Archive for the ‘Tips and tricks’ Category

7 Keys to E-commerce Success This 2017

By Yan Kulakov, Monday, March 13th, 2017 in Articles, Guest posts, Tips and tricks

Keys to E-commerce Success this 2017

Hello!

Presenting you a guest article by Kenneth Sytian, the web designer and the owner at Sytian Productions. He’s sharing with you 7 keys to e-commerce success in 2017.

Kenneth Kenneth Sytian of Sytian Productions is a web designer from the Philippines. He is the owner and the driving force behind the company. Kenneth has been designing websites and developing web apps for more than a decade.

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Template Editor in CS-Cart 4.4.1: Edit Emails, Invoices, Packing Slips, Gift Certificates, and Order Summary in the Admin Panel

By Yan Kulakov, Monday, November 14th, 2016 in Articles, News and announcements, Tips and tricks

Template editor

Hi!

In CS-Cart 4.4.1, we’re presenting a long-awaited function: a visual template editor. It allows for editing emails, invoices, packing slips, gifts certificates, order summaries in the admin panel.

We’ve divided the editor into two menus. In Design → Email templates, admins edit emails; in Design → Documents—invoices, packing slips, gift certificates, and order summaries.

Editing Email Templates

In a CS-Cart store, both customers and administrators receive email notifications. Customers receive emails about their shopping and admins about store management.

Email is a great tool for establishing personal and valuable communication with your customers. It’s great for persuading them to visit more, buy more, and it also helps in keeping them loyal to you. So it’s important to ensure your email notifications are personalized and match the style of your e-commerce business.

Before CS-Cart 4.4.1, you couldn’t see the full list of email notifications for your store, which meant that you couldn’t modify notifications to make them personalized and perfectly fit your business. But now, CS-Cart features a template editor, which allows you to edit email notifications in the admin panel—and without programming skills.

Check out how to edit emails in this video:

Editing Documents

The new template editor allows you to edit invoices, packing slips, gift certificates, and the order summary email. We call these “the documents”.

In the editor, you can configure these documents so that they meet your country standards and match the visual style of your store.

For example, editing invoices is a must-have feature for most store owners. Different countries have different official invoice standards. To issue invoices officially, you have to configure your invoice to meet official standards. With the new template editor, you edit your invoice right in the admin panel.

Check out how to edit these documents in this video:


Hope the new template editor will make your store management easier. Comments are much appreciated!

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Upgrading Is Now Safer Starting with CS-Cart 4.4.1

By Yan Kulakov, Monday, November 14th, 2016 in Articles, News and announcements, Tips and tricks

Safe upgrades

Hello!

Keeping your store software up to date is a must. Every CS-Cart release not only enriches your store with new features but also improves its security.

Of course, it’s up to you whether to upgrade your store or not. But often upgrading is necessary. For example, a carrier updates its API and so now some shipping services don’t work for your country. A payment service updates its security protocols and now your favorite payment method doesn’t work in your store. In these cases, an upgrade will make those work again—we continually update shipping and payment integrations in CS-Cart over time.

So that you can easily keep your store up to date, we’re offering one year of free upgrades when you buy the license. To receive upgrades after that first year, you should buy an upgrade subscription for one year more for $160.

Upgrading is a technically complicated process. Sometimes it fails because of a particular server configuration or if a store is deeply modified.

In CS-Cart 4.4.1, we’ve made upgrading safer. Now, you can upgrade to newer versions without worrying about breaking your custom storefront theme or facing conflicts during upgrading. We’ve achieved this by changing the logic in theme upgrading and by adding a core file changes detector.

Custom Themes Won’t Break after New Upgrades

A theme defines the appearance of your storefront. Usually, store admins use either the built-in Responsive theme or develop a custom one. Admins often prefer the latter because with a custom theme a store looks unique.

CS-Cart 4.4.1 ships with two themes: Responsive and Bright. Responsive is the “parent” theme. We call it “parent” because all other themes—Bright or any custom—depend on Responsive and use its templates.

Themes

Previously, upgrades updated templates in the Responsive theme plus the templates in a custom theme fetched from Responsive. As a result, a custom theme could break down after the upgrade.

Starting from CS-Cart 4.4.1, upgrades only update templates in the Responsive theme and don’t affect any additional themes. You won’t have to worry about your custom design when upgrading any longer.

You Can Track Changes in the CS-Cart Core

CS-Cart has a convenient architecture: the core defines the basic functionality and add-ons extend it with advanced features.

When extending the CS-Cart functionality, developers should add new features via add-ons only. They shouldn’t modify core files because any core changes can break a store or provoke conflicts during upgrading. Moreover, any feature added by modifying the core stops working after the next upgrade.

Actually, your core could always be modified even though you likely didn’t realize: it could happen when you ordered a feature from a third-party developer. The coder extended your CS-Cart by modifying the core—but after the next upgrade you lost that feature.

