Ask anyone on the team, “how are things going?” and the answer is sure to be “busy!” April came and went quicker than a basket full of chocolate on Easter morning and besides being a busy month, it was an exciting one.
Just a few weeks ago I introduced you to the latest product to come out of our development lab, AMP Wizard. In development for nearly a year, the latest addition to our suite of SaaS products has quickly become a must-have for Yahoo! Store owners.
AMP Wizard is the first product of its kind that takes your Yahoo! Store, creates an AMP (accelerated mobile pages) version, and sends it off to Google, all without any intervention from you.
AMP Wizard solves two problems:
- It conforms to Google’s recommendation that publishers serve up lightning-fast AMP versions of sites for mobile searchers;
- Gives store owners an SEO boost as AMP pages are given preference in organic search results over slower loading pages.
When we launched AMP Wizard, we anticipated high demand for the service and limited the number of installations during April and May so we could set realistic installation timelines to our clients. I didn’t anticipate the number of requests would outnumber the available installation slots but that’s exactly what happened.
As of today, our AMP Wizard installation schedule is full through the end of May. Customers looking to purchase AMP Wizard for Yahoo! Store, can be added to a waitlist for installation dates in June. Waitlisted customers won’t be charged for install fees or monthly recurring charges until they are removed from the waitlist and an installation date has been confirmed.
In the few weeks since AMP Wizard launched, we’ve already made several improvements to the product and continue to roll out updates on a weekly basis, including:
- Support added for AMP versions of informational pages such as About Us, Contact Us, Customer Service, etc. in addition to home, section and item pages.
- 100% of store pages now achieve valid AMP status.
- Verification added to ensure the canonical tag on the AMP page matches the amphtml tag on the main site to ensure proper page matching.
- AMP pages URLs now running off a subdomain of the store. Example https://pwa.yourstorewizards.com/ (Users not currently set up this way will be contacted to make the necessary changes to DNS.)
Stores that have gone live with our AMP Wizard service have achieved scores above 95 with Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool:
For more information on AMP Wizard as well as a list of frequently asked questions, please visit the links below.
AMP Wizard is currently available for Yahoo! Store with support for Big Commerce and Shopify coming later this year.
The Tax Man Cometh
There’s still a lot of chatter and uncertainty surrounding Internet sales tax and when eCommerce merchants will be required to collect sales tax for states in which they don’t yet have nexus, or “sufficient physical presence.”
In my opinion, it’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to the tax man! By not complying, or avoiding letters sent to you by state taxing bodies, you could be opening yourself up to litigation and collection down the road, and nobody wants to deal with that. Which is why we partnered with TaxJar to make sales tax collection simple and easy.
Once integrated, TaxJar works seamlessly with your Yahoo!, Shopify or Big Commerce Store to collect the proper amount of sales tax in states you’re required to collect it from. Easy to generate reports and simple tax filing makes it the perfect solution to your sales tax dilemma.
For those merchants who already are using our TaxJar integration, the following updates were made in April:
- Added the ability to edit orders in Yahoo! Store then automatically update orders in TaxJar.
- Added caching to TaxJar requests to avoid TaxJar API limits.
Meet the Wizards
Some members of our team you may be familiar with, such as our leader Don Cole, while others work behind the scenes building the software that powers your store, like Mike Bostone.
Who’s Mike? He’s one of our developers and also the first team member to be a part of our new blog series, Meet the Wizards.
Each month we’ll introduce you to a member of our team and give you a glimpse into what their day is like here at Your Store Wizards. Some may think that sitting in front of a computer writing code all day can be pretty boring, but around here it’s anything but!
Check out our first Meet the Wizards profile to learn more about Mike and his anything-but-boring role within our company.
Speaking of meeting people… raise your hand if you’re going to be attending the Internet Retailer Conference + Exhibition (IRCE) in Chicago, June 25 – 28, 2019. If you are, be sure to stop by the Yahoo! Small Business booth, meet their team as well as our own Don Cole.
Don will be available each day of the show to answer questions, talk to you about our new services and share insight into some new products that are on our development schedule for release later this year.
We’ll have more information on IRCE in the coming weeks as well as a way for you to schedule time with Don to discuss your store needs in person.
It’s Time for a Redesign
I couldn’t wrap up this month’s update without a quick reminder… the holidays are right around the corner! Is your store ready for the busy fourth quarter?
If you’ve been putting off making your store mobile friendly with a responsive redesign, now is the time to do it. A complete redesign can take several weeks to complete and a few additional weeks post-launch to tweak.
Taking the time now during the spring/summer season allows you to implement your new design then fine tune it so it’s ready for the influx of holiday shoppers.
I can’t stress enough how important it is to have a mobile-first approach to your website design. Year after year more and more shoppers are making purchases from their mobile devices rather than laptops and desktops and that trend isn’t going to change. If you’re not offering your customers a mobile-friendly website, chances are your competitor is!
Going responsive is more affordable than you may think. Talk to us and learn how we can get your store ready for the holidays!
That’s all for now. Be sure to subscribe to our blog so you never miss a new post. Simply enter your email address in the box at the top right, and be sure to follow us on Facebook as well.
General Manager, YSW
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 email@example.com.