Tagged with 'eCommerce'

Kadro eCommerce Insights Newsletter December 2020

Happy Holidays image
News, insights and information for the online and omni-channel merchant from the dynamic world of eCommerce! Holiday promotions too! Save $

News, insights and information

from the ever-changing world of eCommerce

designed for the online B2B and B2C merchant!

 

In the December 2020 Edition.....


  • To all our clients - past, present and future 
  • To our technology partners  

  • Kadro's Site Analysis & Optimization Services can help to ensure that performance issues don't interfere with your online business.
  • Meet Noah Trimble, Software Engineer

  • Explore blog posts, webinars, podcasts and more

  • Special online holiday savings

     

On February 23, 2021, Kadro turns 20! 

 

While we've seen a great deal of change throughout the years, one thing that has remained constant is our commitment to helping our clients succeed.

 

As we continue through the 2020 holiday season and prepare to exit what has certainly been a bizarre and difficult year, we want to take a moment to remember, thank and celebrate our clients - past, present and future (a subtle Scrooge reference for those following along). It was your decision to choose Kadro as a partner that has fueled our growth and success.

 

It began with our very first client - REEDS Jewelers - who has been our client for 20 years! Amazing to think of all those Black Fridays and Cyber Mondays we've shared together!  Our client journey continues with the dozens of exceptional companies whose eCommerce stories are chronicled in the portfolio area of our website.  We are also proud of our most recent site launches with our newest clients including Hungry Harvest, SeaDek, WestCMR and The Fruit Company.

 

We wish you a Happy Holiday season

and a prosperous New Year. 

     

Ready To Move To Magento Commerce?

     

To Our Technology Partners 

 

It takes a strong, diverse, and experienced network of technology partners to provide the range of quality functionality and services necessary to succeed in today's volatile and  expanding eCommerce environmentWith that in mind, we send out our best holiday wishes and sincere thanks to all those companies who have chosen to partner with us in delivering robust solutions to the eCommerce business community. 

 

It starts of course with Adobe and their industry-leading Magento eCommerce platform.  We'd be remiss if we did not again thank dotdigital for naming Kadro as Best Partner - Americas at this year's dotties connected awards event.

 

To all our technology partners that span the eCommerce ecosystem, we appreciate your support and complementary commerce products which allow us to build on the Magento foundation and provide our customers with the right mix of technology solutions to meet their needs. Looking forward to even greater collaboration in 2021.

     

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

 

Cyber Monday was the biggest day for online shopping in U.S. history, with shoppers spending $10.8 billion, or 15% more than they spent in 2019, reports Adobe Analytics. How did your eCommerce website do? Was it running slow? Was performance inconsistent?  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.

 

Maybe you're thinking about re-platforming your present eCommerce website to Magento?  Still yet, perhaps you are on Magento 1 and need to upgrade to Magento 2?  Regardless of your situation, Kadro is here to help make your vision of effectively selling online a reality!

     

Meet Noah Trimble,  Software Engineer at Kadro

NoahT

In this month’s eCommerce Insights newsletter we spotlight Noah Trimble, a back-end software developer at Kadro who is one of our skilled software engineers building Magento customizations and integrating other systems with Magento to meet our client’s needs. Noah has grown into a key member of our software engineering team that has recently delivered new eCommerce sites for Brame Speciality, Houser Shoes, Duplin Winery, MakerPlace, National Wholesale, WebbMason, and SeaDek.  Visit our Portfolio page to learn more about our client projects.

 

A CO-OP EDUCATION PROGRAM DELIVERING EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES

Noah has been with Kadro now for almost three years. He came to the company as a number of employees have via the Cooperative Education Program at NC State University (NCSU).  Noah recalls, "I selected Kadro because the co-op program had informed me that previous co-op student participants always had great things to say about the company.  I did multiple co-op rotations working at Kadro while completing my B.S. degree in Computer Science at NCSU. I was pleased to receive an offer for full-time employment from Kadro during my senior year. I had already invested quite a bit of time getting to know the company, its personnel and customers during my co-op rotations and really enjoyed the people and work so I didn't even bother applying anywhere else." All you current and potential NCSU co-op program participants keep this in mind!  Visit our University Co-op Program page for more information. 

 

ENJOY WHAT YOU DO AND WHERE YOU DO IT… KEYS TO CAREER SUCCESS

We asked Noah about the Kadro work environment and the work itself. His response is rather typical of the general attitude of the staff. “I enjoy both the work environment and the work I do at Kadro. The environment is very relaxed, teamwork is good, and I enjoy all my coworkers," he stated, “Before the pandemic, we used to frequently get lunch together, sometimes play games after work, and do other extracurricular activities as a company.”  Noah also mentioned that Kadro management really listens and responds to employee requests and suggestions. For example, Noah asked to be allowed to focus mostly on back-end software engineering work versus front-end work early in his tenure. His request was granted which has made the work he does that much more enjoyable. 

