• 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
  • 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 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.

    Save

  • Ecommerce Web Design
  • New InstanteStore App Upgrades

    Hello everyone! We’ve been getting feedback about our InstanteStore App and our developers have been hard at work making the necessary changes to it. The new upgrades include an enhanced interface making the dashboard, product page, customer and order page look better.

     

    Instantetore App Order And Customer
    InstanteStore App Order And Customer

    Merchants can now easily add up to 4 product images in the product page by selecting from their mobile phone photos or they can take a photo of their product instantly. The product fields have all been simplified making it faster and more convenient for merchants to enter in their product details.

    InstanteStore App Add Product
    InstanteStore App Add Product

    Merchants who are constantly on the go will be pleased to know that we’ve added phone notifications to the InstanteStore’s App Settings. By turning on the notifications, merchants can choose to receive their order notifications either by per order, daily, weekly or on a monthly basis.

    InstanteStore App Setting Notifications
    InstanteStore App Setting Notifications

    The InstanteStore App upgrades are meant to help merchants add products easily and quickly to their store with their mobile phones using a clean and easy to use interface. Merchants can be notified of new store orders by setting the notifications they choose to receive.

    Anyway, if there are new features that we can add to help you sell more with InstanteStore, please let us know by sending us an email. We’re constantly working on new features to help you sell more or make your day-to-day operations easier.

    Save

  • InstanteStore Ecommerce Features
  • InstanteStore Integrates With Fedex

    Good news for merchants who want to switch to Fedex or add them as an additional partner to meet their shipping needs. InstanteStore is now integrated with Fedex. Merchants can pick the Fedex service of their choice when configuring their shipping methods which offers real time Fedex shipping rates to customers.

    Other than the InstanteStore Fedex integration, merchants can choose from the other 3 main shipping partners who are  integrated real time with our ecommerce solution – UPS, USPS and Australian Post.

    InstanteStore Shipping Partners

    If you need help setting up your shipping, please check out my previous post here or send us a ticket and we’ll be more than happy to help 🙂

    Save

  • Ecommerce Web Design
  • Here Comes Mobilegeddon And Project Fi

    On 21st April 2015, Google launched its algorithm that will now rank mobile-friendly sites higher in terms of search rankings. So don’t be surprised if your site’s rankings change if you still haven’t mobile optimized your site to make it mobile-friendly. You can find out more info here.

    Previously, search rankings were the same whether you were searching from desktop, tablet or mobile. But with the recent algorithm change, only searches made via mobile will be affected globally and in every language. This makes sense as folks who do mobile searches will want to access sites that are mobile optimized for easier viewing and that loads fast on their devices. Hence non-mobile friendly sites will be pushed further down in rankings.

    Call it mobilegeddon as this will make a huge difference for businesses whose customers prefer to shop using mobile.

    Not mobile friendly = mobile search ranking may go down = less visibility = less sales
    Mobile friendly = mobile search ranking may go up = more visibility = more sales potential

    The recent change will further propel mobile ad spending by retailers and businesses that are keen to capture the mobile consumer market.

    Google’s Android Capturing Smartphone Market

    Android

    Did you know that Google’s Android operating system has captured the huge Latin American markets followed by Apple’s iOS?

    iOS

    The report by eMarketer shows Android clearly dominating the smartphone market in Argentina, Peru, Brazil, Colombia, Chile and Mexico.

    Smartphone Owners Latin America

    Project Fi By Google

    Project Fi

    Google is serious about moving towards mobile as they launch Project Fi aiming to offer the highest quality and easiest connection for mobile users across all networks and devices. Offering a better, faster, smoother service working with hardware makers, leading carriers and users will allow a better level of global connectivity.

    The new technology they are developing aims to connect users to the best networks that are available be it WiFi hotspots, LTE carriers or cell networks – seamlessly. So if you’re making a call in a WiFi area, your call will go through WiFi and the moment you step out of WiFi coverage, your call will automatically transition to cell networks without the call being interrupted – same goes for when you’re surfing.

    Users who do not want to loose connection or be limited to only their carriers, location and connection speed wherever they go will find this service very appealing. Here’s the intro short video on Project Fi :

    Save

  • News & Events
  • Alibaba Breaks Record In China’s Singles’ Day 2014

    What a super duper year it has been for Alibaba. Their IPO launch blew away investors’ expectations with the highest IPO raised at $25 billion. And today is China’s Singles’ Day. It looks like everyone in China bought something online! For those of you who are in the dark, China’s Singles’ Day can be considered America’s Thanksgiving weekend sale rush. The only difference is that it’s all happening on one day – 11.11.14.

    Taobao.com

    Last year, Alibaba raked in $5.75 billion in sales from 2 of its biggest online shopping site – Taobao and Tmall. This year, the company broke through the $5.75 billion threshold with more than 10 hours left to go.

    Now get this, nearly half of the sales came in through consumers buying with their mobile phones and tablets. With the surge in mobile internet usage in China, this has made it easier for Chinese consumers to get their shopping done online anywhere, any time.

    Tmall.com

    Not only is this year’s Singles’ Day going to break records again, but it has shown that Alibaba is on the right track in expanding its market reach as it moves beyond China to expand worldwide. Room for improvement? How about having an English site for Taobao and Tmall?

    The team at InstanteStore are also hard at work creating a better mobile commerce for our merchants which we will be announcing very soon.

    So will this year’s US Thanksgiving weekend be able to top China’s Singles’ Day? Can’t wait to find out as Black Friday is just around the corner.

    Save

  • Cutting Edge Techniques
  • MCX CurrentC To Challenge Apple Pay

    Talk about bitter rivalry.  Apple Pay made headlines from a successful launch and within only 72 hours got a massive  1 million credit card signups. However, all does not seem well with some of the major retailers who had previously come together to form MCX (Merchant Customer Exchange) lead by Walmart.

    MCX is working on their own mobile app called CurrentC which is supposed to allow customers to make payments in the future without using their credit cards while working as a loyalty card and allowing retailers to collect data on their customers’ spending habits. Bottom line, major retailers do not want to continue paying the 1.5 – 3% fees every time a customer swipe their cards.

    MCX CurrentC

    Comparatively, CurrentC uses QR codes while Apple Pay uses NFC technology. Recently major retailers CVS and RiteAid had their radio wave sensors switched off in an apparent move to get customers to use other payment methods instead of Apple Pay. Customers who wish to use Apple Pay or Google Wallet at these retailers will not be able to do so (unless they switch it on back again).

