In honor of this season of giving, we’ve decided to give you the greatest gift of all: we’re going to enable your obsessive need to keep a constant eye on your Volusion store’s revenue by giving you Volusion Snapshot!
Volusion Snapshot (currently available in the iTunes app store) is a completely free and easy way to watch your sales add up during the holidays and throughout the year. We created Volusion Snapshot to be secure and simple and to provide you with the one piece of data we know you’re looking for: revenue. Volusion Snapshot provides current (refreshable) daily revenue figures as well as monthly data, annual data and year-over-year comparisons. Now you can watch your bottom line while you’re on the go without having to constantly log in to your Volusion dashboard. We’re giving you the gift of freedom.
… AND if you happen to have multiple Volusion stores, we have even more good news. Volusion Snapshot will allow you to stay logged in to each of them simultaneously so you can see your online empire expanding no matter where you are.
Brand Labs is dedicated to ecommerce and we’re always working to make it better. Volusion Snapshot is our gift to the entire Volusion community with the hope that it makes your lives a little easier. It comes with our very best wishes for a joyous, peaceful and prosperous 2012!
Well, Color is presupposing that you would. Launching Tuesday night (the week after SXSW) with $41 million in pre-launch funding and a cadre of all-star founders, this social photo sharing app is trying to change how you share photos, not to mention the very definition of social sharing. Use Color, share photos. It’s almost as simple as it sounds.
You may already be familiar with Instagram, Path, and/or PicPlz, free photo sharing apps which allow you to choose your circle of friends, and allow you to control what you share and who you share it with. Color didn’t like that approach. With Color, you share to whomever is in your physical vicinity, no matter what, and it’s all public. Sounds a little less simple already, right? Read more after the break.
For those who don’t know, there’s an app called Foursquare whose primary function is to allow its users to “check in” at specific locations. Check in more often than all of your peers and you become “Mayor” of that location. Up until now, the only benefit of Mayorship were bragging rights, and possibly a discount of some sort at that particular location. Starbucks has just changed all that.
Until June 28th, Mayors of any Starbucks location will receive discounts at all Starbucks locations. It’s the first national discount utilizing the app, but almost certainly won’t be the last.
We recently had the pleasure of launching Dealer Direct Parts‘ brand new Volusion store! This was a big one and we’ll tell you why…
In addition to designing the site and the logo, we created and developed a unique search refinement tool, specific to Dealer Direct’s business model. You see, they’re a network of dealer-authorized parts dealers and as you can well imagine (with the huge number of different makes and models) it could be pretty damn challenging to search their site in the hope of finding a specific part for your car. That’s where we came in.
Read about our solution after the jump…
Where to begin? … well, how about product options? RapidCart can handle multiple options with images. You like alternate product pics? You’ve got ‘em. You want to include all of your pricing info and product description copy? Check. But wait… there’s more! How would you like your soft-add-to-cart pop-in window to be styled to match the look and feel of your site? We’ve got you covered. Custom design is included in the RapidCart 2.0 implementation.
Of course, for many people, the Volusion soft-add-to-cart will be just fine, but for those who want to take their site to the next level, there’s RapidCart 2.0: custom development quality with an out-of-the-box price. Learn more and see RapidCart in action here.
We loooove our iPhones. We’re aware of the stereotypes. We’ve heard the haters and the trolls. We don’t care. Our love is pure and magical and could never be diminished by the nattering nabobs of negativism (we so rarely get to quote Spiro Agnew).
The above-mentioned deep love was a big part of the reason that we introduced iVoloo – the first iPhone friendly Volusion store, back in July of 2008. Back in those days (it seems so long ago), iVoloo was a novelty. We developed it for a client who sells iPhone accessories, then (drunk with iPhone affection) decided to offer it to the Volusion community at large. In all honesty, back then, the need for iVoloo was debatable. There were absolutely excellent reasons to have a mobile-friendly store, but it wasn’t a critical need. Those times have changed.
Do you remember back when the internet was still in its infancy? It wasn’t that uncommon to search for a huge brand name, only to find that they had no web presence at all. You’d just shrug and grab the phone book (remember those?), look up the store and call them to get your questions answered. However, as time went by, an insufficient web presence became harder and harder to tolerate until finally it seemed like a personal affront to go searching for a store online and come up empty. We’ve now reached the point where even the humblest of mom & pop operations are virtually required to have a website, lest they risk the wrath of their constantly-connected consumers. That’s the future of mobile commerce. You can go ahead and ignore it… for now. You can ignore all of the research (here, here and here) that shows that consumers are quickly (very quickly) becoming comfortable with mCommerce. You can frustrate your mobile customers by failing to offer them what they are rapidly coming to expect from their online experience. You can put all of your eggs in your standard site and hope that your customers are tenacious enough to navigate your teeny-weeny little site in search of what they need.
