Design Webinar Follow-up: “10 Design Rules You Can Break”

You’ve got questions; we’ve got answers. Read on for solutions to your design questions with this blow-by-blow follow up to our latest design webinar.

Top10Design blog Design Webinar Follow up: “10 Design Rules You Can Break”

We want to thank everyone who tuned in to our design webinar last week, titled “10 Design Rules You Can Break.” We had a terrific turnout, and received a really positive response. If you missed it, don’t worry! You can download the slides here, or watch the recording here.

You asked Wes and Camri so many questions, and though we didn’t have time to answer all of them on air, we wanted to take some time and provide in-depth answers to as many questions as we can:

 Webinar Q & A

Q. I have read and been told by a web designer that having a left navigation is outdated now.  Only a top navigation should be used.  What is your opinion on this?

A. Camri: It’s true that a left navigation is going out of style in favor of top navigation menus, primarily because a top navigation will give you more room on your homepage. However, it’s important to think about your users. My advice would be to gather information from your visitors on how they shop your site, and tailor your navigation to fit their needs. Another good strategy is to try to consolidate categories where you can, which is helpful whether you’re using top or a left navigation.

Q. What is the best color for crafting websites?

A. Wes: I don’t think there is any one best color for a crafting a website.  It really depends on the types of products you’re selling and who your target audience is. Personally, I really like ColourLovers for selecting a color palette. It’s a great tool that allows you to search for colors based on different categories and one of them just so happens to be “crafts.”

Q. How do I use non-standard fonts on my Volusion site?

A. Camri: There are a lot of really good resources out there to find fonts that can be used as HTML text. The ones I like to use the most are Google Fonts and Font Squirrel.

On both of these sites, you can browse fonts by category and download them for use on your computer. Most importantly, they have instructions on how to use a selected font in your site.

For more in-depth information on CSS font-embedding, check out this helpful article from CSS-Tricks.com.

Q. How do I put on the Pinterest button on my home page?

A. Wes: Pinterest has a great resource for adding a Pinterest button to your website. Just follow their instructions and choose your options. They provide a small snippet of code and just copy and paste it into where you want it to appear on your homepage.

Here’s a good Volusion support article that might help too.

Q. With more emphasis on mobile technology, it seems to me that smaller photography is the trend, with larger images appearing only after you click on a category or item. Thoughts?

A. Wes: Mobile is definitely a huge trend. Mobile commerce is quickly growing and will continue to grow rapidly. We design a lot of mobile websites and the Volusion software allows you to turn on a mobile-friendly version of your store. I would recommend this option so your site is mobile-optimized for customers shopping from their phones; when you use this option, the size of your photos won’t be a concern. Even if you don’t turn on the mobile version of your store, your website should still adjust to the size of the users’ mobile screens.

Bonus: Here’s a great video on optimizing your store for mobile devices.

Q. When you have a sale going on how do you link a picture on your homepage to those items?

A. Camri: If you have the latest version of the Volusion software, this is fairly simple. Click on the Easy Editor on your homepage, then click the picture you want to link, selecting the “Link” icon on the editor toolbar and paste in the URL of the product or category you want to link to. If you’re still having trouble, check out this Volusion support article with more detailed information on editing your homepage using the Easy Editor.

Q. Thanks for all your information, it was very helpful. I am interested in opening a photography-driven web-store. Is there a Volusion template you can recommend?

A. Wes: A lot of our newer templates follow the larger, photo-driven trend that we now see. If you visit our Ecommerce Templates Page, you can click the “New!” filter link on the right-hand side to see more. There are quite a few that allow for numerous photos, but two that come to mind are Salt Provisions and Reverb. These two templates would work well for a variety of different industries.

Q. Do you have any rules for Business-to-Business (B2B) website design? Are there different design concepts when you’re selling to B2B customers? Companies that don’t place orders with credit cards but with purchase orders.

A. Camri: This is a really good question! In the Design Services department, we have many B2B clients, and their needs can be quite different from business-to-consumer (B2C) retail stores.

In my experience, the best thing you can do is have a fairly minimal homepage design focusing on telling your business customers exactly what your product is and how it can solve their problem. You also want to make it easy for them to navigate straight into your product categories because they often already know what they need when they are first visiting your website.

This can be accomplished by featuring a prominent search bar, and by graphically representing your most popular products or categories on the homepage. By learning what your B2B customers want and making it easy to access with minimal other clutter and distractions, your site design should improve sales.

Q. I’m currently using free template. How can I make changes to page to break the rules and add flare on a shoestring budget?

A. Wes: I would suggest starting with some things you can easily change on your end without needing to spend much money. Take and upload great photos and adjust your colors and fonts to fit your brand—these simple improvements can go a long way. Take the free template and push it as far as you can to make it unique to your brand.

