Wagento Creative

  • 7 Things You Didn’t Know About Credit Card Acceptance

    Whether you own a small business or manage a large distribution center, accepting credit cards can benefit your business substantially, not only by boosting your sales but also by alleviating your workload. If you haven’t already begun to accept credit cards at your business, you may be inhibiting your company’s potential for growth. Listed below are just a few of the reasons credit card acceptance is vital for any business:

    1. Boost sales and increase average ticket size

    Studies show that consumers tend to spend more with credit cards than they do with cash. When a customer pays with cash, he has to forfeit something tangible; paying with a credit card reduces the mental burden of payment because the customer doesn’t physically part with any of his money. This sense of greater financial freedom, however misguided, contributes to larger average tickets and greater sales overall.

     

    2. Business owners can save money by accepting credit cards

    Contrary to popular belief, accepting credit cards can actually save your business money. Some merchants reason that the per-transaction cost of accepting cards for payment isn’t worth paying; however, that cost is quite often offset by increased revenue. By accepting credit cards, you open your business to increased sales since consumers tend to spend more with credit cards than they would with cash. As well, you will probably garner more sales from the population of cardholders who prefer to use credit cards for any number of reasons.

    3. Consumers demand that businesses accept cards

    There are plenty of reasons why consumers would prefer to pay with credit over cash. Credit cards are convenient and often rewarding, as many creditors offer gifts such as cash-back deals or airfare as incentives for making payments with their cards. These incentives have driven up the demand for credit card acceptance substantially on a general level. If your customer wants to pay with plastic, but you don’t accept credit cards for payment, your customer may very well give his business to a vendor that will do so.

    4. Speed up receivables and get immediate cash flow

    Business owners who rely on payment terms such as net 30/60 can speed up receivables by accepting credit cards. Credit cards allow your customers to completely pay off invoices so that there is no lingering debt between you and your consumer; instead, the consumer pays the credit card company or bank. Credit card acceptance therefore not only speeds up receivables, but also provides immediate cash flow that can be used to maintain the health of your business.

    5. Integrated payment solutions streamline a normally tedious procedure

    Some merchant service providers offer integrated payment solutions – credit card processing services integrated into accounting software. This means that you can process payments directly inside of your accounting system, and your system automatically applies those payments to your invoices. This completely eliminates the traditional double entry routine of processing transactions and manually marking invoices as paid, manually balancing your general ledger, and manually updating your inventory.

    6. Easily service repeat customers with an integration or virtual gateway

    Unlike cash and checks, accepting credit cards gives merchants the option to conveniently service repeat customers, either with a direct accounting system integration or a virtual gateway. In both cases, you can use your system or gateway to securely store, recall, and manage data for repeat customers.

    7. Schedule future/recurring charges, and guarantee that you will be paid on a given date

    Most accounting systems or virtual gateways also allow users to schedule recurring charges (e.g. for monthly subscriptions or recurring parts deliveries). This can save valuable time spent on labor and ultimately save your company a good deal of money.

    Online shopping with digital tablet

    This blog was brought to you by Janice Lee. Janice is a PR/communication specialist at Century Business Solutions. Century Business provides cutting-edge payment processing technologies that saves merchants time and money. Century Business Solutions is a registered ISO/MSP of Wells Fargo Bank, and is also a First Data partner.

  • Swiss Army Knife Syndrome

    More often than not when something tries to do more than one thing at a time it just ends up doing a lot of things worse than if they just did one.  It’s the same situation when it comes to software development.

     Believing that more features means more value is what is referred to as “Swiss Army Knife Syndrome”.  A piece of software should be coded to do one job and to do it well.  Keep things simple to avoid unnecessary complications.

     “Software should be elegant, and elegant code is where simplicity meets a good solution. Therefore, it is our responsibility as developers to ensure that every bit of code we produce is as elegant and succinct as possible.”

    Read Mark Holmes’s full article on Swiss Army Knife Syndrome right here.