    Consumers on the other hand may be irked with this move. At the end of the day, retailers still have a choice on what type of payment method to offer their customers. On the flip side, customers also have the choice to shop somewhere else or use other forms of payment if they get irked. And most consumers are more keen to use a simple, smooth and hassle free way of paying which is where Apple Pay fits in nicely.

    Does it look like CurrentC will pose a treat to Apple Pay? Most unlikely unless they are able to offer consumers some real outstanding savings to go with them.

    Looks like more banks, retailers and merchants will be signing up for Apple Pay as Apple continues to make headway into international markets. If Alibaba’s Jack Ma decides to partner with Apple, am sure it’s going to be even better with access to China’s massive market!

    Save

  • Cutting Edge Techniques
  • Apple Pay Rocks Digital Wallet Market

    Payment pioneer PayPal got their world rocked with the launch of Apple Pay recently. Bundled with the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, Apple intends to make headway into the payments industry by offering a smooth and easy way to pay for stuff at a touch of a button. Apple is currently working with Stripe and is aggressively signing up with banks and card issuers like Visa and MasterCard in the States before expanding to other countries.

    Most payment providers see the transition of the payments industry into the digital wallet era as inevitable. Consumers are embracing the way to pay online and in stores with their mobile phones without the need to bring out their cards or cash. Although rival Square was one of the first companies to introduce the technology that turn smartphones and tablets into card readers, the company will have to fend off Apple, PayPal and Amazon Register to retain market share.

    Apple’s selling point for consumers to switch over would be how simple and secure it is to use Apple Pay to pay for stuff.

    See for yourself how easy it is to use Apple Pay here :

    Save

  • Internet Marketing
  • Twitter Goes Audio

    Twitter seems to be coming up with more innovative ways to encourage their users to stay longer within the Twitter environment. Last month they started allowing users from selected areas to make product purchases from some of their partners who are offering rare and limited edition products. You can read about it here.

    Now, they are allowing users to listen to music. Users can just tap on a tweet with a song in it to start the audio stream. They can continue to use Twitter while the audio is streaming.

    To find out more, check out @SoundCloud and their partners and keep up to date @TwitterMusic

    Those who like listening to podcast will be pleased to know that you can do the same on Twitter without being transferred to iTunes. Sweet.

    The idea is to encourage musicians, artists and speakers to share more exclusive content to listeners on Twitter. Good move by the social media giant. Expecting more innovation to come from them to impact the social media arena.

    Save

  • Ecommerce Web Design
  • New InstanteStore Website Launched

    Well our brand new website sure looks like a breath of fresh air. We’ve taken the effort to do some massive spring cleaning so that visitors and customers won’t be overwhelmed with all the information that we previously had on the old website! We hope you like the new InstanteStore website design. It just went live a couple of days ago.

    New InstanteStore Admin Panel
    New InstanteStore Admin Panel

    New customers who sign up for free trial will also find our brand new Admin panel simplified. For those who are still using the old Admin panel, don’t worry as most of the functions have been condensed and simplified into the right side drop down list. Click on it to expand or condense the list.

    We’ll let you know when we are ready to migrate existing merchants who are using the old Admin panel to the new Admin panel. The aim is to let merchants have a quick glance on how their store is performing when they login to their store.

    We hope you guys like the new changes and design. Let us know your thoughts, feedback and suggestions. Till then, have a great week!

    Save

  • News & Events
  • MasterPass By MasterCard Makes Payment Easier

    MasterCard launched MasterPass last year and it has been growing steadily throughout the world as an accepted digital wallet. Countries such as South Africa and Singapore just launched MasterPass this year and it’s catching on fast in the Asian region as a convenient way of payment.

    MasterPass acts as a digital wallet to securely store consumers’ credit card data, address and other important info in the cloud. Other branded credit cards can be added to it. This makes the checkout process simpler for purchases with participating retailers. Consumers can use their smartphone to pay for something over the counter by waving it like a credit card.

    The plus point is that consumers do not need to key in their credit card details and shipping addresses whenever they make a purchase with their computer, tablet or smartphone as all the information is already stored with MasterPass.

    Buy With MasterPass

    Consumers just need to register once and key in all their relevant information. They can then make their purchases conveniently with participating retailers that display the MasterPass logo. It’s just a simple matter of clicking on the Buy With MasterPass logo, login with verification and pay. That’s it!

    Here’s a short video on it :

    PayPal’s One Touch is not far behind. Click here to read about it.

    Save

  • News & Events
  • Checkout Faster With PayPal One Touch

    PayPal One Touch will be a game changer for shoppers who likes to use apps to buy stuff. You know how it is. When you find something you like, you have to add it to the cart, click on checkout and fill in all those nitty credit card details.

    Well PayPal wants to do away with all of that. App makers just need to integrate PayPal’s solution into their apps allowing users to tap a “Pay With PayPal” within the app and their credit card details will be filled up instantly for them.

    A dream come true for those who find keying in their credit card details a waste of time. Since consumers will be shopping more with their mobile phones, it’s best to keep the checkout process as short and fast.

    The technology comes from BrainTree which was acquired by PayPal last year. BrainTree has a service called Venno Touch which allows users to checkout quickly and easily in mobile apps using the card that’s linked to their Venno account. Since PayPal acquired the company, makes perfect sense for them to fully utilize it.

    PayPal One Touch works with both iOS and Android but not for Windows phone yet. Developers can start signing up for the beta to integrate with their apps.

    Save

  • News & Events
  • Amazon Local Register Bumps PayPal

    Amazon recently launched its own credit card reader and app called Amazon Local Register. Good news for local businesses that are located  in the States.  Amazon is charging a flat rate of only 1.75% per payment compared to the 2.7% that PayPal is charging. The flat rate is available until 1st January 2016 provided merchants sign up by 31st October 2014 to take advantage of this special offer.

    The app is available for download on the App Store, Google Play and Amazon Apps while Amazon offers the card reader at only $10.

    Here’s the short video for you to check out on it :

    Save

  • Cutting Edge Techniques
  • 3D Printing Technologies Bringing Positive Change

    I’m fascinated with the advancement of 3D print technologies. It looks like 3D print technologies is bringing a fresh change to every aspect of business, education, arts, music, medical, design, technology and soon – every day life.

    Impressive how the medical field is making use of 3D print technology to help patients heal by creating specific tailor-made orthosis for them that is light, breathable and flexible yet strong enough to help support muscles and bones to heal. This brings a positive change to the medical field as foresee it will soon spill over to other medical equipment and supplies that are being used daily like prosthesis.

