Articles

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4 reasons why your ecommerce store’s AOV is an awful metric

Tracking metrics can become an obsession for e-commerce entrepreneurs. As you gather data and measure your performance, it’s easy to get hooked on a few numbers that seem to give you a clearer picture of what’s happening with your business. One of those key metrics is the AOV — your average order value. Calculating your … Read more

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Optimize your Shopify store to retain more new customers

Ecommerce has broken a lot of rules in the retail industry, but some things never change, like the value of a great first impression. Too often, online store owners are so slammed with the day-to-day details of their business that they forget that improving new customers’ first visit to their website translates into significant sales. … Read more

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How much Rich Snippets will enhance your search results

Getting Google to accept your store into their Rich Snippets system can benefit your business in various ways. Let’s take a look at a search I did for an iPad. It’s pretty easy to spot the differences in these four results. Each one is showing different types of Rich Snippets that Google uses. Best Buy’s … Read more

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When should your store’s Rich Snippets appear in Google?

Once you’ve setup your Shopify store’s JSON-LD, you’re probably wondering when your store will show up differently in the search results. How long this takes is vague and cloaked in mystery. This is mostly because it depends on how much trust your site has but also because Google doesn’t want people to game the search … Read more

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The difficulty of getting Google to add Rich Snippets for your Shopify store

Getting your Shopify products into Google’s Rich Snippets is difficult and complicated. If you spend a bit of time searching online you’ll find a few places where people share the code that is "supposed" to work. Just a cut and paste job, right? Not quite. It sounds simple but even a minor error can prevent … Read more

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Evaluating a store’s repeat customer metrics with a high Average Order Value but slow latency

Seeing how other Shopify stores are doing is a great way to spot improvements in your own store. Today I have the metrics for a store from Repeat Customer Insights that I’d like to walk through an analysis of because it represents one common situation I see with stores. The Metrics Looking at the analysis … Read more

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How Average Order Value affects your Shopify store’s margin

Understanding how all of the different ecommerce metrics relate and affect each other is difficult. I’m going to explain how Average Order Value (AOV) relates to your margin. Once you know how AOV and margin relate, you’ll be able to take advise for either of those metrics and adapt it to the other metric. After … Read more

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Evaluating a store’s repeat customer metrics with fast but infrequent repeat orders

Seeing how other Shopify stores are doing is a great way to spot improvements in your own store. Today I have the metrics for a store from Repeat Customer Insights that I’d like to walk through an analysis of because it represents on common situation I see with stores. The Metrics Looking at the analysis … Read more

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Remarketing strategies to acquire and retain new and repeat ecommerce customers

The hardest part of e-commerce sales is cutting through the information overload to get people to your store for the first time — or a repeat visit. Online and brick and mortar retailers often spend big money trying to get in front of the right people to land customers and sales. If a customer does … Read more

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Your customer’s spending habits: are they buying more or less over time?

Knowing how much your repeat customers purchase over time is knowing a very powerful metric. The more repeat customers spend and the higher the likelihood of them making a repeat purchase (your Repeat Purchase Rate), the more you can spend to acquire and get repeat orders. That means you can out-bid competitors in paid advertising, … Read more

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Predicting when your customer will buy again

When you can find when a customer will make another purchase in your ecommerce store, you can use that knowledge to increase your store’s revenue and decrease it’s inventory costs. Individual customer behavior is impossible to predict but when you’re looking at your customer base as a whole, you can draw some conclusions and make … Read more

Little Stream Software acquires JSON-LD Shopify app

I acquired the JSON-LD for SEO Shopify app from the previous developer, Gavin. JSON-LD for SEO will continue to work just as it was under Gavin. If you need help or have a question about the app or anything Shopify, you can reach me by email at shopify at this domain. Eric Davis Little Stream … Read more

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More money per order: how to grow your Shopify store with each new order

One sure strategy for increasing profits in any business is to find more customers. But what if you could grow by encouraging more purchases from your customers who are already clicking the “buy now” button? Instead of pushing for more orders, many online retailers have found great success by boosting the dollar amount for each … Read more

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How to discover why many of your ecommerce customers aren’t coming back to your Shopify store

When your Shopify store has a large drop-off in its repeat purchase rate, that means your most loyal customers aren’t coming back. Which sucks, because of the time and money you’ve invested in them to acquire and keep them is now gone. In order to keep those customers around, you need to first diagnose where … Read more

