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When should you Redesign your Yahoo Store?

Posted on September 26th, 2012 by Brent Carey

When should you redesign your Yahoo store? It is a question all Yahoo store owners will be confronted with at some point. Change to any site shouldn’t be made just for the sake of change but in today’s market it is important to stay ahead of the competition. It may be that a redesign is what takes your store to that next level. Many marketing companies will tell you a redesign should be undertaken every one to three years just to keep things fresh.While this notion may be true in a generalized sense, each store is unique and the decision to overhaul the look and functionality of a site can’t be made in a vacuum. That said, chances are that if your Yahoo store is going to continue to be successful or if you want to take your sales beyond their current levels, you might need to consider revamping. Prior to beginning your research into whether a redesign is in your best interest, there are a few questions that may help in your initial decision making process:

Does your site accurately reflect the buying patterns of your key customer base?

Many Yahoo store owners open their store without intimate knowledge of who their target customer really is. They have a product or products they want to sell with little insight into the eventual buying behaviors of their customer base. Over time the store will attract a certain segment of customers which will have distinct buying patterns. At that point you’ll have to ask yourself if the site you started out with still effectively caters to the core crowd? Often times, a redesign may be needed to better position the content and/or functionality of the site with the 20% of your customers making up your main buying group.

Is your website conveying your product and branding message as well as it should be?

Over time you will get to know your products better than most. As you get a good feel for what your customers are like, the question needs to be asked, “Is my site accurately portraying the product and branding message I should be conveying?” It’s a legitimate question and one that far too many owners fail to ask themselves. The best stores have a consistent brand message which is in sync with the products being sold. Successful stores create a community, and have a clear message that directly relates to the product line. Are you doing this with your store? If not, it may be time to consider a new design.

Was SEO a consideration in your first site design?

Often stores are first created on a shoe-string budget or without considering best practices when it comes to optimizing the coding structure for search engines. Fast forward a couple of years and if your store is now making a little money, a redesign may increase the exposure it is currently receiving from the engines. Proper coding can go a long way toward improving a sites indexing potential. Rather than dumping money into Adwords, a redesign can greatly enhance SEO.

Does your site have a fresh and attractive look?

If your site has experienced a dip in traffic or if your store is doing ok but you feel the look is antiquated, it might be time to consider a redesign. Today’s well performing sites are unique in appearance, clean – and flow well using a clear navigational structure. The cream of the crop have a contemporary look and feel to match the products being offered. If your store looks old, out of date or simply doesn’t have the most attractive look, it might be time for a redesign.

If a redesign sounds like something you might be interested in, please fill out a quote request. Mention FALLREDESIGN in your inquiry to receive a 10% discount on your project total*. For a case study of a previous redesign Colorado Web Solutions did with very successful results, please see: coffeecakes.

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Writing Product Descriptions for your Yahoo Store

Posted on September 13th, 2012 by Brent Carey

Writing a good product description is an often overlooked step in promoting rich search engine indexing. As we like to say here at Colorado Web Solutions, content is king. While many Yahoo store owners will focus their new content initiatives on homepage text, category headers or associated articles, many overlook or undervalue the words within the product description. Some clients, pushed for time or having a large product line, will opt to take their product descriptions directly from vendors. While this is a short term solution – it is imperative at some point to enhance vendor descriptions with your own unique text. Search engines love fresh and distinctive copy. More and more engines are devaluing duplicate content, even if that content appears on unrelated sites. We advise all clients to take the time to write their own content, it will pay off!

There are some key points to consider before you start the laborious process of writing your own descriptions:

The copy should be original, persuasive and informative

You are the salesmen and you have one chance to explain to your customer why they want to purchase the product from your store. The product description should reflect that. In your own words, tell your customer the reasons this particular product stands above other options available. If written correctly, the description should sound like a sales pitch from your top salesman! It will make leaving that page that much harder.

