Development

E-Commerce Websites – Square and Apple Pay

Mobile and digital payment platform Square has opened their platform to integrate into e-commerce websites. This enables businesses to sell their products online and through a brick and mortar shop. One unique integration that we’ve taken notice of is Square and WooCommerce.

A lot our clients prefer WordPress and WooCommerce as a solution for their online e-commerce website. Utilizing Square for a payment gateway offers the ability to sync both offline and online sales from one platform. This simplifies managing and keeping track of all sales.

Apple Pay

Apple Pay Ecommerce

Online payment gateway Stripe notes “Since launch, apps supporting Apple Pay have seen increases in checkout conversion rate as high as 2.5×.”

Apple will be bringing the system to mobile and desktop websites by the winter holidays.

Up to now, Apple Pay has worked in two ways. iPhone users could load their credit card or debit card information into the system and then tap and pay with their phone in participating stores. People could also use Apple Pay to buy stuff in iPhone apps without having to type in all of their payment card and shipping info.

The expansion of Apple Pay to websites could have a much bigger impact than either of the previous use cases. Retailers had 20 percent more visits to their mobile websites than their mobile apps during last year’s holiday shopping season, according to comScore. And the majority of retail traffic still happens on desktop websites.

This should eventually have some impact on PayPal, the most popular alternative online payment method today in the U.S. The question is how big. It’s important to note that Apple Pay users have to own a Mac computer and an iPhone if they want to use the payment service on desktop websites. They also have to be using Apple’s Safari web browser.

Google announced at its developer conference in May that it was working to bring its payment system, Android Pay, to websites as well.

Development

E-Commerce Websites – Square and Apple Pay

As mobile website strategy plays a crucial role in web design and development we find minimal design can not only be visually pleasing, but important to ensure a fast loading experience for site visitors.

Beautiful design is nothing if visitors don’t stick around long enough to engage. It’s 2016, and your site visitors want to have a blazingly fast site experience. If you don’t deliver, they’ll Google their way elsewhere.

By the numbers

  • 47% of users want a site to load in two seconds or less (according to an Akamai study)
  • E-commerce shoppers want a site to load in about two seconds. Google aims for less than half a second (according to Google Webmasters)
  • 57% of users will abandon a mobile site if it takes longer than three seconds to load (according to a Mobify study)

The consensus is seems to be faster is better since it greatly improves the user experience. Here are some ideas on making your site faster!

Minimal Design

Minimal Design

It stands to reason that, when you create a bare-bones design, your site simply has fewer elements to load. When there are fewer elements to load, you can meaningfully increase the speed of your site. This is especially helpful with mobile website layouts.

It all depends on the philosophy of how the approach site is designed. A lot of trouble can be avoided from the very beginning by designing smartly to avoid harmful practices that affect the site’s loading speed.

An example of a minimalistic website would be:

  • Simple, concise main navigation items
  • More white or negative space
  • Short web forms
  • Smaller images
  • Fewer external assets being loaded (ie. Fonts, Scripts, etc).
  • Minify assets (compress and combine all Javascript and CSS files)

Help from Google

Mobile Website Testing in Google Pagespeed

Google wants your site to be faster. That would help its overall mission of making the Internet faster. So why not use the amazing tools that Google offers?

The best place to start is Google Developer’s own Make the Web Faster page. Here, you’ll get a stellar assortment of tools and info to speed up your site design.

Another excellent tool Google offers is PageSpeed Insights, where you get detailed insights into what’s causing your current site to run slowly. The best part is that you can get detailed reports and recommendations for both mobile and desktop versions of your site. This gives you a great starting point to make refinements to your site!

Optimize Your Servers

An important aspect of making your site super-fast is how you handle your servers. In particular, tackling your server response time which is key. Your server response time is how long it takes for your server to respond to a browser request.

A few strategies to consider for your server to make sure that your server response time is super-fast:

  • Use a content-delivery network or CDN
  • Use a caching solution
  • Improve your web server software configuration

These of course are just a few of the steps we normally take with all website projects. Questions, comments, suggestions? Feel free to reach out or comment below!

Development

E-Commerce Websites – Square and Apple Pay

Working with new businesses that rely solely on their e-commerce based business is a challenge we welcome. We love the opportunity to help by providing great solutions that will help our client’s vision grow. While we never dabble in using templates or “one size fits all” solutions, we do encourage using existing frameworks. The options we consider are open source, heavily maintained within their respective communities, and easy to expand as our client’s needs grow.

Looking around for ways to build your e-commerce project? Here’s one to consider. Especially if you want all the tools of a online retail store but have a limited budget to work with.

