Does using a pen name come off as disingenuous to consumers?

For example, if I say in my about section, "hi you know our brand as ___, but you can also call me by my pen name ___", would it make people less trusting and impact conversion rates?

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Case Study – Technology News Website (Month 3)

Hi r/ecommerce enthusiasts!

I’m back again with another case study on my technology news blog. I can’t believe I made it to 3 months of these.

It has been 3 months now since I officially launched my news website – time flies when your having fun! Over the past month, the main focus has been improving the SEO of the site and writing even more content to entertain our engaged reader-base.

The earnings, analytics and search console results this month are actually quite staggering too!

You can see the results and the rest of the case study here:

The previous ones can be found here:

Month 1 –

Month 2 –

Feel free to leave your thoughts, feedback and questions below or in the comments.

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Integrating shopify with other providers?

If I build my website on squarespace, can I hyperlink the store component of my website to an external shopify store on a similar but separate domain? Is anyone trying this? Know what some disadvantages or benefits might be?

Edit: not necessarily using squarespace as a base. WordPress, wix, or even a custom site, are all applicable to this idea.

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Online Platform for Local Businesses


Given Coronavirus is still going on, I recently read that many local businesses are closing permanently. I personally do not want to live in a world of only big box stores, so I wanted to come up with a platform for only local businesses. Somewhat like Craigslist, where each site is specific to that city/area, but customers can browse items, add things to cart, and have them shipped directly to their door. Ideally, payments and shipping directions would go directly to the vendor assuming they already have the capability. In a way, it's a similar idea to being an Amazon seller but with a dedicated theme. Additionally, I do not want to have an arbitrage between their products and what's listed, but suppliers would pay for exposure (so maybe 1.5% of sales?). I was wondering if anyone had any idea on how to approach this given that each store probably has its own platform/inventory management system/etc.? Does it that even matter? I would appreciate any insight.

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Best way to find affiliates for our program? Not a network, just an individual referral program that pays 11%.

Golf equipment, if it makes a difference. High end putters, wedges, and putter headcovers. Not using an affiliate network so wondering if anyone has suggestions on getting exposure for this affiliate program?

A couple gift guide blogs use our affiliate links, but that's about it right now, and all those are simply one-off opportunities during the holidays.

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Creating a boutique ecommerce website for single sales and/or subscription based sales and looking at Wix and Squarespace.

Suggestions? Thoughts? Prayers? Shopify is a little too rich for our blood right now…

We have FB Shop, Insta (in approval process), YouTube and thinking about adding in eBay, Etsy and Amazon

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Online garden shop Bloomscape raises $15M Series B, acquires plant care app Vera

If you thought to invest in more plants or started growing a small garden during 2020's coronavirus lockdowns, you weren't alone. According to Bloomscape, a company that ships live plants straight from greenhouses to customers' homes, a number of people become interested in plants this year, increasing demand for its already growing service. Today, Bloomscape announced it's expanding its business with the addition of $15 million in Series B funding as well as the acquisition of plant care app Vera.

The new round of financing was led by General Catalyst, and included participation from Annox Capital's Bob Mylod; former Chairman of Booking Holdings and Home Depot board member Jeff Boyd; former Seventh Generation and Burt's Bees CEO John Replogle; along with existing investors Revolution Ventures and Ludlow Ventures.

Joel Cutler, co-founder and Managing Director of General Catalyst and Bob Mylod, Managing Partner at Annox Capital Management will join Bloomscape’s Board of Directors as part of the round. To date, Bloomscape has raised $24 million.

Image Credits: Bloomscape, screenshot via TechCrunch

Bloomscape was founded by Michigan designer and entrepreneur Justin Mast and launched in 2018 with the goal of reinventing how plants move about the country and arrive on customers' doorsteps.

Today, there are other businesses that ship live plants, including home improvement stores and large e-commerce retailers like Amazon. But what makes Bloomscape different are the steps it has made to ensure a better delivery process and its logistics operations behind-the-scenes.

The company has filed a patent on parts of its plant packaging technology, where plants and pots are held securely at the right temperature. It also uses a proprietary soil mix that has a bonding agent that holds the soil together better during shipping and better protects the roots, explains Boomscape CEO Justin Mast.

In addition, because plants are shipped directly to the customer from the greenhouse, they're healthier upon arrival than those spend, on average, 4 weeks traveling from a greenhouse to a big box store before being sent to a customer's home.

The company is also now working to refine its regional fulfillment strategy to include localized centers and systems that will shorten transit times even further.

Image Credits: Bloomscape

Mast stresses that Bloomscape's success to date wasn't dependent on any one factor, but rather has been a combination of people, processes and systems.