Make sure your descriptions are written in a concise and professional manner

The better you’re able to articulate to your customer what the product is intended for, what benefit it has and why it’s the product for them – the more likely they’ll purchase. The best way to accomplish this is to write with correct sentence structure and do it in as few words as possible. Long descriptions which don’t get to the point will end up losing the customer’s interest. The same can be said for poorly written content. People will be turned off if they can’t understand what you’re trying to convey.

Your descriptions should contain keywords that directly relate to the product in question

Most product descriptions will be in the range of 50-70 words. When you think about it, that’s not a lot of room to adequately get your point across, let alone fit in product specific keywords. However, it’s your job to find a way to incorporate at least a couple of pertinent keywords into the copy. Ideally those keywords should be repeated within the description at least twice.

Know your Audience

This may sound silly – but far too many store owners don’t take the time to really know who they’re speaking to. This of course will depend on the products you sell, the markets your products reach, the type of store you’re running, etc. Your product description should directly speak to the persuasions of your intended customer. For example, if you’re marketing to teens, be sure to use their language – if you’re writing to techies, use good technical terms – if you’re speaking to stay at home moms, write in a way they will relate to, etc. Once the customer has read your description, they should feel as though a friend just told them why they need the product. Your description should connect with the buyer on as many levels as possible.


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Leading by example – This is Customer Service!

Posted on August 28th, 2012 by Matt Sampson - Colorado Web Solutions

It takes a lot to impress me when it comes to customer service. As the owner of Colorado Web Solutions, I have strived to build our company on high quality products and design, but the foundation of it all is great customer service.

As a business owner, I know that customers are the most important aspect of our success and providing great customer service is critical.

I recently had a small issue with a purchase I made with Apple and after contacting them and receiving their replies, I felt compelled to write about it.

Apple is arguably the most successful company in the world right now, they could very simply provide mediocre customer service and probably get away with it, but they don’t. They provide stellar service, even as the monstrous company that they are. I am so very impressed.

I believe that all businesses can learn from examples like this one.

Here are 5 the factors that stood out to me during this interaction with the iTunes Store team.

1) I received a fast reply. It was the same day.

2) The reply was written by (or at least sounded like it was written by) a human.

3) The reply was clear and explained the action they were taking to resolve my issue.

4) The reply was more than an answer, they acknowledged me as a customer and as a person that experienced an issue.

5) When I replied again to them thanking them and praising their service, they took the time to respond to that as well.


I think we can all learn from Apple. If every company could provide service like this in the world, people would be so much more satisfied with their spending.

Here is the interaction:


3 PM Monday I wrote:

Somehow my iphone was having issues purchasing this book previously and it appears to have been purchased either 2 or 3 times. I only wanted it once :)

Can you check to see that it’s only been purchased one time? Thanks so much in advance for your help! Matt Sampson


6:45 PM Monday Apple wrote:

Dear Matt,

I understand that you are concerned about being charged more than once for “###### (Name omitted by CWS)”. I know you would like to have this taken care of as soon as possible. My name is John from the iTunes Store and I will do my best to help you.

After taking a peek into your iTunes Store account, it does look like it was purchased a second time.

I went ahead and I have reversed the charge for the purchase. In five to seven business days, a credit of $23.95 should be posted to the credit card that appears on your receipt for that purchase.

I really hope this will resolve your concern. If you still have any problems please message me. Thanks for being a great iTunes Store customer.

Have a great day, Matt.



7:30 am Tuesday I wrote:

Thank you so very much, that’s perfect.

I must say that I am blown away by the level of support you provide. Considering you are the largest company in the world, I am absolutely shocked at how amazing you all are. Thank you so much for your service and support. I’m extremely impressed.

Have a great one.



7:45 am Tuesday Apple wrote:

Hi Matt,

John here again from the iTunes Store. Thank you for your kind words. I was more than happy to take care of this for you.

Nothing makes Apple happier than to hear that we have pleased our customers. I wish you the best and hope that you continue to enjoy the iTunes Store.

Take care.



Bravo Apple. You’ve got a customer for life now. Are you getting customers for life with your Yahoo Store? This was a great example of one way to do that.

