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How to Stretch an Ecommerce Marketing Budget

Posted on February 03, 2016 by Alexander Diegel

Take Advantage of Social Media

Count this tip as a double: Social media is key to harnessing today’s shoppers. And the best part about it? Setting up a social media account is completely, 100% free. If you haven’t set up Twitter and/or Facebook accounts for your company, we highly recommend you do so, as Facebook is the number one source amongst social profiles for sending shoppers to websites. Posting to these accounts is a great way to turn customers into a community, and create a legion of brand ambassadors.

Setting up Pinterest and Google Plus won’t hurt either, as Pinterest especially is making a huge impact on ecommerce. If you’ve heard not-such-great things about Google’s foray into social media, well you’re not wrong. However, it will help with your google search engine optimization, so even if you don’t see a lot of action on your Plus page, it’s still worth it to post there regularly.

Improve SEO

Speaking of SEO, there are a multitude of different things you can do to improve this vital aspect of your business. The concept of SEO amounts to where you appear on a list from a search engine, the most common and most important one being google. Do a quick search for terms that should trigger your business’ appearance in the results.

Is it at or near the top of the list? No? Then you’ve got work to do. If you need help identifying these key terms, try a service like Google Adwords. This will show you the terms that you should optimize in order to drive traffic to your site.

You’ll also want to check out your website’s mobile experience by bringing it up on your smartphone and/or tablet. If your site doesn’t look clean (text/images are compressed, links are broken, etc.) then you’re going to get penalized by search engines, and you’ll be pushed further and further down the list of results.

Content Marketing

Playing a huge part in the role of good SEO is content marketing. Make sure you’re updating your website content regularly, as search engines reward sites for fresh information. If you’re having trouble coming up with new products/content to put on your site, try running a blog that will be of interest to your shoppers.

Do it Yourself

You’ll notice pretty much everything we’ve mentioned you can do yourself, and most of it is absolutely free. It’s important to recognize your limits, but there’s plenty that can be done without hiring outside help or paying for expensive services.

If you hit a roadblock, google is just about the best tool out there for finding step by step instructions on the aforementioned services and advice. If you hit a snag, don’t worry, it’s almost guaranteed someone’s been there before, and provided instructions for people going through the same thing.

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New Spree Commerce Roadmap Announcement

Posted on January 27, 2016 by Sean Schofield

Exciting Announcement

We’re excited to announce a new Spree Commerce Development Roadmap for 2016 along with a new Core Team. Future Spree open-source efforts will be coordinated and managed jointly by volunteers from Spark Solutions and Vinsol. They are all professional developers who are currently working on behalf of merchants using Spree and have hands on experience in Spree development, customization, maintenance and performance optimization.

After the acquisition announcement we asked the community to step up and these people have met the challenge. We have reviewed their objectives and strategy which can be summarized as follows:

  • Growing the current community and supporting businesses running Spree
  • Developing Spree Commerce 3.0 with next versions to follow
  • Supporting developers in migrations from 2.x to 3.x versions
  • Encouraging the Spree community to actively participate in its development


The new Core Team is determined to support Spree developers around the world (mailing list, Slack channel, GitHub issues) in their daily efforts.

For general discussion and support inquiries please use:

Slack public channels: http://slack.spreecommerce.com
Spree Mailing List: https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/spree-user

The new core members would like you to konw that in the spirit of free open source software, they are encouraging everyone to work together to help improve the Spree project. New Core Team members are welcome!

Stay tuned to the Spree Mailing list for more details to come!

Tips and Best Practices for Creating a Logo

Posted on January 21, 2016 by Alexander Diegel

A logo is a staple of your brand. However, it’s not the end all be all of your company’s success; that’s your products and services. With that being said, if you’ve put off adding a logo to your ecommerce website, or have had a “rebrand” on your to-do list, then follow the advice below to create a simple, effective, one-of-a-kind logo that will resonate with your brand’s identity.

The Importance of a Good Logo

Logos act as the face of your company; it’s likely the first thing customers will remember when they think of you. So it needs to be unique, simple, memorable and enduring, but not overdone. You’ll also need it to be versatile, as it needs to work across a variety of mediums; your online and offline storefronts, social media profiles, etc.

Design

All of the above points play into the design of your logo, but there’s even more that goes into it. For example, the colors you choose for your logo have far more impact on its effectiveness than you’d probably imagine.

Here are some key statistics from logos used by the top 100 brands to think about, compiled by graphic design firm, The Logo Factory:

  • 95% use one or two colors
  • 41% use text only
  • 93% are simple enough to be recognizable at the size seen in the above image. (That’s really small!)

Pitfalls to Avoid

You need to make your logo recognizable, but as you can see from the above stats, more complex is not always better. The more complex the logo, the more it negatively impacts the flexibility of the logo when it pertains to different sizes and mediums. On that note, make sure your logo looks good in black and white, as well, since you don’t know where it may pop up.

Resources To Build Your New Logo:

We’ve given you some tips, but what if the time is now to create your new logo? You don’t need to hire a fancy designer and spend an arm and a leg. This is something you can try yourself first. Give these simple and inexpensive resources a try:

For more helpful resources for ecommerce entrepreneurs, visit our academy and give us a follow so you don’t miss out on our next update.

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5 Tips for Effective Calls to Action

Posted on January 13, 2016 by Alexander Diegel

What is a Call to Action?

A Call to Action, or CTA, is a link or button designed to catch the shopper’s eye, in an effort to get them to click on it. The action is designed to benefit the site owner and/or the revenue of the business. The most common example of this is a “Buy Now” button.

Here are some tips that will make your CTAs more effective, and will help you increase your revenue.

Use a Button

In this blog, you’ll notice “link” and “button” used interchangeably. That’s because a button can be a link, but a link is not necessarily a button. A plain text link is not nearly as effective as one that’s in the form of a button. So, be sure to use a Buy Button to close your sale, and use buttons wherever else you’d like to draw customers’ attention.

Create a Sense of Urgency

When customers feel that they only have a limited amount of time to seize an opportunity, they’re often more inclined to make the purchase. For example, if you have certain merchandise that you’re trying to move, a “Buy Now—Sale Runs Until Midnight Only” message will be more effective than the generic “Buy Now” link.

Keep the CTA “Above the Fold”

“The Fold” defines the point of a webpage where a visitor would have to scroll down to look further. Casual shoppers may never scroll down to see more, so you may have the greatest CTA in the world, but it won’t be effective if customers don’t see it, and you’ll lose out on sales. Instead, grab the attention of your shoppers by keeping it above the fold, so it will be seen by all.

Hero Images Make Great CTAs

Hero Images can be used as massive CTAs. A hero image is a large banner image, placed prominently on a webpage. This study shows that the first image seen, often the hero image—assuming the site is designed in this manner—receive 84% of all clicks.

Take advantage of these attention-grabbing images by linking them to a product or category of products within your webstore.

Try out Different Colors

There’s no single color that works best. That’s because the effectiveness will often depend on how it coincides with the look of your site, and every site is different. So, try different colors, and be sure to record the results. Eventually, you’ll see what color CTAs work best for you, and will be able to capitalize on the increased conversions.

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