Layout” your page should look something like this. But don’t be alarmed, this just means that the page is in “edit mode” and the highlighted parts are the places where you can edit. There will also be side pop ups of templates you could use to further enhance your page. After you’re done editing your page, go back to the top right hand corner and click that red “Save” button. Remember to click SAVE and PUBLISH or else all your hard work would not have been applied onto the page.

    Upload Logo

    I’m sure by now you have your store logo and name already prepared to be uploaded? If you do that’s great! But if you don’t, Logo Design Studio can do it for you!

    To upload/edit your logo, go to “Design” and when the drop down menu appears, click on “Font and Colour”

     

    You can also change the colour of your website background and text. The font on your website can easily be changed according to your liking as well.

    Edit Page

    Click on edit page and you can edit the title, description, and keywords used on the page. This makes it easier for your customers to look for you on the internet. This especially helps for your own branding purposes. Customers will have a clear idea of who you are and what you’re selling.

    Download The InstanteStore App

    Did you know that using the app you can edit and add items to your store on the go? Isn’t that cool? The app allows you to upload images of items on the spot. All you have to do is take a picture of the item you would like to post on your store and click upload! The app is compatible with both iOS and Android.

    Scan the QR Code to be directed to the app.

    Choose How Customers Pay You

    Choosing a payment gateway is a simple step. InstanteStore offers a good variety of payment gateways as we have many international clients. We offer over 80 payment gateways. You don’t have to worry about us not having one that suits you and your customers. We offer both online and offline payment.

     

    Add Shipping Charges

    The Customize Target Market function lets you decide which countries you want to allow purchases from. The Target Market is also relevant for your store’s Shipping setup as customers will only be able to choose to ship their orders to countries that are in your Target Market.

    And to be more specific you can also Manage Shipping Zone (By Country). Your store will calculate and charge shipping based on Shipping Zones. Shipping Zones can be grouped according to countries, as well as (optionally) states or zip codes. The first step is to group countries into shipping zones. Countries that are NOT in shipping zones will NOT have shipping charged.

     

    Pick a Domain Name/Choose A Store Plan

    Now you’ll reach the part where you’re suppose to add a domain name. However you can’t do that if you’re using the InstanteStore 15 day free trial. So…what are you waiting for? Sign up now! We have 5 different plans available for you to choose from depending on your budget and business. There’s a plan for EVERYBODY. But if you’ve already purchased a plan from us then you’ll have no problem with this step.

    Steps to add your domain name:

    1. Pick a domain name of your choice.
    2. Purchase the domain name or contact us and we can do it on behalf of you (for a fee of course)

    And you’re DONE!

    Picking the right domain name for your business is very important. As you would want it to represent your business as close as possible.  For example, if your store is Little Sweety, logically you’ll check for littlesweety.com to see if it’s available or whichever domain you want – littlesweety.my littlesweety.co, etc.

    It is important that you point your domain name to our DNS servers so that we can verify it.

    DNS servers : ns.esolved.com and ns2.esolved.com

     

     

    Oh! Get this, starting from our “Getting Serious” plan to the “Dominator” plan we are now including our new Fraud Protection Plus system. We have created this to help protect all of our merchants from online scam.

    The End. 

    And that’s the end of the set up process! Yay you’ve made it! See it wasn’t so bad now was it? As easy as ABC. Now that you’re done setting up your store, you can start selling and making money!

     

    HAPPY SELLING!

     

    Tip: If you would like to skip the entire setting up process and have a “ready-to-sell” store then give us a call at: +604 228 0704 or drop us an email at: support@instantestore.com and we can make that happen for you!

    Tip: At the side bar that you find on your left side of your store there is a “Setup Guide” all the way at the bottom where we help you set up your store with you step-by-step until you’re ready to start selling. ” = At the left side bar of your store’s admin page, there’s a Setup Guide. You’ll be able to see it at the bottom of the entire bar which outlines the step-by-step process to help you get your store ready to start selling.

     

     

     

  • Ecommerce Web Design
  • Social Media Marketing Tips [INFOGRAPHIC]

    What makes a good social media post? Hmmm…

    Keeping the Images/Content Interesting

    Studies have shown that 65% of audiences are more likely to remember posts when images are paired with the information.

    Tweets with images received 150% more retweets. 

    Instagram photos generate 36% more likes than videos.

    Consistency is Key.

    Posting regularly on social media platforms is very important because followers will get into the routine.

    Average lifespan of social media based on channel:

    1. Twitter – 18 minutes
    2. Facebook – 90-minutes
    3. Instagram – 13-24 hours
    4. Pinterest – 2-30 days

    Company and Customer engagement

    Ask and start conversations with your prospects and existing customers. Always keep the questions open-ended and relevant to the business.

    92 percent of consumers trust recommendations from people they know and 70 percent of consumers trust peer experiences posted online. People trust and listen to other people.

    How to gain followers

    Social Media Influencers

    • By paying or giving them products, these influencers will talk about your brand, products and/or services on their social media platforms.
    • 51 % of marketers believe they get better customers from influencer marketing. That’s because the relationship began with trust in the influencer.
    • 74 % of consumers use social media to make purchase decisions

    Hashtags

    • They are available on most popular social media platforms. Through using hashtags strategically, a company can expand their audience reach.
    • Facebook → Posts with:
      • 1-2 hashtags receive 593 average interactions per story
      • 3-5 hashtags receive 416 average interactions per story
      • 6-10 hashtags receive 307 average interactions per story
      • 10 or more hashtags width 188 average interactions per story
    • Twitter →  Posts with:
      • Hashtags receive 2x more engagement than those without and
      • 1-2 hashtags receive 21% higher engagement and are 55% more likely to be retweeted 
      • 3 or more hashtags show 17% drop in engagement
    • Instagram →  Posts with:
      • 11 or more hashtags received nearly 80% interaction
      • 10 or less hashtags receive just 22% interaction
      • 2 hashtags receive 41% interaction
    • Google + (often generated automatically, but you can of course still create your own)

    Hosting Giveaways

    Giveaways are a widely-used marketing strategy. Everyone loves free stuff!

    BONUS TIPS:

    Stalk Your Competitors

    I mean that’s what everyone does on social media right, stalk one another’s profiles? Hehe Apply this method to your competitors as well. Ask yourself, what are they doing right that is getting them so many followers and likes and what are YOU doing wrong?

    What to look for when “stalking”

    • Content they are posting
    • Social media channels they are using
    • Posting schedule
    • Who is following them
    • Who they are following
    • Post with most likes

    Through looking for these it will give you a clear idea of how they are achieving social media success and what you should apply to your own social media channels to grow like them. But of course keep your posts and social media channels authentic to you as people would love that much more compared to a copy.

    Measure your results

    At least once a week keep track of your social media posts and followers. You can do it the old fashion way by keeping a log and writing it down in a notebook, keeping information in a document or with social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter they already have a system that analyses and keeps track of it for you!

    This makes it so much easier for you to see what is working with your audience and what isn’t.

    Sources

    Some of the graphics used were created by Freepik

    1 https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/visual-content-marketing-strategy#sm.000005ws5vqlsfe4ltl87mu6l9xlgost-of-it
    2 https://blog.bufferapp.com/the-power-of-twitters-new-expanded-images-and-how-to-make-the-most-of-it
    3 https://moz.com/blog/when-is-my-tweets-prime-of-life
    4 https://blog.bufferapp.com/social-media-frequency-guide
    5 https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/instagram-stats#sm.0000tyszmly7ydhkqu519i8pzn6xl
    6 https://lonelybrand.com/blog/3-ways-to-take-advantage-of-pinterest-posts-lengthy-lifespan/
    7 https://skift.com/2016/11/29/6-charts-showing-how-social-media-influencers-work-with-brands/
    8 http://blog.tomoson.com/influencer-marketing-study/
    9 https://www.surepayroll.com/resources/blog
    10 https://blog.bufferapp.com/a-scientific-guide-to-hashtags-which-ones-work-when-and-how-many
    11 https://www.quicksprout.com/2015/02/20/the-ultimate-guide-to-hashtags/

     

  • Ecommerce Web Design
  • 10 Easy Mistakes That’s KILLING Your Click Through Rates [INFOGRAPHIC]

    newsletter infographic

     

    1. TOO MUCH Content

     

    People have no time to read a newsletter with endless words and unnecessary information. They’d prefer their information to be short, sweet and straight to the point. Do not send a 1000 word long email with 10 different topics and 50 links for them to click on, cause guess what? They won’t! By doing this it will only drive customers to ignore the email or even worse unsubscribe from your mailing list. So remember to always keep it short and straight to the point.

     

    1.  Sending TOO OFTEN

     

    Sending newsletters too often can also drive readers to ignore or unsubscribe to your emails. However sending them infrequently is also not a good idea as this will cause readers to probably forget about your newsletters and your company. Try to find a good “in between” and experiment to see how your readers react. Also, the frequency of your newsletters depend on your business. Some businesses constantly have new promotions that they would like their customers to be aware of. A good example would be fashion brands as they constantly have new stock in store or a new sale that is going on.

     

    1. Bad Typography

     

    Bad design is one thing and bad typography is another. I personally HATE it when I receive emails with tiny fonts that are hard to read or when the words blend in with the background of the email and I have to put my face up to the computer screen/ mobile screen just to read it. Also, always always do a spelling and grammar check before sending out the newsletters, we are only human and we make mistakes sometimes. Bad grammar and spelling mistakes will make your newsletter unprofessional which will reflect back to your company/business. All this will contribute towards customers potentially ignoring your emails.

     

    1. No CLEAR Call to Action

     

    Make sure the email you sent out has a CLEAR CALL TO ACTION, make sure it is clear the message you would like to get across to your readers. For example, if you would like them to click a link to enter your “new webpage” you have just launched, remember to only add the one link and make it very visible and clear so it catches their attention to click it. The whole email should be focused on getting your readers/customers to click on the link. Do not confuse them with 3 different links or with a paragraph of text that has nothing to do with your “new website”.

     

    1. Lack of Interactivity

     

    You need to find ways to interact with your readers through email as it is a great way to engage with them. How? It’s simple actually. Insert interesting content  every once in while that may encourage your readers to forward the email or share it on social media with your friends. Or you could also include surveys asking for customer feedback in your emails. As interactive as surveys can be, this method can not always be applied in every email you send out as customers will get used to it being there or get annoyed of answering and eventually ignoring it.

     

    Another thing you could consider doing is, instead of sending out emails using an automated ‘do-not-reply’ system, send out emails where readers can actually reply to. Get someone from customer service in your company to reply to these emails. Sometimes with newsletters customers have questions about them and who better to answer these question other than your company. This will also create a more personalized feel throughout your customers.

     

    1. NO Clickbait!

     

    This is a very important point to remember! Always title your email according to its content. Yes, having an interesting title will get the attention of your readers and encourage clicks on your email but how will that help your business in the long run? Readers will eventually get sick of being fooled by the deceiving tiles and unrelated content. The whole point of sending out newsletters are to get your message across to your readers and for them to read it, clicking on the email is not enough. I’m not saying you can not be creative with your email titles, yes by all means go ahead just make sure that it is related to the content in the email.

     

    1. Not Segmenting

     

    Not segmenting your customers is a big risk to take. Sending out blast emails is one of the major problems with newsletters today. Most companies do not segment their customers so they just send out the same email to everybody on their mailing list. However, doing this is very wrong as this is one of the reasons why people ignore or unsubscribe to emails. Because not all readers are interested in the same thing! Yes, your email might interest 60% of your readers. How about the other 40% who aren’t? If the same thing keeps happening, the 40% of readers will get fed up and eventually just ignore or unsubscribe. With segmenting your customers you’ll know what to send to each and everyone of them, only sending them content they are interested it.

    So that leads us to the next question. How? How do you start segmenting? The answer is simple, you don’t. Let Retaily do it for you!

     

    1. Not Using A Provider

     

    Use one! Choose a newsletter provider according to your budget of course but definitely use one. By using a provider your emails will look more professional compared to sending it out from your company’s Hotmail or G mail account. Also by using a provider they can help with tracking the campaign and track the amount of people who have clicked onto your email. Which is a good thing to have as the data would be very useful for you to have. If you’re already an InstanteStore user you need not have to worry about this part as we already have cool and easy to use templates already for you! But if you’re not and InstanteStore user, what are you waiting for! Join us

     

      

    1. DO NOT REPEAT

     

    Do not send the same email more than once! Yes sending your email newsletter more than once may get your reader’s attention. However that is not the attention you want. Bombarding them with email will only make them look at the newsletters as spam and this will probably lead them to unsubscribe.

     

    1. Adding Attachments

     

    Readers often just open the email and read the content. They are usually not bothered to open attachments or some of them may also be afraid of opening attachments thinking that they may contain malware or virus. Avoid sending attachments if possible as it is not an effective way of getting information across to your readers. It is still best to attach all information into the body of the email because that is where the readers will focus their attention to.

     

  • Ecommerce Startup
  • STOP ONLINE SCAM With Our FRAUD PROTECTION PLUS!

    STOP ONLINE SCAM FRAUD PROTECTION PLUS

    STOP ONLINE SCAM! Learn to protect yourself when selling online

     

    The global ecommerce market is predicted to be worth US$2.4 Trillion by 2019. In short, it’s growing at an alarming rate with more and more businesses switching to selling online and more consumers opting for the ease and convenience of online shopping, where it’s all done with just a few clicks of the mouse! Unfortunately, it also means that online payment fraud, a notorious companion, will tag along for the ride. (ughh)

    Just last week, we received a complain from one of our merchants, Jack* that he fell victim to this online payment fraud scam. Jack* sells video games and games consoles online and his online store does very brisk business, making over 200 orders per week. A few months back, he received an order for a games console. After receiving the order, the particular customer, filed a dispute with the bank that he did not receive the item which he paid for though there was proof that he signed for the order when he received it. Although Jack provided all the necessary documents to his bank and payment providers, unfortunately he lost the case and the charge back was successful. Feeling frustrated, Jack looked up the IP address of the customer and banned him. Thinking that was all over and done with, he went back to business as usual. However, just last week, 3 months after that fraudulent order was made, the GUY is back! Again, he placed another order for another games console and paid for it in FULL. The order was again shipped out and Jack again received another dispute for the order placed. AGAIN, he failed to make a case with the bank and lost out! I am sure MANY of you have been in Jack’s shoes before and it’s extremely FRUSTRATING! You may be selling products and services with very low profit margins and every time such an online fraud happens, it just ZAPS out the profits that you made with all your previous orders and make you doubt and lose faith in selling online!

    SHOULD I CONTINUE TO SELL ONLINE?”

    IS IT WORTH IT TO CONTINUE TO RUN MY ONLINE STORE?”

    We feel your pain and know how frustrating this can be! So instead of letting a few scoundrels ruin the successful online business venture that he runs, we helped Jack take positive steps to make sure that this incident does not happen AGAIN! Just plain barring the I.P address has proven not to work so we designed out a FRAUD PROTECTION PLUS module.

    WHAT DOES THE FRAUD PROTECTION PLUS DO FOR YOU?

    #1 – BANNED ADDRESS BOOK

    The Fraud Protection Plus module allows for you to enter the fraudster’s physical address directly to a BANNED ADDRESS BOOK. With this, your store will do a check each time a customer checks out. If the SHIP to address FULLY matches any of the address that’s been listed on the banned list, then the customer will not be allowed to CHECK OUT. They will be redirected to Google’s page instead of to the payment page to make their payment!

    #2 – SOUNDEX CHECKING

    We also added on a second layer of protection by implanting the SOUNDEX checking. With this checking method, if we detect the address that is listed sounds somewhat similar to the one that has been banned, we will mark the order out as POTENTIAL FRAUDULENT order. The customer is still able to check out and pay for the order but this particular order will be highlighted on the ORDER LIST to draw your attention to it.

    For example you have a banned address listed as: 

    4050, Taylor Street,

    San Diego, CA

    92110

    If your InstanteStore receives an order with a pretty similar address, say,

    450, Tailor St,

    San Diego, CA

    92110

    then this particular order will be allowed to be checked out completely but it will be FLAGGED as a potential fraudulent order on the Order Listing panel.

    So now, with the Fraud Protection Plus module, not only are you able to ban potential fraudsters based on their geolocation IP addresses, you can also ban them based on their physical addresses and to be forewarned of any potential ones as well.

    Fraud Protection Plus helps you to increase your online store profits by reducing chargeback and fraud losses. Best thing is that it comes built in with Profit Machine Plans and above.

    Please feel free to email me at suisim@instantestore.com if you do have any questions or would like to know more about our Fraud Protection Plus module. Better to be safe than sorry!

  • Email Marketing
  • NEW InstanteStore Newsletter Templates

    Good news for all our merchants! The team at InstanteStore has come up with brand NEW Newsletter Templates that will help merchants promote their products and services better to customers.

    What’s It For?

    Newsletters are emailed to customers informing them of upcoming product launches, sales, company news and special promotions.

    It’s a great way to keep customers up to date on a periodic basis. The MAIN idea for email marketing is to draw their attention to specific products with the goal of enticing them to make a purchase.

    Where Can I Find Them?

    They’re under Newsletter > Broadcast.

    So What’s Cool About Our Newsletter Templates?

    They’re super easy to use.

    Our designers have created 9 different newsletter designs for you to choose from (which is pretty neat!).

    They cover sale announcements, latest product launches, news about your products, images and the good news is that ALL the templates are CUSTOMIZABLE (yay!).

    Yup, that’s right. Pick whichever newsletter template you like and just drag and drop the available widgets to it to modify the template.

    Make all the necessary changes by editing the text, changing the images and adding in your links.

    You’ll have full control on how you want your newsletters to look like with our newsletter features.

    You can save the template as a draft or for future use.

    We encourage you to make use of the different templates for different outreach purposes.

    All our newsletters are responsive and mobile friendly so your customers don’t have to squint and pinch their mobile screens to view 🙂

    They’ll look great on both desktop and mobile.

    Measure Your Newsletter Campaign

    You’ll be able to see the number of subscribers for your store.

    We’ve also come up with an amazing feature to show you how many newsletters that you sent out have been opened AND clicked through by your customers.

    Also, if customers clicked through and purchased whatever product that you placed in the newsletter, you’ll be able to see whether they clicked via mobile or desktop along with the total dollar value purchased.

    This gives sellers better insight on how their customers are viewing the newsletters and which medium they’re using to make their purchases.

    That way, you’ll know how much is the newsletter cost and whether it was a successful campaign or not.

    How To Upload Images?

    Just hover your cursor over the image that you want to change and click on the camera icon.

    Easily change the product images.

    We’ve even added in a zoom in [+] and zoom out [-] feature to make it easier for you to focus on your product. Click OK to change the image or click on the arrow to exit.

    You can then add in your product link by clicking on the link icon.

    Paste your entire product link in the Link section and click OK.

    Next, you’ll need to change the product name.

    Hover your cursor over the product name and click Edit Link.

    Paste the product link and your product’s name, click OK.

     

    Don’t forget to change your product price.

    Just click on the price and type in the new price. Simple, right?

    Add in the email subject and click Save As Draft to save your changes. That way, you can continue to work on it later.

    If you don’t save it, then all the changes you made will be lost.

    You can also give the template a name to easily identify what campaign it is (example : New Summer Tops)

    Once your newsletter is ready, send a test email to yourself so you can see what it looks like.

    Click on all the images and links to make sure they’re working correctly.

    Once done, choose a good time to Broadcast to all your subscribers.

    Do I Need To Pay Any $ To Use This?

    Absolutely not. Our Newsletter feature comes bundled with your InstanteStore package subscription.

    Unlike other competitors who limit sellers to a number of email newsletters they can send out, we make ours available to you to use as many times as you like.

    The InstanteStore team welcomes your feedback and suggestions as we work hard to constantly improve our ecommerce solution to help you sell more.

    From us to you, Happy Selling!

  • Internet Marketing
  • 8 Reasons Why Digital Marketing is Important

     

    1. Saves you money

    Digital marketing will save you more money compared to traditional marketing. This will especially benefit the smaller business who do not have big budgets to spend on marketing or capital. New media today can provide you with a cheaper and more effective way of advertising. Considering

    everyone today is so advanced with technology.

     

    1. Digital content to customers

    Digital content such as using Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to post and promote and talk about your products are much more effective than billboards, direct mail and PR campaigns today. The stronger your online presences is the better for your business as this will give your business a lot of exposure.

     

    1.  Mobile and Tablets

    With the never ending advancing of technology mobile devices and tablets are slowly replacing the use of computers and laptops. 91% of adults in the US have their phones within arms reach and uses it to browse on the internet more often than they use their laptops/computers. Majority of the population today are constantly on their mobile devices to it is crucial that you use marketing strategies and tactics that support mobile devices.    

     

    1. Tracking your Customer

    Tracking tools such as google analytics can help you track your customer’s buying or browsing behavior. For example, what they like to buy or what kind of item they have showed interest in. From there you will have an idea of how to market the product to them to get them to buy from you.

     

    1. Social Media Encouragement

    Through using various social media channels you can reach a wider market and this will help your company grow tremendously too. Always target your customers based on age, interest and country. This way, you can interact with them and encourage them to buy by using digital media.

     

    1. Getting “Likes”

    Social media is a very important factor when it comes to digital marketing and is often underestimated. The more “likes”. “Shares” and “tweets” you get on your social media channels the more your company will grow and it will also build trust and credibility with your customers. Also, this will also help increase traffic to your website if you were to advertise about your new products or about a discount you’re having on your website.

     

    1. Get Ahead of Your Competitors.

    In this day and age most business have let of of the traditional ways of marketing go and have shifted their focus on SEO, Social Media and Google Adwords. With so many businesses and competitors in the market now it makes it hard for a small business to be ahead in the game with the big leagues. However, you can use Google Alerts as a tool to help you figure out who exactly your competitors are and where they stand in the market. You can also monitor their marketing strategies and learn from them, maybe also implementing some of their ideas into your business.

     

    1. Trust

    Most people go onto the internet searching for reviews or opinions on things before buying something. Digital marketing grows from social proof, such as real testimonials from customers who have previously used or purchased an item or service from you. Most of us are more likely to buy something based on a good review. Customers reviews on your Facebook page or twitter can make or break your business.So make sure you give your customers the best service you can and if a customer is unhappy try your best to compensate them before they give you a bad review.

     

    A short article on the importance of digital marketing for your business. Not sure how to do it? Too much to handle? Let instanestore do it for you! We’ll help you boost your online business to its full potential.

  • Build Your Store
  • How To Link InstanteStore to PayPal

    PayPal being one of the most widely used payment gateway in the world is usually picked by merchants to accept payment from customers.

    Here’s a quick guide on how to add PayPal to InstanteStore and how to link your store to PayPal.

    It’s REALLY just a few clicks.

    Login to your store > Settings > Payment. PayPal is the default payment gateway. Click Edit.

    Change the PayPal account email address to your own.

    The default currency is USD. Please change the currency if you’re planning to accept payment in your own local currency.

    Save Settings. The next page shows your store’s unique Notification Post URL.

    You’ll need to copy this URL to paste into your PayPal account.

    Don’t worry, it’s REAL easy.

    Login to your PayPal account.

    Click Seller Preferences.

    Look for Instant payment notifications and click Update.

    Click Choose IPN Settings.

    Here’s where you paste your store’s unique Notification Post URL.

    Enable Receive IPN messages and click Save.

    You’ll be able to see your store’s Notification URL which is Enabled.

    Log out from PayPal.

    Go back to your Instantestore’s PayPal payment page that has the Notification URL and click Continue.

    That’s it! Super dooper easy.

    Your store will now be able to accept payment with PayPal.

    Test it by adding a few items in your store to your cart and checkout with PayPal.

    You’ll be directed to your PayPal account page to complete the payment.

  • Ecommerce Startup
  • How To Set Up InstanteStore POS (Point of Sale)

    For existing InstanteStore merchants, just login to your store and click on Point-of-Sale (POS), select Manage POS Subscriber.

    Click on Activate Point-of-Sale.

    Existing merchants please login with your Username and Password.

    Note : New Users just need to create an InstanteStore free trial account first to add products to their store before they can activate the POS.

    Because if there’s no products in the store, then nothing will show up in the POS 🙂

    Once existing merchants, after Login, they’ll need to Configure their POS with a few simple steps.

    Just Add a New Outlet and decide whether you want to share stock with your online store or manage your own stock.

    Click Add Outlet.

    Add in the Staff Name and unique 6-Digit PIN.

    This info will be used to login to your POS on your iPad or iPhone.

    Click Add POS User.

    There will be a popup screen asking you to download IES POS app from the App Store.

    It will also show your Outlet Name, Subscription Code, Login ID and Password.

    Please download IES POS app from the App Store to your iOS device and key in the details.

    Once you close the popup window, you’ll be directed to the POS Payment Method.

    To add new payment method to your POS like credit or debit card payment along with gift vouchers, just name them and click Add POS Payment Method.

    So for some merchants, their POS payment method may look like this :

    After downloading the IES POS app to your iPad, click on the App and you’ll be prompted for the Subscription Code, Login and Password.

    All you need to do is key in the 6-digit code to access your store’s IES POS.

    Once you login, your store’s products will be pulled to your iPad or iPhone IES POS.

    Start selling ANYWHERE, any time in person be it in a physical store or when you’re on the go.

    You’ll be able to Search for Products and your store’s Customers.

    Add new customers that you meet easily when selling in person.

    Let us know what you think about our IES POS or if you need any help setting it up for your store.

    Happy selling folks!

  • Ecommerce Startup
  • NEW InstanteStore POS (Point Of Sale)

    Good news! We’ve just launched our brand new InstanteStore POS (Point of Sale) which lets you sell in person easily.

    All your store’s products will appear on the POS.

    You’ll be able to Search for Products and Customers.

    Bring your POS anywhere, sell any time when you’re on the go.