Here’s a good video with some information about editing your template.

Q. My name is Greg. Is my site too busy? www.oregonburls.com. My font seems a bit small – what do you think?

A. Camri: Hi Greg! I actually don’t think your site is too busy. One suggestion I would make is to include a large photo at the top of your homepage that showcases your main product as well as some headline text that tells the visitor what you are selling and why they should buy it. It is great that you placed text and videos on your homepage that promote the National Geographic series in which you are featured. This sets you apart and builds the strength of your brand, and videos are a great way to engage customers and show them more about what you do.

Q. Is the front banner a good design element to increase sales?

A. Wes: The large banner on your home page tends to be one of the main—if not the main—area of focus for site visitors. So I would definitely say that it has a significant impact on your customers and is very important in creating a good first impression. I would recommend taking some time to consider what you want that first impression to be, and then select compelling visuals and content that reflect the brand image you want to communicate.

Q.  I would like to have a review of my website, which is now about four years old. Does your design department do that for Volusion customers, and if so, knowing that I am on a big learning curve, I would need a lot of specific, easy-to-accomplish ideas.

A. Camri: Although our Design department doesn’t conduct website reviews, if you would like a refresh of your site design and a personal consultation of how we could help you with it, feel free to contact our Services Sales Team. They can talk to you about a variety of options that are easy to accomplish.

Another option to consider is a customer survey! Try setting up a short poll and ask your site visitors what they would like to see on your store, or if there is anything about the design causing them difficulty. You can even try offering an incentive to customers who provide feedback. A lot of companies do this, and it could be a great way to get ideas for improvement.

We also want to congratulate the Twitter contest winners:

Question 1: What do the colors of your website say about your brand?
Elizabeth Mills | GinghamAndPosh.com

@Volusion http://t.co/vwjgCddABc smashes stodgy gift basket stereotypes with bold, fun colors!! #sell4xmore — Elizabeth Mills (@ElizMcMills) April 17, 2014

 

Question 2: What is the one thing you must have on your homepage?
Evok3d.com

@volusion #sell4Xmore http://t.co/dDQUEbbi0w Always say what you do/sell on homepage or expect customers to bounce, y’all — The BFG (@elysiandc) April 17, 2014

 

Thank you again to our webinar attendees! And don’t forget to check out the full Design webinar download here, or watch the recording here.

Happy selling!
-Wes Asbell & Camri Hinkie, Volusion

Visit Volusion’s Ecommerce Authority blog for everything you need to cultivate a successful online business. Visit www.Volusion.com to experience the world’s best ecommerce software solution for online businesses.

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Prom Season Ushers in Great Jewellery Finds at Wholesale Fashion Inc

From rhinestone necklace to chandelier earrings, crystal drop down tassel set and other on-trend jewels and charms, Wholesale Fashion Inc. unveils its shiny new collection of prom jewellery for this year’s graduation ball season in the US.

The 2014 Prom Season Sale features a hip and trendy selection of necklace sets and earrings, as well as the hottest trinkets that young men and women are looking for. Rhinestone necklace sets remain one of the Wholesale Fashion’s bestsellers, followed by chandelier earrings and swirled rhinestone earpieces.

All items in the prom jewellery set are manufactured in China, and produced exclusively for Wholesale Fashion Inc. The full collection of 2014 prom jewellery is now available at Wholesale Fashion Inc. website, and is a featured deal on TopTenWholesale, where Free Shipping vouchers on your orders can be acquired.

The collection consists of a myriad necklace designs and colors, with an extensive array of merchandise to choose from. All items are available for retail purchases, with discounts of up to 10 percent off the listed prices. Wholesale buyers get bigger savings with instant discount on bulk purchases.

About Wholesale Fashion Inc.: A fashion jewellery and accessories wholesaler, committed to bringing quality fashion at affordable wholesale prices. The company aims to provide merchandise at extremely competitive prices, and stands by the products they sell such that customers will be thoroughly pleased with product quality and pricing.

For the latest news from TopTenWholesale, follow us on Twitter and connect with us on Facebook.

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3 Things to Know About WooCommerce

WooCommerce is a popular WordPress plugin, designed to transform WordPress into a capable ecommerce platform. The plugin has many superb features and capabilities, but there are also at least three things online sellers should know before opening a WooCommerce-powered store.
These three concerns can impact a …

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5 Quick Ways to Instantly Refresh Your Store’s Design

Want a new look for your store but don’t have time for a complete redesign? Don’t sweat it! Here are five simple shortcuts to refreshing your store.