  • The Glory That Is "One Step Checkout"

    Cart abandonment is a large issue for just about every ecommerce store. On average, over 60% of carts are left to die before checkout is complete. There are a lot of reasons for this, including unexpected costs or customers just wanting to get detailed prices for comparison.

    Another big problem is that the checkout process is just too long and complicated for consumers. Fortunately, there are solutions; enter the One Step Checkout module!

    Aheadworks, a leading vendor of quality Magento extensions, has created a solid One Step Checkout module that can easily be implemented on your site. Their module allows customers to input and customize all of their information on one screen. Billing information, shipping and payment are all right there! Say goodbye to multiple screens that deter conversions and frustrate your potential buyers!

    screen shot of aheadWorks One Step Checkout aheadWorks One Step Checkout

     

    aheadWorks logo

     

    Once you have One Step Checkout, the entire checkout process speeds up! This gives your customers less time to reconsider purchasing your product while simultaneously simplifying the process so that there is as little as possible to get in the way.

    A One Step Checkout can significantly reduce the amount of time it takes to checkout. Better yet, a One Step Checkout can also help increase conversion rates by nearly 25%.

    Now I know what you might be thinking, “Gee, this all sounds absolutely fantastic! But isn’t it limiting?” *sensible chuckle* Of course not! This module includes the most popular payment methods including credit card, PayPal, PayPal Pro, Moneybookers, Sagepay and checks. It’s also got the option to include coupons, quick surveys and the ability to require they agree to your Terms and Conditions on your Checkout page.

    And after reading that (or before, not like we’ll ever know) feel free to check out more information on One Step Checkout right here!

  • Facebook Announces New "Buy" Button - Ecommerce News

    Facebook has been in the news yet again and this time they've really got the attention of ecommerce businesses with their new “Buy Button”.

    The new Buy button has already been showing up for some users as Facebook launched a test trial with a few small – medium sized businesses. Here's what the feature will look like:

    facebook-buy-button_large

    As an ecommerce store the benefits are obvious: your customers will be able to make conversions right from Facebook without ever leaving the site – all they need is your ad with a nice shiny new Buy button to complete a transaction. In fact, Facebook will have the option for users to store their credit card information so that future “Buys” are even quicker. Of course this isn't required and is simply intended to make shopping a smoother experience for the customer.

    The ability to store credit card information on a website that is already under suspicion by some for not being private enough sets off alarms for a few people but Facebook was quick to comment on the security of the buy button, saying:

    “We've built this feature with privacy in mind, and have taken steps to help make the payment experience safe and secure. None of the credit or debit card information people share with Facebook when completing a transaction will be shared with other advertisers, and people can select whether or not they'd like to save payment information for future purchases.”

    All in all this looks like it could be the right next step for Facebook and for anyone who advertises with them. But of course these new features don't come without a cost. Expect ads that include the buy button to cost more than your average ad that you see today.

    Tell us what you think about Facebook's next play in the ecommerce world. Is this too intrusive? Are people sick of shopping where they socialize? Or is this the logical progression of a company that already heavily utilizes ads?

  • Why no one should use FTP for team development

    FTP has been the most common way for developers to access a website but is it the best?

    Wagento uses a process called "Continuous Integration" This allows for a group of develpers to colaborate on a single project. Wikipedia lists the following advantages

    • When unit tests fail or a bug emerges, developers might revert the codebase to a bug-free state, without wasting time debugging
    • Developers detect and fix integration problems continuously — avoiding last-minute chaos at release dates, (when everyone tries to check in their slightly incompatible versions).
    • Early warning of broken/incompatible code
    • Early warning of conflicting changes
    • Immediate unit testing of all changes
    • Constant availability of a "current" build for testing, demo, or release purposes
    • Immediate feedback to developers on the quality, functionality, or system-wide impact of code they are writing
    • Frequent code check-in pushes developers to create modular, less complex code
    • Metrics generated from automated testing and CI (such as metrics for code coverage, code complexity, and features complete) focus developers on developing functional, quality code, and help develop momentum in a team