    You can even choose whether you want to share stock with your online store.

    All you need is an iPad or iPhone.

    Download IES POS app from the App Store.

    Activate and Login. That’s it!

    Try it for FREE now –> https://goo.gl/ljUFes

    Here’s how to set up IES POS for your store.

    We’d love to hear your feedback as we continue to work on helping you sell better.

    Thanks and have a great week!

  • Build Your Store
  • NEW InstanteStore V8 Responsive Templates

    The InstanteStore team just launched another 3 NEW responsive and mobile friendly templates (yay!)

    Island Livin’

    The entire front page is a beautiful slider. Perfect for showcasing your product in use with gorgeous pictures.

     

    Simple Slider

    Comes with a top slider and lets you showcase your products at the bottom.

     

    Simple Starter V8

    Great for merchants who just want to show their products individually upfront.

     

    All our V8 templates are mobile friendly, responsive and customizable.

    Check them out and let us know if you need any help configuring these templates.

  • Ecommerce Web Design
  • Things to Consider When You Want to Build an Online Store

    An online store is, in essence, not much different than a physical one. eCommerce merely occurs in a different medium. Building an online store requires all the same attitudes and prep-work. Hence, we’ll draw parallels to a real-world retail store.

    In a typical business, you need to:

    1. Write a business plan
    2. Finance your business
    3. Register the business
    4. Obtain the necessary licenses and permits
    5. Prepare a marketing strategy

    The same applies to any online business you plan to conduct online, whether a new one or an extension of your existing business.

    For existing businesses, there are two good reasons for taking your business online. For one, you can better serve your current customers by offering them an additional way to conduct business with you: online. Typically by credit card transactions through a payment gateway, such as Paypal or Google Checkout.

    Pie chart depicting market share

    Another compelling reason to have an eCommerce store is for those businesses that are seeking to grow market share ie. those who are looking for more customers than the ones who are already actively engaged in the business. Having an online store will allow you to expand your business boundaries, and reach a larger percentage of the total market.

    Mentality: Treat your online store with the same practical sobriety you would any other business.

    As a business owner, you will already be familiar with the discipline and effort required to launch, sustain and grow a business. You are less likely to entertain notions about simplicity or a mythical gateway to mountains of increased sales-yours for the taking.

    However, first time business people choosing eCommerce as your launch point might not be as clued in to the nitty gritty of running a business, and the effort it takes to make sales, and then repeat that consistently (or incrementally, or exponentially). It’s not difficult to get emotionally invested in the business without the right mindset that will see the project through to completion.

    Ever since DIY platforms began to rise in mainstream popularity, it’s become so very easy to get invested in the idea of eCommerce success.

    eCommerce platform phrase search trend

    Up to a point, the barrier to entry for eCommerce can indeed be very low. Much lower than that required for a physical storefront. Since there is no need to spend on a physical space, or purchase equipment and furniture, or practical business tools like a cash register, security system, or POS system.

    The costs begin to rise once you reach the point where your business needs to attract customers and start making sales, which is about 5 seconds after your online store goes live. Many might not realise what sort of an investment of time and money that requires.

    When a business opens its doors in a shopping mall, or a business park, the money and time that went into constructing an ideal physical outlet gets offset by the very nature of ‘location, location, location’ as there is immediate access to foot traffic. Other marketing activities like loss leader products, fliers and advertising can increase the amount of visitors of course.

    Rainbow coloured links in a circle

    The same is true for online stores, except that online, a new web domain doesn’t enjoy the benefits of location. New domains are almost completely isolated from the rest of the internet. It needs a lot of effort to build links that connect it to other entities on the web, such as social media word of mouth, paid links, search engines, or referrals from other websites in the form of PR or reviews.

    I feel this is an important consideration, because almost every one of my peers I have encountered who have ventured into eCommerce as their first business have struggled to get their new business off the ground. Many don’t get far beyond choosing a platform, getting hosted, picking a eCommerce template and creating a few social media profiles. Never-mind achieving significant milestones of successful enterprise.

    The ones to experience the latter have unequivocally governed their eCommerce sites as though it was a typical brick & mortar business, giving it the same attention any business needs in order to thrive.

    Meaning, if they needed private investment, or financial support from a bank they were prepared with the proper documents like a business plan or marketing strategy. They typically also conducted market research, giving them a clearer picture of their base demographic target, and how their product might meet the needs of different markets.

    This preparedness in turn afforded these merchants a degree of certainty about the probability of success not available to those who view eCommerce through the rosy filters of quick wins with disproportionate returns.

    Practicality: Build what you can yourself, understand what you cannot.

    Egyptian craftsmen at work

    As with our real life counterparts, some business people have both the time and expertise to shape their retail space as they desire, either with bricks and stones, or with code and pixels. Where this is not possible, skilled craftsmen are contracted for the job.

    For eCommerce, we have also the cheap and simple option of using a premade template to build online stores with. Being able to save both time and money on design/development costs is an almost irresistible reason to launch eCommerce stores with a premade template. Such templates offer aesthetic customization to match your preferences from options like colour and font, to placement of widgets like home page sliders and product page details.

    Nevertheless a template is always going to have the same basic form and function, and choosing a popular one means that browsing different online stores will be a familiar experience for visitors, at least in terms of look and feel. That said, it doesn’t appear to be a huge detriment to rule out using a template, at least at the beginning of your eCommerce journey.

    As your business grows, you might find that further growth demands more functionality, and you might also like to invest in deeper form at the same time. This might be the point you decide to hire the abovementioned craftspeople to get the job done for you.

    changes in form and function of mobile phones over time

    Naturally we like to recommend our own internal teams of designers and developers (geeks! the whole lot) for such tasks you might encounter.

    That covers the basic process of planning and setting up your online store. Next:

    Publicity: The sparks that draw attention and traffic to your store.

    The varying purpose of your online store – – based on whether yours is a new business, or a supplemental part of your overall business – – will determine what kind of activities you should begin to promote your newfound online commercial ability.

    Paid

    The primary mode for getting the word out is through direct marketing, which currently also plays the biggest role in driving eCommerce sales. You can choose between sponsored posts on social media networks, or display banners on participating publisher sites, and even have your promotions appear on search engine result pages. There are many platforms to do this on, the biggest and most popular being Google Adwords and Facebook Advertising.

    Collage of three different types of online ads

    Investing in paid activities requires that you devise a clear strategy for what you want to accomplish. It will help you determine how much you will spend to attract visitors to your site and make a sale, whether or not it will be worth it to lose money on a sale. Yes, there are such situations.

    For example, if a product is a one-off purchase, than you know customers are not going to return soon for, or that you cannot upsell or cross-sell, you will almost always want to make a profit on the very first sale. This means being more judicious about your spending per 1000 Impressions (CPM) of your advertisement, or your Cost per Click (CPC) and Cost per Acquisition (CPA).

    However a product that has repeat purchase potential – – toiletry or perishable goods, or something like a bicycle which you can then cross-sell accessories and equipment, for example – – could benefit from spending extra/making a loss on the first sale, because you’ll be able to get repeat sales to offset the initial loss.

    Email marketing

    If you already have a business up and running, and have access to a database of clients and prospects that you can email with promotions and additional sales collateral, then this is something you will want to do.

    checklist of email marketing process

    If you don’t have access to an email database you can direct your promotions to, then you’ll need to build one. eCommerce sites customarily do this by offering an incentive – – like a discount – – for visitors to sign up for newsletters via an email address. Registered customers can also opt-in to (or forget to opt out of) receiving newsletters. You can then create different types of promotions for different segments of visitors, like registered shoppers, the first time visitors, and those who are frequent buyers.

    Referrals

    Referrals count every time another domain mentions your business, and links to it. It can be in the form of an off-site review or press release about your store, or through affiliate marketing, whereby an affiliate takes a percentage of the sale price for each person sent your way that converts into a sale.

    example of an affiliate programme link

    Anecdotal evidence suggests affiliate traffic as being a high quality source of traffic, since the content they create is in line with what the reader is looking for, and the traffic they send your way can contain high levels of buying intent.

    Brand Building Advertising

    Different from the abovementioned direct response marketing adverts, advertising to build your brand isn’t hyper-focused on conversions and targeting or much data either. It aims to build your brand – – your online store – – as a reputable business. This can happen both offline and online, in the form of a print advertisement in a newspaper or magazine, or a commercial or radio spot, or a website take-over ad.

    The willingness of a brand to advertise is itself a signal to the public that the brand they are seeing is one that has confidence in its quality, that it knows it can afford the perceived costs of advertising by its current customer base, as well as the business it will receive as a result of the advertising campaigns the company runs.

    Felicity: Greetings from the eCommerce experts.

    Building your own successful eCommerce business requires the same dedication and persistence in effort that would be given to any other business. You may have the right mental acuity to keep your online store steered in the right direction, and have the chutzpah for marketing it, but, if find yourself in need building it, that’s where we come in.

    We don’t just provide the shopping cart software, which has the features and designs that any popular software has. The best thing about InstanteStore is that our team of craftspeople are also here to help business people construct custom eCommerce sites. The most recent examples of successful online stores we’ve helped build are RollingSmokeDiesel.com – – a diesel truck performance parts supplier, RafaelDuro.com – – the commercial website of a personal fitness coach, and DollarSeed.com – – supplier of organic plant seeds.

    different ecommerce sites designed by InstanteStore team

    Have a look inside the same InstanteStore platform that all our merchants use where you’ll gain access to all the functionality used to run all kinds of online stores.

    You can then communicate your needs with us and begin the process of getting your online store ready for a world wide web of potential shoppers.

    Free Trial banner

  • Ecommerce Startup
  • What Is The Best Channel For Transactional Communication

    When I say transactional communication, the first thing that pops out is email. And why shouldn’t it? More than 90% of businesses use email as their defacto channel of communication. Be it sending shipping alerts, order status or just newsletters – Email works just fine. Though, what is unusual is that even heavily engaged mobile app users get emails.

    Doesn’t sound like the best of the experiences.

    Email is important and I am not trying to kill it here but not every single detail needs to be sent via Email. Product Managers are increasingly exploring better methods of communication. The underlying communication principle remains the same. As McKinsey consultants say:

    MECE – Mutually Exclusive. Collectively Exhaustive.

    Simply put, transactional communication takes place between a seller and a consumer. It occurs in commercial websites that offer users an opportunity to buy. The messages trigger to the targeted audience, who have taken an interest in a product or service and purchased it.

    Now that technology is leaving footprints everywhere, one can book cabs, order food and groceries in just a couple of clicks. But without proper communication, it all falls apart. It’s annoying to make multiple calls or keep visiting a website just to know where you cab is or by when your food will be delivered. Constant real time status updates play an important role in these kind of situations.

    Imagine your tummy is grumbling, and you are not sure when the food is going to arrive at your doorsteps. So you wonder if you should get a small snack to calm your stomach, or if you should keep waiting for the order to arrive. Updates like ‘Your food is being prepared, will be ready in a jiffy’ followed with ‘Your order is ready and out for delivery within 15 mins’, gives you assurance that food is on the way.

    Post transaction communication is critical for any business. Users demand instant gratification and want to know everything about their purchase & shipment. Businesses today not only track, but also share every single piece of information about the transaction with the user.

    For instance, Amazon offers the option to get updates every time their shipment moves. Result – users get dozens of notifications about where their order is, and when they can expect delivery.

    Here are some basic check points for product managers to tick as they decided what channel to use for communication (related to transactions)

    1. Swift Delivery Preferably to Device over Inbox: Always remember that you are interacting with people and not inboxes. This is why SMS works better compared to Email – because it is swift.

      But, again, lot of users find sharing mobile numbers intrusive. App Push Notifications and web notifications come in handy for such scenarios. They help you communicate easily with the user (device) without being intrusive.

    2. Easy Discovery List over search – One of the biggest challenges with email is that we receive 100’s of emails everyday. Email is overwhelming, compared to SMS or push notifications, which can be neatly stacked into a tab, simplifying the process of discovery for the user.
    3. Quickly Actionable Tap over Reply – Replying to an email or clicking a button. Which would you prefer to give your feedback? That pretty much answers the question.
    4. Accessibility Offline over Online – Order details are often handy, especially when it comes to tracking the status of your order. It helps in scheduling your day. You need not be online on the website or the app to keep a track of your order.
    5. Feedback Conversation over Communication – In some scenarios it is better to know exactly what the users liked or didn’t like, so you can work on it. Here is where email flourishes. But usually the users don’t have the time to write a full response. In these cases, other channels have a upper hand.

    Show of hands: people who have had overwhelming anxiety while performing an online transaction. I am pretty sure half the people reading this have their hands held up high. Even though the digital age was embraced with open arms, users have always had panic attacks while buying things online.

    In the beginning, people were hesitant and frightened to buy anything digitally. But now, users have evolved along with the whole online concept. Despite that, one skips a beat when one has no idea what is going on with the transaction.

    It happens more than often that your internet dies or your screen just freezes mid payment. You don’t know if the payment has been made, if the order is placed or if you have to go through the procedures all over again. Who tells you that? Waiting for seconds seem life eternity in situations like these. Some sort of communication is necessary to avoid frustrated customers.

    A clear mode of communication is necessary for effective communication. Lack of proper communication creates perplexed and unsatisfied customers.

    percent of users who abandoned transactions due to poor service

    Transactional communication comes in handy in numerous situation. Let’s say you have to buy new sunglasses, so you spend some time choosing the best (considering that you are choosy). Then you proceed with the payment. You are almost on your feet jumping for joy, but the ‘payment successful’ page doesn’t appear. You fall into a dilemma, wondering if your payment went through.

    There are scenarios when you need to order something, and just finished the transaction. The payment has been deducted from your account, but it has not redirected to the main page and the error page appears.

    Due to an absence of communication (or misleading communication) announcing if the order has been placed or not, you buy it again, ending up with double transactions sometimes. Though the money is refunded in a few days, the situation is disturbing.

    Now that you agree that a mode of communication is necessary to keep things intact (yes, even your heart), let’s see which transaction communication channel you should be looking at.

    Brad Tuttle quote about quality customer service

    Email and SMS is what most product managers depend on while communicating with end users. While these channels have existed for a while-given the options we have-the current user experience is limiting. Though they have their own set of advantages and disadvantages, let’s evaluate how the SMS, Web Push, Email and App push notifications fair on the identified metrics and how best the user experience can be improved.

    Delivery report and CTR

    Mobile device receiving push notification

    Delivery reports are essential for you to know that users receive the information. Transactional communication plays a critical role for the consumer. Hence the delivery report is necessary to run things smoothly. Click through Rate (CTR) shows if the user has interacted with your message.

    SMS – In SMS, one can check if the message has reached the users. The delivery report assures that the information reaches the user. As far as CTR’s are concerned, it is a cumbersome process to check whether the user has opened the message and if the they clicked a CTA.

    Web Push – One can check the delivery report and the CTRs with ease by checking out the dashboard to see if the user clicked the messages. The open rates can also be tracked.

    Email – It is possible to know if the email has landed in the inbox. There are many extensions out in the market (free ones too), to check if users have opened your mail or in other words, you can know who has read your email.

    App Push Notification – App push stands with a 6 – 15% CTR. As for delivery reports, the apps need to turn to another software. Its double the effort to find out if your notification is delivered. So, you can’t be sure if the user really received your information.

    Shelf life

    Hourglass on red background

    Some information needs to be accessed even after you are done with your payment. Let’s say you have made a purchase and your order details are sent to you. In that moment it might not make sense to track your order delivery, but you will need to in a few days. Here is where you need a medium with good shelf life, so that you can refer to it when the situation demands.

    SMS – With amazing shelf life capability, SMS makes it easier for users to go back and check the details of the purchase. If some problem occurs you can always refer to the order number and place a complaint.

    Web push – As web push is a quick way to inform users, it projects the needed information, and stays till you dismiss it. Let’s get this straight, it is not feasible to store web push notifications for future access.

    Email – The inbox stores emails and stays there till the user deletes it. One can find the email that you had sent, by just searching your company’s name. The only problem here is, you might have sent it to the user, but what if your email lands in their junk mail?

    App Push Notification – The notification prompts the user and gets stacked in the notification tray. App push is best to keep users informed about every minute detail about the transaction. If the user mistakenly dismisses everything in the notification tray, your information goes for a toss.

    User experience

    User receiving too many notifications depicting bad experience

    A user should have a good experience shopping with you, so that they would opt you again. Cramming their phones with numerous updates makes it exasperating for the users.

    SMS – SMS lands direct to your inbox and stays there until the user deletes it. Filling their inbox is not a good thing. It so happens that sometimes new messages do not get delivered due to insufficient space on the phone.

    Web Push – Web push doesn’t take any space of the user’s phone. It updates and just stays in the notification tray (until dismissed). Hence, providing more breathing space.

    Email – Once the inbox is full, it would stop accepting new emails. Here the feud between your email and space arises. But if the user has sufficient space in the inbox (might be risky to assume), every new email sent by you as a continuation to the previous mail does not cram the inbox and confuse the user.

    App Push Notification – Just like web push, it doesn’t consume any space. It can be dismissed easily. It gives a crisp information. One doesn’t have to read a large amount of text, just to get order confirmation.

    Multi channel

    Selling on multiple channels

    Imagine you are buying something on your laptop. You cant keep checking your phone just to get updates. For example, you have kept your phone for charge, and are making a purchase on your desktop. You need to go all the way to the phone to check if you have any transaction messages. This becomes inconvenient after a while.

    SMS – It is typically a mobile centric channel. One needs to be on the mobile to keep checking for updates.

    Web push – It functions across mobile, tablet, and desktop, making it easier for users to track no matter the medium. The need to hop from device to device does not occur.

    You might be booking a movie ticket from a tablet and can receive a notification on the tab itself. Hence the users receive notifications on desktop, mobile and tab, reaching them wherever, whenever.

    Email – Email can be accessed from desktop, mobile and tablet. There is no way that one can lose information because they were using particular device.

    If the users have set an alert for all the emails that they receive, they will be prompted. If not, no matter what device they are using, your email will only flash when the user opens the inbox.

    App Push Notification – As its name suggests, it is only possible to send notifications when the user has the app on the device, which excludes desktop from the list. The user can stay informed on their phone and tab.

    Cost

    Getting charged all over the place

    Finally it is all about the money. You need to analyse and prioritise where your spend money. There may be many outlets from which you are already draining your budget. Though it might seem meagre, it amounts to a large sum in the years to come. The idea is to spend less and get more.

    SMS – An sms can be sent for transactional communication to convey critical information. But it becomes costly when it comes to keeping users updated (with food delivery updates like I mentioned earlier). Consider minimum of 4 messages per person and then multiply it with total number to users per day. Yes, now you know.

    Web push – You can send unlimited notifications for free. You can notify users of every minute update or change that takes place, so that they are in the loop, invoking a feeling that you care about them.

    This freedom sometimes leads to liberation and often marketers send many notification to users, which after some point might seem annoying.

    Email – As of today, email costs up to 50 ps to 1 Rs. It is not cost effective. The number of emails that you need to send to keep the users informed, and the money you spend in the long run might make it seem as if some updates are unnecessary.

    App Push Notification – There are no charges to send out app push notifications. It is cost effective. You can send out many notifications to numerous people.

    Let me draw out a comparison table to make things clear:

    Infographic about different communication channels

    The channels have their own ups and downs. SMS is pesky, space consuming and irritating. Let’s be honest here, it’s old. If you want to make your mark in the present, then you need to move along (or ahead, as a matter of fact) to rise to your true potential. Almost everyone sends emails these days and it has become so ‘yesterday’. It’s time to pack your bags and move ahead of email. As far as web push and app push notification are concerned, there is no way that you can retrieve old notifications. Once you dismiss a message, it is gone forever.

    All said and done, each channel plays a role to notify users. It up to you to fish out the advantages and choose which channel works best for you. Maybe you could get the best of some channels.

    For example, you could send out major updates as emails and send constant updates as a web push message. You could mix and match, experiment and see what gives you better response, but keep an eye on your pocket as well.

    91% of dissatisfied customers will not do business with you again. Therefore, transactional communication should take place with utmost caution.

    The whole point of terrific communication is informing users before they even have time to ponder about it (more like a reflex action). When communication is seamless, giving users disruptive information, the user leaves happy. And we all know how happy customers can be good for you. Choosing the right mode of communication would make all the difference.

    I don’t know about other channels, but if you want to try out web push notifications, we are right here 🙂 Log on to www.izooto.com to start pushing out notifications for free!

    Author Bio

    Pravya author picture

    Pravya is a Product Marketer at iZooto. In love with animals more than humans, obsessed with amazing hair and educating the world about digital marketing. She secretly is mastering the art of stone balancing. Amidst all of this, she also squeezes out time to paint on canvas. Her dream is to go on a bike trip to the highest motorable road. She writes often on the iZooto blog.

    Twitter handle – @pavipravin

  • Ecommerce Startup
  • 9 High Impact eCommerce New Year’s Resolutions For You To Master

    We have prepared nine eCommerce new year’s resolutions ranging from easy to challenging and being proficient at any one will have significant impact on your ability to drive success to your eCommerce ventures.

    Nevertheless, as with any worthwhile endeavour, each will require persistence and consistency. Get cracking!

    1. Learn Re-Marketing    

    Save more abandoned shopping carts this year by developing a full cycle re-marketing system. Segment your shoppers into their respective groups based on their actions (or non-actions) and present each group with relevant messages that urges them to complete their transactions.

    Have you ever visited an online store and then for weeks after seen that brand appear on your social media feeds and all across your regular news and shopping sites? That’s re-targeting at work. It’s part of a full re-marketing strategy.

    simple image of remarketing process

    eCommerce presents the opportunity to offer a uniquely personalized experience to shoppers and is what sets us apart from brick and mortar stores. Test different tactics with each group and find what works best. New users who abandon their carts are likely to respond to promotions like first-time purchase discounts.

    There are also those that visit your store multiple times and check out several different products, without making a purchase. You’ll want to monitor such activity and have separate campaigns with different messages for each of these user segments.

    You also have the option of setting up automated re-marketing via services like Retai.ly which takes care of all the re-targting advertisements and helps you close sales from dropped users.

    2. Master a Social Media Channel    

    Think of your social network pages as a person, rather than online applications. Behave as though it is an actual human by interacting with people, making friends, and as with the offline world, don’t be afraid to make (a few) mistakes.

    Share your joys and hopes and apologize for your shortcomings when they do occur.

    Pick one social platform that you want. They each have their particular area of expertise with which to increase your skills.

    Master Facebook

    Image of facebook logo with the words Mastery underneath

    For example if you want to try social ads, Facebook is where its at. You can build very robust campaigns and bolster your marketing prowess through Facebook advertising.

    Facebook has a tonne of options besides paid advertising. Join groups and engage with the communities, or create your own. Have you created events on Facebook before?

    In fact, if you choose to be a master of Facebook, you’ll certainly have to take some time off your regular schedule to explore every nook and cranny on the platform. That way you’ll have a working idea of what sort of options you have available.

    Jon Loomer has without question the top resources for mastering Facebook. If you’re looking to master Facebook marketing, go learn from the best.

    Master Instagram

    Image of Instagram logo with the words mastery underneath

    Instagram is great for those who are visually adept to showcase aesthetically pleasing visuals. However, even if you are design impaired (like myself…), it’s a very forgiving platform to improve your eye for design. The platform comes with a myriad of filters and tools to help you craft appealing images.

    You can take your work to even greater heights with the help of third party online image editing software like Canva and Piktochart, which enable even untrained amateur designers to make stunning images that IG champions will appreciate.

    Master Twitter

    Twitter logo with mastery words underneath

    If you are a wordsmith then you will find Twitter to be your cup of tea. Twitter is all about honing your copy writing skills in 140 characters.

    You can pair each post with images as well to tell an even more compelling story, but the real challenge is being able to craft the perfect message with just those limited characters.

    That said, Twitter is no one trick pony platform. For example, you should create your own category lists like “Influencers”, “Ambassadors” or “Collaborators” and add relevant people to them. These lists can then be used for anything from content curation to content promotion, or any other creative ideas you might conceive.

    Master YouTube

    Youtube logo with the words mastery underneath

    This is the platform for you if video content is your thing. It really doesn’t take a lot of learning before you have your first video up.

    Video is where the bulk of audience engagement lies these days and YouTube is the place people go to search for videos.

    Product videos do very well when placed on your product pages, and it also helps drive traffic to your page since people searching for product videos on Youtube (and other video platforms) will be able to follow links back to your site.

    During the typical customer journey, people will search for reviews and tutorials of the products they are shopping for, so concentrate your efforts on those types for your product pages. However, don’t let that stop you from creating less promotional and more artistic videos to share with your audience, especially if they are relevant to your business.

    Should this be your chosen mastery it will prove worthwhile in the long run as mastering it means by the time you have several dozen videos created, you will likely also have learnt as many new video editing and directing techniques.

    All that on top of the numerous ways to promote your content and engage with your audience.

    3. Adopt a New Technology    

    Whether it’s a back-end software to make your life easier (and grow your business), or a front-end app for your customers benefit, pick one and get it working at its fullest potential.

    This can be anything from:

    These technologies can be implemented with minimal effort (and minimal results), but to reap entirely the rewards of your investment, you should take the time to grasp how it works, learn the best practices and test it out yourself.

    Wikipedia page being heatmap tracked

    For example, implementing an analytics suite for your eCommerce store may seem like it requires comprehensive technical knowledge, but highly visual Drag’N’Drop software such as Mixpanel make the tasks achievable for even those with minimal tech savvy. At the end of the day you’ll have a ton of data shwoing how shoppers experience your site and which areas you should take steps to optimize.

    Flash sale modules don’t even require much back end implementation, but learning best practices and how to implement them so both you and your shoppers enjoy the maximum benefit requires time and experimentation.

