E-Commerce Info

It’s no secret that people are using their tablets and mobile phones more and more to browse and shop online. It is important to offer these non-desktop users the best possible experience to help increase conversion rates on your website. Before I get deeper in to the details and reasoning for why to have both, here is some background information for some of the terminology used in this post:

Responsive Template: A fluid website template that is optimized for all devices no matter the screen resolution. The trick to building a responsive website template is the use of the css3 media queries and a special meta tag in the website header. The goal of a responsive template is to prevent horizontal scrolling and constant zooming in/out when browsing a website on your phone, tablet, or other device. As the screen width gets smaller, certain elements on the page are hidden or rendered differently to prevent horizontal scrolling and elements are stacked vertically instead of floated beside each other.

HTML meta viewport to prevent mobile scaling

CSS3 Media Query example for Responsive Design

Mobile Template: A website template served specifically for users accessing your website from a smart phone. First, the mobile device is typically detected on the server side with a regular expression based on the browser’s user agent. If a mobile device is detected, then the user is either redirected to the mobile version of the website via a subdomain, or (preferably) the mobile template is dynamically loaded over the primary domain, overriding the classic responsive template.

E-commerce Conversion Rate: In the e-commerce world, your conversion rate is the percentage of customers who actually buy something from your website. This percentage is determined by using the number of unique visitors who visit your website within a specified time period. The higher your conversion rate, the more orders you are getting.

Ecommerce Conversion Rate from Analytics

You might be asking, why do I need both a responsive template AND mobile template? After all, a proper responsive website template should work across the board no matter what device is used. This is correct, but with a mobile template, the page load time is a very important factor. Most mobile users are on a slower connection than non-mobile users. Mobile phones also do not have as much memory and CPU power as other devices.

Compared to a mobile template, a responsive template will typically have much more javascript, CSS, and more HTML elements to load on a page. The more there is, the longer it will take for the page to load. The advantage of adding a mobile only template is that you have much more control over what is loaded on the page.

Even though it is more work to create and manage both a responsive and mobile website template, the extra work will pay off over time and keep your customers coming back. The good news is that SEO-Cart makes it easy to work on your responsive and mobile templates and does a lot of the grunt work for you already.

SEO-Cart automatically detects a user’s device, such as smart phone or tablet, and serves your mobile template to the user across your primary domain, without redirecting the user or showing them any pesky mobile alert messages.

In almost all cases, serving an optimized mobile template instead of your responsive website template will load pages orders of magnitude faster for your smart phone users. A faster page load time means less frustration for customers and higher commerce conversion rates.

Within our ecommerce software you can work on and preview both your main website template and mobile (portrait and landscape modes) website template, without even lifting up your phone.

Google also has interest in websites who optimize for all devices. This means that your organic search rankings can improve as you continue to provide the best possible experience to your customer base.

There are an increasing number of “marketing” companies who offer top rankings in the search engines, particularly in Google’s SERPS (search engine result pages). We strongly discourage the practices of these companies who offer empty promises and spam links to your website across the Internet. Here is an example email that we just received this week that illustrates these malpractices:

Hello and Good Day!
Marketing Manager for an international marketing company based in India.
While studying your website I couldn’t help noticing it lacked any significant ranking in Google - for any of your keywords.
As you already suspect, this means your site is virtually invisible to potential customers searching for a supplier in your field.
It’s as though you’d made an expensive TV ad and then forgotten to buy any airtime for people to see it!
If you’d like to know this information, you’re welcome to write back and ask. I look forward to hearing from you.

We do not recommend doing business with any company or person like this who submits (spams) your website across Internet forums and directories, as this can have a detrimental effect on your organic rankings within the search engines. There is a good reason why they’re called organic rankings: Any unnatural activity that search engines find about your website will raise red flags all over the place and could cause your rankings to go down and give you trouble achieving higher rankings in the future. This is especially true with the latest Google Penguin 2.0 update to combat webspam and link spamming.

We believe that these search engine algorithm updates to help reduce spam is a good thing because we all know how much spam is out there on the Internet today. A clean Internet is a good Internet!

Google Developers

Aside from the level of customer service and vast array of features you receive with SEO-Cart, another good reason to use our hosted solution versus a 100% WordPress website is because of security.

Recent studies show that WordPress plugins, especially ecommerce ones, have a high chance of being riddled with security vulnerabilities such as SQL injection and cross-site scripting (XSS) attacks.

“Checkmarx’s research lab identified that more than 20% of the 50 most popular WordPress plugins are vulnerable to common Web attacks. Furthermore, a concentrated research into e-commerce plugins revealed that 7 out of the 10 most popular e-commerce plugins contain vulnerabilities. This is the first time that such a comprehensive survey was prepared to test the state of security of the leading plugins.”

According to the PDF [checkmarx.com], e-commerce plugins are in the list. We are a bit surprised to see that, assuming developers would be thinking about security first with e-commerce.

Security is always a top priority for us, especially when dealing with ecommerce. WordPress is still okay to use, but we recommend only using it for what it was originally designed for – blog posts only. If you must install any WordPress plugins, it is important to verify that it is secure before deploying on on a production website. SEO-Cart is a PCI compliant solution. We go above and beyond the requirements to keep your data safe and secure.

Google Trusted Stores

Automated Recurring Billing

Do you have the need to charge your customers automatically on a recurring basis? Monthly, or even yearly? You can with SEO-Cart.

SEO-Cart now allows you assign recurring charges to your products that you sell within your online store. Once a customer purchases a product with a recurring charge, they will be billed automatically (monthly or yearly). This let’s you put billing on cruise control and make your life much easier to get the more important things done. You can also configure a trial period before the subscription starts for applicable payment merchants.

There are currently two supported credit card merchants that SEO-Cart integrates with for accepting recurring payments:

  • PayLeap
  • Authorize.NET
  • PayPal

PayLeap is recommended because there are no additional charges from them to accept recurring payments. Authorize.NET works just as well, except there is an additional $10 monthly charge from them to accept recurring payments. Authorize.NET no longer charges an additional fee for accepting recurring payments within your merchant account.

Accept Recurring Credit Card payments through PayLeap Create PayLeap Recurring Billing Subscriptions within SEO-Cart

Accept Recurring Credit Card payments through Authorize.NET Create Authorize.NET Recurring Billing Subscriptions within SEO-Cart

  • Sign up for an Authorize.NET account if you don’t have one already.
  • Login to SEO-Cart and go to Configure->Payment Methods and click on Authorize.NET
  • Enter your Authorize.NET credentials and enable the “Enable Authorize.NET Automated Recurring Billing” checkbox.
  • Update your settings

Accept Recurring Credit Card payments via PayPal Create PayPal Recurring Billing Subscriptions within SEO-Cart

  • Sign up for a PayPal Account account if you don’t have one already.
  • Login to SEO-Cart and go to Configure->Payment Methods and click on PayPal Payments Pro
  • Enter your PayPal credentials and enable the “Enable PayPal Automated Recurring Billing” checkbox.
  • Update your settings

Once enabled, you will then be able to specify recurring billing when modifying or creating a product within SEO-Cart.


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