“Key people on our product and supply chain team have decades of experience in shipping plants around the country through couriers and best in class fulfillment processes,” says Mast. “And now internally we have gathered a massive amount of information about which plants ship well during varying conditions. We are now systematizing this information so we can really optimize our product mixes to really ensure healthy plants, more successful plant parents, and ultimately a much better customer experience,” he notes.

Even before the pandemic, Bloomscape was seeing steadily rising growth. Though the company doesn't share its specific metrics, Mast would say that his business has grown by 4x since last year and it has more than doubled its staff.

Millennials are Bloomscape's fast-growing segment, including those outside urban centers in the south and mid-Atlantic regions. Many are also new or recent single-family homeowners, as well.

When COVID-19 hit and lockdowns were in force, Bloomscape had to quickly adapt to not just growing consumer demand but also a remote work lifestyle among employees.

“During a time of immeasurable difficulty for so many people, we are very fortunate that the business was not negatively affected by the pandemic. During the first few months of COVID, along with the rest of the world, we saw a lot of things change,” Mast says. “A lot of people found comfort and became interested in plants. We are incredibly grateful that our plants offer that little bit of solace and joy via nature into the home. We were thrilled to be able to bring something so meaningful to people during that time,” he adds.

The accelerated shift to e-commerce prompted by the pandemic will likely continue to benefit Bloomscape even when the health crisis passes. Plus, as Mast points out, once people dip their toe in with plants, they often don't stop at one.

As a part of the funding news, Bloomscape also acquired plant care app Vera for an undisclosed sum. The deal was for the tech only, not the team who built the app itself, we're told.

Image Credits: Bloomscape

Vera today provides customers with plant care tips, content, troubleshooting help, watering reminders and more. Bloomscape plans to leverage the app to better connect with customers and integrate its own plant care content and resources, like its existing Talk to Plant Mom plant care assistance service.

In addition to its expansion of plant care offering with Vera, Bloomscape plans to use the new capital to grow its team, refine its regional fulfillment strategy, and launch new products. One such product is its Edible Garden Shop, where customers can buy small tomato, lavender, sweet pepper, hot pepper, kale mix, mint and chamomile plants.

Next year, the company will move into outdoor plants, the company says.

“You'd be hard pressed to find a team that understands a consumer vertical better than Bloomscape does with home gardening,” said Joel Cutler, co-founder and managing director, General Catalyst, in a statement about his firm's investment. “The team has found not just excellence in the complicated logistics of cultivating and shipping live plants nationwide, but also a strong resonance with today's consumer who's looking to green up their living spaces,” he said.



Help with selling digital subscriptions/files and Sales taxes

I need help, I am lost and realized creating a product is easier than creating a structure to sell it 🙁

– I have two products, 1) Digital files (csv) 2) Subscription to analysis pages (access to my analysis) targetting stock/investment markets.

Based on my initial research, I may have to collect sales tax for certain rates and manage.

Question: Is there a service that allows me to sell memberships/downloads that manages sales tax collection based on user location and remits to state tax authorities?

I looked at payhip, spotify, etc. but not clear what is best that leaves me with more time to sell/enhance product than manage the business.

Thank you for your help….


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Where can I get packaging as shown below, customized letterpress business cards and hangtags for a good affordable price?

I have been searching but most places are way to expensive online and the eco friendly items I see are kind of ugly and expensive. In understand that packaging is the most expensive part of ecommerce but at the same time I have heard people doing it on a budget and I would like to do the same as well. I will be selling home items such as towels, robes, hand wash, and many other things eventually as well as silk scarfs. For my towels and robes rather than using boxes, fabric, or plastic packaging, I would like to pack them into paper bags like the ones in the link and they will be protected with the basic plastic wraps that clothes tend to come to protect them. So far I can't find bags like the one below. Then possibly add a wax seal or sticker on the packaging to decorate them more. For my silk scarves because people I would assume would want them to remain packaged if not used due to being delicate, I would like to have the plastic packaging such as the first image more than the second image in the link below.

My original idea was to also just wrap them in a nice gift wrapping paper or to make my own packaging but then I thought that might not be a good idea since that would be much more work then having something ready.

For my hangtags and thank you/business cards, I would like to have them letterpress. I would do them myself and even checked Walmart and some craft stores but could not find the paper bags in the right color I am looking for.

Packaging Images

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Preparing for Black Friday Cyber Monday: 4 Shopify Experts Weigh In

bfcm advice

This year, Black Friday Cyber Monday (BFCM) promises to be a different kind of shopping season. But one thing holds true: experience only makes you stronger when it comes to navigating the new normal of BFCM. In this article, four seasoned Shopify experts share their top advice for preparing for Black Friday Cyber Monday 2020.