    Learning to track and analyze link clicks will help you optimize your social media performance by showing you which posts get the most clicks. Eventually you will graduate to site wide tagging with a tag manager(the sort used by big league eCommerce players), but you’ll surely have someone or a team to implement it properly.

    4. Blog Regularly   

    If you plan on only one undertaking throughout 2017 OR if the idea of expressing yourself by educating/entertaining people interests you, this should be it. Your blog content can be in any form, from a traditional written blog, to videos, image galleries, or even podcasts if can manage it.

    Blogging is part of the content calendar, but I like to plan it separate from other content since I’ve done enough of both to know how to integrate the two efficiently.

    Picture of someone blogging

    For example I always leave space in my social media post schedule for when I know I’ll be publishing blog content so I can promote that instead. Sometimes I decide that the promotion of blog content will not be part of normally scheduled social posts but will be in addition to it.

    The thing about blogging is that I spend most of my time promoting the content than creating it, so it reaches as many people as possible, thus driving more traffic to the site. So when I suggest blog regularly, I don’t mean to endlessly create content.

    Rather, the entire cycle of blogging starts from research, moves to creation, then to publishing it. But it doesn’t end there, as this is when you begin relentlessly promoting it.

    I use services like Epicbeat and Buzzsumo for finding types of content that people share a lot so I can figure out what I will create, as well as finding influencers I can reach out to on social media when I’m ready to promote to people who would find my content worth sharing.

    dashboard view of epicbeat search

    Keep in mind that although blogging and regular content updates have a significant impact on your search engine rankings, blogging for SEO is a long term goal that requires commitment and consistency to see results. Don’t jump in expecting to deliver an immediate surge of traffic to your site through blogging alone.

    Have a look at other popular blogs both within and outside your niche. Besides giving you ideas about content and styles, it will keep you motivated and inspired to continue throughout the year.

    5. Participate In Yearly Event Promotions   

    Companies that leverage social events like valentines, children’s/father’s/mother’s day, school holidays, and Halloween have the advantage of staying in topical conversations.

    I usually see F&B companies take the lead with topical promotions, but anyone can get in on it, even eCommerce merchants. February 5th is Super Bowl Sunday, consider creating a promotion that takes advantage of the amount of exposure the event receives, with a football theme or offering promotions related to the game.

    Earth Day on April 22nd is when you could show your support for our collective home by donating a percentage of profits to earth-friendly causes, and remind your readers that by shopping online they are also helping to reduce their carbon footprint.

    By planning and consistently running specific promotions centered around such events, you are building brand awareness by being in hot conversations. Planned correctly, you should also see increased seasonal spending with your brand.

    6. Add To Your Omnichannel Presence    

    Infographic of omnichannel marketing

    Take the time to grow your brand on previously untouched channels. If you’ve never sold on Amazon before, now is the time to think about being a merchant on their platform. Or if you’re in the arts and crafts market you could do well on Etsy.

    When the time is right you will even want to take your business to the physical dimension, but for now, just make sure your brand is visible everywhere on the internet.

    You should be being willing to sell anywhere and everywhere that there are customers willing to pay you for your products. The other benefit of having multiple sales channels is that you won’t be left in the lurch if it fails for any reason.

    7. Be Transparent    

    Next time you tend to non hush-hush business operations, consider documenting or even live streaming it as an event.

    Lady live streaming on her mobile phone

    In the past I worked at an IT hardware distribution company. Every time we got a new shipment of products in, it was cause for celebration because our target market would get really excited about new arrivals and updated stocks, especially if they had been waiting for new supplies.

    Our CEO would take photos of the delightful new goods and post it on our media pages himself because it was so effortless to engage in such an rewarding manner with our audience. It wasn’t a time where live streaming such events would have been a priority enough to go through the hassle of setting it up the tech for it, so photos sufficed.

    Now, technology has advanced to the point where all you need is your phone and you can live stream events that your audiences will enjoy: a behind the scenes look at what goes on with your business.

    This sort of content gives life to your organization. The human touch will help you seamlessly engage with the public you want to reach because sharing your routines gives your audience a glimpse into the actual human beings behind the products and services you offer.

    8. Champion Lifestyle Product Images    

    Every product makes a promise to the buyer: to change their life for the better. Before buying, however, people want to see how -and in what context- a product is used. If you choose to improve your product image aesthetics, then start by adding lifestyle images to your product pages.

    Lifestyle product images sell a customer on a piece by helping them visualize it in context since they display your product features in real-time. The common white backdrop product image won’t tell a story.

    Image of a drone against a white backdrop

    The DJI Phantom 4 is shown clearly against the typical white backdrop. It’s a good quality image but without context it lacks the ability to evoke emotion, or convey any meaningful information.

    Holding a drone up to show scale

    In this case the Phantom 4 is displayed with context! Looking at the image you can clearly see the size of it, which I couldn’t from looking at just the first image.

    Imagine if this were a thermostat or desk and all you had was the first shot. You make the purchase but when it arrives it might not fit in your space. Having a lifestyle image would have given you the information you needed to decide perhaps it would be better suited elsewhere.

    This is information you can help customers to glean from product images. After all, eCommerce merchants need to make up for the lack of tactile fulfillment that physical retailers can offer.

    drone in action shot

    When you want to take it to a whole new level, these sort of lifestyle images -ones with the product in action- have the ability to inspire emotion and imagination in customers. Someone viewing it will start fantasizing about possibilities and envisioning scenarios of how they would use it if they had it themselves. Powerful indeed.

    Have a look around J!NX store. They do a fine job of:

    • Choosing product images (with large display size)
    • Inviting customers to share their own product images via gamification
    • Gamifying the entire eCommerce experience for their visitors.

    woman wearing a product

    If you’ve an abundance of energy, produce and add several lifestyle images, then go a step further and devise a plan to get your customers on board by hosting pictures of them with their purchases. You can entice customers to participate by gamifying the process or rewarding them for each post they make, but really, gamification is an entire topic of its own.

    Finally, our last new year’s resolution is pretty fun to plan, isn’t difficult to execute, and will have meaningful effect on your marketing and audience interaction…

    9. Plan Your Content Schedule    

    If you enjoy planning and keeping activities organised, there’s a good chance you already have a content schedule in place. If not, this could be your time to start, at least for keeping your social media organized.

    I limit each period(month or quarter) to a maximum of two general themes. For example if running a baby/motherhood website, I’d focus on mothers as well as families during the month of May (women’s day), and dedicate November for content focused on children (children’s day).

    As with a blogging content calendar, be topical but also try to stay relevant to your industry.

    I use a simple Google spreadsheet to plan and keep track of everything, but you can use Excel if you prefer. Personally I hardly do anything on local (being a digital marketer and all) so I use Google Sheets. I find it sufficient for these sort of tasks since it’s live, shareable instantly, and I can link between documents, sheets and presentations easily.

    Spreadsheet of social media content plan

    This is our yearly outline sheet. In it I include periodic themes and schedule the minimum amount of content to be produced. Since this is a new year resolution post, you may find it helpful and motivating to see your progress. To that end I’ve included two rows that show completion rates for each month as well as a yearly summary.

    Add whichever channels you produce content for and determine your posting schedule. If you’ve no idea how much you can take on, don’t worry. Start small and do what you can. If you are already pressed for time there’s no point planning for 10 posts a day if you’re not able to execute it.

    Instagram and Pinterest are not strong channels for us so eventhough InstanteStore does have official accounts on those platforms, I don’t plan for content promotion on those channels. I prioritize tasks to leverage where our strengths lie, and you should too. So if you find IG effective to reach your audience compared to Twitter then prioritize that and add it to your plan instead.

    Things like videos take more time and effort to make, so I schedule it more conservatively, perhaps once a quarter or even a year. A webinar could double as the video content so I schedule it for before the video content.

    detailed monthly plan sheet

    On the following sheets are the monthly views that go into detail about the daily activity for each month, with auto-updated counts for total of posts per month. Remember I said I can easily link between documents? This is where I do just that.

    It’s an immense quality of life perk that each item on the monthly view is linked to the my content creation slides (I just happen to use slides) for easy reference, and it takes me to a page like this one:

    Google Slides used for content planning

    This is the crafting bench, so to speak. I use Google Slides as a canvas to draft concepts and the content copy, as well as come up with ideas for the post visuals. The image above shows the final result of a fully drafted post. In this case the posts are the pre-emptive messages before the actual blog post, which is the one you are reading right now.

    With the entire year mapped out, it will free up the rest of your calendar for other priorities, or even leisure! You don’t have to create content for the entire year right away, but having a structured content plan in place will help you stay ahead of deadlines while keeping your mind clear and focused on your goals.

    These are merely examples of how we plan our content calendar. You’ll discover your own methods and preferences and tailor your content schedule to suit your own style once you find your groove   = )

    Once again, thanks for reading our eCommerce blog. We hope you’ve found it valuable. We’re looking forward to becoming the top eCommerce blog of 2017 (and beyond)!

  • Grow Your Store
  • Finally A Proven Method To Increase Your eCommerce Holiday Sales

    Are You Using THE ONE Proven Tactic to Boost You Black Friday Sales By Up to 320%?

    It’s that time of the year again!

    Did you know that there are less than 4 days before the biggest sales period of the year? Both Black Friday & Cyber Monday are set to rake in the lion’s share of sales this season as holiday shoppers scour the web for the best deals.

    So is your eCommerce store ready for the year end shopping galore? What have you prepared to OFFER your customers?

    THE ALL IMPORTANT STATS:

    According to surveys and analysis by Deloitte & Adobe, both expect holiday shoppers to spend in excess of $1 trillion this holiday season. Yep, that’s 1,000,000,000,000 to be spent in just 3 months. It’s not often you come across such a large number in a way that isn’t theoretical, so I had to do several takes to make sure I had the correct number of zeroes.

    So the question is: How do YOU get a piece of that pie?

    Traditionally, retailers will be having a sale throughout the weekend, luring customers with irresistible offers! Say you’re looking for a pair of Adidas NMD sneakers, you will have tens of thousands of stores coming up with similar offers and customers are just completely spoilt for choices.

    WHY DO FLASH SALES SELL BETTER?

    It’s actually a combination of different factors.

    SCARCITY AND URGENCY SELLS!

    Man Running Against The Clock

    The limited time span and limited availability increases your visitor’s desire for your product and boosts urgency through the roof! When you know a deal will end in the next 10 minutes, you’re not going to think too long and hard about whether you should buy that thing or go running to a price comparison site to compare the different prices. Emotion is at an all time high! You make your customers DESIRE to immediately buy the product that you have on offer RIGHT AWAY. Scarcity and urgency sells…. Period!

    Saying that, there are a few details you want to make sure you have in place to make sure your Flash Sale is a success rather than a flop.

    RULE #1 – ONLY THOSE FEW SELECTED ONES, PLEASE!

    Have a limited number of items. Don’t put your WHOLE STORE on sale. If you’re selling niche products, keep it to within 10-20 products. You want the decision to be “I want it” or “not”…. Not do I want this or this or this?

    RULE #2 – IT SHOULD BE IN MINUTES, NOT HOURS!

    Put the flash sale to a max of 60 minutes. This makes it WAY MORE urgent for visitors to take action immediately. The faster they take action, the less time there is to think whether they actually “need” it. Think back to the last time when you were at a store and you were thinking if you should get that red sweater and the sales person comes up to you and say, “That’s the last piece!”. Those 4 magical words! It immediately helps you to make up your mind and walk straight to the cashier.

    RULE #3 – DON’T LIMIT TO JUST 1!

    Don’t just have that ONE Flash Sale and put all your hopes in it! You may set yourself up to fail with just that offer as you may be offering something that your visitors do not desire. Instead, have several. Put different products on Flash Sale at different periods. And “leak info” about upcoming Flash Sales. Social media is a very powerful tool for leaking information or if you want to take it a step further, you can send out SMS-es to your customers to inform them about the upcoming sale. Emails do work too but as we all know, sometimes email is not immediate and your customers may not be aware of the upcoming Flash Sale.

    Don’t be afraid to limit the quantity of items you have in the Flash Sale. If you have an amazing deal that the visitor missed out on, that’s normally a great incentive for them to take action quickly when the next Flash Sale comes along in the next hour.

    TIME TO GET STARTED!

    The Retaily Flash Sale Module is here to help you capitalize on the biggest eCommerce pie the holiday shopping season has ever seen. Access to the module is available only on InstanteStore V8 however, so if you have questions about updating your store, feel free to get in touch with us.

    It’s easy to integrate with your store and setting up your flash sale is simple. You get a bunch of customization options with regards to duration (an hour, 12 hours, 24 hours etc), and a countdown timer for your product pages ensuring shoppers are always aware of the ongoing promotions.

    Fun game on product image page with dountdown timer

    There are conveniently placed social sharing buttons as well to that you can use to encourage your shoppers to spread the words to their own networks. This is something you can choose to further incentivize with social media promotions or contests.

    Products included in the sale automatically display a “flash sale” icon on product listing pages so shoppers are aware which items are on limited time offer.

    Sample of flash sale icon and countdown timers on category pages

    This encourages shoppers to keep checking back for different bargains once they know that such offers could be available on your site.

    Once your flash sale concludes, you have full access to clear reporting to conduct your post-sale analysis. You’ll be able to see which products did well, then compare how sales were against non-sale periods.After that you’ll decide if you want to have another flash sale featuring those products, or choose different products to offer.

    Sample of flash sale email announcement message

    You can then email your customer list, telling those that missed out about upcoming opportunities for them to get great bargains.

    Quick tip! Don’t try to sell everything you have, instead look at a profitable segment of your customer base and run a flash sale directed at them.

    The benefits of adding the flash sale module to your online store don’t stop when the sale is over. With lots of data and new customers, you can immediately begin to leverage their lifetime value.

    Don’t miss this opportunity to build trust, loyalty and improve your brand reputation by following up with brand messaging at touch points like order confirmation, shipping notification and updates and completed delivery. If you can, try and have a referral programme in place as well, it will help increase exposure for the flash sale.

    Sample of flash sale referral bonus

    The appeal of flash sales is the spontaneity and the surprise, which plays well with what experts call the experience economy. Retailers attempting to be unique and shoppers feeling they might be able to find blue moon items is an experience itself.

    Online merchants capitalize on the shopping frenzy by having multiple flash sales, and if successful, end up skyrocketing your traffic and conversions.

    Image of a rocket launching into the sky

    Increase Conversions During The Holiday Season With Your Own Flash Sale

    Click Here To Contact Us & Get Started

    Thanks for reading the InstanteStore eCommerce blog. We hope you’ve found it valuable, let us know in the comments and share it!

  • Ecommerce Web Design
  • 3 Painless eCommerce SEO Stylings from a Wizard!

    Ah, search engine optimization. I have a strong love-hate relationship with the artform. I’m certain its true for anyone who has the will to dabble in the arcane craft of SEO.

    Alas! SEO for eCommerce websites is even more complicated and mystical than traditional SEO. In the everlasting quest for the holy grail of Google’s first result ranking, many throw our hands up in despair and resign from the task altogether. Some persist doggedly, adamant that SEO “must-be-done”.

    Fewer still go about it in a practical & time efficient manner, tackling the problem with a mixture logic and creativity, never actually enjoying it.

    Of course, InstanteStore comes with a built in “SEO Wizard” to help you take care of the back-end and technical aspects of SEO, like Schema implentation. There are still practices that you should undertake to build upon that foundation.

    I’ve been studying a whole bunch of eCommerce websites, so I’m sharing several good and bad trends I’ve noticed among merchants in 2016. The craft may seem mysterious in theory, but practically, the execution is often straightforward.

    What Search Engines Want

    The most common issue I notice when browsing shopping websites is the amount of duplicated content. This usually stems from having multiple product pages for variations of the same item. Fix it by making sure all variations (size, colour, material) are on the same product page and displayed via drop-downs or radio buttons. We know search engines are contemptuous of duplicate content, providing zero value to audiences. So let’s make this a forbidden practice. The tech exists for this fix, hence a technological obstacle is no excuse for it.

    Chalkboard saying No to duplicate content

    An even weaker version of the duplicate content affliction is copy pasting supplier product descriptions, often to the point where many merchants have the same exact copy. I’m glad to report that it’s not something I notice much anymore, but it does happen so I’m just letting you know: this is sooo forbidden, there should be a wall of “NOPE” around it. If your products suffer from contentimus duplicatitis, do whatever it takes to make it original. Hire a copywriter if you must to make sure your product pages don’t contain copy that anyone else has.

    It’s not efficient to create unique copy for thousands of product pages though. Instead, using your web analytics tool (you have one right?), pick your most popular product pages for original content.

    What People Want

    Another problem I often encounter is the worrying lack of search query optimization. Unless you sell iPads or a popular product, don’t use product names as your search indicator. Instead target the product type: tablets, insect repellent, autumn chrysanthemum arrangements, Halloween cookies, etc.

    Think about what the shopper is searching for-what they actually type into search engines when they begin their digital journey. This will help determine the kind of language used to reach your pages. So if your insect repellent is called “Bugone”, maybe people will be more likely to find it if you optimized for the search term: “bug spray”, or “insect repellant”.

    A google search query to demonstrate shopper intent

    Search engines (and people too) love it when a page matches the users intent exactly. It’s logical. So if a page matches a shopper persona, it should show up when a person in searching for information. If a page matches a buyer persona, it should be listed when the person is ready for product options.

    #Winning 2016

    Atop a meadow of clouds, perched firmly at the top of SERPS is Polyvore. It’s a fashion shopping site, where they know their audience well and the social tech they favour. They have thus given shoppers the ability to create bundles of products, making up their own styles that they can upload so other users can browse and shop. Users can also interact with other bundles and share them across social media.

    Image of user content Polyvore website

    I’m pleased to say that I’ve noticed an increase in merchants opting for user generated content. This is great for SEO because it means older indexed pages are regularly updated, letting search engines know that your pages still have activity and thus are still relevant. Up till recently, user generated content was mostly in the form of user reviews and testimonials. As companies like Polyvore show us, there’s more than one way to skin this dragon!

    User generated content is beneficial in several ways:

      Your community will contribute content of their own, cutting down a chuck of your workload. A community interaction is a healthy one.

      As mentioned above, new content keeps your pages refreshed and indicates activity to search engine bots. It’s why online forums do well at SEO.

      The community your create benefits from it as well because they get recognition for putting together popular outfit ensembles, creating an enjoyable user experience.

    J!NX clothing give their shoppers the ability to post pictures of themselves with their new loot, and earn rewards for it too:

    Image of user content on J!NX product page

    A quick and simple fix for user generated content is to add social media feeds to your most popular pages. This is a good strategy if you don’t have much engagement on your site but have a responsive audience on your social media channels.

    *Remember that people want to engage with brands they see, so don’t hold back. On social media you should be tagging your posts with relevant people, and make use of those #tags to get your content in front even people who would otherwise not be able to see your content.

    Which brings us to…

    Social Media Marketing. SEO is no longer confined to making search engines like your pages and content. It’s now more important to make your content visible (and popular) on different channels on the web, because people who engage with your content are indicting to search engines that your content is relevant. Hence the more people engage with it, the more priority search engines will give it.

    Picture of social media apps

    It’s the reason you’ll see outdated content on the first page of many results, because it was once the most popular result for a search, and nothing new has come along that is as popular, even if there are more relevant contemporary piece available.

    These channels include the various social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube (yes!) as well as community forums.

    In the past, back-links used to hold a lot of weight in SEO ranking, so much that internet marketers hacked the system and created lots of artificial links a ranking boost. Given enough effort a page could rank number 1 on Google with a day or two. Naturally this led to a poor experience for the user, and so things aren’t as simple anymore.

    So my suggestion is this: the next time you are on Facebook, spend a few minutes to join a group relevant to your market and promote your own content with a link and a few words about it. I’m not even talking about a blog post-though it can be. I’m talking about a specific product. I say start promoting a product you personally use because it will help word your promotional post in a fluid and genuine manner. Use that as practice before writing about products you aren’t as passionate about and springboard yourself into a natural rhythm.

    I picture of 4 facebook ecommerce groups

    If you do this for a single piece of content on multiple groups, across various social networks, you will start to get in front of many eyeballs. That’s a great first step. Once your foundation is solid, audience engagement will be an easier obstacle to demolish. If you can only spare time to promote one piece of content to one group, once a week, that is infinitely more than getting zero social signals. So do it for as long as you can before losing yourself to the void…

    The key to tying social media with SEO is the user engagement. The goal is to have lots of people sharing your content over a short period of time, which is the “virality” factor that a social media marketer so intensely craves. It isn’t necessary to go all Ice Bucket Challenge every single time. What works in the long run is the cumulative effects of content promotion.

    Image of a person in green being dumped with a bucket of ice water

    As with anything digital, always be tracking and analysis your traffic, your search terms and your rankings. Figure out what’s working and replicate the process from there. A methodological process will ensure you start getting results faster.

    And that’s all folks!

    As you can gather, social interaction has a significant role in contemporary SEO, although many traditional tactics do still carry weight. It’s all about the ratio of importance the engines assign to each ranking factor.

    Doing SEO by bolstering my social media marketing efforts works well for me. It covers all my priorities: achieving KPI goals, what I have time for, and what I enjoy. Try something yourself and see what works best for you based on what you can manage to get done.

    Mastering SEO isn’t for everyone, but it doesn’t mean only the most seasoned practitioners are capable of conjuring clever spells. You’ll see that most of the time you’ll be getting incremental results over long periods of time. Once in awhile, stars align and magic wills itself into being without much help, resulting in a massive surge of traffic, engagement and popularity. It’s an incredible rush to see it happen before your eyes as weeks and months of work pay off all at once!

  • News & Events
  • Support: Fall Seven Times, Stand Up Eight

    Turkish Quote Overlayed onto image of two children walking down a road together

    Normally, the InstanteStore support ticket is used to request help with technical issues faced by our merchants. No doubt we receive many tickets, and this has been especially true after the launch of IES v8.

    Despite all the planning we do to ensure a smooth transition of an upgrade, no update is ever 100% free of issues that need quick fixes. Impish glitches can and do pop-up outside the scope of our expectations, adding a layer of fog to the road-map.

    Today we received something different though. This particular ticket was encouraging for all of us at InstanteStore, reassuring us that our community does notice our endeavours and accomplishments throughout the highs and the lows, despite any trials and tribulations.

    The support of our community means very much to us. Like a bird in flight, one wing is the IES team, and the other wing is the community we serve. Together we stay in flight!

    So we’re going to let his message speak for itself, we hope that it can uplift your spirits the way it has invigorated this little eCommerce solutions team in Penang Island!

    Through all these new changes, the new templates, new platform and all the glitches and troubles associated with it, you guys have been doing an exceptional job.

     

    I know that making such a big shift and essentially changing the entire system, must be an enormous undertaking. I know that we alone have inundated you with request after request. I’m sure you’re getting that from likely all your customers. So I can’t even imagine how overwhelming it all is for you guys.

     

    I’m also fairly certain, that due to human nature and the urgency of getting and keeping our websites working correctly and looking good, has probably caused alot of stress for you guys as well as us your customers. I figure you have received complaining and impatience from alot of people. I think we’ve even been a little stressed and insistent along the way.

     

    But from one of your customers that has been with you for many years, I want to say thank you to everyone there for working hard and giving it their all.

     

    We still have many things we need done but we’re trying to be understanding and make our requests slowly. Of course if something is not working correctly it becomes a high priority, but you’ve done well through it all.

     

    I wouldn’t doubt if you’ve lost some customers along the way, but don’t worry, God will bring you more to replace them and many will return. Just keep doing your thing and it’ll all smooth out with a bit more time and effort.

     

    In closing, I apologize for taking your time to read this nonessential ticket, but I just felt that someone should give you guys a much deserved pat on the back. You’re doing great, hang in there, we’re all counting on you guys to keep doing what you’ve proven through the years that you’re great at. We really do appreciate your efforts.

     

    Thank You All Again,
    Earl

     

    By the way, Desmond has been our primary contact.

     

    Also, if we ever find ourselves in Malaysia we will drop by the Hotel Royal and treat you all to dinner and drinks.

     

    Thanks Earl, we are gratified by the patience and understanding you and everyone else have shown, and we do appreciate the kind words. It certainly brought some brightness to our day, knowing we have good company along this road we travel.

    Here’s to a fruitful and record breaking 2016!

    fall seven times stand up eight

  • Ecommerce Startup
  • eCommerce Payment Processing Comparison For Malaysia

    New merchants ask us all the time about choosing the right payment gateway to pair with their online eCommerce solutions, and the truth is there is no standard answer. We can usually help a merchant decide based on what their priorities are, such as cost, application time, or withdrawal time. So here is a eCommerce payment processing comparison to get you started.

    We’ve made this simple comparison between Paypal, Molpay, and iPay88 which will help you get an good overview of which you want to start with: Comparison table of 3 payment gateways in Malaysia

    We usually recommend Paypal to merchants who are just starting an online business. In our experience, new merchants want to see results before committing to a paid option like Molpay or iPay88. Paypal accepts local credit and debit cards for online transactions as well, although it doesn’t have access to online banking like CIMB Clicks or M2U. Paypal Merchant accounts are also able to be set up quickly and be ready for trading.

    Either ipay88 or Molpay will do for Malaysian merchants that only want to reach our local market, and already have large sales volume. This is because of the above-mentioned access to local online banking making transactions smoother for shoppers, which increases the potential for conversions.

    If you need further assistance don’t hesitate to contact us via Email, Facebook or Twitter!

  • Ecommerce Web Design
  • InstanteStore New 2016 eCommerce Templates Released!

    Image of 3 new 2016 templates

    InstanteStore V8’s first round of eCommerce templates are more image-heavy, designed to catch the attention of your visitors. If you don’t have suitable images to use on the front page, you can choose to remove the hero shot and featured images using the content editor.

    Right now, we’re in the process of integrating a free stock photo finder to make it easier for you to search for and find the right images to use for your store, so please look out for this really soon!

