Content Delivery Network (CDN) [NEW]
All the images and most of the other resources used to deliver your web pages are delivered from a worldwide Content Delivery Network. This significantly improves the speed at which these resources are delivered to your customers and improves the score your website will receive from many of the popular ‘metrics’ such as Web Vitals. The CDN used also optimised images to the very latest formats if your customers’ web browser will accept them.
Customer Reviews [NEW]
The internet is more and more about buying on reputation. Shopfront reviews give you the opportunity to let your existing customers convince others. Users have the option to leave reviews for specific products. The review feature can either be ‘un-moderated’ in which case a review, good or bad, is immediately available or moderated in which reviews do not appear until you have approved them. Reviews are not enabled by default and should be used with care. If you are selling the sort of goods that people are unlikely to review then you can end up with hundreds of pages saying ‘be the first to review this product. Furthermore you need a system to keep an eye on the reviews as bad reviews can seriously affect your sales.
E-mail Review [NEW]
To showcase what your customers think of your products we've added a new e-mail review feature.
You can automate an e-mail to be sent to your customers 7 days after their purchase to ask them to review the products they bought from you.
Reviews from customers help shape your business, build loyalty and boost sales.
You may want to show a ‘front’ and ‘back’ view of you product or multiple ‘swatches’ for each colour the product is supplied in. Shopfront allows for multiple images and these can be configured in many ways to give your customers the best information to make their purchase.
All images can have a ‘zoom’ facility which is usually supplied via a ‘lightbox’ but can be configured as a ‘pop-up’ if required.
Multiple Text Blocks
You may have quite a lot to say about your product: description, technical specification, shipping details, installation guidance and much more. When laying out the web site to make it attractive and easy to read it makes sense to split these detail into separate blocks, perhaps in a ‘tabbed’ style. It will also make thing easier if you hide blocks or tabs when there is no information. Shopfront gives you as many text blocks as you require and we can lay these out in a straightforward manner.
Video is becoming more and more important. You can have video at any level of your site: homepage, department page or product page. We usually incorporate video by embedding YouTube clips. This means you do not have to pay for video streaming hosting, which we do not provide, and you gain the advantages from marketing your goods via a YouTube channel.
We can support any other video provided that has an ’embedded’ player. This is actually implemented by cutting and pasting the embed into a text block. If you are using a tabbed interface the video tab can be suppressed if there is no video for that product.
Your products may have groups of consistent features that your customers use to decide on their choice. A shirt website might have features such as:
Fit – Casual, Classic, Slim
Style – Casual, Evening, Formal, Polo
Pattern -Check, Stripe, Plain, Houndstooth
Cuff – Button, Single, Double
With Shopfront features you can ‘tag’ each product with its features and then these can be appended to the description perhaps as a bulleted list. These features will also drive the feature filter if used.
Some customers will always buy product with certain features. To make their experience straightforward Shopfront provides a feature filter so that the customer only see product he know he wants; slim flit, striped double cuff shirts.
By setting up Shopfront features for each of your products the customer can be presented with a ‘check box’ filter for him to refine his choices.
‘You may also like’; cross sell allows you to push other products on your product pages. So if someone is buying shoes you can offer socks, polish, shoe horns etc. You define the cross sell. We do not provide automatic ‘Customers who bought this also bought’ because the mathematics and volume of data required only really work on enormous sites and even then the results can be truly weird. If you want ‘Customer who bought this also bought’ just use cross sell and call it ‘Customer who bought this also bought’; that way you can push things you want to sell.
We can also display cross sell in the shopping cart drawn from a selection of cross sell configured on the product in the cart.
We provide a second cross sell called ‘Quantity Cross Sell’ for use when the purchase of 200 tile requires 1 tub of adhesive. This is not enabled by default.
Quantity Cross sell is also used to deliver bespoke features where you need to offer a complicated option on some products.
In order to provide customers with the maximum information to assist their purchase, to give your business customer a one stop shop for technical data or to provide marketing collateral to your resellers Shopfront provides the ability to attach files to departments or products. These can be any file format but you should restrict them to the common formats your customer would use such as PDF, Excel, Word and images.
