Kadro Newsletter

November 2020 Kadro eCommerce Insights newsletter

November 2020 Kadro eCommerce Insights newsletter holiday banner image

News, insights and information from the rapidly changing world of eCommerce designed for the online B2B and B2C merchant!                                             In the November 2020 Edition.....

  • Holiday specials brought to you by select Kadro online merchant customers

  • A look back and at today for Kadro's first customer - REEDS Jewelers 

  • Technology Partner of the Month - Vertex, a leading provider of business  tax software and services 

  • Did you know about Kadro's Marketplace services?

  • Kadro's Site Analysis & Optimization Services (SAOS) can help to ensure that performance issues don't interfere with your online business.

  • Meet Elyse Robillard, Kadro's Senior Project Manager

  • Kadro named a North Carolina Top Performing E-Commerce Developer

  • Explore recent blog posts


SAVE-AT-HOME HOLIDAY SPECIALS BROUGHT TO YOU BY SELECT KADRO CUSTOMERS

Holiday gifts

PetEdge banner image

Groomers, kennels, veterinarians, breeders, and active pet enthusiasts have access to over 10,000 national-brand and exclusive PetEdge-brand products through our website and catalogs.

Houser Shoes banner image

Browse through our wide collection of affordable shoes by designers, clothing, footwear, and accessories for women, men, and children.

Hungry Harvest logo

Hungry Harvest is a farm to doorstep produce delivery company on a mission to eliminate food waste and end hunger. Since their inception in 2014, they have rescued over 22 million pounds of fresh but oddly-shaped or surplus fruits and vegetables from going to waste.

Get special holiday savings from these Kadro online merchants by visiting our holiday promotions page!


REEDS Jewelers

REEDS Jewelers home page

Since 2001, Kadro has worked with REEDS Jewelers as their eCommerce solutions provider and partner. Over that time, we have delivered on multiple site redesigns, a re-platforming, the implementation of a number of custom site features and integrations, and evolved REEDS online business to an omni-channel solution.

We believe that this relationship speaks well of our ability to evolve with the needs of our clients, our extensive eCommerce expertise, and our commitment to customer service which has resulted in the common experience of satisfied and loyal clients.

Looking back a few years, in March 2018 Kadro and REEDS successfully launched the re-platform of REEDS.com B2C website onto Magento Commerce. The success of this project was largely measured by achieving functional parity with well-established business processes and mission critical back-office integrations required to operate their online business. It was a large collaborative effort between REEDS' eCommerce and IT teams, Kadro, and a number of other technology partners.

More recently, we worked with REEDS on a redesign of their website.  You can see it here at https://www.reeds.com/.  

Mark deCausmeaker, Director of Multi Channel Sales at REEDS Jewelers Inc. described the REEDS/Kadro relationship this way... 

“REEDS Jewelers has been in business for over 65 years but having retail knowledge does not necessarily translate into having a successful website. With Kadro we have a partner that offers direction, planning, and services over a wide variety of E-commerce related fields such as mobile commerce, social media and standard ecommerce solutions.

Kadro seeks to anticipate our needs and offer solutions, often before we see the opportunity or problems which enable us to concentrate the bulk of our efforts in our area of expertise, the jewelry industry and our customers."

We are obviously honored to be able to play a role in advancing REEDS success in the highly-competitive retail jewelry business.

We wanted to take a moment to also acknowledge a recent honor bestowed on Arthur Phidd, CIO of REEDS.  Mr. Phidd was named one of the 10 Best CIOS for 2020 by Industry Era Magazine.


Technology Partner of the Month 

VERTEX logo
Tax Technology at the Speed of Business

Founded in 1978, Vertex is a Pennsylvania-based leading provider of business tax software and services for companies of all sizes with both cloud and on-premise solutions to enable compliance for sales and use, income, value-added and payroll taxes.  


Marketplaces banner
Experience the ability to bring your brand to new channels like Amazon, eBay, Walmart with our affordable omni-channel tool.  Or if you are thinking of starting your own marketplace, then explore Kadro's best-in-class multi-vendor marketplace solution that runs on Magento Commerce.


Supercharge Your Magento Website with Site Analysis & Optimization Services (SAOS) from Kadro 

Site running slow?  Inconsistent performance?  Need a partner who has the expertise to improve your website's performance? We can audit your website environment and propose solutions to your site’s functionality and performance woes. Check out this link - https://www.kadro.com/magento-turbo-boost-service - to learn more.


Meet Elyse Robillard, Senior Project Manager at Kadro

Elyse Robillard picture

It takes a wide array of skills and experience to successfully complete a major eCommerce project. Thus, the Kadro team is made up of individuals skilled in a number of disciplines from accounting to specialized technical proficiencies. A key role in each project is that of project manager. With that in mind, in this month’s Kadro newsletter we introduce you to one of the company’s senior project managers, Elyse Robillard.