    A brief run-down of our first round of free shopping cart templates:

    Home Comforts (Prominent but not overwhelming hero shot, centred products, more products-4 per row)
    image of new instantestore template

    Sleek Motion
    image of new instantestore template

    Posterized
    image of new instantestore template

    Sand and Surf
    image of new instantestore template

    Smooth Rollin’
    image of new instantestore template

    Bags, Bags, Bags! (Very prominent hero shot)
    image of new instantestore template

    Harajuku
    image of new instantestore template

    Suzuka
    image of new instantestore template

    Luxus
    image of new instantestore template

    Lente (Prominent hero shot, featured image heavy)
    image of new instantestore template

    With our latest round of templates, we’ve listened to your feedback and added 5 new templates that:

    1. Bring back the left border panel
    2.  Are generally lighter on hero shots and featured images

    The result is 5 new templates that hew closer to the structure of our old templates that you might already be using, but that are fully responsive and also fresher and sleeker at the same time. These are great options for those of you who want to retain the “feel” of your current store while getting a fresh new look.

    Simplicity and Back to Basics both have the left border panel with categories and no hero shot at all, so that you can use either template directly without having to remove any images. Simplicity’s left panel lists all your main categories, while visitors can drill down into Back to Basics to reach the sub-categories within.
    BacktoBasics Template Image
    Simplicity Template Image

    Deeply Purple and Surf Left bring back the left border, while retaining more featured images (1 large hero shot and 2 featured images below). Deeply Purple’s left panel lists all your main categories, while visitors can drill down into Surf Left to reach the sub-categories within.
    Deeply Purple Template Image
    Template Image

    Tidal is a mix of the last 2 groups, with a single prominent hero shot.

    Tidal Template Image

    Let us know what you think about your new responsive templates in the comments section below, or on Facebook or Twitter!

  • Ecommerce Startup
  • Social Psychology in eCommerce: The Gravity of Trust

    Andrea Peterson Trust Quote

    The Ultimate Value

    Trust is a vital concept when it comes to social psychology in eCommerce. Trust appears wherever risk, uncertainty and dependency exists, and is something online shops strive to earn from their shoppers. Consumers trusting an online retailer is important in establishing transactional behavior.

    It is a weighty concept that is often taken for granted because we believe we understand it, despite the range of definitions it carries. To consumers, doing business with an eCommerce merchant represents a step into the unknown thus creating positive trust-beliefs will help result in positive intentions (sales) from consumers.

    According to findings in “The Science of Shopping Cart Abandonment” by Charles Nicholls: 74.6% of new shoppers will not return after abandoning a shopping cart, and so persuading shoppers to complete a purchase on their very first visit is of utmost importance for long-term survival, and why nurturing initial trust is so crucial in this step of the journey.

    As Andrea Petersen stated in her Wall Street Journal piece:

     

    “It seems that trust equals revenue, even online.”

     
    Click Here To Find Out How InstanteStore Uses Features Like Abandon Cart Revovery To Help Our Merchants Sell More

    Understanding The Role Of Trusting Beliefs

    Each party of an eCommerce transaction looks to eliminate risk and uncertainty by finding ways to increase trust. We acomplish this by building beliefs about the beneficial characteristics of the vendor. These characteristics can be applied to beliefs about the competence, benevolence, integrity and predictability of an online store.

    1. Belief in competence is when a shopper believes that the merchant possesses the ability to deliver goods or services as promised, whether it is in terms of volume, delivery time, pricing or quality. Shoppers also want to know you are an expert who has the necessary skills to provide a convenient solution, and that you are dynamic– able to meet challenges that arise without excuses.

    We see this come up a lot in the world of eCommerce. Belief in your competence leads to a positive action towards your business, and that trust carries so much weight that when broken it leads to anger, frustration and reputation damage within the online community. On the flipside, if that belief is reinforced by actual competence, the goodwill generated has the potential to spread like wildfire, leading to more belief and further positive actions.

    2. Belief in benevolence is when a shopper believes the merchant is caring, morally conscious, responsive and is capable of goodwill towards him or her. A merchant that cultivates the belief of benevolence would not have the perception of taking advantage of the shopper by feeding their fears (eg. the fear of missing out), rather is one that acts in their best interest, that the service is not a scam, and is always willing to communicate matters with the client.

    3. Belief in integrity is when shoppers trust that a merchant is honest, credible and reliable in their dealings by being truthful and upfront about things like pricing and delivery times rather than forgoing the truth in order to make sales. Merchants that demonstrate integrity accept the responsibility of the good-faith placed upon them and is the standard bearer of fulfilling promises and ethical obligations, like keeping client information secure.

    4. Belief in predictability doesn’t actually have positive or negative values associated with it. It means that a shopper has the belief that your actions are consistent enough to the point that he/she can predict your behavior in a normal transactional situation, regardless of whether your actions are good or bad.

    A customer may have high belief in the predictability of Amazon to fulfill delivery of an order within 5 days. A high level of belief in predictability would also forecast that a confirmation email and invoice will be sent immediately after purchase. Having belief in the predictability of an online merchant also means that the merchant’s readiness to handle a client’s needs will never alter over time.

    These four beliefs complement each other and often one lead to another depending on the buying stage of a customer and what their current relationship is with your brand (fresh, has heard of you before or has conducted business with you before). The most important one is always the one that addresses the current fear of a customer and facilitates positive behaviors.

    If a customer fears being scammed, then their integrity belief is the most important. If the customer fears getting a bad deal like paying a higher markup price, then benevolence belief takes precedence. Fear that credit card details might be inadvertently stolen during the checkout process will rely on the competence belief that your technical ability to prevent such theft will address this issue.

    Belief in these characteristics leads to trusting intentions, which is when a customer shows the intention of relying on the merchant despite being unable to control the merchants actions. The amount of belief a shopper has will affect their readiness to perform trust related internet behaviors compared to traditional shopping instances, since online shoppers have less control over their experience such as handing over sensitive personal information, or not being able to immediately determine the quality of a product or service.

    These behaviors are actions like sharing sensitive information, adding products to cart or making a purchase by completing the checkout process, and are a natural consequence of their trust in or beliefs about the online store.

    Facilitating Trust

    Rather than allowing customers to bumble haphazardly through the trust-intention-action process, there are of course things merchants can do to guide them through it to assure them that their beliefs are in safe hands and their intentions will have positive results.

    Privacy Policy

    A privacy policy lets your customers know that you are ethical when it comes to collecting their personal information (integrity). As such they are more likely to be open to sharing their personal information with you (intention). When a customer is more willing to share information then they are naturally more likely to act on it (behavior).

    Not having a privacy policy in place on your online store can help you lose customers while being upfront about how you collect, store, and share personal data will allay the fear customers have about how their data is collected and used. They tend to be long walls of text filled with legalese that in a way discourage people from reading them.

    Twitter has a very clear and well formatted privacy policy laid out which you can find here. Making it easily accessible for the average user shows transparency, which is a concept closely related to being trustworthy.

    As the saying goes: those with nothing to hide hide nothing.

    Trust Seals

    Trust seals & SSL certificates suggest that a site provides technical security for payment forms to prevent middleman interventions or network eavesdropping.

    Koray Özpolat at the University of Rhode Island hypothesizes that the four factors surrounding the effectiveness of trusts seals are cart value, retailer’s sales volume, shopper experience and number of other trust seals displayed:

    Cart Value

    Trust seals are more effective towards the completion of higher value shopping carts.

    The value of a shopping cart simply means how much the total value of the products in the cart amounts to. Higher value purchases are more risky and thus entail a higher level of risk-aversion thus providing information pertinent to security and privacy helps reduce perceived risk.

    Retailer Size

    Online retailers with a smaller sales volume benefit more from the presence of the trust seal than larger online retailers.

    This is tied-in with an online store’s reputation. Someone who has never shopped on Amazon.com would have less concerns about the ability of the company to protect their information, becuase it is a well established marketplace that has served millions of customers worldwide. As such smaller eCommerce sites would be required to take even greater measures to address these concerns. Customers would naturally feel less comfortable shopping at your store if it is new or relatively unheard of.

    Past Experience

    The effect of trust seals diminish the more frequently a user shops at a particular online store.

    It means that trust is being developed over time, and with the benefit of having completed successful transactions before, the need to be convinced of trustworthiness is gradually eliminated as the customer updates his or her perception of the merchant.

    Varied Trust Seal

    The impact of trust seals on completing the checkout process has diminishing returns as the number of displayed trust seals increases.

    In other words, displaying all the trust seals you can get your hands on won’t do much to convince your customers to make a purchase past the first few unique or synergetic ones, such as a seal that addresses security together with seals the address identity and privacy. Having multiple seals that address the same concerns is pointless.

    In terms of shopping cart abandonment, the research found that the optimal number of seals to display is only 2 and that there is a reverse effect (u-turn) on trust with an increasing number of seals. Hence it is crucial to avoid information overload when displaying trust seals as it may cause confusion or skepticism.

    What’s interesting is a particular result from a study published by Christian Holst suggesting that the perception of security is more important to online shoppers than its actually technical security ability. The trust seals are often nothing more than certification of a site or company about its customer relations or business practices, whereas SSL seals are what suggest technical security on the site.

    Image: Baymard Study

    There are many places you might display your security certifications and credentials, on your front page, on a product page, or on the footer, but the most important location to build trust is at the checkout process, the page where a customer will enter their payment details. It is at this point that a person has the most alarm bells going off, so it is here that it becomes of utmost importance to build confidence in the ability to protect one’s privacy.

    Interaction with Customers

    It should be standard practice by now for an online business to be engaging with customers, both individually and as an community. From a trust perspective, it also manages to convey that you are a merchant possessing the positive belief characteristics mentioned above, that it is benevolent, competent, honest and predictable. These positive traits solidify customers trust which lead to positive trust behaviors.

    Interaction can occur through any channels your site has available, such as social media, email, phone, video calling, or even a support system on the site itself. It involves customer service, feedback, marketing and general socializing.

    A great example of customer-facing eCommerce is Dell’s built-to-order model, which was once a thing Alienware did. With this model they were able to build stronger and deeper relationships with their customers.

    This is interaction as well, since analyzing how your customers interact with your store (you) and understanding their shopping behavior and decisions can give you valuable data about how to better serve them. It can help you improve your design, user experience, content, and set pricing, which lead to increased shopping cart completion rates.

    Reputation Building

    By building a good reputation a merchant is able to bring about purchasing behaviors. Improving reputation will also improve beliefs because reputation is the anecdotal evidence/rumour that the merchant has positive characteristics, while trusting beliefs are first-hand, and as stated above, lead to intentions.

    The trend now is to prominently display customer testimonials as social proof about a good service rendered, and it is standard to have customer reviews on product pages, as these constitute a secondary reputation, that of the product you sell on your store.

    Brand recognition happens naturally, but should also happen through your own efforts with marketing campaigns. Consumers are also more likely to trust merchants that actively advertise their marketplace as it shows an investment in growth. It is unlikely that shoppers want to have business dealings with companies they think are in it for the short-term, as this will hamper an important part of transactions, which is after sales support.

    Linking to Other Sites

    Links to a reputable site can provide the extra push to assure customers that you run a reputable site. Quality outbound links suggests that you run a good company because you are good company, by way of transference.

    The initial trust a shopper has for an unknown store will be more strongly influenced by a better known domain when there is a connection (hyperlink) between the two. This transference of trust can be achieved in many ways, not just by linking to other domains, but also by connections to influential individuals within online communities such on social networking sites and forums.

    On online marketing forums such as the Warrior Forum, vendors and affiliates gain reputation by being active in the hyper-niche communities found within, creating trust and favourable reputations, allowing each other to cross promote their services, confident in the knowledge that each other are in high reputation standing among the public. After all, nobody wants to affiliated with shady dealers or those with a poor reputation – whether by perception or concrete.

    Reputation is also strengthened when there is a link between your online store and a physical location, which we cover in the next item.

    Contact Information

    Having a proper channel to receive inquiries and complaints goes a long way in creating trust. It shows your users that there is a real person running things, and that you are available to be contacted should the need arise.

    Some businesses choose not to disclose any contact details whatsoever, instead having a contact form to direct queries. Whether this might be a good practice for your business is something only you can determine by understanding your customer base. Others businesses are fully transparent, and it seems to work for them.

    The amount of information you are willing to share is totally up to you, however a Contact page should be the bare minimum, then adding social media links, email and then live chat support as the need arises. You may also want to add business hours and your address if it is applicable.

    Regular Content

    Being active in updating the content of your store instils a sense of comfort whereby a customer knows that he/she is not in a deadzone. Fear of being in an abandoned site will obviously lead to phenomenal bounce rates. Updating your inventory or updating the product information helps your store stay fresh and alive.

    Consider creating a content strategy for your products by mapping out time-periods for content updates. Several merchants I work with now choose to have a content cycle for individual products, which means not uploading all the content right away, but doing it over a period of time. For example uploading the product and details right away, then in week 2 adding a long-form product description or even a dedicated blog post about it, and in the third or fourth week uploading a video of the product as either a review, a tutorial, or the now very popular unboxing video format.

    Even if your store features products with slow development cycles, you can work around this by generating blog content and being active on social networks about your regular operations or by events, expos or roadshows you attend. These updates also have the benefit of conveying to your customer that you are a creator and community participant, not solely a profit maker- or: Benevolent.

    Depiction of internet security in relation to trust

    The social psychology of trust in eCommerce is about putting yourself in your customer’s seat, figuring out where your customers will have gaps in trust, then patching those gaps up. Empathizing with your consumers and their trust needs requires taking action on providing information to ease them into a trustworthy relationship with you.

    As you can see, understanding the fears and pain points of your eCommerce users is paramount in increasing conversions. Trust exists differently for different people at different stages of their buying journey.The tactics mentioned above will alleviate common fears most customers have when encountering a new online shopping store. They work in tandem by gradually reducing risk-aversion and increasing belief in not getting ripped off.

    The Bottom Line:

    Shoppers need to trust you to provide them with a reliable, safe and convenient service before they will ever conduct online business with you.

    If you found this post useful, please consider sharing our eCommerce blog with those who will also benefit from it. Do also comment with your thoughts/examples/horror tales below, or if you want a more private conversation you can reach me via Email. Thanks!

  • Ecommerce Startup
  • InstanteStore Project Merdeka 2016 Collaboration

    InstanteStore is proud to be part of Project Merdeka this year as our nation celebrates it’s 59th birthday.

    Project Merdeka is a collection of deals offered by local Malaysian startups to celebrate Merdeka which is Malaysia’s Independence Day or Hari Kebangsaan.

    So Why Are We Participating In Project Merdeka? 

    As a Malaysian startup, we’d like to celebrate Merdeka by giving Malaysians a wonderful chance to have their very own online store.

    Setting up a store is not difficult.

    Our recently launched InstanteStore v8 will show you how super easy, fast and simple it is to get your store up and running in no time.

    This is our way of giving back to the local community of which we’re part of in helping everyone to start their own online business.

    What’s Our Project Merdeka Offer?

    We’re offering all Malaysians a chance to have their very own online store FREE for 3 months.

    The online store is YOUR STORE and you can sell whatever you like (except illegal drugs, weapons and all those banned stuff that will get you into trouble with the authorities).

    What Do I Need To Do To Get 3 Months FREE?

    Simple. Just sign up for our 15 day free trial.

    Build your own store during the free trial period.

    As in, pick the template you like, add in your categories and products, select the payment gateway of your choice and set up shipping.

    If you ever get stuck along the way, DON’T PANIC. Help is just a Support Ticket away.

    Or you can give us a call.

    Once you’re store is all set and you’re ready to start selling, just sign up proper with the code MERDEKA and enjoy 3 months FREE.

    Note : This amazing offer is only for Malaysians and valid until 16 September 2016.

    But Why 3 Months Free?

    We believe that 3 months should be enough time for a business to get off the ground IF BUILT RIGHT.

    In case you’re unsure on how to build an online business, we’ll be more than happy to help guide you along the way after sign up.

    Which is why we’re not charging any amount for the first 3 months provided Malaysians sign up proper with the MERDEKA code.

    Ready to get started? Check out our 15 day FREE trial now.

    Try it Now

    Got questions or feedback? —-> Let Us Know What You Think

    That’s it folks.

    Here’s wishing all Malaysians Selamat Hari Merdeka from the InstanteStore team.

  • Ecommerce Startup
  • InstanteStore Merdeka Promotion 2016

    Merdeka. It means ‘independent’ in the Malay language. Boldly proclaimed 7 times by our first Prime Minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman on 31st August 1957 at the Merdeka Stadium signalling the end of British colonial rule over our land.

    Malaysia has since grown as a nation by leaps and bounds.

    A Humble Malaysian Startup Called InstanteStore

    As a Malaysian startup, InstanteStore started in 2001 with a very humble beginning offering ecommerce solutions to merchants who wish to sell their products online.

    Soon, more requests poured in from sellers who needed help setting up their own online store.

    They would ask for specific features which the InstanteStore team would build to help them grow their online business.

    Since then, we’ve continued to work hard building and improving our shopping cart software to cater to the needs of merchants while keeping cost low so as not to be a burden for them selling online.

    Helping Merchants Save And Grow

    Our affordable plans start from $19.97/month. Merchants who pay annually will get 2 months FREE saving them even more.

    All our merchants have FULL access to all the crucial and practical ecommerce features across all plans.

    We understand running an online store can be tough hence we do not charge any transaction fees believing that all your profits are yours.

    Right now, our ecommerce software powers the online stores of merchants from over 85 different countries around the world helping them in turn to power their own local economy.

    We’re still a humble startup who is passionate about helping people all over to start an online store to sell their own products online.

    InstanteStore Project Merdeka

    As an encouragement to those who’ve been wanting to sell online and to celebrate Malaysia’s Independence Day, we’re offering Malaysians the InstanteStore Merdeka Promo in which you get an online store 3 months FREE (normal price RM480) with promo code MERDEKA as part of the Project Merdeka collaboration.

    Don’t worry. There are NO hidden fees.

    Perfect for startups.

    Those who have an existing store with other providers but need help migrating to try out our solution can always contact us.

    This promotion is only for Malaysians as we’d like to encourage our fellow countrymen and women to start their own online store.

    So What Do You Need To Do?

    Just sign up for a free trial, build your online store and once you sign up proper with the code MERDEKA, you’ll enjoy 3 months absolutely FREE! Hurry!

    This offer is valid until 16 September 2016 which is Malaysia Day.

    Ready to get started? Check out our 15 day FREE trial now.

    Try it Now

    Got questions? —-> Let Us Know What You Think

  • Build Your Store
  • What’s NEW With The InstanteStore v8 Admin Panel

    After several months of hard work, the team at InstanteStore is proud to announce the launch of our NEW Admin Panel.

    For NEW Merchants

    The new admin panel has been re-designed to provide a step by step process in helping merchants setup their online store.

    InstanteStore New Admin Panel For Free Trial

     

    New merchants will be able to see their setup progress as they complete each step from selecting the template of their choice to uploading their store logo, products and choosing their payment gateway to configuring their shipping.

    The new admin panel will also remind them to download the InstanteStore app so they’ll be able to manage their online store wherever they are.

    The InstanteStore app makes it real easy for merchants to snap pictures of products they wish to sell and have them added to their online store. In case of any challenges, merchants can reach our friendly tech support team by taking a picture, recording a voice message, taking a video or explain the problem by text.

    The key is better and clearer communication for us to answer your questions and solve whatever problems you encounter  with your store.

    Once merchants add in their domain, they can share their new store via social media with their family and friends to start getting the word out about their new ecommerce store.

    The setup process ends when a merchant selects the subscription plan of their choice and signs up proper.

    For EXISTING Merchants

    DON’T WORRY if your store doesn’t have the new admin panel yet as our team is batch migrating all existing merchants to the new InstanteStore admin panel starting from today.

    We don’t want you to end up with a fright as some are still using previous versions of the old admin panel.

    Your new Admin panel will look like this once the team completes migrating your store :

    InstanteStore New Admin Panel

    So What’s NEW with the admin panel?

    Completely RESPONSIVE so you’ll be able to view it on desktop and tablet easily.

    Key indicators like New Orders, New Customers, Visitor Trends and Stock are shown clearly.

    You’ll have the freedom to re-arrange your entire dashboard to the way you want the sequence to look with our NEW Customize Panel feature.

    Just drag and drop to re-arrange it the way you like it.

    InstanteStore Customize Panel

    Important Features are all located on the dashboard – Admin, Products, Design and Marketing.

    Close the ones you don’t need and focus on those that you use often for your business.

    Click on the hamburger menu at the top to minimize the left hand control panel for better viewing.

    We’ve added a Search feature so you can easily search for functions. There’s even a search feature in your Order Listing page to help you search for specific orders.

    InstanteStore New Search Funtion

    Reach us easily by creating new tickets right on the Admin panel. See the latest replies for your Support Tickets the moment they are updated by our friendly tech support team.

    InstanteStore Support Ticket And View Store

    View your store in Admin mode (View Store) and Publish changes easily.

    The new Admin panel is smoother, faster, responsive and customizable which aims to help our merchants save time and gain faster access to features they normally use.

    We hope you’ll like the changes we’ve made as the team worked hard to create new features and improve the solution to help you grow your business.

    We want to simplify the process to help you save time as you focus on running your online store.

    Don’t have a store yet? Why not start one today with our 15 day free trial now?
    Try it Now

    Let us know what you think about the new admin panel —> We’d Love To Hear From You

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  • Cutting Edge Techniques
  • Ecommerce Tips To Retain And Grow Your Customer Base

    One of the biggest challenges faced by online sellers is sales conversion. With so much effort put in to build an online store, it needs to be worthwhile for your online business to take off.

    Here are some crucial and practical tips to retain and grow your customer base.

    Develop A Unique Core Differentiator (UCD)

    There’s tonnes of other people selling products that are similar to yours. Unless you make your own products, you need a UCD – Unique Core Differentiator.

    What makes your product or services DIFFERENT than others?

    Different

    Because in all honesty, if whatever you’re selling is no different than what others are offering out there, then why would people want to buy from you?

    Sure, if you have a good shipping strategy, that will help but what’s the core value of your company and the products or services that you offer.

    The market is competitive and unless your product pricing is irresistible or you’re in a niche market, you will need to give consumers a very good reason to buy your products or use your services.

    Offer value, great customer service, unique bundles, something that makes your business stand out from the rest of your competitors.

    Give Free Samples

    If you’re selling any food, health care or consumables, one of the best ways to engage new customers and to encourage them to try your products is to give out free samples.

    Starbucks

    This is usually done in events, road shows, conventions and places with high traffic like shopping malls and public places.

    People are usually hesitant when it comes to new products but once they try out a free sample, they’re more open to making a purchase.

    If you’re selling consumable health care products, prepare lots of small samplers as this is also a great way to help get the word out about your products and company when you sponsor them at huge events.

    If you’re marketing is done right, people get to :

    – try your products
    – discover your brand
    – discover your product benefits
    – receive an offer they can’t refuse to encourage them to make their first purchase

    Once they make their first purchase, give them an offer to share with more friends and reward them for their loyalty.

    While different businesses are selling different products, always have in mind to create a good shopping experience for your customers each step of the way.

    Create A Referral Program

    Give your customers a good experience and create a referral program that is easy and smooth enough for them to share with others.

    Uber does a good job of spreading the word around with their simple referral program which is a win-win for all parties.

    Uber

    Word of mouth and referral from friends and people you trust tend to spread faster. So think about making your referral easy for customers to share out.

    Give 20

    Uber prompts their customers with a unique discount code the moment they complete their ride as referrals from friends REALLY take off well.

    Tip : Consider giving a referral code to your customer in the order confirmation email with the same code included in the package to encourage them to share with friends.

    Partner With Other Businesses

    Partnering with other businesses whose products complement yours will create a win-win for both parties.

    Ropes

    For instance, if you’re selling health food, it would make sense to partner with health related businesses selling fitness gear, sports clothing, gyms, yoga classes, restaurants, cafes as it flows along the same lines of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Did I mention salad bars too?

    If you’re selling clothing or fashion related products, partner with businesses that consumers will buy from like those selling cosmetics, designer accessories, shoes, skin care, etc.

    It’s another way of introducing and giving your product range more exposure to places that are frequented by consumers.

    Tip : Package your product in a way that will attract attention and pique curiosity.

    Reward Your Customers Well

    Every customer counts. No matter how small the purchase order that was made, give them a good shopping experience and reward them.

    Thanks

    This could come in the form of :

    – a hand written thank you card to show genuine care and gratitude
    – free gift sample of one of your products or SURPRISE them
    – discount voucher which they could use for their next purchase
    – all of the above?

    I’m not asking you to bake them a cake (you could if you want) but think of ways to delight and wow them. Your customers will be happily sharing the experience with their family and friends. In fact, encourage them to post on social media if they’re over the moon about it and reward them for referring your business to others.

    Understand Your Best And Worst Customers’ Needs

    Feedback is always important because it’s a good reality check for any business.

    So don’t fret if you get any customer complains. It’s better to receive some feedback than none at all.

    Customer Service

    These 2 groups of customers are at the end of each spectrum.

    The best customers are those that are pleased with your products and service but they are also the ones who make specific requests. These could come in the form of specific product requirements, bundles, customization, etc.

    The benefits : They could be showing you what similar customers like them are looking for so that you can offer a business solution catered for similar customers like them.

    The worse customers are those that literally complain about every single thing. Yes, they can be a nightmare to deal with. But…

    Some of the main reasons that customers complain is because of :

    – not enough information about the product or instructions on how to use the product
    – don’t know where their stuff is if no shipping estimate duration time provided
    – item arrive not as described on your site
    – item arrive damaged, broken or wrong item!
    – not enough information about shipping, returns and refund policy

    The benefits : You can choose to turn things around and see it from a different perspective on how to improve your products, sales funnel process flow and customer experience because they could be showing you something about your business that needs improving.