WooCommerce

woocommerce-site-layout

WooCommerce is a great solution to build an e-commerce website for startups. From selling t-shirts to subscribing for samples of craft beer each month we’ve made use of WooCommerce on a number of projects. The many tools available within it’s development community offer features to help you scale as needed. WooCommerce is a plugin that integrates within WordPress, a CMS we’ve chosen to develop a majority of our projects.

WordPress is primarily a content creation platform and it’s renowned by SEO experts as one of the most reliable options. It’s easy to add and edit body content as well as meta information to ensure that your pages have a strong chance of ranking for specific pages.

Although there are plenty of options available to start up your store we’ve found WooCommerce to be the most budget friendly. A lot of the features out of the box are perfect for a small online retail shop. There are even some plugins for all the popular payment gateways available to keep you PCI compliant.

Another benefit? Outside of hosting your website there is no monthly charge that goes along with having a WordPress/WooCommerce based store. Both solutions are free to use.

So whether you’re a best selling author or small retail e-commerce business looking for help with building your store, let’s talk!

Development

E-Commerce Websites – Square and Apple Pay

In February, Google officially rolled out AMP (short for Accelerated Mobile Pages). Google says mobile web pages load 85% faster with AMP. Faster rendering means more page views, leading to more ad views (which also load much faster).

At the same time, Facebook announced Canvas, a new fullscreen mobile ad format that can instantaneously load many types of interactive content, including animations, images, GIFs, videos and more. How instantaneous? As much as 10 times faster than the standard mobile web, according to Facebook.

Although ads are only a part of Google’s AMP while Canvas is an ad product in itself, there is a clear connection between the two. Both of these advances bring mobile ‘cloud-based’ engagements to near native-loading times. By dramatically reducing loading time, the user experience is vastly improved. Google and Facebook are essentially telling the world that the user experience is now the single most important component of mobile advertising, for users and businesses alike.

When two of the top players in the digital world make such clear and similar statements on the state of the industry through their products, others will undoubtedly follow.

Who’s in?

google-amp

Major publishers have already started producing AMP versions of all their content. Now, when you Google a news topic, AMP results appear at the top of the page in a carousel-style format that makes it easy to swipe left and right between stories. Twitter and LinkedIn have signed on as partners to the project, which should make social browsing smoother as well; in fact, Twitter Moments now link directly to AMPs.

While Google doesn’t use AMP as a ranking signal today, it does prominently feature AMP pages. Chances are, it will start doing so in the future, though. Over time, it will then increase the importance of using AMP just like it did with its first efforts in ranking mobile-friendly sites higher.

For publishers, brands, and even e-commerce sites, utilizing AMP means faster load times and a better user experience. After all, don’t we want our audience to engage faster regardless of the device?

 

 

Development

E-Commerce Websites – Square and Apple Pay

Working with startups is something I enjoy doing. There’s plenty of ground to cover when building an online presence and for me the challenge is like having a blank canvas. So here are some things you should plan on if you’re just starting out to paint a complete picture.

Research, review and apply.

Take a look at what competitors are doing through their various social media outlets and see how they’re reaching their client base. Set the bar high and find inspiration from larger brands. Search for some example websites and make note of elements that work well.

With well established brands you’ll notice that their messaging is consistent and visuals are cohesive. This is something to keep in mind while you’re designing and assembling your messaging for your online presence.

The more preparation in place before developing assets to put online the easier it will be when you’re ready to start.

What’s your niche?

After you’ve reached critical mass with the intel you’ve gathered it’s time to make your statement. While you know what you do is great, how will you share this with your audience? What is it that sets you apart? There’s a reason you do what you do and why your excited to share it with everyone, crafting how you market this to your audience is key.

Startup in motion.

As mentioned above, having a consistent message and cohesive visuals are important when marketing your brand. Educating and exciting your potential client base regardless of the medium should be a priority. Once your website and social media accounts are up focus on growing your audience and encouraging interaction with your users.

Lego was once a company struggling to survive in the mid to late nineties. It wasn’t until they embraced their core audience and listened to suggestions that they then started outputting what customers wanted and regained popularity.

The same can be said for plenty of companies. Growing a community around your brand doesn’t happen overnight, but consistency and striving to grow with your audience will help get you there.

Development

E-Commerce Websites – Square and Apple Pay

We worked with our friends at RoadsterShop to rebuild the product section of their automotive website. With the release of a new product line (SPEC3) we built out some custom functionality within WordPress do develop a very easy to use interface for managing their custom products.

If you’re looking to start that custom car project you’ve always dreamed of, we highly recommend you connect with them!

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Evolving your brand
  • November 16, 2015

About us

ForYouDesign is a web and graphic identity development firm established in 2001. Designing to enhance and capture the idea of what every client envisions for their project.

We cover everything from web design and development, hosting, branding, content management solutions and more.

Our team is intentionally small, eclectic, and skilled; with our in-house expertise, we provide sharp and innovative work.

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