 Elyse joined Kadro in 2014 after spending a number of years at computer giant IBM. She was happy to make the transition from the vastness of a large global organization with hundreds of thousands of employees to a more modest sized, family environment  organization like Kadro. The downsizing just felt right and more personal to Elyse.

Like quite a few members of the Kadro team, Elyse fills a number of roles. Officially, she is a Senior Project Manager. She also handles the majority of invoicing for the company’s new and existing eCommerce customer engagements. Keeping accurate track of work and billings is obviously an essential task in any Kadro project. Elyse supplements that work with the function of providing non-technical new hire training to new staff members as they enter the organization.

With her role and tenure, Elyse has been a member of teams involved in a wide range of customer projects from REEDS.com’s (fine jeweler) move to Magento to eCommerce work completed for Weekends Only (furniture retailer) and Doheny’s (consumer and commercial pool supplies and equipment).

Outside of work, Elyse spends plenty of quality time with her son playing outdoors, enjoying time at their pool, and heading to the beach (as Covid conditions allow of course). In the same regard, as conditions allow she also enjoys global travel, especially to Europe and more specifically Ireland. Sounds like fun.

As the holidays commence, we wish all those that may travel a happy and safe journey.



Kadro named Top Developer in North Carolina by Clutch

Kadro named one of the Top Performing E-Commerce Developers in North Carolina 

The team at Kadro received some exciting news recently from Clutch, the internationally-renowned B2B rating and review platform. Kadro was named one of North Carolina’s top e-commerce developers for 2020. Clutch praised Kadro's e-commerce strategy, consulting, design, and development expertise!  According to Clutch and their research, amongst all providers in North Carolina, Kadro is consistently one of the best! 


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October 2020 Kadro eCommerce Insights newsletter

Kadro eCommerce Insights Newsletter banner

News, insights and information from the rapidly changing world of eCommerce designed for the online B2B and B2C merchant!

In the October 2020 Edition.....

  • Kadro named one of the Top Performing E-Commerce Developers in North Carolina
  • SeaDek Marine Products - World leader in innovative marine non-skid flooring makes the switch to Kadro
  • Technology Partner of the Month - Braintree, A Paypal Service
  • Kadro's Site Analysis & Optimization Services (SAOS). Don't let site performance issues interfere with your online business.
  • Meet Allison Holadia, Kadro Customer Support Specialist
  • Magento 2.4 - Packed with new features designed to enhance the B2C and B2B customer experiences
  • Explore our latest blog posts

Kadro named Top Developer in North Carolina by Clutch

Kadro named one of the Top Performing E-Commerce Developers in North Carolina 

The team at Kadro received some exciting news this month from Clutch, the internationally-renowned B2B rating and review platform. Kadro was named one of North Carolina’s top e-commerce developers for 2020. Clutch praised Kadro's e-commerce strategy, consulting, design, and development expertise!  According to Clutch and their research, amongst all providers in North Carolina, Kadro is consistently one of the best! 


SeaDek

SeaDek newsletter banner image

Founded in 2002, SeaDek® Marine Products, part of Hyperform Inc., is a leading developer and manufacturer of innovative marine decking materials and lamination for OEM boat builders in the marine industry as well as to boat owners seeking custom products.

In 2019, SeaDek moved their eCommerce website from an ASP/.Net implementation to Magento Commerce cloud. Sadly the move to Magento Commerce was not a good experience and resulted in a highly unstable implementation, many of the Magento platform's capabilities not being effectively utilized and the SeaDek team growing frustrated as they faced constant site and operational issues that were compounded by lack of support and responsiveness from their systems integrator at that time.

To combat this business-impairing situation, in June 2020 SeaDek hired Kadro. The objectives of the new relationship were:

  • to stabilize the SeaDek eCommerce website so that the team could focus on running their online business
  • provide responsive on-going support and development for new features
  • offer strategic guidance for growing their eCommerce business.

Jason Gardner, VP Marketing & Advertising at Hyperform, Inc. framed the situation and subsequent SeaDek/Kadro relationship this way... 

“After a nightmarish development phase and long-delayed launch with another development company we were left with a half-baked website that lacked functionality and wasted valuable money and resources. Poor communication, lack of quality control and extensive use of offshore developers resulted in a horrible experience.

Making the switch to Kadro made all the difference. From the start, they visited with our department managers and team members to understand our company and our needs both short term and long term. Communication has been clear, concise and timely and the quality and efficiency of the work has exceeded expectations."

