Previous Merchant NewsletterE-commerce Merchant Newsletter Vol. 16 - Winter 2010Next Merchant Newsletter

Tips for the Holidays

This holiday season, consumers will be looking for the best deals while shopping online. Show your customers that you value their business through great holiday offers such as: "Buy 2 get 1 free," "Spend $50, get 10% off," or "Free Shipping for orders over $100." ShopSite has a number of features to help you provide these discounts:

With the Manager package you can:

With the Pro package you have all of the features of the Manager plus you can offer:

Give a Shout Out to Your Customers

In Tips for the Holidays, we discussed the various features ShopSite has to help you offer discounts for the holidays. Now you need to let your customers know about it. There are two ways that customers can learn of your products and your deals: 1) through your own advertising (social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, and email campaigns are good examples of this) and 2) through word of mouth from your existing customers.

Let us start by addressing what you can do to promote the deals you will be offering this holiday season. In ShopSite 10 sp2, a feature was added to all service levels (Starter, Manager and Pro) that allows you, the merchant, to display a "follow" link for your company's Facebook and Twitter accounts. Social media (such as what is offered by those two companies) is a good way to let customers know about new products, deals, and promotions. What good is a great deal if no one knows about it? Get the word out to your customers and their friends that your store is the place to shop for the holidays.

Now, what about your customers? What can they do? Well, ever since version 8.0 of ShopSite the "Tell a Friend" feature has allowed customers to email page and product links to their friends. In ShopSite version 10 sp1 we improved upon that feature and gave it the name "Share with Friends." This new feature not only allows the links to be emailed, but it also gives the option of posting the page/product links to Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Bebo, and many other sites.

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Merchant Tip

Question: I have a question that I need answers to, but support is closed for the day and I want this taken care of now. What can I do?

Answer:  ShopSite merchants have many support resource tools at their disposal that can help with answering questions when support representatives are not available. Self-help tools include: screen-specific help documentation, video tutorials, a knowledgebase, and a user forum. Also, newsletters like this one can sometimes hold the answers which you seek. The URL below will take you to a video tutorial about the various online help resources. That page also contains links to the resources mentioned above on the left hand side.

http://www.shopsite.com/tutorial/resources.htm  

The Support Queue

Question: After setting up the U.S. Postal Service shipping method in my ShopSite's Commerce Setup -> Shipping -> Configure (U.S. Postal Service) menu, including entering my USPS account User ID and zip code, adding items to my cart and entering a zip code as a shopper would produces an error similar to the following: "USPS Message: An XML response was not returned from USPS."

What does this mean, and what can I do to resolve it?

Answer:  In general, this means that your ShopSite cart was able to contact the USPS rate request servers, but they provided no recognizable response.

The most common reasons that this occurs is that either the USPS account User ID was entered incorrectly in ShopSite's USPS configuration screen, or you have not yet had USPS make your USPS account live on their 'production' rate servers.

Resolutions for these two issues would be to check to make sure that the User ID was entered correctly (and with no extra spaces or other characters that should not be part of the USPS User ID) in Commerce Setup -> Shipping -> Configure (U.S. Postal Services) -> Re-subscribe USPS (a valid USPS Account ID would be in a format similar to 1234ABDCE567), or follow the instructions from Step 2 of the ShopSite documentation page at the URL below to ask USPS to enable the USPS account for their 'production' servers:
http://www.shopsite.com/help/10.2/en-US/sc/mgr/usps.reg.overview.html

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Designer Tip

Question: If I have my own design already set up, is there a resource which can show me how to add the main blocks of code to turn my design into a custom template?

Answer: Yes, there is a custom template tutorial called the "Quick and Easy Template Tutorial." This tutorial gives you a table that you can copy and paste into the main body of your pages to turn your design into a custom template. Along with the Quick and Easy Template Tutorial is a video tutorial series where you can see a merchant going through the same steps. The URLs for the tutorials mentioned above are as follows:

-Quick and Easy Template Tutorial
 http://www.shopsite.com/templates/cookbook/quick-easy-templates.shtml 
-Quick and Easy Video Tutorial Series
http://www.shopsite.com/tutorial/merchandising-qne-page.html 

 

Industry Articles

25 Case Studies Using Twitter to Increase Business and Sales
http://kylelacy.com/25-case-studies-using-twitter-to-increase-business-and-sales/
"Dell Outlet doesn’t have the time to hire an agency and develop an ad campaign. Instead, the company turns Internet marketing using tools like Twitter. The company started to use Twitter to push information out and soon found out that people were interested in talking."

Give the Customer What They Want: Coupons!
http://googleretail.blogspot.com/2010/10/give-customer-what-they-want-coupons.html
"It probably does not come as a surprise that sales are the most effective driver of holiday purchases. Savvy consumers have become accustomed to hunting for coupons before making purchases online and extras such as free shipping are the new basics."

Repair broken links for good SEO
http://www.aboutus.org/Link_Juice:_Save_Every_Drop
"When a person sees “404 - Page Not Found” on your website, you've probably just lost a customer. When a search engine encounters a 404 error, any SEO benefit from that link is completely lost. Furthermore, the search engine will regard your site as being of lower quality. That could really hurt you in search results, because Google includes site quality as a factor in its ranking algorithm. "

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News, Tips and Trends

Whether you like to get emails, read RSS feeds, follow on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook you can keep up with the news, tips and trends with ShopSite and E-commerce.

Follow ShopSite On FacebookFollow ShopSite on TwitterSubscribe to the ShopSite Blog RSS Feed

Recently Added Knowledgebase Articles

The following articles were recently added to the support knowledgebase:

v10 sp2 r2 maintenance release fixes some problems with v10 sp2 and v10sp2 r1

First Data Global Gateway (formerly LinkPoint or YourPay): Socket connection or timeout issues (port 1129)

April 2010 email from Authorize.net regarding new MasterCard and Discover processing requirements

Can't login to ShopSite backoffice after installing WordPress, Drupal, or other CMS software

Current Version of ShopSite

Latest Releases:

To upgrade your ShopSite store, contact your authorized reseller hosting partner.

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