Category: Custom Coding

Improving Your BigCommerce Store in 2019

As we close out yet another trip around the sun, you may be starting to wonder “What’s next for my online store?” A new year is a great time to stop and take stock of what worked, what didn’t, and what you can do to improve the bottom line on your BigCommerce store.

In ecommerce, as in life, continuous improvement should always be top of mind. Consider the following when planning your next course of action.

Improve Your Store

If you’re not intentionally working on making your ecommerce store better, you’re allowing it to get worse. Everything is constantly changing. Focused, strategic effort on your part is necessary to make your store the best it can be.

Don’t let that scare you! Avoid overwhelm. If you don’t know where to begin, small changes made consistently over time are a good way to start making progress … but don’t delay. Start now.

Master Your Analytics

If you don’t know where you are now, how will you know how to get to where you want to go next? If you’re not in the habit of getting regular updates on your store’s current status, this should be a priority on your to-do list. What critical information can you learn from your store’s analytics?

  • Audience: Where are you buyers located? How old are they? Are they men or women?
  • Acquisition: Where is the majority of your traffic coming from? What ad campaigns are working?
  • Behavior: Are your buyers first time or repeat visitors? How much traffic is from mobile?
  • Conversions: What’s your conversion rate? What pages on your site convert best? How many didn’t make it to checkout?

… and much, much more.

If you’re not knowledgeable or comfortable using Google Analytics, you’re not alone. Check out The Best of the Best eCommerce Analytics Tools to Grow Your Business.

Hot tip: If you have a BigCommerce store with a large product catalog of unique fitment products (like Year/Make/Model), PartFinder features Data Insights, real-time data generated by customer behavior on your site. Customer searches on your site generate unique data that you can use to improve both your marketing and inventory efforts.

5 Quick Fixes

I look at a wide variety of ecommerce websites every day, offering constructive criticism and our development services on BigCommerce’s Community Forum. Here are the top five areas of improvement I regularly comment on:

  1. Make sure your site is secure

I’ve been seeing this a lot lately. If customers don’t feel that their payment method is secure, they won’t buy from you. Period. Get an SSL certificate for your site pronto.

2. Feature an eye-catching banner with concise messaging

Your site’s banner is prime real estate, and is usually the thing your customer notices first. It can either inform and engage them or turn them off completely. This is the space where you identify your product offering with clear, targeted messaging and sharp photos. I cannot overstate the importance of high-quality images here. The banner sets the tone for the rest of the site, so you should pay especially close attention to this area. Make sure your aspect ratios are on point so you don’t get the dreaded s t r e t c h e d photo effect.

3.  Create a one-line navigation bar with clear product categories

Is your navigation bar product-focused? Things like Shipping and Returns don’t belong in your nav. Have large, well-defined product categories with dropdowns to keep the nav tidy. We recommend 6-8 navigation items, tops.

4. Keep your Home page product-focused too

Your potential customers come to your site to buy from you. They don’t need to read a long story about you or your products on the Home page. While an About Us or Our Story page can be quite compelling, it does not need to take up valuable Home page real estate. Share your story, your philosophy, and interesting details about your quality craftsmanship (if applicable) with appropriate keywords, on a dedicated page they can get to from the main navigation bar.

5. Standardize your product images and create unique product descriptions

This is another area that can sabotage your Home page experience. Make sure the sizing and aspect ratios of your product images are consistent. When image boxes vary in size, they not only look sloppy, but can throw off the alignment of product names and pricing info. Create unique product descriptions rather than using ones supplied by a manufacturer (if you’re a reseller). If you have a product that comes in five colors, it’s best to create one product with five variations than five separate products. Writing creative, compelling product descriptions isn’t always easy. Work on them over time if necessary, but avoid duplicate content whenever possible.

Invest in New Apps

So many apps, so little time …

It’s very likely that you’ve purchased a number of apps to help you with marketing, inventory, shipping, and so on. But when was the last time you took a stroll through the BigCommerce app store to see what’s new? Are you up on all the latest technologies? Small investments can pay off big. Check out this list, BigCommerce Must-Haves to see what you’ve been missing.


Refine Your Product Offering

Is your current product offering too narrow … or too broad? I am always amazed to see online stores selling everything from soup to nuts with no sense of cohesiveness. It’s one thing to sell “gifts” and have a wide range of items, but when you’re primarily selling phone cases but also baby bibs, women’s underwear, and garden hoses, you achieve what I call “the garage sale effect.” It’s very difficult to market stores like this because there’s no direction or target market you can aim for. You really can’t compete in Amazon’s “sell everything” space, so make sure your products are related and can be categorized so that anyone visiting your store knows immediately what you’re selling and why they should buy from you.

Improve Yourself

As Stephen Covey wrote in Seven Habits of Highly Effective People (a must-read for all humans), the seventh habit he references is “Sharpen the Saw.” Entrepreneurship is hard. You must take the time to invest in yourself if you’re going to have the energy and motivation to continue.

