Mountain Commerce Updates and Google Product Feed

Mountain Commerce Admin Tools Redesign
When you login to the Mountain Commerce Tools you will notice the application has a new skin. We have gone through just about every screen in the system and improved the formatting, layout and usability.

New Dashboard Page
We added a new dashboard to the system which you will notice when you first login. The idea is to give administrators a summary of important data each time they login. We added an expanded pending order queue, a resource utilization widget, and a sales widget. We have also integrated components from Google Analytics. To see the Google Analytics data you will need to add your Google account credentials to Mountain Commerce under the Feeds & Social tab/Google Analytics. You will need the following Google account data:

  • Google Analytics Account Email
  • Google Analytics Account Password
  • Google Analytics Id

To get your Google Analytics Account Id you will need to login to your Google Analytics account and select it from the URL string, see graphical example:

If you are a Mountain Media Search Engine Marketing customer we would have access to that information and would be happy to set this up for you upon request. Please contact your account representative or email sales@mountainmedia.com

Google Product Feed Update
Google rolled out a major update to the Google Product Feed (AKA Base, Froogle). Here is a quote from Google on the subject “Note: As of May 3rd, 2011, unique product identifiers are required for all products, except those products in the apparel category and custom made goods. We encourage you to provide unique product identifiers whenever possible.” They have also added a field for “brand” which is basically required as well. This means that if you want your products to be visible in the new Google Product feed you have some work to do on your catalog.

Mountain Media has adjusted several aspect of our Mountain Commerce platform to accommodate/support the Google Product Feed. We added the following fields to the product detail screen:

  • GTIN – for UPC, EAN, JAN or ISBN
  • MPN – Manufacturer Part Number
  • Brand – The brand of the product

If you would like more information on this, read this support page on Google  http://www.google.com/support/merchants/bin/answer.py?answer=160161

This is important if you want your products visible in the Google Product feed. Mountain Media would be happy to help optimize your Google Product feed for you at our standard rates or as part of your marketing plan. Please contact your account representative or email sales@mountainmedia.com

Taxonomy (The Product Type Attribute)
Another critical part of optimizing your Google Product Feed is providing taxonomy (categorization) information in your product feed. Mountain Media has added a tool to the product detail page of Mountain Commerce to facilitate adding the proper taxonomy to your products. Try typing in a category for your product in the taxonomy field and a widget will open up that allows you to find the best category for your product and generates the proper code to match it to Google’s taxonomy. For more information on taxonomy visit: http://www.google.com/support/merchants/bin/answer.py?hl=en_US&answer=160081 Here you can drill in and generate your own taxonomy strings and paste them into Mountain Commerce if you would like.

You will also notice a field on the product detail screen called “Product Condition” with a choice of new or used. Please take the time to set those as it will help your visibility in Google’s product feed.

Please note that we are not responsible for changes to the  Google product feed, (you can thank Google for that) but we have taken these measures to keep our users up to date with Google’s changes.

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Unrealistic Expectations In Web Development

It’s amazing what you can find on Craigslist. I spend a little time every few weeks seeing what kind of web design projects people post. It keeps me in the loop of what the local market place is in need of and of course, you never know, might find a good client in the process.

The posts are frequently laughable. Lots of promises to cut you in to what could be a million dollar business, as long as you provide a huge amount of development work for free, of course. Some pretty unrealistic expectations as well.

Take this post I came across today, for example:

“I need an INDEPENDENT website developer (Saratoga Springs)

I have a great idea for a website similar to that of facebook.com and I need someone to build this website. The idea is extremely marketable and is potentially worth millions. I need someone in this local area so I can meet with them and discuss the website and the contract to build it. So again it is very important if you reply to this ad you must be able to construct a website with similar abilities to that of facebook.com and you must be local as well.

So if you are interested then please call this number xxx-xxx-xxxx. “

Now, the rebuttal post (it was not I who wrote this, I swear. But, I’ll admit to wanting to!)

“RE: I need an INDEPENDENT website developer (Moronville)

Where to begin? Perhaps in a number-bulleted fashion?

