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.
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 :
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Configuring PayPal Online
Configuring PayPal Online is easy. Click Edit and enter in your PayPal email address and select the currency of your choice.
Choose 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
You can offer different types of discount coupons ranging from percentage to dollar value or even free shipping with our ecommerce shopping cart.
Put 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.
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.
A 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).
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.
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.
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.
You don’t have to post your entire store’s products on eBay. Only selected ones will do.
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.
If you have plenty of wholesale customers, our personal wholesale feature allows up to 9 different pricing tier per product.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 :
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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??
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Scroll to the bottom of the search results page and you’ll see related keyword searches. Note down those keywords as well.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 :
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 :
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
– 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 :
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 :
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 :
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
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).
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.
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).
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.
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.
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 :
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.
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
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.
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.
Easily arrange the image sequence by dragging and dropping the uploaded images.
Pretty straightforward stuff.
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.
Just check the boxes next to the features that you want to have when adding or modifying products.
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.
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.
That will bring you to Features.
Turn on ‘Automatically Email Customers with Aborted Orders’ and click to standardize customer response email.
In Customize Automatic Emails, scroll down and check Aborted Order Handling and click Continue.
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.
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?
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 :
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.
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” tab
3. Check that only the checkbox for “Source EasyParcel Shipping Address (optional)” is checked
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.
7. Click the “Shipping Methods” tab. Click the “Add Shipping Method” button.8. Enter your Shipping Method name (e.g. “easyParcel”), and click the “Add Shiprates” button.9. Select the “EasyParcel” shipping rate (it’s nearer the bottom of the page).
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.
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.
Hello everyone! We’ve been getting positive feedback for our new InstanteStore Revamped Checkout that the team recently rolled out. Many of you have requested for the Revamped Checkout to be activated for your store (woo-hoo!).
Did you know that you could also arrange the sequence of your payment methods? For stores who have more than one payment method, arranging the sequence or order on how you want your payment methods to appear at the checkout page is really simple.
Just go to Admin > Settings > Payment & Shipping Settings > Payment.
All you need to do is to hover your cursor over your payment method, drag and drop them according to the sequence on how you would like them to appear in your checkout.
Once satisfied, just click Save Payment Method Order and remember to Publish your store.
That’s it! The new payment method sequence will then appear in your checkout page.
We welcome more feedback, suggestions and comments from your end on how we can help you improve your selling process and thank you for all the positive feedback that you’ve been giving to the team. Have a good one!
Configuring shipping doesn’t have to be complicated.
Our shipping module is pretty powerful and can even be configured to charge shipping from multiple origins to both local and international destinations using different shipping methods and shiprates.
Here’s a quick rundown guide on what you need to do and how to set up basic shipping in InstanteStore.
Stuff You Need To Decide
– Where are you planning to ship to? Certain region(s), countries or states?
– Will you be using your own shipping rates or real time rates with USPS, UPS, Fedex or Australia Post?
* Don’t worry, all our plans allow access to real time carrier shipping at NO ADDITIONAL CHARGE *
– If you’re using your own shipping rates, please determine how you want to charge the rates.
The below setup guide will cover how to :
1) Determine Target Market (where you want to ship to)
2) Group countries or states into different shipping zones
3) Add Shiprates (how much you want to charge) to your shipping zones
4) Specify Ship From Address
5) Determine weight and package type
Determine Your Target Market
To set up your shipping, just go to Settings > Shipping. You’ll notice 5 different tabs.
The first place to start is to determine your target market. Picking your target market means you’re selecting all the countries that you wish to offer shipping to.
You can select by region or just select by country.
For example, if you’re planning to offer shipping worldwide but would like to specify different rates for different countries or regions like USA, Europe and Australia, just select all and click on the Submit button to confirm.
Tip : Don’t worry if you’re still undecided. Just “Select All” and click “Submit”.
That will add all the countries into your target market.
Don’t worry as customers won’t be able to purchase from your store until you allocate your shipping zones and add in your shiprates.
Next, you want to set those countries that you wish to ship to into different Shipping Zones. Click on the Shipping Zones tab.
Group Your Shipping Zones
You’ll see all the countries lumped into one zone (Zone 1).
Start to group your countries into different shipping zones.
Example : You may group United States into one zone and Australia into another zone. Europe could be broken into several zones or just grouped into one zone depending on your preference while the other countries could be considered worldwide and grouped into another zone.
To do this, click on Modify in Zone 1, select for example United States and choose Shift To New Zone, click “Continue” button.
What you’re doing is moving different countries or region from the worldwide zone into their own zones.
So you would end up with Zone 1 with all the other countries in it except United States (Zone 2), Europe (Zone 3) and Australia (Zone 4). After you’re done setting up your zones, click “Save Settings”.
Tip : If you want to offer different shipping rates to different states within a country like United States, you’ll need to group the different states into different zones. Select CS on United States and click Save Settings.
For example, if you want Hawaii and Alaska to be grouped together, select them and “Add New Zone” > Do Action and click “Save Settings”. They’ll be grouped into Zone 6.
Set Up Your Shipping Methods And Shiprates
Once you’ve selected the target market and created the shipping zones for the country, region or states of your choice, you may then set up your shipping methods by adding shiprates (how much you want to charge) for specific zones.
Click on the Shipping Methods tab, click “Add Shipping Method”.
First, give your shipping method a name.
For example if you’re going to use USPS to handle your shipping within USA, you can call it “United States – USPS” and then click on Add Shiprates.
Adding Your Shiprates
You can choose to charge shipping by either :
– selecting UPS, USPS, Fedex, Australia Post, easyParcel real time carrier rates
– based on a flat fee per order
– based on base fee + flat fee per item
– based on base fee + package weight
– based on base fee + percentage of order value
– based on base fee + weight / quantity / price pair
You could also choose to set either :
– A minimum or maximum charge
– Free shipping based on quantity of order
– Free shipping based on value of order
Please remember to pick the respective zones for each shiprate that you add.
Example : A merchant wants to offer flat fee shipping worldwide @ $10, to United States @ $5.99, to Europe @ $6.99 and to Australia @ $8.99. Free shipping if orders are above $100.
Based on the example, merchant will select Flat Fee per order (key in $5.99) + select free shipping based on value order (key in $100) + select the USA zone 2. Click on Add Shiprates.
Click “Done” or continue to “Add Shiprates” for the other respective zones.
Real Time Carrier Rates
If you prefer to use real time carrier rates, just select the carrier of your choice and pick the service you wish to use.
InstanteStore is integrated with UPS, USPS, Fedex, Australia Post and easyParcel.
You have the option to add in additional processing fee as well. Please remember to select the zone that you wish to apply the service to.
Ship From Address
If you are using UPS, USPS, Fedex, Australia Post or easyParcel for real time rates, please key in your address details in the Ship From Address section so that the respective courier company could trace either your zipcode or address for real time shipping rates.
Here you may choose the weight unit for your products (eg. in pounds, kilograms, etc) and to pick the dimensions of your order packaging size. Click “Update Shipment Properties” once done.
Please Publish your store after all the changes have been made.
Please remember to test out your shipping configuration.
However, if you have any questions about shipping or need help with the configuration, please send us a ticket and we’ll definitely get back to you.
And did you know that a good shipping strategy can help increase online sales?
Don’t have a store yet? Set up one with our free 15 day trial now.