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Why Your Business Should Consider an eCommerce App

Ever since the 2020 pandemic, businesses with ecommerce capabilities experienced a surge of revenue from online sales. Consumers recognized the convenience of online shopping and continued with that practice. As digital marketers, we should recognize this cultural shift from in-store shopping to online shopping. The truth is that there is a lot of opportunity in ecommerce, and this is a great time to explore the newest trend of getting an ecommerce app. 

Now your first thought might be that an ecommerce app is an unneeded investment for your business and that you have other priorities that are more worthy of your time and energy, but that idea shouldn’t be shot down so quickly. We will be sharing some important stats that show the growing trends of online shopping via a mobile device and how an ecommerce app can be the one thing that sets you apart from the rest of your competition.  

Everyone is going mobile. 

Smartphones have become a trendy device across the United States, where 81% percent of the population owns one. Many of our digital experiences are being optimized for mobile because our devices are so accessible to us. We have our smartphones wherever we go, which makes it very convenient for us to search for something via the web at any time. A recent study has stated that over half of all website traffic is sourced from a mobile device.

Our generation is heading towards mobile, and websites are being optimized for this transformation. Web developers are now keeping in mind that the mobile layout can be just as important as the desktop version. 

With this shift, sales coming from a mobile devices gained a lot of growth. The feeling of convenience has become the selling point during this transformation. Due to our busy schedules, consumers don’t always have the time to grab their laptops to purchase. Meanwhile, their phone is conveniently right next to them. Now putting two and two together, we now understand that mobile devices have accounted for the increase of sales coming from a mobile device. 

Now we are going to share another statistic that should further your consideration in getting an e-commerce app. 78% of users prefer using an app to a website when online shopping from their mobile device. Given this statistic, businesses that have ecommerce capabilities should reconsider investing in an ecommerce app. 

An ecommerce app can enhance your brand.

Let’s first look at an example of a widely used ecommerce app that has a major impact as an ecommerce industry leader.  

Amazon is the top industry leader when it comes to ecommerce. The app is the most popular shopping app with about 150.6 million users. Amazon is loved by many because of the experience users have when purchasing through the app. Customers are extremely satisfied by the amount of convenience they’re able to experience when making a purchase.

The process is straightforward for customers to purchase, track, and review all within the app. You can even set up and do a return! The process is seamless, with very little room for error. Because of the user experience on the app, Amazon has become a brand that many worldwide love. 

An eCommerce app can also enhance your brand experience. Depending on your industry, an app can be very beneficial to your consumers. If you are in an industry where your buyers frequently come back to make another purchase, you should consider getting an app. It will make the consumer’s shopping experience more convenient. 

Also, consider the competitors in your industry. Do they have an app for their users to make a purchase? If not, is there an underlying issue they are experiencing where a mobile app can be the solution? To get ahead of competitors, you sometimes must be the first to do something. Being the first will easily set you apart from the rest of the industry. 

By having a mobile app, you also can improve and increase communication with your customers. The great thing about an app is that consumers are fully immersed in your brand while using it. Unlike web browsers, you have a lower risk of users exiting out of your site and searching for another competitor.

If they are using your app, the user is more dedicated to shopping with you. There is little competition around when the consumer is in this position. Customers shopping from mobile apps have a 130% higher conversion rate than purchasing from a mobile website. 

Having an app can lead to more marketing opportunities. 

Ecommerce apps can also open new marketing opportunities, which are push notifications. It’s no surprise that push notifications have higher engagement rates than emails and social media ads. Push notifications can grab a lot of customer attention because the notification shows up on their smartphone’s home screen. This marketing tactic is hard for the user to overlook due to its nature.

It also makes it a lot easier for the user to reach your site. Unlike email and social media ads, the customer must be in a different app before getting to your site. They must digest the content in their email or social media timeline, notice your email or ad, digest the content, and click the link to get to your website. It is too many steps, which could lower your customer’s chances of landing on your site.

Unlike emails and ads, push notifications will notify the user’s phone, and once clicked on, it will direct the user directly to the page that is relevant to the notification. Your message will be a lot more direct, and the user is less likely to get distracted. 

Apps are also a great place to centralize any information about your ecommerce shop. In the app, you can promote upcoming sales and personalize account information, and more. The opportunities of what you can provide your customers are endless. An eCommerce app is an excellent opportunity to truly connect with your customers and give them a great shopping experience. 

If you are curious about web app development, learn more about our services at Agency Partner. We live in the digital world, and we know how the digital landscape changes by the minute. To learn more about our mobile application services, contact us here. 

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Why Isn’t My Website Converting?

Expert Tips For Why Isn’t My Website Converting?

If you’ve ever been on a date or had a job interview you know the importance of making a good first impression. Think about it, before you left your house for that date or interview you made sure every little detail was in order.

Let’s apply that same logic to your business and more specifically your business’s website. In this post, we’ll cover five reasons why your website isn’t converting.

But before we do. Let’s start with the basics.

What are the conversions?

Simply put a conversion is getting visitors of your website to follow through on the desired, and marketed action you would like them to take. For example, a conversion can be visitors responding to your website’s call to action.

In any case, your success is heavily dependent on the quality of your marketing and how well you appeal to each particular visitor.

Why are conversions important?

Conversions are important because they allow you to gauge the success of your marketing strategy or lack thereof. If your conversion rate is on an uptick that’s a good indicator that you know your audience, your marketing is well targeted, and you’ve identified your difference – what sets you apart from your competitors.

On the other hand, if your website isn’t doing so well in the conversions department that’s a good indicator that your marketing strategy may be ineffective and might need to be reevaluated.

None that we’ve covered the basics of conversions and why they’re important, let’s talk about reasons why your website isn’t converting.

Your website is new.

If your website is fairly new, don’t be alarmed if you don’t have a lot of visitors. It can take time to rank high in search engines and drive traffic to your site. If your website has been around for a while and you’re disappointed in the number of people visiting, try these tips to boost traffic and improve online visibility.

No clear call to action.

Evaluate your site from a visitor’s point of view. What is the desired action you want prospective clients to take? Is the message delivered clearly in your marketing? is there a clearly defined place for visitors to convert?

For example, if my site sells medical equipment and is trying to entice healthcare workers, practitioners, and other people involved in the industry to sign up for my mailing list, I need to give them a clear and easy place to do so. Maybe a pop-up ad.

You are not targeting the right people.

Okay, you’ve optimized your website for search engines. But be sure your keywords accurately represent your brand’s products and services. Make sure your keywords are also in line with how your target audience searches because it’s very possible you’re attracting the wrong people.

You are not speaking to your audience.

It’s crucially important to know who your audience is, and their wants and needs, in order to craft an effectively engaging website. If you fail to use a voice, tone, and keywords that strongly resonate with your target audience, it is unlikely that visitors will convert.

To gain a better understanding of your audience, consider their lives outside of this one engagement or transaction. This method of thinking could help to create engaging copy that speaks to your users more successfully.

You are providing a poor mobile experience.

If your website is not optimized for a fast and responsive mobile experience, you are behind the times.

According to Statista.com mobile devices account for approximately half of the web traffic worldwide. Mobile devices, excluding tablets, generated 50.81% of global website traffic in the third quarter of 2020.

Get a better website now!

If you’re tired of the frustration, and anxiety that comes with a website that doesn’t convert, we’ve got you covered. Agency Partner is a full-service digital marketing agency that specializes in creating and maintaining websites that drive conversions.

Not only do we offer web design services, but we can also help your existing website soar with more conversions through SEO campaigns, content marketing campaigns, and so much more.

