Spree Commerce

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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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5 Tips to Help your 2016 Small Business Resolutions

Posted on January 07, 2016 by Alexander Diegel

Define your Goals

Saying you want to make a million dollars in 2016 is great. But how are you going to get there? Surely you don’t expect to something to happen differently this year without doing something different; that’s the definition of insanity.

So, define how you’re going to achieve that goal. Saying, “I’m going to increase my annual revenue to one million dollars by focusing on my marketing and social media efforts” is a much more realistic goal than, “I’m going to make a million dollars in 2016.”

Break Big Goals into Small Goals

Following this advice makes any task much easier to tackle. If we’re staying with the above example, you’d need to make $250K per quarter in order to hit a million dollars of annual revenue, so it also defines checkpoints to help you keep up with your goals. If you make $200K in one quarter, you know you’d need to make $300K the next to make up for not hitting your target. Striving to reach smaller goals along the way will make hitting your primary, bigger goals, that much easier.

Use Apps to your Advantage

You don’t have to do it all yourself. There are plenty of applications out there designed to help the business owner reach his or her targets. There are apps for time management, customer support, communication with customers, and even to help you schedule tweets and Facebook posts, if engagement in social media is one of your 2016 focuses. You’ll find that most of these applications are very affordable, and some are even free.

Strive for Consistency

Along the lines of the three above points, making changes is never easy, so start one step at a time, and get results from your efforts by turning them into habits. In order to stick with your 2016 resolutions, you’ll have to dedicate a litte bit of time to them every day.

If your goal is to turn your customers into a community, then that means tweeting every day, and doing so during time of high Internet traffic. Going back to point three, there are low-cost applications that can help you make posting to Twitter and/or Facebook a habit, like Hootsuite or Tweetdeck.

Make it a Team Effort

All goals are made easier by support from those around you. This can mean hiring new staff dedicated to accomplishing your goals to literally join your team. However, not everyone necessarily has the budget, or the complete need, for that.

There are free resources that can help you accomplish your goal as well. There are plenty of entrepreneurs just like you that are trying to grow their business. Try joining them in a community forum, and see what crowdsourcing can do to help you hit your 2016 resolutions!

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