Kadro went to work in the transition and rescue of the SeaDek.com Magento site performing a detailed review of the site's implementation as well as conducting a thorough Requirements Discovery session with the SeaDek team to fully understand the current website implementation challenges, eCommerce business challenges, and a go-forward plan to provide the support and development that SeaDek needed.  Kadro's assessment and subsequent plan were geared towards establishing system stability and enabling the SeaDek team to focus on growing their business versus fighting website issues on a daily basis.

SeaDek website composite image

Website: www.seadek.com

TO READ THE FULL STORY VISIT THE SEADEK PORTFOLIO PAGE ON THE KADRO WEBSITE AND TAKE A LOOK AT THEIR CURRENT WEBSITE.


Technology Partner of the Month

Braintree logo image

Braintree provides the global commerce tools people need to build businesses, accept payments, and enable commerce for their users. Braintree permits the use of many payment methods including alternative payment methods such as PayPal, Venmo, ApplePay and GooglePay.  With Braintree and Magento 2, merchants get comprehensive payment options to allow customers to pay via their preferred method, the potential for more mobile revenue via a fast, simple checkout process, robust fraud protection & PCI compliance, and expansive global reach via a network of more than 300 million active consumers (Paypal 2020 Q2 data).


Turbo Boost Your Magento Website with Site Analysis & Optimization Services (SAOS) from Kadro

Site running slow?  Inconsistent performance?  Need a partner who has the expertise to improve your website's performance? We can audit your website environment and propose solutions to your site’s functionality and performance woes.


Say hello to Allison Holadia, Customer Support Specialist at Kadro

Allison H. photo

The famed football coach Vince Lombardi once said, “It takes months to find a customer… second to lose one.” This statement has been validated by volumes of survey data over the years and I suppose a bit of common business sense as well. It’s surely true that customers quit doing business with a company due to bad experiences and thus businesses must approach every support interaction as an opportunity to delight or displease.

Good customer support starts with the human touch, often boosted by a dose of technology.  It's reinforced by the understanding that customer support/service is the cornerstone of the business and the foundation of the customer experience.

It is with this brief preface that we introduce Allison Holadia, Kadro’s Customer Support Specialist. Like many at Kadro, Allison has been with the company for quite a few years now. She started in 2007 after leaving the eCommerce Department at a long-time Kadro customer (the first customer actually), REEDS Jewelers. Given her familiarity with Kadro and its services, Allison was a natural fit.

Also like others in the company, Allison wears many hats. No literally, she has lots of hats and wears them. But she also “wears lots of hats” when it comes to her role at Kadro.

Knowing the customer and their website(s) reinforces the support process…

Allison has been an integral part of many new website launches and upgrades over the years. Regardless of the project size, Allison considered each to be a major project. "It’s exciting to be part of a new website project from start to finish," mentioned Allison. A current project Allison is participating in is the new Hungry Harvest project. She is the QA lead on this website, so she’s responsible for all aspects of testing. Being part of the QA testing team allows Allison to get to know the new website in great detail. This familiarity spills over to other types of website projects like upgrades which typically include the addition of new features and functionality. When support issues come up, it really helps to have this hands-on familiarity with both the customer and their website which adds context and relevance to the support request or issue.

Great people meeting an array of business and technological support challenges…

Kadro really is a place full of great people. The staff exhibits a true team attitude which makes working at the company a very positive experience.  Everyone is always willing to help and teach others when needed. And no day is ever the same. For Allison, each day’s course is charted by the variety of support issues and new website feature requests received. These make each day unique providing her and other team members with a new sets of challenges to meet and more interesting projects to undertake.

She can go the distance… in the long run… (and swim and cycling)

Outside the office, Allison’s hobby and favorite interest (other than her 2 kids of course) is training and competing in triathlons.  She has competed in multiple sprint triathlons, as well as many half and full marathons. She has competed in three half Ironman’s (70.3 miles) and finished her first full Ironman last year (140.6 miles).

For those not familiar with what an Ironman competition is, it’s an endurance multi-sport race consisting of swimming, cycling, and running over various distances. But 140.6 miles? Really? Now that’s impressive!  

With the physical and mental demands of competing in endurance events, it’s not surprising that Allison spends a great deal of her spare time participating in swimming, biking and running training. 

Should you have the occasion to be on the phone or emailing support at Kadro, you’ll likely have the opportunity to communicate with Allison. If you do, take a minute to ask how her training and competing is coming along.


Magento Logo

Magento 2.4 - packed with great enhancements to make the customer experience even better

Magento is a powerful, flexible, reliable and popular commerce platform used by hundreds of thousands of businesses worldwide.  And the latest version of Magento adds to this legacy with great new features for both B2C and B2B eCommerce and omni-channel merchants.  Here a peek at just a few.