    In more simplistic terms it works like this:

    1. Developer works on their local Machine and they push updates to the repository.
    2. The work is checked out on the dev site for review - The Q/A team then reviews and approves for client to review. If things look for from here it goes to Staging.
    3. The code is deployed to Staging using DeployHQ where the client approves the work. Staging is the closest thing to production so we can see items in near real time.
    4. Once everything is approved on Staging then the code get deployed to live and checked again. The deployment process offers the ability to roll back if needed.

    In some cases, before a site goes live we may only use one or two places for testing. But once a site is live and in production the before mentioned procedure is used. Once the site goes live we turn off FTP and do not let anyone modify code on the live site.

    You may ask why? Why do we do this process?

    Scenario #1 (Most common) Third party developer installs feature on live site without putting code into repository. Wagento deploys a different feature to live and third party code is overwritten.

    Scenario #2 Third party developer installs something on live site that breaks lives site, then goes to bed. Client calls Wagento to tell them live site doesn’t work No one has any idea what was done and code is not in repository so code can not be tracked.

    Why do we care about any of this? The repository creates a real time audit trail of everything that has happened to your website. If there is ever a problem it can quickly be identified by the last submitted code and that code can be reverted or corrected. Once someone works outside the system the code is no longer valid. The integrity of the website is now in question.

    Why do we care about the integrity of the code? We have clients who every day are fulfilling 1000-3000 transitions and 10,000’s of products. If we don’t know what the state of the code is and how to resolve problems then we can not serve the client to the best of our abilities. In addition to integrity it can waste everyone time trying to figure out what a third party has done.

    Why do we use GIT?

  • Magento Migrations: MagentoGo and ProStores

    migrate
    Early in July, Mark Lavelle, the SVP of Product and Strategy at eBay Enterprise announced that as of February 1st, 2015, Magento Go and ProStore would be shut down. Don't Worry, Wagento can help you migrate off of these platforms...

    EBay indicated that, while being humbled to be a part of many successful merchant stories, changing market requirements have proven difficult to continue these two services. Going forward, Mark Lavelle shared “we’re focusing our resources on eBay’s Magento Enterprise Edition and Magento Community Edition, two solutions that better support and better equip small and medium size merchants to prosper in the evolving and increasingly competitive eCommerce landscape.” Along with Enterprise and Community Editions, BigCommerce is another platform that could be your new eCommerce solution. But no matter which one best fits with your business, Magento’s Migration Center has checklists, planning resources and special offers to help make that transition to a new eCommerce solution smooth and simple.

    prostores-ebay-logo          magento-go-logo

    Magento Community Edition is open source software used to power your online store and can be downloaded for free. Developers can modify the core code and add features and functionality by installing extensions from the Magento Connect marketplace.

    Businesses using Community Edition as their open source ecommerce solution to run their stores will want to have access to their own Magento experts, since Magento does not provide technical support for this software. Answers to many technical questions are available on our user forum. Our open source community is growing and engaged to help support running your online store.

    Magento Community offers these functions: • Product Configurations, Payment Configurations & Gateways, Shipping Rules • Order and Customer Accounts Management • SEO & Mobile Commerce • Multiple Sites & Store Views through One Admin • Administrator Roles, Logging & Site Access Permission. • And more...

