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Tips, hints and ideas for success selling online by eCorner

eCorner blog

 

eCorner eCommerce Blog

 

Selling online is a great subject to write about as it is constantly changing and evolving. Each month new start-up businesses bring in new ideas. There are lots of opportunities to improve your online business for B2B or B2C. If you have any questions about eCommerce try our FAQs and Ideas Center or just send us a comment or email.


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Data security for online retail and eCommerce

eCornerAssist_news_header

 

Is your business vulnerable?

 

Each stolen record costs retailers USD$172 on average in the event of a data breach, according to the latest Cost of Data Breach Study, the gold-standard benchmark conducted by the Ponemon Institute – and this figure is on the rise. Cyber security should therefore be front-and-centre for any business operating on the Internet, and we are regularly asked to advise on how to manage and mitigate the risks of operating online.

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Turn your WordPress site into an online shop

eCorner stores and Wordpress

 

Selling directly from your WordPress site or blog has just become much easier: With eCorner Stores and the new ePages plugin for WordPress, you can easily turn your site into a secure, fully featured online shop.

 

When WordPress was introduced in 2003, it started out merely as a solution to create blogs. However, things have changed. WordPress has become an incredibly feature-rich content management system that caters to the most sophisticated needs of bloggers and website owners alike. Today, approximately 25 percent of all sites on the entire World Wide Web use WordPress.

While there are many eCommerce solutions out there for Wordpress, the management of security and Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance have always been serious and complex issues to solve. This has led to thousands of security breaches on Wordpress sites.

By combining your Wordpress site with a secure, hosted online store from eCorner stores, you can take all of the stress around security away while still having all your products for sale directly from the online store. Additionally, you can access all the other great features of a hosted online store from eCorner, such as integrated eBay, Amazon and Facebook shop channels, advanced shipping and payment options and connections to your back office systems like Xero accounting.

Setting up your eCorner store is easy and connecting with Wordpress via the ePages plug-in only takes a couple of minutes – and there are no additional costs involved.

 

Here you can see what a WordPress site with added products could look like:

 

 wordpress-epages-1

 

How does the ePages WordPress plugin work?

 

As soon as the plugin is installed, your products will be showcased on selected pages or on dedicated posts of your WordPress site. If a customer clicks on one of the products, an overlay window opens up with further details about the product – including price, product image and description as well as stock and delivery information, if available.

 

wordpress-epages-2

 

Customers can add products to a shopping basket. If they click on the basket icon, they see a summary of all the products they added as well as the delivery costs.

 

wordpress-epages-3

 

When customers click on the “Check out” button, a popup opens up with the order process of your ePages shop where they can complete their order.

To get a better idea of how the plugin works, you can try it out on our WordPress demo site.

 

How does the ePages WordPress plugin work for the merchant?

 

You simply have to install the free plugin and connect it to your ePages shop. After that, you can add products to certain pages or posts of your WordPress site by clicking the Add Shop button:

 

wordpress-epages-4

 

It is up to you if you want to show all of your products or only selected categories. This allows you to have full control over which products are available in your WordPress shop.

 

wordpress-epages-5

 

Besides that, you can decide if these elements should be displayed:

  • A search field with which visitors can search for products
  • A category selection
  • The possibility to sort products by their name or price (ascending or descending)

 

wordpress-epages-6

 

Once an order is placed, you will be notified via email and can manage the order in your shop’s administration area – just like you are used to.

You can find detailed information about the setup in this PDF file.

The plugin has a variety of advantages for you:

  • Easy integration: The setup is very simple and takes only a few minutes.
  • No additional costs: The plugin is available for free for any WordPress site
  • Proven back office: To manage your WordPress shop you can use the administration area of your eCorner store.
  • High compatibility: The plugin works on any WordPress site and is compatible with most themes and frameworks.
  • Security and legal aspects: The plugin and eCorner stores allow you to meet legal requirements, PCI compliance and offer an SSL-secured checkout process.

You want to connect your online shop to your WordPress site now? Then just follow these instructions.

 

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What is Jae listening to now? – Podcasts to fill all that “free time” (May 2017)

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Wanted to share a few of the podcasts that I’m listening to/find interesting at the moment.

