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Partner of the Month – Loop Commerce

Partner of the Month – Loop Commerce

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Every month we like to feature a new partner on our blog as part of our Partner of the Month series. This month, we’re featuring Loop Commerce, a company who has set out to change how we purchase gifts for people online. You may have seen a guest blog post written by Roy Erez, CEO of Loop Commerce. Here is our chance to highlight the company a bit more and let you know what they’re all about. For more information, check out their Website: https://www.loopcommerce.com/.

Loop Commerce is a company that has set out to transform how we give gifts online. Based in Silicon Valley, CA, and backed by top industry executives as well as PayPal, Loop Commerce is changing how retailers approach their top e-commerce pain-points by providing an innovative, patent pending shopping and gifting platform that removes the obstacles consumers face when trying to buy a real physical product as a gift. They were recently selected by Forbes as one of 12 companies “moving global commerce forward”.

Keep an eye out for Loop commerce at the Demandware Xchange conference April 7-9, 2014 in Miami Beach Florida (Join their breakout session on Tuesday April 8th). You can also find them at the Magento Imagine conference this May 12-14th both at their booth as Silver Sponsors as well as during their breakout session. Keep up with the other events you can catch Loop Commerce at on the News and Events page.

For more information about Loop Commerce and their services, check out their website: https://www.loopcommerce.com/

If you’re looking for details on the hottest eCommerce events for 2018, check out this detailed list from Magemail: 10 eCommerce Events You Need To Check Out In 2018!

Be Where Your Customers Are: Omni Channel Retailing and Why it Matters

Be Where Your Customers Are: Omni Channel Retailing and Why it Matters

The following post was written by Roy Erez, Co-Founder and CEO, Loop Commerce, an online gifting solution company and partner of Redstage.

J.C. Penney once said that “the well-satisfied customer will bring the repeat sale that counts”.

Corporations are constantly taking note of how their customers are purchasing, making sure that they have a presence where their customers shop, and that they have what it takes to make them happy.

It’s no surprise that technology (such as smartphones, among others) have introduced new ways of shopping, bringing additional dimensions to both traditional retail and e-commerce. Indeed, the modern customer is one who embraces technology in every step of their purchasing journey.

For example, a customer may browse online before going to a store in person, and once in the store, might search for reviews on the mobile phone before deciding on the purchase or vice versa.

In an interview on the National Retail Federation’s blog Retail’s Big Blog, Terry Lundgren, President, Chairman and CEO of Macy’s, Inc. shared his thoughts on Macy’s best customers, saying that they are “those who shop us in-stores and online – we strive to have a 360-degree view of the customer.”

Darren Hitchcock echoes Lundgren’s sentiment on his blog post in Econsultancy, pointing out that omni-channel retailing is “seeing things from a consumer’s point of view, (and) not from the comfort of your own business boundaries”.

In other words, omni-channel retailing is a seamless approach to the consumer experience through engaging the customer on all available shopping channels.

As the e-commerce industry is relatively new to omni-channel retailing, companies are becoming increasingly interested in ways to streamline and optimize the customer experience.

For a start, companies are taking steps to seamlessly integrate their e-commerce operations with their retail stores, paying more and more attention to how customer data can be used to get a ‘360-degree view’ of their customers.

Taking it a step further, many retailers also realize that their interactions with the customer extends beyond meeting them offline and online, and that the challenge today is to provide a great experience across different technological mediums. In fact, eBay shared at Magento’s Imagine 2013 that 21% of their users are ‘multi-screen’ when they buy something, and observed that engaged consumers tend to buy twice as much.

The rapid rates of change and innovation signal a transforming retail paradigm. Today, retailers need to be present wherever their customers are, armed with the proper functionality to meet the evolving needs of the modern customer.

About Loop:

Based in Silicon Valley, CA, and backed by top industry executives as well as PayPal, Loop Commerce is changing how retailers approach their top e-commerce pain-points by providing an innovative, patent pending shopping and gifting platform that removes the obstacles consumers face when trying to buy a real physical product as a gift. They were recently selected by Forbes as one of 12 companies “moving global commerce forward”.

10 Do’s and Don’ts of Web Design

10 Do’s and Don’ts of Web Design

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This post will give you some pointers about how to go about your first Web Design project. If you have limited technical ability, we always recommend working with a professional developer or agency to get your project off the ground.

Layout

Creating a layout for your website is a big part of developing a successful website. The website should follow a pattern that feels familiar to visitors. Try putting your twist on the classics.

  • Do – Create a website with an intuitive layout/interface that is easy for a customer to find what they want. Research on other websites and try to identify customer behaving patterns when visiting those sites. There is a lot of research about how people browse the web out there, so look around and see what you can do to capitalize on how people navigate the web.
  • Don’t – Design or build a website that is so wide that the customer has to scroll left and right to see everything. All of the content should be contained within the viewable width of most web browsers with the most important information “above the fold” or before the page needs to scroll vertically.

Navigation

Navigation is an important tool for your website. Think of who will be viewing your site and think of how to split up the content in a way that would make sense to them to look for it.

  • Do – Use a top navigation or left-side navigation as these are familiar to most visitors so they’ll know where to go to get around on your site. If you’ve got a blog page, you may want to have a right column which includes the blog filters and widgets, while the main column contains the posts you’ve written.
  • Don’t – Use a hidden navigation or remove navigation on certain pages. Make sure it is always easy for your customer to get around your site. You’ve probably spent a lot of time and money on your site, so don’t waste that investment by making it hard for your customer to get around.