  • New and improved default search engine.  Makes site search faster and easier for site visitors and customers.
  • Improved Media Gallery - Your store admin can now search, filter and sort images faster and it's integrated with Adobe Stock.  
  • New feature Seller-Assisted Shopping - Your Customer Service Representatives can log into the website as the customer from the Magento Admin and guide and assist the customer in all aspects of the buying experience.
  • New feature Purchase Approval Workflows (only for Magento Commerce) - Brings better control to B2B buying companies allowing them to set up approval workflows for individual purchases with specific rules based on order value, number of SKUs and shipping costs.

There's so much more.  Contact a Kadro representative to learn more about Magento 2.4 and how it can help make your vision for selling online a reality! 


Read more image

Recent Blog Posts

* Retail reimagined: New shoppers, new habits, big opportunity

* BOPIS – Spicy Filipino dish or eCommerce business strategy?

* What is one of the biggest challenges to running a successful  eCommerce store?

* Your eCommerce Store Customers Want This!


Coming Soon!

More informative blog posts!  Stay tuned for future announcements.

Want to make future newsletters better? We'd love your feedback! 

Ready To Move To Magento Commerce?

And stay up-to-date on all the latest Kadro and eCommerce happenings by engaging with us on social media!

Kadro eCommerce Insights Newsletter-September 2020

Weekends Only Furniture and Mattress banner image with furniture

Insights for September 2020
  • Weekends® Only Furniture & Mattress - Omni-Channel Retail with Magento Commerce
  • Technology Partner of the Month - Amazon Pay
  • Meet Daniel Friel, VP of Operations
  • Explore our latest blog posts


The first Weekends Only showroom opened its doors in 1997, which established the foundation for the 5 stores open in the greater St. Louis area today. More stores followed in Castleton, Indiana (greater Indianapolis area) in May 2015 and in Greenwood, Indiana in February 2018.

Weekends Only employs a unique retail concept with their showrooms only open Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. This allows them to save their customers time and money, providing a non-commission, shopping and purchase experience that adds value to customer's lives.

The company added to its brick & mortar footprint in 2013 with the implementation of their first e-commerce site, making all deliverable items available any day of the week.

Weekends Only moved their eCommerce solution to Magento Commerce in 2017-18, but ended up facing many challenges. 

So in late 2018, Kadro begin working with Weekends Only to address the website and backend integration issues they faced.

Here is what Scott Antrobus - Product Manager, Digital EnterprisesWeekends Only Furniture & Mattress had to say about the Weekends Only and Kadro relationship.

“Before partnering with Kadro, we worked with two very different Magento Solution Partners with limited results. After a rocky launch with the first, we decided to "upgrade" to a "Platinum" partner to ensure that all future development followed best practices. Unfortunately, we saw a lot of the same problems resulting from poor communication and hand-offs to overseas developers.

We learned from the challenges of those relationships that we needed a partner who could be agile and accessible without compromising quality and structure. After meeting with a long list of potential partners with indistinguishable technical capabilities, we selected Kadro because of their flexible and direct communication, transparency, and integrity. Since then, Kadro has helped us achieve stability and substantial growth, and have proven to be a solid partner that we can trust and rely on.”

Kadro conducted a thorough discovery session with the Weekends Only team to identify and prioritize each of the on-going issues and challenges they faced with operating their new eCommerce site. That resulted in multiple development and build cycles to address the open issues and to achieve  stability for their online business.

Weekends Only Furniture & Mattress website image

Website: www.weekendsonly.com

Subsequent to the site stabilization phase of this project, Kadro developed many more features and functionality for Weekends Only. 

With consistent sales growth experienced over the years, Weekends Only is proud to hold a place in Furniture Today’s list of Top 100 U.S. Furniture Stores.

TO READ THE FULL STORY VISIT THE WEEKENDS ONLY PORTFOLIO PAGE ON THE KADRO WEBSITE.


Technology Partner of the Month 

amazonpay

Amazon Pay offers Amazon customers a fast, convenient, and secure checkout experience backed by Amazon’s technology, innovation and advanced fraud protection. Amazon Pay makes it easy for hundreds of millions of customers to pay for products and services using the information already stored in their Amazon accounts. That means you can reduce cart abandonment, optimize your checkout flow, and easily activate the Amazon customer base. And it quickly and easily integrates into Magento eCommerce stores.  

Kadro was featured in a recent Amazon Pay Partner Spotlight piece.  Read the spotlight by clicking here!


Say hello to Daniel Friel,  VP of Operations at Kadro

Daniel’s Kadro story began in 2004, a mere three years after the company’s founding. He has the distinction of being the first student accepted into the company as part of Kadro’s participation in the Cooperative Education Program at NC State University. The University-sponsored Cooperative Education program permits students to work multiple work-terms in a relevant field to their major to gain first-hand experience in the workforce. Kadro still participates in this meaningful program (see our co-op web page) to this day and routinely retains a number of Computer Science co-op students on rotation during each of the Spring, Summer and Fall school terms. Needless to say, Daniel completed his studies at NC State and earned a BS degree in Computer Science.