As we talked about at the beginning of this article, first impressions are crucial.

Let the professionals at Agency Partner help you make a memorable one with the perfect website and marketing campaign for your business.

Not big on reading? That’s okay. Watch “Why Isn’t My Website Converting?instead. Using the power of Artificial Intelligence, we turned this blog into a video for you. Check it out below!

 

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ECommerce Marketing in 2020

Expert Tips For How to Improve ECommerce Marketing in 2020

It’s 2020, and the future is here (as well as Coronavirus). While you may have created your Ecommerce website by yourself with Shopify or another out-of-the-box web design tool, you simply can’t go without an Ecommerce marketing agency in our ever-changing online environment. Marketing is part art, part science, and when it comes to marketing your Ecommerce site, it requires a lot of technical knowledge about search engines.

Marketing in 2020 also requires you to be especially aware of the unique opportunities created for online retailers in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic.

As an Ecommerce marketing agency and Ecommerce marketing experts, we’ve put together this blog post to share our best tips for marketing your website.

Always Run PPC Ads

PPC ads (pay-per-click ads) are a great way to drive traffic to your online retail website. While the most common PPC ads are on Google and YouTube, you can also run campaigns on Bing or on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram and even on mobile devices.

In general, here are a few different types of PPC ads that you can choose from:

  • Paid search ads, which is when you bid on keywords. When someone searches those keywords and you win a bid, your ad is displayed on the search results page.
  • Display ads, which are shown on websites related to the keywords you have bid on, or are part of a remarketing campaign.
  • Product Listing ads, such as Google Shopping ads or Bing Shopping ads, which are perfect for eCommerce sites like yours.

Choosing all the settings for these ads, however, is an extremely technical task. In fact, there are people who spend their entire careers focused on search engine marketing! Trust us, you want to be working with an ecommerce marketing agency like ours for all your PPC ads to achieve the best ROI.

Your Website Must Be Search Engine Optimized (SEO) or It Won’t Be Discovered

In addition to paid traffic, you want your website to be found organically. But your site will never rank on Google if you aren’t deploying the most current SEO trends.

SEO is an entire sector of marketing that is entirely focused on getting web pages to rank highly on search engines like Google. Current things that help web pages rank include:

  • Using quality keywords throughout your webpage copy.
  • Optimizing web elements like title tags, image descriptions, and meta tags.
  • Creating a content marketing campaign that incorporates popular search terms related to your brand or product, such as a blog campaign.

Whether you need our help with web copy, content marketing, or something else, our Ecommerce marketing agency can fulfill all your SEO needs.

Make Sure You Have Social Proof Including Positive Reviews

It used to be that if you wanted to find a new product or service, you’d ask your friends and family. In 2020, that’s all changed. 

New research shows that in 2020, 84% of people trust online reviews from complete strangers just as much as they trust the recommendations of their actual friends and family whom they know in real life. This news is great if you’ve got a 5-star rating on your Google My Business page. This is not-so-great news if your Google My Business is only filled with complaints, or perhaps even worse, has no feedback at all.

In E-commerce marketing, reviews fall under the umbrella of social proof. Social proof encompasses a wide variety of feedback from real users of your products or services that other online retail shoppers use to make a purchasing decision.

The type of social proof that your customers may consider include:

  • Reviews and ratings posted on your website, social media sites, and your Google My Business page.
  • Professional organizations that your business is a member of that you display on your website.
  • Awards you’ve won and mention on your website
  • Big press hits in major publications and websites that you showcase on your website, such as “As Seen in INC.”
  • Recommendations from social media Influencers who are relevant to your brand.

As an Ecommerce marketing agency, we can help you put together a plan to gather more social proof. Our work together may include:

  • Creating an incentive program for customers to leave an honest review of your product or service, and automating the request of these reviews.
  • Submitting your company, products, and services for industry-recognized or consumer awards.
  • Running a public relations campaign to increase media coverage of your Ecommerce website.
  • Working with social media Influencers, such as on Instagram, to give your brand a lift.

Ecommerce Marketing in the Age of Coronavirus

With more people working from home and taking breaks to surf the Internet, or helping their kids do school virtually, there’s never been a better time than now to be running Ecommerce marketing campaigns.

Internet traffic is up in 2020, which means that despite the challenges the economy has undergone this year, the Internet is still ripe with people who may be casually browsing online, but whom you can also quickly convert into customers when you present them with compelling content, messages, and social proof.

As an Ecommerce marketing agency, we’ve been diligently studying pandemic Ecommerce marketing. We know insider tips and tricks to help convert casual browsers who may be taking a break in between Zoom calls into paying customers.

Trust us, you don’t want to let 2020’s unique Ecommerce marketing opportunities pass you by.

Call Our Ecommerce Marketing Experts for Help with Your Campaigns

If you’re not yet working with an Ecommerce marketing agency, you need to be. 2020 is the most technically advanced year we’ve ever experienced, as well as a high Internet traffic year due to COVID-19 shutdowns. You don’t want to trust your Ecommerce marketing efforts to just anyone, and you definitely don’t want to go it alone without the help of Ecommerce marketing experts like us.

To start and implement an Ecommerce marketing strategy, call our agency to begin a discussion on your website’s unique needs. We can be reached at (214) 295-5845.

Not big on reading? That’s okay. Watch “ECommerce Marketing in 2020” instead.

Using the power of Artificial Intelligence, we turned this blog into a video for you. Check it out below!

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Magento vs. Woo Commerce

Expert Tips For Magento vs. WooCommerce

Many people just like you who are launching eCommerce websites to sell online look for helpful blogs like this one to compare eCommerce tools. Should you use Magento, WooCommerce, or Shopify? Which platform offers the best eCommerce software?

To simplify things, in this blog post we’re going to focus on comparing Magento features to WooCommerce features, but check out our main blog page for other posts that discuss Shopify, too.

The Similarities Between Magento and Woo Commerce

Unlike Shopify, which is an out-of-the-box solution for launching eCommerce websites, both Magento and WooCommerce are more advanced eCommerce software solutions.

Choosing either Magento or Woo Commerce will require those who want to sell online to have an internal resource who is technical and can configure their chosen eCommerce software to meet their specific needs, or engage with a marketing agency like ours to create their eCommerce websites for them.

Many entrepreneurs who want to sell online consider these two eCommerce software solutions for a variety of reasons, including:

  • They are going to be creating eCommerce websites that are larger and sell more products online.
  • They want to be able to customize more features of their eCommerce websites.
  • They want more control and insights into their eCommerce websites.

Whatever your reason for wanting to compare eCommerce tools Magento and Woo Commerce, continue reading to learn about each of their unique features.

Key Magento Features

Magento comes as both a free open source edition and an Enterprise edition. Which option you’ll choose will depend on your unique needs for your eCommerce website.

Key Magento features that make it stand apart include:

  • The Enterprise edition is highly-scalable, which makes it great for eCommerce websites whose business plans have them growing and growing.
  • There’s a huge network of Magento developers and agencies like ours that specialize in building eCommerce websites powered by Magento, so you’ll easily be able to find resources to sell online using Magento.
  • Even though it’s a customizable solution, there are several useful out-of-the-box features.
  • If you plan to sell online to other businesses, you’ll love the Magento features focused on B2B eCommerce.
  • Magento features let you input lots of product data info, which is important for eCommerce websites that are selling products online that have lots of technical specifications (especially for B2B eCommerce websites).
  • Magento features provide you with strong order management tools, which makes tracking and fulfilling orders easier to manage.
  • One of the most well-appreciated Magento features is that it makes accepting payments and shipping orders very easy, which is especially important for eCommerce websites with large volumes of orders to fulfil.