 

FRIENDS, FAMILY, FOOD, FUN AND GAMES

Outside of work, Noah enjoys spending time with friends and family.  He does a bit of TV watching (haven’t we all in this year of unique change and challenges), reading, listening to music, and playing videogames (also a popular pastime in 2020).  While he is into travelling and hiking, those activities have been obviously limited of late. On the gastronomic front, Noah’s enjoys many kinds of food, especially Asian and Hispanic, and is a big fan of Thai curries. Good choice Noah! 

     

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.

SeaDek Marine Products 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. Made from closed cell PE/EVA foam, SeaDek Marine Products offers safe and comfortable alternatives to marine traction products currently on the market.

Get special holiday savings from these Kadro online merchants by visiting our holiday promotions page! Holiday savings end 12/31/20.


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

top software-eCommerce developers in North Carolina 2020 according to Clutch

The team at Kadro just received some exciting news from Clutch Analyst Jake Cox! He called to let us know that internationally-renowned B2B rating and review platform, Clutch, named Kadro one of North Carolina’s top e-commerce developers for 2020, praising our e-commerce strategy, consulting, design, and development! Now’s a particularly unique and important time to invest in your existing eCommerce business or to consider starting one, so we value that we’re being recognized as a great investment for businesses. According to Clutch and their research, amongst all providers in North Carolina, Kadro is consistently one of the best!

"We are honored and pleased to be recognized by Clutch as a leading B2B company in the United States. Since Kadro's founding in 2001, we have worked diligently to build a company founded on technical expertise, responsiveness to changes in the eCommerce market, outstanding customer service, and superior project outcomes. Accolades such as this and the positive words from many satisfied Kadro customers serve as a testament to the success of our ongoing efforts,” said Ariel Mordetsky, VP of Revenue at Kadro.

Clutch is the world’s leading B2B ratings and verified reviews platform. Located in the heart of the District of Columbia, Clutch has a team of dedicated analysts who conducts reviews with clients from around the world. Then, their editorial team independently verifies the content and curates it into the case study style format that Clutch offers, ensuring that you are receiving all the information that you need as you purchase B2B services! Clutch is the gold standard for B2B ratings and reviews, and we’re honored to maintain a stellar review average on the platform!

In a recent review, the owner of Garman Homes praised Kadro’s e-commerce development!

We’re incredibly grateful to all of our satisfied clients!  To join their ranks, please contact us today!

See Kadro’s complete Clutch profile by clicking this link….  https://clutch.co/profile/kadro

 

Retail reimagined: New shoppers, new habits, big opportunity

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The most important thing to note about the way the COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped retail is that the change is not for the short term.

Shopping might return to something closer to what it was in February 2020, but it will never be the same. The staying power of the significant move to online shopping, the embrace of curbside pickup and the arrival of new online shoppers is evident from the magnitude of the trends and their endurance.

The numbers tell the story. The mass movement to buying online was the sort of social change you see in the midst of dramatic world events. In the first full month of the pandemic, global online sales on Signifyd’s Commerce Network doubled year over year. In month two, they were up four times.

The increase in sales began to settle down as consumers realized stockpiling wasn’t necessary. But they realized something else, too. Shopping online was convenient, provided a greater selection and fit with their lifestyles. Even in August — five months into the pandemic — ecommerce sales were up 34% over August 2019.

Looking at how consumers are shopping provides further evidence that there has been a tectonic shift — and not a change that will settle back to the way things were. Before the pandemic, curbside pickup was practically a novelty, save for some big boxes offering grocery pickup. In 2019, only 17 of the Internet Retailer 1000 offered curbside pickup, according to Digital 360.

Today, the number of retailers offering the service is hard to pin down due to the acceleration of the trend. But it’s evident that curbside has become a go-to for plenty of shoppers. Signifyd’s Pulse data shows that buy online, pick up at the curb sales grew nearly 500% in April, compared to the beginning of the year. While that figure has also simmered down a bit, curbside sales were still up about 250% during the first week of September.

So, where people are shopping has changed dramatically — the move from in-store to online. How people shop has changed dramatically — buy online, pick up in-store or at the curb orders are soaring. But the factor that is likely to cause the most lasting change is the dramatic change in who is shopping online.