Have a great week everyone –


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Pagination for Yahoo Stores

Posted on August 14th, 2012 by Brent Carey

Colorado Web Solutions is often asked by Yahoo store owners what features will help take their web store to the next level. As every site presents its own unique complexities, that is somewhat of a difficult question to answer, at least in a general sense. What that next upgrade should or could be will depend on a multitude of factors. However, if a client’s site is very product-intensive one feature the client should always consider is Advanced Pagination.

It’s amazing how often we encounter client sites or just sites in general, that have a large number of products displayed on a Product Listing page and yet the site is not utilizing Pagination. Without Pagination, customers not only have a bewildering number of products to browse through, they also end up having less control over how the page content is displayed. While there is a current fad for allowing more scrolling in order to serve content/ads as the page is browsed, for many smaller web stores this type of technology is out of reach and wouldn’t necessarily translate to more sales.

Pagination can deliver a more positive experience for a user due to the page loading faster. Having ten or twenty products per page will decrease page rendering times as compared to a hundred or more products. The faster the load time, the better the experience. Having less products per page also means that much less information to digest. Again, less products to look at per page can make it easier for a customer to make a choice.

A good product listing page not only breaks down large numbers of products into manageable sections, but also gives the user options. Customers like having choices when it comes to surfing. Today’s shopper can quickly decipher a page’s pagination feature and sort by 10, 20, 50 items per page or by popularity, name, price and more. Some customers may be inclined to purchase by sorting via price, while others may want to shop by name. Giving people more browsing options can translate to additional sales. We feel that the benefits of Pagination, both aesthetically and functionally make this feature upgrade an important consideration for any Yahoo store.

For more information please see:

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Yahoo Store Product Reviews

Posted on August 1st, 2012 by Brent Carey

Product Reviews are a key feature for any Yahoo store. Here at Colorado Web Solutions, we’re big proponents of adding reviews.  A product review is a powerful tool that not only gives customers the ability to understand more about their possible purchase, but also demonstrates to your site’s visitors that your products/site are attracting other customers. Many studies have shown that there is a direct correlation between reviews and higher conversion rates.

Having reviews inside your Yahoo store will help do the following:

Educate customers – While a Product Description is essential in educating your customers about your product, reviews offer another tool in which to help people understand why they need to purchase what you’re offering.  Reviews offer the ability to provide customers with an unbiased opinion. Simply put, they help customers make a decision. Reviews, both good and bad add validity to a store.

Give customers a voice – In general, customers love to offer their opinions. If you give customers the ability to write up their opinions for all to see, they are in essence becoming part of your growing community. Having a community of buyers is essential to a site’s success. Remember, if no review is present on a product’s page, the customer may possibly look for a review on another site before purchasing. The more clicks away from the “Buy Now” means your chances drop for that conversion.

Increase your site’s SEO relevance – Reviews give real SEO value to a site. Content is king – and adding reviews to a product page instantly gives value. Having several reviews on product page will only add organic richness to the content. Each review is likely to contain valuable keywords. Each new review is a unique piece of content. Every time a review is posted it will add significantly to the overall organic value of the page.

Reviews are so important, there really isn’t any time to waste making them a part of your Yahoo store. The more reviews you have, the better the chance you’ll get that conversion. Think of it this way – the more people talking about your product, the more people will buy that product. If one person reviews your product – that’s one person’s opinion may sway your customer to buy. If one hundred people have reviewed that product, chances are the customer will be more inclined to make the purchase.

For more information please visit:

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Start Using Yahoo Web Analytics