    The Micro
    The Micro

    Those that are having the most fun tinkering with 3D print are the technology and design field. The possibilities are endless. Earlier perception was that to own a 3D printer would cost a bundle. But it looks like the first new consumer 3D printer called The Micro will be able to bring 3D printing to any home once production starts rolling and it’s available for purchase.

    Kids will be able to have so much more fun printing their own 3D project as they will probably pick up learning the technology quickly.

    LIX - lixpen.com
    LIX – lixpen.com

    Designers who want to break free from using the computer to design anything could opt for LIX, the world’s smallest 3D printing pen in the world. Am sure any artist out there could come up with a masterpiece without being limited to 2D drawings and sketches. Who wouldn’t love a good challenge when it comes to design and art?

    The question is, will this technology benefit your business? Or is there some way that you could ride on this new wave to add a boost to your current business? Am sure there’s bound to be many more practical ideas springing up soon. Or what would you like to create if you could get your hands on a 3D printer? Drop us a mail. We’d love to hear how creative you can get.

  • Internet Marketing
  • Quick Guide To Using The Google Keyword Planner Tool

    Look of shock on whitewater rafting dog

    How many of you had that exact look when you looked up Google’s Keyword Tool and was presented with the Keyword Planner instead?

    The Google Adwords Keyword Tool has been like family to many merchants and SEO experts for about 13 years. Many are still be shock at the demise of this wonderful yet free tool. Maybe ‘Demise’ is too harsh of a term since, in the ‘Google Keyword Planner Tool’, Google has actually combined their legendary keyword tool with their traffic estimator.

    The video above gives you a little taste of what the Google’s Keyword Planner is all about. You can still use it to get keyword variation ideas and traffic information. The only difference is that you have to be signed in and would probably have to dance through a few hoops to get similar results as would would with the old Keyword Tool. But you can still get lots of useful information for free.

    How To Find Keywords With The Google Keyword Planner Tool
    First, sign in to your Adwords account to get to the Keyword Planner page, which is found in the drop down menu of the Tools and Analysis tab. Then, select the first option – Search For Keyword And Ad Group Ideas.

    Keyword Planner Options Page

    Next, key in the keyword you’d like to research and fine tune the product category in the drop down menu before hitting the Get Ideas button.

    Keyword Planner Ray Ban Keyword Search sample

    As you can see from the image below, things start to look a little familiar. You’ve got keyword variations showing up and if you hover over the tiny graph icons, a search trend graph pops up displaying monthly searches for the last 12 months.

    Keyword Planner Keyword Ideas

    Unfortunately, Google has decided to combine searches from various devices into one result. And by default, all matches are set to exact match. Changing the match type will not change the results. It would only affect the click and cost estimates.

    Keyword planner keyword match filter

    For more on Google’s New Keyword Planner Tool, click here.

    Note: Watch this space for further updates.

  • Ecommerce Web Design
  • InstanteStore Introduces New Content Slider

    Here comes our brand new spanking content slider! The previous one was getting ancient so the team decided to create a better one for our merchants to use. With the new slider, all you need to do is to upload your own images and type in whatever text you want displayed on it. We’ve included a text editor so you could pick the font and color of your choice.

    Once you’ve gotten all your images uploaded and text added, just drag and drop the slides in accordance to how you would like them displayed on your website. Pretty neat eh? You could even add links to each slide so customers who click on any of them will be directed to the actual page on your site.

    What’s best about it? It’s totally free and available for all our merchants to make full use of. So get some pretty pictures ready and make full use of this feature to promote your online store products. Displaying a gorgeous slide show on your site just got easier and faster with our new content slider. If you have any questions, feel free to drop us a ticket. Have a great week and happy selling!

  • News & Events
  • Happy New Year 2013 From InstanteStore

    fireworks over the manhattan bridge
    Fireworks Over Manhattan Bridge

    In a few hours, we will bid goodbye to 2012 and welcome the brand new year of 2013. While 2012 may have its set of challenges along with its ups and downs, let’s not forget to be thankful for the victories and successes that we have experienced along the way in doing business online. May the year 2013 bring you to greater heights of success in both your personal life and work.

    So before the ball drops at Times Square signalling the New Year, take a moment to reflect and savor how amazingly far you’ve grown and achieved. Let’s choose to look ahead for a better year in every aspect and celebrate!

    Happy New Year 2013 to all from the team @ InstanteStore.

     

  • Ecommerce Startup
  • InstanteStore Partners With Payza, Award Winning International Online Payment Platform

    Payza Logo

    InstanteStore continues to grow its partner list of payment processors by integrating with Payza, an award winning international online payment platform. Payza has over 9 million members and services 197 countries in 21 different currencies. The company recently acquired AlertPay which was another payment provider that InstanteStore had integrated into their ecommerce solution.

    The partnership will benefit more merchants and customers internationally for both InstanteStore and Payza.

    Payza specializes in ecommerce processing, corporate disbursement and remittances for individuals and businesses around the world. Their e-wallet platform provides members around the world with the convenience and flexibility in both loading and withdrawal options in terms of localized bank transfers, sending global bank wires, credit and debit cards, checks and prepaid cards among others.

    On top of that, Payza also offers foreign exchange services, fraud screening services, email invoicing, mass and single remittances and business management tools. Under-serviced and emerging markets will be able to use the company’s affordable and convenient way to receive international payments and boost their local economies in the global market place.

    Payza is a wholly owned subsidiary of MH Pillars Ltd. of London, England. The company has regional offices in New York (USA), Mumbai (India), Dhaka (Bangladesh) and Solna (Sweden). Their operational center is located in Montreal, Canada and the company has an office in Moscow (Russia) called Laleham Capital Ltd. Payza’s headquarters is located in London, England.

    Payza Global Online Payment Platform

     

     

     

     

  • Ecommerce Web Design
  • Introducing Template Tuesdays

     

     

    Hello people!

    I bet most of you are all caught up with the Olympics right now. I know everyone at our office is. Yesterday, all the pantry talk was about the fiasco at the women’s fencing event. At lunch just now, we talked about chess becoming an Olympic sporting event in the future and the absurdity of chess players undergoing blood and urine tests for doping.

    I digress.  My bad.

    Right. As you know, we’ve been creating attractive free ecommerce templates which are more contemporary in design. Feedback has been relatively good. But we’ve also been getting very good suggestions. Lots of “could you do this” or “could you make it look more like that.”

    We really appreciate the input and the effort you guys put in to help us create better online store templates. 🙂

    Anyway, we figured why not get more people in on this so we came up with the idea of Template Tuesdays. All you have to do is post on InstanteStore’s Facebook page a website example or template that you think looks cool. We’ll pick one ‘inspiration’ every Tuesday, have our designers work some mojo on it and turn it into one of our free ecommerce templates by the end of the week.

