Everything listed under: store

  • MagentoGo is Go Go Going. Come to LightCMS Before it's Gone for Good

    We couldn’t help but notice that Magento recently announced it is doing away with two of its ecommerce platforms – MagentoGo and ProStores. As of February 1, 2015 the 10,000 small and mid-sized online retailers currently leveraging these platforms to run their online storefronts will be evicted and forced to find other ways to run their businesses.

    If you are a retailer who is being forced to find a new home, we want you to know that we are here for you and would very much like to become your Ecommerce platform of choice.

    LightCMS provides a powerful, yet easy-to-use cloud-based platform for creating beautiful websites and online stores. Guided by our philosophy of sophisticated simplicity, LightCMS offers an ideal set of tools for small to medium-sized businesses who want to communicate, conduct business, and sell products online. More than 175,000 users from around the world leverage the simplicity and flexibility LightCMS offers to build standout websites and online stores quickly.

    The holidays are quickly approaching and so is the February 1st deadline. If you would like to take LightCMS for a test drive, sign up for FREE to see just how easy running your online store on LightCMS can be. Sign up for your test drive here: https://www.lightcms.com/signup

    See how other organizations like yours are leveraging LightCMS.

    Here are a few case studies and videos featuring some of the many happy LightCMS users leveraging our platform to run their businesses:

  • Retail Spotlight: Sugarillashop

    The women behind Sugarillashop share a passion for fashion. For several years, they talked about the idea of launching an online store in hopes of sharing their love of chic, sophisticated styles from names like Naven, Greylin, Mink Pink, and Parker with like-minded shoppers. But the technical details of such an endeavor were intimidating. That is, until they found LightCMS.

    Prior to launching its online storefront, the team considered platforms like WordPress before deciding on LightCMS. Their decision was based on several recommendations as well as LightCMS’s balance of ease of use with capabilities for order management, inventory and customer management, and a streamlined, secure shopping cart that integrates with such leading payment processors as Authorize.net, Stripe and PayPal.

    Working with the LightCMS professional services team, Sugarillashop was launched in the Summer of 2013 on the LightCMS content management system platform and has grown into a beautifully-styled site that offers chic and edgy apparel along with everything trending in the world of fashion. Since then, it’s been a breeze for the two non-technical users to add new product content and images as the collection has grown to well over 500 SKUs.

    “We’re adding new products almost daily and the site keeps getting bigger. LightCMS is very user-friendly and we never feel limited in what we can do,” said Stephanie Gonce, founder and owner of Sugarillashop.

    With a solid foundation on LightCMS, the Sugarillashop team is confident that they will continue to grow and bring what once seemed like a pipe dream to fruition. “We are not worried about LightCMS’s ability to grow with us at all because it’s always on the cutting edge and provides us with everything we need even before we know we need it.”

    To learn more about how Sugarillashop is leveraging LightCMS to grow its business, read the full case study here. You can also take a look at other examples of how retailers are using the LightCMS platform to power their online storefronts.

  • Choosing the Best Payment Processor for Your Online Store

    When setting up an online shopping cart, one of the first decisions you will have to make is which payment processing services to use. You’ll want to provide options that cover all of the most popular ways to pay, but without making the process too complex for you or your customers. Fortunately, LightCMS makes this process easy by offering a handful of carefully selected payment processing options. In this post, we’d like to give you an overview of the pros and cons of each service supported by the LightCMS platform.

    PayPal Payments Standard and PayPal Payments Pro

    PayPal is ubiquitous these days, offering ease-of-use and a sense of security for customers who use it. Merchants as big as WalMart and as small as home-based eBay sellers accept PayPal. There are two types of PayPal merchant accounts integrated with LightCMS – PayPal Payments Standard and PayPal Payments Pro.

    The main advantage of PayPal is simplicity. It's easy for customers to open a PayPal account, and even those without an account can still get started using PayPal Payments Standard by simply providing their email address. The fee structure is also very simple. PayPal charges a flat 2.9% plus $.30 per transaction. In addition to shopping cart services, PayPal accounts also provide other advantages such as a free mobile credit card reader to enabling merchants to swipe cards in person.