Remember: You’re the goose laying the golden eggs. If you’re not continually improving yourself, you’re continually decreasing your effectiveness and putting yourself on the fast track to burnout.

STOP: Take a Break

When was the last time you took a vacation? Remember, taking a break doesn’t have to mean two weeks in Europe. It could be a weekend getaway, an overnight trip, an afternoon doing something you love, or even a 10-minute meditation. If you don’t make yourself a priority, no one else will.

LOOK: Read & Learn

We all struggle with information overload. The key is being selective. Read blogs and follow business experts on Twitter, or take online courses from sites like or Udemy to enhance your skill set.

I also recommend checking out online forums to stay current on your platform’s features and improvements. BigCommerce’s Community Forum and Facebook page are great ways to learn from other store owners, development partners, and platform experts.

LISTEN: Find Your Podcast Nirvana

If you don’t think you have time to listen to podcasts, you’re doing it wrong. Podcasts are a great way to stay informed while you multitask. Next time you’re eating, exercising, or driving, fire up a podcast see how fast the time goes. If you’re not sure which ones are best, check out 42 Top Ecommerce Podcasts That Will Make You an Ecommerce Magnate and get inspired.

Driving while looking in the rearview mirror is never a good idea. But taking the time to reflect and assess your goals always helps determine your road map for the future. Wishing you a healthy and prosperous new year, and happy selling.

PartFinder: The Most Advanced Fitment Search App for BigCommerce

If you wanted even more functionality from our BigCommerce fitment match app, you got it! PartFinder not only helps your customers find the right product match via custom search filters (like Year/Make/Model, or YMM), it’s now a valuable marketing tool. PartFinder is the only fitment search app that uses search results from your store to generate real-time graphs and data. Create unique marketing opportunities based on actual customer behavior on your site — with no coding! It’s like getting three apps in one.

We’ve found more ways to harness the power of PartFinder into new utilities that make your customer’s search and marketing efforts better than ever. Plus, take your pick of three different service plans to suit your needs.


PartFinder’s New Marketing Tools

Fitment Capture (available on Premium plans)

PartFinder exclusive!  Fitment Capture enables you to reach out to customers with updates on products they’re interested in. Shoppers can submit name, email, and phone for follow up, and their fitment data is automatically captured. Contact and fitment data can then be dowloaded for use in marketing campaigns and follow-up emails.


MailChimp Integration (available on Premium plans)

Our new MailChimp integration allows you to connect to your MailChimp account to create drip campaigns and email marketing newsletters from customer data. Reaching out to customers in personalized ways can help drive sales.

PartFinder’s Other New Features

Bulk Export (available on ALL plans)

Want to save time when making mass product or mapping changes? Use your exported data file to make the desired changes and then use Bulk Import to update your store. Automated Part Mappings Backup is also now available on Pro and Premium plans.


Fitment Match (available on Pro and Premium plans)

Fitment Match confirms that the search criteria a customer has chosen is an exact match to the product they want. The year/make/model (or applicable search fields) is displayed on the top of the product page when the product is selected.


Fitment Compatibility Chart (available on Premium plans)

Would you like your customers to see other matches for their product search at a glance? PartFinder’s Fitment Compatibility Chart is an optional display, designed to show all product matches for a given search result. It appears on the location of your choosing on product pages.


Link to Variant IDs (available on Pro and Premium plans) 

Want to link to an exact SKU rather than a product, like an item sized small? Map to a very specific item via the Link to Variant ID feature.


New Plan Pricing

PartFinder is now available in three service packages to fit your usage needs: Standard, Pro, and Premium. Each level offers new and improved benefits to help you get the most from your online store.

PartFinder’s Standard plan continues to have all the functionality you’re used to, with the additional benefit of Part Mappings Export added in. Higher plans handle more mappings, products, fields, and searches.


PartFinder as You Want It

Whether your needs are basic, advanced, or somewhere in between, PartFinder makes your fitment match dreams come true. Questions? Feel free to reach out to us at

Already a PartFinder subscriber? If so, how has PartFinder helped your business? If you’d like to share your experience, we’d love to hear it! A review in the BigCommerce Apps Marketplace would help get the word out and be greatly appreciated. Thank you supporting PartFinder! 

Updates to PartFinder: Must-Have Fitment App for BigCommerce YMM Stores

PartFinder for BigCommerce is rapidly becoming a must-have app for stores that sell fitment matched (i.e., Year/Make/Model) products. More than just a search bar, PartFinder helps customers find exactly the right part through a series of choices, reducing frustration, product returns, and improving user experience.

We’re excited to announce two major upgrades to PartFinder’s features: an embedded search widget and Insights — one-of-a-kind data extracted in real time from users’ actual search data.


