MarketingSEOShoppingWeb Development

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 Black Sheep Legging came to Panda Rose in need of a new website.

For those of you who do not know, Black Sheep Legging is a clothing company. They rely on the Internet and representatives to sell their product. They emphasize on being unique and owning your style. Based in Alberta Canada, this company is taking the legging market by storm.

Black Sheep Legging’s last website was having issues and they were ready for a freshening up. Panda Rose was able to create a completely new website using Shopify as the store provider without purchasing any extra apps but still equipping Black Sheep Legging with all of the many specific features necessary for the shop.

store front image

Here are the features we created for our client:

Panda Rose was able to create an advanced collection filtering by multiple simultaneous criteria system. This component would be similar to applications that can be found on shopify but now our client doesn’t need to pay about $20 a month.

We added “VIP Pricing” which are custom discount levels depending on the specific permission level according to the tag possessed by the individual. If we didn’t make this feature ourselves, it would have cost our client $30-$50 a month for an application found in Shopify.

We also created an internal customer credit system that fit our exact needs opposed to finding an app that isn’t customizable and or costs money.

Panda Rose also resolved a commonly reported problem as Mailchimp’s scripts often conflict with some of Shopify’s. This problem is usually solved by installing an app from Shopify that can cost around $5 a month. But a developer can solve this quite simply just like we did for Black Sheep Legging.

An affiliate system was required and was integrated with commission tracking. The “Rep Portal” also gives reps the ability to customize their personal rep storefront. We looked through the following apps to integrate into Black Sheep Legging’s shopify:

people

Refersion almost worked but it would not switch customers to reps automatically when they completed the signing up process along with the inability to define different tiers of affiliates. We were hopeful, but it wasn’t a perfect fit for our client.

Affiliatly was attractive in that it was very straightforward and its prices were not bad. But this app left us no room to customize and fit the needs of Black Sheep Legging. Again, we had to look elsewhere.

ReferralCandy was not for a rep program like we needed but looked like it would thrive strictly as a referral program.

Ambassador was difficult to work with, in that we couldn’t really test it without being on the phone with one of the representatives. It’s price tag was also too much for our client and so this affiliate program didn’t quite cut it either.

So we created our own affiliate system. It does everything our client needs it to and it will not cost an extravagant amount every month.

The following three features were created by Panda Rose without an app in Shopify to compare them to:

Panda Rose was also able to use the existing basic tagging feature Shopify provides and built off of it to automate the addition and removal of tags based on events within the store. This enabled the ability for anyone new signing up in the site to be labeled as a “Customer” in our system. This tag is then replaced if the customer chooses to become a rep and will alter according to the rep tire they become. Again, this adjusts automatically.

shopping cart

The cart content checks hold the ability to modify contents on the fly before checkout. This means that Black Sheep Legging did not want customers reaching the checkout if they have more inventory in their cart than there is currently in stock. Upon adding inventory to cart, it’s automatically adjusted down to stock levels, and Black Sheep Legging is notified of the change.

An internal “free shipping” code system was created for rep usage to allow greater control for Black Sheep Legging opposed to Shopify’s discount codes.

If each of the features I have listed were apps that were integrated into Black Sheep Legging’s Shopify, it could potentially cost $15,000 a year. Which is obviously not necessary.

Maybe your company has the money to pay all of these apps to run your store. But can you handle all of the complications that come with having multiple apps piled all over you store? All of their different formats and requirements? Are you able to customize the apps to fit all of your company’s needs?

A developer can integrate all of the features your store may need and ensure that the features fit your specific needs exactly. A developer can prioritize you opposed to giant companies and app creators where you are just another business that is using their product. You can have real conversations with your developer to get your thoughts, questions and concerns addressed. Plus, no monthly fees to last you as long as you have the online store! Hiring a developer is without a doubt a wise investment for your business.

Tess Houcher

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HolidaysShoppingTechnology

Christmas at a shopping mall

Christmas shopping in the movies paints us a picture of the “holiday hustle and bustle”. People waiting outside of toy stores early in the morning so they can grab the holiday toy of the year for their children. Standing in lines that go all the way down the street. People running around with their arms full of pre-wrapped gifts and over sized bags. Then they probably fall, dropping all of their packages, then they get help from a handsome stranger, most likely fall in love instantly and end up living happily ever after.

Christmas at a shopping mall

This isn’t exactly a reality and not just the sappy love story part. Thanks for the high standards Hallmark.

I myself have never ran around town last minute with arms full of gifts and this is not because I have no friends to buy for, it’s thanks to the Internet!

Between time and money and all the ways that you can save, online shopping is a game changer.

Christmas light on Christmas treeOnline holiday shopping means you don’t have to drive to multiple stores or spend all your time grazing the aisles looking for products they may or may not have in stock. You don’t have to wait in line and you don’t have to drive all the way home again. Plus, no money spent on gas.

Watching holiday classics, eating holiday food, drinking holiday drinks, wearing comfy holiday clothing, surrounded by holiday decorations all while sitting comfortably at home and holiday shopping at the same time is a reality! And it is awesome.

How could we ever go back?

My mom went on a quick shopping trip for Christmas presents the other day even though she is a loyal Amazon customer. She explained to me that it felt like a waste of her time. One of the reasons she loves online shopping is because she can find the best deals offered by all the best brands. She can easily move from site to site looking for the best reviews and deals. No point in making a trip on icy roads to town in hopes of finding all the items on your shopping lists.

Going to the literal stores means she just has to hope that the few stores on her route have all that she planned to purchase currently in stock and that the price is the lowest she could get.

Instead of hoping, she would much rather know.

decorated Christmas treeEven wish lists can be made online now. I made one this year using Pinterest. I filled a dedicated board with pins of all the things I could materialistically want from my family this Christmas season. I pinned beautiful pictures of new hiking backpacks, ballcaps, iPad cases and of course pictures of chocolate. (Incase anyone was wondering.😉) I let my family know how to find it anytime they ask what I want for Christmas. It’s the perfect system.

This way I can show people the exact brands and styles of the products I wish for through pictures! Whenever I see something I like on my Pinterest feed I can just add it to the list. This is opposed to forgetting what I saw and loved, wishing I had taken note for future reference- A concern of the past!😊

My sisters and mother made wish list boards on Pinterest as well. Making it easy to find what they each want. In some cases you can even click on the picture to be brought to the website and purchase the exact product instantly.

There are apps like CheckedTwice.com or Wishlistr that were created to allow consumers to surf the Internet, take note of things they would like and then share that list with their loved ones.

We just need to get everyone onboard. To get our friends and family to all make online wish lists of their own. Christmas shopping could be a breeze! Just look up their name and shop away.

christmas ornamentsOf course life is never simple and I do have one fairly major concern, I believe there is great value in shopping locally. My father is a local business man as well as my employer, Panda Rose. There are many great reasons to keep our money in our closer economic circles. Supporting local business literally feeds our community. That is definitely worth waiting in line for.

Now I must also admit, I love the Christmas decorations that are put up by malls and shops. It’s just one of those traditions I am fond of. A website that took the time to add Christmasy looking features and images are not quite the same as giant trees, thousands of colourful lights and hanging ornaments the size of beach balls.

Are you an Amazon loyalist or do prefer the authenticity that comes with shopping local? Let me know.

Cheers to you and yours as we have stepped into the hustle and bustle of the holiday season.

Tess Houcher

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