Microsoft Surface Pro 3 vs. MacBook Air Comparison Smackdown

  • August 6, 2014
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Microsoft Surface Pro 3 vs. MacBook Air Comparison

Thinking about getting a Microsoft Surface Pro 3? Or may be your are in the market for a MacBook Air. Check out this video comparing both products. Very unbiased review and thorough. Great review!

Comparison Video Surface Pro3 vs. MacBook Air:

BigCommerce & Volusion Comparison 2013

Online Selling Made Easy – BigCommerce & Volusion Comparison

In this world, one has to prepare and learn a lot before diving into any endeavor.  Some require doctorate degrees or a masters in business administration.  Thankfully, there are those who come to the aid of those in need, especially in the area of online selling.

Online selling is a business concept that has just popped up very recently, and new concepts are generally not accepted well.  Those who were raised by people of the traditional generation would not as easily adapt to the new concept of online selling, even if it means having the people of the whole world as part of your target market.  This is why it is great that there are those companies that offer their assistance in setting up online shops.

This is exactly what the websites Volusion.com and BigCommerce.com do for their clients.  They put up a platform for people who wish to sell online, and make the process of selling extremely easy.  The steps are simple: set up the service, upload the information of your wares, and start selling and receiving payment.  It can be done in minutes if you are not that picky, and both websites offer a two week trial period wherein you can set up your site and figure out whether the service is for you or not.

Visit Big Commerce and try for free!

Visit Volusion and also try for free!

The processes of the two websites are fairly similar.  From the get go, you have their full support.  The first step would be to design your website, and both have a huge number of templates to choose from.  Most people would worry about the programming part of the site, but it really would not matter as one can choose to use the templates or create an independent platform.  Both sites can support geek language and have you do HTML if you want to go to that extent.  If you prefer to go a different route, designers are also available to help, all you need to do is ask.

Receiving payment from customers is also a huge thing when it comes to online businesses, and this makes sense.  Payments is what keeps the business running, and both offer merchant accounts for every site that you set up.  Both can also integrate with different payment gateways that you may have already set up previously, so importing a business into either website will not be a hassle.

Of course each site comes with different plans, and it would be best to tackle those one by one:

Volusion has five plans ranging from $15 a month to $195 a month.  The main difference here would be how many products you can sell on your store, as well as the amount of storage that you would have at your disposal, ranging from 1GB to an unlimited amount of storage.  As you go up the ladder though, the type of support that you have gets better, as the most basic plan has online support only while the two top paid plans have priority support.  Check on the number of extra items that you get such as Facebook integration to customer feedback, because some extras are excluded in the lower plans.

BigCommerce has five plans as well ranging from $24.95 to $299.95 a month, though the main difference in these plans are really just the storage space, the number of products that are offered, as well as the number of staff log-ins that one can assign to employees if there is more than one person maintaining the site.  All come with a discount for Google Adwords, and starting at the mid plan at $79.95 a month, there is the abandoned cart saver that can help in calling customers who have not bought what is in their cart back to finish the purchase (this is offered at Volusion at $35 a month).  Bigcommerce offers a 10% discount on annual subscriptions.

Of course each site will say that they are the best in their field,but your needs would really be the best basis for that.  Search out both stores and see what they offer.  The trial period is there to make you see if it is a good deal, and perhaps one will succeed in getting you to expand your customer base without increasing the number of stores that you have.  Because online selling gives you the key to the world while setting up shop at one place only – online.

Visit Big Commerce and try for free!

Visit Volusion and also try for free!

Shopify vs. BigCommerce Comparison Review by CashSherpa.com

Getting Your Business Online On-Time, and Even Earlier

Shopify vs. Big Commerce Comparison

You want to build an online store, but don’t know what ecommerce store solution to use? We can help you through that process! The thought of building an online store can be an intimidating thing. That’s why one should consider a service like Shopify and/or Big Commerce. There are so many changes in technology it’s hard to keep up especially when building an online store. There are a lot of people who come up with support sites that help create businesses online, just like Shopify.com and BigCommerce.com.

