Bulk Update Pricing in Shopify

Short answer, not possible, long answer, App developers are working on it. But what does this mean right now, for those of us with Shopify ecommerce stores looking to update pricing for the new year? It means we have two options, either do it by hand manually on each product, or subscribe to a $7.99 per month Shopify App.

Short answer, not possible, long answer, App developers are working on it.  But what does this mean right now, for those of us with Shopify ecommerce stores looking to update pricing for the new year?  It means we have two options, either do it by hand manually on each product, or subscribe to a $7.99 per month Shopify App.

Shopify Bulk Pricing Update App

Shopify Assistant is currently the only App that I’ve found that allows bulk pricing updates.  It highlights the ability to swap inventory among collections and bulk update pricing by percentage or set dollar figure.  In addition, it allows the update to be made into a task, so that you can schedule a price change.

Please note, there are some reviews that mention bugs, like a continually running task.  So while not as automated or integrated as I’d like to see, it’d have to do and well worth the price if you have thousands of products that need to have their prices changed.

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Shopify Abandonaid – Abandon Cart Application

Find out more information on the abandon cart app for Shopify, Abandonaid. This $10 app per month comes with reporting and simple setup.

It’s been 6 short months since I’ve switched my main eCommerce store over to Shopify from my self hosted WordPress store.  Overall it’s been a very pleasant experience that I would recommend to most anyone.  Just don’t do what I did, start sooner rather than later.  But as you grow, you start trying to capture all the small little sales you might be missing, which lead me to Abandonaid by Coolence.

The application comes with a free 7 day trial, which I am currently utilizing.  To install, simply visit the Shopify App Store page and hit the install button while you are logged into your store’s admin.  After authorizing it to install on your eCommerce page, you then authorize payment of $10 per month, immediately following your free trial period.  Should you chose not to use the Shopify App, just uninstall before the 7 day trial period ends and you should not be charged.

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Shopify Robots.txt File

For the past 3 months I’ve been developing, building, populating, and promoting a Shopify ecommerce store. I transitioned from a self hosted WordPress website, utilizing Premium Press to sell product to Shopify. The transaction has been as smooth as can be expected, but it’s caused me to raise a lot of questions. Specifically, it’s forced me to ask the question, why is Shopify disallowing my Blogs in the Robots.txt file?

For the past 3 months I’ve been developing, building, populating, and promoting a Shopify ecommerce store.  I transitioned from a self hosted WordPress website, utilizing Premium Press to sell product to Shopify.  The transaction has been as smooth as can be expected, but it’s caused me to raise a lot of questions.  Specifically, it’s forced me to ask the question, why is Shopify disallowing my Blogs in the Robots.txt file?

Thankfully, the answer is that I just don’t know what I’m talking about.  I simply do not know as much about web marketing and SEO as I thought I did.  The Robots.txt file on all Shopify stores looks incorrect, but it’s done properly to save your ecommerce store from yourself.  Allow me to explain why it’s important to block Shopify blogs and collections in the Robots.txt file.

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PayPal Charges $1.00 For Updating Credit Card

PayPal charges $1.00 for updating credit card info, but then immediately cancels the transaction. In this case, it still showed up on my bank statement.

My credit card I had linked to my PayPal account was recently about to expire.  Therefore, I went in and updated my information, which in this case was simply changing the expiration date on the Mastercard.

I noticed on my bank statement that I was charged a $1.00 fee from PayPal, however there were no details.  Usually, when authorizing a credit card with PayPal they notify you that there will be a small charge, accompanied by a 4 digit number to confirm.  This allows you to prove that the card is in fact yours.  I was not notified of a charge, nor where there any codes to enter into PayPal or attached to the transaction.

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Engaging In Simpler Designs

A new year is closely approaching and it forces me to reflect on whats important to my design decisions.

snow-wpI’ve spent some time the past few weeks playing around with the new TwentyTwelve WordPress theme.  So far I’m absolutely in love with it’s simplicity and I have to ask, is a love of simplicity in design a sign of getting older?  No longer am I concerned with magazine style wordpress themes, billowing graphics, or cutting edge design, instead provide me with a blank slate and let the content design the site.

Don’t get me wrong, elegant designs still have an impact in my day to day developing process.  Elegant Themes(affiliate link) is of course my choice for custom WordPress themes, which provide my commercial selling websites with the modern look that visitors crave.  However, I just don’t feel these themes work with my content driven websites, I’m not selling anything.  I would prefer the focus be less on the theme and more on what I have to say, not that it’s particularly important.

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New Google Shopping For Merchants

My experience with using the updated and new Google Shopping for Merchants. This change effectively costs me more money in advertising costs, yet has not yielded better or more conversions.

Google changed the way merchants interact with their Shopping search, which translates into more money and fewer conversions.  Google Merchants before the change were able to submit their stores products and have them listed, without a fee.  However, now there is a fee for each click made within the Shopping categories of Google and on the Shopping results that show up in standard search engine results.  I’ve noticed the same amount of traffic, same amount of conversions.

Working specifically in my niche, all the users who had items listed before Google Shopping went paid, are still around.  So it’s not like the competition pool dried up.  Basically on my end no benefit has been made, other than my advertising budget has went up to get the same clicks I was receiving previously.  To help soften the blow, Google did offer $100 in free advertising through their paid product placement listings within the search engine results.  Not worth it.

