Some tips and tricks…3 of 3

We hope you are enjoying our What we learned at IRCE series of posts.  In case you missed it, here are links to part 1: Social Media Best Practices and part 2: E-mail Marketing Best Practices posts.  This week we are putting the spotlight on mobile commerce or m-commerce to complete our IRCE trifecta.  You may be asking yourself what exactly is m-commerce?  Some will argue that m-commerce involves shopping through a mobile device (typically a smartphone), while e-commerce involves shopping online through your computer.

We would venture to say that in today’s world, where more and more users are accessing the web from a smartphone or a tablet, there is no difference between e-commerce and m-commerce. As a matter of fact, some web designers will advocate that you should build your site with a “mobile first” mentality.  You must absolutely cater to mobile users in order to have a successful site.  Why you ask? Here are some compelling statistics:

  • 105 Million U.S. consumers have made a purchase online using their mobile device in the last 6 months
  • eCommerce dollars now comprise 10% of ALL retail revenue
  • 80% of shoppers used a mobile phone inside of a physical store to either look up product reviews, compare prices or find alternative store locations

Ignoring the trends can potentially means missing out on thousands in profits.  Here are some tips we think will set you on the right path:


  1. Not mobile yet? Mobile optimize your site! A mobile optimized site is a must in today’s world. There are third party mobile commerce solutions out there that can help you build a mobile site from your existing online store. If you are using Magento, Crimson Agility can help!
  2. RWD is the word:  Look for ecommerce platforms that allow you to seamlessly build a responsive website: RWD or Responsive Web Design is what you want. Whenever possible, choose a platform that allows you to build a site that looks good and performs well on desktop, tablet or mobile.
  3. Mobile App? It is not a necessity. Research your target audience and look at site traffic to determine where most of your traffic is coming from. You may want to consider the investment of building an app if most of your users are accessing your site via mobile devices. Make sure it is an app that customers want to use, not just for shopping. Building an app is not cheap, so always do a cost benefit analysis before making the investment.
  4. Omnichannel Marketing: Create a plan that supports customer interactions by building value-added services that weave through all channels – online, brick and mortar, social media, mobile, etc. For example a customer comes to your store, opts in for emails which you can then use for targetted promotions via social media or email – see last week’s post on e-mail marketing best practices for more information.
  5. Mobile First: Design and build your e-commerce site with mobile in mind.  The trend is shifting towards a “mobile first design” mentality. Take a minimalist approach to site structure. Arrange the site in such a way that it would make sense to read from top to bottom…much like you would if you were scrolling on your smartphone.
  6. Tie mobile and social strategies together: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. all have integrations to both your website and mobile. Be sure you have a consistent strategy for online and mobile
  7. Go Native: Take advantage of native functionality of mobile apps. For example, leverage geolocation data and push notifications to present valuable messages and offers at the right time and place.
  8. Allow customers to manage their accounts via mobile: This is a huge loyalty builder. Managing their accounts in an impulse action that customers will want to take care of “now”. Make sure that shoppers can save products to their carts and complete the purchase later on another device.
  9. Tap to call: Make sure phone numbers on text push notifications are tap-to-call so that it is easy to place the call. Increase padding around clickable links so it is easy to tap on a small screen.
  10. Keep it short: Use images or infographics instead of a lengthy message that is hard to read while on the go.

In short, it is ALL about the user’s experience while they are browsing your site using a mobile device.  Always test your site on several different mobile devices to make sure your content renders correctly. If the customer experience is poor, you might as well say goodbye to that sale.

Is your Magento site mobile reponsive?  Ask us and we can do an assessment of your site’s mobile responsiveness and provide a free estimate for what it would take to get you there!

We hope that you found these tips useful. If you have more tips of your own or would like to comment on any of ours, feel free to comment below.

Until next time, let’s get social!  Like us on Facebookfollow us on TwitterInstagram and on Linked In.

Thanks for stopping by!  We hope to see you next year at IRCE.

Crimson Agility Team


So you have this great idea for a product that you want to sell online.  Or you may already be selling on a marketplace like Ebay or Amazon and want to take your store to the next level and build an e-commerce site of your own.  What’s next?  How do you get started?  Here are some steps to get you going in the right direction:

  1. Build your idea away from the computer:Brainstorm and write down your ideas, it is important to think outside the box so your website is unique! Think about the product that you are selling and how you will get started. Think about your clients, who are they? What kind of products are you selling?
  2. Build a brand: Try to have a brand name and purchase the domain ahead of time to have your company name secured. Play around with different websites that let you create variety of domains and let you know which ones are available. Make sure you take enough time to decide which domain to purchase and know that it’s the right one. Here is a great website to try out: http://www.bustaname.com/word_maker
  3. Buy your domain and Pick a good host: Once you purchase your domain, you need a place for your site to “live”.  We like GoDaddy.
  4. Choose a Platform: Think about what platform you will use to develop your site. Even though there are many to choose from, Magento is a great one to consider. Magento is best known for offering store owners with ultimate flexibility to manage their store’s visual appeal, content and functionality – and you don’t pay listing commission because the site is yours.  Here’s a full list of Magento’s capabilities.  If you choose magento, please make sure you work with a Magento Partner and only choose Magento certified extensions to add to your site.  Crimson Agility is a Magento partner and we not only help you build a great site but provide ongoing suppor through our managed services programs.
  5. What is your story? It is important to have an idea of how you want your page to look and feel like. One of the many things to have in mind also, is that most e-commerce sites have the shopping cart, login and search box close together. Make your homepage a fun and interesting one. Clients are always attracted to deals, free shipping, and the latest trends. What is in style? Instead of a big catalog, Show your most interesting products on the home page. Make it organized!
  6. Get connected: Social media is everywhere now, why not use it on your website to keep your fans connected to your latest deals, products, or services? Get creative and include your social media on your site. Encourage customers to review your products to build trust.  For example, a user generated picture can link to an Instagram post about a cool feature or service you offer.  See our blog on social media best practices.
  7. Stay connected: Targeted e-mails at the right time will drive people back to your site to keep them engaged and complete a purchase, for example, abandoned cart emails or targeted emails based on the customer’s perceived preferences. Subscription links are a good way to capture information and keep track of their preferences. See our blog on e-mail marketing best practices.
  8. Mobile first: your site should be responsive and adapt to users viewing your site on mobile devices. Make sure that your site renders on the different platforms or you will lose customers who prefer to shop on mobile devices. See our blog on m-commerce best practices.
  9. Search and Find: Most people shop by doing a search first.  Make sure that your product catalog is built with the right categories so customers can narrow down options for searching. A store finder tab is not necessary but it is helpful if you have any physical stores. Make sure to include phone numbers and online chats for support.
  10. Choose your payment methods: Try out some different ones, and make sure to read terms and conditions very carefully. It is important to find out if there will be any early termination or cancellation fees if you are not happy with the payment gateway you choose.
  11. Site speed is important: Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and site performance are important to get your site noticed, get people to keep clicking and drive sales. Making sure your content is relevant so you engage customers in a short period.
  12. Build trust: Plan every idea carefully and have in mind that security is a must! For your site to be successful, it is important to have security and display badges on the site to secure customer’s information and for customers to feel safe making a purchase on your site. Posting reviews from other customers and their shopping experience on your site also builds trust.  Make sure you partner with a company like Yotpo for product reviews.

In the Phoenix area and want to learn more? Join us for our Phoenix Area Meetup on July 26th.

Now, go have fun starting your e-commerce site and don’t forget to check back on our blog every Thursday to see what’s new and to continue learning about e-commerce, Crimson Agility, and Magento!

Until next time, let’s get social!  Like us on Facebookfollow us on TwitterInstagram and on Linked In.

Thanks for stopping by!

Crimson Agility Team


Some tips and tricks…2 of 3

I hope you enjoyed last week’s post where we talked about Social Media best practices that we learned at IRCE.  There was so much good information that we decided to create a series of blog posts to share all that we learned, with you!

Do you recognize the monkey in the pink banner in this picture?


If you have dealt with e-mail marketing campaign tools before, you will recognize this as the MailChimp monkey!  They are a prime example of not only a great partner for your marketing campaigns, but also of great marketing.  They displayed this banner as you walked into McCormick Place for this year’s IRCE and everyone knew it was the MailChimp monkey – loved it!  So how do you get to this level of brand recognition?  Here are some tips we think will help get you on your way:


This week we are focusing on marketing best practices. Together with last week’s tips on social media you can increase your exposure and reach out to your customer base via all channels. Whether you are a large or small company, we feel these tips will help you streamline your e-mail marketing efforts:

  1. Email Policy: Make sure you clearly communicate your policy regarding email addresses. Many customers will not give their email address if they think there is a chance that you will sell it. If this is not your policy, make sure they know their address is safe with you.
  2. Only send a few relevant emails: Sending too many emails will convince your customers to opt out. Sending irrelevant emails will quickly lessen the open rate. Define a maximum number of emails for each customer per month and make sure that the content adds value to their experience as your customer
  3. Create customer segments: Segment your customers by products purchased or viewed, profile information, demographics, etc. Segmentation will allow you to target email campaigns to ensure content, promotions, or new product launches reach the right customers and increase your open rate. Higher open rate usually translates into higher sales.
  4. Tie all emails to a trackable campaign: Campaigns will help you analyze each email blast and determine its ROI, click through rates, why it worked, why it didn’t and what can you do to improve the next email.
  5. Be professional: Send professional emails that represent your brand. Enough said. Don’t undermine your business.
  6. Engaging subject line: Don’t write the subject line as an after-thought. It has to be of interest to the recipients so it convinces them to open it. Also, don’t do a “bait-and-switch” and deceive them with a title that doesn’t match the content. Credibility is the key here.
  7. Design your email templates accordingly: Keep in mind mobile responsiveness and the ability to read the email without distorting the format in a smaller window such as the email preview window. Use HTML colors and text instead of an image.
  8. The goal is to funnel traffic to your website: offer many different links within the email, for different reasons. For example, links to articles, demos, new products, etc., that will drive traffic to good content on your site.
  9. Avoid the “click black hole”: If the user clicks, make sure you send them to a place that makes it easy to convert the click into a sale. Don’t send them to the home page. The page they land on needs to be an extension of the message in the email and contain the relevant information they clicked on in the first place.
  10. Tie it all together:  Try to recap your social media posts, blogs, and newletters in an email for the week. Link back to the content from the email, but only if it will provide value to the customer.

Using Magento for your e-commerce store? Did you know that your Magento Store supports MailChimp Campaigns?  Ask us and we can help you get it installed and configured for you!

We hope that you found these tips useful. If you have more tips of your own or would like to comment on any of ours, feel free to comment below. Stay tuned for next Thursday when our blog series continues with part 3 of 3: Mobile Commerce Best Practices we learned at IRCE.

Until next time, let’s get social!  Like us on Facebookfollow us on TwitterInstagram and on Linked In.

Thanks for stopping by!

Crimson Agility Team



A few tips and tricks…1 of 3

Have you ever attended IRCE ?  IRCE stands for Internet Retailers Conference and Exhibition. It is an annual conference that takes place in Chicago.

IRCE is the largest most comprehensive conference aimed at shop owners, e-commerce professionals and solution providers that you will ever find!

It is HUUUUGE!  The Exhibit hall is so big that you can’t see it all in one day. The conference lasts 3 days and in addition to the exhibition you can also attend classes geared at teaching you best practices for making your e-commerce shop better!  We attended some of the courses and have compiled our notes into three lists that we will be sharing in this “What We Learned” series of blogs.


First and foremost, in this “Social Era” it is imperative that you get connected using social media. Whether it be Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, or any of the plethora of social connections out there, creating raport, trust, and social media presence are key to your online survival.

Here are some best practices we think you will definitely benefit from:

  1. You can’t beat them, so join them: Even if you have social media accounts that you don’t use, the conversations are happening. Join the conversation and become active in social media to build your brand and get your products noticed
  2. Understand your customers and where they spend their time: Who is your target audience? What social media channels are they using and how? What value can you offer them?
  3. Create value: Use social media for communicating product launches, beta testing, local promotions, coupons, breaking news, or address certain groups (VIP clients, by gender or age group for example)
  4. Use social media to increase touch points/access you have to your customers: not everyone starts out being a brand advocate, so make sure to offer ways for people to be a part of your brand’s community. User generated content that has been curated and published on your site or social media account can be very powerful to gain brand followers
  5. BE social, don’t just “do” social: be sure that you are passionately engaged with your customers and not just throwing marketing chum. Human involvement is what turns customers into loyal brand advocates
  6. Don’t oversell: try to have a 5:1 ratio of helpful articles to sales pitches
  7. Monitor what is being said about your brand: How are you perceived by your customers? Monitor and subscribe to alerts when your brand is mentioned. Turn negative sentiments positive with good customer service
  8. Engage with active fans and followers: make sure you include them in discussions, let them know that you are listening to them. This will build stronger emotional ties and can further your efforts with them as your brand ambassadors.
  9. Leverage user generated content: host a contest to pull user generated content that features your brand/products. Use their content on your site and marketing materials. This builds trust among other potential customers looking at your brand. You never know where that one re-tweet or insta post will lead…
  10. Think of Social media posts as an extension of your marketing: Ensure that you optimize your tweet times, your Instagram photos, Snapchat posts and Facebook updates – treat them as you would any other marketing campaign

We hope that you found these tips useful. If you have more tips of your own or would like to comment on any of ours, feel free to comment below. Stay tuned for next Thursday when our blog series continues with Marketing Best Practices we learned at IRCE.

Until next time, let’s get social!  Like us on Facebookfollow us on TwitterInstagram and on Linked In.

Thanks for stopping by!

Crimson Agility Team

PS: Here are some pictures of the Exhibit floor at IRCE 2017. See the Magento booth? It was TWO stories high!


These were taken from the second floor cafeteria…and it is not even HALF of the floor, just so you get an idea of the massiveness of the area.


Are you curious about IRCE? Next year’s conference is on June 5-8, 2018 – Maybe we will see you there!


Welcome to IRCE