Key Woo Commerce Features

Woo Commerce is a WordPress plugin and the most commonly used eCommerce software solution. But just because so many other people use Woo Commerce, does that mean you should as well?

This eCommerce software platform has some great features for entrepreneurs who want to launch eCommerce websites and sell online. Key Woo Commerce features that make it a great solution for your online store include:

  • It’s part of the WordPress universe, which means you have a seemingly endless amount of themes to choose from and WordPress experts, like our agency, to engage with to create your eCommerce website.
  • It typically has a lower cost of ownership than Magento does.
  • It’s easier to get started with than Magento because it has a lower learning curve.
  • It’s a great eCommerce software tool for selling content, such as ebooks, podcasts, videos, etc.
  • Woo Commerce has many free plugins available to enhance your eCommerce website even more.

Should You Choose Magento or Woo Commerce for Your eCommerce Website?

As you can see from the discussion above, both Magento features and Woo Commerce features are great. Which platform will be best to enable you to sell online will likely be a more subjective opinion, and highly dependent on who you choose to engage with to build your eCommerce presence.

Some experts specialize in Magento eCommerce websites. Others focus on building eCommerce websites powered by Woo Commerce. You may make a decision about the eCommerce software that you’ll use to power your online store simply after you’ve chosen an expert or agency to engage with.

We Can Build Both Magento and Woo Commerce Sites, and Help You Compare eCommerce Tools

At Agency Partner Interactive, we’re digital marketing experts who are knowledgeable about Magento features and Woo Commerce features. We don’t want to push you into choosing one eCommerce software solution over another, but rather help guide you through an evaluation of these platforms so you can compare eCommerce tools and choose the right one for your business.

When entrepreneurs come to us to build eCommerce websites, we first get to know their companies and what their online selling needs will be. For example, we want to know:

  • Will you be selling B2B or B2C?
  • How many products will you be selling?
  • How many technical details do you need to explain about your products?
  • What do you expect your daily web traffic to be?
  • How many orders do you expect to receive daily?
  • How much assistance will you need with order fulfilment and shipping?
  • What payment processing solutions will you be using?
  • What do you want the design of your eCommerce website to look like?
  • How much control do you want over your eCommerce website?

By collecting answers to these important questions, we’re better able to understand your needs, help you compare eCommerce tools, and assist you in making a decision between Magento, Woo Commerce, or something else.

Contact Us To Get Ready to Sell Online

If you need to build eCommerce websites, our digital marketing agency is here to help you. We can assist with both the technical details of creating your online store, creating compelling and search engine optimized content for your website so it’ll rank highly on Google, and create beautiful images and videos to showcase your products to website visitors.

To get started, reach out to our team today. You can call us at (214) 295-5845 or fill out our online contact form.

Not big on reading? That’s okay. Watch “Magento vs. Woo Commerce” instead.

Using the power of Artificial Intelligence, we turned this blog into a video for you. Check it out below!

shopify_vs_woo_commerce

Shopify vs. Woo Commerce

Expert Tips For Shopify vs. Woo Commerce

Entrepreneurs like you who are preparing to launch eCommerce websites to sell online need to carefully compare eCommerce tools to select the best platform for their unique needs. Would you best benefit by leverage Woo Commerce features, Shopify features, or Magento features?

As a digital marketing agency that has helped several entrepreneurs launch eCommerce websites and compare eCommerce tools, we know a lot about your eCommerce software options. In this blog post, we’ll compare six Woo Commerce features and Shopify features to help you decide between these two popular eCommerce platforms.

  • Which eCommerce Software Offers the Best Design Options?

It goes without saying that eCommerce websites need to be well designed, both for desktop and mobile users.

Modern online shoppers quickly bounce off eCommerce websites that feel clunky, are difficult to navigate, or don’t display product images in an aesthetically-appealing and compelling way. Woo Commerce and Shopify approach store design in two different ways.

Woo Commerce is a WordPress plugin, which means in order to use this eCommerce software, you must have a WordPress site. While that’s great for design – there are so many different design options with WordPress – WordPress isn’t an out-of-the-box solution.

You can definitely have a unique, customized eCommerce website if you use Woo Commerce, but you’ll have to either put in the work to create the design yourself, buy a theme from a third party, or hire a designer to design your store for you. However, with branding and user experience being so important to eCommerce websites, many entrepreneurs who want to sell online see these investments as just a basic expense of launching an online store.

Shopify, on the other hand, comes with free and paid design options that the average person can easily customize on their own. There are several beautiful designs to choose from, but you do want to customize things like colors and fonts so that your online store doesn’t look like others.

The good news is, though, that Shopify provides a simple user interface for customizing designs, so it’s an easy do-it-yourself task, which is great if you’re working with a limited budget for launching your online store.

  • Which eCommerce Software Offers the Best Pricing?

The pricing differences between Woo Commerce and Shopify aren’t as straight-forward as they may initially appear.

If you want simplicity and a single vendor to pay, then Shopify is for you. With Shopify, you pay $29/month for hosting, receive an SSL certificate for free, and pay an additional $9/year for a premium domain.

The Woo Commerce plugin is technically free, though you’ll pay for a theme if you purchase one from Woo Themes.

Additionally, you’ll have other regular expenses to third parties, including $5-$100/month to a third party for website hosting, $0 to $100/year to a third party for an SSL certificate (depending on what deals you can find), and $9/year to the third party for a premium domain.

  • Are Woo Commerce Features Better Than Shopify Features?

Deciding whether Woo Commerce features are better than Shopify features is really a subjective exercise. To make it easier for you, we’ll tell you what we love about each of these eCommerce software solutions.

  • Woo Commerce is great because:
    • It gives you complete customization and control over your eCommerce website.
    • WordPress is a huge community, so there’s a seemingly endless amount of themes to choose from.
    • It’s easy to configure Woo Commerce to work with your WordPress website.
  • Shopify is great because:
    • It’s an out-of-the-box solution that benefits entrepreneurs who may not be as tech-savvy or have the time to customize their eCommerce websites.
    • With Shopify, you just pay one vendor for everything related to your online store.
    • Shopify allows you to quickly create eCommerce websites.
  • Which eCommerce Software Is Easier to Use?

If you’re not tech-savvy, then Shopify will hands-down be easier for you to use than Woo Commerce. As we’ve mentioned above, it truly is an out-of-the-box option for quickly launching eCommerce websites.

While customizations to themes are always recommended, Shopify makes customizing a theme very easy, even for those who aren’t design-inclined.

That being said, so many people know and love WordPress, which makes choosing Woo Commerce a great solution if you want a more unique online store or you want more control over it.

Whether you implement Woo Commerce yourself, or you hire a designer to create your store on WordPress for you, if you want more control over your eCommerce website, Woo Commerce is the clear choice for you to use.

  • Which eCommerce Software Offers the Best Customer Support?

Shopify offers free 24/7 support to its users via email, chat, or a phone call. It also has a very built-out online knowledge basis to look for support articles that may apply to you.

Woo Commerce, which is a WordPress plugin, offers support through the WordPress Forums or by going to WooCommerce.com and creating a free account to access its online support.

If you want to make sure you have 24/7 support available at your fingertips in several different formats, Shopify is the clear choice for you.

  • Which eCommerce Software Makes it Easier to Incorporate SEO?

The importance of incorporating SEO into eCommerce websites can’t be overstated enough. Your online store needs to include common search terms related to the products you sell so that you rank highly on Google and get discovered via search engine results.

