The E-Commerce Column

  • Ultimate Guide on Investing in Social Media Marketing for E-Commerce Store Owners

    Woman Shopping Online

    If you’re reading this, I at least hope you’ve already done the bare minimum and ensured that your product pages have the requisite like, tweet, and pin buttons in the very least.  It’s super simple to do today and requires almost zero technical knowledge.  This one act alone can be a way that some stores instantly increase sales in their online store, because they’ve made it super easy for their existing customers to do their marketing for them.  HubSpot reports that you can get 7 times more mentions on social media channels by doing this.  Since this is so easy, what’s the next step though?  Why and how do I need to invest further into social media?

  • 5 Non-Commerce Features Every E-Commerce Website Will Need for Long Term Success

    Marketing features should be in e-commerce solutions

    If you’ve been in the e-commerce industry for even a few minutes, you’ve already become acquainted with the basic necessities that every online store needs.  You already know about things like catalog and order management, product landing pages, a shopping cart, and of course a checkout.  Unfortunately, putting those together alone won’t make any online store successful.  You can spend 5 minutes on any e-commerce media or blog site and you’ll realize that there’s all kinds of other things that your website will need to achieve your ultimate goals. 

  • How Integration Saves Your Store Money and Increases Customer Satisfaction

    Increase Customer Satisfaction and Save Your Online Store Money

    Imagine this…  You walk into a Target like you’ve done countless times before.  You’ve put it off for far too long, and you’re looking for a new package of socks.  With a bit of luck, you managed to find your favorites still there and you take them to the register to checkout.  When you get there, the cashier takes them away from you and says to check back later to see when you can have them.  That’s odd… you just wanted your new pair of socks.  Luckily, when you come back the next day, they tell you that you’ll receive your new socks tomorrow.  Unfortunately, when they arrive, they’re not the socks you handed to the cashier – they’re neon green, and you simply wanted some white running socks.  Now you need to start all over again. 

  • Why Does My Online Store Need a CMS Anyway? Spoiler Alert: It Does.

    Desktop E-Commerce CMS Website Planning

    When you typically think of an online store, you probably don’t think of a blog, careers, white papers, marketing landing pages, content campaigns, or microsites.  Your first thoughts most likely go to product pages, search, and checkout.  You may have briefly thought about the shopping cart page too.  The point here is that you don’t have to think that way, and you shouldn’t be anyway.  Your online store could be so much more than it is already as long as you embrace having your store be an e-commerce CMS.  Once you do, the world of endless opportunity and flexibility for your online business strategy opens up for you.

  • T-WORX Shows their Mobile Roots and Raves About Design Flexibility

    Hotcakes Commerce Partner: T-WORX

    Tracy Wittenkeller leads one of our partner company’s named T-WORX, based in Boca Raton, Florida.  If his name sounds familiar, it might be because he’s literally written the book on theming platforms a few times.  T-WORX has been around for more than a decade helping businesses design and implement their websites.  When Tracy was brainstorming the name of his company, his wife happened to name it for him, almost by accident.  When he was trying to use his initials in a creative way, his wife said, “Tracy works for you,” and T-WORX was born.  Since then, Tracy and his team have built a reputation for building beautiful websites for their clients, on several platforms, including Hotcakes Commerce. 

  • Benefit from the Ultimate Toolbox When You Work with the nvisionative Team

    Hotcakes Commerce partner: nvisionative

    I’ve known David Poindexter for a long time now.  Ever since I’ve known him, he’s been successfully running nvisionative.  David founded the company over 7 years ago now, and hasn’t looked back since.  The company is located in Mooresville, North Carolina and focuses on a central passion, which is generating ideas that can drive client businesses forward through marketing and technology.  I guess that’s why their client list boasts a world-wide presence, despite being headquartered in Race City, USA.  That’s what some people call Mooresville, due to the number of race teams that call this fine city home.

  • ITX is Apparently an Abbreviation for Long-Lasting Client Success

    Hotcakes Commerce Partner:  ITX

    I recently had the pleasure of speaking with the president of ITX, a world-wide team of over 100 digital experience professionals.  ITX has been one of our partners for a while now, and they boast an impressive client list overall, including one of my personal favorites, Simon Sinek.  In addition to being the president of the company, Fred Beer is also a partner at ITX, an impressive company that started in Rochester, NY way back in 1997.  We really enjoy working with ITX on every project, because they have a similar outlook on clients as we do.  Fred himself mentioned that their goal is to create 100-year relationships with their clients.  I rarely hear a statement from any company as powerful as that.