Embedded Search Widget Makes Fitment Search Even Easier


PartFinder now has two kinds of search widgets to choose from: floating and embedded. The existing floating widget can be placed almost anywhere on your site and appears when a tab is clicked, revealing either a stacked box or nearly full-screen, branded search experience.

The new embedded search widget keeps your fitment search feature front and center for ease of use. If you want to further increase customer engagement, the embedded search widget is a way of displaying PartFinder’s fitment search functionality on your site so that it feels more integrated. You can display it full screen width or in a stacked sidebar.

Customize It!

As with the current floating widget, you can choose your background color, title names, and fields just like before. All you have to do is activate the embedded widget and place the code where you want the window to display and you’re all set. Complete instructions are available in PartFinder’s support documentation.

Your Search, Your Way

Whether you want your search tool front and center for added visibility, off to the side on a pull-out widget, or both, PartFinder provides fitment search the way you want it. Want both types? No problem. Embedded and floating widgets can operate on the same page. Also, visibility for mobile and desktop can be toggled on and off on both kinds of widgets. For example, you could decide to show the floating widget on mobile for optimal experience and the embedded widget on desktop.


PartFinder Insights: Invaluable Data at Your Fingertips

We are especially excited about PartFinder Insights. Insights is an amazing free tool that uses real-time customer search data to improve your store’s marketing and inventory strategies. This precise data is unique to PartFinder and almost like getting two apps in one, at no extra cost.

How does Insights help your store? Insights complements Google Analytics data and provides additional, unique data that cannot be tracked by GA. The data that Insights offers is specifically tied to fitment search on your website. Want to make your advertising efforts more effective based on what shoppers are looking for? Get to know your customers and how you can better anticipate their needs by knowing what they need and when. How about running a promotion to focus on popular (or even unpopular) fitments? PartFinder utilizes your shopper’s search data to help you analyze your business and make key marketing and/or inventory decisions quickly.

Here’s some of the search data that is available to you in Insights. (Note: we used sample data taken from our own test store in these examples.)


Top Searches:

What searches are coming up most frequently?


Most Popular Filter Choices:

Don’t just glance at your completed search data — do something with it! You can analyze what shoppers are looking for at the field level and tweak your marketing campaigns and inventory strategies for maximum effectiveness.


Search Requests by Time of Day & Day of Week:

Knowing when your customers are online can help with targeted marketing campaigns or customer support planning.

Other Insights


Daily Search Counts:

See the volume of filter requests and search results for a period of time.

Least Popular Filter Choices:

The least commonly utilized filters (with at least one request). Being informed about what is unpopular can be as valuable as knowing what is popular.

Top Search Pages:

See where on your store shoppers are searching from. How can this help you improve engagement?

Shopper Screen Sizes:

See the device screen sizes are shoppers searching from.


Very impressed with this app, it was very easy and painless to implement. It is very quick and responsive when searching for a part. Scott & the team at PartFinder have been great to work with as well, quick responses to questions & issues. We are very happy to have found this app.

— BigCommerce Store Owner & PartFinder Enthusiast

Coming soon to PartFinder …

PartFinder is setting itself apart in the BigCommerce Apps Marketplace with its unique set of tools for your ecommerce store. In addition to our great customer service and superior features, we know that adding PartFinder to your ecommerce arsenal can’t help but improve your customers’ experience and your bottom line. Additional Insights are on the way as well as other exciting features, so stay tuned for more updates.

Want to learn more? Check out the PartFinder website PartFinder site, or visit the BigCommerce Apps Marketplace for a free 7-day trial.

PartFinder: The BigCommerce Targeted Search App Just Got Better

PartFinder product cards

We Heard You! Announcing Big Updates to PartFinder

Does your BigCommerce store sell parts that are an exact match to another product (like a car battery for a specific year/make/model, or toner for a printer)? Finding the right part can be complicated, and a standard search bar may not be enough. If you need to help your customers find the specific item they need — and fast — then you need our PartFinder app for BigCommerce.

In response to customer feedback, we’ve added new functionality and customization options to make your customers’ targeted search experience better than ever. If you’re new to PartFinder, you’re here just in time! Here are five recent improvements that we’ve made to our PartFinder app:


1. Company Branding Option on Search Preview Screen

PartFinder branded search page

When you choose the full-screen search display option, you can make better use of search window real estate by displaying your company’s logo and/or messaging on the search window prior to search results appearing.


2. Results by Product Card

PartFinder product cards

Remember, the eye buys …

This is our favorite addition! By popular demand, you can now choose to show search results with a thumbnail photo, product name, pricing, and call to action — what we call a Product Card. As with the bulleted list display (which is still an option), a customer clicks on the CTA to go to the product page..


3. Modify Button to Refine Search Criteria

PartFinder modify & reset buttons

The new Modify button will allow customers to change one or more search fields rather than starting from scratch. The Reset button clears all search fields for new search.