    We had a pretty nice suggestion from Ms Camilla Walton so we decided to kick off Template Tuesdays with it. Besides, our designers are ‘trigger’ happy so this was a great way to give them their fix.

    Your Jewellery Template

    Like it? It’ll be implemented by the end of next week.

    As usual, please feel free to leave comments of suggestions.

     

     

  • Ecommerce Startup
  • Lessons We Can Learn from Roger Federer’s Wimbledon 2012 Win!

    This year has been a year full of sporting events especially in these summer months. It started with the French Open in late May, followed by Euro 2012 and then Wimbledon, Le Tour De France (happening now!) and the Olympics in London at the end of the month which everyone is looking forward to! If you’re a sports enthusiast like me, I guess you will practically be glued in front of the tube catching the events and cheering for your fellow countrymen.

    But what I really want to talk about is Roger Federer’s win at Wimbledon last Sunday. You may be wondering what has his win got anything to do with business or eCommerce for that matter? There is quite a few lessons that we can learn from the Swiss master’s win actually. As I was sitting there watching the match cheering RF on (sorry Brit fans!), all these thoughts just came to mind and I just wanted to share with all of you here.

    Lesson #1: It’s easier to go from 16 to 17 than from 0 to 1

    It definitely seems to be the case! Roger has already collected 16 Gram Slam titles making him one of tennis’s greatest player so far and he just added another trophy to his cabinet. All Andy Murray was hoping for was to win his FIRST ever Grand Slam title and yet he’s been denied once again. He’s been in 4 Grand Slam finals and he’s been denied all 4 times!

    So what exactly does that mean? In business sense, I am linking it up to how hard it is to make your FIRST sale on your eCommerce store. When you have made your 100th sale, it’s easy for you to add on to that number and go on to make your 110th sale etc because you already have an upper hand of making a sale before and have the confidence that you can make it! However if you’re just starting out and waiting for your first sale and somehow it just doesn’t seem to come, you will start to doubt yourself and wonder if you can make it work. It will happen but you will need to plan and strategize, which leads me to my next point.

    Lesson #2: Plan and Strategize To Get Where You Want To Be

    We all know that Roger Federer didn’t become one of greatest player of all time just playing his game the same way. He’s a very intelligent player on court and changes his strategy as the game progresses. It’s the same with our business, especially online business where we can very easily make a change and see the difference sometimes almost immediately! That’s the beauty about having an online business. You may have this grandeur idea before starting out your website – how you want the site to look, what you think your customers want and what kind of pricing they are looking at etc. However, the moment you launched your site, there are a lot more elements and circumstances that come into play. Tweak as you go along!

    You will need to study the website statistics to see if there are visitors to your store. If there are, are they putting anything to their cart? If yes, then why aren’t they checking out? What items are frequently being added to the cart and yet still no one is completing the check out? By asking yourself all those questions, you can then start to promote the product that is frequently added to cart more prominently, perhaps have some kind of deal (free shipping or voucher for your next purchase at your store?) for your customers to take that plunge and check out. Also with InstanteStore, we have a way for you to follow up with your customers who aborts their cart. You can view the list and send them a follow up email. It’s all automatically set up and you can just work to customize the email.

    Don’t just sit there and murmur and complain that you’re not getting a sale and yet you don’t work at the store at all! Don’ t wait for the miracle to happen, be a go-getter and make that miracle happen for yourself! Work on getting your store ranked for keywords, do research etc and you will get THERE!

    Lesson #3: Age Does Not Matter

    Both the winners of the Men and Women’s Singles at Wimbledon this year are above 30 years of age. Roger Federer will turn 31 next month. The last time he won a Grand Slam title was way back in 2010 when he won the Australian Open, again defeating Andy Murray (poor Murray!). Then he went on to lose his #1 spot to Nadal and then to Djokovic. Critics have started to say that perhaps RF is getting too old and losing his touch. Well I guess, this win proved to all the critics that he’s still got it in him to win another Grand Slam title!

    With an online business, it’s never too old to get started! Firstly, it takes way less capital to start up an online store and with sites like Doba, you can easily select and research what products you would like to sell and then just get started by having them dropship the items off for you. You do not even need to tie up your cash stocking up all the inventory. When you’ve already got a proven business model, then you can start to source for other alternatives to meet your demands. InstanteStore is fully integrated with Doba and you can very easily just select which products you want to sell and have it automatically added to your store. Online business creates a more level playing field and has a lower barrier to entry as compared to the usual brick and mortar ones. So if you still got in you, do something about achieving that dream, it’s never too old to get started!


     Lesson #4: Keep Believing In Yourself!

    This sounds really corny but it’s true! You can’t just give up at the first sign of adversity. You should do a research and plan out a good business plan with feasible products that you can sell, a good marketing strategy, the profit margin (you need this!) and be sure to stick to it and continue at it although you may need to tweak and readjust your plans as you go along the way. Before he became a tennis great, Roger Federer also did try his hands at football (soccer) and golf. However, he found his passion with tennis and stuck at it, trained really hard along with making lots of sacrifices along the way to get where he is today. This genius on the court doesn’t simply surface due to plain talent but it has to be coupled with lots sweat and hard work! He keeps believing in himself and doesn’t give up! “But I knew how close I was for the last few years, and some people didn’t quite see that maybe for different reasons. But I knew and I think the belief got me to victory.” – Roger Federer’s winning speech after winning his 7th Wimbledon title.

    Working with so many clients throughout the years, I do see many different characters. There are some that are very determined (but realistic!) and knows exactly what they want and gets there, some faster than others. Then there are those who has a rough plan and who discusses them with us and we provide them with our opinion and together we’re able to make it happen as well. And then there are still others who comes in with a grand plan and thinking that the moment they put up their domain name, visitors will come knocking and just start buying! When that does not happen, they simply just give up or start looking to sell other items instead. Treat your business like your baby – give it time to nurture. It will need to time to grow and you can’t expect a baby to start being independent at the ripe young age of 2 months! It’s the same when working on optimizing your store. You have to give it time for the search engine to index your store and get the keywords ranked and rank well.

    The key is to keep believing in yourself and don’t give up easily! Chances are, you’re closer to making that first sale than you think. But be sure to start off with a feasible business plan….

    I sure hope that this article and Roger Federer’s win will inspire more of you during these harder economic times. You can do it!

