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nopcommerce v magento

nopCommerce vs Magento: Weighing up the best eCommerce platform

By Blog posts, eCommerce
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Which is the king of the mid-sized – enterprise level eCommerce platforms?

nopcommerce v magento

Since 2008, Magento has been leading the charge regarding eCommerce platforms.

With the release of Adobe Magento Commerce, the competition in the market place has been rising. The dark horse competitor, nopCommerce, has become a remarkable challenger to Magento, and with good reason.  Here’s the competition broken down.

Price

nopCommerce is open source and free. It doesn’t demand any subscription fees however it will require some expenditures, such as hosting and potentially some extensions for features that are not available straight out of the box. However, it’s very unlikely that the cost of these extras and plugins will have a higher total that the cost of the Magento Commerce edition.

Magento has a free plan – Magento Open Source 1 and two paid plans under Magento Commerce. Magento Commerce has plans ranging from £14,500 to £17,500 but can rise to £60,000 + a year for their cloud based solution.

In our opinion, nopCommerce offers the best value for money.

Features (out of the box)

nopCommerce comes packed full of features straight out of the box. These include SEO features, product management, a complex discount engine, inbuilt analytics, multi-lingual capabilities, multi-store, multi-vendor features, payment and shipping customisations. It doesn’t stop there, it has tier pricing (great for wholesale vs consumer pricing), recurring payment/subscription engine, and probably the most surprising, it also has an inbuilt loyalty scheme.  These integrations notably come at no extra cost and are all out of the box.

Magento does not come with this range of features straight out of the box. However, all can be added by using third-part extensions (plugins). One potential pitfall is that with Magento, adding these extensions can lead to conflicts within your site, such as adding a feature can cause another not to work.

However, the features differ greatly between Magento Open Source and Commerce. With Magento Commerce, you ARE provided with extras such as tier pricing, customer loyalty tools, inventory management tools, flexible pricing tools, coupons, up-selling and cross-selling tools. But these do come with the additional price tag.

Due to the fact that with nopCommerce you’re provided a wide range of features straight out of the  box, we believe nopCommerce edges Magento regarding standard features.

Customisation

Both are open source (Magento still offer an open source version), they are able to be customised to meet the requirements you need. Both have open Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) to interact with databases, other software, Google merchant and product feeds, and more. Also, inbuilt functionality can be enhanced with plugins and integrations provided on the marketplaces. Both of the solutions have large marketplaces. Some of those extensions are free while some might cost you. Besides plugins, you can install new themes for your store.

nopCommerce has rather a good reputation for how smoothly plug-ins can be personalised. With Magento on the other hand, developing and customising modules require highly experienced developers.

However, both platforms are rather advanced for users who only have basic technical knowledge. Therefore, this would require a professional developer to deliver a complex customisation.

Both platforms provide a great starting point for customisation.

Security

This is one of the major dividers between nopCommerce and Magento. nopCommerce is written on ASP.NET, this means it is hosted on a Microsoft server. Magento is written on PHP, which is community driven and usually hosted on a linux server.

Arguably, ASP.NET is considered one of the most productive environments and it is faster, this means you’ll spend less time and money on resources and cheaper hosting. nopCommerce also has a malleable architecture that allows developers to override most of the functions from plugins without touching the core. It is easier and faster to customise.

Magento (the open source version) has a checkered history from a security perspective. Some users have experienced repeat issues with the security of their Magento store. Magento releases security patches in each version upgrade and sometimes even in between. This is valid only for the Commerce version. Open Source doesn’t even get regular security updates, the patches are only introduced when they become commercially viable. 

In our opinion, from a security perspective nopCommerce wins hands down. 

Support

Both nopCommerce and Magento offer product documentation that will give you basic knowledge on how to use each platform. Both also have forums where members can try and help each other. Both communities have more than 200,000 users however nopCommerce’s seems more active with 190k+ post over Magento’s 73k+.

Fear not, you wouldn’t have to rely on forum posts and documentation to fix your problems, paid support is available. nopCommerce’s premium support costs £77 per month. However you can only pay for 3 months (£231) or a whole year (£617).

Magento Open Source only offers support with community forums whereas Magento Commerce includes a 24/7 professional technical support system through a ticketing system or by phone.

This will really depend on your agency and what support they can provide based on their support levels.

Conclusion

Both platforms are powerhouses in the eCommerce industry, allowing businesses to create wonderful eCommerce sites for their customers. Magento has been around a lot longer and with over 140,000 sites running on Magento compared to nopCommerce’s 50,000, it is clear that Magento is still the most popular.