4. Part Mappings Search (in Dashboard)

PartFinder part mappings search

Several subscribers asked if we could make back end part mapping searches easier … so we did! If you’re not sure if an item has been mapped in your store, you can search through your PartFinder dashboard to find the product and its mappings.

To find the part mappings search feature, go to the PartFinder dashboard, select Part Mappings from the top navigation, then click the Search Mappings button. Enter the Product ID you’re looking for and click the Search button.


5. Open Products in New Tab

When a product is selected from search, that product will be opened in a new tab, which enables your customers to toggle back and forth among open windows rather than creating a new search result.


Suggestion Box?

We are always looking for ways to improve PartFinder. What’s on your wish list? If you have any suggestions, please contact us — we’re all ears. We’ll keep you posted on new features as they become available.

We recently got a 5-Star review in the BigCommerce app store after our recent changes went into effect — woo hoo!

PartFinder Five Star Review

PartFinder provides robust search options along with best-in-class documentation and support. Check out the PartFinder website for more information, or find the app in the BigCommerce App Store.

Happy searching, and happy selling!

PartFinder: New BigCommerce App Features Targeted Search

Find the Right Product Fast

Sometimes a standard search bar just isn’t enough. Does your BigCommerce store sell hundreds (or thousands) of parts that have exact specifications or fitments (like a filter for a particular refridgerator, or a car battery for a specific year/make/model)? If so, then you need more sophisticated search criteria to help your customer find what they’re looking for. A single-field search may provide an initial filter but would ultimately lead to further searches, more clicks, and more mistakes, increasing user frustration and bounce rate.


Introducing PartFinder for BigCommerce Stores

PartFinder, our new app for BigCommerce, helps customers find the right product via a series of choices, reducing frustration and improving user experience.

  • Boosts sales by helping customers find exactly what they’re looking for — fast
  • Eases your customer support efforts, which saves you time and money
  • Reduces product returns


What Kinds of Stores Could Use PartFinder?

Here are a few usage ideas for our PartFinder app. Does your BigCommerce store sell any products like the following?

Get creative! You could even use PartFinder to help someone find the perfect gift by age/occasion/gender. The possibilities are endless.


Super Cool Features

  • Includes easy design editor; no coding experience necessary
  • Handles hundreds of thousands of records quickly
  • Predicts search criteria with autofill text feature
  • Includes mobile responsive design for great customer experience


Quick & Easy Setup

Using Partfinder’s step-by-step setup makes offering your customers a customized product search experience a cinch — with no coding! There are four components to getting PartFinder up and running:

  • Creating your search fields
  • Adding your part mappings
  • Designing your widget with our helpful design tool
  • Adding the PartFinder search widget to your BigCommerce store


7 Day Free Trial!

You’ll find that your investment in PartFinder is easily offset by increased conversions, reduced product returns, and happy customers. There’s no credit card required for our 7-day free trial, so give PartFinder a spin today! 

For more information, visit, or find us in BigCommerce Marketplace.

Ecommerce Store Mods Save Time & Money

Time is money

Need a custom ecommerce website without the custom price?

Let’s face it: your ecommerce store doesn’t function exactly the way you want it to. The bells and whistles you were counting on from your shopping platform or template didn’t quite materialize, you can’t fix it yourself, and you often feel frustrated and helpless. But who can afford a fully custom site like Amazon or Target? [Answer: Amazon and Target.] For a small business or startup, investing in improvements and resources is difficult, as your focus is often on money going out rather than the benefits coming back. We get it. But rather than “making do” and endlessly multitasking, what’s vital to your long term success is investing in customization and/or automation wherever you can. The ability to free up your time for more important things becomes invaluable — not to mention providing a good user experience for your customers.


Time vs. Money

time is money

Time and money: what do you have more of … or less of? If you’d like to make improvements to your store without breaking the bank, buying pre-built, custom add-ons (or Store Mods, as we call them) can enhance your ecommerce site tremendously. Not only do they make your life easier, good functioning sites make happy customers and happy customers buy more, so focusing on good UX is great for your bottom line.

Not convinced? If Store Mods don’t sound like necessities, it’s probably because you think they are already available through your shopping platform, but guess what? They’re not. Every business is different, and shopping platforms cannot be all things to all people. Our Store Mods were built to meet the expressed needs of our clients and they work.


What is your time worth?


Is free time and sanity important to you? Would you agree that good user experience pays off in increased sales? Is a small investment now worth long-term gains? We say yes (especially to that first one!). No need to track down a developer and pay for many hours’ work to start from scratch. We’ve created a variety of mods that can be tailored to fit your ecommerce store. You’ll get cool new tools that will enable your online store to do more than you ever thought possible, making your business and your customers’ shopping experience better than ever.