    Magento Enterprise offers these functions: Attract and Convert Personalize shoppers’ experiences to keep them engaged from first glance to checkout. Target customers by buying history or demographic profile; engage them with special offers, coupons and promotions; and spread the word and good reviews across social media. Make Buying Easy Convert more customers and keep them happy with a seamless buying experience. Intuitive search and recommendation engines help customers quickly find products and get suggestions for similar or complementary items. Easy, one-page check out means fewer abandoned carts and more sales. Retain Customers Convert happy customers into loyal customers with tools to keep them coming back to your store again and again. Engage customers with rewards programs, private sales and personalized shopping experiences. Retain them with custom registries, gift cards and store credit. Get a Beautiful Custom Site Customize the look, feel and function of your site to project your brand and engage your customers. Tailor your product presentation to different customer segments or build multiple, separate sites, all from a single administrative interface. Build and test custom landing pages and content. Grow and Scale With Confidence Expand into new markets and geographies, and support greater volumes while keeping your site secure. Enterprise Edition’s high performance architecture is scalable to support your growth and PA-DSS compliant to enable strong, secure transactions. Go Mobile Make it easy, safe and secure for your customers to shop, search and buy from your store on their mobile devices. With Enterprise Edition you can quickly build a mobile device-friendly storefront and also mobile apps that seamlessly integrate with your online store, and offer your customers a compelling mobile shopping experience.

    Magento Enterprise Edition offers all the functions of Magento Community while also giving you these additional features out-of-the-box: • Magento Technical Support • Optimized Performance with Full-page Caching • Advanced Customer Segmentation and Targeting • Staging, Merging and Rollback of Content • And more...

  • Magento Upgrades

    upgrade-now

    Eventually, most Magento website owners will experience the desire to upgrade. Perhaps the desire stems from the need to incorporate features or functionality that is not available in their current version, or perhaps they simply wish to implement the latest version to ensure they are utilizing the newest version.

    Upgrades can take a variety of forms; you may be seeking to upgrade your website from an older version to a newer version, such as upgrading from Magento Community Edition 1.4 to Magento Community Edition 1.8. Upgrades can also include going from the Magento Community version to the Magento Enterprise version. It is important to note that upgrades are different than migrations. Migrations occur when a website is moved from one eCommerce platform to another eCommerce platform, such as Prestashop to Magento.

    At Wagento, we have considerable experience with doing upgrades. In fact, our very own Brent Peterson, wrote the Magento Wiki on upgrades. There are a variety of things to consider when doing upgrades and a variety of things to be careful about when doing stepping through an upgrade. We have both the knowledge and experience to make sure your upgrades are successful.

  • GIT Merges and Branches

    Git merging and branching is always an issue, and without Git-flow things can get complicated. Here are some simple rules we go by at Wagento.

    There will be two scenarios that you will branch from: 1) Branch from Master - You are creating a simple feature that will be used in the site in the near future. *If in doubt always branch from MASTER.

    2) Branch from RELEASE - You are creating a branch that is going into a larger release and has dependencies that are not yet in MASTER

    NEVER BRANCH FROM ANYTHING ELSE, NEVER BRANCH FROM STAGING or DEV or DEPLOY or any other branch

    Scenario #1

    git status // to make sure there are no uncommited files git fetch -p // to make sure you have all the current branches from remote git checkout master // make sure you are on master!!

    So now you want a new feature. git checkout -b new-feature

    Now do your work on this branch, then commit your code to your new feature branch git add . git commit -am 'My rockin update'

    Your branch will need to go to the remote repo now git push origin new-feature

    So now I don't know where to merge? At Wagento we create a branch for each server, so if the server is dev.domain.com then the branch for that server is dev. If the server is staging.domain.com then the branch is staging.

    It is possible that larger jobs could also have a release branch. If a client is adding a new store to a site then the new branch could be called "store-a" This would be a release branch. The case of a new theme is also an example of where we would use a release branch, so something like new-theme.

    Your feature branch should get merged in to new-theme and the dev branch.

    1) It needs to go to the dev branch so it can be viewed and Q/A'd on the dev.domain.com server. 2) If there is a release then your branch should also get merged to the release branch.