The internet is more and more about buying on reputation. Shopfront reviews give you the opportunity to let your existing customers convince others. Users have the option to leave reviews for specific products. The review feature can either be ‘un-moderated’ in which case a review, good or bad, is immediately available or moderated in which reviews do not appear until you have approved them.
Reviews are not enabled by default and should be used with care. If you are selling the sort of goods that people are unlikely to review then you can end up with hundreds of pages saying ‘be the first to review this product. Furthermore you need a system to keep an eye on the reviews as bad reviews can seriously affect your sales.
If you are providing a lot of information than a neat way to layout the page is to use a tabbed interface. You can separate things like ‘Specifications’, ‘Downloads’ ‘Videos’ and ‘Reviews’ onto separate tabs. Your customers will quickly get used to the layout and it has the advantage that you can suppress tabs when you do not have content for a particular product.
If you sell branded goods then it can save you time and help customer recognition if you can apply that brand in a consistent way across the site; perhaps with a brand logo hyper-linked to the brand home page in the top right hand corner of each product page.
Shopfront allows you to define Brand characteristics once and then apply them to all products (and departments) on the site. We can also provide a single page showing all products for that brand.
Shopfront Bundles allow you to combine different products and sell them at a price that is different from the sum of their individual prices. They enable you to sell promotional bundles such as cricket bats, pads, and gloves. Stock checking will check that all the constituent parts of a bundle are in stock.
One common use is in branded clothing where you hold stock of common brands cricket shirts but want to sell an embroidered shirt for the Lower Snodding team. You would simply create a bundle of the shirt brand they picked and a service product of ’embroidery’.
Shopfront promotions allow you to offer a deal without having to change the base price. There are wide range of promotions such as ‘Money Off’, ‘10% Off”, ‘Buy One Get One Free’, ‘Free Product’, ‘Free Shipping’ and many more. The promotions themselves can be for a limited time and/or promotion code dependant. They can apply to the whole basket or linked to certain products.
Promotions are applied on top of any B2B pricing or discounting so they need to be thoroughly tested to ensure they do not destroy the margin when applied to your customers on the highest discounts.
Shopfront provides a banner advertising system that will allow you to place banner ads almost anywhere on your site. The standard template provides for banners at the top, bottom and sides of the site but this can easily be changed. The banners can rotate if you upload more than one banner for a particular slot.
For sites selling certain classes of consumer goods, gift vouchers can be an effective way of increasing revenue. Shopfront allows gift vouchers to be bought online and redeemed online. If you already have a card based gift voucher system then by entering the voucher codes of the physical vouchers into Shopfront you can operate a mixed scheme selling online and redeeming physically and vice versa.
Several of our customers are operating gift vouchers successfully but this feature is not enabled by default and requires careful thought about your internal procedures.
Featured and Special Departments
As well as the main catalogue you may want product displayed on the home page, left hand column, footer or elsewhere to push clearance items, special offers or high margin items. Shopfront offers unlimited special or featured departments that can be placed in almost any part of the page.
‘Like’ on Twitter Facebook and other sites is a common feature on many websites. Shopfront has facilities to link to all the common sites and we add new ones as they appear.
Retail customers can add certain items that they wish to purchase at a later date into a ‘Wish List’. The Wish list can also be posted to social media to show friends and family.
Let the bride and groom pick their gifts. Friends and family can buy them, add messages and have delivery consolidated for the wedding.
Google Products Export
Google products is a powerful marketing tool. Shopfront can export a CSV file of all your retail products for uploading to Google, allowing you to run Google Shopping Ad campaigns to boost online sales. While this is an easy process the effectiveness of the marketing depends on the quality of data you have entered into Sage/Shopfront. In particular entering the GTIN into the barcode field in Sage or Shopfront can significantly improve the effectiveness.
Generic Product CSV Export
As well as the google product feed Shopfront can export ‘generic’ product data so that it can be easily formatted for submission to product comparison sites. We can configure this export to include any of the Shopfront fields in any order.