Check out our Store Mod Marketplace

It’s like Inkblot Digital’s very own App Store!

  • Store Locator: help customers find your retail locations based on a radius of their address
  • Part Finder: enable customers to find a specific product quickly using a series of filters
  • Countdown Timer: display a sales timer to create sales urgency and get people to checkout
  • Auto Add-to-Cart: add a free gift to promote sales and encourage repeat business

You might also like:


Experience status WHOA!

Do you have a need that’s not addressed here? We can also create custom code to fix just about any problem you’re trying to solve. Stop settling for the status quo and experience status WHOA! Just contact us and we’d be happy to brainstorm the perfect solution with you.


Inkblot Digital is your go-to source for useful tools and services that make your ecommerce store easier to manage — and make your life less stressful. Check out our Store Mod Marketplace for details and pricing on all our mod choices.

Ecommerce Help: A Little Goes a Long Way


Ecommerce: So Much to Do, So Little Time


As you may know, running an ecommerce business is so much more than putting up a website and waiting for the orders to come in. As with any sales business, there’s accounting, marketing, inventory, shipping, staffing, and customer support issues to manage. Plus, your industry and products may change frequently, which means that updating your online store regularly to stay competitive is probably always on your to-do list. Making your website the best it can be and then maintaining it can be overwhelming — but it doesn’t have to be.


Need Development Help? (Short Answer: Yes!)

Many ecommerce businesses could benefit from having support services for their store on a regular basis, but at what cost? If an inexperienced developer works on your ecommerce store, they could not only take it down, resulting in lost revenues, but seriously screw things up, requiring you to spend way more money and time than you can spare. Besides, who can afford to hire a full-time or even a part-time ecommerce developer, and where can you find one?

If you’re not super tech savvy, or simply don’t have the time (or desire) to learn the ins and outs of your shopping platform, we don’t blame you. While getting help can be a real game changer, where can you get the help you need, and at a reasonable price point?


You Asked for it, You Got it: 2-Hour Monthly Store Support


In order to serve BigCommerce, Shopify, Lead Commerce, or Volusion businesses that need just a little development help, we have added a 2-Hour Monthly Recurring Package to our Store Support menu. Instead of overextending yourself doing projects outside your skill set, spend your time doing what you do best, and leave the rest to us.

“Two hours a month sounds great, but can you get anything useful done in such a short time?”


With two hours a month, we could help you with:

  • 1 small project
  • 2 one-hour tasks
  • 4 thirty-minute tasks
  • 8 fifteen-minute tasks

If that doesn’t seem like very much time, think of all the tasks you’ve been putting off, like:

  • Updating your homepage
  • Managing theme updates
  • Improving product page user experience & styling
  • Formatting images & blog posts
  • Reviewing and configuring Google Analytics & Webmaster Tools
  • Adding special functionality to your site


This new package (and all of our Store Support packages) includes our monthly backup service, free of charge — woo hoo! To provide continuous support with the greatest convenience, our Recurring Monthly package subscriptions automatically renew every month — but you can cancel at any time prior to your renewal date without penalty.

Small investments can pay off big. Making improvements to your ecommerce store on a consistent basis is the best way to manage continual change, ensure the long-term success of your online business, and give you some much-needed peace of mind. Give us a try and experience the difference just a little help can make.

For more information, please visit our Store Support pages for BigCommerce, Shopify, Lead Commerce, and Volusion.

BigCommerce App-Alooza! Top-Rated BigCommerce Apps for 2017


Are you looking to make improvements to your BigCommerce store? We recently published an article called “Shopify’s Greatest Hits! 8 Best-Reviewed Apps for 2017”, so we thought we’d provide a similar resource (different apps!) to our BigCommerce friends.

As we stated in that article, the needs of individual businesses vary widely. No time to check out BigCommerce’s App Store? Here’s a quick run-down of some current top-reviewed BigCommerce apps by category.


Accounting App: Discount Manager

Discount Manager schedules sales in your online store to run automatically. Enter discounts that turn on an off when you want, saving time and trouble.

Key Features

  • Sale price can be fixed or percentage of the product’s price.
  • Retail price will be shown on your web store, crossed out to show savings.
  • Eliminates using coupons to start and end your promotions and sales.


  • Price: $12.95 – $18.95/mo.
  • Free trial: 7 days


Advertising App: LeadDyno

LeadDyno quickly and easily builds a team of affiliates to resell your product … and turns your customers into affiliates, too.

Key Features

  • Fast sign up page which can be fully customized, branded, and embedded directly on your website.
  • Upload banner ads, import your marketing copy and materials, and help affiliates create their own custom links to specific product pages and subdomains.
  • Pay affiliates automatically or with “one-click” approval using Paypal, Dwolla or Coinbase.