    Offer Useful And Practical Advice To Consumers

    Most businesses bypass this because it takes time and effort to create relevant and helpful content. But if you’re going to do business online, you need to see things from a long term perspective of adding value to customers and improving your site’s SEO.

    Advice

    You can easily find questions related to your product or services on popular forums like Quora, Reddit, etc. These sites are not for you to sell your stuff there least you get banned.

    Use the search box and look for specific terms related to your business to offer useful and practical advice to people who have questions. The idea is to participate in the discussions by giving valuable advice, tips and encouragement.

    You can add a link back to your site for folks who want to know more about you or information on the write up that will help them.

    To do this, you need to have a blog on your own site where you blog about the benefits, value, tips, advice, how-to’s about topics related to your product. Share these on social media as well.

    Help Is Available

    If you’re at your wits end and really need help to evaluate your current business process or need advice on how to improve your business, let us know.

    Help is available. Contact us and let us know what you are struggling with or if you have better suggestions, comments and feedback on how we can help you sell more. We’ll definitely get back to you.

    If you don’t have a store yet but you’re unsure on how to start one, check out these practical ecommerce tips for first time sellers.

    Ready to start your online store? Get moving with our FREE 15 day trial now.

    Build Your Store Now

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  • Build Your Store
  • How To Add Payment Method On InstanteStore

     

    Setting up your payment method is a piece of cake with InstanteStore. We’ve got plenty of options for you to choose from.

    If you’ve already decided which payment gateway to use to collect payment from your customers, just go to Settings > Payment.

    You’ll notice that PayPal Online has been pre-selected by default. Don’t worry. If you don’t plan on using that, just click Remove.

    If you wish to use PayPal Express Checkout or PayPal Website Payment Pro or would like to see the entire list of integrated payment methods, click “Add New Payment Method”.

    Otherwise, click “Edit” to configure PayPal Online.

    InstanteStore Add Payment Method

    Configuring PayPal Online

    Configuring PayPal Online is easy. Click Edit and enter in your PayPal email address and select the currency of your choice.

    Configure PayPal IntegrationChoose sandbox if you’re planning to test out payment processing transactions with your store. Click Save Settings.

    With PayPal, mobile shoppers can checkout quickly without having to key in lots of information.

    Adding Other Payment Methods

    Our ecommerce shopping cart is integrated with over 80 payment gateways to meet the needs of our international merchants.

    You’ll need to set up your own account first with whichever payment gateway of your choice as some will require API Login ID, Transaction Key, etc in order to complete the integration.

    Here’s a look at some of the more popular payment methods.

    Popular Payment Methods

    To add other payment methods, just click “Select” on the payment gateway of your choice.

    Add in the relevant information and click “Save Settings”.

    Don’t panic if you can’t connect with your payment gateway. Just contact us by providing the error message and which payment method you wanted and our friendly tech support will help you.

    Better still, use our new InstanteStore App Support Ticket Feature to take images of the error message to send us the support ticket. Saves you a bunch of time typing things out.

    Adding Offline Payment Methods

    It’s always good to offer more than one payment method for your customers to choose.

    Giving customers payment options is a great conversion tool.

    Our ecommerce solution has 8 different offline payment methods to meet the needs of your business.

    Offline payment methods is a manual payment method where your customers will not be asked for their credit card details at checkout.

    Offline Payment Methods

    For instance, if you want to allow customers to pay by online bank transfer, just select Money Transfer where you key in your bank account details and relevant information.

    Once customer selects that payment option and makes an order, they’ll receive information on how to make the payment.

    You’ll only process their orders once payment is confirmed received on your end.

    Some stores may offer a few payment methods so we’ve made it real easy for them to arrange the sequence of their payment method.

    Check out how to arrange your payment method sequence in InstanteStore.

    So quickly set up your payment methods and start accepting payment from customers.

    If you don’t have a store yet, now’s a good time to start one! Try our 15 day free trial now.

    Try it Now

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  • Build Your Store
  • 20 Ecommerce Features To Help You Sell Online

    So you’ve finally gotten your online store all set up. It was quite a feat but your store has now been populated with products, you’ve tested it out and you’re happy with the overall look of your site (yay!).

    Now start using these 20 ecommerce features to help you sell online.

    Customize Abandoned Cart Feature

    Make sure you configure your abandoned cart first as your store will begin to receive traffic and exposure from all the SEO efforts and blogging that you’ve been doing.

    vitacost
    Image credit : Vitacost

    If you’re not sure about whether you’ve set up your store’s SEO properly, please check out these practical ecommerce tips for first time sellers which covers the overall work needed to get your store ready to sell online.

    Being able to reach customers who have made it all the way to your store’s checkout process is a priority.

    To find out the steps on how to set up your abandoned cart email, please view there’s a gold mine in your abandoned cart orders.

    Offer Discount Coupons

    Create some discount coupons as a way to reward first time buyers who sign up or register at your store to purchase something. It’s a great way to encourage them to complete their first purchase at your store.

    GemFive Discount Voucher
    Image credit : Gemfive

    You can offer different types of discount coupons ranging from percentage to dollar value or even free shipping with our ecommerce shopping cart.

    InstanteStore Discount CouponPut yourself in the shoes of your customers and decide which is the best that you can offer them to complete checkout.

    Offer Gift Certificates

    Look at the yearly calendar and mark down the different holiday seasons or special occasions where you can offer discounted gift certificates to customers who could purchase them to give away as gifts.

    Berber Trading Gift Certificate
    Image credit : BerberTrading.com

    Gift certs can be made available all year round but remember to set a reasonable validity time frame.

    Creating a digital gift certificate is easy with our ecommerce solution.

    InstanteStore Gift CertificateA reasonable validity time frame is a way to encourage customers to utilize them soon.

    Send Out Newsletters

    Collect all those emails of customers that have registered in your store as you’ll want to send them periodic newsletters of your latest products, promotions and blog posts (which contains useful advice that will teach and add value to your customers).

    Zalora Newsletter Offer
    Image credit : Zalora

    Make it worth sharing to their other friends by including some discount codes for first time signup and purchase.

    Creating newsletters is an easy process provided you’ve planned out your outline and have prepared all the relevant links and images.

    Our ecommerce software makes it easy for merchants to create and send out newsletters to their subscribers and registered customers.

    InstanteStore Create Newsletters

    You can have a test copy sent to your email to see what it looks like first before blasting it out to your subscribers and customers.

    Sell on eBay

    Select some of your products to sell on eBay. Post them easily from your store to your eBay account if you want your product to be available in the marketplace.

    eBay
    Image credit : eBay

    InstanteStore is integrated with eBay so all you need is an eBay account to link your store and start posting some of your products direct to eBay.

    InstanteStore eBay Web Integration

    You don’t have to post your entire store’s products on eBay. Only selected ones will do.

    Sell Wholesale

    Offer special wholesale pricing to customers who wish to purchase in bulk from you. We offer 3 different types of wholesale feature. Pick one that’s suitable for your online business.

    InstanteStore Wholesale Options

    If you have plenty of wholesale customers, our personal wholesale feature allows up to 9 different pricing tier per product.

    InstanteStore Personal Wholesale Pricing Example

    That way, you can allocate different pricing to different customers depending on the different quantities that they want to purchase from you. These tier prices are not available to normal buyers.

    Put Products On Sale

    Put your store’s products on sale. Customers love a good sale. Do your price comparison with competitors taking into account shipping and tax to see whether you can match their pricing or offer a better deal for customers.

    According to Nielsen, 41% global average of consumers will switch brand, retailer and service providers if there’s a better price offered. Makes sense as people are always looking for value.

    Loyalty-Image-from-Nielsen
    Image credit : Nielsen

    Besides, who wants to pay more when they can get a similar product or service at a lower price.

    All small business shopping cart software will enable you to put your products on sale.

    Ours will even allow you to put entire categories or your whole store on sale.

    InstanteStore On Sale

    You’ll have complete control and can even upload the On Sale image of your choice.

    Cross Sell Your Products

    Always add some similar or related products as cross sell.

    Skechers Cross Sell
    Image credit : Skechers

    That will serve as relevant suggestions to customers who are looking for the same type of products in case the initial product was not exactly what they were looking.

    Configure the cross sell feature and cross sell layout to match the look of your store.

    Being able to offer cross sell on both your product page and final checkout page will help to increase conversion.

    Switch To Mobile Friendly And Responsive Templates

    Google announced last year that mobile friendly sites will rank higher in search results.

    To find out whether your site meets Google’s mobile friendly criteria, just enter in your URL in the mobile friendly test.

    InstanteStore Mobile Friendly
    Image credit : Google Mobile Friendly Test

    It makes sense as your site should load fast and properly across all devices so that users will get to what they’re searching for fast.

    You’ll also want to make sure your site loads fast enough to meet Google’s Page Speed Insights :

    Google Page Speed Insights Test
    Image credit : Google PageSpeed Insights

    If you need help configuring your store’s site but don’t know how to get it done, please contact us and we’ll help you out.

    Switch On Ratings And Reviews

    Switch on ratings and reviews so that you can share your customers’ positive shopping experience on your store.

    Beats Review
    Image credit : BeatsByDre.com

    Having positive customer ratings and reviews is part of a good ecommerce solution onboarding process to convince customers of the quality of your products and shopping experience.

    Our small business ecommerce software allow merchants to set their own review settings.

    InstanteStore Review Settings

    Merchants can even upload a list of offensive or censor words as part of the filtering process.

    Sell On Facebook

    Pick some of your most popular products and sell on Facebook.

    Victoria's Secrets Facebook
    Image credit : Victoria’s Secret Facebook

    Just follow the setup Facebook Social Store steps to make your products available for purchase on Facebook. Customers get to complete the checkout within Facebook without being bumped around to other sites.

    Offer Reward Point System

    Give customers an incentive to redeem free products from your store via a reward point system.

    It needs to be attainable as a way of rewarding loyal customers.

    Marriott Rewards
    Image credit : Marriott.com

    Keep the conversions simple and intuitive as you want to give a very good first impression to customers that you’re rewarding them from the very start.

    Just activate the reward point system and decide which reward type you would like to set for your entire store.

    InstanteStore Reward Point System

    Setting up a reward point system is fast and easy. Just be sure to inform customers of your reward point conversion rates upfront.

    Offer Free Shipping

    Did you know that 77% of online shoppers say that free shipping remains the most important option during checkout??

    Free Shipping
    Image credit : BestBuy.com

    Customers are usually attracted to free shipping. It will encourage them to spend more to qualify for free shipping.

    Any shopping cart software for small business will allow merchants to configure and offer free shipping to their customers.

    You could increase your online sales just by changing your shipping strategy.

    Set Up Your Social Media

    Link your social media accounts to your store and turn on social media sharing so that customers can easily share what they like or what they’ve purchased from your store.

    Social recommendation by trusted friends will definitely go a long way to market your products for you.

    Offer Or Sell Downloadable Products

    If you’ve got some really awesome advice, tips or how-to instructions on a particular subject which you think your customers will find really helpful, you can offer that as a free or paid downloadable product.

    Featured Download
    Image credit : Hubspot.com

    It can be in the form of a pdf file or document which users can download from your site.

    Be creative as downloadable products are not just for those who are selling digital products, photography and software files.

    Unsplash
    Image credit : UnSplash.com

    Downloadable products could also be digital files, serial numbers and license keys.

    Our ecommerce shopping software allow merchants to upload their text file of serial numbers or license numbers easily.

    InstanteStore Downloadable Product

    When a buyer makes a purchase, the number will be marked as purchase automatically so there will be no duplicate purchase.

    Use The Content Slider

    You’ve got awesome products that you want to highlight and bring visitors’ attention to. Put them on your main page using a content slider.

    Nua Bikes
    Image credit : NuaBikes.com

    Customers who are interested in a particular product can go straight to the product page by clicking on the respective slide.

    Feature Certain Products

    Configure your store to show certain featured products which could well be your best sellers and products that you want to draw customers’ attention to.

    River Island
    Image credit : RiverIsland.com

    These featured products will normally appear on the main front page of your site.

    Add these featured products easily and arrange their sequence on your store.

    InstanteStore Featured Product

    You can configure them to appear on every single page of your site to keep the customers’ focus on the products that you wish to promote to them.

    Offer Affiliates

    If you need help getting the word out about your product or services, you can offer affiliates to influential sites or bloggers.

    It’s a win-win as you get to promote your site and product on their site and they get paid for successful referrals.

    Our affiliate feature is quite comprehensive so you could configure and specify how and when you want to pay your affiliates.

    InstanteStore Affiliates

    Create your own affiliate banners or our designers can come up with something creative and amazing for you.

    Create Auto Responder Campaigns

    You’ll need a few to cater to the different visitor response to your site.

    Auto Responder Campaigns
    Image credit : ZohoMail

    This will require you to customize your email messages that can be automatically sent out at specific time frame to different customer segments.

    Use Free Live Chat

    Being able to communicate with your customers directly to answer any question they may have about your product is important.

    You could also find out what are their needs and interest to recommend different types of products and suggestions to them.

    There are many different types of live chat software in the market. Some are free while others are chargeable.

    Tawk
    Image credit : Tawk.co

    Our InstanteStore Live Chat Software is absolutely FREE for anyone to download and use. And when you’re offline, customers can easily send you an email direct from the chat box.

    This is one of the ways to improve communication without having to speak over the phone.

    Start Selling Now

    Utilize all these features with our ecommerce solution software to help you sell online. Treat these features as your arsenal and implement them on your store.

    Some may work better than others but make the necessary changes and adjustments as you go along.

    Constantly work on promoting your site and products to your target customers and existing customers.

    The important thing is that you start selling now with all these features so that you can tweak them better to suit different shopping seasons and occasions.

    Don’t have a store yet? Start building your store with a free 15 day trial on InstanteStore.

    Try it Now

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  • Ecommerce Startup
  • Sell Online In Malaysia – 23 Popular eCommerce Products

    If you’re anything like me, you’re always wondering what the best new products to sell online in Malaysia are.

    Competition is intense. We have several leading online marketplaces featuring a wide range of product categories. It does seems as though eCommerce in Malaysia is full with no space left for new or smaller merchants to thrive.

    It’s not true though.

    eCommerce in Malaysia is still budding.

    If you want to learn the basics, check out this article by StartupBros. It details a step-by-step process of finding profitable products to sell online.

    Here is a list of 23 products that are currently trending in Malaysia to help with your store. I’ve also included sourcing information.

    These products are growing in demand, and I’ve ensured they don’t have high competition (yet).

    Get started by clinking on a link to go to that category, or just scroll through and see the entire list!

    Related: New to online selling? Check out these Practical Ecommerce Tips For First Time Sellers


    • PERSONAL ACCESSORIES
    • COSMETICS
    • SKIN CARE
    • HAIR CARE
    • PC HARDWARE
    • BABY PRODUCT
    • DRONES
    • BLUETOOTH SPEAKER

    • PERSONAL ACCESSORIES

      1. MEM Watches

      Counter-clockwise watches? Why not, say the innovators at MEM Watches, a company based in Seri Kembangan. Thus so we have the +CLOCKWISE products. The idea is fresh, and the public have taken a liking to the quirkiness of it all.

      I’ll refrain from suggesting any particular model to sell, as I am unable to find evidence for individual models. Suffice to say that the Ocean Pair for men & women & the Karlene for ladies are the most popular. Consider checking with them directly.

      As any smart watch company should, they have lines for both men & women, called Adam & Eve. They also have a range of wall mounted clocks called “Walltickers”. Walltickers! I’m liking this company.

      It is actually well established in Malaysia. Have a look at the huge list of regional distributors and contact detailshere.

      Do you want to sell or start your own personal accessories store? Start Now We will support you!


      COSMETICS

      2. Safi Rania Gold

      The three cleansers by Safi in the Rania Gold line are very popular right now. They cater to the mid-20’s market in the highly competitive anti-aging niche. Yet somehow, despite the impressive amount of interest, there is little online competition. That is always a good sign when looking for new products to feature in eCommerce stores.

      Safi does have a wide range of products you may want to check out, but purely from a statistical point of view, the Rania Gold line is your bet best to start with.

      Get in contact with distributor Wipro Unza to get supply information.

      Are you distributor or cosmetics company? Do you want to sell cosmetics online? Start Now We will support you!


      3. Duoya Mascara

      In the flood of Korean born cosmetics, Duoya mascara (also Korean) certainly hasn’t gone unnoticed by the local public. The brand itself is rather new & trendy in Malaysia, having been brought in mid/late 2015. It’s getting a lot of attention from popular beauty bloggers for it’s ease of use, and there is adequate support for eCommerce merchants by the distributor, who is even offering drop shipping.

      This is a product that is very new in Malaysia but the accessibility for merchants is really pushing the product to the fore, so much so that the brand name itself has already been identified as an advertising keyword on Google, albeit still a very, VERY cheap keyword. Even more good news is the low competition for a significant monthly search volume.

      Two options to reach the sole distributor, Norafurla: Facebook or Instagram

      ***I’ve been informed that there are counterfeit products around so order your supply from the channels listed to avoid problems***

      Are you distributor or cosmetics company? Do you want to sell cosmetics online? Start Now We will support you!


      4. Naked Eyeshadow – Urban Decay

      Naked – in case you didn’t already know – is a term the cosmetics company has given for a colour palette that is neutral. This has become incredibly popular and been copied by many other brands to help consumers create a look that seems natural. Consumers are enjoying the Naked line as it provides neutral palettes that are anything but boring, from the palest champagne to the grittiest gunmetal, it’s all there. It’s almost local customization, but not quite.

      I won’t suggest any particular model to target, as there is a wide range (Naked 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, Naked Basics, Smoky, Flushes) of products in the Naked series, and we’re only covering the eyeshadow palette here, there is still the concealer, cream, balm and foundation, BUT I do know a trending product line when I see one, and this definitely fits the bill.

      Contact Loreal via email for supply detaisl: lormy.info@loreal.com

      Are you distributor or cosmetics company? Do you want to sell cosmetics online? Start Now We will support you!


      MISSHA

      5. Magic Cushion

      In case you’re just tuning in: compact cushions are a type of sponge that users dab onto skin with an applicator. The sponge is filled with goodies that contain anti-aging ingredients, UV protection, moisturizer, and skin-whitening. The MISSHA magic cushion is one of such compacts, and don’t mistake this for some in now-out-soon trend. Lancome validated this market by coming up with their own line, called the Miracle Cushion.

      They first launched a case in 2014 that was such a miss they had to put on the brakes, releasing an updated version almost a year later, which as you can see has worked wonders with the public.

      6. Line Friends

      This is the Line Friends variant of the Magic Cushion. As much as the Magic Cushion compacts are trending, the Line Friends versions are almost completely overshadowing them. They’re essentially the same product, just with impish designs celebrating the collaboration with Line Friends. Given that consumers can get the same thing with a special edition design, who wouldn’t want to, right?

      The Line Friends collaboration extends to beyond the cushion compact line, but the Line Friends cushion compact trend mirrors that of the generic Magic Cushion line so that’s a sure win!

      Click here for supply.

      Are you distributor or cosmetics company? Do you want to sell cosmetics online? Start Now We will support you!


      7. Innisfree Face Mask

      Originally from Korea, Innisfree was brought to Malaysian borders as recently as 2015, and it has been growing in popularity ever since. The brand is known for it’s green eco stand, and it leverages the social & community work it does as a way to get noticed by the public. That gives it an edge over millennials who are increasingly looking for worthy brands to be attach loyalty to, where there is visible community building and social conscience.

      The most popular product they have to offer Malaysians appears to be facial masks, specifically the Squeeze Mask series.

      Get your Innisfree products here or via email: cs@innisfree.com.my

      Are you distributor or cosmetics company? Do you want to sell cosmetics online? Start Now We will support you!


      8. Forencos 7 Days Mask

      What’s this? A sudden surge in public interest? Could this be the holy grail of getting the jump on a new product? I’d say so! That’s over 700 searches in its first month alone!

      I’ve gone through a dozen or so new Korean cosmetics and skin care offerings, and the 7 Days Mask is the only one that I’ve found that is this close to the beginning of a surge in demand. It’s so new in fact that the official page doesn’t even have English as a language option yet. Almost all the interest so far has come from Selangor and Kuala Lumpur, but only supply is bottlenecking interest from different parts of Malaysia.

      No one is advertising this product yet, probably because only one eCommerce merchant is actually offering this product in Malaysia, which is of course mainly due to the fact that this is such a new trend. It won’t be long before everyone else catches on though, so go ahead and get yours here.

      Are you distributor or cosmetics company? Do you want to sell cosmetics online? Start Now We will support you!


      SKIN CARE

      9. Hiruscar Post Acne

      Hiruscar is another product distributed and marketed by DKSH, of which I think they are doing a very good job, especially recently. The product is gaining a lot of traction thanks to on ground & digital marketing efforts, with roadshows and competitions bearing the brand name.

      You’ll notice the ad price being higher than others on this list, and the reason is simple. This is a product in the highly lucrative but also highly competitive EVERGREEN niche of acne solutions. Yet despite being so popular, there is barely any competition in the marketplace for this product specifically. That’s a grabbable opportunity if I ever saw one.

      No surprise that it is already being carried by popular stores like Guardian, Watsons & Lazada, although the game far from over. Use your smarts – advertise (paid or otherwise) the fact that you carry this product and corner the market on it. It isn’t hard to pull off considering barely anyone else is actively advertising it, banking instead on customers going to them for the product. It still isn’t an expensive investment, but given the niche it’s in, that’s certainly not going to be the case forever.

      Contact DKSH for supply.

      Interested in selling skin care online? Start Now We will support you!


      HAIR CARE

      Pomade

      *PRO TIP: Incredibly popular in southeast Asia! – esp Kelantan, Terengganu, Sabah & Sarawak*

      Pomade has become a breakout trend since 2013, gaining massive worldwide popularity with the help of superstars like Zayn Malik to back up its use for styling hair. It doesn’t end there though! The industry picked up on its popularity immediately and has grown so huge there is even a pomade eyebrow styler (as far as I can tell!) available .

      Convinced yet? Then let’s move on to choosing a brand to represent this increasingly popular product. Despite having a range of options like Layrite, Upppercut & Imperial, I’ve narrowed the choice down to the best ONE, in terms of online trend, search volume and potential. The other brands do have volume and commercial intent for sure, and there can’t be very much harm in stocking a few different brands, but none have come close to the results I’ve gotten when I came across:

      10. Suavecito

      It’s become such that if you’re in Malaysia looking for pomade, you need look no further than Suavecito, who have become very popular thanks to the ability to market themselves and their competence in creating high quality products. Like quite a few other brands I’ve listed here, they are big on community & social work, and are very active in their local communities.

      This attitude has yet again shown to be very favourable to a new age of consumers who are increasingly attaching loyalty to brands that show initiative in engaging with communities, and are able to demonstrate social conscience. They consistently market themselves, getting themselves in front of people at events and roadshow, and this has helped consumers identify with the brand image and what it stands for.

      There is widespread demand for the brand in Malaysia as well as commercial intent, but as of 2016 still very low competition. They also have a newer line of products specifically for women like hairspray & hair clips, but I have not found enough evidence to support including any in this list, short of making a brief mention, which I’ve now done.

      You can get in touch with the sole distributor for Malaysia via
      email: Pixiedust Trading pixiedusttrade@gmail.com
      or phone: 010-8023236 / 0111-5400442

      Want to sell hair care products online? Start Now We will support you!


      11. Batiste Dry Shampoo

      That’s right: It’s DRY! Did you even know about dry shampoo before this? I’ll admit I only found out about it in 2015, but the very idea of washing my hair with a dry substance intrigued me and according to the charts, I’m definitely not alone.

      Dry shampoo is actually not a new thing, however as a trend it has only recently begun to gain traction. It is marketed as a product for the trendy working crowd who clearly have no time for standard liquid based shampoos and need a quick fix. As you can see, it hit a spike in popularity in June 2009 and has been gaining a steady following ever since.

      Batiste, the UK born dry shampoo company is quickly spreading its reach, with new distribution locations & marketing campaigns being created all the time in many new regions.

      Their ability to create mass appeal has made them something of an industry leader in this niche, contributing to spikes in brand interest as well as significantly higher average yearly increase in interest.

      There are a number of SKUs to choose from, but if I had to choose ONLY ONE I’d go with Blush, which is the most popular among consumers in other more established regions.

      DKSH is the local distributor for Batiste.

      Want to sell hair care products online? Start Now We will support you!


      PC Hardware – Mouse

      12. Deathadder Chroma

      deathadder chroma boxset

      Razer released the Chroma edition of their best-selling gaming mouse – the Deathadder – almost two years ago. Chroma is simply what they are calling the RGB features, which is illumination from over 16 million colour choices. In short it can light up like a photoshopped rainbow.

      While the Deathadder series were incredibly popular before, now that the full colour illumination is is standard, the series seems to have been adopted with renewed enthusiasm. Overall interest has yet to take a hit since launch, and considering the price point compared to other comparable options, I don’t see interest waning anytime soon.

      Get your supply from Ban Leong Technologies.

      Start your own online PC store! Get Started We will support you!


      13. SteelSeries Rival

      3 colour options for rival mouse

      Want to give your customers some options? Adding the Rival by Steelseries to your product list will do just that. It’s the rival to the Deathadder in every way, in terms of price, specs and size. Although it didn’t see a very promising beginning, interest in the model has been increasing and I don’t doubt it is here to stay.

      The bonus here is that they have a Dota 2 version of the Rival! Yes, you’ve no doubt heard about the most popular, most lucrative eSports game in the world. Everyone has – thanks to Valve hosting multi million dollar prize pool competitions.

      Dota 2 adwords results

      That’s the highest volume of searches of all the products featured on this list and mindbogglingly with such low commercial competition. Granted it isn’t a product you can buy – it’s a game – yet it entices its players to spend HUNDREDS of dollars on merchandising.

