Virtual Coffee eCommerce Morning Tuesday 29th Jan

There is nowhere online that you can discuss high end ebay in a decent environment, it seems taboo, like no-one wants to talk about it.


The ebay community forums are full of idiots who just want to report everyone for any sort of wrong doing or newbies saying how do I cancel a transaction, etc etc

Time to change that.

Superb idea by both Pete’s in the forums and tomorrow morning at 10am, I’ll be hosting a small meet up on Skype.

No agenda has been set yet, other than to connect the cool people, that’s business owners like yourself and to see where that leads.


Only 6 Places Left

I’ve gone with a free option that also has screen sharing abilities, but there is a cap of 10 attendees. 4 places have already been taken and there are only 6 left.

Skype will be required to call-in and the meeting start’s at 10am tomorrow morning.

If you’d like to be invited and to join like minded individuals for an informal chit chat over a cuppa for an hour either pop a comment below or send me an email via the contact form here.

To summarise:

  • Meet with other business owners like yourself who understand multi channel eCommerce
  • A small group, invitation only
  • 10AM tomorrow
  • Skype is required
  • Bring your own coffee

I’m really looking forward to it, will you be joining us?


What is Responsive Website Design?

I’m sure you’ve noticed it by now, this site has had an overhaul, but it’s not-any-old-redesign, it’s a responsive design.


So what does responsive mean and why should you have a responsive website?

Responsive Web DesignTo answer this, we need a reality check and a little history to what’s been happening over the past few years.

Smaller screen sizes are becoming more & more popular, on any given day I’m likely to have used, an Android phone (two browsers, inbuilt and Chrome), an iPad (two browsers also, Safari & Chrome) and a desktop on numerous browsers, Chrome, FireFox, IE 8 and Opera and by 2014, it’s expected that mobile Internet usage will overtake desktops.

Before responsive designs were common place, website owners would make a different layout tailored to different devices. For example a design just for the iPad or iPhone and another for the other widely used devices such as the Android browser or the Blackberry.

I took that approach a while ago on this very site almost exactly one year ago when I launched a mobile version of this site, using a customised theme for smaller devices.

The problem with this approach is that you end up having multiple sites to keep updated.  One small change meant more than one set of files to update and that not only an administrative nightmare, it would usually be costly too, as each design was separate so your design fees were doubled, trebled and even more…

One answer to this problem is to use a “Responsive Web Design” or RWD for short. This is a single design that is made up of special elements and use of the @media tag in CSS (CSS is Cascading Style Sheets, they are what makes this page look pretty). Using this tag and special elements, the same design is then used for all browser screen sizes.

Try it for yourself

Assuming you’re using a desktop to view this article, if you now take this website in your browser window and start resizing it downwards you’ll see the site to change, but the overall look and feel has stayed the same.

If you’re on a mobile device, change the devices orientation and you’ll see the resize itself to the windows width.

Neat eh? That’s a responsive website in action.

There is a fantastic slide show by John Polacek (from whom also I borrowed a screen shot from for the image at the top and the image above) which you can view on responsive web design here:

So why should you have a responsive web site?

Simple, one set of files to update for all versions of the site, for small and medium sites this is ideal and also pretty cheap.

When planning your next eCommerce website, the key question to ask the web designers is:

“Is the site responsive?”, if the answer is no, look elsewhere.

The exception to this rule is for massive sites such as eBay or Amazon, then server side components is a better approach and you can learn more about that here and here.

What do You think of Responsive Sites?

What do you make of this sites redesign and do you love or hate responsive designs?

Let me know in the comments box below.


I’m Speaking Live At….

I’m not speaking live just once but twice in one week!

I’d love it if you could attend one or both of the events.


Spring Fair – Market Place Websites Demystified

Spring FairThe first is the Spring Fair at the NEC in Birmingham on Monday 4th Feb at 15:00.

If you’ve never been to the Spring Fair before, it’s a huge trade event that takes over almost all the halls at the NEC, which is a huge venue and there is an expected 64,000 people over the 6 days of the event.

Thankfully they won’t all fit in the room at the same time, I hope…

Located in the Fashion & Accessories Catwalk in halls 19 & 20, registration is free if you register if before you attend and you can register at the following link:

BrightPearl – How multichannel can transform your 2013

Brightpearl LogoThe second is at a fantastic location (I’m biased), back in my home city of Bristol at the historic SS Great Britain for a breakfast meeting on Thursday 7th Feb at 08:00.

Chris one of the founders of Brightpearl is up first, followed by Lee Adams who has a very interesting story to share on how he built an incredible online business and I’m 3rd up and will be discussing “how multichannel can transform your 2013”.

