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Customer Expectations Versus Reality - bridging the gap

Know what your customer's want

Delivering what customers want. It’s a top-of-mind concern for businesses of all types. But how do you know what customers want? How do you think your business is doing in delivering? A gap exists between how businesses perceive they are doing and how the customer sees it. To succeed, businesses need to find effective ways to close this gap in order to strengthen the brand/customer connection, improve retention, and increase brand loyalty.

Learn more by reading the informative article - Bridging The Gap Between Customer Expectations And Reality - from one of our technology partners, Annex Cloud.

2021 Sales Tax Changes Midyear Update Report

Avalara 2021 Sales Tax Changes Midyear Update Report

A lot of changes happened during the first half of 2021. This informative mid-year update to the 2021 sales tax changes report from Avalara delves into those changes and much more. The report goes beyond sales and uses tax compliance and will highlight key developments in a number of focal industries. Review the update to learn about new tax exemption considerations by state; details about obligations from increased marketplace sales; effects on the international market and so much more.  

Learn more and download the report here >>>>> https://avlr.co/3yJ31cZ

Kadro eCommerce Insights Newsletter June 2021 Issue

June 2021 Edition

News, insights and information from the rapidly changing world of eCommerce designed for the online merchant!

eCommerce Puzzle Pieces
OPENING THOUGHTS 
 
To paraphrase words from an old popular song - It's been a long time coming, but I know a change gonna come! And yes that change is on the way and will have an impact on retailers of all types, but especially online retailers. I'm of course speaking of what has been termed "cookiepocolypse."  It's the loss of availability and access to data currently made available via cookies and other 3rd party tracking which will soon be things of the past.  You can read more about this and its impact on your retail operation here....READ IT NOW!
     

CLIENT SPOTLIGHT

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Founded 98 years ago, the J.G. Edelen Company was founded by James G. Edelen Sr. and is still family-owned today. The company manufactures, imports, and distributes an ever-growing amount of quality hardware products for the furniture and related industries.

In early 2020 J.G. Edelen reached out to Kadro during their search for a new solutions partner. This turned out not to be your typical Adobe Commerce (formally known as Magento Commerce) rescue project.

Read all about it on the J.G. Edelen Portfolio page.

     
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June 29th (Tuesday) is Adobe's Experience Makers | Reimagine Commerce virtual event

Register here >>>>  https://adobe.ly/3cwaP97 

 

It’s time to reimagine the commerce experiences of today and tomorrow. This virtual event features tracks covering innovations in the B2B, B2C, hybrid, and direct-to-consumer sectors. Kadro, in conjunction with technology partner dotdigital and our client Boss PetEdge, has an informative session at 3 pm EDT – Migrating your Legacy eCommerce Platform to Adobe Commerce. 

     
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NEW SERVICE OFFERING FROM KADRO...

This new service is designed for those looking to start selling online faster with a powerful, feature-rich, custom Adobe Commerce (formerly called Magento Commerce) website. It's a scalable solution that can grow as your business does delivering lower initial project costs and higher value.

Learn more. Visit our Accelerated Magento Website Development page.

     
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MAGENTO PROJECT GONE WRONG?

KADRO CAN HELP WITH OUR PROJECT RESCUE SERVICES

 

eCommerce projects don’t always go as planned. This can occur for many reasons. No matter what the reason, Kadro can help. We offer a comprehensive array of website project rescue and support services tailored to each client’s needs.

 

Visit our Magento Project Rescue Services page to learn more.

     
TECHNOLOGY PARTNER SPOTLIGHT
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Quadpay, a Zip Company, is a global “buy now, pay later” (BNPL) payments provider that offers an effective alternative payments solution to help you grow your online sales.

 

Merchants who integrate Quadpay's installment payments solution have seen a huge boost in customer acquisition, higher AOV and conversion, and more repeat purchases. Customers split their payment into 4 equal installments while merchants receive immediate payment with zero risk.  

 

How does this BNPL solution help your business grow?

  • You can accept payment wherever your customers shop: online, in-store, and all marketplaces.
  • We consistently deliver innovative marketing campaigns to showcase your brand across the app and owned channels guaranteed to drive new customer acquisition and loyalty.
  • We offer a consumer-facing mobile app and browser extension compatible with all eCommerce marketplaces.

