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Seasons Greetings from Brand Labs

Seasons Greetings from Brand Labs

In our quest to keep up with the latest web technologies, apps, and social media sites, Brand Labs thought it would be fun to play with Vine to create a special holiday message for all our clients and everyone everywhere. Our whole team got together and made some short Vine videos that we’ve assembled into a special webpage. From all of us at Brand Labs, we wish you the best this holiday season!Now cuddle up next to your fireplace and Charlie Brown Christmas Tree and check out the fun... read more
The Amazing 2013 eCommerce Holiday Shopping Season

The Amazing 2013 eCommerce Holiday Shopping Season

It’s our favorite time of year at Brand Labs! Ugly holiday sweaters and home-made cookie contests aside, what spreads the most holiday cheer around Brand Labs is seeing clients sales skyrocket through November & December! It’s true. We love seeing revenue records broken in 2013 and pushing strongly into 2014. We want nothing more than to call up a client only to have them tell us they’re just too busy to talk right now due to the volume of orders they must fulfill. This type of steady growth in internet retail year over year is an exciting trend… not just with our clients, but with the entire industry. In 2012, online holiday sales grew 14 percent compared to 2011. It was estimated they would increase by only 12 percent. Early estimates this season is a 15% increase over last year. Here’s hoping your 4th quarter meets or exceeds your wildest expectations! From all of us at Brand Labs to all of our clients, we wish you the best of holiday shopping... read more
Volusion V13 Update: First-Hand Breakdown of New Features

Volusion V13 Update: First-Hand Breakdown of New Features

As promised, Volusion has raised the curtain on a handful of new rollouts. But, before we embark on an adjective frenzy to display our happiness for V13 updates like enhanced mobile capabilities, automatic tax rates, Volusion mobile apps and new storefront page editor, let’s cut to the chase and get into some first-hand details. We spent the past week playing around with the different features and here are our findings. Enhanced Mobile Commerce With more people than ever buying directly from the phone or tablet, ecommerce stores should be putting their best foot forward on mobile devices. In order to help storeowners cater to on-the-fly buyers, Volusion has rolled out a long-awaited mobile commerce update. Aside from minor aesthetics enhancements, the main functionality upgrade appears during checkout. On the old checkout process, mobile users would go through the buying cycle via a mobile-friendly version of the site. Then, when time came to complete the order, customers were redirected back to the non-mobile version of the checkout page. Now, shoppers will see a mobile-friendly version of the desired site throughout the entire buying cycle, from start to cart. While functionality of the product and category pages are relatively untouched, the checkout process is now much easier to manage. No longer will users be required to expand tiny, non-mobile friendly buttons to go from page to page. Instead, they’re served up a clean and seamless cart experience, which will inevitably get them through the process faster and increase conversion rates for site owners. Furthermore, the upgrade gives owners the option to add custom field names for checkout pages, add custom contact... read more
Brand Labs & the Mozu Platform

Brand Labs & the Mozu Platform

With Volusion’s official unveiling of its new commerce platform, Mozu, Brand Labs is thrilled to finally openly discuss the release with our clients and the entire interweb. Our relationship with Volusion, Inc. as a trusted solutions partner for over seven years allowed us the privilege of early access to “look under the hood” of the Mozu platform. With multiple trips to Austin (Volusion Inc. headquarters) over the past year, we have witnessed the virtual sea of amazing talent working tirelessly on Mozu. The platform promises a limitless enterprise-level commerce solution and we believe that it will deliver. Why are we so pumped about Mozu? Brand Labs is fanatical about creating engaging e-commerce experiences and enhancing the Volusion platform for some of the community’s top brands. While we maintain and strengthen our commitment to the Volusion platform community, the addition of Mozu allows Brand Labs to flex its proverbial ecommerce muscles in delivering unparalleled creative vision, technical wizardry and strategic direction to our mid- to enterprise-level customers. How will Mozu allow us to push the boundaries of commerce? Let’s take a quick look at the key feature sets that make Mozu an incredibly flexible / scalable platform designed to deliver a unified shopping experience across web, mobile and retail stores. 1. Commerce + CMS converged: Mozu combines seamless publishing and content management in a fully integrated experience. Note: Mozu combines the power, flexibility and ease of a CMS like WordPress with enterprise level commerce. Beautiful. 2. Multi-brand, multi-site: Mozu’s infrastructure and integrations allow merchants to manage multiple sites and connect data within one platform.Note: The ultimate in scalability and flexibility…... read more
Having Trouble Setting-Up Tax Rates On Your Store? Volusion’s Got Your Answer

Having Trouble Setting-Up Tax Rates On Your Store? Volusion’s Got Your Answer

Anyone who’s ever maintained an eCommerce store has surely been stumped when trying to implement up to date tax rates. Thankfully, Volusion has released a brand new feature that brings complete automation to this once arcane and manual process. In just a few simple steps, this new feature eliminates the tedious work, leaving store owners with a completely automated sales tax tool. For any owner who signed up after November 7, 2013, the upgrade is already in affect and sales tax headaches should be resolved. Woo-hoo! However, for users with an existing store pre-dating the roll-out, automated tax rates can be enabled by going to the admin dashboard, then going to Settings > Tax, then clicking ‘Settings.’ From there, they’ll be prompted with the quick, three-step process below and on their way to implementing up to the date tax rates for every order, without all the hassle. Pretty easy, right? Not only do we love the ease of implementation, but we appreciate that it’s coming directly before the ensuing holiday madness – meaning that store owners can rest easy knowing that they aren’t over or under charging customers the right amount of sales tax. Anyone who still has questions on Automatic Tax Rates, should make sure to watch this instructional video from the Volusion team on how implement the upgrade, step by step. If not, enjoy the hassle-free tax rationale and have a successful holiday selling... read more
The Importance Of Having A Well Designed Company Logo

