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How to Turn Critics Into Fans

Posted on March 03, 2016 by Alexander Diegel

Negative Reviews Can Be Scary

Whether you’re just growing your business or you’ve been around the block awhile, receiving a negative review can be frustrating, intimidating, and a little nerve-wracking. However, if you attack the complaint strategically, you can turn the ticked-off customer into a fan for life, and stop future problems before they happen.

Reply Quickly and Politely

The quicker you can reply, the better. Whether it’s you or an employee, make sure someone is consistently checking the contact email inbox, Facebook, Twitter, and any other medium in which a customer can reach out. Reach out to the critic as quickly as possible, as it’s been proven that 71% of consumers who experience a quick and effective brand response on social media are likely to recommend that brand to others. And since more people are likely to reach out with complaints than compliments, ignoring these critiques is ignoring opportunity.

Offer Solutions

Don’t just apologize, and certainly don’t make excuses. If in any way possible, resolve the issue with the customer directly, in as friendly a manner as you can. For example, if their package is missing, send a replacement express, free of charge. Throwing in a gift card, discount or some other reparation isn’t a bad idea either.

Take the Criticism Constructively

If the complaint is legitimate, listen to it and see if you can fix the problem. This is even more crucial if you’re getting the same complaints from multiple customers. Eliminating the problem as quickly as possible will save you and your customers future headache by nipping the problem in the bud.

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5 Proven Strategies for Promoting a Product

Posted on February 10, 2016 by Alexander Diegel

Email Marketing

Behind organic search, email has proven to be the second-most effective way to gain customers. Building up your SEO and improving your organic search results can take awhile, but email can be effective immediately.

You don’t need to dedicate a majority of your time writing and sending emails to individual customers. Make it easy on yourself and use your transactions to collect a customer database, and contact them all as a group. There are many factors that will play into the effectivness of your email campaign, such as frequency and content, but this is a proven strategy that you can begin almost immediately.

Social Media

The impact social media has on ecommerce is growing almost every day. Since it transcends platforms (desktop, mobile and tablet) most users check in many times per day, it’s easy to see why. And the best part about them? They’re FREE.

With that being said, not taking advantage of Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest (a rapidly-growing force in ecommerce marketing) and more, will cause you to miss out on countless opportunities, opportunities that your competitors will be sure not to ignore.

We strongly recommend you set up various accounts for your business if you haven’t already, and post to them with consistency and relevance. It’s not just a great way to gain new customers, but to have your current ones buying again and again.

Blogging

Maintaining a blog is a proven strategy for driving traffic to your site. It helps with your SEO, and keeps your website active in order to capture the attention of shoppers. Certain products may warrant a blog just to announce its arrival, or tell its story. It doesn’t have to be overly wordy or detailed, and not every item needs this special attention, but when well-executed, it will help drive sales.

Being active in blogs doesn’t always mean you have to do it yourself. Whatever your industry, it’s practically guaranteed that someone is writing about it. If your new product is deserving of a wider audience—for example, a new Little League bat that’s been proven to drive the ball 5% further—then reach out to these bloggers, and see if they’d be interested in covering your story.

Use Buy Buttons

The best ways to take advantage of points two and three? Insert a buy button directly into your blog, tweet or post. Promoting your product across all mediums is great; giving them a way to buy right then and there is even better. Your ecommerce website provider should give you a way to easily copy buy button code, so you can simply drop it into your third party site/profile.

Use a Contest

Giving shoppers a way for them to win your hot new item is a proven strategy for generating buzz. Plus, contests are easy and affordable. This is where you can get creative, as there’s all kinds of contests you can use to create a giveaway.

The contest can be specific to your items/industry, like Eggo’s giveaway for the most creative recipe using Eggo waffles. Just be careful, as there as many “dont’s” for contests as “dos.” Make sure the timeliness, message, and steps to enter or win are clearly thought out and executed.

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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!