  • Cassidi of 10 Pound Gorilla Explains How Her Team Consistently Delivers ROI to Clients

    Hotcakes Commerce Partner: 10 Pound Gorilla

    One of our earliest partners to join the program is 10 Pound Gorilla.  They’ve been with us pretty much since our beginning, bringing us one of our first beta clients.  Needless to say, they know more about Hotcakes Commerce than most.  10 Pound Gorilla is headquartered near Denver, Colorado but has employees based all over the U.S.  The color red in their logo has roots too… Colorado is actually a Spanish adjective for “red” and this is only one of many interesting tidbits about their fun-loving company and culture. This was the first of many things I’d learn about Cassidi and her company in this interview.

  • mintblau media Exercises Their Superpowers to Help Their Clients Grow

    mintblau media

    If you’re anywhere near Germany and need an e-commerce website, our partners mintblau media are there to help.  They’re based just over the border from Belgium and Netherlands in Aachen.  You may have heard of Aachen since it’s home of the popular RWTH Aachen University, but you may not realize that it’s also where the coronation would be held for German kings.  Royalty has always been associated with strength and power, and this kind of inspiration seems to have inspired the folks at mintblau.  You’ll find some subtle and not-so-subtle hints at their superpowers pretty much everywhere on their website.

  • How Moore Creative Solves Real World E-Commerce Problems & Why They Love Hotcakes

    Moore Creative

    One of our newest partners is Moore Creative.  Their origin is similar to many companies in the U.S. – especially in the software industry.  Ryan Moore founded the company back in 1997, where they saw a market need for web development firms that specialized in Action Flash.  I don’t know if you remember the web back then, but this was indeed a very high demand talent.  Everyone was rushing to convert their static HTML websites to Flash.  Fast forward almost 20 years later, and Moore Creative is still going strong out of the home of NASCAR, in beautiful Charlotte, North Carolina.  These days, Moore and his team focus much more on B2B industrial, production, and asset management verticals in e-commerce.

  • Most Successful Ways to Reduce Abandoned Carts

    Most Successful Ways to Reduce Abandoned Carts

    We get it, abandoned carts are part of the process.  If you had a brick-and-mortar store, you’d see some people walk-in, browse, and then leave.  This is essentially, the same thing.  However, in both instances, there are some simple things that you can do to greatly reduce the number of abandoned carts your store sees.  We’ll walk through them together in this article.

  • Top Reasons Integrating Social with Your Products is So Important

    No matter what you’re selling online, social media helps you sell it better. But you may be thinking “I already have Twitter and Facebook share buttons on my website – isn’t that enough?”

    Not exactly.

    Think about it. When was the last time you went to a website and thought, “this is such a great offer, I have to tell everyone I know about it!”

    Never, right?

  • Hotcakes Commerce 2.0 Makes Any Store Owner a Data Scientist

    People using Hotcakes Commerce

    Hotcakes Commerce, like many companies, was born out of purpose. After years of being frustrated with various other online shopping software solutions, we finally decided to do something about. Like you, we realize nothing is perfect, but we knew then and know now that there was plenty of room for someone to work with online store owners – instead of against them. Hotcakes came to you with that mission… to make e-commerce easier, for everyone. With this announcement, we’re taking that commitment we made to you, and raising it to a whole new level.

  • 3 Ideas You Can Borrow from Amazon to Increase Your Sales

    3 ideas you can borrow from Amazon to increase your sales

    When it comes to being an e-commerce powerhouse, Amazon seems to have all the right stuff. A recognizable brand, fast shipping, detailed reviews – the list goes on and on. But can Amazon really teach you how to grow your sales? Absolutely. You just have to know where to look. Here are three of our favorite Amazon sales ideas that you can borrow – starting today.

  • How Do You Know Your Site Needs to Be Redesigned?

    E-Commerce website on a closing laptop screen

    If you’ve been mulling over a possible redesign, you may be asking yourself, “does my site really even need it?”