  • Price: $29/mo.
  • Free trial: 30 days


Customer Feedback App: Picreel Exit Offer

Picreel recovers abandoning visitors and turns them into customers using targeted offers. Increase your sales, build lists, conduct customer surveys, and more.

Key Features

  • Track visitors’ mouse/scroll movements in real time and then display an offer when they navigate away from valuable content.
  • Use Picreel’s design templates or create your own offers that will be displayed based on the business rules you set.
  • Know everything from visits to conversions with insight analytics.


  • Price: $19.99 – $399.00/mo.
  • Free trial: 30 days


Email Marketing App: InStockNotify

Stop losing sales! InStockNotify helps create relationships with potential new customers by automatically notifying them when a product is back in stock.

Key Features

  • Increase sales by seeing which products your customers are most interested in.
  • Send customized emails, and see when they’ve been read.
  • Exports data to .csv format.


  • Price: $17.99/mo.
  • Free trial: 15 days


Inventory App: Lead Commerce

When you’re ready to get serious about your inventory, warehousing, and order management, Lead Commerce is your go-to solution.

Key Features

  • Powerful quoting and inventory features.
  • Multichannel: Sell your products on third party sites like Amazon, eBay, and Etsy, and easily track them in the back office.
  • Customize your quotes & invoices with Autoresponders functionality.


  • Price: Varies per number of users
  • Free trial: 60 days
  • Integrations: BigCommerce, Shopify, Amazon, eBay, WooCommerce, ShipStation via our ecommerce connectors


Marketing App: Sweet Tooth Loyalty

Sweet Tooth creates custom loyalty programs to reward your shoppers with points. Happy customers increase your revenue, retention, and referrals.

Key Features

  • Create a loyalty program that works on every online shopping device — desktop, laptop, smartphone, or tablet.
  • Customize your loyalty program to incentivize purchases, registrations, referrals, social sharing, and more.
  • Allow your best customers to earn points faster in different V.I.P tiers.


  • Price: Free up to 500 members. Larger plans range from $59 – $399+/mo.


Shipping App: Aftership

Aftership gains customers’ trust and makes them happy with automatic delivery status updates. Developers can add tracking functionality easily.

Key Features

  • Send delivery notifications to engage your customers after sales.
  • Allow customers to view delivery status in one click on customizable tracking pages.
  • Find out about delivery exceptions and take action before it’s too late.


  • Price: Free up to 100 shipments/mo; $10 for 100-100K shipments/mo., custom pricing for orders exceeding 100K/mo.


Product Reviews App: Yotpo

Yotpo generates reviews, photos, and user-generated content to drive qualified traffic, increase conversion rates, and boost sales.

Key Features

  • Review-request emails use proprietary technology backed by data science to get 9x more reviews.
  • Optimized for mobile: Users can leave reviews without ever leaving their email app.
  • “Retention and Engagement Suite” uses coupons, community Q&A, and review responses to engage and entice customers to keep coming back.


  • Price: Basic version is free; premium features available at additional cost.
  • Free trial: 14 days


Didn’t see your favorite app listed here? Would you add or subtract one or more? We’d love to hear about it and connect with you on our Twitter page. If this list has inspired you to visit BigCommerce’s App Store and you did not find an app that provided the functionality you need, learn more about Inkblot Digital’s custom development solutions for BigCommerce or contact us. We love to help ecommerce stores be freaking awesome.

Get More From Your Online Store

Is your ecommerce website just … average?

Is your back office inefficient?

Is managing your online store overwhelming?


Inkblot Digital at your service! At Inkblot Digital, our ecommerce developers specialize in creating custom code applications that add needed functionality to your shopping platform, along with providing store support services to lighten your load.

Not only have we recently redesigned our website (woot woot!), we have consolidated our service offering to focus on three areas: Store Customization, Ecommerce Connectors, and Store Support. This change enables us to dive deeper into BigCommerce, Lead Commerce, Shopify, and Volusion platforms and offer custom solutions and service specific to the ecommerce community. Need a quick fix or an extra pair of hands so you can get back to business? Here’s what we do best:


Store Customization


Is your “off the shelf” ecommerce website not quite cutting it? Are you missing key functionality that would set you apart from your competitors and improve user experience? Are you having trouble finding a developer who knows your platform well enough to make the changes you need (You do know you can add features to your shopping platform, right? Just checking …). Our development experts love creating custom solutions for ecommerce stores.

Enhancement possibilities are endless with imagination and custom code. Choose a pre-built app from our Store Mod Marketplace or a custom solution — which one is right for you?


Ecommerce Connectors


Inkblot makes your life easier by designing ecommerce connectors that integrate your back office software with platforms like Amazon, eBay, and ShipStation. Would you like make your business run more efficiently? If so, why wait? Integrate. Connecting your systems is an important yet complicated process, but one that could be vital to your long-term success by allowing you to spend more time working on your business, not in your business.