But, SEO isn’t all about the content you create. There’s the back-end to SEO, which includes ensuring that your online store has all the appropriate meta information, a natural linking structure, and clean code.

Shopify is great at this, and as long as you’re smartly incorporating popular keywords into your web content, you should be fine with SEO.

Woo Commerce, is run on one of the largest publishing platforms there is – WordPress. As such, WordPress is full of knowledgeable SEO experts who can help you create optimized content, and has several SEO plugins, like YoastSEO, to fine-tune your SEO even more.

Ranking the two websites in terms of which provides the best SEO experience really is a subjective exercise. But just as with other aspects of the two eCommerce software platforms, if you’re looking for something that requires as little effort as possible to check the SEO box off your to-do list, you likely want Shopify.

So Which Platform Is The Best?

As you can see from the discussion above, there’s strength with both Woo Commerce features and Shopify features.

If you want more customization and control, you’ll likely want to choose Woo Commerce. If you want to get your online store set up quickly and with as little work as possible, Shopify is best for you.

We Can Help Customize eCommerce Websites

Whichever platform you choose, we can help. Whether you need assistance with setting up and customizing Woo Commerce or need help creating content that’s optimized for search engines that will go on a site run by either of these two platforms, we can help. To get started, call us at (214) 295-5845 or fill out our online contact form.

Not big on reading? That’s okay. Watch “Shopify vs. Woo Commerceinstead.

Using the power of Artificial Intelligence, we turned this blog into a video for you. Check it out below!

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Mobile eCommerce Trends for 2020

Expert Tips For Mobile eCommerce Trend

As a digital marketing agency that helps several eCommerce sites with their marketing efforts every day, we’re always staying on top of the industry’s latest trends. And in 2020, both eCommerce and click and mortar shopping is becoming increasingly mobile.

In fact, Shopify recently reported that 82% of smartphone users stop to physically consult information on their smartphones when they’re standing in brick and mortar stores about to make a purchasing decision. With the power of mobile devices having such a strong influence on both brick and mortar and online purchases, it’s clear you need a mobile strategy and omni-channel strategy to successfully address both shopping scenarios.

To help you make the best mobile eCommerce decisions possible, here are the top 4 trends we’re seeing in mobile shopping thus far in 2020.

  • If You’re Not Anticipating Omni-Channel Shoppers, You’re Missing Out

Your business doesn’t exist in a vacuum, and neither do your customers. Today’s eCommerce websites and click and mortars need to be using an omnichannel marketing strategy to get their brand message in front of customers wherever they are, whenever they are.

Depending on your business size and brand, you may want to leverage a variety of digital and physical marketing channels, including:

  1. Ads optimized on mobile, especially for Pay-Per-Click and social media advertising.
  2. Remarketing ads for both mobile and desktop devices.
  3. Inbound marketing options such as SEO blogs on content relevant to your brand.
  4. Email marketing such as drip campaigns to prospects and customers.
  5. Out-of-home advertising such as billboards, bulletins, and bus shelters.
  6. TV ads or YouTube pre-roll ads.
  7. Radio ads.
  8. Point-of-Sale displays in physical stores.

When you have a good, omnichannel marketing mix, you can ensure that your customers are seeing or hearing your brand message wherever they are.

  • Simple Mobile Websites with Native Mobile eCheckouts Make it Easier for Customers to Buy Your Products

Today’s click and mortar shopper may be physically holding your product in his or her hand, but want to quickly jump on your website to read detailed product specs or watch a short product video before making a purchasing decision.

This means your mobile site needs to be easy to use, quick to load, and have all relevant information just a tap or swipe away.

When it comes to prioritizing these efforts, it’s clear that increasing the speed at which your mobile site loads takes center stage. Use smaller images so that your mobile website loads faster because today’s shoppers aren’t patient. In fact, BigCommerce found out that 40% of online shoppers will leave a website if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load.

Your eCommerce checkout process should also be as frictionless as possible. For your mobile site, this means it should only take a few taps for your customers to go from viewing your products to purchasing them. 

Thankfully, nearly everyone in the industry has adopted responsive design by now, so pinching and zooming in online carts is a thing of the past. But additional tips to make it easier for your customers to buy from your eCommerce website include:

  1. Allowing customers to create accounts on your checkout site, so repeat customers can simply log in to load their preferred shipping and payment details.
  2. Limiting the number of forms customers need to fill into only the essentials.
  3. Using smaller sized images so that pages load faster. Long eCheckout times increase abandoned shopping carts.
  4. Accepting a variety of payment options that mobile users love, such as PayPal, Apple Pay, and Android Pay.
  • Social Marketing + Social Selling = Big Wins

Shopify recently reported that 55% of eCommerce shoppers bought a product after first learning about it on social media. This data point tells you just how important your social media strategy – both for organic and paid content – is when it comes to finding new prospects and converting them into paying customers who will hopefully keep on coming back for more of your products.

A great social selling technique to explore is shoppable Instagram posts – if that makes sense for your brand. For many eCommerce sites that are targeting Millennials and young GenXers, Instagram is a great social selling platform.

Other social selling tactics include:

  1. Offering special coupons or discount codes exclusively through your social media channels.
  2. Working with Influencers – especially on Instagram – to use your products and post about them with great content, compelling images, and carefully curated hashtags.
  3. If you’re selling to Gen Z, having an Influencer take over your brand’s Snapchat account or sponsoring videos posted by popular YouTubers with a strong following.
  4. Using social media remarketing ads to remind people about your products if they visited your website recently but didn’t make a purchase.
  • Create Mobile Apps that Offer Customer Loyalty Programs

Mobile apps for click and mortars and even strictly brick and mortars that offer customer loyalty programs are now bigger than ever. You’d be surprised what shoppers will download and install on their mobile device to earn a free coffee, get 5% off a purchase, or play on gamified mobile apps.

Everyone from big box stores to gas stations to grocery stores are creating mobile apps in which customers can find deals, redeem a nominal coupon, or get a preview at your click and mortar’s Sunday ads.

And if you aren’t already using mobile apps for a click and mortar customer loyalty program, you need to develop one now. These types of mobile apps give you a wealth of consumer data, allowing you to more accurately create customer profiles for your business, forecast product sales, purchase the right amount of inventory, and make the most timely promotions that’ll fly off your physical (and virtual) shelves.

Contact Us for Help with a Mobile eCommerce Marketing Strategy

Whether you’re having a hard time developing the right marketing mix for the omnichannel or need assistance with your eCommerce website, we’re digital marketing experts who can help.

To schedule a time to talk about your mobile eCommerce marketing strategy and needs, call us at (214) 295-5845 or fill out our online contact form.

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ecommerce_marketing_strategy

eCommerce Marketing Strategy During COVID19

Expert Tips For eCommerce Marketing Strategy

As the current resurgence of COVID19 cases in the US – especially in the Sunbelt – is showing eCommerce marketers like you, the COVID19 pandemic is going to stay with our country and the world for a while longer. But how can you best pivot your eCommerce marketing efforts to be sensitive about the COVID19 pandemic and its resurgence in the US while maintaining current customer engagement and finding potential new customers?

To help you stay relevant during these unprecedented times and maintain customer engagement, here are 3 eCommerce marketing strategies we recommend you deploy now.

  • Reach Out to Your Customer Base in an Authentic Way

COVID19 is affecting everything – from businesses to schools to the economy – so we know that it must be impacting your eCommerce business in some way too. 

Your staff might be working remotely now – while also trying to keep their kids entertained or on target with distance learning milestones – which may mean that it’s taking longer for your team to respond to customer phone calls and emails. Or, you might be experiencing delays in your supply chain or shipping timeline, which means it’s taking longer for your products to get into your customers’ hands.