I’ve always loved the podcast format, as you can consume information, tips or stories in easily digestible chunks while leaving your hands free for other things. Whether it be your daily commute, an hour at the gym or your daily picking and packing time, I’ve always found a podcast to be a good way to add a layer of additional productivity to your "free" time.

Listed below are a few podcasts that contain interesting information, tips and tricks for online retailers, as well as a few random ones that I’m listening to at the moment in case you are looking for something else to fill some time.

All of these are available via iTunes if you search for the names below (as well as from their own sites as linked).

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Maintenance upgrade and new services available February 2017

eCorner-Stores

eCorner Planned Upgrade Outage on Thursday February 2nd, 2017

 

Please be advised that between the hours of 10:00 PM on Thursday 2nd February and 4:00AM Friday 3rd February (AEST) eCorner will be carrying out an update of our mass-hosted environment (all cloud-based online shops). The purpose of the upgrade is to update the core ePages software (to 6.17.52). During that time your website and adminstration systems will not be available.

The upgrade will be predominately for maintenance with a variety of fixes and improvements. These are aimed at creating a more stable, secure and faster system. However there are new features and services that will be added after the upgrade is complete.

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What costs for my website are deductible?

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The deductions available for the costs you in incur setting up a website have long been a point of speculation, as the general principles available in Australian tax law were mostly invented before the internet was as prevalent or pervasive as it is now (or in some cases long before the internet existed at all).

On 14 December 2016 the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has published their views on the topic in a public ruling titled: TR 2016/3: Income tax: deductibility of expenditure on a commercial website.

Through this ruling the Commissioner seeks to clarify the ATO’s expectations in relation to the treatment of expenditure incurred by a business in relation to its online presence. However, does it actually make commercial and practical sense?

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eCommerce Getting Started 12 Days of Christmas

The Holiday Period Offers a Great Opportunity to Check Out Selling Online

getting started selling online eCornerYou can get an online store up and running in 12 days!

 

There are some definite and important steps to get an online store or business started but it takes a little time. If you are a website or eCommerce novice then don't expect to work it out in the first five minutes. To be successful and build a good online presence needs time and some planning. An online business is still a business. You need to manage your business and when selling online that means managing your online store, products and content. You have to connect to other systems and channels to promote your products, organise shipping and to take payments for your products. It is not that difficult but for a new starter it can be a challenge. eCorner's role is to help with the challenging technical issues and provide you with an online shop that sells your products and sevices successfully. 

Start a free trial online store and you will learn what it takes to sell online and how to use a hosted ecommerce solution. But the best news is that it gives you 30 days to setup your online free of charge. When you are ready to launch just let us know and we convert your trial store ot a real online store for your business.


 


Step 1 - Establish the basics

Day 1 - Plan the Business Basics

Before you start thinking about software and hosting, there are some basic requirements that need to be met. If you do a little planning and think about the business structure it can save you heaps of time later.

Read more about this topic - Establish the basics.

 

Step 2 - Software and Hosting

Day 2 and 3 - Software and Hosting

It is important to get the right online store system for your business and that is eCorner's speciality. We recommend starting a free trial and getting a feel for the system. The good part it's free and what you do in the trial can be kept and converted to a live store so it is like getting the first 30 days free. Plan a couple of days to start and ask for our free training. 

Read more - Select an online store system.

 

Step 3 - Design and Layout

Day 4 - Find a Design Theme

Your eCommerce package comes with a range of themes that you can use ‘out-of-the-box’. You can fully customise your theme or you can use one of our complete custom themes to help you get started. You can find lots or great information about our themes and deign on our website. Don't be afraid to start with something simple with eCorner's online store updating design is really easy. eCorner can also help you with your first design as part of the free training.

Read more - Design Themes and Layout.

 

Step 4 - Prepare the site content

Day 5 and 6 - Content is King

Content really is king - good content means a more successful business. Most people will find your online store using a search engine like Google and search engines love content. So it is important to create great content. by content we mean category pages, blogs and importantly products. If you want to be successful then comprehensive product content and great photos are essential.