Posted on August 17th, 2011 by Brent Carey

Very often upon completion of a new store design our clients will ask us to install Google Analytics (GA). While GA is likely the most popular analytics tool available – and it can certainly assist store owners with detailed reporting, many Yahoo store owners don’t realize or utilize one of the more functional tools available through their Store Manager.
Yahoo Web Analytics is a powerful data collection tool that all Yahoo store owners with a Standard or Professional store automatically have at their disposal. A few years ago Yahoo made an incredibly astute move by acquiring an advanced analytic tool from a company called Index Tools. Yahoo then integrated that tool into their store platform and made the tool available to virtually the entire Yahoo store community. What we find interesting is that even now, a few years after the tool was launched, many of our clients don’t take advantage of a built-in tool that exceeds or at least rivals GA in features and functionality. 
A very important component to successful online marketing and sales is knowing how you customer base thinks and what tactics they respond to. Without detailed knowledge of your customers buying habits, selling products without analytical justification is like shooting in the dark. That’s where Yahoo Web Analytics comes in. With literally hundreds of reporting options, visitor segmentation and advanced tracking features, Yahoo store owners can be assured of a gaining a better understanding of their customers and how they can better relate to them.
Yahoo Web Analytics is somewhat unique in that it provides real-time reporting. Many analytic tools rely on historical data, which is certainly better than nothing. However Yahoo Web Analytics takes data collection one step further and delivers reports instantly giving store owners real-time information. This is extremely beneficial in that owners can see if a particular coupon just implemented is having the desired effect or if that new item is really generating the buzz they were hoping for. If not, changes can be made right then – rather then after a critical buying cycle has ended. 
Owners will also have the ability to filter and segment customer data via a uniquely customizable dashboard. Based on an owners specific business needs – that store owner can create dashboards that show only what they need or want to see. Metrics can be displayed which show specific visitor patterns, precise geographical locations, important referrers or results of that latest marketing effort.
While we would be the first to admit that the feature set available within Yahoo Web Analytics is so vast that it will take some time to become comfortable with its usage – the tremendous benefit gained from using this tool far outweigh the somewhat extensive learning curve. We highly recommend that every Yahoo store owner takes advantage of this powerful feature, in the end you’ll be thankful for taking the time getting to know this great analytic tool.

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Segment Yahoo Store Customers with Customer Manager

Posted on June 29th, 2011 by Matt Sampson - Colorado Web Solutions

While many of our clients have already integrated Yahoo’s Customer Registration, we’ve been getting a lot of questions regarding the Customer Manager and how this can be used to more effectively manage your existing customer base. I thought it would be a good idea to briefly cover some of the major features and benefits available via the Customer Manager link found in Store Manager.

Yahoo! Store Customer Manager

Customer Manager at its most basic level is designed to generate reports that store owners can use to more effectively understand and target their customer base. The reports allow owners to sort and filter relevant customer information and past order data. Prior to this important release, there was not a way to access or use any of the customer information collected via the Customer Registration module. Now, store owners can filter customers into specific groups or segments, gaining a better understanding of who their customers are – which translates to better marketing strategies.

The filtering and sorting allows store owners to find out what products customers are buying and when. Owners can use this information to create unique “single-use” coupons designed as an advanced method of up-selling or cross-selling. Owners can use email marketing, showcasing new or sale items targeted to specific customers who have purchased similar items in the past. The filters are quite powerful and can be used to show order values, order histories, total number of orders and much more.

If used properly, the Customer Manager can be a powerful tool to understand your customer buying habits. If you’re currently using Customer Registration and you haven’t taken a look at the Customer Manager, we strongly suggest you take some time to review what this feature can do.

For more information on Customer Registration installs, please click here:

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Add Sizzle to your Yahoo! Store this Summer

Posted on June 20th, 2011 by Matt Sampson - Colorado Web Solutions

Here at Colorado Web Solutions we offer quite a number of great features as part of our Standard Design packages. While the feature set we offer for our Standard packages covers the “basics” one should expect from a quality ecommerce site, there are several add-on features we offer that can really take your store to the next level. We often have current or new clients ask us what’s the latest feature that we’d recommend based on what other stores are adding. So, here is our “Summer Sizzle” add-on list for Yahoo Stores:

Java Rotational Banner

Many sites these days have some type of promotional banner on the homepage. Often the display will rotate every few seconds showing several banners in a relatively short span of time. A rotational banner serves to not only educate potential customers regarding products and promotions but also creates a visually appealing area on a homepage to further accentuate a sites aesthetic appearance. Here at CWS we prefer to use Java Script banners rather than Flash for this purpose. The reason is clients can then easily switch out for new banners without the need for continued developer involvement. Our Java banners are Variable based and quite easy to maintain.