We’ve built connectors that hook up Lead Commerce with other platforms, but we can integrate many other platforms to your specifications. Choose one of our existing connectors or have us create one just for you.


Store Support


Wouldn’t it be great if you had easy access to ongoing assistance with your ecommerce store? Managing things like template changes, handling 404s and 301 redirects, adding pages and products, and JavaScript customization take valuable time. Our Store Support Packages provide an easy way to pay for our services and are the perfect solution for busy online store owners. We offer three service package levels for BigCommerce, Lead Commerce, Shopify, and Volusion stores. Plus, Monthly Recurring packages come with our Automated Backup Tool and site monitoring service free!

All web developers are not created equal. Our developers are ecommerce experts who know what to do when you just need to get it done. And in case you were wondering, we are 100% U.S. based.

How Can We Help?

Find out how your store can be AWESOMIZED! Contact us today at and let’s talk about how we can help you get more from your online store.

Inkblot Digital: Your Ecommerce Development Experts.

3 Ways to Win the Ecommerce Game


Running an online business is challenging at best these days. The economy is unpredictable, competition is fierce, and the rules are always changing. To make matters worse, your shopping platform may not always perform to your expectations. If your BigCommerce, Shopify, Lead Commerce, or Volusion store doesn’t provide all the functionality you need, you are immediately at a disadvantage and could be throwing good money after bad to deal with its shortcomings. You may have wondered how you can get your store to do what you want it to. You are not alone.

ABC television is currently airing “Sunday Fun and Games,” a lineup of classic game shows for the 2016 summer season. Hosts Alec Baldwin, Michael Strachan, and Anthony Anderson turn back time and revisit some of the classic shows of the 70s and beyond: Match Game, The $100,000 Pyramid, and To Tell the Truth. What does ecommerce have to do with game shows? Well, let’s take a closer look using three classic shows to find out how you can level the playing field and beat the odds.

Let’s play!

Match Game: Which Store Mod is Right for You?

Fill in the blank:

If my store could ______________, my online business would improve tremendously.

Need a quick fix? Inkblot Digital has created bits of pre-built custom code — what we call Store Mods — that can be tweaked to suit your store and be up and running in no time. Our mods were designed to suit the unique needs of ecommerce stores and they work. Case in point:
Our Store Locator tool enables a customer to find the address of the retail/distributor location within a designated radius instantly. “Hey wait, that’s easy — doesn’t my platform offer that already?” you ask? No — believe it or not, it probably doesn’t.

Curious? Browse our Store Mod Marketplace to find our Store Locator and many other handy tools.

$100,000 Pyramid

Category: Things Ecommerce Store Owners Have in Common

Ready? Go!

  • This is what you lack when it takes you WAY longer than you think it should to do run a report: Patience — yes!
  • This is the code you need to use to make changes to your store, but you don’t know anything about it and don’t have time to learn it: JavaScript — yes!
  • This is how you feel when your competitors’ site works better and provides a better user experience than yours: Frustrated — yes! yes! YES!

Didn’t find what you needed in our Store Mod Marketplace? Our ecommerce developers can create code-to-order to fill just about any need you may have for your online store. Plus, purchasing one of our Store Support Packages makes it so, so easy. Why phone a friend who doesn’t know ecommerce? Whether you need 5 hours or 15+ hours of support or development time a month, having an ecommerce developer on retainer could be a lifeline. Plus, the price is right — and it won’t cost anywhere near $100,000.

Love Connection

Ok, this game isn’t in the summer lineup, but wait — there’s more!

Need to integrate your shopping platform with back office support software? Our ecommerce connectors are off the hook. Talk about a match made in heaven! Connecting your store with a third party platform is an important yet complicated process, but one that could be necessary to your long-term success.

We’ve created connectors to integrate Amazon, Ebay, BigCommerce, and Shopify with Lead Commerce, a powerful order management system that helps you manage your inventory, warehouses, and shipping orders. To tell the truth (ah, I worked it in after all!), it’s not easy to find an ecommerce developer who knows how to create this vital functionality between platforms. Look no further — this expertise is one of Inkblot Digital’s specialties.


So grease the wheels of fortune and give one or more of these ideas a spin — your business (and your sanity) may be in jeopardy if you don’t.

Mic drop.

Customize Your BigCommerce Sliders!

So you’ve read our posts about the importance of page load speed, especially on mobile, right? [If you haven’t, check out Who Cares How Fast Your Bigcommerce Mobile Site Loads? and Introducing Responslider: A New Bigcommerce App from Inkblot Digital.] What we haven’t mentioned yet is that not only does our Responslider app optimize your BigCommerce carousel sliders, it allows you to customize them too!

That’s right, in addition to allowing you to load perfectly sized slider images to improve home page load speed, you can load completely different images to better suit image dimensions or unique marketing strategies for each mobile device.

