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e-commerce-checkout-usability

Awesome Checkout v1.3.0 Release by Nirav

August 23, 2013 0

Today we took the opportunity to release v1.3.0 of Awesome Checkout, our magento checkout extension. We’ve been launching a new major version every month now with v1.2.0 launched in mid July. Awesome Checkout is now being actively used on a lot of stores and they’re really seeing the conversion rate benefits.

Today’s release covers the following:

  • Support of 3rd party payment gateways:  Braintree, Sagepay, PayOne, WorldPay, Ogone, CyberSource, and PSiGate.
  • Advanced tracking: checkout steps can be tracked as pageviews in Google Analytics.
  • Customizable logo per store: the logo field is configurable on a store level.
  • Improved accuracy of zip code detection: when multiple locations exist for a single zip code, the GeoIP of the user is considered.

This new release is based on all the feedback we’ve gotten from our users. If you want more features or improvements you want included in the next release, please comment below. We’re going to start our next sprint in the coming weeks ….

Top 7 Reasons Your Magento Site Is Slow by Nirav

July 30, 2013 0 Tags:

You’re not alone. All Magento sites out of the box run slow. But your slow Magento site may be running even slower than the standard.

If your site is slow and you want your developers to fix it, tell them to check the following and give you a report back:

  • No Full Page Cache (FPC). If you’re not running a copy of Magento Enterprise or are not on Magento Community 1.5+, chances are that you don’t have FPC activated. This one tool single handedly speeds up Magento sites by leaps and bounds.
  • Memory Limit Too Low. There is a setting in your configuration files which sets the maximum amount of memory you can dedicate to PHP processes. Since Magento is a big memory hog, having this value be greater than 128mB can significantly bump up the time it takes Magento to perform operations.
  • Indexes are not updated. If your indexes have not been updated manually through the admin panel, you’re causing your Magento site to figure out calculations every time a customer sees a page.
  • Not Using Memcached. Memcached is a memory object cacheing tool which in short means it can store user sessions and things that get queried in a cache. Memcached can store and recall these things so much faster than your server can.
  • Compilation Turned Off. This is a simple setting in the admin panel which compiles files into more easily accessible blocks of HTML. Lots of companies have this turned off because it breaks the site.
  • Developers Hacked The Core. “Hacking the core” means that your developers manually overwrote overwrote Magento files. Theoretically, this should never be the case, but it’s worth checking. Most tips on improving Magento speed overlook this key pitfall. Sometimes someone gets hired that gets the job quickly but doesn’t think too far ahead. Don’t let it slow you down – if you’re having speed issues, check if your core is hacked.
  • Bad Hosting. Cheap hosting companies who don’t advertise they have a custom Magento setup are generally bad at hosting Magento. Spend the extra money and find someone who supports what you’re trying to do.

Do this and determine if your developers can speed up your site. If your site still behaves slow and you’re fed up, contact us. We’ll be happy to talk to your developers over phone or skype and guide them.

Intelligent Design For ‘Add To Cart’ by Nirav

May 29, 2013 0

When shopping for my two nieces online today, I came across a storefront called ebeanstalk. The site flow is simple – I state how old my nieces are and they show me toys that fit them. Love it!

So I found a few games I wanted to buy and clicked “add to cart”. At that point, something awesome happened.

The ‘add to cart’ button turned into a ‘checkout’ button and I got presented with a fun notification that said ‘Developmental All the Way!”. How usable yet simple is that?

ebeanstalk add to cart

There’s a few different types of shoppers as stated by Reuben in his post What Your Customers Really Want. ebeanstalk’s implementation fits both the Grocery Lister and the Go Getter types of shoppers. For the Grocery Lister who wants to continue buying, they can do so without being interrupted. And for the Go Getter, they can checkout right away without having to visit any additional pages.

Intelligent design for everyone concerned about abandoned carts and designing great experiences for their customers.

In addition to this implementation, one other touch was added for the Grocery Lister customer who’s really done shopping but doesn’t know it yet. ebeanstalk presents them a very clear option to checkout while they’re still looking around. Instead of tucking away the checkout at the top of the screen, they sprinkled it in a few times more. Therefore bringing the user to the checkout faster and more often.

ebeanstalk-checkout-buttons

 

Less Options People, Less Options! by Nirav

May 15, 2013 0 Tags:

Imagine going to the cash register at your grocery store and the first thing your clerk asks is “have you been here before? yes, what’s your home address ?” This is the equivalent of forcing users to select the type of account they have when checking out of your e-commerce site.

Every magento checkout asks the user the following:

  1. Do you have an account? Yes, then sign in here.
  2. Don’t have an account? Then register to create a new one.

Do we really need all these options when we as the e-commerce site owners know if the user has an account?

Being online, we don’t have to memorize who our customers are. Our computer brains tell us. So, when we built Awesome Checkout, we threw out these 3 questions. And simply asked the user to enter their email address.

If they have an account, we grey everything out and ask the user to enter in their password.Awesome Checkout - Email

If they don’t have an account, we just let them proceed to filling out the rest of their details.

This should be the new norm: tap into everything your customers have already told you. It just makes the experience they go through more customized and more tailored. The less options customers have, the less you make them repeat themselves, the more likely they’ll stick around and buy something.

Think that’s cool? You should check out the rest of the smart things we’ve put in Awesome Checkout.

Icons from nounproject.com

Add to Cart (Part I): What your customer really wants by Reuben

April 26, 2013 0

You see a product you want to buy and you click the button that says ‘Add to cart’. But what happens after that? Have you noticed? We found a bunch of different ways stores respond to the ‘Add to Cart’ button. Let’s start with some common online shopping customer personas to understand what they need better.

The Window Shopper

She heard about your site from a friend or clicked over from a Google ad. Has a bunch of other stores open in her browser too. Likes a couple of products and adds them to cart. Working within a budget so wants to know what it’s all going to add up to with a ‘Next-Day’ shipping plan.

The Grocery Lister

He has a list of maybe 10 products, maybe household, that he needs to stock up on. Open to looking at new brands or competitive buys. Definitely interested in super-saving deals and discounts. Adding multiple products in a session.

The Go Getter

She knows what she wants -size, colour, quantity. Just one product that needs to be purchased and that’s it.

You have one goal for all these cases – help them complete the checkout. What each of these use cases brings is a slight variation in need and expectation from the customer. Now it would be great if we could identify these shopper personas and serve custom shopping experiences for each of them but we can’t. How can we create a solid, intuitive ‘cart’ interaction that makes shopping seamless, from browsing to checkout?

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