Colors

Color can be a very useful tool to create interest and engage your customers. As in most artistic mediums, color should be used carefully.

  • Do – Use colors to enhance your design and draw attention to specific elements on your site (checkout button, add to cart, etc. – more about this later).
  • Don’t – Complicate your site with tons of different colors that don’t belong on the same page. You’re not creating abstract art here. Color should enhance the website, not take it over.

Think About Mobile:

As more and more people turn to Mobile and tablet devices to browse the web, it’s important to have a strategy in place so customers can view your site on these devices.
     

  • Do – Implement a responsive theme for your website. Responsive design allows you to create a website which adjusts based on the device viewing the site. This makes it ideal for websites which receive traffic from a wide variety of mobile and tablet devices.
  • Don’t – Make mobile an afterthought. For most people, there is a tendency to develop a website and then implement a mobile theme separately. You’re doing your business a disservice if you follow this route. It’ll effect your branding (no matter how much you try, your mobile theme will never quite match your actual site) as well as your search rankings (two separate sets of HTML code for the same website add additional complication to your site that search engines don’t like).

Call to Action

Have a clear call to action prompting your customer to take a specific action that you want.

  • Do – Prominently feature your call to action on the page and make it stand out with a bright color or a large graphic.
  • Don’t – Pack your page so full of graphics and buttons that the Call to Action is lost in the shuffle.

Content

Ever hear the phrase “Content is King”? Well, it’s true. Content is an important piece of creating a successful website.

  • Do – Create good, original content to engage your customers. This applies to both website copy as well as images/graphics.
  • Don’t – Plagiarize or use duplicate content. Search engines want original content and know when you’re lying about it. Avoid getting punished in your rankings for doing this.

Get Interactive

Add interactive elements to your site. These can be used for specific promotions or messages to your customer. Changing/rotating graphics will keep a customer interested and allow you to draw their focus where you want it.

  • Do – Use sliding banners on your homepage. These allow you to send your customer a specific message about your site (promotions you are running, new products, etc.) in a way that is easy for them to consume. These can help grab a customer’s attention and keep them on your site.
  • Don’t – Use Flash. There is almost no time when a website needs to use flash these days; period. Search engines don’t like it and some Mobile devices can’t handle it (Adobe also announced that it will no longer support flash for mobile). Look to HTML5 to develop something you would normally use flash for. Also, stay away from music on your site – especially if it automatically plays. Unless you’re promoting your band or you sell music, this is just annoying.

Marketing:

Having a marketing strategy in place as you build your site will help you hit the ground running with SEO and page rank for your website.

  • Do – Create content that is relevant for your website and the product or service you are selling. Use important keywords that customers will be using when looking for your site on search engines.
  • Don’t – Go overboard with Keywords. It is more important that your content read well than have a ton of keyword density. Even if that does help you get traffic to your site, it will turn off customers and cause them to bounce and go to your competitors.

Optimize:

Work hard to optimize your website. This will ensure that it loads quickly for your customers, which will help keep them engaged and on your site.

  • Do – Optimize code, use Style Sheets (CSS) and speed test your site. These things will help keep your site fast and keep your bounce rate low. It will also make updating your site easier (which means cheaper for you!).
  • Don’t – Upload huge image files. You don’t want to get so caught up with image quality that you are uploading giant image files that slow down your page loads. Optimize your images for the web by compressing them – most likely, your customers won’t even notice.

Get Social:

If you’re going to be proactive and update/interact regularly, think about implementing a social strategy to engage your customers.

  • Do – Add Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc. to your site. You can do this in the form of links to your accounts or social sharing widgets. The important thing here is to engage your customers in the way that is most familiar to them.
  • Don’t – Add a blog or social feeds that you aren’t going to regularly keep updated. This will make your potential customers question your credibility. Also, if you are just starting out and have a small following on your social accounts, hold off on adding those to your site – these will also reflect poorly on your brand.

If you have any questions or need some help with your new project, give us a call!

Redstage to Attend Magento Imagine Conference 2014 – Gold Sponsors

Redstage to Attend Magento Imagine Conference 2014 – Gold Sponsors

Redstage is happy to announce that we will be attending this years Magento Imagine Conference again, this time as Gold Sponsors. We’re looking forward to meeting some new people and sharing our knowledge with the community. Keep an eye out for our booth and drop by to say hi!

To get tickets or find out more about the conference, you can go here:
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We look forward to seeing you all in May!

Site Launch – High Point Scientific

Site Launch – High Point Scientific

We’re excited to announce the launch of a new site built on Magento Enterprise for High Point Scientific, a multichannel seller of Telescopes and accessories. High Point contracted Redstage to develop the site on Magento Enterprise due to the operational and marketing features. In addition, the site uses the Magento Secure Payments Bridge with PayPal to allow for secure tokenization of Credit Card information while remaining PCI Compliant. High Point is also taking advantage of an integration with eBay and Amazon for centralized order management and fulfillment with additional feeds for shopping comparison sites.

We look forward to continuing to work with High Point Scientific on future website updates and enhancements. For more information about this project, visit our portfolio.