Tagged with 'Magento Commerce'

Naughty x Nurture Podcast eCommerce and Fishing Episode with Kadro

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We’re casting a line to lure you in to listen to the next installment in the Naughty X Nurture podcast series by dotdigital where you’ll hear Ariel Mordetsky (Kadro), Jeff Roth (Avalara) and your host Gavin Laugenie (dotdigital) discuss the similarities between eCommerce and fishing. Have we hooked your interest? Get on board starting Friday, April 23rd. It will be reel fun!  Listen in https://bit.ly/3xdkutW

Kadro eCommerce Insights Newsletter-March 2021 Issue

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March 2021 Edition

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

Kadro puts the puzzle together

OPENING THOUGHTS

Q1 2021 is nearing an end. How has your online business fared so far this year as we work towards a return to pre-2020 omni-channel commerce? With unprecedented sales growth in eCommerce, now is the time to revisit the initiatives and technologies that support your eCommerce sales. Are you up-to-date with the latest release of relevant eCommerce technologies? Kadro is here to help make your vision for selling online a reality. We can recommend enhancements to your present eCommerce environment that will help you gain and retain more customers. Contact us to discuss your needs.



Magento Rescue Services

MAGENTO PROJECT GONE WRONG? KADRO CAN HELP WITH 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. Learn more by visiting our Magento Project Rescue Services page.

TECHNOLOGY PARTNER SPOTLIGHT

Gladly

Gladly is a radically personal customer service platform. Unlike legacy customer service platforms that are case centric, only Gladly is designed with people at the center and uniquely enables a single lifelong customer conversation across all channels. Gladly powers companies to deliver exceptional customer experiences, increase contact center generated revenue and cut technology costs by moving to an all-in-one customer service solution.

Just released! Gladly's 2021 Customer Expectations Report

Gladly's 2021 Customer Expectations Report

Now more than ever, customers expect exceptional service and want their favorite brands to go above and beyond to earn their loyalty and business. In the last year, ecommerce accelerated at a rate of 10 times what it has in the past and with that customer expectations also accelerated. See what this means for your company in Gladly's new 2021 Customer Expectations Report.

ARE YOU READY TO MOVE TO MAGENTO?

Magento Commerce

EMPLOYEE SPOTLIGHT

Joanna Sawyer, Kadro Software Engineer

Meet
Joanna Sawyer
Software Engineer

What do you do: I am a software developer, with a focus on frontend development. I am also involved with Co-op recruitment and training, and a part of the social committee.

If you could do anything you want right now, what would it be: I would take my trip to Europe that we had to cancel last May! We were going to go to the Tulip Festival in Amsterdam, and go to Paris.

What’s your favorite food: S’mores! And anything s’mores flavored - ice cream, cookies, candy! You could say I have a sweet tooth.

What about family: I have been married for 2 and a half years to my husband Logan. Fun fact - my little sister, Kim Pollard, also works at Kadro!

Have any pets: A 2 year old Border Collie named Denver who we absolutely adore!

What do you hate: I hate washing dishes!

Favorite karaoke song: You will not catch me doing Karaoke, but you can find me singing Taylor Swift on road trips.

What gets you out of bed in the morning: My very active dog who knows when the alarm goes off and gets in bed with us about 5 minutes before; she knows that the first thing we do every day is go play frisbee and she just can’t wait. She is good about letting us sleep in on the weekends though.

Biggest recent professional accomplishment: I’ve recently learned the power of delegation! I can be very independent in my work, but with lots of projects needing attention at once, I have been able to let go of some of my tasks and just assist others in completing them.

Biggest recent personal accomplishment: The first is that in January I participated in a 30-day challenge to do yoga every day! The second is I tried skiing for the first time this year. I totally hated it, but I made it down the mountain (barely)!!

What is one unique thing about you that few people know? I started pressing flowers as a hobby during quarantine, and I am planning to start a little business on the side where I press and frame flowers!

