Download Our Food & Beverage Business Owner Guide

Gone are the days of having to trudge to the grocery store to get what you need for the week. Online grocery shopping is booming with 25% of households currently ordering their groceries online and services like Kroger’s ClickList, Instacart and AmazonFresh are regular household names. It shows no sign of slowing either, as the online grocery shopping market is expected to increase 5 fold in the next 10 years.

With the rise of this trend it’s easy to see that consumers have no fear ordering food online. Whether it be their weekly groceries, gourmet beef jerky, or the world’s freshest seafood, consumers are ordering all kinds of edibles online.

But running an online store is very different than running a brick-and-mortar store, and if people can’t use their senses to touch, see, and smell their food, how would you ever sell it online?

We’ve pulled together what we’ve learned in the online grocery industry to create this Food & Beverage Business Owner Guide.

Download the free guide today.

Magento Marketing Tools

When considering platform options, many merchants will weigh important must-have features like shipping, checkout, and available integrations. But marketing tools can be just as important to consider. Once your new site is built and operations are running smoothly, your attention will likely turn towards growing the business. And how can you do that without the right marketing tools?


Magento’s Marketing Tools Include:


  •      Tools for Social Selling and Advertising – with the Magento Social extension merchants are able to create a direct connection from social pages to their eCommerce store.


Key Features of the extension include:

  •      Streamlined Social Store Creation
  •      Magento Digital Commerce Product Catalog Extraction
  •      Simplified Ad Creation
  •      Intelligent Ad Optimization
  •      Simplified Third-Party Content Integration


  • Promotions Tools – Magento’s backend makes it easy to create and run promotions. This includes Catalog and Cart Price Rules as well as promotions that are designated to run only at certain times, under certain conditions. Additionally, the Magento staging environment makes it easy to schedule those changes and go about your day without babysitting your site to make changes.
  • SEO Friendly URLs – This feature is as simple as it sounds. Merchants have the ability to create custom URLs, giving them ultimate control over what is displayed on the site and ultimately crawled by Google. We all know there’s no better marketing tool than good healthy site SEO.
  • Customer Segmentation – This feature allows merchants to group their overall audience into different segments so they can tailor marketing efforts and shopping experiences. Magento’s advanced segmentation tool even allows the ability to segment customers based on criteria such as location and buying patterns. With more targeted marketing efforts, marketing dollars go further.
  • Analytics – With the release of 2.2.2 Advanced Reporting is now available in the Magento back end with 20 reports included for Products, Orders and Customers. The tool is automatically enabled and easily configured. Advanced reporting (as well as MBI Essentials and MBI Pro) are the perfect way to decide how best to allocate those marketing dollars.
  • Integrated Dotmailer Capabilities – As we discussed in a recent blog about the release of Magento 2.2.2, Magento Commerce is now offering dotmailer marketing automation with their core product. This new functionality creates opportunities for enhanced communication between merchants and customers.


Supported Email Marketing Automation Programs Include:

  • Replenishment
  • Retargeting
  • Re-engagement
  • Transactional Emails
  • Welcome Programs
  • Nurture Series
  • Abandoned Cart
  • Abandoned Browse
  • Feedback & reviews
  • Solus Campaigns
  • Monthly Newsletters

And much much more!


This list is just a handful of ways you can use the Magento platform to grow your business. To learn more about using Magento to build your brand, call us at 888-429-4803 or email us at

Magento Commerce Vs. Open Source

When it comes to Magento – you have two options.

Magento Commerce – the enterprise version of the platform available in both On Premise and Cloud editions.

Magento Open Source – the community version of the platform, available as an On Premise solution only.

But what’s the real difference between the two?

Mainly, you have to consider what you get out-of-the-box for functionality vs. what you’ll need to purchase extensions for.

Additionally, you’ll need to consider the cost of ongoing support for your Magento store, whether it be on EY’s Runway program, or with another developer.

All things considered (extensions, maintenance, site speed, etc.) even though Magento Commerce has a greater up-front expense, the return on investment may be well worth it for your business in the end.

But don’t make the decision on your own, speak to one of our eCommerce experts today to find out what’s right for you. Call us at 888-429-4803 or email us at to set up a time to talk. 


Magento Social: The next step in turning followers into customers.