In CS-Cart 4.4.1, we’ve implemented a core file changes detector. This detector scans the CS-Cart core for changes automatically when you log in to your admin panel. You can also start the detector manually—find it in Administration → File changes detector. The detector warns you in advance that you have changes in the CS-Cart core and that you could lose them after the next upgrade.

File changes detecta


What do you think about these two improvements? Please do share your opinions in the comments!

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Vendor Subscription Plans in Multi-Vendor 4.4.1

By Yan Kulakov, Tuesday, November 8th, 2016 in Articles, News and announcements, Tips and tricks

Vendor subscription plans

Hello!

Vendor subscription plans is another feature in version 4.4.1 worthy of mention. Did you know it got 325 votes on our UserVoice?

Previously, we were offering this feature as an early access add-on that you could download from your Help Desk. Now the Vendor Plans add-on is built into Multi-Vendor 4.4.1.

Why You Need a Subscription Model for Your Vendors

Owning a multi-vendor-based marketplace, you’re allowing other entrepreneurs to sell their products on your territory. You offer them your service. So you have two options when it comes to bringing in revenue: to charge by service or to apply a subscription model.

Here are 5 reasons why you should move from the old billing model to the new subscription model:

  • Predictability. Your vendors pay a flat fee for the subscription: they always know how much they will pay you next month and thus can budget more accurately. You, as a marketplace owner, benefit from subscriptions in the same way—you have an accurate picture of incoming revenue.
  • Simplified pricing. With subscription plans, your vendors always know how much they pay and what they get. Subscriptions organize pricing and make it more transparent.
  • Customer retention. With the subscription model, your clients (vendors) are more likely to stay with you and increase their lifetime value.
  • Marketing base. Email marketing is known as the most effective advertising method. With the subscription model, you can easily collect the email addresses of your target audience. Having a base of subscribers, you can market to them and to their friends through them to attract more vendors to your marketplace.
  • Flexibility. You can configure subscription plans to find the best combinations of the price a vendor pays and the features he gets. A vendor can easily move to another plan with no investment loss.

We’ve prepared a video guide on how to manage vendor subscription plans, where you can learn about all the setting and the workflow:


Do you find vendor subscription plans useful? Let us know in the comments!

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How to Secure Your eCommerce Business Website

By Yan Kulakov, Friday, October 21st, 2016 in Guest posts, Tips and tricks

About the author:

Alex, a Security Operation Analyst at a global cybersecurity company, is interested in different topics on eCommerce marketing, along with other cybersecurity concerns like endpoint protection for enterprises. Her blogs oftentimes focus on technology, business, marketing, and cloud-integration aspects. eCommerce websites are prone to malicious threats, that’s why she’s sharing some tips on how to secure your eCommerce website.

One of the biggest problems being faced by businesses engaged in ecommerce is keeping the security of their ecommerce sites. Addressing this issue will help the ecommerce industry grow even more. So what should a business do to secure its site from risks? The following can help them out.

Choose a Secure Platform for Your Ecommerce Site

The first step in securing your ecommerce site is establishing it on a secure platform. The platform that you’re picking should have hefty features and shouldn’t not take security lightly.

A good example of a secure platform is CS-Cart. Taking it from CS-Cart itself:

CS‑Cart has been created and developed by a team of professionals since 2005. Not a community of artists, this is a team of highly qualified full-time professionals. That’s why our ecommerce tools are much more secure than Magento or PrestaShop. If we find a bug, we fix it at our quickest pace.

Ensure That Your Payment Processing is on a Secured Connection

Ensure that cyber crooks will find it very difficult, if not impossible, to tap into your payment processing systems. Use a secured connection by implementing Secure Sockets Layers (SSL) or the improved Extended Validation Secure Sockets Layer.

For the highest standards in connection security, make sure that you are compliant with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). For example, CS-Cart supports SSL and adheres to PCI Standards.

Avoid Storing Sensitive Data

The less data you store, the less risk is posed. PCI actually forbids the storage of sensitive data, such as debit or credit card numbers and the card verification value (CVV).

Verify Credit Card Transactions

Avoid fraudulent credit card transactions by employing address verification systems, as well as by requiring the card verification value.

Educate Your Employees

A good strategy in keeping the security of your ecommerce site is keeping your employees educated of security protocols. This reduces the chance for them in falling to tricks by cyber crooks.

Monitor Your Ecommerce Site Regularly

Make an effort in ensuring that your site is monitored by a real-time analytics tool. Also discuss monitoring protocols with your web host which, should include malware and virus scans.

Utilize DDoS Protection and Mitigation Service

Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) is an attack from multiple sources which overwhelms the site, and ultimately makes the service unavailable. Protection against such an attack is vital.

Deal with Fraudulent Transactions Head On

Having fraud management and chargeback management services is a practical contingency plan in dealing with fraudulent transactions. It is best to be ready when this kind of transactions slip as you will never be able to fully prevent them from coming.


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