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Yahoo Small Business Shipping Rate Change

Posted on February 12th, 2013 by Brent Carey

All Yahoo store owners need to remember that the United States Postal Service has recently updated their shipping rates. If your Yahoo store is currently offering USPS and  you are using a Rate Table, chances are you’ll need to update your rates. Yahoo has provided some good links for review if you plan on updating your Shipping Manager.

If Yahoo’s current shipping module doesn’t meet your needs, you might consider an upgrade to a 3rd party shipping module. For more information please see this page:

Yahoo Advanced Shipping Manager

If you have questions – don’t hesitate to contact us here

Thanks –

CWS staff

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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.

 

Associated Links:

http://www.coloradowebsolutions.com/rtml-product-detail-tabs.html

http://www.coloradowebsolutions.com/rtml-product-feature-tables.html

 

 

 

 

 

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Sale on Yahoo Customer Registration

Posted on September 7th, 2012 by Brent Carey

Two years ago Yahoo launched their much anticipated Customer Registration module. It was a long overdue addition to Yahoo’s web store platform. Initially their registration module was viewed with mild skepticism as the account creation procedure was somewhat unique in that it used pre-existing social media or email login’s to create a user’s profile. At the time, many customer registration modules forced users to create unique user-names/passwords. Realizing that there was a growing consumer trend in which customers were being turned away by having to create unique registration logins, Yahoo took a different route. The Yahoo development team launched a registration module with some forward thinking giving customers the ability to checkout as a guest or – use their preexisting login details from Yahoo, AOL, Google or Facebook to create their account.

The response to the new Customer Registration module has been nothing short of stellar. Not only is the module solid in the back end functions it presents, customers are not being turned away at the point of registration. While Yahoo allows store owners to manually turn on their registration modules; if the store is designed using custom templates an authorized Yahoo developer like Colorado Web Solutions will be needed in order to give the feature a professional and integrated look. As much as possible, the registration should mimic the overall look and feel of the store and checkout.

The vast majority of Colorado Web Solutions client sites using the Registration module, have been delighted with their own customer’s response to this feature. While there are a lot of Yahoo stores already using this – there are still many in need of a developer integration. With that in mind, we’ve decided to offer a 20% discount on our Premier Customer Registration install for a limited time. For more detailed information on our various integration levels, please have a look at:
http://www.coloradowebsolutions.com/rtml-my-account.html

If you’re interested in the advantages gained by installing Customer Registration in your Yahoo store, please fill out the following form and we’ll be in touch shortly.

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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.

Sincerely,
John

 

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.

Matt

 

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:

http://www.coloradowebsolutions.com/rtml-advanced-pagination.html

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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:
http://www.coloradowebsolutions.com/rtml-product-reviews.html

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Yahoo Stores – the Perfect Solution

Posted on July 30th, 2012 by Brent Carey

The Yahoo store platform is in many ways the prefect solution for first time web store owners. Granted there are many competing platforms out there, but it’s been our experience at Colorado Web Solutions that Yahoo offers one of the better user interfaces, a web store platform full of quality features and with their basic plan starting at just $29.96 – a price that won’t break the bank.

Nowadays, most small businesses are looking to have an online presence. Many of those business owners have little to no experience managing an online store. They also seldom have the available budget to bring in a dedicated employee with the skills necessary to create/manage their new online initiatives. We thought we’d list three key reasons we feel the Yahoo store platform is one of the premier choices for first time web store owners.

 

Highly Functional Dashboard

Often times a store owner’s first exposure to a new web store or web platform causes a state of shock. There is a bewildering amount of data and processes that a new store owner needs to become familiar with and use effectively in order to make their store a success. Yahoo has helped mitigate some of the stress by creating a very comprehensive User Dashboard that provides quick access to every key function within the store.