A smart aleck would say everybody. But the significance behind the wisecrack is that a whole new cohort of consumers are shopping online for the first time. And the trend is enduring.

The number of new shoppers buying from the more than 10,000 merchants on Signifyd’s Commerce Network more than doubled at its peak in May. We define a new shopper as a consumer we have not seen on the Commerce Network in the past year.

More important than the number of new shoppers flocking to ecommerce during the pandemic is the fact that those first-time buyers return to shop online again. About half of those new shoppers make multiple online purchases within 30 days of their first purchase.


New online shoppers are being added every week trend chart

It makes sense, right? Someone who hasn’t shopped online or hasn’t shopped online in some time, finds there aren’t other options with non-essential stores closed and with the best advice being avoid leaving home. So, she or he orders online. And the experience is a little unfamiliar — searching for products, typing a credit card number into a form, maybe creating an account. But the goods arrive with no complications and pretty quickly, too.

At that point, the new shopper knows the drill; the buying process is familiar. Maybe she or he has some information autofilled, which makes things easier still. And so the shopper buys more from more places more often and in fact becomes one of those who makes multiple online purchases for weeks.

All this has catapulted ecommerce years into the future. Pre-pandemic, eMarketer predicted e-commerce would grow 19% in 2020. Signifyd data shows e-commerce growing at an average of 139% a month for the five full pandemic months of the year.

Of course, maintaining that torrid growth rate requires that retailers keep their new customers once they acquire them. Those new customers are arguably a retailer’s most valuable in that they required relatively little acquisition cost, compared to the pre-pandemic days of bidding up digital ads on Google, Facebook and Amazon.

To that end, retailers will want to build marketing campaigns that cater to new customers through promotions, personalized suggestions and loyalty programs. As importantly, retailers will want to audit their entire buying journey. The goal is to make sure the merchant is providing exceptional site search, seamless checkout, instant fraud review, timely delivery and responsive customer support.

After all, the world of retail has changed. And no one wants to be left behind.

BOPIS - Spicy Filipino dish or eCommerce business strategy

BOPIS signage - online shopping and easy pickup

BOPIS – Spicy Filipino dish or eCommerce business strategy?  YES!

In a prior blog post entitled Your eCommerce store customers want this!, I pointed out the fact that in today’s world of online commerce customers expect both convenience and choice when it comes to paying for the items they buy online. But what about convenience and choices in other aspects of the online purchase? When actually receiving those online purchased items, not so long ago a consumer had two choices – buy online and have them delivered OR go to a store to buy them and take them home from the store. For what is sometimes termed a pure online retailer, the choices for their consumers remain the same, buy online and get it delivered. But for those merchants who have an eCommerce website and physical store location(s), their consumers often have another option called BOPIS, also sometimes shown as BOPUS or click-and-collect. This hybrid shopping and delivery choice can present a real competitive advantage over the pure online retail experience.

BOPIS. WHAT IS THAT?

BOPIS (buy online, pick up in-store) is an increasingly utilized tactic for consumers to shop and place orders online and then pick up their purchases at brick-and-mortar stores, sometimes even the same day. BOPIS is a part of the larger multi-channel shopping trend that has been emerging since around 2013 when retailers like WalMart, Target and others began to adopt the tactic. It allows retailers and consumers to merge the online, in-store and mobile experiences when selling products and making a purchase respectively.

CONSUMER SEE TANGIBLE BENEFITS

A customer’s BOPIS purchases will be stored in any number of locations at a retailer’s store - the customer service desk, a storage locker or in a designated BOPIS location for convenient in/at-store pickup.   At times, that pickup can occur on a 24/7 basis for extra consumer convenience. To help incentivize BOPIS activity, some retailers offer discounts on BOPIS orders. And the consumer knows for certain that the item is available in advance of a store visit, which in the past could result in out-of-stock disappointments.  One additional benefit of BOPIS is the local effect. Consumers get the chance to buy local and pick up from a retailer in their local community which helps to support the local economy and at times local manufacturers as well.

RETAILERS GET BOPIS BENEFITS AS WELL

For retailers, it allows them another path to shape the customer experience by encouraging shoppers to visit their brick-and-mortar stores, while still doing the shopping online. This can provide a number of additional retailer and consumer benefits like providing an avenue for additional sales to occur in-store during pickup, a mechanism for strengthening customer engagement and affording the potential for increased brand loyalty. BOPIS can also reduce retailer delivery and fulfillment costs.