Reflecting back to those days in the Co-Op Program, Daniel shared his feelings about the experience. “I've enjoyed watching that program grow from 1 student per semester to the 17 we had this summer. And yes Kadro does hire former co-ops, at least 5 in the last year in fact.

Skip forward 16 years and you’ll still find Daniel in the offices of Kadro (well less so at the moment due to COVID restrictions), but now as Vice President of Operations.  Along the way he’s held a number of positions like Software Engineer and Director of Engineering.  One could say that he is a living testament to what hard work, perseverance, dedication and smarts can do to help propel a career from student to executive. Keep this in mind you NC State students thinking about participating in the Cooperative Education Program. It can be a great stepping stone to future long-term career success. 

WHAT DOES A VP OF OPERATIONS DO AT KADRO?

Wear many hats!  Basically this means doing whatever is needed to complete customer eCommerce projects in a timely and efficient manner.  The role most definitely extends beyond what would classically be considered operations

For the last several months, Daniel was focused on delivering petedge.com You can read more about that project in the July 2020 edition of Kadro eCommerce Insights newsletter and also check out the work on their Portfolio page on the Kadro website.  

On a broader scale, Daniel continues to help manage a variety of projects, deliverables and resources.  He has championed software engineering best practices and code reuse, architected an array of software solutions and helped to improve customer website performance. And he piloted the development of Kadro’s Marketplace Manager product offering.

Given his many years in the company and expertise in software engineering, it's not very surprising that Daniel is also an integral part of the company's  interview and hiring process. As we said, he wears many hats.

WHAT DOES DANIEL FIND PARTICULARLY REWARDING ABOUT HIS TIME AT KADRO?

The variety of technical and business challenges the company gets to solve for its customers and of course the many talented people that work here. They are a dedicated team of developers with a passion for problem solving in what most describe as a relaxed, fun environment. “It’s great to have seen Kadro grow from around 10 people to the current 60,” Daniel remarked. 

WHAT HAS CHANGED IN THE WORLD OF COMPUTER SCIENCE AND SOFTWARE ENGINEERING SINCE THE EARLY DAYS?

The programming languages and technologies have certainly changed a number of times. Yet at the end of the day, our success is all about helping solve customer’s challenges with whatever tools and technologies are at our disposal.

BEYOND THE OFFICE

Daniel “wears a number of hats” outside the office as well.  He’s a big Formula 1 racing fan (me too!), enjoys watching the NFL and gets in a few rounds of golf as time permits. And when he’s not doing all of that, you may find him out walking with his wife, kids and puppy, a 6 month old sheepadoodle named Finn.  


Read More image

Recent Blog Posts 

And an informative new eBook: Best Practices for Transforming Your eCommerce Platform.  Download it today!

Coming Soon!

More informative blog posts!  Stay tuned for future announcements.


Want to make future newsletters better? We'd love your feedback! 

Ready To Move To Magento Commerce?  LET US KNOW!



Stay up-to-date on all the latest Kadro and eCommerce happenings by engaging with us on social media!

Kadro eCommerce Insights Newsletter- August 2020

uno-alla-volta-banner-products-and-collectible-banner

Insights for August 2020

  • Uno Alla Volta showcases artisan-crafted products and collectibles via its upgraded and enhanced Magento 2 B2C website
  • Technology Partner of the Month - Gorgias, provider of Helpdesk Solutions for eCommerce
  • Meet Karen Abrams, Software Quality Assurance Engineer
  • Explore our latest blog posts

Upgraded and Enhanced Magento 2 B2C eCommerce Website Showcases Uno Alla Volta's marketplace of artisan-crafted products and collectibles

Uno Alla Volta products and collectible banner
Uno Alla Volta means "one at a time." It’s a meaningful way to describe the products and collectibles designed and handcrafted by artisans throughout the world that are available for purchase on the Uno Alla Volta eCommerce marketplace. The artisans making the products sold by Uno Alla Volta use techniques and technologies that are both old and new – some passed down through the generations, others more modern and newly developed.

The Uno Alla Volta vision is “to bring the human connection into every interaction with every customer, artisan, co-worker, and supplier – thereby enriching their lives. By so doing, we enrich each of our own lives as well.” This vision manifests itself in the Uno Alla Volta storefront, a place that provides handcrafted fashion and designer accessories, home decor, kitchen, decorative glass, and pottery sold to consumers across the globe.

The Uno Alla Volta story is one filled with the essence of craftsmanship and the joy of human spirit. Learn more about it at About Uno Alla Volta https://www.unoallavolta.com/about-us.