However, nopCommerce is more secure, provides more at less cost, faster running and an ever-growing solution. It is ultimately the individuals choice but nopCommerce seems fit for the future of eCommerce.

If you’re interested in getting to know nopCommerce, find out more here.

digitisation of business from ecommerce to elearning, and from partnerships to webinars

Digitisation of businesses in a locked-down era

By Blog posts, Digitisation
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Digitisation of businesses: expedited

digitisation of our businesses

Time for our businesses to adapt to the new workplaces

If, in your board meetings, you were listening to your team uttering phrases like “considering”, “planning”, or “assessing” transitioning to a more digitised way of doing business then the recent COVID-19 situation will have forced you to speed up any sort of assessment.

The businesses that are still trading, and mostly flourishing, are the ones that weren’t focussing on their traditional working practices. They were the ones that were already embracing the new suite of digital platforms available to us all, and adapting every facet of their business to be as user-friendly as the tools we use in our everyday life.

Businesses have woken up to the fact that everyone now expects their work life to be as simple and straightforward as their personal life. It doesn’t matter if you are a B2C artisan gin distillery or a B2B HR platform: the ones that have been flexing their digital muscles are the ones that are forging their way to the front of the pack.

Taking cues from the trail blazers

There are countless examples of outstanding digitised user experience across just about every parts of our lives, and B2B businesses have been playing catch up with their consumer cousins for some time now. We see examples of amazing user experience in the consumer world every day including:

  • Amazon’s one click ordering
  • Setting up a new Apple iPhone
  • Contactless cards and Apple Pay on your phone
  • Renting a house on AirBnB
  • Starting a new current account on Monzo
  • And ordering your fresh food delivery that arrives at a time to suit you.

Where we’re seeing digitisation success

We have a very broad client base here at DPC+UP and as they get used to working from their dining room tables and hastily constructed home-offices, we are seeing the more-digitised businesses genuinely reaping the rewards.

One of our clients who have always sold training courses for their products are building some e-learning courses for remote instruction and accreditation. Using Adobe Captivate (and an e-learning expert) we are taking their courses into customer’s homes as well as hosting Q&A sessions with experts via webinars.

Another client, MicroBarBox, an online retailer of cocktail gift boxes has partnered with a gin tasting experience (Madam Geneva & Gent). Along with with Zoom’s fantastic video conference capabilities, they have taken the gin-tasting parties into their customers dining rooms (I have to admit that this has been the best “testing/tasting” for a client that I have ever had to do…).

It’s not just our traditional consumer eCommerce clients who are reaping the rewards, many of our B2B clients have implemented online product ordering. We’ve been using a number of slick eCommerce platforms that allow their customers to order and re-order effortlessly.

Even if your customers don’t have to pay for goods online, the eCommerce platforms that we use work just as well for B2B clients. This is a lot to do with the fact that they have many of the features needed “out of the box”:

  • Tier pricing for different clients
  • Quantity pricing
  • Loyalty scheme
  • One-click re-ordering
  • Comprehensive product search including AJAX auto-predict search boxes
  • Multi-lingual sites all running from the same platform
  • Orders emailed to purchasing with PO’s attached

Most of the solutions however are rooted in two common features: MANY of them have implemented a flexible and feature-rich eCommerce platform, but ALL have enhanced their online communication channels.

Getting to grips with new tools

As a global cloud based agency we have a team of around 200, the majority who work remotely, and we have found ourselves well-positioned to advise our clients on our methodology and platforms that make our company work on a day to day basis. We talk to clients about:

  • how we use Slack for inter company discussions and project communication
  • how we use Zoom for face-to-face meetings and webinars.
  • how we use a whole suite of online products for time-management, project management, client requests, invoicing and collaboration.

Our parent company, UP THERE, EVERYWHERE, has been helping one of our biggest clients, Galderma Aesthetics, with what is emerging as a very common problem in these times:

How to stay relevant to our customer-base in these locked-down times?

The travel bans and social distancing had made their usual communication channels redundant, so UP devised, produced and hosted a suite of webinars for their customers with phenomenal results. This morning, our general manager hosted 3 webinars for them across timezones on ‘how to optimise your website’. They had an audience of over 1,000 Health Care Professionals for each session. Creativity can take its form in many ways, and none better than the ‘creative use of technology’!

Can we do things better?

Now, more than ever, is the time where we should all be asking ourselves, can we do things better by using the digital tools that are ubiquitous in all our lives?

Can we make our work-lives as easy as our personal lives?