BOPIS CAN PRESENT RETAILER CHALLENGES

Yet BOPIS is not without its challenges for the retailer and their eCommerce systems.  The retailer must be able to show inventory visibility in real-time at its store locations so customers know what's currently available and where it is available. With the trend towards greater online shopping continuing and the desire to be as contact-less as possible in retail transactions as part of the COVID response, stores are looking to rethink their layouts to better handle the volume of online orders and to accommodate things like curbside pickup services. They have to also examine their product ordering and inventory processes to ensure that they can fulfill orders quickly and without excessive out-of-stock occurrences. Plus there is the ever-present risk of a greater degree of fraud.

IS BOPIS BEING USED? 

According to retail trend information published by Offers.com (2020 Retail Trends), 64% of U.S. adults will use BOPIS in 2020.  It seems to be a particularly popular option among busy parents in the 35+ demographic.  

BUT WHY?

Again referencing research published by Offers.com, consumers like not having to pay shipping and not having to wait for an item to ship as key reasons.  There are others factors as well like avoiding possible package theft risks when an item is delivered and being able to instantly check their order and return it immediately is there is something wrong. 

Not all items are ideal for being included in the BOPIS model, but plenty of today’s most popular product categories work well in this shopping and pickup model such as consumer electronics, apparel and even groceries. 

HOW DOES KADRO FIT IN?

For the online retailer, whether you choose to offer BOPIS or not, it’s essential that you choose the right technology partner to help you create and support your ongoing ecommerce business.  Kadro offers a broad spectrum of eCommerce services including B2B and B2C eCommerce website development, Marketplace solutions, analysis and optimization services, ERP/OMS/PIM/CRM integrations and more. With a team of knowledgeable, certified Magento 2 developers and as an Adobe Gold Solution Partner, we have been successfully delivering eCommerce solutions for our clients in a wide array of industries since 2001. When you are ready to make your vision for selling online a reality, we are here to help.  Give us a call at 877-435-3453 and be sure to spend some time on the website for more information about Kadro and all of our services.  

Oh and for those of you curious about the spicy Filipino version of BOPIS, Bopis is a spicy Filipino delicacy made of minced pork lung and heart cooked in onions, garlic, and chili peppers. Popular as an appetizer, it is also commonly served as a main entree. Like adobo, afritada, and other Filipino classics, there are many regional interpretations of this dish.  Happy eating!  

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

Calculators and computers calculating sales taxes

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

Taxes. More specifically sales and use tax.

Fluid would certainly be one way to describe the world of tax. It’s a world where change is inevitable and not being knowledgeable and compliant is both risky and quite possibly costly. If you are like most eCommerce retailers, you want to sell your product(s) everywhere you can. The more geographic areas your eCommerce store reaches the greater the sales potential. The downside? Navigating the troubled waters of tax rules and regulations.

Did you know that there are more than 12,000 state and local tax jurisdictions in the U.S.?

And their rules and regulations are constantly changing!

US map of counties in color

Given the unprecedented changes to both selling and buying behaviors resulting from COVID-19, businesses large and small across the country are responding to a new economic reality; a reality in which e-commerce is playing a greater role. And many predict that the role of eCommerce will continue to expand with its changes being here to stay.


Computer with eCommerce graphic on screen

So one can surmise that with fundamental changes in how people shop and purchase in favor of eCommerce businesses, more tax regulations and increased potential for audits will not be far behind. 

What’s an eCommerce business owner to do?  The smart bet would be to manage your entire sales and use tax process with tax technology automation from a provider like Vertex, a Kadro technology partner.

Why Vertex?

  • Over 40 years experience in tax technology
  • More than 4000 customers
  • Their solutions are used by over 55% of the Fortune 500

Vertex Indirect Tax is designed to manage the end-to-end tax lifecycle -- automating calculation, returns, and exemption certificate management in a single solution.  The system integrates with your Magento eCommerce platform (You are on or considering Magento for your eCommerce needs aren’t you?) to deliver accurate tax calculation on every sales transaction.

With Vertex Indirect Tax:

  • Charge Your Customers the Correct Tax on Every Sale
  • Pay the Right Tax on Your Purchases
  • Get Accurate Tax Reporting and generate signature-ready returns

VERTEX offers other tax solutions as well for things like payroll taxes, lease taxes and more.

Read more about Vertex solutions by visiting the Solutions page of their website.

Tune in to one of their informative webcasts by visiting their Webcasts and Events page. 

Don’t let taxes get in the way of your eCommerce business.

Should You Build Your Own B2B Marketplace Podcast

should-you-build-your-own-b2b-marketplace-podcast-banner

Business buyers are shopping on Amazon more than ever before. Today 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. 

LISTEN TO THE PODCAST