The Importance Of Having A Well Designed Company Logo

Brand Labs does not only deal with ecommerce as a science — as our name implies, we also deal with your company’s brand as a science. We’ve had many customers since we began back in 2006 (500+). Aside from what we already knew about the importance of having a well designed logo, we’ve learned something else… having a good ecommerce logo design on your website can increase conversions! In the next few paragraphs we’re going to explain why having a good looking logo is so important and why it can persuade visitors to make a purchase. Your company logo is your company’s face to the world. It’s one of the first things someone will see when they visit your website or look at your product packaging. A unique logo is one of the main ways people remember your company. It should link your website with your marketing materials. It should give those who see it a feeling for what your company does just by looking at it. It should give people a sense of trust to buy from your company. If your company is a startup, after deciding on a name and a business plan, one of the next things you should consider is having a logo designed by a professional graphic designer. At Brand Labs we pride ourselves on our design abilities. It’s one of the reasons we got into building ecommerce sites in the first place. We took a look at so many online stores and saw that they looked terrible. We wondered how they were able to stay in business. We knew that if we weren’t... read more
Features Missing in Adobe Photoshop CS6

Features Missing in Adobe Photoshop CS6

In our previous review of Photoshop CS5, 6 Valuable Features Missing in Photoshop CS5, we went over some shortcomings that we think Adobe should rectify in Photoshop. Version CS6 has been out for a while now and we have been using it for several months since this writing. Adobe has made some nice improvements to this new version, but also some glaring omissions. 1. Snap Vector Tools and Transforms to Pixel Grid A great new feature that allows Photoshop to easily snap vector shapes to whole pixels. For anyone that uses vector shapes, you know that in the past when you draw a shape it can overlap pixels creating a fuzzy edge. This new feature, when turned on, eliminates fuzzy edge syndrome. Unfortunately, this feature is hidden in the app’s preferences. We tend to turn this on and off many times throughout the day as we work. There are reasons for this: the need to nudge existing shapes that do not have crisp edges, freeform drawing with the pen tool, creating clipping paths around photos, etc. Instead of simply having an option right in the toolbar to enable/disable snapping, you have to open the Preferences every single time. This can eat up a lot of time. The only workaround we’ve found for this is to create two actions (one to turn snapping on and one to turn it off) and assign hotkeys to them in the ACtions panel. This works well, but had Adobe thought this out better it would not be necessary. 2. Symbols and Graphic Styles We’re lumping these two together, since they go hand in hand.... read more
Google’s Enhanced AdWords Campaigns

Google’s Enhanced AdWords Campaigns

You can almost feel it building up every time it comes around. That almost electric tingle in your fingertips and rapidly growing itch in the back of your brain that lights the fuse on your hand’s afterburners and rockets it to your device. The race is never acknowledged, but it’s always on. The finish line can be anything. And your answer-loaded info-missile is being constructed as fast as your network will allow. For something that hits so frequently, it’s amazing how you still get excited when you can be the fastest one to an answer to whatever question is on your “dot-com generation” friends’ predictably impatient minds. For those gathered, this whole unspoken information retrieving Olympics often becomes a spectator’s sport. Others often just think it’s stupid until the pressure is on and they’re in heat of the moment. In early February, Google announced that they had been silently spectating and taking notes on all of these races, and have finally given a new weapon to their AdWords advertisers when they unveiled the new “Enhanced Campaigns”. Taking all of the information regarding who, when, where and on what device users are searching, and giving business owners one more leg up in the marketing ladder as they fight to reach out to the markets they need most when it matters most. How easy is it for you to get to your information? Here’s a better question. How often do you have one of the screens in your arsenal of their varying sizes conveniently within an arms reach? It could be your personal computer, or maybe something a bit more mobile-... read more
Auto Parts Cheaper Case Study

Auto Parts Cheaper Case Study

  With extraordinary variability across inventory, Auto Parts Cheaper needed a way to decrease click paths and the time it took customers to find the proper part for their vehicle’s specific make and model. In order to ease a buyer toward checkout – without completely overhauling the landscape of their site – Brand Labs implemented our custom-built search refinement. The advanced, Volusion-specific product filter then allowed customers to display their desired car parts, which stuck with them throughout the site. This enhancement allowed consumers to avoid having to sift through thousands of unrelated products, which ultimately resulted in quicker conversions and a subsequent 10% increase in... read more
[updated] Don’t Panic! Volusion Snapshot is Down (Temporarily), But Not Out

[updated] Don’t Panic! Volusion Snapshot is Down (Temporarily), But Not Out

UPDATE: Both the iPhone and Android apps have now been fixed. You will need to download the newest version of the apps to restore proper functionality.            iPhone App: Available now!            Android App: Available now!   Remember when we designed, engineered, and created the amazing Volusion Snapshot App (for iPhone and Android) that brought the power of tracking your stores revenue to a mobile device? Well don’t worry! it hasn’t gotten any less amazing. HOWEVER, it will be down temporarily as some minor code changes on Volusion’s end has required us to make some adjustments to the app. The updated Volusion Snapshot apps have been submitted for approval to both Apple and Google Play app stores. Isn’t that a relief? We apologize for any inconvenience this may be causing, but rest easy in knowing that the down time will be short-lived. We’re committed to constantly improving our Volusion Snapshot App in order to help you run your business as smoothly as possible- and while that sometimes means updates and fixes, it also means we’re always on the job with the goal of making your ecommerce life better, and more profitable! Haven’t heard about Snapshot? Get in the know, man! Volusion Snapshot (available in the iTunes app store and the Google Play app store) is a completely free and easy way to watch your sales add up 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... read more
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