    For example, now we need to merge to staging git checkout staging git pull origin staging git merge new-feature git push origin staging

    Scenario #2

    git status // to make sure there are no uncommitted files git fetch -p // to make sure you have all the current branches from remote git checkout release-branch // make sure you are on the correct branch!! So now you want a new feature. git checkout -b new-feature Now do your work on this branch, then commit your code to your new feature branch git add . git commit -am 'My rockin update'

    Your branch will need to go to the remote repo now git push origin new-feature

    Now merge back to your release branch git checkout release-branch git pull origin release-branch git merge new-feature git push origin release-branch

  • Want to Increase Your Conversion Rate? Try Google Trusted Stores.

    Did you know we are running out of helium in the world? And soon we might not even have Clint Eastwood! At least the number of ecommerce stores is growing. But increasing competition with ecommerce stores makes it harder to have your company stand out. Oh powerful Google – please come to our aid!
    GTS - general image Google created “Google Trusted Stores” to help make your company become a rose in a field of daisies. A Google trusted store is one that Google has recognized worthy of their trademarked “Trusted Store” badge that says, “Hey, this store is top-notch!” Well, the badge doesn't actually say that but it's implied. In fact, when you hover over the badge you will get a hover-image that shows the store's shipping and customer satisfaction history.

    To earn this badge you must apply and meet certain requirements. On the plus side it is completely free, but the requirements are definitely going to make you earn it. They are as follows:

    >90% orders shipped on time <2.5% cancellation rate <10% of orders are pre-orders or backorders Merchants must respond to customers within 2 business days 99% of the time 99% resolution rate to customer questions within 2 business days 100% of refunds  within 2 days if product does not have to be returned by customers, or within 6 days of receipt of a returned item.
    GTS - stats bar

    So as you can see it's not the easiest thing to do to become a Google Trusted Store. And it may not have a monetary fee, but you do pay something. In exchange for this promotion, you have to give Google all of your sales analytics. They get access to all the same information the customer provided you when they made the purchase. The price to standout is sacrificing privacy. But it totally has to be worth it, right? Well that depends on you. Typically, those who boast the badge have a slightly better conversion rate as you would probably expect, but if you're expecting astronomically amazing improvements this might be a bit of a let down.
    The Google Badge GTS badge

    Also, Google, unlike Clint Eastwood, is sometimes not so perfect. For example, let's say you offer unique customization for your products. In most cases this will take extra time to produce and ship, but Google's calculations don't take this into account. This means that the automatic shipping calculator could say you're shipping time is subpar when really you're just making a custom product. In the end it will likely be the norm to have a Google Trusted Store badge. I mean you can't be the only one without one! So what will it mean then? Probably not much. Will it improve the overall quality of web shopping in the long run? I'd like to hope so.

  • Payment Gateways & Payment Processors

    Payment gateways. Payment processors. Same thing, right? Well, not quite. If you’ve found your way to our blog then odds are you know a bit about ecommerce or you’re at least interested enough to spend your time checking out this awesome article. With that in mind it would be advantageous for you to know the difference between payment gateways and payment processors (the latter often referred to as acquirers).

    So what is the difference anyway?

    Glad you asked! I’ll start by defining the two.

    Payment gateway: an application between the merchant and payment processors. The service they provide authorizes payments for businesses. A few examples include Authorize.net, Plug N Play, SecurePay and Skipjack.

    Payment processor: these are the ones that interact directly with card networks such as VISA or Mastercard. They process payments from both merchants and payment gateways. It will then be sent off to VISA or Mastercard who will in turn take the transaction to the bank that issued the card making the payment. The most common payment processor is Paypal.

    Here’s a simplified diagram to help illustrate the process: blogimage

    So which one do you want to use?

    As you can see, having a payment gateway isn’t 100% necessary but it does have its advantages. Gateways offer easy integration for the merchant but it does come with a cost. A merchant could just interact directly with a processor but they also have fees associated with them, usually depending on the number of transactions. Typically, the higher the number of transactions the cheaper it is to work directly with a payment processor, so keep that in mind when deciding which one to use.

    For a more detailed list of pros and cons of payment processors vs payment gateways feel free to check out this great article on Chetu’s website right here.

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