For a limited time, Quadpay/Zip Co. is offering a deeply discounted rate upon activation exclusively for Kadro's customers. Contact your Kadro Project Team or sales@kadro.com

 

*Offer expires on July 6th

 

Visit the Quadpay website

Visit the Zip website

     
ARE YOU READY TO MOVE TO ADOBE COMMERCE
(formerly Magento Commerce) 
OR UPGRADE TO THE LATEST VERSION?
Let Us Know
     

EMPLOYEE SPOTLIGHT

CD - Headshot
 
Meet 
Chris Dutra
Senior Project Manager  

What do you do at Kadro? 
I’m a Senior Project Manager and have been with Kadro since April 2019.

 

If you could do anything you want right now, what would it be?
I’d move to the UK and spend my time watching football, starting at Goodison Park.

 

What’s your favorite food?
Starfish and coffee.

 

What about family: 
I have one. They tolerate me.

 

Have any pets: 
A 100-lb Golden Doodle named Rooney.

 

Favorite karaoke song: 
Nope.

 

What gets you out of bed in the morning: 
Habit.

 

Biggest recent professional accomplishment: 
Maintaining sanity during the pandemic.

 

Biggest recent or not recent personal accomplishment: 
Maintaining sanity during the pandemic.

 

What is one unique thing about you that few people know?  
I used to be a competitive gymnast.

     

New Arrivals

Meet the newest additions to the Kadro family!

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Jeremy Brofft

Senior Talent Acquisitions Specialist

 

Jeremy joins Kadro with nearly 15 years of experience in recruitment. He received his Bachelor's degree from Virginia Tech and also has a Masters degree in Public Administration. He moved to Durham last year from his hometown of Virginia Beach, VA. Jeremy and his fiancé have a crazy 3-year-old Labradoodle named Sebastian and a very chill rabbit named Gus Gus. Jeremy has been practicing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu for a few years now and enjoys rock climbing as well. During quarantine, he developed an interest in golf, but would like to stress that he remains very unskilled at the sport.

 

Welcome to the Kadro family Jeremy!

     

Jonathan Fisher

Software Engineer

 

Jonathan is a freshly-minted graduate from NC State's Computer Science Program, and is very excited to begin his software development career with Kadro. In his free time, Jonathan loves playing sports such as basketball, football, and frisbee, and can also commonly be found playing board games and card games with friends. Additionally, he is getting married this July, and will be moving to Wake Forest with his wife, Carolyn.

 

Happy to have you with us Jonathan!

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Featured Kadro Blog content of the month:
  1. The Ultimate Guide to Exemptions Certificates for Sales Tax Compliance, an  article from one of our technology partners Avalara. 
  2. Business License Compliance Framework, a look at business licensing with our partner Avalara. 
  3. Setting up Google Tag Manager for Adobe Commerce, an informative article by Kadro's Senior Business Solutions Analyst - James Bruner
  4. Deciphering a Magento Website's Delivery Times Dilemma - an interesting article about overcoming technical challenges for a client written by one of Kadro's Senior Software Engineers - Logan Wilkerson.
  5. What’s the One Thing Businesses Need in 2021 - an informative article by Kadro and Annex Cloud

Oh no, I’m about to lose my cookies!

Cookies are getting dumped in the trash

With new restrictions on the horizon that will impact online marketing and advertising, what’s a retailer to do?

One thing we can count on in digital commerce as marketers is the change that is frequently driven by technology and the ever changing rules and regulations associated with the access to and the use of personal information.

One potent ally in our arsenal of tools to construct and execute online marketing and digital advertising will soon depart. I am of course talking about third-party HTTP cookies and tracking pixels.

The winds of change are being fueled by planned third-party cookie blocking announced by tech giants like Google and Apple. Firefox and Apple Safari already enforce blocking of third-party cookies with Google Chrome having announced their ban starting in 2022.

It’s a storm that retailers and marketers will need to understand and prepare for in order to minimize “storm damage” to their businesses and marketing efforts.