    Not all merchants like PayPal Payments Standard as an online solution as it redirects customers from the merchant's site to the PayPal website to complete a transaction. Stores concerned about having a professional image may want the transaction handled entirely on their own website. Those businesses may prefer to enable PayPal Payments Pro. The Pro service adds a $30 monthly fee but, in return, it provides merchants with more control over the checkout experience and allows LightCMS customers to provide a seamless checkout experience without redirecting to PayPal’s website. PayPal Payments Pro also includes the option of using a PC as a Virtual Terminal for inputting phone, fax and email orders outside of the LightCMS system.

    PayPal’s PayFlow Pro

    Payflow Pro is a PayPal-owned payment gateway solution for merchants who already have an account with another card authorization service and want to use it with LightCMS. Payflow Pro acts as a conduit to allow businesses with any pre-existing merchant account to utilize that account for online shopping cart transactions through the LightCMS platform. Therefore, Payflow Pro is best suited for merchants who already have a credit card merchant account through another vendor and want to use it with their website.

    Authorize.net

    The Authorize.net Payment Gateway is a more complex option best suited for larger companies and organizations. The benefit of Authorize.net is that it provides a myriad of options and features supporting payments through multiple touch points, including online. It also works with most any existing merchant account. The downside of Authorize.net is that it is a complex solution that takes a good amount of effort to set up. We include Authorize.net to allow those who already use it to connect it with their LightCMS website. If you’re setting up a new LightCMS store and don’t already have an Authorize.net account, our other solutions will likely provide an easier solution for you. The cost of using Authorize.net varies on a case by case basis and is determined by all the features you choose to enable on your account.

    Stripe

    A relative newcomer to the online payments scene, Stripe is making a big impact in providing a very simple, flat-rate payment option for those who want to sell online. Stripe lets merchants take credit card payments without having to maintain a separate merchant account or payment gateway. Instead, it stores card information and transfers payments to the seller's regular bank account once a week. Stripe’s fees are very similar to PayPal’s at 2.9% plus $.30 per transaction.

    Stripe offers a huge advantage to its customers by providing a seamless checkout experience (without leaving the LightCMS website) with no monthly fees. Because of its advantages, LightCMS has even integrated the sign-up process for Stripe so that LightCMS customers can sign up for Stripe and enable payments on their LightCMS by simply completing one form inside the LightCMS interface. This direct integration plus the advantages of Stripe make it a natural choice for those looking for a simple solution for accepting payments through their LightCMS account.

    Get Started Today!

    No matter which payment processor you choose, getting payments connected to your LightCMS online store is as simple as can be. Simply choose Store Settings -> Payments on the LightCMS toolbar to make your selections and get set up. If you need help, you can always contact our amazing support team at support@lightcms.com.

  • Five Reasons to Take Your Store Online

    It's a common belief among many small businesses that online stores are for big companies with global markets. Selling online, they think, doesn't apply to the little guy. That's a misconception that may be keeping your business from growing to its full capacity.

    Five Reasons to Take Your Store Online
    WildInkPress.com running on LightCMS

    In fact, there are many reasons to move your store online, no matter the size of your business. If your company still hasn't taken its first step toward online sales, here are five reasons why it should… and quickly.

    1. Reach New Customers

    How much more could you sell if you could reach customers across America or around the world? Online selling means you can. What if all those customers could purchase from you at any time? Online selling makes all of this possible, opening your business to more customers and purchases than ever before.

    2. Give Local Customers a Convenient Alternative

    People love convenience and there's nothing more convenient than a Web browser and online shopping cart. Even your regulars may get tired trekking out to your store, especially if they're older, ill, or just don't want to brave the bad weather. With the rising price of gas, and the constant shortage of time, more of your loyal customers might appreciate being able to buy from the comfort of their own home.

    3. Get a Competitive Edge

    Ecommerce can be a competitive feature for smaller stores in local markets. It can also give a small seller a leg up on the giant retailers like Walmart and Amazon. Supporting small and local businesses has become a popular movement so your customers may welcome the chance to buy from your Website rather than the big guys.

    4. Look Bigger Than You Are

    By establishing a professional website complete with an online store, companies can give the impression of a larger organization. It's not uncommon to find an online firm that looks as though it employs hundreds but actually has just three or four employees. A well-designed, inviting Web site with shopping cart functionality can make your business look like a big league player.

    5. Build Your Brand Image

    Creating a Web presence allows a company to tell its story to consumers with photos, videos, blog posts, case studies, and management bios. You can share your firm's history, philosophy, ethics, community involvement, employee culture – all of this can help bring your brand to life. When you combine these standard web content features with the power of an online store, your brand becomes far more than just a local player in a local market.