  • Cutting Edge Techniques
  • Access Your Google Analytics While On The Go

    Last week I mentioned about making full use of Google for your business. While it’s easy to access your Google Analytics account from our InstanteStore’s Admin panel (just link your account by clicking on the Website Statistics button), it would also require you to use either your tablet, laptop or desktop computer to do so. The Google Analytics page has not been optimized for mobile so viewing the live site format on a 4 inch screen can be a bit taxing.

    Well, not any more! I recently came across this newly launched app called the Analytics Tile App which will allow you to access your Google Analytics account with your iPhone. Watch the short video below to see how easy it is to use the app allowing you access to your business site’s statistics at your finger tips any time, anywhere.

    Pretty neat huh? The app will show you the stats of any of your sites that’s registered under your Google Analytics account. What do I like about it? It’s easy to use, NEAT and simple. And for business owners who are constantly traveling all over the place, knowing what’s happening with your online sites just got a whole lot easier with a few taps on your smartphone screens. It’s currently available from the App Store @ $2.99. Worth checking out if you’re closely monitoring your stats all the time. I wonder when it will be available on Android?

    Have a great weekend!

  • InstanteStore Ecommerce Features
  • Special MOLPay Promotion For InstanteStore Merchants

    MOLPay is one of South East Asia’s leading payment gateways, steadily growing from strength to strength since 2005. It is a solid option for merchants in search of an award winning and PCI DSS compliant payment gateway.

    InstanteStore is now integrated with MOLPay and this venture comes with fantastic benefits to InstanteStore merchants.

    The MOLPay promotion for Instantestore merchants include:

    To enjoy the benefits of this promotion, contact us and mention ‘MOLPay Offer’. We’ll take care of the rest.

    To find out more about MOLPay, click here to visit their site.

  • News & Events
  • The Team at InstanteStore Truly CARES!

    It’s been a while since I contributed to a blog post. However an article that I read a couple of days ago really caught my attention and got me thinking.  As you read on, you will see that this is not a typical post that we put up to help you along with selling online but merely a better insight about our team at InstanteStore.com. 🙂

    I am not sure how many of you actually read an article on the New York Times on March 14, 2012. It was an interesting article by Greg Smith, former Goldman Sachs executive director and head of the firm’s United States equity derivatives business in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.  He talks about his years serving on the Goldman Sachs team and what a joy it was working with the firm initially when the main principle revolved around teamwork, integrity, a spirit of humility, and always doing right by their clients. Somehow over the years that culture seems to have evaporated and making the most profit out of clients seems to be the main objective these days.  If you do want to read the full article by Mr Smith, here’s the link for it.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/14/opinion/why-i-am-leaving-goldman-sachs.html

    That really got me thinking then. There are so many companies out there who are also constantly changing their policies and placing more and more focus on how they can make more out of each client especially with the recent economic conditions around the world. The MILLION DOLLAR QUESTION: Has the management and team at InstanteStore also caved in to this new trend over the recent years as compared to when we first started out where our one true passion was to solely help our clients SUCCEED in their online ventures?

    I deliberated over these issues with our boss, Charles as well as the rest of the team and I must say that I am so glad to be working with a team who is still as passionate as ever about our client’s success and how we can help you guys achieve that! Don’t get me wrong – I am not trying to paint a picture whereby we’re little ANGELS with a halo over our heads! We’re also running a business here and naturally we need to also be making a profit to survive. We still have to go home and feed our families!

    All I am saying is that we’re THE team that here’s for you when you an issue with your store and truly work hard at fixing it for you rather than giving you a standard reply of “We’ll pass this on to the technical team and get back to you shortly.”  We’re the people who you can go to and asks if it’s possible to make this happen for your store and we will not just come reply with “Yes, it’s possible!” and give you the costings for it or even worse “Sorry it’s just not possible…”. It might sound surprising to a skeptical public, but each time we get a custom request we actual talk it out among the team members and see how best we can help you achieve what you want done. We REALLY want to know what’s the real reason for your wanting to make a change to what you already have and we usually will give you advice on whether you should go ahead with it and how we can add on to that new customer experience by making this change for you etc. In other words – WE CARE!

    I recently just had the opportunity to work with a bunch of Work At Home Mothers (WAHMs) from Australia. Some of them are pretty savvy but most of them are still considered true newbie to setting up their online store and selling online for that matter. Working with these ladies really made me realize how much I enjoy my job because everyday I find myself waiting on my computer hoping to get an email from any of them to see how I can further help them out! I get excited when they make their first sale or even if I get a report from them saying that they have made some progress with their online store.

    And it makes us really happy when you share your HAPPY NEWS with us – when your store gets featured on TV or  gets some sort of recognition, earn its first million in sales etc. We do a happy dance just knowing that we were part of that team who made it all possible (even if we get none of the profits!). Over the years we have helped many start-ups become a great success story by advising them on what’s the best way to approach things with their store set-ups, sharing with them our experiences and the latest ways to sell and promote their products on the Internet. We actually have our team leader, Charles to thank for this because this guy seems to know about nearly all things INTERNET! He lives and breathes it! He passes on his knowledge to the rest of the team as well as directly to you guys as well. I am sure many of you have spoken to him directly and know exactly what I am saying here – Charles is a very knowledgeable man (and no, I am not looking for a raise here!). 🙂

    We really appreciate it when you come to us and let us know that you just got engaged or that you’ll be celebrating your Anniversary soon and need our help to surprise your other half (Tim and Mary, we’re glad that you liked our Anniversary gifts to you guys!) or when your wife have just given birth! I guess that’s what makes it so special working at InstanteStore. Unknowingly,  you have become part of our everyday life….

    As much as we enjoy communicating with you all via emails and online chats, it’s definitely a treat for us when you drop by Penang and pay us a visit! We had that privilege earlier this year with Claire and her family from the UK.  And that’s definitely given our team a nice boost to continue to hold on to our initial values and culture and not just to simply give that up through the appreciation that is shown. At the same time it also saddens us when you get upset and simply rattle on and berate us. We totally understand that your business is very important to you and please trust us when we say that we take your business very seriously and we will do everything in our power to make your e-commerce store experience with us a very pleasant one at all times. However at times, certain things are simply out of control e.g network failure at our hosting facility. But from all the years of working on InstanteStore, I found out that with an irate customer, it usually works wonders when I (or any member of our team) give them a call. Somehow or other, it’s always easier to communicate via a phone call as sometimes with email, some important points may get lost in translation which causes a miscommunication between 2 parties. So please if you ever find yourself in such a situation, do not hesitate to leave us your number and we will give you a call back and help you settle whatever issues it is that you’re facing and is finding it simply impossible to tackle.