In a recent blog about the Customer Life Cycle, we touched on the concept of brand evangelism. The best brands out there have a strong social media presence that is filled with loud and proud followers. These followers interact with their favorite brands daily through their preferred social media channels, whether it be Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or something else. But how do you turn follows, likes and retweets into dollars and cents? What if it was easier to sell directly through your social channels?

That’s exactly what Magento Social provides: a direct connection from your social page to your eCommerce site. The extension, which is made by Magento, provides easy-to-use social commerce functionality and is available for free to download from the Magento Marketplace.

Key Features of the extension include:

  • Streamlined Social Store Creation
  • Magento Digital Commerce Product Catalog Extraction
  • Simplified Ad Creation
  • Intelligent Ad Optimization
  • Simplified Third-Party Content Integration

Check out the extension and start monetizing your social media channels today.

Want to learn more about what EYStudios and Magento can do for your brand? Call us at 888-429-4803 or email us at

The Power of Personalization on Your Ecommerce Store

It’s no doubt that 2017 was a big year for ecommerce. According to Statista, ecommerce reached approximately $2.3 trillion in 2017 and is expected to hit $4.5 trillion in 2021.

As ecommerce continues to evolve at a rapid pace, e-retailers must keep up with the latest trends to ensure that their customers are happy, and ultimately to stay ahead of their competition. And one of those trends is personalization.

According to Wikipedia, personalization is defined as, “the tailoring of a service or a product to accommodate specific individuals”. When applying personalization to ecommerce, the definition is as simple as, “creating personalized shopping experiences for every customer”.

Consumers Expect Personalized Shopping Experiences

Put yourself in the shoes of a traditional retail brick-and-mortar store owner. Now imagine how your store can flourish if you knew the preferences of every single person who entered your store. What their favorite products were, what they’ve bought in the past and when they’ll need to shop for it again.

With ecommerce, this opportunity is already at our fingertips. This facility is available due to the amount of data collected on every user on the Internet.

While the boundaries for personalized experiences are a majorly debated topic, the majority of people seem to be warming up to it. Since personalization has grown in popularity (thanks to global conglomerates such as Google, Apple, and Amazon), consumers are not just accepting it, but are showing signs that they actually prefer personalization.

According to research from Accenture, 75% of consumers are more likely to buy from a retailer that recognizes them by name, recommends options based on past purchases, or knows their purchase history (see graph below).

Now let’s go back to our retail brick-and-mortar store owner. Imagine if, for every person that entered your store, you could create a personalized shopping experience that was tailored to their needs, their wants and their desires. Wouldn’t that be an amazing experience?

Let’s take a look at the different ways that e-retailers can master the art of personalization and make those consumers always coming back for more.

Types of Personalization

User Generated Content

With the rise of social platforms such as Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook, UGC has become a massive contributor to ecommerce success. What’s better than your customers doing the marketing for you? This trend is seen as the new generation of reviews.

With UGC, merchants can build trust between their brand and their consumers by allowing real live consumers sharing their experiences with the brand, the product, or service. This is an amazing tool that can cost merchants very little to implement. Sometimes it just takes sending a product to an influencer and letting them do the promoting for you.

With tools such as, Evocative, these apps allow merchants to have a shoppable Instagram gallery on their website. This bridges the gap between Instagram and your website, as it allows the consumer to check out on your site.

Adaptation & Robust Site Search

On-Site Search is an often overlooked and undervalued ecommerce tool. However, if used properly, it can work wonders for your online store.

With tech giants like Google and Amazon, consumers expect the search functionality on websites to preform just as great as Google’s. E-retailers can definitely enhance the shopping experience on their site search to enhance the UX. Investing in a robust on-site search tool can allow e-retailers to:

a) Adapt to the Language that Consumers are Used to. For example, if a consumer types “Sneakers” into a website’s search bar, and 0 results come back because your website goes by the term “Running Shoes”, you’ve got yourself a problem. Especially if you actually carry sneakers! With search functions, you’ll be able to create a synonym rule for these types of products with different terms. The same goes for commonly misspelt words, color groupings, and more.

b) Adjustment of Results Based Upon Data

Consider this example. A consumer visits a website and types in “Rolex”. The store doesn’t carry this pricey item, so 0 results come back and the visitor goes looking on another site. Now imagine if instead of the 0 results coming up, there was a message that read “Sorry we don’t carry Rolexes, but check out these other higher end watches”. And the results would show higher end watches that the site does carry. This will enhance the shopping experience and may be enough to save the sale.