My problems with my personal online stores include: Getting site hacked several times, checkout process errors, getting credit cards to work property in checkout, troubleshooting misc. errors, and the list goes on. I’m going to sign up for an online store service like Big Commerce on my next store build. There are too many things that come up when you are building ecommerce stores on your own. The costs add up fast! You might think that the subscription fee for Shopify or Big Commerce is expensive, but it’s really not. Consider my costs getting malicious code removed from my WordPress sites multiple times, adding security features, making backups, paying web developers, hosting, domain names, buying plugins, buying new themes. When you purchase a service you have some peace of mind there is someone there to back you up if something goes wrong. In the online world I don’t have to tell you that things go wrong everyday. You need a team that backs you up daily!

Sign up for BigCommerce Here:

Bigcommerce makes it easy to sell online. You get a website, shopping cart, SEO, design, hosting and more. Try it for free!

Sign up for Shopify Here:

Use Shopify to create an online store. Visit here!

Obviously, these two are competitors that offer the same service, which is aid for people who wish to create a store on-line.  The concept is simple: sign up, choose a design, post your products, and then sell.  Both even have a trial period wherein you can set up the service and test it out.  Once you’re satisfied, then you can sign up for a plan and make your business start earning. I decided to review Shopify and Big Commerce since they are two of the most popular online store building services.

Shopify vs. Big Commerce Breakdown

If compared, there is no clear winner in the set up process.  Once that you join either company, you are given a huge number of options that you can choose from in order to design your store front.  The templates are numerous, and both have editing capabilities that would allow you to be hands on when it comes to your storefront.  This includes the use of HTML if you decide to go geek in the preparation.  If you do have something more specific in mind, both websites offer the help of professional designers.

The payments process is somewhat different.  For Shopify.com, all transactions are processed through their payment system, and a transaction fee is charged depending on the plan that you hold for the month (the highest plan is free of charge).  For BigCommerce.com, you have the choice of linking up with your own merchant, and this is the recommended process if you have an existing account with a payment company.  Otherwise, you can go with BigCommerce.com payments, a supporting company that allows you to use a gateway through BigCommerce.  This supports US payments only so far.  A switch can be made between your own payment facility and the one from bigcommerce at any time.

Pricing for the plans also vary, and this needs a bit more scrutiny:

Shopify – this has three main plans and a fourth, very basic plan that just allows basic selling.  The other three plans though (with the lowest plan at $29 a month) vary only with the number of products, the file storage size and the transaction fee.  The top plan that goes for $179 a month has unlimited everything, no transaction fee and the option for real time carrier shipping.

BigCommerce – the lowest plan is at $24.95 a month with about the same items such as the base plan of shopify.  It does allow for three staff log-ins, which would be great if you have people in your employ.  You can control what the staff can do, and you can get services from Google Adwords at a discount.  The mid range plan has something new in terms of customer retention though, and that is the abandoned cart saver.  With this feature, you can check on what people have placed in their cart and left there without making the purchase.  With this information, you can send them a mail and ask them if they are still interested.  This is known to help merchants immensely in taking back lost sales and getting feedback from customers.

All in all, both companies have a great platform to offer those who want to set up their on-line store without any hassles.  With the pros and cons that they have, it would really be up to the shop owner to decide where to go.  Just weigh the services, try it out and sell. I’d suggest going to the sites and looking over the live site examples. Also, both services offer a free trial so DO sign up for both and see which you like better.

Sign up for BigCommerce Here:

Bigcommerce makes it easy to sell online. You get a website, shopping cart, SEO, design, hosting and more. Try it for free!

Sign up for Shopify Here:

Use Shopify to create an online store. Visit here!

This is an example of what you can create with these services (See below):

hard-graft

Screen shots of current pricing:

big_com

shopify

Why You Shouldn’t Buy Into the iPad Mini Hype

Why You Shouldn’t Buy Into the iPad Mini Hype

Reasons why you shouldn’t buy into the Apple iPad Mini Hype.