… or, you could get ahead of the curve (and your competition) for less than a thousand bucks. Give us a call. It’ll be easier than you can imagine.
Every once in a while, something pops up on the Volusion forum that we would LOVE to comment on. It’s tough for us to see one of our Volusion-using brethren (and sistren?) struggling with a problem or a need that we know we could solve, yet be unable to tell them due to Volusion’s (completely fair) restriction on anything remotely like a sales pitch within their forum. While we understand the restriction, we are overcome with a desire to help, so we’ve decided that, from time to time, we’ll address a concern, problem or need that’s been posted in the Volusion forum here in this blog. Here’s a link to the post that inspired us to do so (you’ll need an account to access the thread.)
In this case the post didn’t explicitly express a need, but instead, included a link to this Internet Retailer article (which, itself, is quoting Compete’s Smartphone Intelligence survey for Q3 2009) that shows two things quite clearly. First, smartphone users are using their devices more and more, not just for “window shopping” but for actual mobile purchases (37% according to the survey). Second, they are less likely to make a mobile purchase on a site that hasn’t been optimized for the mobile experience.
We’ve been aware of this for some time and, as a matter of fact, last year we released iVoloo, which has the ability to take a select group of products from your store and offer them in an iPhone-friendly format for the shopper on the go. It’s a great tool and simply implementing it tells your customers that you understand their needs, but, the iVoloo wasn’t everything we’d hoped for. It was limited in the number of products it could display and it required our assistance to merchandise the mobile-specific format.
… but, we’ve been working on it and guess what? We are now poised to release iVoloo 2.0 and here’s the good news: not only can you put your whole damn store inside, but you’ll also be able to merchandise it easily (without any help from us) using the Volusion admin that you’re already familiar with! It’s as close to a plug-and-play solution as you could hope for.
The release of iVoloo 2.0 is mere weeks away and if you’re interested, you can contact us now and you’ll be one of the first to have this sweet new tool on your Volusion store as soon as it’s ready. Of course, you can also contact us for any other needs you may have, or you can post your question or need in the comments section of this post. Don’t worry, though… we keep our eyes on the Volusion forum and if something comes up there that we feel we can address, we’ll do so here.
We admit it. We have unnaturally strong feelings for our iPhones. We are rarely without them. If you were to attend a meeting at Brand Labs, you would likely see ten people gathered around a conference table and on that table would be ten iPhones… or nine iPhones and one sad-looking person with a Razr in their pocket. So, it’s official: we’re dorks. With that being said, we’ll take it one step further and admit our deep and abiding love for RedLaser – the app that’s likely to change the way the world shops.
RedLaser is a beautifully simple little app. For the ridiculously low price of two bucks, it will turn your iPhone into a mobile comparison shopping machine. Let’s say, for example, that you’re at your local Target store and you see a shiny, new toaster that’s just what you’ve been looking for, but you think you might be able to get a better deal elsewhere. Well, just whip out your iPhone, launch the app and point the phone’s camera at the toaster’s barcode. In mere seconds, not only will you see a listing of local brick and mortar competitors who also carry that exact toaster (along with what they’re charging) but you’ll also see results from both Google and The Find’s comparison shopping engines… effectively allowing you to search the entire world for the best deal on that perfect, little toaster! What does this mean for you, the online retailer? Well, it means you’d better include Comparison Shopping Engines in your marketing efforts or you’ll be missing out on the opportunity to get new customers who might otherwise have never even heard of you.
The world is changing pretty damn quickly these days. We can help you keep up.
Not every bit of custom development we do for our Volusion customers is earth-shattering. Some are more like a whisper. Take the one on the left, for example.
We created a little plugin for TriathleteSports.com. It gathers product information from their Volusion merchandising to determine if any given product has the appropriate options to trigger the display of a “More Colors” graphic on the category page (as seen in the inset image). It may not change the world, but it will let Triathlete’s customers shop with a bit more ease, and isn’t that delightfully magical?
… okay. It’s fair to say that the holidays have gotten to us.
Full disclosure here: Ryan Forrest, partner in Verde Lifestyles, also happens to be a member of our sales staff, but that shouldn’t matter at all because he’s a very honest young man and would never consider making any sort of untrue or misleading assertions. He’s also charming, virile and has a lovely singing voice.
With the disclaimer out of the way, we’d like to direct your attention to this post on the Verde Lifestyles blog about his experience with the latest (as yet unreleased) version of iVoloo, our iPhone-friendly Volusion store plugin. There’ll be more details later with the official release of 2.0, but we thought we’d build some buzz early on. As a matter of fact, we heard that Robert Pattinson and Ciara were totally excited about the upcoming release*.
*We have no way to confirm this because we completely made it up.