Read more - Prepare the site content.

 

Step 5 - Delivery and Payments

Day 7 - Delivery and Payments

Two of the most important business decisions that you will make will be how to calculate shipping costs and how to accept payments. Both are key to a successful and profitable online business. A good eCommerce system will have a range of payment and delivery options available to you straight out of the box. You simply select the options that best suit your business! 

Read more  - Delivery and Payments.

 

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Step 6 - Search friendly

Days 8 and 9 - Search Engine Quality

Most people search on Google or Bing to find the products and services that they want. Good search engine rankings are a result of good content. But make sure that you look at the quality of the important search engines meta tags and that you have included your main keywords. Don’t pay hundreds of dollars per month for so-called ‘SEO experts’. During the trial use the extensive search engine optimisation toolkit! 

Read more - Search Engine Optimisation Built-in.

 

Step 7 - Legal stuff & customer trust

Day 10 - Terms & Conditions, Returns and Privacy

We recommend your online store contain, Terms and conditions, Privacy policy, Returns policy, Contact information, and About us. Spend some time reviewing all the  legal content for your website and the impact that it has on your business and customers. Trust is important and right now we are offering a free SSL Certificate with every online store. The SSL Certificate is like an identity card for your website and also ensures that the infomation from the website is encrypted so it is safe from hackers.

Read more - Legal Content and Trust.

 

Step 8 - Marketing and Multi-channel

Day 11 - How do you Market your Online Store

A good eCommerce solution will offer a range of marketing and multi-channel sales tools ‘out-of-the-box’. We include; Newsletters, Cross-sell and upsell, Ratings and reviews, Social media, Promotional items, eBay and Facebook shop; and lots more. Spend some time getting to know how the various internal and external marketing features work. By external we mean services like Google Adwords, Adroll, Google Shopping, Getprice and the many other portals and markets. The website has to work well on any device so that your market effort will work for you.

Read more - Marketing and Multi-channel or Read more - Google Mobile Friendly.

 

Step 10 - Track and improve

Day 12 - Understand your Audience with Analytics

Once you have the online store setup the work does not stop. It is a constant process of reviewing results and making improvements. The window in to your audience (online buyers) in the website analytics that can be used totrack activity. Improve your results by understanding customer behaviour and focus your attention where needed. Real-time reporting (Wagtail Analytics) and Google analytics helps you understand what your customer is doing on your store. 

Read more - Understand what is happening on your website.

 

 

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eCorner Newsletter November 2016 - Upgrade Announcement


eCorner Newsletter - November 2016

ePages upgrade, new SSL offering, the holiday 'lockdown' and suggestions for a successful sales period...

We can't believe its already that time of year again as we motor towards Christmas 2016. We'd like to take this opportunity to thank you for your support throughout the year and wish you and your family a merry Christmas.

 

1. eCorner to upgrade ePages on Thursday December 1.

 

Please be advised that between the hours of 10:00 PM on Thursday 1st December and 12:30AM Friday 2nd December (AEST) eCorner will be carrying out an update of our mass-hosted environment (all cloud-based online shops). The purpose of the upgrade is to update the core ePages software (to 6.17.46) to add new features and enable some new security features.

We understand that this is a key selling period and have ensured that the update will be as short as possible. In addition to a few minor bug fixes and functional improvements, the most noticeable change will be the introduction of HTTPS on the entire system. This will be enabled for all customers that have a private SSL certificate already installed for their website.

The purpose of this change is to further improve security and also to be prepared for next year’s PCI DSS compliance changes that will make this a mandatory requirement for PCI compliance. The added benefit is that Google has indicated that it will now rank higher those websites that SSL permanently enabled on all pages of the website, you can read more at the Google Webmaster Blog.

If you encounter any problems after the upgrade, please log a support ticket via support@ecorner.com.au and we will prioritise any upgrade related tickets.

 

2. Christmas holiday 'lock-down'

 

Over the Christmas and New Year holidays, eCorner will be effectively in a 'lock-down' mode. What that means is that we will not be undertaking any significant changes to ourservers, websites, emails or domain names. Our focus will be on monitoring and managing our hosting environments throughout the holiday period.