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Discover your store’s weaknesses: automatic metric drop-off detection added to Repeat Customer Insights

When you’re looking at the steps a repeat customer takes in your Shopify store, it can be time consuming to calculate and compare the Average Order Value and Repeat Purchase Rate changes. Repeat Customer Insights now includes metric drop-of detection for Average Order Value and Repeat Purchase Rate Now Repeat Customer Insights includes automatic drop-off … Read more

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How to discover why your Shopify store’s average order value keeps shrinking

When your Shopify store has a large drop-off in its Average Order Value, that means your loyal customers are spending less and less with each purchase. That sucks because the major benefit of having loyal customers is that they spend more and more with each visit, and pay back any acquisition costs. Before you can … Read more

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How to integrate Drip with Shopify to automate your marketing

Shopify and Drip are both powerful tools for the modern ecommerce store. It makes sense to integrate them so you can add Drip’s marketing automation to your Shopify store. I’m going to show you how you can connect Drip and Shopify so your customer’s actions in Shopify are sent to Drip automatically. You know, those … Read more

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Shopify store automation events that Drip can capitalize on

Drip’s Shopify integration uses events to know what’s going on in Shopify. When a customer makes a purchase, Drip sees that event and can then trigger your marketing automation rules. It’s important to know which events are supported so you can plan your store’s integration. I’ve included the full list below showing the Shopify event … Read more

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Connecting to Shopify without an app

A reader reached out with a question for me about building a Shopify App: I tried to find out if there was a way to directly connect to a single store without going the app route but I couldn’t figure out how to do so. This question is pretty common, especially for stores or integrations … Read more

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Shopify stores: Automatically discover what percentage of your revenue comes from repeat customers

As a Shopify store, you can use Shopify’s reports to calculate your repeat sales percentage but it takes time to do it all the time, especially if you want to watch it over the calendar year. Repeat Customer Insights now includes the Repeat Sales metric Now Repeat Customer Insights includes the Repeat Sales percentage metric … Read more

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Measure how much of your Shopify store revenue originates from repeat customers

Your repeat sales percentage is an important measurement to make when comparing your repeat sales and your one-time sales. Calculating the percentage of sales that comes from repeat customers is easy if you follow these instructions. 1. Total sales by month Shopify has a report called "Sales by month" that works great for this. You … Read more

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Should I build a private Shopify app or a public Shopify app?

Shopify’s public and private app definitions can be confusing and result in questions like this that I got from a reader: We want to integrate with Shopify to bring in orders. I looked into this a while back and it appeared the best / maybe only way to do this would be via a public … Read more

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Custom fields on products for Shopify

I am working on a custom app. Can anybody help me to explain how we can make custom settings for product page in our own app and used there value in our shopify website? Product metafields The easiest way for an app to add custom settings for a Shopify product is with metafields. Metafields act … Read more

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Why Customers Disappear After the First Sale — and How to Keep Them

Standard marketing strategy leads you to believe that the #1 game in business growth is attracting new customers to discover your store. Find better and flashier ways to grab consumers’ attention, and profits will keep rolling in. That’s a really expensive way to do business. How expensive? Forbes did a great piece on this issue, … Read more

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Top 5 Mistakes Ecommerce Businesses Make with Customer Product Reviews

The best kind of marketing is free — one person telling another that your product is a must-have. There’s no budget needed, and the trust factor is baked into word-of-mouth publicity. With product reviews, you can encourage this kind of information swap right on your own website. Just as customers are hovering over the “buy … Read more

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How I’m minimizing the performance impact of my Shopify apps on stores

With Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and other winter holidays approaching, many Shopify stores are getting ready to handle the increase in traffic and sales. Shopify themselves are probably tuning up their code and servers to make sure all of their stores perform well. Even with all of that tuning, many Shopify stores are going to … Read more

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Switching to a metrics-based approach to ecommerce marketing

Growing your ecommerce business can be difficult, especially in the beginning when you don’t have much to go on. From generating traffic by hand by convincing bloggers to review or mention your product, to blowing thousands of dollars on ads that still aren’t converting. Fake it until you… break it? A lot of ecommerce stores … Read more

