It’s hard to believe the year is half over, but it is and now is the time to take the next few months getting prepped for the busy holiday season. Online shopping will still reign over bricks-and-mortar and the number of transactions taking place on mobile devices will eclipse years past. Which forces me to ask a very serious question…
“What is your mobile strategy?”
I’m still shocked by the number of stores I come across that are still using an old, outdated design – one that is not responsive/adaptive – or are using some type of add-on that creates a semi-functional version of the store for mobile users. Most of the time these “solutions” lack a mobile-optimized checkout experience that creates a huge barrier for mobile shoppers.
If you still think that your site needs to look and respond best on a desktop or laptop computer, think again. Web design is now a “mobile first” approach with features and usability all catering to users on smartphones and tablets.
There’s still time to take your store responsive and it’s less expensive than you think. Years ago, I remember seeing quotes in the $20k and above range for responsive websites with minimal features and functionality. Today, the cost is much less for a store that doesn’t have a lot of custom programming.
If there’s one bit of advice that I can give you, it’s to get your store ready for the onslaught of mobile shoppers. Don’t wait till next year… it will be too late! Every day that goes by is another day you’re losing business from mobile shoppers because your store isn’t optimized for them.
Talk to us about how affordable (and quick) it is to go responsive! Email firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a time to discuss the process and get a free quote.
BigCommerce Certified Partner
As many of you know, Your Store Wizards builds websites and software applications that run on several platforms including Yahoo! Small Business, Shopify, BigCommerce and more.
Choosing to work on a new platform is something we consider very carefully. When the opportunity presents itself, we spend countless hours learning the back- and front-end of the platform, look at what type of training and continuing education our team members will need, and have conversations with actual users before making a decision.
For more than two years, we’ve been working with BigCommerce at the request of many of our clients. We’ve built stores, done custom programming, and are working to roll out several of our existing apps, such as Search Magic, to the BigCommerce customer base later this year.
Today, I’m proud to announce that we have been named a BigCommerce Certified Partner! This designation means that we have access to tools and expertise that isn’t available to developers who are not certified. In short, certified partners work closely with the BigCommerce team to make sure that each client we work with is set up for success.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t take a moment to congratulate our entire team on achieving this goal. Considering there are only +/- 60 certified partners, this achievement is something I’m very proud of.
AMP Wizard Updates
AMP Wizard continues to be the hottest product of the year for us and our development team is continually rolling out updates and adding new features to make this the most robust AMP product available.
The past few weeks have seen some minor tweaks to the backend which continue to give our AMP-powered sites incredible speed as you can see from these Google tests conducted on live sites:
While we’re continually making improvements you or your customer’s cant see, this month we’ve rolled out three additional features:
- YouTube video support – if you have YouTube videos embedded on item or section pages, the videos will now be included on AMP Wizard generated pages. Example: https://amp.yourstorewizards.com/cart-recovery.html
- Support for inscriptions – if you offer engraving or any type of inscription on products and have the option for shoppers to enter inscription information on an item page, those options are now available on AMP powered pages as well.
- Gridded layout – if you prefer to have a gridded layout of featured products on the homepage, the option is now available. Example of gridded layout: https://amp.morrco.com/ Example of a non-gridded layout: https://amp.hcgsupplies.com/
- Persistent add-to-cart button – AMP Wizard generated item pages now have a persistent add-to-cart button that will remain on the bottom portion of the phone/tablet’s screen during scrolling. (Customers with custom add-to-cart buttons may not have this option.)
Updates continue to roll out on a continual basis making AMP Wizard more powerful by the month. For a list of frequently asked questions about AMP Wizard click here. For more information on, and to sign up for AMP Wizard, click here.
Favicons Get More Popular
Google is taking favicons from browser tabs to search results and it’s time to make sure you have one that looks great!
Starting now, favicons can be included in Google search results as shown in the example below:
If you want your favicon to show, there is a line of code that needs to be placed in your site’s header tag. Once the code is there, the next time Google crawls your site it will find the icon and begin displaying it as long as it meets all the requirements, including an important one:
Your favicon should be a visual representation of your website’s brand, in order to help users quickly identify your site when they scan through search results.
If you don’t have a favicon, or need one to meet the “visual representation” requirement, we can help. For $79 we will have one of our talented designers create a new favicon (or review and provide feedback on an existing one), install the code in your store’s header, verify the installation has been successful, and request a crawl of your site.
Keep in mind, these icons are tiny and should be devoid of complex details. Simply put, they should be simple and easily recognizable as an extension of your brand. Our designers know what works and what doesn’t, so for this service, we offer one concept with one minor revision. (Additional concepts are priced at $79 each.)
To get a favicon for your store designed and installed, email email@example.com today.
Internet Retailer 2019
Finally, Don Cole recently returned from IRCE in Chicago and had a blast meeting past, current, and future clients, as well as the Yahoo! Small Business team.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t pass on a note of thanks from both Don and myself to the YSB team for inviting Your Store Wizards and a handful of other trusted members of the Yahoo! Developer Network to the show. This year, these developers were given space in the YSB booth where they could meet clients, introduce new products, chat about business, and look towards the future – all alongside the Yahoo! team.
This new setup was definitely a win for both YSB and the developers and we hope to be a part of it next year.
To read more about IRCE and Don’s thoughts on the show, click here.
In just a few days, we will have our next quarterly meeting where the team gets together to plan out our Q3 goals, review the previous quarter, and brainstorm on how we can continue to make our clients successful online.
I always enjoy putting these together and hearing the excitement in the team’s voice as we discuss future projects, existing roadmaps, and potential product ideas. Many of the products released this year, including AMP Wizard, were a result of these meetings and I’m looking forward to hearing their ideas for the next thing to come out of our development lab.
That’s all for now! Keep a sharp eye on our blog by subscribing (entering your email address in the upper right corner) and follow us on Facebook so you’re always up to date with what’s going on here with the wizards.
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 is part of the Cast that makes happiness at the “Most Magical Place on Earth.” Scott lives in Delray Beach and Orlando, FL.