Geo Targeting

A shopper in New York will have different shopping preferences than a shopping in Florida. With geo targeting, one can tailor their website accordingly, to a consumer’s specific needs and wants, providing a sense of personalization.

Shipping is a huge factor of the online checkout process. E-retailers can use this tool to automatically show specific location-based messaging to consumers from around the world. Let your local consumers know that shipping is free! Another idea is to display best-selling products based on geolocation.

The basic real-tie data merchants can use in geo-location personalization are:

  • Location (city, country)
  • Device Type (mobile, tablet, desktop)
  • Operating System
  • Traffic Source
  • Weather Condition
  • Number of Visitors on the Same Product Page


This is the feature that Amazon is so greatly known for –and for a good reason! Ecommerce websites have started adapting to this trend of cross-selling and upselling by recommending “similar products”, “frequently bought together”, and “you might like” lists. This strategy not only improves the conversion rates by offering a wider variety of choices, but also helps in maximizing the revenue per user.

Why are recommendations working?

  • They are personal rather than salesy
  • They encourage users to view more products
  • They are engaging and catchy
  • They give a sense of being part of a crowd of users

Final Thoughts

Personalization is a mix between data science and data intelligence. The right mix can create a superb shopping experience for every site visitor. Consumers expect personalized shopping experiences when online shopping. Use it to your advantage and jump ahead of your competition.

About the Author

Michelle Seges is the Sr. Partner Marketing Coordinator at Nextopia Software Corporation, a proud partner of EYStudios. Nextopia is a leader in on-site search and navigation, and provides the tools needed for more browsers to turn into buyers. If you’d like to learn more about how you can personalize your ecommerce website, contact us here. Or you can call us at 888-429-4803.

eCommerce Success Metrics

Knowing whether or not your eCommerce store is doing well can feel like solving a puzzle. You might know that you’re making some money, but if you aren’t tracking the below metrics, you’ll really struggle to find areas of focus when measuring your progress.

The first crucial step is to set up a Google Analytics account. Don’t let the name intimidate you, this free tool is the best out there to determine your site’s success. From there, a good starting point is to focus on the numbers you see in each of the four outlined categories below:

  1. Conversion Rate- Simply put, your conversion rate measures what percentage of people coming to the site are checking out and bringing you revenue. This is the most important metric that a site has as it is pretty all-encompassing. A good conversion rate tells you more than your traffic or pure revenue ever will.
  2. Average Order Value- This one is fairly self-explanatory. Your Average Order Value, or AOV, is the average dollar amount of your orders. When trying to increase your revenue, this is often one of the first metrics for a merchant to look at, and work to increase.
  3. Traffic- Your site can’t make money if people aren’t getting to your site. This one is hard to control without outside influences like working on your SEO. Social channels and paid advertising like PPC are game-changers for getting your site’s traffic up. It’s also important to note that search engines love unique content. This is one of the best free ways to increase your SEO rankings and in turn, up traffic to your site.
  4. Cart Abandonment Rate- This number is the percentage of people adding things to their cart and then jumping ship. These customers are often the most low-hanging fruit for a merchant to go after- they’ve already visited your site, found items they like, and put them in their cart. A highly-used tactic to go after them is to send out a reminder email offering them a discount code to complete their order.

Once you get your feet wet with tracking the above numbers, you’ll be able to let analytics do a lot of work for you. Compare the past 30 days to the 30 before that and really start to get a feel for how your site is performing month over month, and eventually year over year.

Want to learn more about measuring your site success? Give us a call at 888-429-4803 or email us at

How to Make User Generated Content Work for You

Have you started the process of gathering User-Generated Content from your audience base? If so, you’re probably asking yourself what you should be doing with it, in order for it to be most beneficial to your site.

Here’s five ways to make that content work for you:

1. Create a following.

Your customers want to buy into a feeling, not just a product. Use shared channels, like social media, to build a community around a shared affinity for your product. You can ramp this up by using a contest or promotion to get people involved or to get a unique hashtag trending.

2. SEO Value.

Search engines love consistent, fresh, unique content. By allowing your customers to create that content for you, you’re streamlining the process and making your site more attractive to search results and customers alike.

3. Target Audience Understanding.

Once you get your customers involved in generating content for you, there’s a lot that can be learned from what they provide. The common threads in uploaded photos, or how they use your products, can provide you with great insights on who your buyers are. For instance, if the people photographing your energy drink are consistently outside hiking, rather than in a gym or playing team sports, then you can funnel your marketing efforts and branding into a more nature-focused vibe.