When these changes take place, retailers will no longer be able to use third-party cookies and similar information as the primary basis for targeting and personalization. While we have become comfortable being able to provide levels of personalization across devices and platforms used in retail commerce, as this type of tracking technology changes we may now see a splintering of our view of customers and our ability to personalize our messaging and offers. This is also likely to trigger a reevaluation by retailers of things like privacy policies, data collection and usage strategies as well as marketing tactics as they prepare for the near term business impacts sans tracking cookies will cause.

How do retailers maintain focus on creating exceptional and personalized customer experiences?

Example of modern retail technology

Over the 18 months or so, driven by COVID-19’s impact on businesses of all types, we have seen major upticks in eCommerce sales and a shifting to digital environments and tactics to gain and retain business. But in a cookie-less age, how do retailers maintain focus on creating exceptional and personalized customer experiences supported by their marketing initiatives via the data available to them? It’s a data acquisition and usage challenge with customer privacy ramifications that needs to be met head-on and dealt with creatively.

The challenge is rooted in technology and also at least in part addressable by technology as CDPs (customer data platforms), advanced customer analytics and similar tech become more prominent. Investments to shore up data tools and to support data strategies in a cookie-less world may very well be needed.

OR

Fundamental precepts still apply

It boils down to some fundamental precepts – know your customer, understand the path or paths they take to a purchase, know what information they may need along that path to make informed decisions and do what is feasible to earn and keep their trust. These concepts have not changed for decades, but without cookies they will become harder to recognize, understand and respond to.

Collaboration is key to aligning data strategies and policies

Customer data touches numerous facets of a retail business. As such, there are a number of groups that may be involved in its collections, categorization, usage and governance. In preparation for a third-party cookie-less age, retailers need to seek the collaborative and collective counsel of an array of internal disciplines like marketing, sales, customer service, IT and more as they work to realign their data strategies and policies. More emphasis will need to be placed on building an engaging experience for customers where it's not just about offering great products, but also great information for their buying decision and perhaps value-add online services, community of like-minded customers, or an engaging online experience. By making the experience visiting and shopping in your online store a first-person experience, the need for third-party anonymous tracking is no longer required.

It’s a matter of trust

Turn up the dial on Trust

“Trust is the glue of life. It's the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It's the foundational principle that holds all relationships.” Stephen Covey

I mentioned trust a couple of paragraphs back. It’s a crucial element in gaining and retaining customers. It’s common sense that we will do business with organizations and people we believe we can trust. So focusing effort on the privacy side of consumer data collection and use is important as a cornerstone for building customer trust.

Getting customers to share their information with a retailer is not a new challenge. We all face it when we ask a customer for personal information. It can be hard to obtain information like phone numbers and email addresses as customers, and even simply website visitors, may be unclear as to how, when and why it will be used. Requiring a customer to login before shopping is often a proven barrier for conversion. Therefore, utilizing first-party cookies, which are still allowed, to establish a trusted user session with the customer can help make sure a personal and user-specific engagement is achieved. It’s critical for retailers to be as transparent as possible with customers about such matters. This is how trust is built. And without trust, the chances of obtaining and having permission to utilize customer data are greatly diminished. Data privacy remains an increasingly significant flashpoint with consumers with regulations like GDPR and CCPA being passed to help address it.

Pay attention to your data

I find it interesting, based on personal observations in a variety of companies, how often companies fail to clearly map out and acquire a deep understanding of the data they are collecting. Often this data is allowed to age without refreshing or to exist incomplete so that a holistic and accurate view of the customer universe is not possible and thus the data collected cannot be effectively used to make business decisions going forward. This is only likely to intensify in a third-party cookie-less environment.

In closing

In the coming cosmos of lost third-party cookies, retailers may find it necessary to seek out new and unfamiliar sources of data and a greater diversity of data to enable them to still glean sufficient levels of consumer insight to drive their marketing and overall business strategies.

So as we prepare to empty our marketing shelves of third-party cookies, remember there will always be something sweet to take their place. Let’s start baking.

Business License Compliance Framework

Avalara Business License Compliance Framework banner

Does your business have lots of physical locations? Are you looking at adding even more?