      Players & fans spends significant amounts of money on thing like plushies, jerseys and best of all, in game cosmetic items. It’s not hard to imagine someone looking for a gaming mouse would be interested in buying the Dota 2 variant, especially since the everlasting promotion is that it’s the same price as the regular model.

      #winning!

      Look to get supplied by local distributors Nation Tech.

      Start your own online PC store! Get Started We will support you!


      PC Hardware – Mechanical Keyboard

      Mechanical keyboards are sort of an anomaly. Most people who were around during the 80’s & the 90’s probably owned one at some point. They went out of fashion around the turn of the century as membrane keyboards were cheaper to manufacture and there was not a huge demand for the far superior mechanical types.

      However popular gaming has seen a resurgence of mechanical keyboards, with all the top brands having mechanical models. Their usage has extended beyond gaming and to office use as well as the range of usage types (typing, gaming, casual, office) have been marketed well. Though they don’t come cheap, people are also becoming aware of their lifespan and quality.

      Interest in mechanical keyboards is definitely increasing, thanks to great marketing, superior product quality, lifespan, as well as bragging-rights. Here are the best to target.


      Ducky Channel

      Ducky is one of the brands that only manufactures mechanical keyboards, high quality stylish ones at that. They have great yearly showings at CES & Computex in Taiwan – where they are based – and this has given them worldwide recognition in the world of keyboard manufacturing.

      Malaysians are not strangers to the scene, and there is significant demand for these types of keyboards as well as the whole range of Ducky products, especially this little fella which is popular for office & travel use. I recommend both the Mini as well as the Shine 5 to begin selling on your eCommerce stores.

      14. Ducky Shine 5

      Ducky Shine 5 image

      The Shine 5 is the latest in the line of Shine keyboard line, so there no debate here. There’s no point in going for the older models as they are out of production even if there may be lingering demand for those models.

      Shine 5 adwords results

      15. Ducky Mini

      Ducky Shine 5 image

      The Mini is definitely a niche product, a compact keyboard that can be easily used on the go. That said there is a wider demand for it than one would expect. I know several people who use it as their primary office keyboards, never letting them see the light of day, so it probably also serves a space saving need, doing it with style while also maintaining the functionality of a full keyboard.

      Mini adwords results

      You can contact the distributor here, and rejoice for they also offer drop-shipping!

      Start your own online PC store! Get Started We will support you!


      16. Blackwidow Chroma

      Blackwidow chroma image

      Following the popularity of the Deathadder Chroma mouse mentioned elsewhere in this post, Razer then went on to release their signature mechanical keyboard, updated with- you guessed it- Chroma lighting!

      Also an affordable and stylish design, the Blackwidow upgrade is enjoying similar popularity amongst PC users:

      There is a greater demand for the Blackwidow Chroma compared to the other keyboards featured here, and that is largely down to the Razer brand itself, which has a significant worldwide following.

      Blackwidow Chroma adwords results

      Get your supply from Ban Leong Technologies.

      Start your own online PC store! Get Started We will support you!


      PC HARDWARE – GRAPHICS CARD

      Zotac

      Zotac is an nVidia graphic processing unit (GPU) manufacturer based in Macau, recently coming into the spotlight with the most affordable mid range options, and VERY fancy high-tech high end models that have been receiving favourable reviews. The brand has been inching towards brand recognition in Malaysia to join the likes of Gigabyte, ASUS & MSI.

      Consider that PC video gamers are a huge market in Malaysia, that graphic cards power more than just video games (visual design, CAD, server farms) and this is a very safe bet, even more so since the distributor Cyntrix Tech also offers drop-shipping for online merchants!

      The models to market will be the GTX 970 & GTX 960 as these are the low-mid range options that cost from RM600 – RM1,500. Although with drop-shipping involved you can and probably should choose to sell the highest end models, just don’t expect daily demand for them since they cost anywhere from RM3,500 – RM5,000.

      17. GTX 960

      Zotac GTX 960 image

      The GTX 960 is by far the the more accessible of the two options due its is entry level pricing. You’ll notice that the search volumes per month are pretty consistent but it does have a higher commercial intent price tag than most, which is to be expected given the nature of computer hardware.

      Zotac GTX 960 adwords results

      Still, if you were to advertise according to these numbers, assuming only 2% conversion rate and 5% click-through rate, that’s an advertising cost <RM10 for two sales worth >RM1200! Time to get on it then.

      18. GTX 970

      Zotac GTX 970 image

      A step up from the previous GPU is the GTX 970, thus a logical product to include in your store.

      Zotac GTX 970 adwords results

      Conversely, the 970 has nearly double the search volume for a much lower advertising cost. This tells me that either A) the searches are more about information gathering rather than buying, but possibly B) there aren’t many other vendors ready to advertise the product. Once again with drop-shipping this isn’t an issue.

      *Keep in mind that all the information included here is brand specific – ZOTAC. A search conducted for merely GTX 960/GTX 970 would yield results where the volume would be in the thousands, without significant increase to cost. So we are presented with the opportunity of targeting shoppers who are not looking for any particular brand and offering them this option right off the bat.*

      The volume of average monthly volume is slightly lower than most of the other products featured in this list, but the upside is that getting the right message in front of the right people will ensure high conversion rates, and being on the bandwagon early on will eliminate the need to penetrate market saturation from the big name competitors mentioned above. There usually is no right time to market to the graphics card niche as there is consistent demand all year round.

      Get in touch with the folks at Cyntrix Tech for product sourcing.

      Start your own online PC store! Get Started We will support you!


      PC HARDWARE – CASING

      19. Phanteks Enthoo Pro

      Enthoo Pro Black Casing

      Designed in the Netherlands & manufactured in China, Phanteks is becoming rather well-known in the PC casing market for their quality products as well as stylish designs.

      The Enthoo Pro is not as cheap as other available options but it doesn’t aim to be. What it offers is style, customization and durability to sort of an exclusive club of PC users who want to splash the cash on something that will be more than just a workhorse.

      As you can see interest for the Enthoo Pro has grown very high, though I’m certain most physical retailers haven’t even caught on to this gem. It remains something of a secret, one I’m sure the brand wishes to change with all haste. Sell these and you’ll be riding a wave that for the time being is without any opposing force to speak of, there is no foreseeable push-back, and people are always going to NEED computer casings.

      Phanteks Enthoo Pro adwords results

      As the brand recognition grows, so will the demand. It’d be better to be on that wave rather than chasing it. Get your supply HERE.

      Start your own online PC store! Get Started We will support you!


      Bluetooth Speaker

      Gone are the days when Bluetooth was synonymous with clunky, awful-quality hands-free sets. Nowadays Bluetooth speakers are kind of the rage. Think about how many people enjoy good quality audio, but aren’t audiophiles per-se. Heck – even audiophiles would enjoy these speakers! They receive audio transmissions with the kind of clarity you’d expect from high end systems.

      Being a somewhat new niche product category, the majority of shoppers haven’t fixated on a particular brand or model just yet. This is great! Look at the interest over time and you’ve got a world of opportunity here. I’ve singled out the two most promising ones in terms of both interest, as well as the product specs themselves.

      20. Jabra Solemate Mini

      Solemate Mini image

      Comparatively the volume isn’t much to shout about, though this is a popular brand amongst those in the know, and the Solemate Mini is actually hugely popular in Europe and Australia.

      Luckily there is a big enough following of the brand here in Malaysia, and though consumers have yet to make the link from “Bluetooth speaker” to “Jabra Solemate” (or any other popular BT speaker product for that matter), it is happening and once it is in full swing this will be one of the go-to products.

      Jabra Solemate mini adwords results

      Notice the increase in monthly search volume leading up to April 2016. It appears that the foundation has been laid, eCommerce merchants could be the ones to make it explode.

      Get hold of the local Malaysian distributor HERE

      Want to start your online audio store? Get Started We will support you!

      21. JBL Flip 3

      JBL Flip 3 image

      JBLs latest model Flip model – the 3 – is sure to be a consumer favourite. From a consumer perspective I think they’ve hit the nail on the head when designing it: compared to other JBL BT speakers, this one has more than two colour options, something consumers love (just ask PSVita, Lego, and rainbows).

      JBL Flip 3 adwords results

      JBL is actually widely supported in Malaysia, but being part of the upcoming niche, the BT speaker range hasn’t quite taken off yet. Still, there’s a killing waiting to be made here, so go ahead and contact the distributor for more information.

      Want to start your online audio store? Get Started We will support you!


      DRONE

      22. DJI Phantom 4

      Phantom 4 image

      These marvelous creatures don’t come cheap. Consumer-wise, probably only the highest level enthusiasts would shell out for one of these drones, but as a professional tool DJI (not to be confused with Dow Jones Index) manufactures the worlds best drones for a variety of industries, including filmmaking & photography, agriculture and conservation. Regardless, there is increasing interest in the Phantom 4, as well as the ever-important commercial intent.

      If we take into account the fact that people are still searching for DJI Phantom in general, there is actually a significant amount of traffic heading towards the Phantom 4, especially considering the Phantom itself is no longer in production, and the Phantom 4 is actively being marketed in it’s stead.

      DJI Phantom 4 adwords results

      You may obtain stock from March Equipment Store.

      Want to start selling drones online? Join Us We will support you!


      BABY PRODUCT

      23. Nuna Leaf

      Short of a “Children of Men” scenario, baby products are always going to be in demand as the human race continues to propagate its existence. The product that stands out among the crowd in the evergreen baby product niche is this little leaf shaped baby swayer.

      Nuna is a Dutch brand whose products are being imported to Malaysia, with emphasis on high safety standards. The price tag on their range of products – from carriers to push-carts strollers – is higher than the Malaysian market has been accustomed to. Yet in the digital age this is a trend that is changing, as more parents are looking for products for their children that conforms to rigorous safety standards.

      The Leaf is also quite unique in the local market, drawing quite a bit of attention from consumers. It is one of the few non-battery operated options available, and the marketing which focuses on this heavily, has shown to be on point.

      This presents an up-sell opportunity with the Leaf wind which is an electrical accessory for the Leaf to continuously automate the baby swaying process. It’s all brilliant!

      Leaf wind device

      Nuna Leaf adwords results

      You can see the demand is clearly there, so get on it by sourcing some Leafs for your store: Nuna Malaysia Distributor

      Wo start your own baby product store? Join Us We will support you!


      BONUS BRAND

      Catrice Cosmetics

      I’m including the brand itself because it has only recently been growing in popularity, so there isn’t much information to go on which the best products to stock are, or even where to source them.

      Catrice adwords results

      I know is that there is significant demand for the brand with low competition and cheap advertising costs.

      If you have information on where to get supply for their products in Malaysia do share it. I’m sure everyone will appreciate the help.


      I hope this list has provided you with a couple of new lucrative products to sell online this year. As always, thanks for reading our eCommerce blog.

      Do you have insights about eCommerce products? Share it with us in the comments section!

      If you found this post useful or know someone who might, consider sharing it!

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  • Build Your Store
  • Practical Ecommerce Tips For First Time Sellers

    Starting an online business requires a good business strategy with a lot of planning. Knowing what needs to be prepared when setting up an online store and how to go about it is crucial to help you get your ecommerce business off the ground.

    My previous post covered how to setup an online store with InstanteStore which is pretty straightforward on how to complete the setting up process.

    This post will further explain what first time sellers need to do when creating an online store. Let’s begin.

    Decide Who Are Your Target Customers

    You may have in mind what you want to sell. But you also need to determine what kind of customers to target. These are the folks who are going to buy your products.

    It’s not about putting up a bunch of products online and hoping that the fish will bite. Different fish go for different baits. If you’re going to catch sharks, you won’t use worms as bait.

    Now back to your target customers. Who would they be?

    Parents? Mothers? Singles? Teenagers? Young working adults?

    Your site needs to cater to your target customer groups.

    What are they looking for? Why should they buy from you? What makes your product different or special compared to others? Is your site convincing enough?

    How are your customers going to find you? If it’s going to be via mobile, make sure that your site is mobile friendly and responsive so that it will look good on mobile and rank higher on search results. Google made it clear that mobile friendly sites will rank higher in search results.

    Compile Your Keyword List

    Look at your keyword list (yes, you must have a keyword list). It will give you an idea on who are the potential customers searching for your products in Google.

    If you’re not sure how to get a keyword list, just type in your general product name in Google. You’ll notice that Google will provide suggestions before you finish typing in the complete keywords in the search box. Note down those keywords.

    Google Search Suggestion

    Look at the search results that appear. It will give you an idea on who your competitors are and the keywords that they’re using which you should note down.

    Google Search Result

    Scroll to the bottom of the search results page and you’ll see related keyword searches. Note down those keywords as well.

    Google Related Searches

    You’ll end up with a list of keywords which you’ll sift through to see which are the ones that you’ll need to put on your main site, category pages, product pages, contact us, FAQ, etc.

    That keyword list will keep growing as you expand your search further.

    Create Your Site For Your Customers

    Once you’ve gotten a clearer picture on who your target group is, that will give you an idea on how to create your site with the look and content to appeal to your target group of customers.

    For instance, if you’re selling fashionable products, you would have more product images of your clothing, shoes, accessories with only information that is relevant to your target customer (ie. size, color, type, etc) displayed properly on your product pages. Pictures need to look amazing to sell.

    Threadless Product Page

    If you’re selling technical equipment, you would have more detailed content of the various components like length, electrical current, compatibility, safety features, etc.

    Bottom line, create your site for your target customers. Your site needs to answer their questions and meet their needs in order to be considered working well.

    You need to create an ecommerce solution onboarding process for customers with an amazing user experience.

    Start With A Simple Template

    Since you’re just starting out, you don’t need an elaborate template. Pick a simple template because the idea is you want to quickly build your online store to get it off the ground running.

    Threadless

    You can always change and customize the template later. As long as your products and the customer onboarding process (from the time they land on your site to checkout and product delivery) is smooth, you can work on tweaking the looks of your site as time goes by.

    No point spending a tonne of money on your template when you’re just starting out unless you have plenty of budget to burn.

    Pick A Good Domain Name

    One that is preferably SEO friendly and easy to remember. No point having a long and complicated domain name that no one can remember and have trouble spelling it out on mobile.

    When I say SEO friendly, it would be related to whatever you’re planning to sell on your store.

    Choose Your Products Well

    You may have a long list of products that you want to sell. Narrow it down.

    Start by populating your site with less than 100 products first. This will allow you time to focus on building your online store while you can add more products later.

    Do your research to see how well those products are selling and what kind of keywords are being used to find those products. Note down those keywords.

    Check Out Your Competitors

    Find out how much your competitors are selling those products including shipping charges and tax. See if you can offer a better price or better value to your customers.

    Perhaps free shipping for orders above $49 or $99? Shipping matters a lot when it comes to online shopping. You need a good shipping strategy to convince customers to complete their orders and cut abandoned cart rates.

    Please put your shipping upfront so customers don’t have to go all over the place trying to figure out how you charge shipping. Example : $5.99 shipping on all orders OR Free shipping over $29

    You can even put Free Shipping Over $xx in your homepage meta description so it will appear in search results.

    Your shipping policy page should be clear and easy to understand.

    Shipping Policy

    Titles And Descriptions Matter

    This is one of the places where sellers don’t really bother much on but it is extremely important. Your site will stand a chance of ranking better if you add in proper page titles, meta descriptions, product names, product and category descriptions matching keywords that are being used to find those specific products.

    As people tend to land on product pages when searching for products, you need to make sure that your page titles and descriptions contain specific keywords that people are searching for.

    Since InstanteStore simplified their Add Product page, you just need to click on Advanced Product Settings and select Product Meta Details for the field to appear in all the product pages so you can key in the relevant keywords.

    InstanteStore Advanced Product Settings

    Product Meta Details

    InstanteStore Product Meta Details

    Not sure how or what to put in your product meta description? Start by :

    [Product Name] is a [type of product] used for [reason].

    Add in the keywords related to your product and your page title as well.

    Important keywords should appear in your :

    – Page Titles
    – Meta Description
    – Category Description
    – Product Name
    – Product Description
    – Alternate tags for your Product Images

    Category And Product Pages Description

    Make sure your product pages don’t confuse visitors or turn them off. If you have quite a bit of content, consider showing them in point form so that it’ll be easier to read.

    The type of font you use matters. Choose fonts that are easy to read.

    Same goes for your category pages. You can add in banner images but make sure that they do not distract visitors. Add in some relevant content in your category page.

    Threadless Category Page

    Be consistent with your writing style and always put yourself in the shoes of your customers. How would they like to view your store’s products? Would they be comfortable reading what you’ve put up?

    Your Own Product Images

    Whatever you’re selling, it’s always good to upload your own product images. You don’t need to spend a lot of money having them taken by a professional photographer.

    Use any smartphone that comes with a good camera and add in a white background (white paper is fine) with proper lighting to take your own product images. Good product images will go a along way. Put in several product images showing different angles and your product in use.

    Name your product images properly. State whether it’s Side, Back, Front, Top or Bottom. See if you could include in some keywords as alternate tags for your images.

    New Balance Product Page

    If you really don’t have the time and need help with making your product images pop out, check out Pixc as we have a good partnership with them.

    Payment Methods

    Offer more than one payment method to cater to customers’ preference. Some may want to pay using offline methods like checks, bank transfer other than the standard credit or debit card processing.

    Include in logos of credit card and payment methods like MasterCard, Visa, PayPal, etc to make your site look more trustworthy.

    FAQ Pages

    If you don’t want a barrage of emails from customers asking you the same thing over and over again, please update all their questions and your answers in a proper FAQ page.

    Also put in answers for questions that people normally ask in Google that’s related to your products. You can add them in to the specific product or category pages.

    The idea is to answer questions that customers will normally ask by putting them clearly on your site to cut down unnecessary email correspondence.

    Your return policies and shipping policies need to be stated clearly on your site.

    Contact Us Page

    State your contact details clearly. Adding in a phone number and working hours will help for customers who prefer to speak over the phone instead of typing email.

    If you run a small brick and mortar store, do add in a Google Map.

    Google Maps Generator

    Sign up for Google My Business as it will help customers find you easily in search results.

    Start Working On SEO

    For first timers, you need to start working on your SEO the moment you start building your online store.

    Create a blog and add that to your site. Start adding relevant content to it by offering tips, advice, how-to articles with the relevant keywords that you’re targeting.

    Include in videos and images of your product being used.

    Share your content on social media but remember to add links back to your site or specific product pages.

    The thing about SEO is that it’s not a one time instant thing. It requires consistency to build by adding relevant content to your site, blog and social media using targeted keywords.

    That’s why it’s important that you start working on your SEO the moment you start building your online store where you place targeted keywords in your titles, descriptions, category and product pages.

    The Rundown

    Setting up an online store is more than just adding products, payment and shipping methods. It includes coming up with an onboarding process for your customers and building your online store with the relevant keywords and target customer group in mind.

    Having an overall view of what you need to work on and add into your store as you’re building it will help you get your online store off the ground when you’re ready to launch it.

    Knowing what your competitors are selling and being able to offer better value and a good user experience will help you win customer confidence in buying from you.

    It takes time to grow an online business but with the right foundation being built and consistent work put in to make your site better with more exposure, you’ll be heading in the right direction.

    If you’re a first time online seller or existing merchant who’s been selling online for some time, we hope some of these how to sell online ecommerce practical tips are useful to help you grow your business further.

    Don’t have an online store yet? What are you waiting for? Sign up for a 15 day free trial of InstanteStore now.

    Try it Now

    We welcome any feedback, questions or suggestions you may have on ways to improve the selling process and to make doing business better for you.

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  • Ecommerce Startup
  • Create An Ecommerce Solution Onboarding Process For Customers

    Creating an online store is easy but have you given much thought on how to create an ecommerce solution onboarding process flow for customers?

    As in how to lead your customers to do what your site was built to do – get them to purchase your products or service.

    It all has to do with design and user experience.

    If the design is fantastic but the user experience to purchase from your store is a nightmare, you’ll end up with high abandoned cart rates.

    The other main reason for high abandoned cart rates would be shipping which you could improve by checking out the solutions here.

    So what do you need to do?

    Put Yourself In The Shoes Of A Customer

    What would captivate them when they land on your site?

    Mobile Surfing

    What’s the first thing that should capture their attention and be the WOW factor to keep them curious enough to browse further?

    Remember, first impression counts A LOT.

    Your online store exist to point customers to your products. Nothing else.

    All other elements should not compete for the customers’ attention as it will only distract them from making the purchase.

    Stuff like your shipping policy, About Us company write up and all those additional info about your business can be placed in other pages.

    They’re not suppose to fight for attention with your products.

    Build A Site That Will Captivate Them

    Your front page is your site’s main real estate. Make full use of it.

    If customers had a look at your front page, will they be interested to explore your site further?

    Or will they head for the hills??

    Display clear, high quality images.

    They can be in the form of a hero shot (big picture banner) or smaller shots of your product in use.

    saks

    Take into consideration the design of your site. Does it have an appealing offer upfront?

    Does Your Store Design Answer Customers’ Questions?

    Ever landed on a site where the store design did not jive with whatever they were trying to sell?

    The result? Visitors leave as they don’t have the confidence to proceed further.

    According to eMarketer, there’s currently more than 2 billion smartphone users worldwide with the breakdown according to countries.

    Smartphone Users Statistics

     

    Lots of smartphone users = lots of mobile shopping.

    And this number will continue to grow as mobile penetration increases year on year.

    And what do mobile users usually do? They prefer to scroll down to see more instead of clicking all over the place waiting for the page to load.

    Oh, and don’t forget that users these days comprise of this extra special group of people called millennials. They grew up with mobiles. Know what captivates them.

    Show your best products on your main page that’s clear enough for them to understand and quick enough for them to make the decision to buy.

    You can easily add products to your front page on InstanteStore.

    Admin menu > Discounts & Specials > Specials > Front Page.

    Just click Get Product and select those that you want to put on your front page.

    Arrange their sequence by considering how you want your customers to view them.

    InstanteStore Frontpage

    Make your front page look awesome and design your site with your customers in mind.

    It’s All About Your Products

    Your product pages should focus only on your product.

    kayak

    Good quality product images is a MUST.

    You need to have several product images from different angles and also show your product in use.

    This is so that customers can envision themselves using your product.

    If you’re going to add in a video, show how your product is being used that will make people happy.

    A little tug on the emotion can help tip the scales in your favor.

    You’ll notice that most sites use white background. This is so that their product images can stand out more clearly.

    Keep the customer’s focus on your product by making sure your product images are top notch.

    Take into consideration page loading time and your site needs to display correctly across all devices.

    Add In Reviews And Ratings

    Positive reviews and ratings go a long way to further convince customers about your product quality.

    Again, online shoppers these days spend more time doing research and comparing products.

    Convince them that you have a better quality product with proof.

    These will come in the form of reviews and ratings. Make sure your site has these features enabled.

    Approach customers who have purchased from you by asking them for a product review.

    You can then have these reviews added to your product page after you’ve screened them through.

    Admin > Products & Categories > Products > Product Review

    InstanteStore Product Review

    Make Checkout Smooth And Fast

    Pretend to be a customer shopping on your own site with a mobile device to see what the experience is like.

    If customers have to go through many steps just to buy from you and the experience isn’t pleasant, it increases the likelihood of abandoned carts.

    Our ecommerce software has a revamped checkout design which you could apply to your online store.

    We built it to make the checkout process fast as customers just need to fill up one form.

    InstanteStore Checkout

    More info about our revamped checkout design here.

    Contact our tech team if you need help or have questions about the revamped checkout design.

    Delight Them When The Product Arrives

    The user experience doesn’t end when they pay for the product.

    Keep your customers in the loop. Send them an email letting them know once their order has shipped out.

    Put in a Thank You note or include in a free gift as a way of appreciating your customers.

    Thank You

    Include in a discount coupon or gift cert to encourage them to share with their friends for the next purchase.

    If they’re elated when they receive their product, high chance they’ll share it on social media which is basically free marketing for you.

    Constantly Review Your Onboarding Process

    You need to constantly review your onboarding process to make your site look better, load faster with an amazing user experience.

    The key is to WOW customers and remove as much friction away so that they can buy from you seamlessly and share your site with others.

    Your site design needs to convince them that you’ve got an awesome product and the buying experience should not frustrate or hinder them.

    Reviews and ratings will convince them further on top of good quality images.

    Even if they didn’t complete the purchase, the emails that you send out should convince them that you value their visit and again, bring focus back to the product that they’ve added to the cart with one link to go back to complete the purchase.

    If you need help coming up with a custom designed email to reach your customers, let us know.

    We’ll be launching brand new design templates that are mobile friendly and responsive very soon.

    However, if you need help sprucing up your current store’s design, let us know by contacting our tech support team.

    These are important factors to take into account when you’re building your online store or looking for better ways to improve your current customer onboarding process.

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  • Cutting Edge Techniques
  • Change Your Shipping Strategy To Increase Online Sales

    If you’ve been getting a reasonable amount of traffic to your store but you have a high abandoned cart rate, chances are it’s your shipping that’s killing your sales.

    Because if buyers are adding products to the cart but they hit the brakes at checkout, it’s a clear signal that what they saw at checkout did not convince them to go ahead with the purchase.

    So you may want to consider changing your shipping strategy to increase online sales.

    Buyers Love Free Shipping

    According to comScore, 77% of online shoppers say that free shipping remains the most important option during checkout and 60% have added items to their cart to qualify for free shipping.

    Consumers are doing more research comparing and purchasing online across devices as they are influenced by social media while free shipping continues to drive purchasing decisions.

    So, here’s the issue.

    While free shipping will encourage shoppers to buy, it should not come at the expense of sellers suffering a loss for running an online business.

    What can sellers do?

    There are a few changes that you can implement on your store to help increase online sales.