    I am glad that I have this chance to share my thoughts with you! I hope that this blog post will give you a better insight to our team and the culture and values that we have at InstanteStore.com. With so many ecommerce store software that is available out there, we find it really hard to try to differentiate ourselves based solely the features that we provide or our very competitive pricing. As corny as this may sounds, I am glad to have finally realized one of our USP (Unique Selling Point) – our caring team! It has worked for us for so many years now as many of you guys have truly become our friends and not just merely clients that we work for.

    Showing your clients that you care will truly make that difference for your business as well. Put a little heart into it and trust me, you will get people just raving about you! I don’t know about you, but that alone is enough to put a BIG SMILE on my face and motivation enough for me to get up in the morning and get to the office and START WORKING! It’s a pretty unusual way to end a blog post but I would like to end it with a verse from the Bible.

    Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. – Philippians 2:3-4 (NIV)

  • Ecommerce Web Design
  • Have You Got The Year Planned Out?

    Hope all of you had a good time celebrating Valentine’s Day. For those in the States, the recent President’s Day weekend would have been a good holiday break. Speaking of holidays, it’s always good to plan the whole year out for your online business. Like WHEN to put your store on SALE, new PRODUCT launches and special OFFERS. It’s also vital that you have Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Christmas marked early so that you will have a better plan on what to offer during those hectic sale seasons.

    iPhoneFor new merchants, this will also give you an idea on WHAT and WHEN to purchase your stock. Your suppliers may offer a better deal depending on the season that you buy from them. If you’re selling clothing, you need to get your Spring range ready and to start clearing the Winter clothing line.  You would also need to do the same if you are offering electronic goods. All these require some research on pricing and product launch dates.

    For instance, everyone is waiting in anticipation for the latest techno gadget announcement to see what new models of smartphones and tablets will be rolling out by March namely from the Big A – a new iPad3 or the eagerly awaited iPhone5? Or will Samsung announce a better smartphone model since it has already flooded the market with so many different sized tablets and phones?

    That way, you have some crucial time to clear your current stock as everyone will want to get their hands on the latest model once it is announced and you wouldn’t want to be left with outdated stuff in your inventory. The same goes for clothing, accessories, household items and shoes.

    Another BIGGIE that’s happening this year would be the 2012 Summer Olympics in London which will kick off on 27th July. I’m sure you’ll all be rooting for your home team to bag some gold medals! See if you could support your home team and country by creatively displaying them on your site. In fact, you could even have an OLYMPIC SEASON SALE if your store is selling any sports equipment, products, food stuff, cosmetics,etc.

    I’m sure our UK customers will be having an AWESOME time come July. It’s also an opportunity to SELL MORE during then. Remember those annoying VUVUZELAS that were sold during the 2010 World Cup in South Africa? Merchants made a tonne selling those horns since everyone was caught up with the excitement of the games.

    So what’s going to be the HOT items on sale that everyone will want to grab for the Olympics? Put on your thinking cap and start planning. This is going to be an exciting year! Don’t forget to get the word out on your store’s Facebook and Twitter to let your customers know. Happy selling!

     

  • Internet Marketing
  • Make A Difference With Your Products

    If sales have been a bit flat for you, perhaps you need to re-think your marketing strategy or do something innovative with your products to make some waves. My previous blog about SELLING CREATIVELY showcased 2 different companies putting into action different marketing strategies to boost their sales. What was similar was the fact that both companies utilized social media to spread the word to consumers – and it worked!

    But if you can’t afford to give out tonnes of freebies or capture the hearts of love-struck romantic couples, another suggestion would be to use your product to help make a difference out there. There are tonnes of people that you could reach. Spend a little time doing some simple research and planning. For instance, a normal South African burger joint that was totally unheard of (they’re called WIMPY – pun not intended!) recently made massive waves and attracted TONNES of ATTENTION (and SALES) when they decided to do something different with their product – the humble hamburger. They basically wanted to let people know that they offer their menus in Braille for the blind or visually impaired. I don’t think that’s something the normal restaurants or fast food places you frequent offer in their menu.

    All they did was to bake 15 hamburger buns which had the words “100% Pure Beef Burger Made for You.” spelled out in Braille by using sesame seeds. That is something that is real simple yet creative and definitely something that the media will catch on very fast! They had the burgers prepared just like normal but had them delivered to 15 people in 3 of South Africa’s biggest institutions for the visually impaired. Click on the video below to watch the whole process and the people’s reaction.

    According to Wimpy, they managed to reach a whopping 800,000 visually impaired people via social media with this effort. Not bad for an unheard of brand or company eh? They definitely made a difference with their product and generated enough publicity to make their company known. See your products in a different light and do some simple innovation to help others.

    Take a closer look at the things that you’re selling. Say if you’re selling Party Goods, perhaps you can just create a sticker that allows you to stick it to your products, especially the party favors which guests or children will take back home. That way, the next time someone is having a party, they would instantly remember that party favor, turn it around and there you have it, your store  URL and store address and number to reach! This will not create any instant media wave but will definitely help with viral marketing of your store and products as well.

    If you’re selling kids clothing, perhaps if your profit margin allows you to, you can help the local school with their costume making if they’re having a play at school. You can have your tag shown/sewn clearly across the costumes! Your local papers are sure to cover the event and you can be listed as a proud sponsor and generate some buzz for your store and business as well.  Or be like the Wimpy guys and cater to the blind. You can include beads to the pattern on the clothes. Say if your kid’s top have an OWL on it, you can easily outline an owl in beads and then sew in Braille the words OWL in beads. That way the recipient of the top will be able to feel out the clothes!

    Those are just some ideas that we’ve thought up. In fact, we’re open to any social media ideas that could help your business grow. If you happen to have a brilliant idea to boost your business, let us know. We’d love to hear from you and help you make it happen!

    Before I sign off, here’s wishing all our Chinese customers a Happy Chinese Lunar New Year! To those of you who’s not sure what that is, it’s actually pretty much like Christmas celebration for the Chinese community where family members will all return home for a family reunion. It’s a time for feasting on good food and catching up with each other! 🙂 Have a good one!

  • Ecommerce Web Design
  • Win A $247 Design Gift Certificate Easily

    Christmas, a time for shopping, sharing and giving, is just around the corner. Speaking of sharing, we’ve been giving away design gift certificates worth $247 every month since October to lucky winners of our “Like” InstanteStore contest. It’s SUPER EASY. All you need to do to be in the running is to swing over to our Facebook page (just click on the image below to go to our Facebook page) and click on the “Like” button there. That’s it! Winners will be notified by email and via Facebook as well.