    Creating an online store is not only a valuable step for virtually any business with products to sell, it's also much easier than you might think. Using a cloud-based, inexpensive and user-friendly content management system like LightCMS, a store owner can quickly create a website and add photos, slideshows, forms, downloadable documents, product listings and a shopping cart with secure payment options. Tools that were previously available only to large corporations are now within the reach of most any retail business. Why not take advantage of all that online selling has to offer?

  • New Feature! Sell Digital Goods with LightCMS

    We're excited to announce another major feature addition to the LightCMS platform. We're calling it Digital Goods and it's one of the features most requested by our LightCMS customers. We know you're going to love the seamless integration of Digital Goods with LightCMS's robust and simple-to-use online store functionality. Take a look at the details below.

    Sell Physical and Digital Goods with a Single Platform

    Digital Goods integrate seamlessly with LightCMS's existing online store features. This means you can add digital products to your store in the same way that you add physical products. It also means that you can list digital and physical products in the same storefront and customers can purchase any combination of physical and digital goods in a single checkout experience.


    An example of the new product variant screen with options for goods that are physical, digital or both.

    To facilitate this, we've created a new concept of Variant "Type." For each product variant, you can choose a type of Physical, Digital, or Both. For example, you could create a product for a music album you're selling. The album might have three variants — one variant for the physical CD, another variant for a digital download of the album, and a third variant to purchase both the physical CD and the digital download. You can offer your customers all of these options through a single product listing on your website.

    When you select the "Digital" or "Both" variant type, you'll be asked to provide the digital file you wish to sell. You can upload a file, provide a link to a file elsewhere on the Internet, or choose a file that you've previously uploaded as a digital good. And here's some really great news — files uploaded as Digital Goods don't count toward your website's storage limits. So, no matter the size of your website you can take full advantage of this amazing new feature!

    Automatic Fulfillment and the New Order Receipt

    One of the many great things about Digital Goods is that order fulfillment happens automatically. You don't have to do a thing. LightCMS guides your customers through the process of accessing and downloading the digital products they have purchased.

    To accomplish this, we're introducing a brand new Order Receipt. Every customer now gets access to a permanent, online order receipt for every order they place, whether the order is for physical goods, digital goods or both. A link to the Order Receipt appears on the order confirmation screen after checkout and is also emailed to each customer immediately after their purchase.


    The new Order Receipt with download links for digital products.

    For each digital product ordered, the Order Receipt contains a "Download" button, allowing the customer to download their purchased items. The download button can only be used three times or for 24 hours, whichever comes first. After that, it is replaced by a "Request Download" button. When a customer clicks a request download button, the store administrator is alerted and given the opportunity to re-enable downloads for the item if they so choose. Download requests show up on the store administrator's dashboard with handy inline buttons allowing them to approve or reject each request.

    Store administrators can also access the download history for each file through the order history screen in the store admin interface. A file's download history shows the number of times the download button has been accessed, the date and IP address of each access and whether or not the download was a success.


    Store administrators can view the download history for every digital asset on every order.

    Generate Free Downloads for Promotional Purposes

    Digital Goods also include the ability for store administrators to generate "Free Download" links. These one-time use links can be provided to customers for promotional purposes. The LightCMS Store tracks all generated free download links and whether or not they have been redeemed.

    Provide New Versions to All Who Have Purchased

    Want to provide automatic, free upgrades to customers who have purchased your Digital Goods? The LightCMS store makes this simple. Any time you update the file for a digital product, LightCMS not only makes the new file available to all new customers, it also automatically emails all customers who have previously purchased the product informing them that a new version is available. The download limits for this new version are reset, allowing the customer to download it at no extra cost.

    Streamlined Product Editing

    As a part of this release, we've also made some improvements to the store in general. Product editing screens are now divided into three tabs — Basic, Advanced and Images — making it easier to navigate the options when setting up your products. In addition, we've made some big improvements to the way variants and options work. These changes improve the user experience for selling all products on the LightCMS store including both physical and digital goods.

    Premium Features at No Extra Charge

    Digital Goods and all of the features described above will be added to all LightCMS websites at no extra charge. As you know, our pricing is based on the size of a website and not on features. We believe that every website deserves the very best and we're so excited to bring this Premium Digital Goods service to all LightCMS customers.

    This release is currently scheduled for Tuesday, August 6th. Thank you all for your continued support of LightCMS. We look forward to bringing you these amazing new features!

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