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Synchronize Shopify Data

Keeping your Shopify app’s data synchronized with Shopify’s API can be confusing at first. Fortunately there are two different options you can pick from. 1. Scheduled cronjobs to pull data An easy way to synchronize your data with Shopify is to make the API calls you need and save the resulting objects into your local … Read more

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Add in-store payment method to Shopify

I had a question from a Shopify merchant who wanted to let their customers checkout online but pay in-store: No payments are taken online, we only accept payment when a customers comes into a store to pick up their order. Therefore we want to eliminate the form. At first glance you might think that you’ll … Read more

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Digging into RFM segmenting in Shopify

Last time I introduced you to the RFM analysis as a way to combine three simple segments into one powerful segment. Now you’re going to learn what happens when you’re able to perform an RFM analysis on your customers. You’ve already seen how to combine the Recency and Frequency segments but a full RFM analysis … Read more

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3 classic customer segments you should focus on

As you might have noticed already, there are hundreds of ways to segment your customers. It all depends on what data you have and what you want to do with them. That’s also a problem though. With so many ways to segment your customers, it becomes difficult to know which ones are actually useful. I … Read more

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Take advantage of every order to learn about your customers

Getting to know your customers when you have an ecommerce store can be difficult. Your Shopify store can collect tons of data on them (or is it megabytes of data…) but much of that data is useless. What you want, is to learn more about your customers so that you can optimize you store for … Read more

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Shopify customers you are at risk of losing

Let’s look at a high-value customer segment for your Shopify store. You’re aware that there’s a cost to get each customer. It may be direct costs from advertising or indirect ones like spending time on SEO or content marketing. Whatever the source, those costs can be pretty high. Every additional dollar spent acquiring a customer … Read more

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The segment of customers who just can’t get enough

Last time we looked at one simple way to segment your customers, by Recency. The problem with Recency is that you have to be careful marketing buy messages to them because they recently bought from you. But if you wait too long to market to them, they’ll age out (leave) the Recency segment. So you … Read more

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Create your first customer segment in 3 minutes using Shopify

There are hundreds and thousands of ways to segment your customers. Today you’re going to learn about one of the simpler ones. But don’t think because it’s simple that it’s not powerful. Go to your Shopify admin panel and visit your Customers section. Click the Last Order column so it’s sorted from newest to oldest. … Read more

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What’s included in a one week software development process

Working with clients since 2007 I’ve been able to try out different ways of working to ensure you get the best results possible. This has resulted in doing week-long development cycles for clients. But I realized that it’s not very clear what this includes so I’m going to describe a typical week to you here. … Read more

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Integrating Drip into Shopify

Setting up an email campaign is one of the best marketing activities a store can do. Especially when you start looking into customer retention and long-term loyalty, email marketing can do wonders. One of my favorite email marketing services is Drip but in order to install Drip into your Shopify store, you’ll have to jump … Read more

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5 reasons to contact repeat Shopify customers

When your Shopify store isn’t getting many orders from repeat customers, the problem can be difficult to fix. One suggestion I give to store owners is to reach out to repeat customers and try to start a conversation with them. By starting a conversation you’re able to talk to your customers and can discover why … Read more

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When should to email your customers to get repeat purchases?

I had a question the other day: When should I email my customers to encourage repeat purchases? As many as the relationship takes Ideally you’ll be contacting your customers many times after their purchase in order to build a relationship with them But to quickly drum up sales you can use something called customer purchase … Read more

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Why you shouldn’t use shared hosting for your Shopify app

Server Security: The High Cost of Cheap Shared Hosts When you’re building your Shopify site, there are dozens of choices can add up to a site that functions flawlessly or one that needs to be rescued regularly. As you consider your options in choosing cloud hosting, I want to do everything in my power to … Read more

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Choosing a server for your Shopify App

Is PaaS or a Bare Metal Server the Best Choice? It’s never a bad idea to find ways to reduce your overhead. As costs for website maintenance, apps, software, and other expenses stack up, it’s tempting to think that you can save some coin on a basic server and manage the upkeep yourself. Depending on … Read more

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Planning for a Private Shopify App: 4 Steps That Will Save You Time and Money

You’ve made the leap. After months (or years!) of field testing apps from the Shopify App Store, you’ve decided it’s time that you need a custom app built just for your store. Congratulations! No more wrestling with clumsy workflows. Say goodbye to ugly data transfers that waste more time than they save. Say hello to … Read more

