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Twas The (Last Online Shopping) Night Before Christmas

Twas The (Last Online Shopping) Night Before Christmas

‘Twas the last online shopping night before Christmas, and all through the house, The only thing you could hear was me clicking my mouse. In the cold dark of night, my computer screen glowed Searching RetailMeNot for the right coupon code.   My laptop sputtered and chugged as I browsed all the Net. There were gremlins inside it, I’m willing to bet! eBay loaded so slow that I just felt betrayed. I should’ve bought my computer from Mac of All Trades.   Could my presents arrive by December 24th? Six days? Was I ordering from the pole in the north? And I wanted free shipping, but it was too late. Amazon wanted 35 bucks for that date!   And then, from behind, I heard a tiny voice squeak. It shocked me so much that I let out a shriek! I shot from my chair and I covered my screen Before the pictures upon it could ever be seen.   Standing there was my son, his young eyes all agape, His pajamas, the dark purple of a sugar plum or a grape; His hair was all tousled, his big belly stuck out, And I think there was drool coming out of his mouth.   He had seen all of Star Wars for the very first time, And all he wanted ever since was to be a Jedi. After days on the hunt, I found the most perfect gift. A light saber from Ultra Sabers — and the shipping was swift!   So I gave him a cookie and I sent him to bed, And in the silence, I thought I’d... read more
Transitioning from an SMB to Mid-Market Ecommerce Platform

Transitioning from an SMB to Mid-Market Ecommerce Platform

Ten Essential Planning Exercises to Ensure a Smooth Launch If you are a small business owner thinking about re-platforming, odds are that your rapid growth has left your Ecommerce ecosystem looking like a Jenga® tower on the verge of collapse. Your business needs are growing beyond the means of the platform, yet you continue to push its limits by adding block after block of piecemealed functionality. Pushing the boundaries of the architecture by building ad hoc solutions has created an unstable base that is starting to teeter. With every addition, the entire system becomes less stable, less reliable and more likely to fail. This degradation of your ecosystem coupled with the growing expectation of a frictionless shopping experience by more sophisticated online retail audiences has you quickly losing marketshare to the competition. So what will transitioning to a mid-market platform do? Re-platforming will not only stabilize your infrastructure, but also empower the business to be more competitive and scale for growth as your business evolves. It provides the ideal opportunity to connect or retool existing and third-party assets and integrations. Ultimately a platforming endeavor should move your site onto an elegantly designed, scalable, rock solid ecommerce platform that maximizes revenue potential. If the above describes your current situation, then it is officially time to start actively exploring transition strategies. The following Top 10 list will help you start forming a plan of attack. Brand Labs developed this Top 10 list to help ease our clients’ transition from their current platform to Mozu. In combination, these exercises help key stakeholders know the up-front preparation needed to mitigate risk, control costs... read more
Ecommerce Infographic: The Buying Power of Millenials

Ecommerce Infographic: The Buying Power of Millenials

Is your company having trouble engaging the proper target market? Well, we all know teenagers are the loudest brand advocates and older generations have more purchasing power than most. But, don’t forget the Millennials. To highlight this evolving demographic and help ensure businesses can capitalize on their transitional understanding of the World Wide Web, our design team made this insightful infographic on Millennials and their online buying mentality. Remember, men lie and women lie, but Ecommerce numbers do not. Use these stats wisely and your bottom line could be bulging in no... read more
8 Ways To Earn More Facebook Likes

8 Ways To Earn More Facebook Likes

With 1.11 billion potential shoppers actively using Facebook, businesses have been racing for ways to build their presence on the popular social network and engage those users with their brand. However, with so many businesses vying for interest, most Facebook users only interact with the companies who make it easy or provide an incentive to do so. Yet, businesses who earn customers’ trust on Facebook essentially earn a qualified lead, so the benefit is huge. To help companies earn clout on Facebook and generate the type of customer-focused and referral-based interactions necessary for repeat business in 2014, we have outlined 8 ways to earn more Likes on Facebook. 1) Post Quality Content: First and foremost, creating engaging content is the best way to generate brand buzz online. Seems so simple, right? Well, it’s not. To truly surround a business with buzz, companies must continually create engaging content that it’s demographics will latch on to, share, and hopefully encourage them to come back for more. Once users start seeing that level of quality content regularly, they’ll be enticed to keep coming back and eventually Like that business page – adding said business to their own timeline and subsequently seeing all their posts from then on. Some easy ways to tap into the mindset of your target audience are by using Google Trends or Facebook Graph Search. Google Trends allows users to search broad terms and turn up popular trending topics from their industry, from within the search network. Facebook Graph Search allows business owners to search amongst info offered by people who have liked their page. 2) Stay Consistent: Not... read more
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
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