Registration is also free before the event and you can register at the link below:

Your Support

Although I winged a 2,000 word speech I wrote on the morning of my wedding day last year, frankly I’m bricking it for both as it’s been a while since I’ve done any form of public speaking.

If you’re at the Spring Fair in Birmingham on the 4th or near Bristol on the 7th, I’d love it of you could come along and show your support and of course, to say hi afterwards.

Are you at either of events?

Let me know by leaving a comment below, I’m looking forward to meeting you!

How to Disable the Magento WYSIWYG Editor

Magento comes with a lot of features out of the box, one of those is a HTML editor to allow easy adding and editing of HTML in almost all content areas.

However for advanced users, it’s more of a nuisance and you can disable it if you prefer, in this video I show you how.

There it’s that easy and super handy for HTML editing in Magento for advanced users.

Magento to eSellerPro Integration Completed!

magento to eSellerPro integrationLooking to use eSellerPro with Magento or looking for an alternative website system to use along side eSellerPro? Read on!

Over the Christmas period, I’ve completed a fully compatible integration from eSellerPro to Magento Community & Enterprise editions.

It’s the best of both worlds, you can now use the same inventory that you are using for selling on eBay, Amazon etc… and power your own fully customised website using Magento and order processing is completed back in eSellerPro.


How it Works

Because the integration connector sits between eSellerPro and Magento, if the data is available, anything is possible

The way the integration works is in 5 parts and this integration works with your existing processes and still allows you to manage as much as possible from within eSellerPro.

Part 1 – Inventory
You manage your inventory just as you are now in eSellerPro. Select the products that you’d like to send to your Magento website(s) and they’re created or updated on Magento automatically for you.

You can power as many sites as you like from this connector and beyond the eSellerPro limit of 10 stores via the Channel Profile. Oh and attributes, which you’ll know as custom fields are automatically generated for you.

Part 2 – Stock & Price Updates
Stock and price updates are automatically processed, so that if you have 10 items in stock and sell 2 on Amazon, the updates are also reflected on your Magento website.

Part 3 – Order Processing
As you receive orders on your Magento websites, orders are delivered back to eSellerPro and go through the same standard order process, just like your orders from the other order sources.

Part 4 – Order Updates
As you process your orders and mark them as shipped, just like with eBay & Amazon, your Magento website orders are updated with the shipment information and customers are notified directly.

Part 5 – Customisation & 
Because this is a connector that is sat between eSellerPro and Magento it is completely customisable.

If you have bespoke requirements they can be accounted for, the connector can do anything that you cannot do in eSellerPro and apply a layer of pre & post processing logic to fully customise your product & order data between the two systems.

A few examples of customisation are:

  • Tiered pricing, that’s pricing discounts based upon order quantities
  • Group pricing for wholesale, trade or other customer groups in Magento
  • Expands beyond the limit of 10 stores in eSellerPro
  • Automatic attribute creation
  • Support for simple and configurable products (these are variation & multi-variation products)
  • Support for almost any 3rd party extensions that you use that also need to be updated. Such as Google Base & Products Ads or variation images via MagicBox for swapping images with variation selections.
  • Automatic re-indexing, keeping your indexes up to date

This integration also works in reverse, so that if you’re using Magento right now for your website business and want to use eSellerPro for the back office functions, then now the two can be deeply integrated.

Video Overview

Press play on the video below to be taken through a high level overview of the Magento to eSellerPro connector.

Would You Like to Know More?

The full feature list is available on the Magento to eSellerPro Integration is available. Pricing depends on the level of customisation required with a small monthly fee that includes additional developer hours per month to make any changes as required and processing time.

2013 A Year for Bravery

We’re a week into January already and it’s been a monster already. As I’m sure you’ll agree the break was welcomed and for me personally, nice to have two days with the family, however long before the new year was on us, I had already decided the plan for 2013 and it’s not what you’d expect, I’m going to fail in 2013.

Fail, huh?

Yea Fail.

If I’m failing, that means I’m trying really, really hard.


I found this image on Google, but it was wrong so I edited it. Now both point in the same direction as they should.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t expect to fail at everything I do, but if I can sum up last year into a single word, it was “safe” and safe is nice, but it can be kinda boring. It’s time that I change, be brave and have a good stab at failing, because I know that if I try hard enough, then I can fail my way into success.

I bet you’ve heard or have even thought that you’d like to be more successful this year, but absolutely no-one say they’re going to fail more this year. Well I’m going to fail in 2013, but it’s in the same direction as success.

I’ve already been working on this in the background, it’s why I’ve been so quiet here over the past few weeks. I’m looking forward to sharing the next couple of articles with you this week, as this is me trying hard at failing my way through to success in 2013.

Happy New Year, here’s to 2013, it’s going to be anything but normal (or safe like 2012).