Phew, what a holiday season! As quick as it rolled in, it rolled right out and for many eCommerce merchants, Holiday 2019 was a record-breaker. Most of the store owners I talked to during and after the season expressed above-average ticket sizes, a year-over-year increase in the number of orders, and a great sense of accomplishment.
Many of our clients are what I consider eCommerce veterans. Store owners who have been around for a decade or more, have outlasted many a competitor, have weathered through economic slowdowns, and have the battle scars to prove it.
The holidays are where these vets shine. They deliver exceptional customer service, get orders out on time, handle returns efficiently, and know just how to turn those first-time buyers into long-term customers.
We’re proud to be a part of every store owner’s success, whether one who’s “been around the block a few times,” or one that is on the way to becoming one of these “veterans.” So to all our clients, congratulations on what we hope was a very successful Q4 and 2019 for your company.
As we move into 2020, I’m sure there are several things on your to-do list, but I want to point out two that should be on that list based on holiday shopping trends.
Mobile Shopping was HUGE!
More orders were placed on mobile devices during the holiday than ever before, which is not surprising. Yet, many store owners (yes, I’m looking at you!) have yet to embrace responsive design for their website.
I’ve been preaching the benefits of going responsive for years now and still am surprised each time I load a site that is not optimized for mobile.
In 2020, that is no longer acceptable.
If your store is not mobile-friendly, this is the year you must sit down and plan out a redesign. Going responsive isn’t as expensive as you may think it is, and trust me… it will pay for itself. Every time a customer visits your site on their mobile device and it doesn’t deliver an optimized experience, that’s a potential lost sale.
Make this the year you invest in your store! As I always say… a redesign doesn’t cost, it pays.
Search is Key!
Another recommendation for the new year is to invest in a better search engine for your store. The standard out-of-the-box search just doesn’t cut it anymore. Customers want to be able to fine-tune what they’re looking for and weed out results that aren’t relevant to them.
Standard store search, on most platforms, doesn’t allow the visitor to do anything more than type in a term and hit search. They’re not able to filter results, conduct additional searches or apply filters to results, or do any further tweaking. What’s even worse is that those standard results often contain irrelevant returns that lead to customer frustration and site abandonment.
3rd party advanced search applications like our flagship app, Search Magic, are not only designed to provide shoppers with the most accurate search results but are designed to make you money.
Search Magic easily pays for itself month after month simply by giving shoppers the results they want and makes it easy for them filter by brand, price, size, color, etc while taking into account misspellings, synonyms, negative terms, and more. Plus, the store owner has the ability to use Search Magic as a tool to promote manufacturers, product lines and more to drive sales and move products.
Those are the two things I have for your to-do list and of course, we’re here to help. If you’d like to set up a time to discuss a redesign or a demo of Search Magic, just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll take it from there.
Our To-Do List
We have a bit of a to-do list of our own that I want to take a moment to update you on. The first item on it is Search Magic.
Our search product is already powering some of the largest Yahoo! Stores and is by far, the most affordable, feature-packed, advanced search app available for stores on the Yahoo! platform.
Over the past few months, our development team has been working hard to bring Search Magic to a whole new group of store owners looking to save money while giving their store’s search a power boost.
In the coming weeks, we will be launching Search Magic for Shopify! This is something we’re very excited about. Not only is it going to be our first app built for the eCommerce platform, but it’s also going to be “the” search app Shopify store owners have been waiting for.
If you’re a Shopify store owner and would like to learn more about being a part of our pilot program, email me email@example.com for more information.
The second item on our to-do list is an update to our free Magic Edit Chrome extension. This free tool is currently available for Yahoo! Store and WordPress users. In a nutshell, Magic Edit is a browser extension that provides one-click access to edit or add pages to your store or website, saving you time.
Shortly, we will be releasing a brand-new version of Magic Edit that not only supports Yahoo! Store and WordPress but BigCommerce and Shopify as well. We’re adding additional features that users have requested as well as performance enhancements and work “under the hood” that will allow us to roll our new features and 3rd party premium add-ons as the product matures.
Thanks to all the beta testers who have been using Magic Edit in their daily store management tasks and providing us with regular feedback. The fruit of their labor will be seen soon when I announce the availability of the latest version of this free tool.
Be sure to keep an eye out on our Facebook page for more information on when Magic Edit 2.0 will be available in the Google Chrome Store.
A Wizardly Meet-Up
Finally, earlier this month the Your Store Wizards management team met for our company’s Annual Meeting here in my neck of the woods, Orlando, FL.
One day was spent mapping out all our plans for 2020, while a second day was spent hanging out with not one, but two wizards!
Our founder, Don Cole and his wife Julie; our Sales and Marketing Wizard, Joe Palko; and I spent a day over at Universal Orlando Resort home of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter where… well…. this happened:
I’m still trying to get Julie to speak to me after “convincing” her to ride a rollercoaster!
There are great things happening here at Your Store Wizards in 2020 and I’m excited to share each one with you as we get closer. To make sure you don’t miss out, be sure to follow us on Facebook and subscribe to our blog by entering your email address in the top right of the page.
Until next month,
General Manager, Your Store Wizards
Scott Sanfilippo began his eCommerce journey in 1994 by co-founding one of the Internet’s first online retailers, TheFerretStore.com, which was acquired by PetCo in 2006. In 2001, he co-founded the eCommerce design and marketing firm Solid Cactus, which was acquired by web.com in 2009. Today, Scott is the General Manager of Your Store Wizards and lives in Delray Beach, FL. Scott can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.