The answer is invariably, “Yes we can!”
We would love to help: Get in touch
webinar remote working and collaboration

Working effectively from home: Webinar on remote working and collaboration 

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Working together when apart: Webinar on remote working and collaboration

Webinar remote working and collaboration

Webinar: March 31 | 2PM GMT / 3PM CET

Suddenly, many businesses and people around the world are being forced to adopt a remote working strategy when they are not used to working this way. How can you optimise the experience? Join UP member and organisational consultant Peter Bjellerup for a webinar on more effective remote working strategies.

Join us to get hands-on tips for effective communication in the time of coronavirus

At UP THERE, EVERYWHERE, our business model was built on the idea of remote working, and we’ve been working together with close-knit but dispersed teams around the globe for more than a decade. Now, we’d like to share some of our remote working strategies with you.

How do you make work work, when you don’t do it at work?

In this hands-on webinar, Peter Bjellerup, a new member of UP, but long-timer at working, meeting and collaborating remotely, will share his experience from years at IBM, as a world-wide consultant and expert in online collaboration.

After running two webinars in Sweden (in Swedish) with Hej Engagemang that required adding extra capacity to cope with demand, he will now do it in English with UP to reach English-speaking expatriates in Sweden as well as beyond the Swedish population of ten million.

Peter will take us from a (brief) helicopter view of the characteristics of different aspects of remote work and various remote work climates to useful routines for teams and individuals. The presentation will cover:

• Leading and teaming remotely
• Guides of engagement
• Selecting tools – the big picture
• Cloud files – good practices and valuable features
• Group chats – good practices and valuable features
• Create and manage – a mixed bag of tools
• Remote meetings – do’s and don’ts and characteristics

The presentation will last 45 minutes, and we intend to leave the remainder of the full hour for Q&A.
The section on remote meetings is supplemented by very hands-on advice to be found in these four blog posts by Peter a.k.a. The Social Swede

Join us on the 31st March Register for the webinar
webinar remote working and collaboration
DPC+UP merge

DPC is acquired by UP THERE, EVERYWHERE

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New agency to become DPC+UP

DPC+UP merge

UP THERE, EVERYWHERE, the Global Cloud Based Agency, has acquired UK based digital agency DPC.

UP THERE, EVERYWHERE, founded in Stockholm, Sweden, in January 2011, is a cloud based brand and digital marketing services agency. The company has a global client base including such companies as Jenoptik, Galderma, Thermo Fisher Scientific and Polaroid. UP has reported sales in 2018 of 42 MSEK (€4.0 M) and has creative hubs in Stockholm, Uppsala, Hamburg, Amsterdam, London and New York. The agency also works extensively in China and Australia.

DPC (The Digital Parent Company) is a full service creative, digital agency that develops web and e-commerce solutions as well as digital marketing through pay per click (PPC) campaigns.  Reported sales of DPC in 2018/19 were £650,000 (€720,000). Clients of DPC include innocent (drinks), Kelly’s Storage, the BVA  (British Veterinary Association), Colas, and The London School of Economics (LSE).

DPC, which is based in Guildford, south of London, was founded by Kate Darracott and Managing Director Graham Darracott in 2009.

The companies have already started working on a number of joint projects together over the past few months.

Graham Darracott, one of the founders and Managing Director of DPC, said: ‘It was an obvious match, both companies share many of the same ethical values, and just as importantly share the same vision to change the way agencies are structured. This is a great way for both companies to grow and add valuable resource and skills to our combined offering.’

Julian Stubbs CEO and co-founder of UP THERE, EVERYWHERE said ‘We saw from the first meeting that DPC was a great fit with what we do and the way we work at UP. We have global teams working in the digital content and inbound marketing area and DPC create great web and e-commerce solutions and run PPC (pay per click) campaigns for their clients.’ He went on to add ‘We have been planning the integration of DPC and UP for some time now and we can’t wait to get started on this next exciting chapter of our journey together.’

A short film interview is available here.

The deal has been brokered by David Blois of M&A Advisory, London, UK.

Additional information and contacts:

Ronja Larsson, UP THERE, EVERYWHERE International AB

Mail : ronja-l@upthereeverywhere.com

UP THERE; EVERYWHERE International AB, Grevturegatan 27, 114 38 Stockholm, Sweden

DPC will change its name to DPC+UP with new branding to reflect this change

touchstone branding

A new site launch for Touchstone Underwriting

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A new site for the UK insurance underwriter

touchstone branding

A new site for Touchstone Underwriting

It is always good to announce a new site launch, yet we are often too busy to tap out a few words to acknowledge the hard work the dpc team put into launching a new site or store. This month we have launched a number of new sites, but one really deserves a mention as the team managed to get it live in six weeks.