Back in early 2019, Uno Alla Volta was facing a number of business and technical challenges. The initial implementation of their Magento Commerce website by a previous partner did not meet the company’s expectations. The website had ongoing performance and reliability issues which negatively impacted their eCommerce business.

Uno Alla Volta hired Kadro to assess and improve their eCommerce solution on Magento Commerce. The project direction and goals became clear quite quickly. Reorient the site's implementation to a Magento-standard approach, stabilize the website’s implementation and in so doing return the company’s eCommerce business to a path of growth that supports their customer base.

So the team at Kadro got to work and within a few short months was ready to implement a revised and stabilized Uno Alla Volta website. Looking back from today, one can say that the project goals were achieved. The site is now more stable, updates for minor and major Magento upgrades are less costly, the site's content is easier to manage, and the site search experience is greatly improved. Uno Alla Volta website page image

Here is what Martina Honovich, Digital Marketing Manager at Uno Alla Volta, had to say about the experience.

Our partnership with Kadro started as a site rescue. After a failed migration and launch to Magento with a different vendor, the Kadro team worked endlessly to get our website stable, upgraded and back on track. We needed a partner to step up and support us through it all and Kadro has delivered. I look forward to the continued partnership as we enhance our website and drive growth to reach our eCommerce goals.”

“We extend our sincere appreciation to the management and marketing team at Uno Alla Volta for placing their trust in Kadro during a particularly precarious period for their online business,” stated Ariel Mordetsky, Vice President of Revenue at Kadro.

To learn more about this project, visit the Uno Alla Volta Portfolio page in the Portfolio area of the Kadro website.


Technology Partner of the Month 

Gorgias provides helpdesk solutions for eCommerce helping merchants transform their customer service from a cost center into a profit generator. With Gorgias, online merchants can provide enhanced, personalized, customer experiences based on data from their Magento eCommerce platform. The system provides the ability to create rules-based automated responses to repetitive customer questions which saves valuable support agent time. And the system uses advanced machine learning to detect the intents and sentiments of customer messages which helps merchants set priorities and categorize tickets based on what they're about. Learn more by visiting the Gorgias website. 


Karen-Abrams-image

Quality assurance, perhaps not the most glamorous sounding occupation, yet none is more essential to the success of software development and implementation projects. After all, it is quality assurance professionals that ensure a company meets their clients' expectations by making certain software builds, in this case Commerce websites, are thoroughly tested from top to bottom and are in-line with the company’s quality standards, customer’s requirements and overall project deliverables.

Enter Karen Abrams, Kadro’s Software Quality Assurance Engineer

Karen is both a company and industry veteran having worked at Kadro for over 12 years and before that for many years at other well-known technology companies. As such, Karen has worked on just about every project that has come through the door at Kadro - testing almost all of them. Aristotle reportedly once said, “Quality is not an act. It is a habit.” Karen is in the habit of ensuring quality in the websites Kadro engineers for its clients. That’s why she is in charge of QA for the entire company. Of her role she states “I never thought about a QA job, but it's perfect for me.”

What does it take to be a successful quality assurance engineer?

  • A mixture of technical and interpersonal knowledge, skills and experience. 
  • Absolute attention to detail. 
  • Strict adherence to processes, especially ones centered around software testing. 
  • A firm grasp of computer science and software engineering principles. 
  • The innate ability to communicate to individuals within a diverse project team that they are doing something wrong. This is something Karen points out as being “getting paid to do what comes naturally.” 

How does Karen match up against these success criteria?

Pretty well we’d say! After all, academically she was her high school’s valedictorian and she followed that up rather nicely with what we’ll call triple success at the collegiate level by earning a Bachelor of Engineering degree from Vanderbilt University. Why triple success? She did it with a triple major in electrical engineering, computer science and math. Now that’s impressive! Always one to keep the acquisition of knowledge at the forefront, Karen is also a Adobe Certified Expert - Magento Commerce Business Practitioner which obviously comes in handy given her involvement in all those Magento website projects for Kadro customers. May need a bigger business card though to fit that one in.

Change will do you good

Karen has seen her share of change over the years as Kadro matured from a company located in a small office off Old Wake Forest Drive in Raleigh, with barely 10 people, a handful of projects, and a ping pong table (a useful outlet for finding inspiration and channeling frustration) to what she describes as the present first-class office space on Corporate Center Drive where the company is headquartered now. It’s a company that has grown to a staff of over 60 people (all U.S. based) and more projects than she’d care to count.

When asked about what she likes about Kadro, Karen mentioned a few things. First on the list, the respectful environment. “Anytime I say something, it's taken seriously and acted on quickly (unlike with children or the ex)”. Ah, she has a sense of humor as well. Other things she particularly likes, “My smart, dedicated, hard-working coworkers and being able to work from home occasionally (pre-Covid era) and full-time now.”