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Your ideal customer path for repeat purchases

There’s always talk about the different behaviors your customers have, but have you ever sat down to describe what their ideal behavior would be? If you describe exactly how an ideal customer would interact with your store, it can become very easy to build a retention system around that. Instead of just bolting on random … Read more

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Find drop-offs in your repeat purchase funnel

The process of optimizing your store for retention isn’t just one big A-to-Z task you complete once and check off. It’s a regular set of smaller processes where you perform experiments to try and improve different parts a little bit at a time. Combined, they all lead to significant improvements. One set of improvements that … Read more

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Figure out your repeat purchase rate and Average Order Value now

Today I’m going to walk you though two really critical metrics that you need to track for your store. Your repeat purchase rate and average order value. You heard about how critical your repeat purchase rate is, now you’re going to learn what yours is. Don’t worry, calculating this it’s actually a simple if you … Read more

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Why a high repeat purchase rate is an excellent measure of your store success

Today we’re going to talk about how your repeat purchase rate is an excellent measure of your future success. Repeat purchase rate shows you how loyal your customer base is. The more customers who come back and buy two, three, or even ten times, the more valuable each customer is. With a high repeat purchase … Read more

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Calculating customer repeat purchase timing for a single customer

At a certain point it can be difficult to understand what your customers are doing in your Shopify store. You’re getting orders, shipping products and managing support every day, but you are having a difficult time connecting the orders to actual customers, let alone figuring out how those customers behave. Behavior is an important quality. … Read more

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Average Order Value, and how to calculate it

Your ecommerce store’s Average Order Value (AOV) is one of the key metrics you want to keep track of. Average Order Value shows how much each customers spends in an order, on average (hence the name). It’s useful metric to know because you can use it to make sure that you’re acquiring customers at a … Read more

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Repeat Purchase Rate, and how to calculate it

Your store’s repeat purchase rate shows you how loyal your customer base is. The more customers who come back and buy two, three, or even ten times, the more valuable each customer is. This is called your repeat customer rate, re-order rate, or customer retention rate. Whatever the name, they all measure what percentage of … Read more

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How to seamlessly replace your favorite public Shopify app with a custom private app

What can you do when you and your Shopify App Store app are deep in like, but not deep in love? Do you break up and find someone new, or stick it out for the long haul? I get a lot of clients asking me how to deal with an app that performed faithfully for … Read more

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How much additional revenue do repeat ecommerce customers contribute? 10%? 20% 40%?

I want to take some time now to do what I call Value Math. Don’t worry, yes there are numbers but I’ll walk you through each one. Not very many stores do this and I think the results will be eye-opening for you. Average Order Values for ecommerce According to Statista, the average order value … Read more

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The tiny hinge that swings your customer retention process

With any customer retention process, you might have ran into a problem with Shopify. Before you can start any kind of customer retention, you first need to know who your repeat customers are. Shopify is great at keeping track of customer data, but it doesn’t make it easy to find them. Especially when an order … Read more

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Learn how to create a simple customer retention process for your ecommerce store

Hopefully by now you see the importance of doing something to treat your repeat customers as well as possible. Like the idea I gave you the idea of writing custom thank you cards for each repeat order. But you probably ran into a common problem: at a certain point it can be difficult to keep … Read more

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An easy way to treat your repeat customers better

In order to retain your repeat customers you need to treat them differently and not just as a transaction. They’re a person who is giving your business an opportunity to serve. That probably sounds vague and wishy-washy but you know what I mean. How is that going to be used to give you something actionable? … Read more

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Simple Shopify customer retention using an outreach email

An easy way to increase the future revenue of your Shopify store is to do things today that will ensure your current customers come back. This is why customer retention is such an important topic for ecommerce stores. Putting in the effort to retain a customer now means you’ll get more orders from them later. … Read more

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List of exceptions in ShopifyApp, ShopifyAPI, and ActiveResource Ruby gems

So your Shopify app has launched, you’re getting customers, and life is good. That is, until you get that email from Honeybadger that there was a Ruby exception in your app. No big deal… until 15 seconds later you get a third, and a fourth, and a fifth. I’ve seen and heard this scenario play … Read more

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Information about the Shopify store you can gather during your app install