From shipping procedures to coupon management, site statistics to order processing – everything can be found via their dashboard. First time store owners are very impressed with the logical arrangement the Yahoo dashboard offers. If you’ve ever been involved with managing sites that don’t offer a detailed dashboard, you’ll have to agree that having one available makes it so much easier to understand how to effectively manage a store. Also, we feel it important to mention that Yahoo provides an extremely comprehensive online library accessed via the dashboard which provides store owners quick solutions and detailed information concerning all store-related questions.

 

Easy to Upload Content

The sheer amount of content that a new store owner will need to upload can be intimidating. If you’ve ever created/uploaded hundreds of products to a store, you’ll know how time consuming this can be. While a Yahoo developer such as Colorado Web Solutions will create an attractive store, owners are responsible for content uploads including all product information and related images.

While this process is a major undertaking regardless of the functions present to facilitate it, Yahoo offers a fairly easy interface to assist the store owner. Product content can either be uploaded one product at a time via the Store Manager back-end or in bulk using an Excel file. While the product upload interface Yahoo has created is pretty seamless – using an Excel file is even more efficient. A new store owner gets to choose which method they want to use. Images, another time consuming process can be added in a similar fashion – either one at a time or in bulk. The bulk image upload can really save a lot of time.

 

Scalable Feature Set beyond Basic Offering

Yahoo stores – out of the box, provide a decent feature set that is competitive with any basic web store platform. Yahoo provides a way for non-developers to create their own sites via a “Design Wizard”. For more advanced features, most store owners consult with a dedicated Yahoo developer. Yahoo designed its store platform in such a way to allow relatively easy integration of more advanced features at any time – from any authorized developer. From Advanced Pagination to Advanced Shipping procedures to Product Reviews, Yahoo gives store owners the ability to build the store to fit their specific business model. As the store grows, so too can the feature set the site offers. We’re proponents of enhancing a store as it grows rather than starting with all the bells and whistles that a store may or may not need. Having the ability to add more features as the need arises is a major benefit when deciding which platform to choose.

For more information on creating a Yahoo store, please see: http://www.coloradowebsolutions.com/yahoo-dev-build-new-yahoo-store.html

 

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Yahoo Launches New Marketing Dashboard

Posted on May 9th, 2012 by Brent Carey

Yahoo recently launched their new Marketing Dashboard. The release of this new tool allows Yahoo Small Business owners the ability to:

  • Review new online marketing opportunities
  • Get a comprehensive snapshot of marketing results, website statics and more.
  • Assist with overall marketing management

The Dashboard has been created in such a way that it offers Yahoo small business owners a comprehensive overview of their entire marketing program, while at the same time delivering those metrics in an easy to understand format. Key Features of the Dashboard, which are free to all users, include:

  • Monitoring of Search Engine and Directory Listings
  • Analysis of site performance metrics
  • Detailed Campaign Tracking
  • 24 hour Support for the tool
  • Online “reputation” management – allowing store owners the ability to review social media and more

If Yahoo Small Business owners are looking for greater marketing assitance they can also opt into a paid services extension of this program which offers:

  1. Local Visibility Pro – providing data submission into over 100 search engines
  2. Reputation Management Pro – Owners will be given more detailed data and the ability to track competition
  3. Integrated Campaign Tracking – 3rd party marketing vendors can be integrated into the Dashboard for even more control of additional marketing initiatives.

We highly recommend that Yahoo Small Business owners take some time to review this exciting new tool:
http://smallbusiness.yahoo.com/marketing-dashboard

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Incremental Publishing now Available for all Yahoo Stores

Posted on April 27th, 2012 by Brent Carey

In early April Yahoo released a new feature, Incremental Publishing. They have been releasing this feature in phases. At this point it should be available to all merchants within their Yahoo Toolbar in Store Editor.
If you haven’t yet used this feature, it’s a great way to increase the publish speed by decreasing the total page generation. This feature works great for larger sites that require small regular updates. Rather than publishing the entire site using the Publish All link, merchants can now use the Publish Changes link and only push recent updates live. Pages and content with no updates will not publish.

If you haven’t yet used the feature, a full site publish will be required the first time. With the first full publish, you may experience a later publish time. This is to be expected and the slower publish period should only happen once.

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