Outside of the office, Karen pursues her long-time interest in Genealogy, a subject that continues to gain widespread attention, and she keeps up-to-date on the world of finance by listening to financial podcasts on a daily basis, plus she’s an avid reader - historical fiction about women is a favorite.


Blog image for Your Customers Want This

New Blog Post 

Your eCommerce Store Customers Want This!


Coming Soon!

More informative blog posts and an eBook!  Stay tuned for future announcements.


Ready To Move To Magento Commerce?

Having ongoing troubles with your existing Magento website implementation?

Need help analyzing and optimizing your current Magento website?

Looking to migrate your website from Magento 1 to Magento 2?

Kadro eCommerce Insights Newsletter-July 2020

Boss PetEdge

Insights for July 2020 - In this issue

  • Boss Pet Products, Inc. (dba Boss PetEdge) successfully re-platforms two B2B eCommerce websites to Magento 2
  • Miss the July 9th webinar on building a Multi-Vendor Marketplace? Watch the replay.
  • Technology Partner of the Month - dotdigital
  • Meet Cameron Rogers, Director of Engineering at Kadro
  • Explore our latest blog post

New B2B Magento Websites Launch: PetEdge and Boss PetEdge Dealer Services

PetEdge B2B ecommerce website home page

PetEdge website shown above...

We love our pets. And all that love requires a very large industry to provide the goods and services pet owners demand for their animals. 67% of U.S. households own a pet which equates to 84.9 million homes*. Most popular pet in these households? Dogs. Yes, the pet industry is big business. It estimated that $99.0 billion will be spent on our pets in the U.S. in 2020. According to the 2019-2020 APPA National Pet Owners Survey

According to data from IBIS World, there are some 133,669 grooming and boarding businesses alone in the U.S. Then there are the various pet specialty, hardware, farm and general merchandise stores, veterinarians and humane societies all of which support the health and well-being of our pets.

Companies that exist to support this diverse array of pet industry businesses supply a plethora of products and often rely on advanced technologies to get the right products to the right business efficiently. Such an enterprise is Boss Pet Products, Inc.

Boss Pet Products, Inc. is the largest supplier to pet-care professionals and independent retailers offering over 12,000 national brand and exclusive PetEdge branded products. They operate two eCommerce websites which are vital elements in their ongoing business success.

KADRO was selected by Boss Pet Products, Inc. (dba Boss PetEdge) to engineer the re-platforming of their two B2B eCommerce websites and CRM system from a legacy SAP Web Channel Experience Management (WCEM) implementation to the Magento Commerce platform, while maintaining their real-time connectivity to their SAP ECC ERP system.

The new Magento-powered websites, which were launched in May 2020, deliver an enhanced user experience for pet professionals and wholesale buyers, an improved mobile shopping experience, enhanced tools for content and product catalog management, enhanced integration with back-end systems and a custom CRM system integrated with the websites order management functionality.

“Evolving our eCommerce business onto Magento’s state of the art platform is paramount to delivering on the needs and expectations of our customers. Completing this major project without incurring any downtime was a tremendous success and Kadro lead us expertly every step of the way.”

Chris Miller, President Boss Pet Products

Miss the July 9th webinar Building an Online Community Marketplace?

Building a Community Marketplace Kadro webinar banner

Technology Partner of the Month

dotdigital

Founded in 1999, the company’s mission is simple: powering customer engagement across all touchpoints. This award-winning, global enterprise has offices in 9 countries and over 350 employees who help fulfill the mission for thousands of brands. Engagement Cloud empowers marketers to acquire, convert, and retain customers at scale. Users can connect with CRM and ecommerce systems, surface powerful data, and automate intelligent cross-channel messages that resonate with audiences. You’ll find dotDigital and all our technology partners on the Partners page of our website.

Meet Cameron Rogers, Director of Engineering at Kadro

Cam Rogers

North Carolina native Cameron Rogers began his career at Kadro as a software engineer some eight years ago by way of the Cooperative Education Program at NC State University which Kadro has been an active corporate participant in for many years. University-sponsored Cooperative Education programs allow students to work multiple work-terms in a relevant field to their major to gain firsthand experience in the workforce. Cam graduated from NC State with a degree in computer science.

Over the years he has worked on major projects for a number of Kadro customers like REEDS.com, BoatOutfitters.com and MasonJars.com and has supported numerous other company projects as well.

Moving up the ranks over the years, today Cam is Director of Engineering and is mostly responsible for establishing Kadro’s software development methodologies and providing technical guidance to the engineering teams. He is a Magento 2 Certified Professional Front End Developer and is skilled in a wide array of software tools and technologies like HTML5, CSS, Javascript and more.

In speaking about his tenure at Kadro Cam stated “I really enjoy the atmosphere and culture we have at Kadro. Kadro is a very open, friendly and collaborative environment. Over the years I've really been able to build strong relationships with my co-workers and can honestly say some of my best friends work alongside me every day.”