The lock down period will commence on Monday December 5 at 17:00 (5:00PM) AEST and will end on Wednesday 4th January at 9:00 AM AEST. All servers, systems and websites will continue to be monitored and any issues that we see will be fixed as quickly as possible. If you have a support request during that time please use the support form on our website at www.ecorner.com.au/support-form or email to support@ecorner.com.au.

 

3. New SSL offering

 

If you don't have your own 'domain-specific' SSL certificate, your website will still continue to operate as before. The eCorner cloudshops.com.au shared SSL certificate will be enabled for all pages that need security such as the registration area, my account section and shopping basket pages.

If you are running an online store without an SSL certificate we have introduced a Starter SSL which will be available for $99 / 2 years (inc GST). The certificate will be provided by COMODO. We will continue to support the COMODO Positive SSL certificate at $185 / 2 years. If you would like more information about the Starter SSL please contact us or email info@ecorner.com.au

 

4. A couple of things to think about in the lead up to Xmas...

 

There's not much time until Christmas is upon us. Have you planned the final cut off times for your business to dispatch prior to Christmas? You can check the Australia Post cut-off time at http://auspost.com.au/christmas-hours-and-delivery.html

 

What else should you be doing now?

How about an email newsletter and social media posts to your customers letting them know about the critical dates and times? You could include some product promotions or a 'free shipping' as part of the festive cheer!

A great way to extend the 'Christmas buying window' is to offer your customers a 'collection service' (if possible). That means your clients can purchase goods from you all the way up to Christmas. All you need is a new (free) delivery method to be added to your online store. Call or email your account manager if you need help setting this up.

 

5. Coming soon to your store

 

We are constantly looking for ways to help you succeed online. We've been working with our partners to bring you the following new functionality which is nearing completion. All these features will be available to all Cloud store customers as well as any Enterprise customer on ePages 6.17.41 or higher.

  • ZipMoney & ZipPay payment integration – full payment integration with both of ZipPay’s payment options for your customers to buy now and pay later.
  • Couriers Please shipping integration – direct integration with Couriers Please to calculate and facilitate shipping to your customers.
  • eWay Rapid integration – updated eWay cartridge to support all of eWay’s latest payment and security features.

If you would like any additional information, or want to look at getting any of these integrations set up for your store, please let us know.

And finally, best wishes to you and your family for Christmas and New Year,

eCorner Pty Ltd
P.O Box 938
Gladesville NSW 2111
Tel: 1800 033 845

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About eCorner

eCorner™ is an Australian provider of secure ecommerce solutions. We help organisations of all shapes and sizes to realize their ecommerce potential. We’re the master distributor for ePages™ software – a proven ecommerce technology with over 140,000 customer sites worldwide. That's why organisations like Weight Watchers Australia, Translink and The Australian Institute of Sport trust eCorner with their eBusiness. eCorner is a proud partner of the 'Stay Safe Online' Australian Government initiative. You can find out more at - www.staysmartonline.gov.au

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What can I sell online?

ecs-selling-online-1000-1This is a question that we get asked regularly. Many people are striving for extra income or may have some extra time on their hands to give it a go. We also see people starting multiple businesses and expanding the products and services that they offer.

New customers may call in and ask "what do you suggest that I sell online?" This can be a difficult conversation as starting a business without a product probably means that there is no business plan and the likely outcome will not be good.

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12 basics to remember when writing your website

12 basics to remember when writing your websiteThis guest spot on our blog has been written by Peter Crocker who is a director of the Flying Solo forum for entrepreneurs. Thank you Peter.

When writing content for your website, sales pages and product descriptions it’s easy to get caught in the trap of listing loads of information and features. But it’s important to keep your customers in mind.

Here are a dozen writing basics I’ve gathered over a decade+ writing websites.

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Business healthcheck - Where's your business plan?

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Understanding your business plan and continually re-assessing your business’s performance against that plan is a necessary, but often overlooked, part of managing a business. Your business plan forms the core of how you should track success in your business, so ensuring it is meaningful and relevant on a regular basis is critical.

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