Whatever your eCommerce business’s unique case, make sure to send an email update to your current customer base about how you’re both responding to COVID19 and how it’s impacting your business. Also, create a special page on your website – with an easy-to-see alert on your homepage – for new customers to read about these impacts as well.
For example:

  • If you’ve implemented a work-from-home policy, let your customers and prospects know, as well as any delays this new policy may have on customer service.
  • If your product shipments are taking longer to be received, give your customers a heads up so they won’t be left in the dark wondering where their packages are.
  • If you’re taking special precautions at your business location to make sure everything is properly sanitized to ensure a safer work environment for your employees, tell your customers. They’ll appreciate knowing you’re doing everything possible to protect your team.
  • If you’re doing anything special to support your community during this pandemic, such as donating a portion of sales to non-profits responding to COVID19 emergencies, share this information. Modern customers love hearing about corporate stewardship.

Whatever you do, don’t make promises you can’t keep. Adding a closing line to your customer email or COVID19 response web page such as, “Let us know if there’s anything else we can do to support you,” may sound helpful, but it could be easily misconstrued as carte blanche by some customers who have fallen on desperate times.

Instead, make supportive statements about your newly implemented policies you are ready to follow through on, such as promising a quick refund on a back-ordered item, and a full refund on an item that gets delayed in shipping by your predetermined amount of days, and so on.

  • Increase Customer Engagement Through Regular Social Media Updates

Social media has always been a great customer engagement tactic. But now that massive amounts of people are working from home and staying at home when they’re not working due to social distancing measures, more people are online now than ever before.

First, make sure to use your social media to communicate how COVID19 is impacting your business, just as was suggested in the tip above. Then, post content that is pandemic-sensitive to boost customer engagement.

For example, now’s not the time to be putting hard pushes on social media for a new product. And with many locations still having strict social distancing measures in place, it’s also not a good idea to encourage your followers to “venture out” or enjoy your products while “on a night out on the town.”

Instead, post social media content that checks in on how your customers are doing mentally and emotionally while being distanced from their friends and extended family members, juggling work and family obligations, shows how your products can assist them as they’re working remotely and social distancing, and highlights any community service or corporate stewardship you’re doing right now.

  • Use Your Blog – or Start Blogging if You Aren’t Already – To Increase Your Website’s SEO Value

Blogging has long been an important eCommerce marketing task to increase the SEO value of your website. When you blog SEO content relevant to your eCommerce business, it increases the likelihood it’ll rank high in search engines, and thus makes your eCommerce site easier for new customers and prospects to find.

But blogging has other values outside of the SEO world.

People love consuming good content. And since they’re spending so much time online these days, they’re reading more if it. This means a blog you write with the intention of boosting your SEO eCommerce marketing efforts can also be repurposed in an email blast to customers or a social post on a platform like Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter. And best of yet, when your customers are reading your content as they’re spending their days inside their homes, they’re thinking about your brand and your products.

An Important Note on COVID19 Messaging

When you’re creating content specifically related to the pandemic, keep in mind that it can be a polarizing topic for some. If you’re a company that likes to put a flag in the ground and state your opinion on controversial issues, go for it and be true to your brand. 

But if you want your messaging to be all-inclusive, keep a neutral tone in all content related to the pandemic.

Call Us for Help Pivoting Your eCommerce Marketing Strategy in the Midst of COVID19

Are you so deep in the trenches making your business work during this pandemic that you don’t have time to dedicate to pivoting your eCommerce marketing strategy? If so, we completely understand and we’re here to help.

Our team of digital marketing experts is currently helping eCommerce sites just like yours adjust their marketing strategies in the wake of COVID19. We can help you develop a solid COVID19 digital marketing strategy too. 

Call us to schedule a free consultation so that we can learn about your business and your unique marketing needs in the wake of this pandemic. We can be reached at (214) 295-5845 or through our online contact form.

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magento

Magento 1 End of Life: What You Need to Know About Moving to Magento 2

Expert Tips For Magento Platform

Magento is one of the top e-commerce platforms on the internet right now. Thousands of retailers use the platform every year to sell their online products and services. Now, Magento has officially ended its support for their Magento 1 platform. 

This presents a huge dilemma and a sense of urgency for brands still using Magento 1. There is a lot of information to take in about Magento’s new announcement this month.

If you are currently running a store on Magento 1, then it makes sense to continue reading this article to learn more about how your store will be affected moving forward. 

When Will Magento 1 End?

Magento 1 will officially end in June 2020. Multiple sources have confirmed this date, including this article from Magento. Magento also sent a tweet out to break the news about the transition.

Magento
In June 2019, there are 240,000 live Magento websites. Out of these websites, there are 189,000 websites still operating on M1. This number will begin to decrease in the following months as clients move on to M2 or transition to another e-commerce CMS entirely.

What Other Dates Do You Need to Look At?

Insider experts have long seen the writing on the walls for M1’s demise. On December 31st, 2018, Magento deprecated PHP 5.6. This was a big hit to the Magento community, mainly since Magento is written in PHP.

However, Magento released a patch that provided support up to PHP 7.2. 7.2 until November 2020. So, again, Magento has been more than lenient in slowly downgrading M1. 

In November 2020, CentOS 6.x will also be depreciated. This will result in the further elimination of support for M1. 

The M1 End of the Life Rumors

The end of M1 has been discussed since at least 2017. In April 2017, a Magento presentation featured the line “Magento 1 End of Life: 17 November 2018”. Of course, this date was incorrect.

It was a primitive guess on when Magento would end. Immediately, images and articles appeared speculating the end of M1 up until this point. These insights warned merchants that M1 would end sooner than they anticipated.

Initially, Magento executives speculated that the end of life for M1 would come three years after 2015. Therefore, 2018 made sense for the EoL. Since then, Magento has revised this date to June 2020.

What Does This Mean For Your Store?

If you are still using Magento 1, you have a limited time navigating to Magento 2. Here are a few things you need to consider before your next move:

  • Design – One of the most tedious things about switching from M1 to M2 is that you will have to go through a partial website redesign. Depending on how complicated your site’s design is, this could be very expensive and time-consuming. 
  • ExtensionsWhile you are auditing your website, it’s essential to browse the extensions you are using on your M1 website. Although extensions on M1 generally aren’t compatible with M2, several updates are available if you want to make the switch. 
  • SecurityWithout support, M1 will be vulnerable to a wide variety of different security threats. This is perhaps the greatest reason to transition to M2. Hackers won’t resist an easy opportunity to prey on insecure websites. Please don’t make the mistake of having your website being one of them. 
  • HostingNot much will change as far as hosting is concerned. You will have to check in with your specific hosting provider to receive an update on how your plan will alter your website.
  • CostsTransitioning to Magento 2 could be expensive. A majority of the associated costs will entail the audit and the transition to Magento 2. 

Keep these things in mind once you and your team begin to make a move to Magento 2. While staying on M1 isn’t an option anymore, the decision isn’t something you should perform too hastily.

It would help if you created a strategy to guide you through transitioning to Magento 2. 

Should You Move On To Another Platform?

Although Magento is a powerful e-commerce platform, there are countless available online. These include WooCommerce and WordPress. Depending on your needs and your situation, deciding if you should move to another platform will vary.

If you are a large organization disillusioned with Magento and have the funds to move forward, then deciding to transition to another platform may not be anything you will think twice about. 

However, if you have a limited budget and not enough bandwidth to maneuver to another platform, then you’re better off staying on Magento. Whatever decision you choose, discussing with a marketing consultant is your best bet for making the right choice. 