Here’s why:

– It’s $329, $130 more than the competition

– Uses the old A5 dual-core processor

– It only has a 1024 x 768-pixel display. That’s a lower resolution display than the Barnes and Noble Nook HD’s 7-inch 1440 x 900 display.

– Apple users are being taken for a ride on pure hype with the iPad Mini

– The Google’s Nexus 7 sets the bar at $199 Apple does not

Look at this graphic from: http://blog.laptopmag.com/ipad-mini-vs-the-competition-how-apples-smaller-tablet-compares

Watch the iPad Mini vs. Competition video:

Watch here at Business Insider

SproutSocial Review by CashSherpa.com

SproutSocial Review by CashSherpa.com – Better Than HootSuite?

SproutSocial was founded founded in 2010 and headquartered in Chicago, IL. Sprout Social currently boosts over 35 employees. Many customers are saying they prefer Sprout Social over Hootsuite. Some of the benefits over Hootsuite is that it’s very visual, also there are scores for influence/engadgement. If you are like me the thought of managing social media separately is a daunting notion. Sprout Social is the cost effective answer to this problem many businesses face. The all-in-one platform frees up your time, and makes social media marketing that much more engaging.

Sprout Social Commentary by CashSherpa.com:


Why would my company use this service?

–          In a nutshell companies are able to monitor and build brand image with one easy to use tool

–          Publish & schedule updates across social channels with a single click.

–          Manage teams, large social channels, tasks and assignments with ease

–          Measure your efforts with comprehensive reporting and analytics

What services they offer in one consolidated package?

–          Software integrates with Twitter, Facebook Fan Pages, LinkedIn and other networks where consumers are engaging with businesses and brands.

–          Communication tools

–          Contact management

–          Lead generation

–          Reporting

–          Analytics

–          All of the detailed reporting you need, at no additional cost. Unlimited for all plans.

–          Measure the effectiveness of your outbound messages to optimize your reach & impressions.

–          Deliver beautiful, detailed reports to your organization or customers.

–          PDF and CSV Exports for their data junkie clients.

–          Publish messages to Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

–          Collaborate on the publishing calendar with your team to create campaigns as a group.

–          Schedule messages to multiple networks as well as multiple days.

–          Save loads of time by adding content to your Sprout Queue and we’ll deliver it automatically.

–          Use their patented technology, Optimal Send Time to boost engagement and increase campaign reach.

Do they offer a free trial?

Social media management for exceptional companies

Yes, Sprout Social offers a 30 day free trial for all 3 packages. The 3 packages include the standard $39/user, the deluxe $59/user, and the premium $99/user.

How long does sign up take?

Takes 60 seconds to sign up.

How do I sign up?

Click here to start your free trial with Sprout Social

Sign up for a free 30 day trial of Sprout Social

Do they have any testimonials posted on their web site?

“We use Sprout Social to manage seven of the world’s leading fitness brands. They are amazing. Best we’ve found.”

– Ryan Baylis Icon Health and Fitness

“Sprout Social has easy-to-use functionality that perfectly fit the needs of our enterprise. By being able to track conversations, assign tasks and search keywords, we have streamlined our team and are able to reach more posts.”

– Katie Holland Social Media Supervisor, McDonalds USA

Sprout Social Video Demo & Review by 9malls.com:

 

Constant Contact vs. Campaigner vs. Aweber Showdown

Constant Contact vs. Campaigner vs. Aweber Showdown

Welcome to the Constant Contact, Campaigner, and AWeber showdown! So many e-mail marketing services to choose from, but which one should I choose one might ask? CashSherpa is here to help!

So you’ve set up an awesome e-commerce website, but you still need an email marketing provider. Three of the biggest players in the market are Constant Connect, Campaigner and AWeber. All three takes care of sending automated email messages to your customers, whether it’s to build loyalty, lure new customers or simply follow up on a purchase.