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Google AdWords Automatic Payment Declined

[ad#toppostleft]Had a first this afternoon, apparently Google AdWords notified me that my bank denied the credit card on file for automatically making Google Adwords payments.  This denial of payment immediately put my currently running ads on pause and put my account in default until action was taken.  So, I immediately contacted Fifth Third Bank to see what was going on.

According to 5/3 Bank my they authorized the transaction and confirmed that the payment had went through.  After a brief conversation I also confirmed that my account was in good standing and there was no reason to put my account on hold, all transactions have been authorized and would be so in the future.  Keep in mind, this account has used the same payment method for over a year, payments going off without a hitch every month, but now supposedly declined.  Time to call Google.

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Google Merchants Datafeed Error

So, I’ve been using the Google Merchants and having success through Google Shopping, up until a few weeks ago.  Now, I’m still getting clicks, and my products are still showing up in search, however I’m getting datafeed errors.  The reason for the errors is not very clear.

On the Merchants dashboard it states that all of my products have errors, which need to be fixed.  The link below the announcement takes me to my datafeed quality report and states to fix the problems listed below.  Only problem, there are no problems listed below.

Google Merchants Datafeed
Datafeed Quality

Yahoo Advertiser Closure Fees

Ok, so I know I haven’t used the Yahoo Advertising service in forever, but actually closing my account and taking my money?  Apparently, if you don’t use your Yahoo Advertiser account for so long, they close it down and steal whatever money you had setting in the account, up to the $25 closing fee.  Not a lot of money, but considering how awful the return was, I’d suspect Yahoo is making more money from closing accounts than retaining customers.

Somehow, according to the email correspondence from Yahoo, the account had remained inactive for about 24 months.  2 years!?  Hell, had no idea I even had an advertising account for that long.  However, goes to show how much potential the Yahoo advertising network had for me, personally.

I understand the need to close the account, but I was given no notice of the impending doom.  Perhaps 30 days or so to let me spend my remaining few dollars would have been nice.  It’s frustrating, because unlike Google Adsense you are required to preload your advertising account at Yahoo, instead of being billed every month.  So, add funds, stop a campaign halfway and BAM, dollars resting in an account you forget about for 2 years.

Lesson learned and a warning to others.  Empty that old Yahoo advertiser account.

Reddit Self Serve Advertising Review

I’ve decided to do a brief review on Reddit self serve advertising, which allows you to create your own sponsored link and get it published at the top of Reddit.com or on sub reddits. The ability to post on subreddits only, allows for extremely targeted traffic. For example, posting in the Technology subreddit would be a great place to advertise computer components or anything tech related you are interested in selling.  However, for my first self serve ad, I choose for it to be ran site wide.

I chose to advertise my Auto News site, in an attempt to increase readership and more importantly RSS subscribers.  I was not selling anything directly, so I can’t quite recommend Reddit as a place to get sales…yet.  However, I did find that I got some fairly cheap visitors to my site, who were generally interested in my content, using bounce rates as a gauge of interest.

Setting Up Your Self Serve Ad on Reddit

For starters, getting an ad setup is very easy and probably requires less than 5 mins of work.  The ad buyer simply needs to choose where they want their sponsored link placed, add a thumbnail image (not required), and add a link Title.  The buyer is then allowed to choose whether they want to allow for comments, which could possible make or break certain types of ads on this social bookmarking site.  I chose to not allow comments.

After your sponsored link has been created, simply input the amount of money you are willing to spend per day on that Ad being shown.  One downside is that sponsored link placements can only be placed 24 hours in advance, no immediate gratification.  Then you chose how long you want your self-served ad to run, allowing for the budget you entered previously.

How Reddit Self Serve Advertising Works

Buying a sponsored link on Reddit does not guarantee a certain number of clicks or views.  Reddit will take the total amount of self serve ads for the specified day, then break it down by who bid the most.  The link views are then shown based on the amount you are spending.  For example, if two advertisers picked the same day and both bid $100, each persons sponsored link will be shown 50% of the time.  If one buyer would spend just $30 per day and the other spend $70, the first person’s ad will only be shown 30% of the time, regardless of how many click sit actually generates.

Reddit does a good job of showing you how popular certain days are, so it’s possible to get a ton of views for next to nothing on low self-serve ad traffic days.  I choose a day through the week which had little advertising, so I feel I got a good value for my money.

My Experience With Reddit Self Serve Ads

I ran my ad for 3 days and spent a total of $60, which obviously equals the minimum $20 per day budget.  This self serve ad campaign resulted in 25,708 unique views of my sponsored link and 722 unique clicks through to my site.  Again, I wasn’t selling anything direct, so it’s hard to gauge, other than bounce rate, how well these visitors would convert.  However, I think it does a good job of showing the potential traffic from such a small investment.

Ultimately I ended up with an extra 40 RSS subscribers and I’ve received return visits from people who most likely bookmarked my site after clicking on my sponsored link.  I was happy with the pittance of an advertising investment and look forward to testing out some new landing pages, seeing what converts, and finding out what Redditors are actually buying.

The Future Of Reddit Self-Serve Advertising

My guess is that self-serve advertising on Reddit won’t be around for much longer.  Recently they posted on their official blog that they are hurting for money and while the self-serve advertising is nice, it’s not enough to pay the bills and expand Reddit.  To be honest, it’s a bit insulting that the engineers of Reddit are holding on their hands for money, instead of going after other viable advertising opportunities.  Hell, we already provide all the content, now they want some of our money?

Again, I’m going to try and start another sponsored link campaign, this time with a product for sale.  I’ll be back soon to post the results.

Reddit Self Serve Advertising Results
Reddit Self Serve Advertising Results