4. Credibility and Trustworthiness.

How many times have you headed straight for the reviews when purchasing from an online retailer for the first time? We as consumers trust other consumers to inform us on a purchasing decision. That’s why sites like Angie’s List and Home Advisor exist and thrive.

What your customers are saying about you is 100x more valuable than anything YOU can say about your brand or product. Good product reviews and user photos will do more to drive sales than any product description or photography you can provide.

5. Sense of Urgency.

Nothing creates a sense of urgency in the sales cycle like your social media being flooded with one particular product or service. Something in our consumerist nature tells us that if hundreds of people already have X, then they must be close to running out of X, and we must get it before it’s gone.


User-generated content is an excellent, free, underutilized resource for eCommerce brands. Don’t be the last brand in your industry to catch on to this trend – Make sure that you don’t miss out on UGC when creating marketing plans for 2018 and beyond.

For more information about User Generated Content, or to create a plan for your brand, email us at or call us at 888-429-4803.

Magento 2.2.2 – Available Today!

In December’s Magento Partner Aspire Call, the Magento team told us all about the 2.2.2 release coming on December 12th, 2017.

The latest version of Magento has some great new features including:

• Streamlined Instant Purchase Checkout
• Advanced Reporting powered by Magento Business Intelligence
• Integrated DotMailer capabilities
• Advanced Multi-Carrier Shipping and Fulfillment

All of these new features will be available on both Open Source and Commerce versions of the platform.

Streamlined Instant Purchase Checkout

Because of the recent expiration of Amazon’s one-click checkout patent, merchants everywhere are now able to take advantage of this technology to reduce checkout steps and increase conversions for their customers.

Instant Purchase is Magento’s new streamlined checkout process that allows shoppers to use a default shipping address, their last created Vault payment method and automatically selects the cheapest shipping method available.

Please Note: Instant Purchase requires customer registration with a saved payment method.

Instant purchase is easy to activate on the back end, and just requires that Braintree Vault is enabled.


Advanced Reporting Powered by Magento Business Intelligence
But NOT replacing MBI Essentials or Pro

Advanced reporting is now readily available in the back end with 20 user friendly reports for Products, Orders and Customers. It is automatically enabled in the back end, and is easily configured.

Don’t forget, Advanced Reporting is not a substitute for Magento Business Intelligence Essentials or Pro.


Integrated Dotmailer Capabilities

Dotmailer’s email marketing automation is now integrated with Magento 2.2.2. Magento is the first eCommerce solution to include Dotmailer with their core product.

What Dotmailer programs are included with 2.2.2?


Advanced Multi-Carrier Shipping and Fulfillment
Perhaps the greatest change coming to 2.2.2 are the additional shipping features that will now be available, including:

  • Multi-carrier integration
  • Real-time rate management
  • Multi-location management
  • Custom packaging
  • Static in-cart quotes
  • One-stop fulfillment
  • Standardized tracking
  • Carrier compliant shipping labels and documentation
  • International shipping

Merchants looking to learn more about Magento Shipping can fill out this form. Pricing will be tiered and available at 4 levels: Starter, Essentials, Pro and Enterprise.

Interested in learning more about Magento 2.2.2 or upgrading your store? Call us today at 888-429-4803 or email us at

4 Tips for Using Your Data to Inform Holiday Marketing Decisions

When it comes to data, there is no shortage of it floating around just waiting to be captured and categorized. One of the fastest growing trends in mining data is for marketing purposes. Without an effective marketing strategy, there is no way to inform potential buyers that you are in possession of a product they simply must have.

Without a doubt, marketing data is valuable all through the year, but it is extremely important to interpret your data correctly in time to benefit from the holiday rush. Most commercial businesses record roughly 20% of their yearly sales during the holidays, so you want to use your metrics to formulate a great marketing plan.

Types of Data

Data capture comes in two types—unstructured and structured—and the amount mined by businesses is increasing at an astonishing rate. Unstructured data includes information gathered from non-traditional technologies and tools, such as customer service experience comments placed on social media. Structured data is information obtained directly, such as data relating to purchase transactions.

With the advent of advanced technologies like in-memory database systems, mobile platforms, and the cloud, it is increasingly easy to capture and analyze data in ways that are cost-effective. What this gives us are new ways for customer engagement and extended reach being discovered almost daily. Consumers are using technology in more advanced ways than ever before, and it is affecting the way they make purchases.