Acquiring and managing hundreds or thousands of business/professional licenses and permits across a large business doesn't have to be a manual compliance nightmare. Read this paper to gain a better understanding of the framework for managing business licenses, permits, and tax registrations, and learn how Avalara can help you manage it all through a single application.

Read the Business License Compliance paper »

Business License Compliance

Licensing your business for operation is generally not a one-time, one-stop activity and, if you are selling online, the number of licenses you’ll need increases because you are selling cross-border.  You can try to maintain current licenses manually but why not automate so you are notified when:

  • licenses need to be renewed
  • a new product or tax jurisdiction is added
  • municipalities update their regulations without notification

An automated business license compliance solution does the research for you and will provide an efficient workflow, custom reports, task management tools, and dynamic calendars to keep you tax compliant.

Read the Business License Compliance paper »

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The Ultimate Guide to Exemptions Certificates for Sales Tax Compliance

The Ultimate Guide to Exemptions Certificates for Sales Tax Compliance banner

Achieving sales tax compliance in today’s complex environment is no easy feat. There are changing rates to calculate, evolving requirements to monitor and a wide array of exemption certificates to manage. Companies must handle every step correctly, and each one is riddled with potential pitfalls. This guide will help your business navigate all those challenges.

Get Avalara's Sales Tax Guide 

Pay or Don’t Pay?

If you are in the business of transacting business, you know there are a multitude of laws and regulations you must follow to remain in business or, at the very least, to not pay penalties for non-compliance.  Making sure you pay the right amount of sales tax to the government is an obvious example of when you want to ensure compliance.  

And knowing when you don’t have to collect and pay sales tax is equally important because you have to able to prove retroactively why you didn’t.

Generally speaking, the scenarios where a sale can occur without sales tax being collected are:

  • The buyer, such as a school or non-profit, is deemed tax-exempt by law
  • The buyer is going to re-sell the product to their customer
  • The product being purchased, such as some foods, is tax-exempt by law.

As a seller of products, and also many services, such as landscaping in Texas or accounting in New Mexico, there is a simple way for you to stay on top of sales tax compliance – automate it and avoid:

  • Overpayment
  • Credit rebilling
  • Product delivery delays

Learn more about tax-exempt sales with Avalara's ultimate guide 

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Kadro eCommerce Insights Newsletter May 2021 Issue

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May 2021 Edition

News, insights and information from the rapidly changing world of eCommerce designed for the online merchant!

eCommerce Puzzle Pieces
OPENING THOUGHTS 
May is quickly fading into the rearview mirror along with annual spring celebrations like Cinco De Mayo, Mother's Day and for many - graduation. Now we prepare for June and the coming of summer.  Predications are that it will be a very busy summer travel season as we hit the roads and take to the skies to our favorite destinations.  Travel and destination websites should see significant traffic increases and robust bookings.
 
Google's Core Web Vitals website ranking factors are set for June 2021 implementation. Regardless of what you sell online, it's a good time to revisit the performance aspects of your website and how it delivers the user experience. Pay special emphasis to the mobile experience. 
 
Not yet have an eCommerce website? Kadro is here to help with an array of available services including our newest offering - Accelerated Magento Website Development.   
 
Be sure to take a few minutes to read an informative new article by James Bruner, Senior Business Solutions Analyst, about setting up Google Tag Manager for Adobe Commerce. You can also learn more about James in our Employee Spotlight below.
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INTRODUCING...

A new service from Kadro designed for those looking to start selling online faster with a powerful, feature-rich, custom Adobe Commerce (formerly called Magento Commerce) website. It's a scalable solution that can grow as your business does delivering lower initial project costs and higher value.

Learn more. Visit our Accelerated Magento Website Development page.

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MAGENTO PROJECT GONE WRONG?

KADRO CAN HELP WITH RECENTLY INTRODUCED

PROJECT RESCUE SERVICES

eCommerce projects don’t always go as planned. This can occur for many reasons. No matter what the reason, Kadro can help. We offer a comprehensive array of website project rescue and support services tailored to each client’s needs.

Visit our Magento Project Rescue Services page to learn more.