    So that’s $247 worth of design work that you could use to spruce up your site – logos, customized templates, business name card designs, and more, created by our professional design partners Logo-Design-Studio.com. If you have any questions about the contest, just let us know. Good luck!

  • News & Events
  • Check Out These Cyber Monday Online Shopping Bargains!

    Hope you all had a GREAT Thanksgiving celebrating with family and friends. I was down and out with the flu bug for the whole Thanksgiving weekend (Urgh!). Other than the highlight of shopping madness on Black Friday where shoppers rush OR stampede to get the best deals and door busters from the major retailers, the holiday shopping saga continues with Cyber Monday.

    Shoppers who prefer to get stuff online will be looking for better deals from popular sites such as Amazon, Best Buy, Target and more. If you’re finally taking a breather to have some online shopping time for yourself after a mad weekend, here’s what you could look forward to get this Cyber Monday.

    Found this little bit of exciting news from CBSNews.com on what’s HOT and being offered by the big boys. Click on the image to check out the deals.

    Cyber Monday 2011: Deals from Wal-mart, Target, Best Buy and more

    Hope you all managed to get some of the goodies offered. Have a great week ahead everyone!

     

     

  • News & Events
  • Is Your Online Store Ready For The Holiday Sale Season?

    Time flies these days! It’s already the holiday sale season. Although most people will be gearing up for the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, please do not wait until the last minute to make the necessary changes to your online store as you need to start building the momentum NOW.

    What Are Others Doing?

    I mean, check out what Amazon and Walmart are doing. They’re both offering different sets of products on sale now counting down to Black Friday. And a real attention grabber or encourager is always the Free Shipping being offered to consumers. The idea is to start attracting online customers to your site as it’s never too early for them to start shopping. Snoop out your competitors to see what they have done to their site.

    Coming back to your store, have you come up with a time frame and list of products that you wish to put on sale? And with so many different sites throwing in free shipping for customers who spend above a certain amount, it would be good for you to offer the same on your site. So FREE is THE WORD that will capture your customers’ attention. Remember to factor in the shipping cost for your products as you wouldn’t want to make a loss on your sales. If you can’t afford to offer free shipping, then another suggestion would be to offer some free products for customers who purchase above a certain amount. Just make sure that’s visible on your site. Obviously, no returns on freebies.

    Customer Service Ready?

    It would be a danger zone if your customer service is not ready to handle questions, complaints or inquiries from online customers. You would want to protect your store’s reputation by ensuring that your customer service is giving prompt and professional replies efficiently. And please make sure that orders are processed promptly as consumers will remember excellent customer service. The bonus is when they recommend your store to others so you might want to check that Facebook, Twitter and other social media is up to date as well. Happy selling!

     

  • News & Events
  • InstanteStore Receives Best Ecommerce Software Provider Award

    InstanteStore Wins Best Webtool Award
    InstanteStore Wins Best Webtool Award

    InstanteStore recently received the Best Web Tool award from WebHostingSearch.com for being one of  the “best providers of E-commerce Software and Shopping Carts” .

    This award justifies our efforts in constantly upgrading our solution to give our merchants the best bang for their buck in an easy-to-use ecommerce solution. From our new attractive drag ‘n drop free ecommerce templates, user friendly icon based admin panel to free live chat software – we have it all as standard features.

    We’ve been putting in a lot of hard work adding these cool new features, so it’s nice to be recognized as one of the best ecommerce shopping cart providers around.

    For those of you who are not familiar with WebHostingSearch.com, well to put it briefly, this is the place you’d want to go if you are looking for reliable web hosting. They have lots of unbiased reviews of all the top names of web hosting to help you make an educated decision on your hosting choice.

    What I really like about WebHostingSearch.com is that you can drop them an email if you’d like them to elaborate on a certain topic that might be of interest to you. They’ve got people in the know for almost everything related to the Net. Drop by for a peek.

  • Internet Marketing
  • Online Shopping Cart Tutorial – Hot Product Search Methods

    Merchants need a lot more than just a feature-filled website shopping cart and the best free shopping cart software available to succeed. They need an edge when it comes to products. An edge could mean better pricing, a more accommodating return policy, better customer support, more efficient after-sales service and, of course, the latest item in demand for a particular niche.

    But how does one go about finding out about new products, fads and such? Are there any free tools available to help merchants keep abreast with current news regarding products and related industries? We shall attempt to address those questions in this online shopping cart tutorial installment.

    (more…)

  • News & Events
  • Secure Ecommerce Shopping Cart Abandonment Rates Rising

    There’s a reason why Amazon.com continues to invest so much effort in tracking customer behavior on its site. You can bet your bottom dollar that every little tweak that Amazon.com makes to its site is because it thinks each change will impact sales in a positive manner and curb secure ecommerce shopping cart abandonment rates. If there’s one thing we can learn from Amazon.com, it’s that it’s important to continuously  adapt to changing customer trends.

    A recent survey by Forrester has shown that up to 88% of consumers have abandoned secure ecommerce shopping carts during the checkout process. The reasons are far removed from those we addressed a while back in a previous post. This time around, it’s not a lengthy checkout process or lack of certain features that’s turning customers away: It’s (hidden) cost.

    (more…)

  • Internet Marketing
  • Secure Ecommerce Shopping Cart Insight – World Cup Keywords

    We blogged earlier about the World Cup being just a few months away. We also disclosed that quite a number of stores have already started with their World Cup inspired shopping cart design templates and have begun selling World Cup merchandise in preparation for the big event. Many are promoting pre-orders for certain items with heavy discounts to entice buyers.

    In this post, we will offer another secure ecommerce shopping cart insight into the kinds of keywords these merchants use and what the hottest World Cup related searches are right now.

    (more…)

  • Internet Marketing
  • Ecommerce Shopping Carts – Ideas For FIFA 2010 World Cup

    Football fans started buying their favorite national team jerseys as soon as the teams they support qualified for the World Cup Finals in South Africa. Teams from 32 countries will take part in the World Cup. The “traditional” World Cup heavyweights such as Brazil, Germany, Argentina, France, England, Spain and Italy have loads of fans the world over from nations who did not qualify as well. To try to take advantage of this huge event, we present a few quick shopping cart ideas for owners of ecommerce shopping carts stores in this post.

    Attendance in South Africa will be in the millions but billions more will be following it from home. As a show of solidarity for their beloved teams, fans around the world will be seen donning the jerseys of their favorite teams jerseys come June.

    Even before the end of the Winter Olympics, ecommerce shopping carts sports, gifts and souvenir related stores dedicated a few pages each to the FIFA World Cup that’s coming up in a few months. There’s even a merchant selling home products who’s already promoting World Cup related beddings and toiletries. This just goes to show that if you know what your market wants and you market your product well, the likelihood of success is high.