Holiday Marketing Know-How

The push for holiday marketing campaigns begins long before the final quarter of the year. While the real world is still focused on summer BBQs and trips to the beach, experienced marketing teams have stepped over to the virtual holiday rush dimension.

The goal is to skyrocket sales during the holiday shopping season, and the only way to do this is by creating a marketing campaign that grabs the attention of shoppers and gets them talking. Depending on your business, this could mean finding new ways to market classic products or going all out to promote your newest lines.

Marketing requires knowing and understanding your customers—what their likes and dislikes are, how they engage with your business, and, above all, what they want. Data is where you will find the answers to these burning questions.

Making the Data Yours

This may sound like a simple process, but correctly identifying key sources for data collection can be confusing and complicated. Several questions must be asked if your business is to benefit at optimum levels from data. Are there missing data sources? How vital are they to the overall picture? How much and what type of value do they provide?

After all the available data sources have been noted, they need some assessment for underlying details. The assessment falls into three categories—timeline, resources, and feasibility. Does your business have the proper resources to tap the data source? Will you be able to complete the process promptly? Is it even possible to capture the data from this source?

1. Data integration for marketing is vital.

Having piles of data is a great first step, but you must be able to use it effectively. Do customers prefer to see bright colors or neutral ones? Do they respond better to snowmen or Santa Claus? Would they rather receive a written text message or a photo message?

From all the sources that data is obtained, it then must be transformed into compatible and cohesive blocks from which the critical information can be extracted. With the relevant data analyzed, the next step is to distribute actionable awareness presented with simple and easy user interfaces on mobile platforms.

For companies to make better-informed decisions quickly, it is necessary to integrate technology and data platforms. This in no way guarantees your decisions will be better overall—only that they are made once you have all the key facts together. Once you have the appropriate data in hand, it can be used to inform your holiday marketing plan and then stored for future use and comparison.

2. Link to strategy.

Holiday marketing strategies need to focus on both short and long-term goals. Gather your marketing team together to allow everyone to review all past and current data collectively. Focus on locating any gaps that may exist between your marketing strategies.

Part of reviewing your collected data portfolio is being able to visualize the link between the data and your business strategies. Every step for effective marketing must ensure each action complements or contributes to the strategic plan you have in place.

3. Choose effective platforms.

You have decided on a marketing strategy, and now you need to put it into place. Where should you focus your efforts? The data you have been collecting will lead you down the correct path in making this decision.

Do your customers engage with your brand most often over social media? If so, target your campaign as a blitz across Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Does your blog have a large interactive following? Start blogging about holiday specials, new products, contests, etc., and encourage feedback from your customers. To pique interest, consider releasing daily “teasers” until the final unveiling.

Depending on the budget and the preferences of your consumers, you may choose to integrate visual campaigns such as email, text messages, social media, and stunning in-store displays. Keep careful track of what is and isn’t working since this will be valuable information for next year.

4. Create a content funnel.

Even with the right platform, your marketing campaign will go nowhere if the content does not lead to generating revenue. This is where data capture is vital in making decisions on the type of content that resonates with your audience. Let’s look at a simple example to illustrate this point.

Company X posts a picture on Facebook featuring its new products on a holiday background with a short descriptive blurb. It receives 4,000 likes, 500 shares, 300 clicks on the link to purchase the product, and 40 confirmed sales.

Then Company X also creates a holiday-themed video of its product in use with great visual and auditory components, which is posted on YouTube. It receives 240,000 likes, 125,000 shares, 100,000 clicks on the purchase link, 75,000 new subscriptions, and 40,000 confirmed sales. Which strategy sounds better to you?

Creating content that engages and entices buyers will put them on the path to purchase.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to holiday marketing, you are competing with almost every other business on the globe for a piece of the revenue. Every business has a holiday marketing strategies, so yours must be truly spectacular to stand out from the crowd. Additionally, customers are a finicky bunch and what worked last season may not garner the same results this year.  This is one reason why keeping track of data is so essential to the way we do business today.

As technology continues to advance, so will the ways we reach out and engage with both current and prospective customers. However, the need for data will never decrease. When robust analytics and data platforms are effectively designed and implemented, each organizational level becomes enabled to make well-informed decisions regarding marketing at lightning speed. All this culminates in enhanced profitability during the busiest season of the year.