Getting the install process correct for your Shopify app can be tricky. I think this is why some developers get stumped after they’ve gotten the permanent access_token. What do they do now? The correct answer is… anything! Post OAuth install After a shop has installed your app, you can use their access_token to call any … Read more

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How to get the email addresses of store owners who install your Shopify app

One disadvantage of building Shopify apps is that by default only Shopify maintains the list of your app’s customers. That means you don’t really have a good way of knowing who they are or communicating with them. Unless, of course, you maintain your own customer database along with Shopify. Your own Shopify customer database Once … Read more

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Efficient way to sync data from multiple Shopify stores

Public Shopify apps have to regularly sync data from multiple stores at a time. For example, your app might allow a customer to have multiple stores under one account (e.g. public store, wholesale store, staging store) or you could need to do this to keep your app’s data updated (e.g. pulling product data to refresh … Read more

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The Different Types of Shopify Apps: Private Apps, Public Apps and Unlisted Apps

If you’re looking for a solid, smooth tech fix to improve the functionality of your Shopify store, research on apps can leave you in uncharted waters. Hundreds of developers have created a huge selection of apps that can help you manage merchandise, content, reports, social media, customers and more — all automatically. Even if you … Read more

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5 Quick Fixes for your Shopify Store

Keeping an eye on the future and day-to-day pressures sometimes make entrepreneurs overlook basic housekeeping issues that keep businesses from running smoothly and giving customers the best experience possible. The most basic of those issues is the performance of your website. If your store is running into technical issues that make shopping and ordering even … Read more

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How to install a private Shopify app

One question that comes up often is: How do you install a private Shopify app? The thing is, you don’t actually install private Shopify apps. Since they are restricted to only one store, you don’t have to go through the installation process. This confusion happens because public and unlisted Shopify apps are installed. If you’ve … Read more

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Calculating your customer purchase latency

Knowing your stores customer purchase latency can be used to dramatically increase your repeat purchases. Everyone in business has heard that truthism about how it’s cheaper to have repeat customer than to find a new customer. Knowing your customer purchase latency can improve the chances of repeat sales while also optimizing how much you make … Read more

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Webhooks: tools to make your Shopify store work harder for you

The e-commerce era has been a boon for hard-working entrepreneurs. Instead of being confined to physical stores and a geographically limited customer base, shops and customers can be located anywhere in the world and still do a brisk business. Online businesses have completely taken off, thanks to online tools like Shopify that reduce the number … Read more

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Introduction to Customer Purchase Latency

How a private Shopify App can capture more reorders for you Once you’ve gone through the cost and effort to land a customer, you want to make sure you keep them. It’s far easier to hang onto someone who’s already made a successful purchase from you than chase and hook another, and a private app … Read more

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Counting All the Costs: Pricing Out a Private App for Your Shopify Store

Your store is thriving, business is rolling along, but you’re feeling a little constrained by the functionalities on Shopify. Most options are mostly all right, but you keep wondering if there are a few tweaks that can ease your workload and improve your customers’ experience. You’ve probably toyed with the idea of hosting a private … Read more

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More Sales, Same Customers: Using Private Apps to Suggest Additional Merchandise

Your customer is ready to buy. He pays, the transaction clears. Right now, while you have his undivided attention, how can you capture this moment to increase his order from you in a way that makes him feel like you’re doing him a favor? A private app can point the way. Making the Most of … Read more

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Painless Inventory on Shopify: Three ways private apps can manage products painlessly for you

Top Shopify merchants, no matter what size, have the same problem locking in their success. Even if they’re making a decent profit, they are always under a lot of pressure to keep tabs on merchandise at every single stage of the sales process. Unfortunately, Shopify doesn’t make this task very easy. Using their standard procedures, … Read more

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Shopify’s blogging: An overview

One of the best ways to increase your organic traffic to your Shopify store is through content marketing. The easiest way to get started is to create blog posts that your customers would be interested in. Every Shopify store includes a blog. Though it’s not as powerful as dedicated blog systems like WordPress, it’s free, … Read more

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Blogging solutions for Shopify

Content marketing and blogging have both become a very low-cost way to attract customers. A steady blogging process can build an audience of customers over time, smoothing out many seasonal peaks and valleys. You have a few options you can use to start blogging with your Shopify store. 1. The built-in Shopify blog First, you … Read more

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Translation missing keeps showing up on my Shopify store