A humungous effort from everyone saw the new Touchstone Underwriting site  go through IA, design, development, content population, QAT, UAT and then launch in what has to be a record time. Especially as there were hundreds of policy documents that had to be not only transferred from the old site and system to the new one, but redirects set up and tested for each and every document.

The client was a dream to work with (thank you Priya for all your hard work) and the end result is a fabulous new site, stunning design, and happy agency and client.

A testament to our systems and processes.

The site was built on WordPress, check out the new site here:

https://t-u-l.co.uk

touchstone mobile optimised
touchstone homepage
leica

Leica distributor, Hudsons, launch new eCommerce store

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A new eCommerce site for Leica distributor Hudsons.

hudsons website

A new eCommerce store for Hudsons.

Construction and surveying professionals regularly turn to Hudson’s dedicated team of experts to find the best laser and safety equipment for their projects, fleet hires, instrument servicing and training.

During 2018 Hudsons acknowledged that they needed a new eCommerce store to accommodate the huge range of equipment that they now stock and so they appointed dpc to design and build a new store for them.

Shopify was chosen as the platform and then (following our proven process) we wire-framed, and then designed and built the new store. The end result is a stunning store with a design and user experience firmly aimed at surveying professionals and the construction industry.

The tasks we completed:

  • Wireframes/IA
  • Design
  • Theme build
  • Shopify set up and configuration
  • Bespoke product pages developed
  • Payment gateway configured
  • Shipping configured, notifications designed and configured
  • Product data exported from legacy system and imported into Shopify
  • Copywriting and content population
  • Testing and setting the site live

The site was built on Shopify.

https://hudsons-uk.net

hudsons ecommerce
hudsons
elephants plastic

Plastic Generation: trying to help save our planet from plastic destruction

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A site highlighting the damage caused to our world by plastic & the steps being undertaken by some to change things.

plastic generation
elephants plastic

Plastic Generation: trying to change the way we treat our world.

With the turn of the new year dpc are immensely proud to announce the launch of a new site that we hope will make a difference to our gorgeous world: Plastic Generation is a news site highlighting the damage caused to our world by plastic and importantly, the steps being undertaken by some to change things. It was the brainchild of a few business owners who want to make a difference.

Plastic is everywhere, if we wanted to go plastic free we simply couldn’t. It’s in our clothes, our seas, our cosmetics, our transport, our homes and it’s firmly embedded in our food chain.

Most people proudly declare their plastic stance pointing to their recycling efforts, it makes them feel good and ticks a box for them. The reality is though that most (91%) of plastic is too contaminated to recycle, so it’s either incinerated or chucked in landfill.

Surely we can and should do more, the legacy we are leaving is not a good one.

Plastic Generation is about discovery and understanding, it will try and educate ourselves, call out the bad guys and highlight the good ones.

We are immensely proud to be working with such a brilliant organisation and are trying to make a difference to our incredible planet, which we seem to be intent on destroying with our need for plastic.

The site was built on WordPress.

https://plasticgeneration.com

bva vet and dog

British Veterinary Association choose dpc.agency as their digital partner

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British Veterinary Association choose dpc.agency as their digital partner.

BVA logo
bva vet and dog

British Veterinary Association choose dpc.agency as their digital partner.

BVA is the national representative body for the veterinary profession in the UK, a not-for-profit organisation so all money made is reinvested to serve the veterinary profession.

They are the only UK veterinary association that looks after the interests of all vets in all disciplines. They have more than 17,000 members and the association is able to provide a voice to represent members on a legislative basis, and provide services to support them.

After a competitive pitch the BVA have appointed dpc to work with them to ensure their website and digital activities remain at the forefront of the “not for profit” sector, and that their website and digital content perfectly serves their membership.

We are immensely proud to be working with such a brilliant organisation and are looking forward to making a real difference to the organisation.

asos

3 Secrets Behind Asos’ Success

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3 Secrets Behind Asos' Success

asos

What’s behind Asos’ 38% increase in sales?

“Asos is making good progress towards its ultimate goal of becoming the world’s number one destination for fashion-loving 20-somethings.”

These are the words of Nick Beighton, CEO of Asos, the online fashion and beauty store that has sold £889.2 million worth of goods in the last 6 months.

Asos has just released their sales figures, and in the six months the company has made a huge £440.1 million in gross profit, with a 38% sales rise and a 29% increase in active customers.

In this post, we’ll be dissecting key elements of Asos’ strategy, and offering actionable insights that you can apply to your eCommerce store.

1. Clearly define your target market, and tailor everything to them.

It only takes one look at Asos’ Instagram to know who is buying their products.

