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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!

Your eCommerce store customers want this!

ecommerce payment options graphic

There are many keys to being a successful online merchant.  But in the end it’s really all about the customer experience, whether your customer is a business or an individual consumer.  As a person who has overseen the creation and operation of a number of B2B and B2C eCommerce websites over the years using Magento and other technologies, I can speak first-hand about the importance of customer experience and two essential factors that are sometimes taken for granted or simply overlooked – convenience and choice. Online shoppers value these two things greatly and typically make the decision about where to shop and buy weighing these heavily in their decision criteria. 

Fortunately Magento Commerce, in conjunction with its many technical partners, provides an environment that gives you, the online merchant, an optimal mix of convenience and choice. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the area of payment gateways. In case you are unfamiliar with the term “payment gateway”, it is a third-party service provider that automates payment transactions between an online store and its customers. 

In today’s world of online commerce, customers expect both convenience and choice when it comes to paying for the items they buy online.  Choosing the right payment solutions provider is therefore something you should take seriously.  When selecting a payment solutions provider you don’t have to pick just one, although many of the major players in this space offer a wide array of payment choices so it certainly is possible to select just one. The goal is to provide your customers with both convenience and choice, so providing several payment solutions options would typically be preferable. 

The universe of choice in this area continues to expand. Today I’ll focus on a few options; some of which you mostly likely have heard of, others perhaps not. This is NOT an exhaustive list of available choices.  Remember that the payment solutions options you choose should align with your short and long term business goals and should also meet your needs in terms of price, security and functionality.

So let’s explore in brief a few of the major players - Amazon Pay, Braintree, APS, Authorize.net, and Cybersource.

Amazon Pay logo

One of the top payment solutions available for eCommerce businesses today is Amazon Pay.  Amazon Pay is a solution that hundreds of millions of Amazon customers know and trust.  Offering Amazon Pay as one of your payment options can provide a number of advantages to both you and your customers including optimizing and simplifying the checkout process in just a few clicks for those customers with Amazon accounts using their Amazon account information; enhancing the customer experience and improving customer satisfaction with Alexa by allowing delivery notifications via Alexa-enabled devices to reduce customer concerns about their order status and advanced fraud prevention which is a critical element in the online commerce world.

Braintree logo

Braintree offers payment solutions that cover a number of popular and emerging payment methods. The company points out that they are the only payments platform that delivers PayPal, Venmo (in the U.S.), credit and debit cards, and popular digital wallets like Apple Pay and Google Pay in a single, seamless integration, so an online merchant gets a wide array of choices right from the start.    

With Braintree solutions you can drive greater conversions, increase operating efficiency, expand your business reach and help to mitigate risk related to fraudulent transactions while keeping payment data secure and maintaining PCI (payment card industry) compliance.

APS PAyments logo

APS has been in business for over 11 years providing reliable, omni-channel, B2C and B2B integrated payment solutions for businesses.  APS Payments seamlessly integrates with multiple leading ERP, eCommerce, CRM, POS, and Mobile applications.  APS Payments is a payment gateway and processor that is trusted by thousands of merchants daily to process payments. 

The company works diligently to offer the lowest credit card processing rates, provide strong processes to help reduce risk and to supply the best payment solutions for its customers.

Authorize.Net logo

Authorize.net has been working with merchants and small businesses since 1996. As a leading payment gateway, Authorize.Net is trusted by more than 430,000 merchants, handling more than 1 billion transactions and $149 billion in payments every year.

Authorize.net makes it easy for customers to pay by accepting the payment types they prefer to use including major credit cards, signature debit cards, e-checks and digital payment solutions.  Authorize.net supported payment types include Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, JCB, PayPal, Visa SRC (Secure Remote Commerce), Apple Pay, Chase Pay and E-check. 

As with other payment solutions, Authorize.net offers retailers a wide array of convenient features designed to make it easier for you to focus on your business and customers.  Take the worry out of payments and payment processing with solutions from Authorize.net. 

cybersource logo

Started in 1994, Cybersource pioneered online payment and fraud management services for medium and large-sized merchants. Today, Cybersource’s modular platform lets you select the payment management solutions you need, when it’s right for your business - to help maximize growth. Aside from payment acceptance solutions, Cybersource also provides robust fraud & risk management solutions and top-notch customer service. Plus merchants can access additional services, including global tax calculation, recurring billing and more.

You can find a list of more of our technology partners by visiting the PARTNERS page of the Kadro website.  

IN CONCLUSION

So there you have it, a glimpse into the world of payment solutions for online retailers.  As you can see, there are many, many payment options and solutions providers for an online retailer to consider.  And most of the providers make the same general claims about their focus on data security, PCI compliance, fraud protection, range of payment options and flexible pricing, so it will take an investment of your time to learn about the option(s) that may be best for you and your online store. It’s time worth spending as the payoff in terms of more satisfied shoppers and customers can be significant.

Kadro is here to help. Should you want to learn which solution(s) is best for you, contact your Kadro Account Manager. Don't have one yet? Give us a call at (877) 435-3453.