    Recalculate Your Shipping

    Market trend and survey clearly shows that buyers favor free shipping.

    What you can do is to recalculate shipping on your end to try and lower the cost of shipping to your customers.

    Abacus

    Find the best value shipping rates by comparing several shipping providers’ rates.

    Some of them offer better rates using different services which you can make use of.

    You want to cut shipping cost to offer buyers value but don’t forget to let customers know the shipping time frame.

    Types Of Free Shipping

    If you’re going to offer free shipping, you can either :

    – offer based on total order value (Example : Free Shipping on orders above $49) OR
    – offer based on total items (Example : Free Shipping for 5 or more items)

    InstanteStore Free Shipping

    Free shipping usually means a longer delivery time.

    Consumers WANT free shipping because of the notion that they don’t have to pay for it and that it’s a form of savings for them.

    Sellers must remember to state clearly the estimate delivery time frame upfront according to the shipping provider.

    Customers have no problem waiting IF they know beforehand the estimated delivery time frame BEFORE they make the purchase.

    If not, they may end up cancelling their orders if they are left in the dark as to how long or where their stuff is before they can receive it.

    Offer Additional Shipping Methods

    If you can’t offer free shipping to customers, there are other alternative shipping methods that you can provide.

    InstanteStore Shipping

    Offer a flat rate per order (Example : $4.99 shipping per order) OR

    Offer flat fee per item with extra charge per additional item (Example : $4.99 shipping, $2 for each additional item)

    Our InstanteStore shipping module has quite a number of shipping options for sellers to make use of.

    If you prefer to charge shipping with your own rates, you can configure them based on either product weight, quantity OR price by selecting Configure Pairs.

    Whichever option you choose, please simplify it for your customers to understand.

    Need help configuring your shipping? Check out how to set up shipping in InstanteStore.

    But Customers Want Their Stuff Fast

    Some customers do not like to wait to receive their products.

    In this day and age, who does? Fair enough.

    So if customers want their stuff fast, then they can choose to pay for faster shipping.

    Give them that option.

    Your online store could have a few shipping options for customers other than free shipping.

    You know how Amazon does it. Want your stuff fast, pay more.

    Offer International Shipping

    Don’t limit your products to only the domestic market.

    World Map

    Oversea buyers may be interested to purchase your products as you want to reach a wider target market group other than the domestic consumer.

    Again, check and compare with international shipping providers to see what’s the best value that you can offer international buyers.

    If you can offer affordable international shipping, you would have grown your target market audience and not be limited to only the domestic market.

    Don’t have a store with us yet? Try out our free 15 day trial now

    Try it Now

    Display Your Shipping Offer Clearly

    Buyers these days don’t have the time to rummage through your entire site looking for how you charge shipping.

    Especially if they’re shopping online with their mobile phones.

    They want to land on your site, find what they’re interested in and buy.

    Hence it’s important that your shipping offer and charges are displayed clearly on your main page.

    Whether you’re offering free shipping on everything :

    Free Shipping

    Or setting a minimum amount to qualify for free shipping :

    Levis

    Simplify it and display it clearly so customers understand and they can get on with their online shopping.

    You can have a separate shipping page to state down clearly all the other shipping charges and options which customers can refer to if they’re interested.

    In Summary

    Your products may be attractive but you’ll need to make sure shipping is reasonable and appealing enough for customers to proceed with the purchase.

    Knowing that free shipping is one of the main pulling factor for customers to complete their online purchase, offer that clearly on your site.

    It’s also a great way to encourage customers to spend more to get free shipping.

    Simplify and state clearly your shipping offer on your main page which customers can understand easily.

    Also make sure you state the rates and estimate delivery time clearly so customers can make an informed decision and not be left in the dark on how long they can expect to receive their products if they make a purchase.

    So change your shipping strategy to increase online sales by :

    – offering free shipping
    – simplifying shipping charges
    – showing your shipping offer clearly on the main page
    – ensuring shipping rates and estimated delivery times are stated clearly
    – offering affordable international shipping to grow target market
    – offer alternate shipping charges for customers who want fast shipping

    Try out these changes and measure your sales.

    Cut down your abandoned cart rates. If you need to set up abandoned cart emails, here are the steps.

    Give customers a good reason to complete their online orders with these shipping strategies.

    If you’re unsure on how to configure your shipping methods and shipping rates, please contact our tech support team or get an overview on shipping configuration.

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  • Ecommerce Web Design
  • eCommerce Feature: Setup Facebook Social Store With InstanteStore

    Facebook Store Galore

    We’ve seen many online retail stores profit greatly from having social network linked shops. Selling products on Facebook has proven to be a very effective method to increase sales. Every eCommerce website builder should come with at least Facebook store integration.

    To be clear, there are even merchants who work right out of Facebook, with no other platforms/shopping cart software, because it works! Why else would Facebook have such powerful advertising and targeting options?

    In fact, Facebook has now moved towards an Ad-Centric model over organic growth. They know that they have the largest active user-base, and they know they have the targeting capabilities for merchants to make successful ad campaigns. However, that goes deep into a topic we shall save for a later time.

    Today, we’re going to focus on setting up our Facebook store via the InstanteStore shopping cart software. It’s a fully integrated solution, and it’s actually very simple to setup. This won’t take very long at all- hopefully everyone has explored the merchant UI completely, and are somewhat familiar with all the features available and their locations within the UI.

    We start by expanding the Discounts & Specials tab, and under SPECIALS, we choose the last option:

    Facebook Shop Panel


    That will bring us to the Facebook social shop feature page:

    fb2


    From this page we can start adding products to the Facebook shop either by entering the Product ID, the Manufacturer Number, or the Product Name.

    Another option is to click the InstanteStore Social Shop link to go directly to Facebook and setup the product listing there.

    By clicking the link, we are taken to the social shop login directory on Facebook, where we are requested to login via our  Store Domain OR our Merchant ID:

    InstanteStore Social Shop Login


    Integrate the social store app with your stores Facebook page:

    InstanteStore Add To Page


    InstanteStore Social Shop Integration


    Once the app has been added to the relevant page, we can then start populating the store with our products. The InstanteStore apps makes it simple enough to add items by choosing the Auto-Populate option.

    If preferred, it is of course possible to manually import products from the merchant dashboard by selecting the appropriate categories:

    InstanteStore Social Shop


    Select the checkout type and we’re done!

    *a note about checkout types: research has consistently shown that longer checkout procedures have increase drop-off rate. Keep this in mind, as in most cases, Facebook shoppers will want to be able to checkout on Facebook, and not have to take the extra step to go to an external site to checkout. Simplicity for the shopper = increased sales  

    That’s all it takes! Simple right?

  • Ecommerce Web Design
  • eCommerce Store Increased Sales: 3 Visual Recommendations

    Research has shown that the more time people spend in a store, the more money we end up spending. So the goal is to get people to stay in our eCommerce shops for longer than initially intended. How do we achieve this?

    Most of it has to do with the design of our digital domain. Today we are tackling simple visual aspects that can make or break an online retail business: Layout, Product Images, and Positioning.

    Firstly, just like physical store, a good layout is required.

    Consider the physical (or is it virtual?) positioning of UI elements. It would be ill-advised to have only one search bar, but to place it at the bottom of the page would be completely futile. Utilizing our digital real estate effectively only requires that we design in a way that we ourselves interact with websites.

    Amazon.com has a great layout, after years of testing we can be sure one of the biggest online stores knows what it is doing.  Have a look:

    Amazon.com


    The search bar is easily accessible. Right off the bat we can see it, and if needed use it. The navigation bar is simple and to the point, offering the most pertinent links. There is a full width banner displaying the current featured deal.

    There are in fact TWO “Sign In” areas, one at the top navigation bar, and one located in the left column of the main stage, followed by popular categories.

    Amazon has chosen not to have their home page cluttered with any specific product listings, but instead offers a wider view of available options.

    Here is another store with just as well-made a layout:

    Good Store Layout


    Next, let’s have a look at this site:

    Bad Layout


    Notice the difference? Then let’s move along post haste.

    Keep the most important elements above the fold. Customers don’t want to scroll far down the page to see featured or best selling products. Imagine walking past an IT store and seeing outdated, overpriced, unpopular products on display right in front. Nobody would go in! Instead, place the Featured Products & Best-Sellers in prominent locations to help customers know what’s trending and what’s new.

    How about using dynamic navigation bars? The ones that follow customers around while scrolling up or down a page. While those can be effective, it’s best to keep it minimal for best results. Once it becomes intrusive it distracts from products and brings customers out of the immersion. That’s the last thing we want!

    Have a look at HyperDC WebStore for a good example of non-intrusive, non-distracting navigation bar.

    Remember: just because a fancy tech is available, that doesn’t mean it needs to be used. Oftentimes, simple is sufficient. Tip the scale a little and that could mean conversions out the window.

    Next: Good quality visuals are a must! That cannot be stressed enough. To keep it simple, here are 3 things to always keep in mind:

    Good Product Images Focus On The Product:

    Good Image

    Shows a clear, focused image of the product on display


    Very Good Image

    A large image of the product on top, while still showing several variants within the same image


    Unclear Product Image

    Example of an unclear product image. Could focus more on either the shoes or the shorts. Hopefully the product isn’t the turf!


    Good Product Image

    BONUS: This product image is great! It features a model wearing the outfit, which will appeal to shoppers, while also showing the entire ensemble in a standalone image by the side.


    Good Product Images Are High Res:

    Low Res Product Image
    Use low resolution images and we may as well chase shoppers away with a stick!


    Always Use A Standardized Background:

    StandardVsNon


    Finally, we also need to be aware of mobile usability. 

    It goes beyond responsiveness. The design should consider what elements are most important for mobile users. Mobile users are working with less real estate space. Thus, only useful information and UI elements should show up at any one time.  Sizes should be large enough to target without needing the nimble fingers of a seasoned e-sports competitor.

    If the majority of our audiences are shopping on mobile devices, then the design should reflect the needs of a mobile user. The checkout button should be positioned such that the majority of users will be able to tap it with only our thumb.

    How about the top navigation bar? Will it be aligned left or right? Fact is, it should be large enough to target without fumbling about, and since this is mobile, it should almost always be dynamic, following the page as it is scrolled up or down. This is to ensure immediate availability when a user needs to search for something, especially if it is triggered upon seeing a similar product.

    Positioning may not seem like a big deal, and most of us running ecommerce businesses don’t consider it at all, but it pays off in the long run.

    Amazon again, this time on mobile: 

    Mobile Well Done

     

    These three visual upgrades ensure shoppers have a better, more productive shopping experience. To reiterate, more time spent = more money spent. Good layouts and quality visuals are one piece of the puzzle, and so knowing your audience inside and out will make a world of difference in increasing time spent online.

    Study shopper habits and figure out how to make time spent in our specific online stores pleasurable. With analytics and tracking, nothing needs to be left a mystery. Analyze the numbers to see what’s working, change what isn’t, and it won’t be long before you start seeing higher times spent engaging with your eCommerce website

    Share personal suggestions or successes below so we can grow together!

  • Ecommerce Startup
  • eCommerce Solutions: Drive Sales By Appealing To Different Shoppers

    How we shop


    Men & women shop very differently. Women browse more & compare products meticulously, whereas men are more likely to simply rush along single-mindedly hoping not to get distracted from the original purpose of having ventured into a marketplace. An eCommerce shop then, should cater to the differences that abound among shoppers.

    It is known that consumers connect with products they can touch and feel. Naturally, this not possible with digital stores, so the next best option is to have images linked to products at every possible turn. We’ve covered the importance of great product imagery in another post. This time it’s about bridging this gap between consumers viewing products online & finally holding it.

    For a start, our online store design should be able to display a section for browsing that is rational & prominent, while also having a predictive search tool available, preferably one that has product image integration. (Most eCommerce solutions should have this function)


    Image Search Bar


    In the example above, the search function at the top of the page not only auto completes keywords, it also provides an illustration along with the product title. This is a good feature to integrate with search bars for any eCommerce website as speed is key when the shopper is Product Focused.

    Browsers on the other hand need to see a large selection of items, but what is a display that is rational?

    Have a look at the example below, the categories are segmented in clear, distinctive sections, that are RATIONAL: it is alphabetized, and more importantly the sub-categories are in the right locations. There is also a sorting function available- surprising overlooked in many web stores, unnecessarily alienating Browsers.

    Rational Display


    Some shoppers are more inclined towards Social Proof. Social proof is a good way to convince online shoppers that they are on the right track. When we see that many others have purchased a product before us, it affirms our faith in it, and reduces fear of buying an unpopular product. This ties in closely to branding.

    Consumers trust brands that are popular, the simple reasoning being: if the brand produced terrible goods, it would certainly not be popular, would it? It’s that mentality that we are banking on when it comes to Sold Counters, as seen in the image below.

    Product Sold Counter


    Another way to appeal to Social Proof shoppers is to include product reviews. This isn’t a new concept when it comes to online businesses. Everybody does it:

    Business Social Proof


    The above is an example of a business page providing Social Proof in the form of a client testimonial. For online retail shops, ratings & reviews on specific products are the way to go:

    Rating System


    reviewsys


    The tricky part is actually getting customers to evaluate purchases. There are two ways to go about this: either irritate & anger customers, or please & delight us. I’m sure we’d all agree the latter is desirable. From the second customers enter our store, till the one they receive a purchase, the experience has to be a positive one. (Once again, shopping cart builders should rightly have these basic functions)

    Customers that have a positive shopping experience are likely to give your business a glowing review TOGETHER with the product review. There is no harm in requesting a review from customers either, most of us are happy to provide goodwill for nothing when we are pleased with an experience. A gentle pop-up is sufficient, even if it only results in a rating, which is better than nothing!

    Social Proof is useful for every kind of shopper out there, from the Product Focused, Browsers, One-Time Buyers, and even Bargain Hunters, hence it is important to get it right.

    Bargain Hunters are similar to Browsers, in that they are browsing online stores, only these customers are always looking for the best deal available. Ignoring this need will ensure a significant loss of potential sales. Every business has promotions to drive sales figures, we can take full advantage of this by having a dedicated section for promotional items, whether they are discounts, free items, promo codes, or referral bonuses.

    Bargain Hunter Promo


    Bargain Hunter Promo 2


    This online business selling wine, has great offers for Bargain Hunters:

    1. New Customer Discount
    2. Biggest Savings Section
    3. Clearance Sale Section

    By enticing Bargain Hunters with a sign up offer, we are ensuring such customers become part of the fold, and by catering so well to such needs, we further ensure the return to our stores. Here we see two sections catering fully to this segment, titled GREAT DEALS. The best bit is the ability to sort by savings!

    Every online store has to start somewhere, and not every business owner has the immediate resources to cater to each & every need. However these are the few most common needs that don’t take great effort to be met, and represent a large chunk of the consumer pie. Serving these segments well will ensure a larger user-base & greater sales figures. Neglecting them will ensure loss of potential profits.

    As always, we welcome comments & suggestions, help us all learn to better serve our markets by providing ideas or success stories/examples! Have a great day!

     

  • Build Your Store
  • 5 Ways To Save Money On Your Ecommerce Business

    No matter whether you’re a first time merchant who’s just starting an online store or a seasoned seller that’s currently running your own successful online business, saving money should be a priority.

    Here are 5 ways to save money on your ecommerce business that every seller should consider :

    Use FREE Email Accounts

    While many email providers offer free email accounts for personal use, it’s better to use a proper business email account to portray a more professional image when communicating with customers.

    Zohomail offers up to 25 FREE email accounts per domain which is plenty for your expanding ecommerce business. Here’s a look at their pricing :

    ZohoMail Pricing

    Google Apps used to be free when it was first launched by Google but if you’re planning to use them, here’s a look at their pricing :

    Google Apps Pricing

    At $5 per user per month, you’re looking at paying $60 per year per user if you go on a monthly basis.

    Now if you had 10 email accounts with Google Apps, that’s going to cost you $600 per year plus tax just for email accounts!

    My advice? Go for Zohomail first and once you’ve fully utilized your email account usage, you can consider going for their paid package. They’re ad-free too.

    Oh, when I say free email accounts, I meant those that are FREE without any other hidden conditions.

    Not free for the first 3, 6 or 12 months and then you have to pay for the following year. Certainly not those that come with a tonne of distracting ads.

    Create Your Own Logo And Customize Your Own Templates

    Every dollar counts for startups. You don’t have to spend hundreds or thousands on a logo design or custom template when you’re just starting out on a limited budget.

    Your site can still look good provided you have GOOD product images.

    All you need is a white background, good lighting and an exceptional camera (most mobile phones have a good camera).

    There are a few ways to create your own logo design :

    – create your logo as a text logo by using a font of your choice
    – sketch out your logo and use FREE image editing sites like Pixlr to create it

    Pixlr
    – utilize the style font that’s available on free templates by changing it to your brand name

    If you don’t have the time, creativity, patience or sanity for any of this, you could get a professional logo design created for only $69.97 with unlimited revisions and a money back guarantee from our partners at Logo-Design-Studio.com

    They’ll provide you with the digital files without any additional cost once your logo is confirmed and will even help you upload it to your site on InstanteStore if you need them to.

    Our free templates are completely customizable so you can make some changes on the color and layout of your store on your own.

    However, if you’re unsure on how to do it, you can describe what you need done and our friendly tech support team will be able to guide you on how to make the changes.

    Before you contact tech support, please have a clear idea on what you want and list it down as accurately as possible to avoid a waste of time answering questions back and forth.

    Our new InstanteStore App Support Ticket feature improves communication by allowing merchants to send our tech team images, video, voice recordings and text. Please make use of that.

    Cut Down On Transaction Costs

    Many payment gateways may charge setup fees on top of monthly fees and transaction fees for every order processed.

    If you’re only targeting domestic customers, consider accepting online bank transfer, checks, cash or ATM deposit as offline payment methods.

    If you’re just starting out, stick with the most popular payment gateways like PayPal as they’re internationally recognized and will only charge you when a transaction is received so you won’t be burdened by huge setup fees or monthly fees.

    PayPal

    If you already have a running store with frequent orders, then you can compare and check with some of the payment gateways to see if they can give you a better offer or change package to one that will give you a better bang for your buck.

    The idea is to minimize the amount of fees that you’ll have to pay.

    Fine Tune Your Shipping

    Customers don’t like to pay high shipping fees. Better still if they can get free shipping.

    But on your end, one of the ways that you can help your customers save money is by lowering the shipping cost for them.

    And you can do so by fine tuning your shipping calculations.

    This will require some preparation on your end as you’ll need to measure your product weight, dimensions and packaging details to calculate the postage cost as accurately as possible if you’re setting manual shipping rates.

    Our ecommerce solutions is integrated with USPS, UPS, Fedex and Australia Post, so you’ll also be able to offer real time carrier rates to your customers.

    Think of the best way to save cost for them.

    Being cost effective with your shipping will help you and your customers save money in the long run.

    Be careful that you don’t end up with a loss on shipping charges.

    Watch Out For Chargebacks

    Chargeback are a real pain as sellers will have to pay a fine if the buyer wins.

    It happens when a customer raises a dispute on a charge on their credit card.

    Credit Cards

    While some chargebacks are legitimate, others could be a result of unscrupulous buyers wanting to take advantage of sellers.

    The usual would claim that they did not receive the product or was mislead when they bought the product or service that was not as described on the site.

    One of the ways to prevent chargebacks is to accurately describe your products with proper product images, description, pricing and information on your site.

    You’ll also need to prove that you’ve sent out the products to your customers by using tracking and documenting everything from order confirmation to invoices to packing slips and delivery confirmation.

    If you’re offering a service, you’ll need to show proof that you’ve provided the service after payment was made to counter the dispute.

    In Short

    While these are just some of the ways for a new online business to save money, it will at least help to stretch your budget a bit further.

    And if you’re at a loss on how to get it done, you can always contact us as we want to help you save cost and grow your business.

    While we can’t offer you the whole farm for free, we can provide you with advice and guidance to help you along the way.

    Let us know if you have any questions, suggestions or feedback as we work on making our ecommerce software better to add value to your online business.

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  • InstanteStore Ecommerce Features
  • InstanteStore App – New Support Ticket Feature

    The team recently added a new feature to our InstanteStore App which allow merchants to easily create and send us a Support Ticket.

    To know more about the app and its features, please click here.

    What’s cool about this latest feature is that new and existing merchants can now communicate more effectively with our tech support team when it comes to highlighting or describing an issue or problem that they need help with using our ecommerce solution.

    Normally, merchants will have to login to their store to send us a support ticket from Admin.

    Now with this new feature, merchants can download the InstanteStore App either from Google Play or App Store (don’t worry it’s FREE), add products and manage orders from the convenience of their mobile AND reach our tech support team by creating a ticket from the app.

    Just click on Support and fill up the relevant details.

    InstanteStore App Support Ticket

    They can choose to explain the problem they’re encountering by :

    – making a voice recording
    taking a picture of the page
    taking a video with their mobile phone to show the sequence of events
    type it all in text format

    The app will notify you via your mobile once the ticket is updated.

    It’s just one of the ways of improving communication between our tech support team and merchants as we want to help them solve their problems as quickly as possible.

    To do that, we want to provide relevant features to help make communication better, clearer and faster.

    Try out our app and let us know what you think about it.

    We appreciate all the feedback, suggestions and questions that we’ve been receiving so far.

    Keep them coming as we’re constantly working on improving our ecommerce software to help you solve problems and grow your business further.

    [wpforms id=”5514″]

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  • Build Your Store
  • How To Setup An Online Store With InstanteStore

    To be honest, setting up an online store doesn’t really take much time.

    It’s the preparation BEFORE the setup process that you need to think through and work on which will ensure that everything gets built properly.

    Otherwise, a lot of people won’t be able to complete creating an online store.

    Here’s the important to-do list to help you get an idea on what needs to be prepared and how to setup your online store with InstanteStore which will save you time.

    Get Your Product Info Ready

    This will consist of your Product Name, Price, Description, Images, Product Weight (for shipping calculation), Product Options (for products that require options like color, size, etc), Stock Count (in case you keep inventory).

    If you’re planning on selling downloadable or digital products, you’ll need to get the files ready.

    Here’s a look at the Add Products page which you’ll need to fill up with your product details :

    InstanteStore Add Product Page

    Need a bit more info on how to Add Product Images and Advanced Product Setting? Please click here.

    If you have a lot of products, please group them into categories. This will prevent your online store from looking like a mess when you build it.

    Those who are planning on selling only a few products don’t need to create any categories if all your products can be displayed on the front page.

    When I say a few, I mean 20 products or less.

    To see what your store looks like in public, click View Store.

    To Add Product in View Store, just click New Product.

    To have a look at all the products you’ve added, go to Admin page, click Manage Products (top blue nav bar).

    If you’re planning on selling more than 100 products and would like to Bulk Upload instead of adding them one by one, please prepare a product file.

    You’ll need to get all your product images ready and have their names stated correctly in your product file.

    Don’t worry if you don’t know how to bulk upload your file. Our friendly tech support can provide you with a sample file format to follow and walk you through the process if you’re not sure how.

    Which Payment Method To Use?

    Which payment gateway do you want to use to accept payment from customers?

    Have you done your research to compare the different payment gateways along with the rates and transaction fees that they charge?

    These are some of the popular payment methods that merchants normally use :

    InstanteStore Add Payment Method

    Are you also planning on using offline methods like accepting checks, money order, Cash On Delivery, etc?

    Some of the Offline Payment Methods that you can consider :

    InstanteStore Offline Payment Methods

    Our ecommerce solution allow merchants to use BOTH online and offline payment methods to receive payment from customers.

    For online payment gateways, you’ll need to set up your account with them FIRST and then key in your account details in InstanteStore to link your account.

    For your info, InstanteStore does not charge any transaction fees. Whatever you make goes to you.

    To set up Payment, go to Admin Menu > Settings > Payment & Shipping > Payment.

    Our shopping cart software is integrated with more than 80 payment gateways to service merchants internationally. Here’s the list.

    Planning Your Shipping Method

    Are you planning to ship domestically or internationally?

    Will you be using real time shipping rates or charging postage based on weight or order value or number of products?

    Are you going to offer free shipping?

    Will you be shipping from one location only or from multiple locations? You’ll need to be clear about these options in order to setup shipping.

    Here’s how to configure shipping in InstanteStore which you can read here.

    To configure Shipping, go to Admin Menu > Settings > Payment & Shipping > Shipping.

    If you’re not sure how to set up your shipping, don’t panic. Contact our tech support and let them know so they can guide you on how to set it up.

    Decide Which Template To Use

    You can pick the template of your choice by going to Admin Menu > Design & Content > Templates > Customize Templates

    InstanteStore Template

    See a template you like? Click Use ONLY This Template.

    The other button called Add To Split Test is for the InstanteStore Template Split Test feature. More info on that here or you can click on the video button below the question mark to find out more about it.

    All the templates are free and customizable. If you need to make changes to the template, just use the Template Editor (View Store > Template).

    InstanteStore Edit Template

    Those who are more technical can access the CSS (top right corner) to make more changes to their store template.

    However, if you want a custom designed template, InstanteStore can accommodate that to help you with your business branding. Custom designed templates start from $797.

    Please let tech support know along with any other custom feature that you would like for your store so they can advise a competitive quote together.

    Do You Have A Store Logo?

    If you already have a company logo design, you can upload it to your store.

    During the free trial, just End Tour, click on View Store (on the top blue nav bar) > Template.

    In the Template Editor, right mouse click on your logo to upload it.

    InstanteStore Template Editor Logo

    Large logos will need to be re-sized so that it’s able to display properly in the template of your choice.

    Don’t worry if you don’t know how to get a logo re-sized. You can use Pixlr or contact tech support and send them your logo file.

    If you don’t have a logo but need help creating one, go to Logo-Design-Studio.com and they can have one created for you.

    Have You Thought About Your Domain?

