Blog Posts

Top 5 Ecommerce Trends Article featured in Hartford Business Journal

Hartford Business JournalManish Chowdhary, CEO of GoECart — the world’s first all-in-one ecommerce software for multi-channel retailers – today shared what the top five ecommerce trends are for 2012. “Ecommerce is slowly becoming omnipresent and seamless,” he explained. “When technology gets out of the way, everything becomes more omnipresent and seamless.

    His top five trends:

    • Multichannel commerce is becoming a big deal – today’s empowered consumer wants lots of choices and merchants need the ability to sell and service on their own websites as well as alternate channels like Amazon, eBay, etc.
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    MyWeddingReceptionIdeas & GoECart – A Match Made in Heaven

    MWRI - GoECart Case Study

    GoECart’s latest case study is about MyWeddingReceptionIdeas.com (MWRI), a leading online destination for wedding and related merchandise. The site pledges exceptional customer service backed by a 100% satisfaction guarantee. But in recent years, the company experienced growing pains due to lack of supply chain automation and a reliance on manual processes to manage business and customer relationships.  The ecommerce storefront design, usability and personalization all needed updating and the company’s investment in SEO and social media needed to be preserved – all with an appropriate budget for an emerging brand.

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    It Can’t Get Easier Than That!

    GoECart’s First Ever, All-In-One Ecommerce Suite Debutes to Critical Acclaim!

    Internet Retailer, the largest and most credible provider of objective business information on people and technologies shaping the e-commerce industry, has interviewed GoECart’s 360 and found that it’s easy-to-use, competitively priced full service ecommerce platform has given small to medium sized businesses the ability to compete with larger, more costly enterprise software suites, including IBM’s WebSphere Commerce or Oracle’s ATG Web Commerce.

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    Can Smaller Online Retailers Compete With The Biggies?

    At the first of June, CTPost.com gave a full feature article to one of it’s own – Bridgeport Connecticut’s GoECart, the world’s first-ever all-in-one ecommerce suite. This new 360 app can now be used to replace smaller businesses’ (that book under $50M annually) multiple disjointed point systems with one single unified application. Last week GoECart’s 360 debuted at the huge Internet Retailer 2012 Conference and Exhibition in Chicago to critical acclaim.

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    The Countdown to Holiday Season 2010 is On – Is Your Store Ready? (Part 1 of 2)

    As the holiday season continues to draw closer, retailers and wholesalers are in full planning mode. And even though it might be a little early for the holiday sales season to start, online traffic shows that the majority of Internet shoppers are beginning to do their research. According to the National Retail Federation, 40% of consumers plan to start their holiday shopping before Halloween.

      The holidays have traditionally been a time of driving critical profits for the year. A study done by the National Retail Federation in 2009 showed that the average consumer spent $683 on holiday shopping in 2009. Deloitte estimates that consumers will spend $852 billion during the approaching 2010 holiday season. Deloitte’s late last month’s forecast also shows that overall 2010 holiday sales will increase 2% over last year, but that the direct-to-consumer sales will increase 15%.

        With these sales projections and increasing online holiday shopping traffic, retailers need to make sure they have their holiday campaigns ready for holiday online retail sales. In order to see positive numbers for 2010, this season’s holiday campaigns should be aimed at reaching out to consumers through various channels of communication including the web and mobile phones. This can be done through mobile initiatives, commerce-enabled mobile sites, and marketing through social networks like Facebook and Twitter.

          So what can you do to successfully capture your fair share this holiday season?

            1. Plan Your Holiday Marketing Strategy in Advance

              Think about the promotions and offers you want to focus on. Start by reviewing and revising your online marketing to see what worked last year and what did not work. You might want to consider creating free shipping promotions as a way to encourage customers to spend more. Free shipping is very popular over the holiday season, and even if you generally do not offer free shipping, you may find that you are not losing money by offering it this year. Instead, you are actually driving much higher sales.