Agency Partner Interactive Has the Key

Transitioning to Magento 2 or another e-commerce platform takes a lot of effort and time. It’s best to leave this task in the hands of professionals. At Agency Partner Interactive, we specialize in helping our clients migrate their marketplaces. So for your migration, be sure to put that in the hands of the best among other Magento Development Companies

We realize how difficult this task is and pride ourselves on delivering complete services to our clients. Whether you want to change to Magento 2 or another e-commerce platform, we can assist.

We can also redesign your website to align with your brand identity and leverage fundamental digital marketing strategies to grow your brand. Do you want to learn more about how our award-winning team can develop your business’s transition strategy?

If so, continue reading below to contact us today!

Give Us a Call Today!

The Agency Partner Interactive team has several years of experience in web development with e-commerce and retail brands. If you need help deciding on your next move, you should contact us for a consultation.

Give us a call today at (214) 295-5845 or click here to Get a Free Quote to speak to a member of our award-winning team. 

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e-commerce_marketing

E-commerce Marketing 101

Expert Tips For E-Commerce Marketing

Online shopping has never been more prevalent than it currently is now. Generally, online shopping is more convenient than purchasing products from a physical location. What’s more is that younger generations value convenience, which makes e-commerce a growing global trend. 

Having a marketing strategy for any business is essential, much less an online retailer. Needless to say, developing a marketing strategy for an e-commerce retailer is much different than for a local business.

E-commerce retailers require special attention while creating their marketing campaigns. If you want to begin brainstorming the ideas for your new e-commerce marketing strategy, then continue reading this guide for more details.

What is E-Commerce Marketing?

Again, e-commerce marketing is fairly different than most marketing campaigns. This is because many e-commerce companies are geared towards B2C audiences and mainly sell products instead of services.

Selling online products can be tricky. Services are typically items people need, such as HVAC and primary healthcare solutions. Even important products, like CPAP machines, cannot be easily sold without a marketing strategy. 

For this reason, e-commerce marketing entails the steps of achieving visibility for online products and enticing an audience to purchase them. Take a look at this image to learn about all of the methods of how you can market your products.

e-commerce_marketing
Let’s break down each method in detail:

  • Banners: Banner ads exist all throughout the web for the purpose of building brand awareness and encouraging high CTRs.
  • PPC Campaigns: Pay-per-click or PPC campaigns help marketers gain traffic commensurate with the money they spend. Utilizing PPC can help you grow your business while your SEO strategy is in effect.
  • Social Media Exposure: Social media hosts billions of people across the world. This presents marketers with a golden opportunity to advertise their products to new audiences.
  • SEO Strategy: SEO or search engine optimization is the process of growing your online presence in the search engine results pages (SERPs). A firm strategy must be in place for your business to thrive online.
  • Coupons and Discounts: Do you want to drive interest in your products? If so, coupons and discounts administered through an email marketing campaign will do the trick. 

These methods make up a standard e-commerce marketing strategy. It’s important to practice all of them to build brand awareness and usurp your competitors.

Why is E-commerce Marketing Important?

There are two types of marketing: traditional and digital marketing. Traditional marketing entails the process of mainly increasing the brand awareness of your business through print media, billboard advertisements, and TV commercials.

Digital marketing is a culmination of methods to increase your online presence. If you have a physical store location, you can take advantage of the fact that potential customers can find you while randomly traversing the city.

This isn’t the same for e-commerce retailers. The internet is a vast place full of billions of websites. If you don’t develop a strong e-commerce marketing strategy, your website simply won’t rank on the first page of Google.

It also won’t receive exposure on social media or even from paid media. Therefore, it’s not an option. Invest thoroughly in hiring a digital marketing agency to lead these efforts.

Tip #1: Use Facebook

Have you ever browsed through Facebook only to see an ad for clothes? Facebook is the most popular social media network in the world. It makes sense why businesses flock on their advertising platform to increase the exposure for their products.

Just take a look at how this retailer created an ad for their product.

tip1_e-commerce_marketing
In the same way, you should use Facebook to generate interest in your products in front of millions of potential customers.

Tip #2: Develop a PPC Strategy

Unlike SEO, it doesn’t take much time to build positive results with a PPC campaign. That’s only if you are conducting your campaign correctly. Google has shown PPC ads of online products extensively for at least a decade. 

tip2_e-commerce_marketing
Getting that type of exposure on Google can be huge for your business, improving the CTR of your ads. The higher the CTR, the higher your ad quality score will be. This will result in increased web traffic at a more affordable price in your campaign.

Tip #3: Leverage Technical SEO

Technical SEO is the process of optimizing a website to be crawled and indexed. As its name suggests, technical SEO is very technical. It entails things like improving your page speed and making your site mobile-friendly.

For this tip, you should definitely hire an experienced digital marketing agency. If you don’t know much about SEO or how to build your own campaign, seeking outside help will be in your best interest.

Mainly, paid speed and mobile optimization are the two most important areas of improvements for most marketplaces. 

Tip #4: Create a Stunning Website

Do you already have a website that doesn’t look the way you want it to? If so, you should create a new design for your website. Doing so will reinvigorate your brand and attract your target audience to your brand.

Give Us a Call Today!

Agency Partner Interactive specializes in delivering full-service marketing services for e-commerce retailers. If you want to increase your online exposure, then you’ve come to the right place.

To learn more about how we can help you, give us a call today (214) 295-5845 or click here to Get a Free Quote. 
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covid19

How COVID-19 Is Affecting E-commerce

Expert Tips For E-Commerce Marketing

The coronavirus (COVID-19) has undoubtedly left an indelible impact on the world. Thousands of people have been infected with the virus with many unfortunately perishing as a result. 

This is not to mention the millions of people who are currently unemployed due to government regulatory measures to restrict physical movement. Overall, the effects of COVID-19’s impact can be felt worldwide.

Interestingly, the virus has caused a certain trend to form in the e-commerce sector. If you are currently running an e-commerce marketplace, then you should continue reading to learn more about how the coronavirus could potentially alter your business.

Millions Are Staying at Home

Again, the coronavirus is an airborne affliction that requires extended quarantine periods to restrict its growth in communities. As such, state governments in conjunction with the federal government have mandated a quarantine period, keeping millions of people at home.

Of course, these people still desire to carry on with their everyday lives even though it’s been altered. Without a lot of outside options to carry out grocery shopping duties, purchase essential products, and splurge, many are turning to the internet for a solution.

According to the senior enterprise contributor at Forbes, Louis Columbus explains that mandatory stay-at-home periods have increased the appetite of e-commerce shopping since not many other alternatives exist.

“In many families, online grocery, apparel, and entertainment shopping will replace store and mall visits permanently until a vaccine is available.”

In addition, key global trends point to a correlation between stay-at-home orders and e-commerce industry growth.

  • The year-over-year (YoY) revenue growth of online retailers has increased by 68% as of Mid-April, outgrowing a peak percentage of 49% in January. 
  • There is currently a 129% increase in the YoY growth of online retailers in the United States and Canada, as well as a 146% increase in all online orders
  • Conversion rates online have increased by 8.8% since February, highlighting a renewed sense of urgency online products not seen since Cyber Monday. 

With more people at home, online shopping has become ubiquitous throughout the world. This puts pressure on online retailers to make changes to their marketplaces and internal marketing strategies to accommodate the growing surge of consumers. 

Increased Mobile Usage

The domination of mobile usage in today’s global internet traffic is nothing new. According to Search Engine Land, nearly 60% of all online traffic comes from mobile devices. However, since the dawn of the coronavirus, mobile online traffic has skyrocketed.