    After all, it’s not like you get a little alert or prompt telling you that your site could use a bit more than a fresh coat of paint. What you need is something more – a convenient checklist that you can look at and know when it’s time to redesign. Fortunately, we’ve created one just for you. Go ahead and print it out, then load up your website and ask yourself:

  • Hotcakes 01.10.02 Fixes for Authorize.Net and the Tax Provider

    A New Release of Hotcakes is Ready for You!

    Some of you may already know that we’re working on something really big for you.  In fact, we’ve been teasing these updates for over a year now.  We still have a week or two before we can talk about those things more openly.  In the meantime, please enjoy this latest release of Hotcakes that we’ve prepared for you.  We had several reports of issues with Authorize.Net and the new tax provider that could cascade issues for you and your customers under the right conditions. 

  • Mobile Site or Mobile App? Which is Right for Your Business?

    Hotcakes Commerce talks Mobile

    It’s no secret that mobile is taking the web by storm. Every day, people log in to a variety of mobile apps and responsive websites to do everything from order food to check stocks and attend events. But many businesses are torn – should you invest in a mobile responsive site, or have an app developed? Both have their pros and cons and ultimately, knowing the benefits and downsides of each will help you be able to more confidently decide which is right for you. Let’s take a closer look:

  • Hotcakes 1.10.01 Released To Mend a Few Things

    Hotcakes Commerce 1.9.0 is Ready for you!

    We're very hard at work on some exciting things coming on both our website and within the Hotcakes Commerce solution itself.  However, there were a few glaring issues that had to get worked on immediately to help you run your stores efficiently.  Enjoy this release, as it stabilizes some issues recently found in our Authorize.Net, PayPal, and Google Commerce integrations.

  • Hotcakes 1.10 is Serving You With Taxes Your Way

    Hotcakes Commerce 1.9.0 is Ready for you!

    From time to time, we get questions about how taxes work in Hotcakes, and it often would lead to our clients wondering if we supported a tax calculation provider of some name.  There's a surprisingly large number of tax providers out there, and you automatically have your choice of two when you use Hotcakes, including the built-in tax schedule and Avalara's Avatax.  With this release, you're no longer limited to those options.  You can now have any tax provider in the world integrated with Hotcakes.

  • Hotcakes 1.9.1 Updates Ensure a Great Holiday Sales Season

    Hotcakes Commerce 1.9.0 is Ready for you!

    This is a very hectic time of year for all of us, in many ways, and for varying reasons.  It's the holiday season already. The year is coming to an end, we're all shopping, preparing for respective visits and feasts, and so much more.  Let's not forget that our customers are and will be visiting our sites more and more frequently from this day, until after the new year.  For these reasons, we hustled as best we could to ensure that you get some maintenance updates available for your site.

  • Hotcakes Hangout - September 2015 - Introduction nvisionative and open source integration

    David Poindexter, GeekEO, nvisionative

    Today we had our very first "hangout," where we used Google Hangouts to have a live broadcast to all of you.  We didn't really advertise it much, because we wanted to see what kind of kinks we might run into.  It went really well though, and we were able to have a great chat with one of our partners, nvisionative.  David Poindexter is their self-proclaimed GeekEO.  

  • Hotcakes 1.9.0 Serving Extra Ingredients for Your Shipping & Promotion Recipes

    Hotcakes Commerce 1.9.0 is Ready for you!

    One thing that has never been true - despite the infamous baseball movie - is that if you built it, they will come.  "They," your customer, won't come unless you give them a compelling reason to.  That compelling reason is going to be slightly different from store to store.  However, if you already have a great product offering, the next step might be to play with various promotions.  A great promotion can be the difference between stale product sales, and triple digit growth on that same product.  

    As part of our continued partnership with you to ensure that you always have the best performing store possible, we added a large number of promotional enhancements in this release.

  • 5 Things Your Customer Thinks (That You Never Hear)

    5 things your customer thinks (that you never hear)

    Whether you do business online, offline, or a combination of both, your customer is always forming an opinion of you. From first impressions to completed orders, your customer’s impression of your company does more to reinforce your brand than any amount of advertising. But what are they really thinking? And how can changing your customer’s perception improve your bottom line? Let’s take a closer look:

  • 5 Best Practices for Your Product Images

    5 best practices for your product images...

    Let’s face it, many people do judge a book by its cover. And when that cover is your product image, you need to do everything you can to truly make it shine. Here are five best practices you should be following no matter what type of product you’re selling:

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