                As part of your ad creative and promotional material this holiday season, make sure you stand out from your competitors by offering unique call to action statements and images. Remember, holiday shopping does not end on December 25; people rarely get the gifts they asked for or desired, so keep returns in mind when planning out your holiday marketing strategy. Also, take advantage of last minute shoppers. They are typically ready to pay a premium to have their orders rushed.

                  When planning your marketing strategy, it is important to ask yourself the following questions:

                  • Do you have the requisite help in fulfillment and customer service departments to handle peak volume?
                  • Have you planned your inventory? Too much or too little can hurt your profits.
                  • Can your ecommerce site handle large spikes in holiday traffic without impeding performance? Can you scale on-demand?
                  • Your shopping cart abandonment rate is most likely going to increase during the holidays. How are you going to deal with this dilemma?

                    2. Dress Up Your Site for the Holidays

                      If you haven’t noticed already, online consumers have become increasingly sophisticated. Static and boring websites are becoming a thing of the past. Your customers expect dynamic and interactive websites. By giving your website a holiday design makeover, you will be using a new, creative way to share the same information more effectively.

                        Consumers love sites that are decorated for the holidays. However, you must be careful that the holiday images are not over done or distracting. For instance, falling snowflakes may be appropriate for MySpace or Pandora.com, however they are disturbing and annoying to customers trying to get their holiday shopping completed.

                          Start preparing new graphics for your homepage, category pages and popular product pages now to ensure the final images are professional looking. Images thrown together at the last minute do not build customer confidence.

                            Throwing a Christmas tree or a pumpkin in as part of your logo may be very celebratory, but don’t sacrifice branding for festiveness unless you know how to pull it off correctly. With the holidays bringing in massive amounts of new customers, you want to be able to market to them beyond this holiday season. But if they don’t recognize your logo or brand name later, you may lose those new customers. So be careful when dressing up your site for the holidays.

                              Make sure your site’s homepage is overhauled to allow customers on the go to quickly locate your most popular products. Your website should have a robust site search feature that returns relevant results. This is particularly important for sites with large product catalogs or ones with sub-par navigation. Display the search box prominently as part of your site template on all the pages.

                                3. Amplify Your Search Engine Optimization and Marketing Efforts

                                  Use Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising to drive traffic to your site. Be prepared for an increase in bid amounts and greater competition. Begin preparing ad copy, landing pages and micro sites now. Add holiday-related words such as “Gifts,” “Christmas,” and “Holidays.” For example, if you sell sporting goods, phrases on your keyword list might be “gifts for skiers” and “holiday gifts for hikers.” If you’re a candle retailer, a phrase on your keyword list might be “aromatic Christmas candles.” And make sure your ads are linked to specific landing pages with a holiday theme.

                                    The number of searches that includes the word ‘free’ skyrockets during the holiday season, whether someone is looking for free shipping or free gift wrapping, you should introduce this keyword throughout your site well before the holiday season begins.

                                      Begin acquiring last minute back links through directories (Yahoo directory, Best of the Web Directory, Joe Ant, Wow Directory), guest blogging, and social media participation to give your site an extra boost.

                                        4. Market and Merchandise like a Pro This Holiday Season

                                          Turn your site’s Wish List feature on and make it easier for users to locate the Wish List page. Consider offering a discount to people who purchase gifts for others from their wish lists. You should also consider developing a special Holiday section or page on your site that features gifts broken down by demographics and pricing.

                                            Make sure you turn your site’s online gift certificates and Reward Programs. Online (email and paper based) gift certificates are becoming extremely popular among holiday shoppers. The ability to purchase a gift card online and redeem it at a physical store and vice versa works very well and will give you a solid multi-channel advantage that’s hard to match by web-only retailers.

                                              Is your ecommerce solution provider ready for this holiday season?

                                                GoECart has a robust feature set that allows you to effectively market and sell your products online. GoECart is fully integrated with leading social media networks and allows your customers the ability to quickly and effectively share your products on both Twitter and Facebook. In just one click your customers can share your products on their Facebook profile page and simultaneously post them to their friends’ newsfeed. And, when they share your product, the product image, title, description and a link to the page are posted and immediately shared with all their friends.