Outside of the office Cameron is active in sports and outdoor activities like basketball, football, ultimate frisbee along with traveling, hiking and exploring.

Not surprisingly, he’s also a big NC State fan, but moves a bit further down the coast when it comes to his favorite football team which is the Atlanta Falcons. Well we guess the Panthers have some work to do.

You can learn more about Kadro’s participation in the Cooperative Education Program at NC State University by visiting our co-op page.

New Blog Post

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Marketplace vs Dropship - Which one’s right for your eCommerce website?

Kadro eCommerce Insights Newsletter: June 2020

Kadro Offices

Insights

New Site Launch: Houser Shoes

Houser Shoes

Kadro deployed Houser Shoes' new Magento 2 site in May! We have worked with Houser Shoes since 2014 and were ecstatic to help them migrate from Magento 1 to Magento 2. Read more about this project below.

"Kadro’s team has been a true asset to our online business with Magento Enterprise and has responded to deliver for our plans around site performance, mobility and strategic eCommerce planning." - Gary Houser, President & Founder of Houser Shoes Inc.

Project highlights include:

  • Full data migration for products, orders and customer accounts
  • Website redesign and setup of all content into PageBuilder
  • Migration of all EDI integration with show vendors
  • Using ShipStation for fulfillment.

Learn more about Houser Shoes' new Magento 2 site, and the migration from Magento 1.

Visit HouserShoes.com & use code KADRO25 to get 25% off any normally priced merchandise.

Webinar: Building an Online Community Marketplace

Building an Online Community Marketplace webinar on July 9th conducted by eTail with our client/partner MakerPlace, Adobe, and Kadro

Please attend the Building an Online Community Marketplace webinar on July 9th conducted by eTail with our client/partner MakerPlace, Adobe, and Kadro are presenting.

I’m on Magento. What Extensions or Tech Partner do I work with?

Kadro takes the mystery out of choosing a tech parnter

There are over 250,000 merchants on Magento for eCommerce. The vast ecosystem of Magento developers and technology partners is often a driving force for merchants to choose Magento as their platform for growth. One of the greatest benefits of Magento can also be one of the most daunting problems. At some point every merchant struggles with deciding on the right technology partner or extension to meet their need. With so many choices, how do you decide the right choice for your business?

How businesses are adapting during COVID-19

Kadro is partnering with Signifyd to bring you ongoing coverage of eCommerce trends data - by category - across their network of 10K+ merchants globally. We hope this info is helpful peripheral vision as our industry navigates this dynamic environment, and the team at Signifyd is happy to host deeper data reviews if helpful for merchandising, advertising or other decisions.

Turbo Boost your Magento site with Kadro's Site Analysis & Optimization Services

Cure your slow Magento speed headaches

Does your Magento site run slowly, inefficiently, out of sync or worst case not at all? The Kadro Team can help. Learn about our Magento Site Analysis & Optimization Service.

Kadro eCommerce Insights Newsletter: March 2020

Should You Build Your Own B2B Marketplaces?

This month we feature one of the best ways to grow your eCommerce customer base – B2B Marketplaces.

Malcolm Allen Our CTO, Malcolm Allen, is one of the foremost thought leaders in eCommerce strategy for the Magento Commerce platform and recently penned several insightful blogs posts. From the most important considerations in a move to Magento Commerce Cloud to best practices for improving your company's product onboarding workflow.

Quick Links

Building your own Marketplace can be a Reality

Adobe Commerce Talk Podcast Business buyers are shopping on Amazon more than ever before. Now, a growing number of B2B businesses are building their own marketplaces—and expanding their market share. If you want to be a leader and grow faster, it may be time to launch a marketplace of your own.

Join Shannon Hane, senior product marketing manager at Adobe, and Malcolm Allen, Kadro's CTO, for an enlightening podcast that covers the following:

  • What kinds of businesses should run their own a B2B marketplace
  • Why building a marketplace is not as hard as you think
  • How to recruit high-quality sellers to your marketplace

Moving to Magento Commerce Cloud? What primary concerns should you consider?

Building an Online Community Marketplace webinar on July 9th conducted by eTail with our client/partner MakerPlace, Adobe, and Kadro

Considering moving from an on-premise solution or from an alternate cloud hosting solution to Magento Commerce Cloud? We've got all the important points your business should consider.

How to Import Products into Magento for your Enterprise System

Import Prodcuts into Magento Enterprise

Complete eCommerce solutions often involve numerous enterprise systems working together. Most businesses struggle to get their product catalog's data done right during the creation of their eCommerce site and continue to struggle to manage their product catalog as new products are introduced.

Find out how Kadro can help you automate your product catalog workflow.