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StackCommerce Hack Day Spring 2017

StackCommerce Hack Day Spring 2017

As company traditions go, Hack Day is one of the most beloved events of the year here at StackCommerce. Last week, for the sixth time, we left our daily tasks behind, turned off (or down) our inboxes, loaded up on company-provided grub, and spent the day thinking big and thinking boldly about native commerce.

As with any startup, innovation is our bread-and-butter, and Hack Day is the perfect day to remind ourselves that no idea is too out-of-the-box if it helps our publishers and brands in new and exciting ways. Read on to explore this year’s highlights and look out for some of these features coming to fruition in the coming months (if they haven’t already)!

#1 All-About-The-Customer Hack

What happens when members of our supply chain, design, and customer support teams get together? They develop amazingly thoughtful ways to turn around less than ideal customer experiences. Operation ‘Customer Win-Back’ includes fun incentives like surprise gifts and special (free) e-learning bundles designed to soothe the frustration of unavoidable shipping delays and product issues. Because as we say: happy customers, happy Stack.

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#2 ‘Your Wish Is Our Command’ Sales Hack

At StackCommerce, curation is king. We excel at matching our publisher partners with products that their readers will actually like. But in typical Stack fashion, we believe we can always do better. Some of our rockstar Sales reps came together and built a system that would tell them exactly what products our partner audiences are talking about. By swiftly scanning the comments sections and most-viewed articles, we can better serve our partners with great deals on extremely relevant products.

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#3 Efficiency Hack

One unique aspect of working with StackCommerce is our ability to enhance our partners’ earnings with paid advertising. Known as Amplify and Momentum, these programs help our publishers and brands capitalize on high-converting commerce posts and videos with strategic spend and top-notch management. Together, the best minds in marketing, business development, and data science were able to hack together a tool that sets up paid campaigns faster than ever. Efficiency for us equals more money for our partners. Win, win.

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#4 Storytelling-in-Action: Hack Day Winner!

Let’s face it. Facebook is the new front door to the internet and this fact has huge ramifications for online publishers and advertisers. Native Social Video is a new product at StackCommerce and allows our publisher partners to use Facebook video to generate incremental revenue streams outside of homepage traffic. This year’s Hack Day winner spent the day simplifying the video request process and recruiting the best social video editing talent in the game. The future is video, and this year’s Hack Day echoed that sentiment loud and clear.

Stack Without Borders: International Feature Update

Stack Without Borders: International Feature Update

One of the many benefits of working with StackCommerce is our ability to accommodate international markets. For vendors, this means getting your products in front of users located in hundreds of countries across the globe, creating valuable brand awareness. For publishers, this means we’re here to support commerce for your current or future international audience. We want to help you grow! With such a significant segment of our current audience outside the US, it’s crucial that we create the best possible shopping experience for users in any location.

Where do we start? A critical piece of the international experience lies within our checkout flow. Due to varying costs, product variations, and availability, shipping items internationally is complex by nature. In an effort to maximize conversion, we’ve updated our UI to collect the most important shipping detail first: country of origin. This accomplishes two important goals:

  1. Ensures shipping costs, which vary by country, are correctly applied to the order
  2. Ensures that the customer’s checkout flow is relevant to the shipping destination (i.e., collecting state, zip code, or phone number where necessary)

We’re excited to continue fine-tuning our commerce experience for all users. Be on the lookout for more new features in the near future!

Optimizing Sale Pages for Elearning Products

Optimizing Sale Pages for Elearning Products

On our StackSocial site, different product types require different page layouts. The two main layouts we use are designed for our bundle sales and single product sales. Last week we introduced a brand new page page layout tailored to our eLearning sales.  This is significant for two main reasons: 1. eLearning is one of our largest product categories and 2. eLearning sales contain product details that are vital for the consumer, that are irrelevant for other product categories. With this update, we now have a layout that was built solely with an eLearning product in mind.

After doing some research, we decided that the eLearning layout should be built around two key features – a course outline and a preview video of the course.

A before and after of our eLearning page updates:

top-part

 

 

By adding a video we were able to use a wider image ratio allowing the rest of the page move up, above the fold.  We also added eLearning specific information opposite from the video/product image which includes: Instructor name, number of lessons, and a star rating. Now all of the product detail tabs are above the fold which allows for fast consumption of important information on the page.

A look at the course outline:

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The course outline was added to the page parallel to the description and other, with each section able to be expanded to show more course information. Now our users have more granular information on the course they are intending to buy.