1) You want a website designed that’s like Facebook, and you expect a single website-developer to do this work for… ? Do you have any idea how much it would cost to develop a site that resembles Facebook? Are you familiar with the software development lifecycle?

2) Why is Facebook worth billions? Because 500,000,000+ people use it. How many people do you think will use your website? A niche audience? A wide-ranging audience? If Facebook is worth $50billion, that means each user is worth roughly $100. For a startup website like you’re talking about, you won’t get the value/user of $100… probably more like $1 – $10… if that.

3) You’re an idiot. “

Whoever you are, I salute your candor. While I’m not as harsh, I do find myself frequently having similar conversations. Most of the time I feel pretty bad about it. It’s no fun bursting someones bubble with cold hard reality. I know that most web businesses fail. Success is the exception, not the rule. It takes knowledge, financing, dedication, hard work and a set of realistic expectations to make it work.

Anything is possible in this digital world, as it’s always been. The web doesn’t make it a sure thing.

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Mountain Media Supports Local Charities by Giving-Away their Popular Web Payment Software to Capital Region Organizations Seeking to Collect Donations Online

Web Payment Software - An affordable, easy to use system for accepting payments online.

Web Payment Software - An affordable, easy to use system for accepting payments online.

Saratoga Springs-based software company hopes to help local charitable organizations expand their funding by providing them with much-needed technology to accept credit card payments on their existing websites in order to collect donations, organize membership drives and allow online event registration.

Saratoga Springs, NY (PRWEB) March 10, 2011

Mountain Media (http://www.mountainmedia.com), a national ecommerce solution provider focused on search-engine friendly ecommerce products and services and headquartered here in the Capital Region, announced today that they are launching an initiative to help support local charities. By offering free setup of their popular “Web Payment Software” for the collection and processing of online donations and online event registrations, Mountain Media hopes to help local charitable organizations expand their funding by providing them with the much-needed technology to accept credit card payments on their existing websites.

Web Payment Software (http://www.web-payment-software.com) serves as a payment gateway, virtual terminal and also includes the ability for merchant-generated website “payment pages” giving charities and organizations a long-awaited alternative to Paypal. The software’s flexibility provides merchants and organizations an affordable way to accept credit cards over the Internet on their existing website whether its usage is for traditional web payments, donations, membership drives, or registering for events and conferences.

The first local charity to take advantage of this offer is Peak Season Century (http://www.peakseasoncentury.com) of Lake George. This annual cycle ride benefits the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS), and last year over 80% of registration fees were donated directly to LLS to fight blood cancers. “When we heard about Mountain Media’s offer, we jumped at the chance to increase our event registrations and reduce the costs associated with taking credit card payments online.” Said Michael Kramer, vice president of the organization. “We anticipate a savings of almost 40% by utilizing Web Payment Software compared with our previous online event registration solution and that savings to us means more money can go to our cause”.

Mountain Media’s online payment solutions can save businesses and organizations up to 67% when compared to competing online payment systems, online donation software and online event registration solutions.

“Although we serve a national market, Mountain Media is dedicated to supporting our local community,” stated James Curley, CEO of Mountain Media, the creators of Web Payment Software. “After launching the latest version of our online payment software, we wanted to give back to the community by offering local charities the opportunity to use it for free to collect their online donations. In an economy where nonprofits and charitable organizations struggle to increase donations, the key to maintaining a steady influx of donor-dollars seems to be by offering as many options as possible when it comes to methods for individuals to make their donation. The easier it is for an individual to give, the more likely they will be to do so and so, we would welcome any local organization to contact us to take advantage of this offer”.

For additional information on Web Payment Software or to sign up today, visit http://www.web-payment-software.com.

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Search Marketing Space Will Be Healthy for a Long Time

Recession or not, the outlook for search marketing spending — both SEO and paid search advertising — is solid.

Spending on SEO will increase more than 110% by 2013 to $3.85 billion, according to eMarketer. Paid search advertising spending will increase 65% to $14.72 billion.

That level of additional spending portends enormous opportunities for every category of participant in the search ecosystem.

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