New Arrivals

Meet two new additions to the Kadro family!



Christen Cokes

Christen joined the Kadro team in January 2021 as a Sr. Business Solution Analyst. She is the latest member of the company's expanding Business Solutions Analyst practice. Christen is no stranger to eCommerce. With over 17 years of eCommerce experience Christen is prepared to tackle the complex problems that happen in the enterprise space.

Welcome to the Kadro family Christen!

Sarah Ritter

Sarah Ritter, Kadro Project Manager

Sarah is a Senior Project Manager with over 15 years of experience in the software development industry. Sarah has experience working at big consulting firms, smaller digital agencies, and startups. Sarah brings extensive perspective to the team here at Kadro. Sarah grew up in Maryland working on a farm and moved to North Carolina to earn a Master’s in Computer Science at UNCW. On the weekends, Sarah enjoys camping, hiking, and rock climbing. Welcome Sarah!



January 2021 Kadro eCommerce Insights Newsletter

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January 2021 Edition

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

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OPENING THOUGHTS
As we undertake the New Year, we cannot help but reflect on this time in 2020. Remember how different the world and the eCommerce realm were. Much has transpired since then as we continue to adapt to the fluid nature of our personal or professional lives. The eCommerce industry has grown and evolved during this period far more than most might have imagined. More businesses are turning to eCommerce as a means of sustainability. Many are also adopting new methods for delivering their goods and services to their customers. Kadro looks forward to the months ahead with resolve and a continued commitment to make your vision for selling online a reality.
CLIENT SPOTLIGHT
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RETHINK HOW YOU BUY AND SELL  SURGICAL SUPPLIES 
WestCMR helps hospitals and surgery centers capitalize on buying, selling and liquidating in-date surgical supplies. Learn how WestCMR engaged Kadro in late 2020 to assist them in completing their migration to Magento Commerce Cloud and launch two B2B eCommerce websites.
TECHNOLOGY PARTNER SPOTLIGHT
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No other platform gives you the power to create unique and engaging shopping experiences. Enjoy rich out-of-the-box features, an unlimited ability to customize, a flexible headless architecture, and seamless third-party integrations. With Adobe eCommerce platforms, certified solutions partners like Kadro, and a vast marketplace of useful functional extensions, you can bring your commerce vision to life.

ARE YOU READY TO MOVE TO MAGENTO?
Let Us Know
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TIME TO LAUNCH A MARKETPLACE OF YOUR OWN?
A growing number of B2B businesses are building their own marketplaces — and expanding their market share. Now is a great time to explore how you too may benefit from the marketplace movement.
EMPLOYEE SPOTLIGHT
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MEET THE GUY
Ariel Mordetsky
Vice President of Revenue

What do you do: I lead Kadro's Business Development, Account Management and Partnership Programs.

If you could do anything you want right now, what would it be:  Go scuba diving in the Caribbean, preferably in St Lucia.

What’s your favorite food: Cheesecake, NY Style, but The Cheesecake Factory® makes a pretty mean Red Velvet cheesecake as well.

What about family: Somehow my wife is still with me after 14 years, and we have two beautiful daughters, Skylar Rose and Juliette Belle. 

Pets: Our cats Kahlua and Romeo (my wife's blond hair, blue eyed boyfriend), Zoe our Goldendoodle, and our fish!

What do you hate: Freezing rain and sleet

Favorite karaoke song: Keep on Rocking in the Free World, but the Pearl Jam version so I can channel my inner Eddie Vedder. 

What gets you out of bed in the morning: Work wise it’s working with my team at Kadro and helping our customers; but in actuality it’s my wife's boyfriend, the previously mentioned Romeo.

Biggest recent professional accomplishment: Surviving 2020 without having to layoff or reduce anyone's salary! 

Biggest recent personal accomplishment: A completely homemade smoked  pastrami. Sorry, it has already been eaten.   

Last Words: Call me to talk about your Magento eCommerce project.