Volusion Blog CustomDesign 5 Quick Ways to Instantly Refresh Your Store’s Design

As people, we’re hardwired to trust beautiful things. That’s why having a well-designed site is so critical to your online store’s success. Now, with spring in the air, you may be tempted to do a complete design overhaul. But before you dig in, there are simple design changes you can make to get that brand new look without the blood, sweat and tears.

Here are five shortcuts to refreshing your store’s design:

 

1. Update your homepage layout

If you’re happy with the overall look of your site, but want to freshen up your store’s look – updating your homepage is one of the easiest ways to do it. After all, your homepage is  your first impression, so it’s a good idea to keep it lively.

Kate Spade is one store that does a great job keeping their homepage fresh and updated.

katespade 5 Quick Ways to Instantly Refresh Your Store’s Design

 

2. Switch-up your typography

Like we’ve discussed in our typography series, font choice has a huge impact on your website’s voice. If you’re a high-end fashion site and you’re using Comic Sans as your main typeface, it’s time to switch to something a bit cleaner like Montserrat or Lato.

eKidsrooms.com does a great job of keeping their typefaces youthful and chunky to give their site a playful voice.

type 5 Quick Ways to Instantly Refresh Your Store’s Design

 

3. Resize your product images

Nothing makes a store look more unprofessional than a grid of uneven product images. Take some time to make sure all of your product images are the same size. It’ll give your site a cleaner, more professional look.

productimages 5 Quick Ways to Instantly Refresh Your Store’s Design

4. Update your main hero image

As the star of your homepage, your hero image needs to capture your audience’s attention and encourage them to take action. Try using large, high-quality professional photography to evoke emotion. Make sure your message is clear and precise, and include a call to action.

Hope&Heritage does a great job of promoting their winter collection and persuading their customers to start shopping the second they land on the homepage.

.

hero 5 Quick Ways to Instantly Refresh Your Store’s Design

 

 

5. Refresh your homepage promotions

If your homepage layout is already working well, try updating the promotions on your homepage once every few months. These updated deals will keep your store looking new without much effort.

 promo 5 Quick Ways to Instantly Refresh Your Store’s Design

 

As you can see, there are many ways to give your store a new look without throwing the baby out with the bathwater. By changing a few simple elements, your store will stay looking new, and you’ll stay sane. Try some of these changes today and tell us what you think!

Happy selling!
-Monica Chow, Volusion

Visit Volusion’s Ecommerce Authority blog for everything you need to cultivate a successful online business. Visit www.Volusion.com to experience the world’s best ecommerce software solution for online businesses.

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San Diego to Hold Strategic Sourcing Learning Exchange

CA-based Bio Supply Management Alliance (BSMA) is set to gather the top supply-chain management professionals in the biopharma and medical device industry in the US, as it holds this year’s Strategic Sourcing Learning Exchange in San Diego on June 24.

In cooperation with the University of San Diego and the Supply Chain Management Institute, the BSMA summit aims to help large and small biopharma companies to reduce cost, lead time, and defects in their sourcing of biotech products. The conference is designed to facilitate the exchange of knowledge, experience and best practices of strategic sourcing — from research and development to clinical trials, as well as commercialization, manufacturing and logistics.

The Strategic Sourcing Learning Exchange will feature professionals who are directly responsible for managing the supply chain, strategic sourcing, purchasing, forecasting and planning, as well as resource persons involved in clinical supplies and operations, manufacturing, warehouse operations, logistics and risk management in the biotech industry.

During the half-day summit, BSMA is eyeing to give participants the opportunity to learn from solutions delivered by executives and round table subject matter experts, network with senior executives from the industry, and leverage technologies and services from reputed suppliers who will be joining the conference.

It seeks to address the critical areas of strategic sourcing and suppliers relations, particularly the clinical and virtual supply chain networks, information technology as an enabler, risk mitigation, temperature-controlled distribution and governmental compliance.

“Our Institute has been committed to the development of supply chain professionals for nearly three decades with a special focus on strategic sourcing,” Joel Sutherland, the managing director of USD’s Supply Chain Management Institute, said. “The partnership with BSMA aligns well with the overall mission of SCMI and fulfillment of the professional needs of the biotech industry.”

Home to more than 400 biotech firms, San Diego gives BSMA a forum for collaboration, learning and best practice sharing of practitioners, executives and thought leaders in the industry. For more information, visit BSMA at www.biosupplyalliance.com

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Amazon Raises Fee for Prime Shipping

After floating the idea that it might raise the fee for Prime shipping to $119 from the current $79, Amazon settled on a $20 increase, to $99 per year. In states where Amazon collects sales tax, the fee will be over $100 because Amazon charges …

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7 St. Patrick’s Day Gifts That Capture the Luck of the Irish

St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner, and we couldn’t let it arrive without highlighting some of the fantastic St. Patty’s Day products Volusion stores are offering.