Recently a question came up from a Shopify merchant: Please help… this keeps showing up on my website 🙁 translation missing: en.general.newsletter_form.description in place of certain buttons such as the cart button, newsletter, add to cart etc… This isn’t a good error to see, especially if it’s showing up on conversion elements like your add … Read more

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Red flags about when to switch away from a self-hosted ecommerce platform to Shopify

If you’re running an e-commerce store that needs to be online 24/7 and you are self-hosting, you need to look carefully to make sure your servers are truly serving you. Most small stores are trying to save money by self-hosting, and that’s probably the smartest financial move for young companies. However, it’s easy to miss … Read more

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What is a healthy Rails application?

There are two overarching criteria to use to determine if an application is healthy or not. Is the team making forward progress? Are investments in the application paying off? (positive ROI) Though this may sound simple, there is a surprising amount of depth to these two criteria. 1. Is the team making forward progress? Forward … Read more

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Why application health is important in Ruby on Rails

A healthy Rails application is an asset that will benefit your organization for years to come – an unhealthy one, on the other hand, will be a weight you and your team will have to bear every day. Why application health is important A Rails application’s health is important for a number of reasons. 1. … Read more

Small Development Team Problems

When a Rails application is developed by a small team – say, under six developers – some unique problems can occur. Narrow experience With a small team the collective experience of all of the developers can be small. This means that when a problem occurs, they have limited ideas to fix it. This is also … Read more

Rails Rescues: Performance Rescues

All software projects can run into performance problems, including Rails projects. There are two common situations that cause Rails projects to run into performance problems. 1. Popularity An application becomes more popular than expected. This unplanned additional popularity puts stress on the system and can cause failures. Very often the failures are in a few … Read more

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How to make sure you get the code from your software consultant

Are you afraid of hiring a software consultant? Hiring a software consultant to create code is a great way to get access to knowledge and experience you don’t have. But one fear that can appear is the fear of never getting the code from them. This fear is valid and it’s good that you’re thinking … Read more

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Is your consultant good enough?

When reviewing a software consultant one of the big questions that’s on your mind is “Are they good enough?” What do you need But before you can answer that, you need to know what you actually need and want from them. Hiring a developer to build your first version of your product will have different … Read more

All about my Intro Call

As part of my new client process, I try to have an Intro Call with potential clients. This call serves a few purposes for both myself and my client. If you’ve heard me mention it before and wanted to know more about it, this is the right place to be. Getting to know you… The … Read more

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What to do if budget is a major issue for your project

So you’re ready to start your project. You know what you want built. You have the time in your schedule to have it built. And you have an idea of who will build it. But after talking with a few software consultants, you’ve gotten a bit of a sticker shock. High demand On one had, … Read more

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More than just the code

Now you’ve heard a bit about what clients I like to work with and quick overviews of my main processes. Now I’d talk to talk about what I can do to help. You probably need help with a Ruby web application, which is my main technical specialty. Perhaps it has some JavaScript written in knockout … Read more

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What to expect before starting a project

The first step to working with you is what I call my New Client Consultation. This is a 30 minute phone call where we talk about the project and your business. I want to find out if I can help you and if it looks like there will be a good fit between us. After … Read more

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My Project Management Process

The way I approach managing projects is simple. Simple enough that I’m going to describe it right now. We plan out what we think needs to be done. The work is estimated conservatively so it’s likely the actual implementation will be under the budget. You (the client) then put the work in order from most … Read more

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What I look for in a client

Over the years I’ve worked with a variety of clients. Different industries. Different businesses. Different business models. Of them, I’ve found some common criteria that makes the relationship work best. A good relationship is important for both you and me. Communication becomes easier. Less mistakes are made. And overall, the project is just better. My … Read more

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Scheduling on a short timeline

Sometimes you need a software consultant, but you’re on a tight timeline and you’re not sure if there is enough time to hire one. Every consultant operates on their own schedule, and if you’re betting on working with someone specific, you need to make sure they’ll be available. There are three ways to make sure … Read more

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Hire a remote software consultant or a local one?

It’s time to hire a software consultant, but where do you look? Do you look only in your local network of contacts? Or do you look for anyone in your city? In your state? Country? Worldwide? Local bias There has always be a bias for buying, consuming, and hiring locally. The main reason for this … Read more