Per the PYMNTS’ 2020 Remote Payments Study, 72% of consumers are using mobile devices to purchase online products. As a result, e-commerce retailers have to be mindful of how they can optimize and curate positive user experiences for all potential customers.

This means leveraging fundamental mobile optimization strategies to improve the responsiveness of their platforms. Hiring a web development agency to audit and performance improvements will be necessary for getting your marketplace ready for today’s new crop of consumers.

More People Will Continue Shopping Online

Stay-at-home orders are currently interim, at least in the larger states of the U.S. where the coronavirus has run rampant. This, however, doesn’t mean that these trends will decrease any time soon. 

A Morning Consult study concluded that 24% of consumers wouldn’t shop at a mall for at least six more months. This makes sense, being that a vaccine for the coronavirus would have to be available before larger stores and outlets could be safely reopened. 

This could mean that current e-commerce trends could continue growing. After all, online shopping is more convenient than any other alternative. Also, younger generations value convenience more than anything else when making a purchasing decision

How to Optimize Your E-Commerce Marketplace

As you can see, COVID-19 has tremendously affected the growth of the e-commerce industry, albeit in a positive way.

This growth is insofar of how proactive you are in adapting your marketing strategy to fit the changing times.

Remember, just because more online shopping is taking place doesn’t mean consumers will settle for any marketplace. It only means that the saturation of the e-commerce industry has increased, so there are thousands of retailers fighting for position. 

If you want to stay afloat, here’s how you can revamp your marketing strategy.

  • Make sure that your e-commerce platform is mobile-friendly. This is absolutely essential as there are strict penalties for not having a responsive website. 
  • Reduce the friction on your site. Friction is defined as an obstacle that prevents a potential customer from converting. Therefore, ensure that your website is simple to navigate.
  • Increase the speed of your website and perform a technical SEO checklist to make sure that your marketplace will rank online and be seen by your target audience.

Unfortunately, if you’re not an SEO expert, these steps will be incredibly difficult to perform. The good news is that the team at Agency Partner Interactive can be of service to you.

How Agency Partner Interactive Can Help

Agency Partner Interactive is a boutique digital marketing agency, specializing in creating high-performance marketing campaigns. We mainly provide services to e-commerce retailers.

By working with us, we can get down to the bottom of your marketplace’s failures and formulate an effective solution to increase its web traffic and conversions. Our decisions are based on highly-qualitative data.

Therefore, you can always be sure we are making the right decisions to help you achieve the highest return on your return on investment (ROI). SEO is very technical expertise and requires the brightest minds to have any effect on your campaign. 

If you want to put a proven professional in your corner, look no further than Agency Partner Interactive.

Give Us a Call Today!

The coronavirus has changed the way we do business. Unless you have a strategy to overcome your losses and reinvigorate your bottom line, it will be complicated to surpass your competitors and survive.

If you want to learn more about how we can help you, give us a call today at (214) 295-5845. You can also click here to receive a free quote. 

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magento_1_end_of_life_migrating_to_magento_2

Magento 1 End of Life – Migrating to Magento 2

Expert Tips on Magento

Magento is one of the most popular e-commerce platforms available. Powering at least 0.8% of all websites on the internet, the platform handles more than $150 billion in gross merchandise each year

As the platform continues to grow, changes are being made to its existing products. This entails the end-of-life of Magento 1. While it was known for quite some time that Magento 1’s support would come to a close, many users have hesitated to migrate over to the newer Magento 2 platform.

This guide will break down all of the information concerning the end of support for Magento 1 and your best course of action for migrating to Magento 2.

What Does This Mean?

Any time software or an application ceases support, it means that the manufacturer has discontinued that product.

This, of course, means you can use the product. However, the manufacturer won’t provide any technical support or updates for the product.

Therefore, if you are experiencing any problem with the outdated product, you’ll have to service the issue on your own. The end-of-life process of an application places an obsolete product in purgatory. Over time, the product ceases to exist when newer versions are available.

When Will Magento 1 Be Discontinued?

The official date that Magento 1 will be discontinued is June 2020. Again, multiple sources have speculated the end of support for Magento 1 for several months. Yet, more than 189,000 out of a total of 240,000 sites are still operating on the Magento 1 platform as of June 2019

As the platform comes to an end, you can expect to see more merchants make the move to Magento 2. Many e-commerce retailers rely on personalized support to navigate their businesses.

How Will Your Magento 1 Be Affected?

There are still many merchants that are using Magento 1 to conduct their business. Although Magento 2 will become the new standard moving forward, it’s not exactly required to make the switch.

Nonetheless, if you decide to wait until the end of service for Magento 1, your online store will be affected. Here are the ways that this change will impact the design, extensions, security, hosting, and costs related to your platform.

Design:

Regardless of if you’re migrating from Magento 1 to Magento 2, you will have to endure a website redesign.

Depending on how extensive your M1 website is, this process can be extremely time-consuming and expensive.

Before taking part in any website redesign process, you should create a plan for your next move. Also, you should carry out a comprehensive audit to ensure that your new website will maintain the same user experience and functionality. 

Soon, many audit checklists will be created to help merchants make the switch when they deem the time necessary.

Extensions:

While your M1 website is being audited, you should check the integrations and extensions you are currently running.

Although popular M1 extensions are not directly compatible with M2, several original extensions have been updated and are now compatible with the M2 platform.

This ultimately makes it easier and affordable for merchants to migrate over to M2. Still, switching over to any new content management system (CMS) will require you to find new integrations, extensions, and plugins to salvage the functionality of your existing website.

This may result in you creating a dev site to test these integrations for your live site. During the auditing process, you will be able to identify plugins that are obsolete and determine whether you should move forward with them.

Security:

When a manufacturer ceases support of an application, security issues almost certainly arise. After all, if manufacturers refrain from servicing their software, they can open up the opportunity for security fractures.

If you want to enhance the functionality of your e-commerce website, then you have to make sure that your integrations and extensions will continue to receive updates. This helps your business to avoid security issues and stay on top of compliance mandates. 

Granted, members of the Magento community have said that they will continue to provide support to users who are still using the M1 platform. No one knows how long this support will last before more retailers flock to M2. As a result, many merchants are already making the switch.

Hosting:

Fortunately, there won’t be many changes to the hosting after the end-of-life for M1. Though, when an increased number of users migrate to M2, they will likely ask a change in how their hosting is structured.

With Magento being a complicated application, the hosting structure is based on cache, PHP, and much more. Thus, Magento will have to consider changing their hosting structure.

Ultimately, migrating to Magento 2 will give you the opportunity to rethink your hosting provider and make the necessary changes to improve your business. 

Costs:

The majority of migrating costs will be derived from auditing your existing site and creating a new site for the M2 platform. Most likely, a website redesign will be necessary, further driving costs.

If you have a budget and are hesitant to move to the M2 platform, then you’re clearly at a crossroads. While you may have limited financial resources to make the switch, migrating to M2 will be better for your entire online store. 

For this reason, consulting with a reputable web development agency is your best chance to make the right decision.

Who Can Migrate My Website?

If you don’t want to put forth the time and effort of migrating your website to the M2 platform, then you’re in luck.

There are countless qualified web developers that can assist you throughout the process.

Agency Partner Interactive specializes in Magento migrations to ensure that your business is placed in the best possible position to thrive.

Migrate Your Website Today!

Migrating your website to M2 can be a massive decision. If you need assistance with kick-starting the process, feel free to give us a call at (214) 295-5845 to learn more about how we can help you. 