AWeber, Constant Contact, Campaigner Review Video:

Constant Contact (www.constantcontact.com)

Constant Contact is one of the oldest email marketing services around; they’ve been in business since 1998. That’s a really long time in the Internet world. Constant Contact features over 400 free templates for newsletters and mailings, unlimited email lists, real-time monitoring and survey development tools (optional). For $15 a month (lowest plan), you can send out up to a maximum of 500 emails. Sending out 501 to 2,500 emails costs $30/mo and 2,501 to 5,000 emails costs $75/mo. You can get a discount if you’re a nonprofit, have a prepaid account or if you’re sending out bulk mailings.

Emails for Small Business with Constant Contact

Pros

  • 60-day Free Trial, no credit card required
  • Been in the business since 1998
  • More than 400 templates
  • User-friendly. You don’t need any HTML knowledge to design newsletters.
  • Easy import/export lists. Import addresses from Outlook, Outlook Express and Act.
  • Zero-tolerance for spam. Constant Connect monitor list activity to keep spammers away, and they do not allow illegal or purchased emailing lists to be used with their service.

Cons

  • You pay a separate fee for each additional feature not included in the basic plan (including personal customer support and image storage).
  • Limited customization. The WYSIWYG editor is not available for your own HTML designs.
  • Limited storage
  • User interface sometimes difficult to navigate
  • Beginner level EMSP

Campaigner (www.campaigner.com/)

Campaigner started offering email marketing services in 2005. The company is owned by j2 Global Canada, Inc., makers of eVoice. Campaigner offers a 30-day free trial, 24/7 customer support, over 500 email templates and one of the largest library of creative content for customizing your mailings. The lowest plan costs $10 per month for a maximum of 1,000 subscribers. This price includes social media integration, auto responder and A/B testing.

Email Marketing for Small Business

Pros

  • Customer service. Campaigner has one of the best reputations for its 24/7 tech support.
  • Reasonable price. Other companies charge a fixed price for maximum number emails sent per month, but Campaigner uses contact pricing. You can send as many emails as you want to the subscribers in your contact list.
  • More than 500 templates
  • Excellent template builder and editor
  • 10MB of image storage space
  • Social networking integration
  • Contact manager (import contacts via Outlook, Excel, CSV and major email providers)
  • Auto-responder feature

Cons

  • Online surveys not included in the monthly plan
  • No spam checker
  • No Google Analytics integration
  • Limited reporting. Does not show clicks, forwards, spam statistics or best performing links.

AWeber (http://www.aweber.com)

Aweber is a streamlined email marketing service provider that offers the basics, plus social media integration and a 99 percent deliverability rate, one of the highest in the business. Aweber’s auto-responder tool is arguably the best, letting you customize your contact list and time delay. The lowest-priced AWeber plan starts at $19 per month for up to 500 subscribers.

AWeber - Email Marketing Made Easy

Pros

  • Uncluttered and easy to use interface
  • Good WYSIWYG template editor
  • Newsletter attachment feature
  • Good reporting and tracking
  • Good list management
  • CAN-Spam compliant
  • Good customer support
  • Social media, shopping cart and web form integration
  • Broadcast archive feature (turns newsletters into web pages)
  • We use AWeber at CashSherpa and many of the top bloggers prefer AWeber to other services

Cons

  • No image hosting
  • No survey creation feature
  • No Tell-A-Friend forms
  • Manual removal of duplicate contacts

All three services offer basic email marketing functionalities. Campaigner on the surface wins for the best plan pricing at just $10 for 1,000 subscribers, plus a 30-day free trial to test the waters. It also offers excellent customer service and a solid template editor. Our next pick is AWeber, which is slightly more costly at $19/mo for 500 subscribers, but includes basics plus extras like the broadcast archive feature and integration with third-party functions. Last on our list is Constant Contact. It is also more expensive at $15/mo (basic plan), and you have to pay separately for each additional function (including social media integration). We recommend after signing up for any e-mail marketing service to test features and customer service right away. With e-mail marketing services you are in it for the long haul make sure the company you choose fits best with your long term goals. No matter which service you try, start with a free or reduced cost trial to see if you like their service. There is literally no risk to try!

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