With bright colours, modern styles and young models, Asos are undoubtedly after the fashion conscious teenager/millennial market.

One factor in Asos’ success is that they have tailored everything they do to a specific demographic.
There are no inconsistencies, no ‘general’ content.
Niching down has allowed Asos to create content and adverts that engage their market, turning Asos into a fashion authority for young people.

2. Leverage Social Proof with User Generated Content

Imagine this scenario…

You’re at an amusement park, and there are two roller coasters in front of you.
Ride A has a long line of excited customers eagerly waiting to jump on-board, whilst Ride B’s line only consists of two very bored looking people.

Considering the waiting time isn’t an issue, which roller coaster do you feel more compelled to ride?

Probably Ride A, right?

You’ve just been influenced by ‘social proof‘.

“If all those people approve of Ride A, then it must be good!”

Social proof is the brain’s shortcut to making decisions based on the validation of other people, very often, people similar to yourself.

And it’s incredibly powerful.

Asos have created social proof by introducing a special hashtag, #AsSeenOnMe.
Customers post photos of themselves wearing Asos apparel on Instagram, using the hashtag in their caption.

Customers get their shot at fame by being featured on Asos’ website, and Asos generate an incredible amount of social proof for their products.

Dependent on your industry, you may be able to utilise User Generated Content to drive more sales.

If you sell products that appeal visually, then encourage your customers to post photos or review their orders online.
If you’re selling digital products, such as courses, encourage customers to share their results or achievements on social media.

If you choose not to feature your customers photos on your business’ social media or website, you may instead want to offer a discount or special offer to customers who do this, just as an incentive.

3. Make Good Great Customer Service a Priority

Did you know that Asos have achieved the fasted possible message ‘response time’ on their Facebook page?

I wanted to test this, so I sent Asos a message myself.

Within 10 minutes they had got back to me with a warm, personalised reply.

Responding to customer enquiries and complaints rapidly should be one of your biggest priorities.
Helpful, honest and fast customer service can make or break an online store.

It can save disgruntled customers from withdrawing their business from you, and it can help nurture a positive reputation for your brand.

In a world where ignored complaints now have the ability to go viral on the internet, it is especially important.

All it takes is one complaint to go viral and it could damage your reputation permanently, unless of course you’d be willing to part with a large amount of cash for a reputation management company to help limit the damage.

Eliminate this possibility.

Look after your customers and your customers will look after you.

Hopefully, this article helped you identify some areas of improvement for your eCommerce store.

Asos have done incredibly well, fast becoming one of the world’s biggest online fashion retailers.If you’d like to get started selling online with your own store, contact us, we’d love to help turn your vision into a reality.

google ads

23 Easy PPC Wins

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23 Easy PPC Wins - Buyer Intent Keyword List For AdWords

google ads

Get conversions for less on AdWords.

In 2017, AdWords PPC is one of, if not the most powerful marketing platform you can use to drive new customers. Whether you are running a campaign for clients or your own business, you’re probably missing some easy wins if you are not fully utilising buyer intent keywords in your campaigns.

What are buyer intent keywords?

Buyer intent keywords (or commercial intent keywords) are slightly different from normal keywords you may already be using. They’re different because they attract people who are further into the sales funnel; they’re usually pre-educated and are more likely to make a purchase or sign up to a service.

For you, this means improved conversion rates and often lower CPAs (Cost per Action) = a more profitable campaign

The following 23 keywords are often used by us. We see good results from them all the time and adding them is our first port of call when creating campaigns for new eCommerce stores.

Their use may be dependent on your specific product or service, but you’ll usually see good results from their implementation wherever possible.

23 Buyer/Commercial Intent Keywords

  • buy [product/service name]
  • get [product/service name]
  • where to buy [product/service name]
  • [product/service name] suppliers
  • [product/service name] discount
  • [product/service name] coupon
  • [product/service name] deal
  • best [product/service name]
  • buy [product/service name] online
  • [product/service name] review
  • [product/service name] promo code
  • [product/service name] sale
  • I want a [product/service name]
  • [product/service name] [specific variant] i.e: biscuits rich tea
  • where can I buy [product/service name]
  • online [product/service name] store
  • [product/service name] near me
  • [product/service name] [customer location]
  • [product/service name] direct
  • buy [product/service name] [customer location]
  • [product/service name] for sale
  • [product/service name] to buy
  • [product/service name] companies

To wrap up, any keyword phrase that includes your product or service and an action word should bring you visitors closer to the end of the sales funnel. Test these out and let us know if they work for you.