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Website Kickoff Meeting - Agency Partner Interactive

What to Ask in a Website Kickoff Meeting

Tips from Web Design Agency Experts

For new websites and web redesign projects alike, the website kickoff meeting is the crux of the working relationship between a client and the website design agency

Essential to the web design process, this kickoff meeting is the ideal opportunity to identify the high-level scope of the web project and discuss the needs of its stakeholders. To keep everyone focused on the goal and unified in purpose, adequate preparation is crucial. For the most part, the following eight questions are a great foundation for building the website kickoff meeting agenda. By all means, these don’t cover everything, but they help share the basics! 

If it isn’t already clear, let’s just reiterate that this website discovery meeting is the time to explore the tactical roadmap and determine any limitations that may affect the project. 

To avoid any future surprises, be sure to invite all the right people — not only the top tier management but everyone who has a stake in the project. If there is anything that you want to include in the meeting agenda, ensure that your project manager has it well ahead of time, and the topic will be integrated into the agenda  of the meeting.

So let’s get to it. Here are eight questions you may be asked during the course of your website kickoff — complete answers to these will maximize the value of everyone’s time and ensure a productive, long-term partnership.

Common Website Discovery Questions

Website redesigns: “What on your site is currently working?”

Most businesses redesign their website once every two to three years, so periodic website redesigns are very normal. Before jumping into this type of project, there is a great deal of benefit to assessing what has been working about your site, and what you would like to see it do differently or better in the future. Asking this will elicit what isn’t working as a matter of course but this question will start the process on a positive note. If any existing user data, such as Google Analytics engagement metrics are available, the team should see that! In the not so distant future, we expect to see high volume websites change their design, dynamically, using artificial intelligence!

Website redesigns: “What do you most want to change about your site?”

Think: “what do I need more of from my website?” Whether you need to boost more sales to your eCommerce site or you’re looking for more phone calls or form submissions, use this as an opportunity to dream big for a couple of minutes. The free flow of ideas should paint a picture of the overall vision, company direction, and tone and style of the target goal for phase 1 of the project. Save the practical issues for later. This is just about establishing a vision and honing in on what the immediate and long-term return on investment should be.

All Web Design Projects: “Who is your site’s target audience?” 

We want to align with all, not part of the website’s target demographic — sidelining anyone is a missed opportunity from the outset. Understanding the needs of the client and how to improve their customers’ experience is the heart of the project, essential to client satisfaction and positive outcomes.

All Web Design Projects: “What is your business goal?”

This is probably the most important question for any website development plan. Are you trying to sell something? Create a sticky site? Or generate leads through an email or newsletter? Find out what the client wants each visitor to do. Knowing the answer will determine the best way to engage customers and spearhead the web design process.

All Web Design Projects: “How would you describe your company?”

These answers will help to establish tone and voice and allow you to build a site in conjunction with the client’s brand. Answers such as, “fun” and “corporate” will determine what the website presentation should be–bright and lighthearted, or serious and direct.

All Web Design Projects: “What is your most important benefit?” 

Remember, customers are interested in benefits — they don’t care much about the features save for how it solves their “problem.” Try to get the client to answer this question in less than three seconds. This will tell you what deep impressions they have about the company (service or product). Exploiting the customer benefits (and indirectly, the product features), the website should grab the site visitor’s attention. 

All Web Design Projects: “How do you fit into your market?” 

Who is the competition? Do you have any alliances? Understanding the successes and failures the competition will provide a wealth of knowledge about the market. Likewise, you may be able to build on the strengths of alliances that stretch the reach of your initial audience. Together, the perspective from these sources will help you discover gaps or identify new opportunities.

All Website Projects: “Within your market, what is your favorite and least favorite site, and why?”

This is a really quick way to discover what inspires your clients. How do their favorite sites look and feel? What is the user experience like? With a little research, you can determine what compels users to return to these sites–what’s engaging and what’s not. 

This may also be a good time to address your clients’ expectations so knowing what they like personally and professionally will ensure you deliver a project that they truly feel comfortable with and that does what it needs to do.

Project Gold

The website kickoff meeting is the opportunity for you to show that you know your stuff. It’s the time to educate the team, develop a cohesive plan, and inspire a: “We Got This Covered” attitude. It’s a process that will pay dividends in the quality of the web design process, the working relationship, and, ultimately, the work produced.

Successfully kicking off a Web Development project takes insights, communication, collaboration, and experience.

Now that you know what to ask in a website kickoff meeting, you can use these questions to guide your client to a definitive plan. Are you building your own site? These questions will help you solidify your goals. Still need some guidance? Contact our professionals at Agency Partner Interactive today to see how we can help you realize your dream website.

Not big on reading? That’s okay. Watch “What to Ask in a Website Kickoff Meeting”

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eCommerce SEO Services Dallas - Agency Partner Interactive

Why eCommerce SEO Matters

Tips from eCommerce Experts

When you are trying to make sure your website is SEO friendly, it’s imperative that you’re on the ball from day one.

Due to the competitive nature of ecommerce, SEO is the critical component needed to raise your website from mediocrity to meticulous. Why? Because the keywords identified by search engines will drive customers to your website. Being a heavy hitter with your SEO means that search engines will place you near the top of the search engine results page (SERP), thus increasing your website’s sales rate.

Maintaining high-quality ecommerce SEO also means that targeted, organic users will easily find your website amidst the plethora of choices. If your ecommerce site SEO is up to scratch, you will appear on the very first page of Google searches. But if you really want to step up your game, you should be aiming for the top three results. At Agency Partner Interactive, we have compiled a list of techniques to whip your website into shape!

Let’s Get this Ball Rolling

Transforming your ecommerce site into a front-runner starts with keyword optimization. These highly targeted keywords need to pay homage to your niche. A good starting point includes using Moz’s Keyword Tool or Google Adwords to research words commonly used in online searches.

Researching your competitors is beneficial for several reasons too. You might feel they are out of your league at the moment, but it’s certain they are using tried-and-tested SEO techniques. There is no shame in borrowing from the best. Also, they may be your competitors, but a strategic collaboration can help you to generate more interest in your website so bear this in mind–a few shared links can go a long way.

When optimizing your own keyword roster, be careful not to be too general, as your website will undoubtedly rank lower. Creating Long-Tail Keywords will almost definitely improve your SEO rating.

Raise the Bar on eCommerce SEO Descriptions

You need to optimize your meta description–the short description shown directly below your page title in the SERPs. Although Google itself doesn’t read this, your customers will. This information is all they have on your site, barring the title and URL, before they decide whether or not you have what they need–so make it concise, clear, and relevant. Your product descriptions will also benefit from a second wind, so research similar products and use them as a guide, but be creative and make yours unique.

Mobile Optimization is a Slam Dunk

As most people use their smartphones to access the internet today, it’s crucial that you swing for the fence here. Make sure your ecommerce site is mobile friendly and you will likely see a boost in your SEO ratings. Before going live, test and retest every page on your website with various smartphone brands. Most importantly, ensure the checkout experience is as convenient as possible.

The Ball is in Your Court

The aforementioned tips are based on years of experience that we have gathered here at Agency Partner. They represent some of the most common tactics used on the web today. You may come across some sticky tricks but some quality research and perseverance will pay off in the long run. However, should you feel the need to chat with an expert, ecommerce SEO is an Agency Partner specialty and we are more than happy to help.

Not big on reading? That’s okay. Watch “Why eCommerce SEO Matters” instead.

Using the power of Artificial Intelligence, we turned this blog into a video for you. Check it out below!