With this new layout, we hope to give our users a better understanding of what’s offered in the courses we sell.  In the next month we we hope to roll out redesigns for our eLearning bundle and ‘pay what you want’ pages and continue to improve the user experience across our platform.

Thanks for reading!

-Stack Product Team

Goodbye Redemption Codes… Hello Smooth!

Goodbye Redemption Codes… Hello Smooth!

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One of our most popular categories is eLearning. Our redemption platform, StackSkills, is where all our students go to access their course content, connect with their instructor, and engage with other students in the community. Our old redemption process was complicated, so we decided to simplify. Previously, we provided students with license codes and a redemption link that they would follow. This process required the student to setup an account, then go through a series of steps to redeem their code and unlock the course. It also created other potential complications, like sold out or invalid redemption codes. We want this to be so easy that you don’t even have to think, so we connected the platform by implementing course automation.

No more redemption codes! Now, when a student purchases an eLearning course, it’s automatically added without the need for additional steps. Returning students can access their course immediately with one click! New users simply need to verify their account, then they’ll have instant access.

Another thing we’ve learned about our students is that they enjoy gifting courses, or purchasing them for other students or business colleagues. We’ve built in the ability for students to choose who the course goes to. An email will be sent to the recipient with instructions on how to redeem. Easy!

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What do you think are the best practices for online eLearning platforms? We’d love to hear your feedback!

-The Product Team

Partner Request: Show me the money!

Partner Request: Show me the money!

Electronic payments, digital wallets, blockchains; Payment processing is a constantly evolving technology that makes mailing a check look like ancient history. With each new enhancement comes more opportunities to make payment systems more transparent and informative.

StackCommerce is committed to evolving our platform as well, and to surfacing as much relevant information to our partners as possible. By sourcing helpful bits of feedback we’ve learned that we can easily present answers to common payment questions, including but not limited to:

  • When will my payment be posted?
  • What is the amount of my payment?
  • How will my payment be transferred?

Our latest integration helps answer these questions by leveraging our payment partner’s iframe to display dates, amounts, deposit methods, and status for current and previous payments. Adding visibility to payments helps make our platform more transparent, but most importantly, gives partners immediate access to pertinent info 24/7. To explore, just navigate to the Earnings section of your dashboard and select Payment Status.

We’d love to hear your comments below!

– Stack Product Team

Shhh! The Secret to Growing Your Deal Store

Shhh! The Secret to Growing Your Deal Store

Emails, Emails, Emails. If there’s one thing we’ve learned, it’s how valuable capturing your readers’ emails can be. When studying the way that users behave on our stores, we’ve found that often times, users are interested in our deals, but may not convert at that exact moment. Many of these customers come back later when the product or timing is right. If we don’t take advantage of these precious moments when customers are on the site, we might lose the opportunity to provide them with a killer deal forever. We have a ton of ways to capture emails on our publisher stores, including email capture modals, widgets, exit intent popups, and more. We’ve tested and optimized these email capture tools vigorously – but it’s time to double down. We want to bring our capture tools to YOUR site. Here are the steps we’ve taken to do just that:

Subscriber API

Our first step was to build a Subscriber API. This is basically a place to send emails where we can look at where it came from and where it should go. All our deal emails are white-labeled for your store. This means that any customers that come from you will be sent to your deal store. If you already have a widget on your site that you’re attached to, that’s okay — we understand. You can still send us emails to add to your deals list! Our API allows you to easily add customers to your list, without having to introduce and optimize a new widget. Contact your account manager to get set up.

Our most successful publishers are the ones that make their email list a priority, because it gives us the opportunity to hit those customers with some amazing content, like this:

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Email Capture Widget

Maybe “email capturing” isn’t your specialty — that’s okay too. We built an email capture widget that looks beautiful on all devices and will help you bring out your email game face. What’s great about the email capture widget is that it’s just a snippet of Javascript. Drop the snippet into your site and you can have the emails flowing in no time. The best part of it is, your work is done after that! Let us do the designing, tracking, analyzing, and reporting. We’ll just send you a check — sounds good, right? Here’s what it looks like:

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One of our biggest goals while building this product was to make it extremely flexible. We want our email capture solutions to work for everyone. If you’re interested in building out your email list, contact your account manager to discuss what you are looking for — we are here to help. One of our favorite things about our deal stores is that the products in them are hand-picked and curated on a store by store basis. Our goal is not to bombard readers with random things to buy; it’s to put the right products, in the right place, at the right time — and make you money. And EMAILS are the golden ticket.

Talk to you soon!

– Stack Product Team

 

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