                                                  Last holiday season, GoECart hosted ecommerce sites consistently experienced upwards of 99.99% uptime. GoECart understands how important it is that your site is up and running 24/7/365. GoECart also knows that most merchants experience large spikes in traffic during the holiday season. All GoECart powered sites are hosted in Tier-1 ecommerce hosting facilities with proactive load balancing and monitoring to ensure maximum uptime and high performance. In addition, our solid technology architecture and on-demand ecommerce hosting infrastructure allows for virtually unlimited scalability. So go out and sell more! GoECart Ecommerce Platform and Order Management System will be there to handle any spikes in your holiday traffic.

                                                    Coming soon in Part 2 of the article… Stay tuned!

                                                      • Email Marketing for Holidays 2010
                                                      • Social Media Planning and Execution
                                                      • How to deal with Shopping Cart Abandonment during the Holidays
                                                      • ‘Tis the Season to Target Alternate Sales Channels
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                                                      Crank Up the Success of Your Web Marketing Efforts with Microsites and Landing Pages

                                                      In today’s competitive ecommerce market, you need to look at innovative marketing approaches to help you stand out. Two unique ways GoECart helps merchants to differentiate their campaigns —and shorten sales cycles—is via micro sites and custom landing pages.

                                                      A microsite, or small promotional site, is typically 1 to 5 pages that are promoted independently of a company’s main retail site. A microsite is focused solely around one promotion or campaign without any distractions or irrelevant marketing messages. Landing pages are simpler by nature with even fewer distractions as standard navigation menus and other elements found in a microsites are not needed.

                                                      As consumers are bombarded with dozens (even hundreds!) of marketing messages daily, these options allow you to deliver highly focused marketing messages to create a lasting impression.

                                                      Some examples:

                                                      • A product site or page, such as for a specific product and/or refurbished products or overstock.  For an example, see Adamo by Dell microsite.
                                                      • A specialized promotional site such as those focused on coupons, contests, charitable divisions.
                                                      • A seasonal promotional page such as for a Summer Sale or “Back to School” promotion.

                                                      Apparel

                                                      Micro Site

                                                      microjpg

                                                      Go Micro and Land More Sales– with GoECart!

                                                      GoECart provides merchants with the capability build custom landing pages as well as the ability to make any category page look like a custom-branded micro site with its own unique header and navigation.

                                                      To develop a custom microsite:
                                                      1. Log in to your GoECart Admin Panel.
                                                      2. Go to Products > Category Editor > Add New Category to crate a new category page for your site.


                                                      CustomMicrosite
                                                      3. In the Category Editor, select Format 4 option and enter desired content for the page and custom banners and navigation if you wish. Don’t forget to Save!


                                                      Format4

                                                      4. From the Inventory Manager, select one or more Products and associate them to this Category individually via the Product Editor or do them in bulk via Product Import CSV function. Once you have associated your products to the new Format 4 Category, your new micro site is ready.

                                                      To create a new custom landing page:

                                                      1. Log in to your GoECart Admin Panel.
                                                      2.  Go to Content Manager > Custom Pages > Add new custom page.

                                                      CustomPages
                                                      3. Give the page a title, set desired options, and click Save to publish the page to your site!

                                                      CustomePage_Editor
                                                      As you can see, with GoECart, creating custom landing pages and microsites is as simple as point-click-create.

                                                      Tips and Tricks

                                                      Adhere to the following tips when developing custom landing pages and microsites:

                                                      • Define no more than a few key messages per site/page and stay on message.
                                                      • Encourage registration – A form can be embedded to generate a lead which leads ultimately to sale. This landing page from a law firm provides an example of how to do this effectively.
                                                      • Use instant coupons or free shipping to increase the likelihood of impulsive purchases.
                                                      • Integrate testimonials and/or current research and statistics to increase credibility.
                                                      • Ensure the page is SEO friendly. Leverage GoECart’s search engine friendly architecture.
                                                      • Perform Usability Testing (A /B testing) using variables such as headline, copy, pricing, or product placement to come up with the optimum offer.
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