StPatricks Heading01A 7 St. Patrick’s Day Gifts That Capture the Luck of the Irish

With St. Patrick’s Day coming up, we couldn’t help but notice the wide array of green, shamrock-filled and Irish-themed offerings so many of our customers had. So here are seven of our favorite St. Patrick’s Day gift ideas from Volusion stores:

1. St. Patrick’s Day Assorted Sugar Cookies – Homeboy Industries

2. Garden of Ireland Heather & Moss Soap – Fragrances of Ireland

3. Foil Shamrock Dog Tank – Little Paws Pet Boutique

4. Green & White Swirl Pan Bread – Homeboy Industries

5. Children’s St. Patrick’s Day Bow Clip – April Dawn Designs

6. Retro Irish Layered Shirt – William & Holmes

7. St. Patrick’s Day Chiller – Cool Gear

 

We know there are plenty more out there, so if you see other products that make you feel lucky, share them with us in the comments below.

 

Visit Volusion’s Ecommerce Authority blog for everything you need to cultivate a successful online business. Visit www.Volusion.com to experience the world’s best ecommerce software solution for online businesses.

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How Does Wholesale Dropshipping Work Contd.

The complete shipping process for the retailer is modified and the wholesale Dropshipper redefines the shipping process. Many jobs have been reclassified because of Dropshipping. Some personnel have found it necessary to do other jobs than what they have been accustom to doing.

Just about every other business uses a Dropshipper to move merchandise to customers. If you have an online business or a catalog business Dropshipping is one of the best way to get merchandise to your customer. Dropshipping is easy and a friendly process that can be used and enjoyed by all businesses. Dropshipping has enhanced the bottom-line for many large and small businesses The two most important things that Dropshipping helps the retailer with are, it cuts down on paperwork and it cuts out the shipping steps.

With wholesale Dropshipping a whole new world economy has become available. The retailer can find customers all over the world any items anywhere in the world that you may have a need for or a desire for can be found online and dropshipped to you. What ever you wish to sell can be found in one form or another through the wholesale Dropshipping process. Dropshipping has become a quick and easy way to get started in e-commerce. Two other advantages of Dropshipping are in the case of a small business no money is invested up front; and the second advantage is that there is no danger of having unsold merchandise in you inventory. After all when you use the Dropshipping methods you purchase merchandise only when you have sold merchandise. Therefore you do not have to worry about an oversupply of one item and an undersupply of another item when you go the wholesale Dropshipping way.

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The 11 Best Places to Get Ecommerce Design Inspiration

Looking for ecommerce design inspiration? Then you won’t want to miss this list of the top web design, ecommerce and logo galleries for you to peruse.

blog designinspiration The 11 Best Places to Get Ecommerce Design Inspiration

Whether you’re redesigning your online store or hiring a designer, it never hurts to take a look around and soak up some inspiration. That’s why we’ve compiled our top 11 web design, ecommerce and logo gallery recommendations for you to feast your eyes and get those creative juices flowing.

 

Web design galleries

  • Dribbble: A social network that allows the best designers from across the world to showcase their work. This site is invite-only, so you know you’ll only be seeing the cream of the crop.
  • Httpster: This is a frequently updated design gallery that features unique and interesting designs.
  • Creattica: A robust resource full of excellent website designs curated by the blog’s authors. (And they have some high standards.)
  • Web Creme: Another good design resource and a favorite of many web designers.
  • Web Design Inspiration: Our top recommendation. This gallery lets you sort designs by industry, types, styles and colors, making it easy to find exactly what you’re looking for.

 

Ecommerce galleries

  • CartCraze: A design gallery focused on ecommerce websites with new stores added weekly.
  • CartFrenzy: Another good resource for online store design, though not as well-updated as CartCraze.
  • Inspirational Shops: Our top recommendation. This a fantastic design gallery showcasing the best online stores.

 

Logo galleries

  • LogoPond: This is the de facto online design gallery for logos. With over 7,000 logos, you’re sure to find inspiration for your next logo.
  • LogoGala: A regularly-updated, solid resource for logo inspiration.
  • Logospire: A great gallery of some of the best logos on the web.

 

With these resources on your side, you’ll find inspiration in no time. Have another gallery you like to browse? Let us know in the comments below!

 

Happy selling!
-Joey Bacon, Volusion

 

Visit Volusion’s Ecommerce Authority blog for everything you need to cultivate a successful online business. Visit www.Volusion.com to experience the world’s best ecommerce software solution for online businesses.

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