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DOES YOUR MAGENTO WEBSITE LOAD SLOWLY?
DOES IT RUN SLUGGISHLY?
OR WORST OF ALL, IS IT SIMPLY UNRELIABLE AND MAYBE NOT RUNNING AT ALL?

Check out our Site Analysis & Optimization Services (SAOS) and Turbo Boost your Magento website.
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THE KADRO BLOG
Our blog is a great place to find authoritative articles on a variety of eCommerce and business topics, links to webinars and podcasts and more.
Be sure to read the February edition of eCommerce Insights for an important Kadro company announcement.
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FOR THE SOCIAL MEDIA MINDED
Keep up with the latest Kadro information on these channels
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October 2020 Kadro eCommerce Insights newsletter

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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

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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.

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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

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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

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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.


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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! 


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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

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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 

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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.  


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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

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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. 


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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.


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Magento Commerce Cloud Demands Your Attention

Magento Commerce Cloud Demands Your Attention

I have heard the noise from other system integrators;

  • Magento Commerce Cloud is hard to work with
  • We prefer our technology stack
  • My system engineering team wants more control
  • The Magento Commerce Cloud support team is not responsive
  • The Magento Commerce Cloud is too immature
  • and on and on…….

I must admit it, I do not get it. The single greatest achievement for Magento 2 Commerce is the introduction of the cloud infrastructure. I am serious. Yes, the code architecture is vastly improved and the growth in content management is fantastic. Magento 2 is across the board a vast improvement over Magento 1. Yet, none of it compares to Magento Commerce Cloud.

So why all the push back?

Why are some resisting?

Why would anyone not recommend Commerce Cloud versus self-hosted?

Yes there are times a customer has unique requirements that requires on-premise hosting. Other times customers want their own IT staff to manage their servers. Those customers will never use Commerce Cloud. Everyone else should be using Commerce Cloud.

When the choice is up to us on what to recommend to a customer, we choose Commerce Cloud every time. No question. All we have to do is look at our Magento customer base and document the hosting related issues we have encountered in the last two years to understand anything besides Cloud is simply not the best choice.

Hosting and environment problems stink. There is always urgency. There is always finger pointing. No-one is happy. Customers push back on those large bills to address hosting emergencies. Anyone who has been responsible for an e-commerce site has experienced this pain. Here's the proof in the proverbial pudding:

15% of Magento clients are not on Commerce Cloud. They represent 90% of the hosting issues we have to deal with!

The problems are numerous and span the entire hosting spectrum. Here are just a few:

  • Auto-OS updates breaking Magento
  • Physical hardware failure
  • Poor caching solutions
  • ISP security breaches
  • Poor system monitoring
  • Insecure system configurations

Some hosting providers don't understand Magento at all and others have "experts". Unfortunately, those experts are rarely involved until you have gone through multiple tiers of support and a problem remains unresolved. Our customers still call us first when there is a problem. They may be paying for hosting company support, but they rely on us because we are more responsive and are capable of determining if the issue is hosting or application related. For us, the hosting companies simply don't provide much value. We spend much of our time explaining to the providers why what they are suggesting doesn't even make sense (they almost always want to upgrade hardware/software before they really understand what the root cause of the issue is).

Before you think that my system engineering team just stinks, a number of these issues are from inherited projects from other system integrators that are clearly not following Magento's best practices. That tells me one of the very things that Commerce Cloud was created to address over Magento 1 is still happening in Magento 2. Outside of the Commerce Cloud, Magento SIs are still getting it wrong.

Commerce Cloud is of course not perfect. No hosting is. We have experienced a few issues and had some miscommunications. Yet we are on the same team, Kadro and Magento, working together for our joint customer and have worked it out every single time. When Magento published that they had no system downtime during the holiday season, that should have been a wake up call for the doubters. I know we experienced NO system issues during the holidays from any of our clients on Magento Cloud, NONE!. It was amazing. To be honest I was in a bit of disbelief ... but how wonderful. This is the future and the future is now.