Cascading Menus

Cascading Menus, Fly-out Menus, Accordion Menus – are all names for the same feature. Rather then having the main categories listed on your homepage navigation and if clicked, the customer is taken to a sub-category page, a Cascading Menu allows for the sub-categories under a given Parent Category to be displayed directly on the homepage. This is achieved by hovering over a parent category and the sub-categories are then shown. There are many different options for how the “fly-out” can be displayed. If you’re interested in exploring how Cascading Menus can benefit your site, please speak with one of our Project Managers.

Floating Cart

We’ll be honest – in the initial days after Yahoo released their Floating Cart, there were a few issues with the functionality and cross-browser compatibility concerning this feature. However, Yahoo has worked very hard at eliminating most of the bugs. We’re now comfortable installing this feature on clients’ sites – and it can be a tremendous feature for up-sells. The reason being, customers can add items to their cart – without actually going into the cart. Customers can continue to browse a stores product line or check the contents of their cart from any page!

Social Media Add-on

Social Media is all the rage and it’s likely that this vertical channel for sales will continue to increase and improve in the years ahead. To date the most popular of the social media links has been Facebook, Twitter and Blogs. While this will likely remain for the foreseeable future, there are other companies and services that will inevitably be added to the list. Yahoo offers their own version of a social media add-on which Colorado Web Solutions can add to any Yahoo store on the Merchant Solutions platform. For older stores, we’ve also come up with our own social media script that offers similar functionality to what Yahoo provides.

Contact us for pricing

Advanced Product Reviews

There is likely no better reason for customers to buy from a store – then other customer’s opinions. Having Product Reviews on a Product page can greatly increase conversions. Customers can review what others are saying about a product or even about a store’s service and if the review is positive, the chances are high the customer will purchase. Product Reviews can also greatly enhance the overall look and feel of a product page. Having Reviews, a well laid out Product Table and some form of Cross-sell, can really help round out the overall appearance of a product page, likely leading to more conversions!

There are certainly many more features that can add excitement to your store, however I feel the above features are probably the most sought after – at this time. As more features are created, refined or become popular, we’ll be sure to let you know!

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Holiday Prep Tip: Include a Coupon with your Shipments

Posted on October 12th, 2010 by Matt Sampson - Colorado Web Solutions

Greetings everyone! Last year we did a “Countdown to Cyber Monday” series for our Yahoo Store Merchants and while we plan to do the same thing this year, we also feel that there are some elements of preparation that can and should be done further ahead of time. Thus was born the Holiday Prep Tips. We hope you will find these articles useful and we always welcome your comments and thoughts.

This week, we are going to focus on your outgoing packages.

First of all, let’s look at what is in your box. I assume you at least have the product(s) and a packing slip of some kind. Have you customized your Yahoo Store packing slip? It’s not something you can do within your store, but you certainly can outside of it. Here’s an article I wrote a while back about customizing your packing slip if you’re interested.

Do you have anything else in your package? A company sticker? Generic Thank You note? How about Return Instructions? I know that all of these items take time and some require cash, but there is a simple thing you can do with very little effort that can bring huge returns. Coupons. If your store has repeat customers at all (some don’t!) then you should really consider taking this article to heart. It can do wonders for your holiday and post-holiday orders.

Assuming you have a product line that is allowed to be discounted to some extent, I would highly suggest adding a coupon to every single package you ship that is valid for a limited period of time (maybe one to two months) that provides the customer with some sort of “VIP Discount”. It could be for Free Shipping if you don’t typically offer that, or for a percentage discount or even for a specific product you may have too many of. The choice is up to you. We have seen the greatest success with a flat rate discount on their next order (10% to 15% is the sweet spot) or for Free Shipping if the store typically charges for shipping.

The coupons are really easy to create and print on your own. I would suggest trying to print at least four on a page so that you are not wasting paper and toner/ink. A program like Microsoft Word can create a two column and two row table for you to work with. If you are more advanced Photoshop and Fireworks are great tools too for coupon creation.