Let’s say you want to have a large image of tacos on your site (because really, who wouldn’t?). You picked this image because it’s nice and wide and is photographed so beautifully that you can almost smell and taste them. Yum.

Optimized Slider Images


In this example, the original image had blank space on the right that was well suited for the tagline “Mmmm … tacos.” As the image gets cropped and resized down to optimal smartphone size, the original look/feel is greatly compromised. Wouldn’t an image that is organically portrait size be better suited for this?

Customized Slider Images


Vive la difference! Different images were chosen for each device size, which has the added benefit of providing a unique experience for each device a viewer might be using.

So, form over function, or vice-versa? Who cares? Our tacos are being seen in all their crunchy glory … and fast! Visit Responslider’s site for more information on how purchasing Responslider can improve your BigCommerce store. Monthly plans start at only $9.99/mo, the sacrifice of just a couple of tacos. Hey now …

Who Cares How Fast Your BigCommerce Mobile Site Loads?

Two words: Google does.

The end.

Just kidding … but not really.


If you keep up with the latest data on how user experience affects conversion rate optimization and SEO, you’ve probably read about page load speed being one of the ingredients in Google’s “secret recipe” for determining whether your site is a quality result for a user’s search query — and that includes your mobile experience too. In short, fast-loading sites make search customers happy, and happy customers help bring in mad advertising revenue for Google.

Case closed. Wait … not yet.

The Dilemma


Before a customer can see your products, your content, learn about your awesome philosophy, or experience your phenomenal customer service, they have to get to your site first. Your homepage is often the main point of entry for your website. If a user gets impatient with the length of time it takes for this page to load, they will most likely give up and go elsewhere, which is a complete waste of the effort you took to get them that far in the first place. Studies have shown that even a 1-second delay in page response can result in a 7% reduction in conversions (check out this great infographic from Kissmetrics).

Plus, if the bounce rate for this very important page is high, Google starts to get concerned, and your sliding rankings will show it.


Attention, BigCommerce Users!

If you are a BigCommerce store owner and your home page features carousel slider images, the size of these images can be a problem for load time right off the bat. The large images that exist on the desktop version of your site are the same images that will be used every time your home page loads on a tablet or smartphone, causing it to respond slowly.

The image sizes you’ve chosen for the sliders may be awesome for a large, high resolution, desktop experience, but what about on a tablet or a smartphone? It’s hard to visualize how something large can be successfully squeezed into a tiny container in the real world, but this is something that can definitely happen in the digital world … at a cost. Your images will indeed be loaded and resized, usually without distortion, but this takes time, and time is something you do not have when your customer is waiting.

“But — my store is mobile friendly! Why is this happening?” Unfortunately, “friendly” and “optimized” are two different things. Implementing a responsive template — which is something you absolutely should do —  is just the first step in ensuring that your mobile customers have a good shopping experience. So while your site may be “mobile responsive” it’s not device optimized.

What Does “Device Optimized” Mean?

When a site is device optimized, it has been configured to run optimally on various devices. It is more than just adapting to a device’s screen; it is optimized for it. While choosing a responsive template generally handles basic formatting issues, the images on a site remain at their original sizes, which is not a problem if you’re not concerned with page speed … which of course, you are.

There is an optimal slider image size for each device a user can view your site on, whether it be desktop, tablet, or any kind of smartphone screen. Ideally, you should be loading the correctly sized slider image (i.e., loading a 400 pixel image on a 400 pixel phone instead of a 2,000 pixel image on a 400 pixel phone) for every mobile device.

When the right-sized image loads on a device, page loads are fast, which makes customers really happy. Unfortunately, BigCommerce has no built-in tools to fix this problem.

What Can I Do?

Here are two options:

Option A: Pay, Pay, Pay … and Pay Some More

Pay an experienced ecommerce developer (provided you can find one) to help you. If (and that’s a big “if”) this developer understands the problem and knows how to fix it, you can expect to pay him or her for at least several hours of development time now, and again every time you want to change the images on your site for a special sale or promotion.

If you paid this developer $75/hour for four hours of initial work — a very low estimate — and an additional one to two hours every time you ran a promotion (say, once a month), you’d be paying well over $1000 per year just to maintain your sliders. Ouch.

Option B: DIY … and Save!

Install Inkblot Digital’s Responslider for BigCommerce, which automates the development process and puts the control of your website in your hands, where it belongs. Our coding experts have done the work for you, enabling you to easily upload the right-sized carousel images for every device, making page load time super speedy.

Responslider has been shown to increase home page load times by 20%. With plans starting at just $9.99/month, what have you got to lose, except maybe two overpriced lattes?


After Responslider


Now that’s more like it.

Responslider gets you back in the ecommerce race — and keeps you there. For more information, please visit Responslider’s site.

The end. For real.

This article is dedicated to Elisha Avne, our in-house sloth enthusiast.