    Rule of thumb when picking a domain is to keep it short and easy to remember.

    Think about keying in your domain name on a mobile and you’ll get what I mean. The longer and more complex the domain name, the harder it is for someone to remember much less type it out on their mobile.

    Have a list of domain names and narrow it down. You can easily purchase the domain from domain registrars or ask InstanteStore to purchase on your behalf if you require our services for online store setup services.

    You can only add in your domain to your store AFTER you sign up proper.

    This is usually the last step once your store has been set up, tested and is ready to go live.

    Setting Up Your Email Accounts

    While some may prefer to use their own personal email accounts (Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, etc), those who want their email accounts to reflect their business can consider Google Apps (chargeable per month) or ZohoMail (free).

    Zohomail

    Email accounts can be set up once your domain is registered with a ready site.

    That’s because part of the email setup process requires domain verification by the email provider.

    Please decide how many email accounts you require and what are their details (account name, password, email account) if you require our tech support to help you set up either Google Apps or ZohoMail.

    If you prefer to use Google Apps, you’ll need to pay for the subscription with Google separately.

    Google Apps Pricing

    Again, don’t worry as InstanteStore can help you set up these email accounts unless you’re planning on using your own personal email accounts.

    The Setup Process

    Creating an online store with InstanteStore is easy.

    New merchants who sign up for the free trial don’t have to worry as they’ll be guided by a tour.

    And in case you really don’t know what to do at the tour stage, a popup window will appear asking if you need any help.

    That’s where you can reach our friendly tech support team and they’ll be in touch to guide you through the setup process.

    InstanteStore Pop Up Help

    The tour covers 4 main areas that needs to be completed :

    – Add Products, Add Payment Method, Configure Shipping Method and Signup.

    The entire setup process won’t take you long to complete PROVIDED you’ve got ALL your information ready.

    It’s then just a matter of adding your products, putting them in the right category, adding your payment method and configuring your shipping.

    Then you run a few tests on your online store by pretending to be a customer to make sure everything is correct.

    Once you’re satisfied with your online store, please purchase your domain and request your domain provider to point your domain to our DNS Servers :

    Primary DNS:    ns.esolved.com
    Secondary DNS:    ns2.esolved.com

    After you sign up proper with InstanteStore, just go to Admin Menu > Settings > Administrator > Manage Domains to key in your domain and have it verified.

    If you need us to help you set up email accounts with ZohoMail or Google Apps, please contact our tech support by providing them the email account details.

    You can reach tech support by clicking on Help (top blue nav bar) > Support Ticket.

    That’s how you setup an online store with InstanteStore.

    If you run into any problems or have questions, suggestions or feedback, please let us know and we’ll be more than happy to help you.

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  • Affiliate Marketing
  • InstanteStore Partnership With iPay88 Will Benefit Malaysian Merchants

    Malaysian merchants who are planning to start an online business will be pleased to know that InstanteStore is integrated with iPay88 which is one of South East Asia’s leading payment gateway.

    InstanteStore is able to help local merchants who are starting a new business with an online store setup.

    Depending on what merchants require, we can custom design the template to fit the look and branding of a business.

    This saves merchants’ time as some prefer to have our ecommerce web designers set up their site’s design for them.

    Those who wish to find out more on how to set up an online store or who have questions on what they need to prepare beforehand can drop us an email and we’ll be happy to walk them through the process.

    Now every online store will need to have a payment gateway to accept payment from customers.

    Our partnership with iPay88 will help local Malaysian merchants who are keen on starting an ecommerce business.

    Malaysian merchants can consider the following plans that are being offered by iPay88 :

    SOHO Plan (Small Office Home Office)
    One Time Setup Cost : RM488 + 6% GST (WAIVED wef 19th July 2016)
    Yearly Maintenance Fee : None
    Able to accept local online banking and PayPal (Optional)
    Pay One Time Credit Card Processing Fee if wish to accept credit card payment
    One Time Credit Card Processing Fee (Optional) : RM900 + 6% GST
    Transaction Rate :
    Local Online Banking : 3.5% or minimum RM0.60 (whichever is higher) + 6% GST
    PayPal : 3.2% + 6% GST
    Credit Card : 3.5% + 6% GST

    Pay Total One Time ONLY RM517.28 for online banking & PayPal (WAIVED wef 19th July 2016) OR
    Pay Total One Time ONLY RM954 for online banking, PayPal & credit card processing

    SME Plan (Small Medium Enterprise)
    One Time Setup Cost : RM488 + 6% GST
    Yearly Maintenance Fee : RM500 + 6% GST
    Able to accept local online banking and PayPal (Optional)
    Pay One Time Credit Card Processing Fee if wish to accept credit card payment
    One Time Credit Card Processing Fee (Optional) : RM900 + 6% GST
    Transaction Rate :
    Local Online Banking : 2.9% or minimum RM0.60 (whichever is higher) + 6% GST
    PayPal : 3.2% + 6% GST
    Credit Card : 2.9% + 6% GST

    Pay Total One Time ONLY RM1047.28 for online banking & PayPal OR
    Pay Total One Time ONLY RM2001.28 for online banking, PayPal & credit card processing
    Pay YEARLY Maintenance Fee of RM500 + 6% GST

    Note :

    Merchants have the option to activate PayPal for both plans with no additional setup fee.
    Both plans offered by iPay88 are only for Malaysian merchants whose businesses are registered in Malaysia.
    Local online banking covers only Malaysian local banks with the exception of United Overseas Bank (UOB).
    Credit card processing covers all local and international credit cards that have a MasterCard or Visa logo.
    Merchants who wish to accept American Express must have a merchant ID with Maybank.

    Currently, SME Corp under the Malaysian government is encouraging local Malaysian merchants to set up ecommerce businesses.

    Hence they have an agreement with iPay88 to help subsidize the setup fee of RM488 for new Malaysian merchants who meet the following criteria :

    Terms and Conditions to qualify for SME Corp Promotion (subsidy waiver of setup cost RM488) :
    – Yearly turnover less than RM50 million
    – Number of employees less than 200 pax
    – Company paid up capital less than RM100,000
    – First time apply payment facility under SME Corp Promotion
    – Website must be up and running

    The SME Corp Promotion is applicable for both the SOHO and SME Plan.

    Merchant need to sign up for either plan first exclude setup fee payment of RM488.

    iPay88 will apply on behalf of merchant to SME Corp and will inform merchant whether their application has been approved or rejected by SME Corp.

    If the application is rejected by SME Corp, merchant will have to pay the setup cost of RM488 + 6% GST

    New iPay88 application by merchants will take around 3 – 5 working days to process.

    Once approved, merchants can start doing business.

    However, application for credit card processing for new merchants may take 1 – 2 months for approval.

    Don’t worry as iPay88 will offer assistance throughout the application process with the bank.

    Malaysian merchants who need help creating an online store and setting up an iPay88 payment account could contact us.

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  • InstanteStore Ecommerce Features
  • InstanteStore Is Integrated With Google Trusted Stores

    Excellent news for merchants who wish to showcase their Google Trusted Store status on their site.

    InstanteStore is integrated with Google Trusted Stores.

    For merchants who are eligible and who meet Google’s requirement, please let us know and we can have the feature switched on for your store.

    Google Trusted Stores is a free certification program for online stores who meet excellent customer service standards and performance requirements.

    Merchants who are are certified stand to benefit as they’re able to showcase the Google Trusted Stores badge on their site which will encourage more shoppers to buy from them.

    Google Trusted Stores Status

    They can display their seller ratings proudly while the Google Trusted Stores status will also show up on their Google Ads.

    The aim is to improve shopper confidence about your business and assure them of a great customer experience in order to increase sales.

    Of course buyers are more confident to buy from you knowing that your site has met Google’s standards and requirements.

    On top of that, the program offers free purchase protection up to $1000 to customers who purchase from your store.

    In order to qualify for the purchase protection, online buyers will need to meet the following criteria :

    – opt in for the program at the time of online purchase (agree to Google’s terms).

    Google Purchase Protection
    – provide a valid email account.
    – activate the protection by logging into their Google account to create an account profile with Google within 60 days of purchase (Google will send customer the instructions).
    – must be over 18 years old.
    – be legally capable of agreeing to the program and enter into a binding agreement.
    – must NOT be associated with the merchant that they’re purchasing from.
    – must not exceed their lifetime protection limit.
    – must not be prohibited from participating in the program.

    Check out the rest of Google’s terms for buyers located in USA, UK, France and Australia here on the protection Google offers, eligibility and specific requirements.

    Worth opting in for buyers if their online purchase is a big sum.

    So, what are the requirements for merchants to be eligible for this program?

    – available for USA, UK, France, Germany, Japan and Australia merchants.
    – 1 account per domain (IF multi-domain, register 1 domain as an individual).
    – 80% of transactions record must be initiated from merchant’s site.
    – Google may conduct multi-variete tests to all components (icons, logos, messaging, data and other elements).
    – merchant’s corporate profile, logos, contact info, URLs, terms of service, privacy policy & return policy must be kept updated.

    Restrictions and Performance standards :
    * Minimum 600 orders on 90 day rolling basis
    * 90% shipments On-Time Delivery
    * Must maintain 4.0 star overall ratings
    * No more than 1 in 300 protected orders to be escalated to Google
    * Customer escalation to be resolve not more than 4 calendar days

    If Google’s annual payout for refunds to merchant’s customers exceeds $5000 aggregate on 365 days, merchant’s participation in the program will be suspended or terminated.

    Makes sense as Google can’t be paying out large sums to buyers to guarantee your store if you don’t keep up the standard.

    Quite a tall order huh?

    You’ll need a Google email account to apply.

    Once you sign in, just follow the steps and Google will begin to process your application.

    Google Trusted Store Application

    While not all stores are eligible for this, those that are will stand to benefit in the long term as they have Google’s seal of approval.

    If you have any question on the Google Trusted Stores integration, please contact us.

    We’re also happy to hear any other questions, feedback and suggestions to help you sell better online.

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  • Build Your Store
  • InstanteStore New Add Product Image Feature

    We’ve taken into account some of your feedback to make InstanteStore better for you.

    One of them was to make adding product images simpler, faster and better.

    The old way of adding product images used to look like this.

    Now, we’ve streamlined the process so that you can straight away add in your product images by either selecting or dragging them to the box.

    Just pick your best or highest quality images and our Image Handling System will display them in the right size on all your page and layouts.

    Sample Product Images

    Easily arrange the image sequence by dragging and dropping the uploaded images.

    Pretty straightforward stuff.

    Sample Add ProductsIf you need to upload more than 4 product images, please let us know.

    The team at InstanteStore has also streamlined the entire add and modify product interface so that features that are not normally used are collapsed by default.

    This makes it easier and faster for you to scroll through when adding or modifying your products.

    Merchants who require more features for their products have the power to choose which feature they would like to use by clicking on Advanced Product Settings.

    Advanced Product Settings

    Just check the boxes next to the features that you want to have when adding or modifying products.

    Advanced Settings

    That way, you can customize your interface to suit the needs of your store.

    We hope that these changes will help you save time as we work on making the selling process simpler, faster and more efficient.

    Please continue to send us suggestions, comments and feedback as we work hard to help you grow your business.

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  • Build Your Store
  • There’s A Gold Mine In Your Abandoned Cart Orders

    If your store has a lot of abandoned cart orders, please take the time to reach these customers.

    They’re a gold mine to work on.

    Think about it. Customers found your site, browsed and added products to the cart but did not complete the checkout. Bummer. It happens. Why?

    Some of the main reasons why shoppers abandon their carts are mentioned here.

    Basically some friction or road blocks got in the way preventing them from completing the checkout.

    Once you get those fixed, you’ll definitely need to reach customers via email.

    Just ONE more email to encourage them to complete the purchase. Make it count.

    I’m not saying that you’ll get back all your abandoned cart customers but it makes good sense to reach them, get their feedback and see how best you can close the deal with them.

    Don’t worry, you don’t have to individually email them manually (phew!).

    Automatic Abandoned Cart Email

    Setting up an automatic abandoned cart email is not difficult.

    Depending on what you sell, be creative with your email as you want to catch your customer’s attention and offer them a good reminder and incentive to return to your store to complete the checkout process.

    Ok, so where’s this magical abandoned cart email section in InstanteStore?

    Just go to Orders and click on the Aborted tab. Click on Email customers with aborted orders.

    InstanteStore Aborted Order Listing

    That will bring you to Features.

    Turn on ‘Automatically Email Customers with Aborted Orders’ and click to standardize customer response email.

    Automatically Email Aborted Order Customers

    In Customize Automatic Emails, scroll down and check Aborted Order Handling and click Continue.

    Customise Automatic Emails

    Customize your Customer Response Email. Make it friendlier. Be creative.

    Use the HTML version so that you can insert images, links, discount codes to encourage your customers to complete the checkout process.

    Standardise Customer Aborted Order Handling

    Run a few test to see what your email will look like when it lands in a customer’s inbox and make the necessary changes.

    Remember, images play a big role to capture people’s attention. Cute pups anyone?

    Puppies

    Suggestions on what to add in your email :
    – a nice image to capture their attention
    – a short, creative message
    – discount code
    – short CTA (Call To Action)

    Here’s an example of an abandoned cart email which offers an incentive to buyers to complete their purchase :

    vitacost

    Notice the Email title offering 10% discount to complete the order? Discount code is stated clearly in different color and for one-time use only.

    Different font size to emphasize what you’re saying. Button link will bring you to your cart. Product clearly shown in the email to remind buyer.

    Bear in mind that majority of buyers check their emails via mobile these days. You have only a few seconds to catch their attention and convince them.

    However, if you don’t have the time or need help, please let us know. We can help you craft out a custom abandoned cart email.

    If you also need help creating a custom email format to send to customers for confirmed orders, we could that too. Just let us know.

    The team at InstateStore welcome your suggestions and feedback on how we can help make the online selling experience better to help you grow your business further.

    [wpforms id=”5514″]

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  • Build Your Store
  • InstanteStore Integrates With easyParcel

    Good news for Malaysian merchants. InstanteStore recently integrated with easyParcel, a Malaysian parcel delivery comparison website.

    InstanteStore merchants who wish to ship within Malaysia just need to have an account with easyParcel.

    Setting up an account with them is super easy and fast.

    After setting up an account with easyParcel, please have a look at the EasyParcel Integration With InstanteStore tutorial which will show you how to get your unique API key for your account. You’ll need to copy and paste the API key in InstanteStore.

    To set up easyParcel in InstanteStore :

    1. Login to your store, Admin > Settings > Shipping.
    2. Click the “Ship From Address” tabInstanteStore Ship From Address Tab
    3. Check that only the checkbox for “Source EasyParcel Shipping Address (optional)” is checked

    Source EasyParcel Shipping Address

    4. Enter all the fields in that section. Your phone number must contain only numbers (no spaces, brackets or dashes).
    5. Click the “Update EasyParcel Address” button.
    6. Click the Settings tab to update the weight unit into grams or kilograms and choose the dimension of your package. Click the “Update Shipment Properties” button.

    InstanteStore Shipping Settings Tab

    7. Click the “Shipping Methods” tab. Click the “Add Shipping Method” button.InstanteStore Add Shipping Method8. Enter your Shipping Method name (e.g. “easyParcel”), and click the “Add Shiprates” button.InstanteStore Add EasyParcel Shipping Method9. Select the “EasyParcel” shipping rate (it’s nearer the bottom of the page).

    easyParcel Shipping

    10. Click the “EasyParcel Account Info” link.
    11. Enter your API key, and click the “Save” button.
    12. Enter an “Additional processing fee” if you want/need one.
    13. Enter the rest of the fields as usual, making sure to apply the shiprate to the right zones (Example : Zone 1 for Malaysia).
    14. Publish your store once you’re ready.
    15. easyParcel will now be available as a sellectable ship method (with multiple rates) at your store’s shipping method selection during checkout.

    Once an order with EasyParcel has been placed:

    16. When you view the individual order, under the Shipping Method, there will be a date picker, along with a “Place easyParcel Order” button. The date is the pick-up date. It should be a future weekday when the courier should be available to pick up your package. Choose a suitable date, then click the “Place easyParcel Order” button.

    Note : Please ensure that your customer has already paid your end before you make the booking.

    Place easyParcel Order
    17. A pop-up page will show you the status of the order. If the order goes through, payment will be credited from your easyParcel account.
    18. Once an easyParcel order has been submitted, once you refresh the View Order page, the Pick-up section will be replaced by an easyParcel Status section where you can view the status and click to view/print the Airway Bill.
    19. Customers can log in and view their easyParcel tracking status by clicking the Track My Order link when they view their order in their Account.

    In a nutshell, easyParcel allows anyone to book courier service online for pickup and delivery within Malaysia. The system is easy and straightforward to use.

    With the InstanteStore integration, easyParcel will calculate and offer the best courier service rate in town based on the merchant collection address, customer delivery destination and product weight.

    Customers get to pick the courier service of their choice at checkout as they’ll be able to see the shipping rates displayed.

    easyParcel’s system will generate the airwaybill for Malaysian merchants saving them time from filling up countless shipping forms (yay!).

    What do we like about easyParcel?

    – No setup fees
    – No monthly commitment
    – No tedious process flows
    – No fussy documentation
    – No company registration required

    Helping merchants save on delivery costs and eliminating the need to fill up countless forms is always a sanity saver.

    And customers get to choose the best option based on their shipping needs and budget when they order from merchants.

    If you have any suggestions, questions or feedback, the InstanteStore team would love to hear from you as we continue to add more features to our ecommerce solution in helping you sell more and grow your business.

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  • Ecommerce Web Design
  • 4 Crucial Ways To Update Your Website

    Your website may be turning visitors away without you knowing it. When was the last time you made sure that your site was up to date?

    Here are 4 crucial ways to update your website which every business should look into urgently.

    Is Your Site Design Still Stuck In Time?

    Well, since we’re all still in the New Year mood, it’s a good time to make sure that your website looks like the year 2016. If it still has the 90’s or year 2000 look, you better be scrambling to get your site design revamped.

    Remember this?

    Ok, we do have a blue iMac but it’s now a decorative piece in the office for nostalgic purposes.

    Back to the now..

    No more ugly lines and borders right? Take it from Apple. They continue to improve the design and look of their website.

    Business owners who have an online presence needs to make sure their site looks up to date. Need major help? Give us a shout.

    Mobile-Friendly Please

    Last year in April 2015, Google announced that mobile-friendliness will be one of the ranking signals that it takes into consideration for Google search results.

    Well that makes perfect sense as mobile usage has grown by leaps and bounds.

    Users prefer to search with their mobile phones and they expect quality search results.

    Use Google’s mobile-friendly test to check whether your site fulfills their criteria or not. Let us know if you need help converting your site to be mobile-friendly with responsive design.

    Speed Up Your Website

    You know how annoying it is when a website takes ages to load. Users don’t like to wait.

    This could be due to a few reasons ranging from the site not being mobile-friendly, not responsive or it’s got too many heavy images that are not optimized.

    This needs to be fixed as your slow loading site could be costing you sales.

    Check your website with Google Page Speed Insights

    Are You Reaching Your Visitors?

    Your website needs to capture the email addresses of your visitors.

    Decide how you want to do it – when they land on your site or at checkout.

    That way you can email them updates about your latest products, services, launches, sales or to get their feedback.

    Just don’t overdo it unless you want your mails to end up in the spam folder.

    These are just the minimum requirements that each business needs to look into when it comes to updating their website.

    Project a professional image, make sure the site is mobile-friendly with responsive design, loads fast on any device and be able to capture visitor information to engage them.

    If you need help on any of these, just drop us a mail. Hope your New Year’s been great.

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  • Ecommerce Web Design
  • InstanteStore Partners With Pixc To Offer Awesome Product Images

    Product images. It’s important because it can either capture your buyer’s attention or turn them off. Before making the purchase decision, buyers want to get a visual sense of the product. And your product images can either make or break the sale.

    While the team at InstanteStore works hard to improve our ecommerce solution to help you sell more, we’re also happy to partner with Pixc who specializes in making product photos and images look awesome. They work hard to remove the background so that your product will stand out and have a more professional look and feel to it.

    Key points to consider for your product photos :

    Show High Quality Images

    Many sites have poor quality images or they just don’t look professional. Would you buy from a site that has poor quality product images which you can’t really make out or see the detail?

    Pixc Gallery

    Not bad huh? Those were some of the product images that Pixc worked on from their gallery.

    Here’s a look at their pricing :

    Pixc PricingIf you have a lot of product photos that needs working on, this will save you a lot of time to have it professionally done.

    Signing up with Pixc is easy as they offer a free trial to show you how good their kung fu is. Click here to create an account with them.

    Show Different And Detailed View

    Nike Air Max

    Instead of only 1 product image, sellers who show a few more different and detailed view of their products stand a better chance of convincing buyers to buy from them. InstanteStore allows up to 4 images per product with zoom option. More about it here.

    Draw Attention To Your Products

    At the end of the day, you want buyers to focus on your product because that’s what you want them to buy. While it’s important to make sure that your product images look good and professional, please ensure that your entire site complements the products that you are selling.

    If you need help with the look of your site, let us know and we’ll be more than happy to spruce it up for you.

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  • Cutting Edge Techniques
  • InstanteStore Cross-Sell Feature And Cross-Sell Cart Layout

    Hello everyone! Last week was quite an amazing week for China’s Alibaba who raked in a whopping $14.3 billion worth of sales within 24 hours on 11th November 2015 – China’s Singles Day. This was a great leap compared to last year’s China Singles’ Day 2014 which netted $9.3 billion in sales for Alibaba. Jack Ma must be laughing all the way to the bank!

    Mobile sales alone accounted for nearly $9.8 billion worth of goods (nearly 70% of total sales alone). Looks like lots of folks were doing some serious shopping with their mobile phones during China’s Singles’ Day last week. Personally, I think the whole of China went shopping on that day alone!

    But that’s done and over. NOW everyone’s excited for the upcoming Thanksgiving weekend. Can’t wait to see what are the Black Friday 2015 deals going to be next week along with Cyber Monday 2015. I hope you’ve all gotten your stores ready. One of the ways that you could further promote your products is by adding cross sell.

    InstanteStore Cross Sell Feature

    It’s very simple to activate this feature. Just login to your store and click on Features at the top blue nav bar.

    Look for Cross selling feature and turn on the ones that you wish to use for your store.

    InstanteStore Cross Sell Feature

    Cross Sell On Product Page

    To cross sell on your product page, just go to your product page and click Add Cross-Sell on the blue nav bar.

    InstanteStore Add Cross Sell

    Adding product recommendations is super easy. Just click on the Add button.

    InstanteStore Add Cross Sell Product Recommendations StepSelect the different products that you wish to cross sell.

    InstanteStore Add Cross Sell Products

    And that’s it!

    InstanteStore Add Cross Sell Product Recommendations

    Once you’re done adding in all the cross sell products, your product page could look like this.

    InstanteStore Product Cross Sell Display

    Cross Sell On Final Payment Page

    It’s also good to add cross sell to your checkout page so that buyers could do some last minute decision to add in any of your cross sell products before making payment. So your checkout page could look like this.

    InstanteStore Cross Sell Checkout

    Cross-Sell Cart Listing Layout

    InstanteStore provides merchants the option on how they would like their cross sell products to be displayed in their cart listing page.

    To change the look on how your cross sell products are displayed, just add a product (which has some cross-sell products linked to it) to the cart and click checkout.

    At the checkout page, click on Cross-Sell Layout on the blue nav bar.

    InstanteStore Cross Sell Layout

    You’ll be able to pick the cross-sell layout of your choice and pick the maximum number of cross sell products per page to be displayed. Simple right?

    InstanteStore Modify Cross Sell Cart Listing Layout

    So there you have it. The flexibility to offer cross-sell on your product page and final checkout page with the ability to choose the cross-sell cart listing layout of your choice.

    If you need any help or have some suggestions, recommendations or questions, please drop us an email or send us a ticket. We would love to hear from you as we work on helping you sell more. Have a great week and happy selling!

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  • Cutting Edge Techniques
  • InstanteStore Unique Wholesale Pricing Feature

    The team at InstanteStore has been helping merchants sell online for more than 14 years. We’ve learned that different stores sell different things in different ways and our aim is to come up with better features that will complement our merchants’ businesses.

    Our unique wholesale pricing feature was created to meet the needs of our merchants who wish to sell in bulk.

    We have 3 different ways of offering wholesale. Merchants can pick one option.

    Just go to Settings > Wholesale.

    Personal Wholesale Pricing

    For sellers who want to provide price breaks for bulk purchase customers, this feature works wonders. Sellers can give different wholesale pricing to different groups of customers.

    For example, a regular customer sees Product A at $4.99 while a repeat customer sees the same product at $4.00 and a known bulk purchaser can buy it at $3.50. Just set the price group for the customer and our ecommerce software does everything else.

    InstanteStore Personal Wholesale Pricing
    Merchants have the option to set up to 9 different price levels per product and allocate which approved customer is entitled to which pricing level. That’s it!

    Quantity Bulk Purchase

    This is the standard feature for merchants who wish to sell in bulk.

    For example, buy 1 T-shirt for $15, buy 10 T-shirts for $10 each.

    InstanteStore Quantity Bulk Purchase

    If you’re selling T-shirts with different color options (red, blue, green, etc) and you want to offer bulk discount based on the color option (buy 10 Blue T-Shirts to qualify for $10 each), just select No.

    If you want to allow your customers to purchase with product option quantities, say for example – 3 Blue shirts, 5 Red shirts and 2 Green shirts to qualify for $10 each, just select Yes.

    Quantity Bulk Purchase Upon Approval

    Same concept as Quantity Bulk Purchase with the exception that the buyer needs approval first before being able to make the bulk purchase.

    So how’s your store’s preparation for the holiday season? Let us know if you have any questions, ideas, suggestions or feedback on how we can help you sell more this holiday season. Happy selling!

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