Why an I suggesting Coupons in your Shipments?

People LOVE coupons and rewards. Just look at a service like Groupon that actually has people sign up to receive ads and coupons daily in their email box. In a realistic setting, you’re not going to get a 100% return on your coupons, but for those customers you have that are considering another item that you might carry or have a holiday shopping list that includes items you sell, that coupon may just be the ticket to get them back into your site and keep them from ordering from a competitor. I would start immediately. Get your coupons in packages this week so that you can capture your customers again for the holidays. We’ve also seen a number of stores that have experienced a jump in sales during a traditionally slow January because of all of the coupons that went out over the holidays. Start using coupons in your packages and don’t stop.

A Few Tips on your Shipping Box Coupons

I’ve included an example of an old coupon we created about a decade ago for you to look at. Remember, this was just one of 4 on a page.

Include an Expiration and Make it Short: Adding an expiration date doesn’t mean you have to print new coupons every few week or months. While not quite as effective as a physical date, we typically suggest adding verbiage like “Valid for the next 45 Days” or something like that to avoid paper waste. Even though you may not actually have an expiration on the code in your Yahoo Store, you will at least have the ability to not honor coupons that are “expired” and invalid.

One Time Use or Multiple Times: Do you want to tell your customers that your coupon is a one time use coupon? We suggest this although once again, you will not be able to actually enforce the one time status if you use a global coupon code. At least you said it though!

Include your Domain Name: We would HIGHLY suggest adding your domain to anything you create. Once the coupon goes into a “coupon pile” your customers need to remember that it was your site offering the discount.

You can print on the front and back: Remember, if you want to you can print on both sides of the sheet to include more information or your logo, etc. Simply print the first batch of coupons, put them back in the printer upside down and run the second page.

I hope that you found this small tip helpful, we will continue to post new tips as we approach the holidays so be sure to subscribe to our blog, follow us on twitter or become a fan on facebook with the links below!

Have a great week everyone.

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Add International Shipping to your Yahoo! Store today

Posted on September 27th, 2010 by Matt Sampson - Colorado Web Solutions

Colorado Web Solutions is pleased to announce our newest partnership with Bongo International to provide International Shipping Services to Yahoo! Store Owners.

Colorado Web Solutions has partnered with Bongo, a leader in International Shipping and is now able to offer Yahoo store owners quick and easy access to international shipping services. Aside from a one time set up fee that we are offering up to 50% on, there is absolutely no cost to you as a merchant! We have also been able to negotiate a one year commitment for our clients vs the standard two year commitment normally required by Bongo.

If you are not familiar with how Bongo works, let me explain it to you. It’s quite amazing.

As a merchant you will sign up for the Bongo service and we will install the technology on your site for you. There is a $500 fee for this set up process. For the rest of the month and all of next month, we are offering a 50% discount on installation and set up bringing the total price down to only $250! This is the last fee you will have to pay for international shipping!

Once your website is set up and the code is installed, your international clients will have the option to join Bongo for their international shipping. Your customers will join Bongo and create an account directly on-top of your site so you will not be sending anyone away from your domain. International clients have the option to pay a per-use rate or they can sign up for a monthly membership and get substantial discounts on shipping.

After your international customer has created their account, Bongo will provide them with a US based shipping address and they will enter this address into your yahoo store. Once the order has been placed you will ship the item to the Bongo facility and they will take care of the rest for you!

You will never have to fill out another customs form or wonder if you are shipping to a “real address” ever again.

Speaking from experience when I used to manage a Yahoo Store, we were hesitant to start international shipping due to the fraud, customs and headache of offering the service. We did end up offering international shipping and it became a good portion of our business. If we had had access to a service like Bongo back then, it sure would have made life quite a bit easier.

My advice to you is: if you have considered offering international shipping from your yahoo store, I would highly suggest you give this service a good look.

If you would like to read more about International shipping for Yahoo Stores, please click this link to explore the service further.

If you would like us to have a bongo Representative contact you asap about International Shipping Options, please click this link to fill out our interest form.

Thanks so much everyone and have a great week.

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