    (more…)

  • Internet Marketing
  • What To Sell Online, Shopping Cart Ideas For Big Events

    Just like all big events, the 2010 Winter Olympics is looked upon as yet another opportunity for merchants to make extra money. In fact, the profit margins are higher for items sold in conjunction with events such as this.

    Read on and find out what the best products to sell online are, shopping cart ideas for post-Winter Games and ideas on how to prepare for the upcoming FIFA World Cup Finals in June.

    (more…)

  • Ecommerce Web Design
  • Free Keyword, Site Design And Shopping Cart Software Tips

    Here are a few more FREE keyword, site design and shopping cart software tips that we’ve garnered by analyzing customer questions, digesting the latest ecommerce findings and carrying out our own little experiments. It’s still basically the usual suspects – keywords, site design and shopping cart software – that are under the microscope, but with a little twist here and there. All these little tweaks are important as customer trends keep changing.

    Every year it seems like we encourage our merchants to get their Christmas/Holiday store preparations done a little bit earlier than the year before. This year is no different. (more…)

  • InstanteStore Ecommerce Features
  • Introducing Free Live Chat Software from InstanteStore

    Over the last while, we’ve received numerous queries from our merchants, asking if there’s a particular live chat software solution that we recommend for use (free live chat or otherwise). It’s partly in response to these requests that we’ve now introduced InstanteStore’s very own free live chat software.

    When it comes to running an ecommerce store, one of the main factors that will determine a store’s success or failure is the quality of customer service and support that’s offered. Customer support comes in many forms: email, support ticket systems, phone support, etc. One of the most direct and effective forms of customer support is live chat software.

    (more…)

  • News & Events
  • Benefits Of Virtual Shopping Cart Software Backed Stores

    There was an article today entitled Where You Might Not Shop In 2010 at Forbes.com. The stores featured were famous brick and mortar stores. None of the stores featured were virtual shopping cart software backed stores. The article talked about stores having to close for all sorts of reasons – overcapacity, liquidity issues and the need to consolidate – stemming from the economic slowdown. Fortunately, the situation is not as dire with virtual shopping cart software powered stores. In fact, some virtual shopping cart software run stores such as consignment stores have actually thrived during the economic downturn.

    According to economic consultant Retail Forward sales are expected to pick up, increasing by as much as 3% in the second half of 2010 but more needs to be done to reduce excess inventory and align supply with demand.

    (more…)

  • News & Events
  • Coldfusion Shopping Cart News – More Do’s And Don’ts For 2010

    So far this year we’ve looked at past trends, ecommerce statistics and tried to predict upcoming trends by analyzing shopping cart reviews and feedback. In this coldfusion shopping cart news post, we will look at the little things that can affect the performance of a web store. We will also look at what the big boys are doing in terms of reaching out to customers and finally, see how some stores are making brave moves by going against the norm.

    (more…)

  • Ecommerce Startup
  • Thinking Of Starting Your Own Business In The UK?

    Are you thinking of starting your own business in the UK? Well, according to the numbers, now may be a good time to do so.

    In 2008, UK consumers were already spending 17% per retail pound online. Some experts predict that online shopping could make up as much as 40% of retail sales by 2020.

    Verdict, a company specializing in retail research, made a forecast that British online retail spending would more than triple to £67 billion pounds in 2020 from £21 billion in 2009. That’s quite a fair bit of money and certainly an incentive for those of you who are thinking of starting your own business in the UK.

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  • Cutting Edge Techniques
  • Online Business Opportunity Internet Online Marketing Tips For 2010

    What a difference a year makes. It seems like only yesterday everyone was putting email marketing at the bottom of their “to do” lists but now it’s back in vogue. Some online business opportunity Internet online marketing tips from yesteryear have made a comeback, while some others are now less relevant.

    If you’re looking to start an online business Internet marketing should not be an afterthought. You need to write marketing strategy that will integrate everything the best elements available on the web in order to rank high search engine-wise and successfully convert visitors.

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  • Internet Marketing
  • 2010 Marketing Tips For Websites – Add Real Value To Your Brand

    The economic downturn has brought new emphasis to the term “Value” among consumers. The old marketing tips for websites of yesteryear may not be as effective anymore as shoppers are now more cautious with their spending. Although sales figures show that people are still spending money on all sorts of goods, they now (more than ever) indulge in more research to ensure they are really getting their money’s worth.

    Now the reason to spend must be heavily influenced by the actual need for the product as well as the authentic meaningful value associated with the product. Gone are the days when people used to easily buy into assuring yet hollow tag lines and seemingly unrelated celebrity endorsements.

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  • Ecommerce Startup
  • Start A Profitable Online Business Now

    The forecasts for ecommerce in 2010 look good. Projections indicate that ecommerce will continue to grow even if the economy hasn’t yet fully recovered from the downturn. This can be attributed to many factors but all of which point to the same conclusion: this is a good time to start a profitable online business. If you’ve got an income opportunity home based business idea, don’t just sit on it – start a profitable online business now.

    We’ve presented quite a few viable home based business ideas in previous posts. This time around, we will take a look at what we can do to take full advantage of the expected growth in ecommerce.

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  • News & Events
  • Business Start Up Advice – It’s A Good Time To Start A Web Store

    The figures for the recent holiday sales including Black Friday are in and they’re looking good. Which is great news for merchants everywhere. As far as business start up advice goes, this would be a great time to start your very own web store.

    Here’s why you should take that business start up advice: Starting your store now will give you ample time to plan for the summer sales and even more time to prep your store for next Christmas. Just sign up with InstanteStore for a free trial and get a feel of what it would be like to have your very own store. You don’t need to build shopping cart from scratch. That’s right, no need to build online shopping cart or fiddle around with setting up your store from the ground up. We’ve done all the groundwork for you with InstanteStore. Sign up and see for yourself how easy it is to run a store with our solution.

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  • News & Events
  • Interesting Times In Store For InstanteStore Users

    The next few months will be an interesting time for all our InstanteStore users. The crazy team here have a few COOL things lined up to help you get more buyers to your store and sell more to those buyers. Notice I said “get more buyers” and not “get more traffic” or “get more visitors”.

    Why?

    Because when it comes down to it, you want BUYERS coming to your store. Not “traffic” or even “visitors”!

    I can’t actually share the details of these “skunkworks” tools we’re working on yet. However, I’ll definitely keep you guys updated as we progress.

    As always, if you have any specific requests or ideas on how we can improve the InstanteStore solution, post your comments below.