TECHNOLOGY PARTNER SPOTLIGHT
Gorgia-logo
In a COVID world, customer support teams now have blurred lines between support and sales. Support representatives are ramping up their skills to deliver exceptional customer service experiences that wow their clients, drive sales, and create loyalty.  That is why Kadro has partnered with Gorgias, a machine learning helpdesk built natively for e-commerce merchants to help our clients turn their call centers into profit centers.    
 
Gorgias enables a seamless customer journey by aggregating all channels (email, voice, chat, SMS, social) into one platform and personalizing engagement with intelligence from integrations with the e-commerce platforms and the e-commerce technology stack (loyalty, shipping, reviews and ratings, marketplaces and more). Gorgias customers increase support efficiency by 30% or more using automations to handle common and repetitive inquiries.
How do you drive sales from your call center? Through Automation, Personalization, Channel Aggregation 

  • Automation: Provide lighting fast responses to turn browsers into buyers
  • Personalization: data-enriched interactions create meaningful connections with customers that increase order values and lifetime value 
  • Channel Aggregation: All channels in one platform create a seamless, connected customer experience. 
Take a look at Gorgias' guide on pre-sales support to learn how you can start driving revenue from your support operations. And if you sign up with Gorgias now, you can even get the 2nd month of service FREE.
ARE YOU READY TO MOVE TO ADOBE COMMERCE
(formerly Magento Commerce) 
OR TO UPGRADE TO THE LATEST VERSION?
Let Us Know
EMPLOYEE SPOTLIGHT
 
JBruner2
Meet James Bruner
Senior Business Solutions Analyst

What do you do at Kadro?

I help Kadro clients with their incoming project and support requests advising  them on the best way to proceed. I also provide counsel on long-term strategy and project ROI. The requests can address a range of issues from frontend bugs to full integrations. Our clients span such a wide range of industries that you really get exposed to a lot of different solutions. So, that’s pretty cool. 

If you could do anything you want right now, what would it be?

Explore space. Or be a full-time philanthropist. Or be a full-time philanthropist that travels through space helping people out.

What’s your favorite food?

Food is my love language. I love cooking and try to make dinner for my family every night, so we rotate through a lot of recipes in my house. If I had to pick a singular dish as my favorite though, it wouldn’t be something I make: it would be the Beef Wrap (basically a fancy Gyro) from Devine Foods in Columbia, SC where I grew up. I worked there back in the day and frequented the place for decades. They closed their doors several years ago, but I still dream about their food.

What about family?

I’ve been married for nine years with two kids (three if you count the dog). My wife Lauren has never met a stranger, and she can put together a pretty mean gift basket. My son will be four this summer, my daughter will be one, and Sunny the mini Yorkie turned 5 this year. They’re all pretty great - most of the time.

Favorite video game?

If my kids are asleep and it’s a weeknight you’ll find me either making music or gaming.

Favorite quote?

“You’re not wrong, Walter, you’re just .......” - The Big Lebowski

Favorite place to visit?

Colorado. My family has a place on the Western Slope where I’ve gone my whole life. Being able to share that with my family and now my kids is just incredible, so I try to get out there as much as I can.

What gets you out of bed in the morning?

Coffee, coffee, and more coffee.

Biggest or most meaningful recent personal accomplishment?

I have a lot to be grateful for - my family, friends, and bandmates to start - but I think one of the biggest accomplishments recently was getting debt free. We still owe on our house, but even with two kids in daycare we managed to pay off all other debts, which is an incredible feeling.

What is one unique thing about you that few people know?

I like to record hip songs about robots when no one is around.

Featured Kadro Blog content of the month:
  1. Setting up Google Tag Manager for Adobe Commerce, an informative article by Kadro's Senior Business Solutions Analyst - James Bruner
  2. Deciphering a Magento Website's Delivery Times Dilemma - an interesting article about overcoming technical challenges for a client written by one of Kadro's Senior Software Engineers - Logan Wilkerson.
  3. Watch the dotlive by dotdigital webinar on How to use segmentation to supercharge your marketing campaigns.
  4. What’s the One Thing Businesses Need in 2021 - an informative article by Kadro and Annex Cloud
  5. Listen to the Naughty x Nurture by dotdigital podcast with Ariel Mordetsky (Kadro) and other eCommerce experts as they talk about the similarities between eCommerce and fishing. It's reel interesting!