Author: Jessica McDonald

Rare Wonder Woman Comics (Including Issue #1) To Be Sold On eBay.

Wonder Woman issue 1

Three of the oldest and most historically important Wonder Woman comic books —including issue No. 1- are being auctioned off on eBay.

The comics being auctioned (separately) are Wonder Woman No. 1Sensational Comics No. 1, and All Star Comics No. 8, all featuring some of the earliest representations of Wonder Woman.

For this one of a kind, historic auction, Frooition designed a unique custom listing design. The listing design is inspired by the DC comic’s artwork and their iconic depiction of the progressive heroine.

Wonder Woman eBay

The copy of the first issue of Wonder Woman was originally sent to Harper’s Magazine. The magazine was filed away in a cabinet and forgotten, preserving it in pristine condition. The other two comics in the auction were bought from a collector.

The comics, all of them more than 75 years old, are in exceptionally good condition. The copies featured in this sale are the highest-rated editions ever found according to CGC, a vintage comic assessment organization. (They got ratings of 9.0 or higher out of 10, meaning very fine or near-mint condition.)

Interest in Wonder Woman-related items on eBay has spiked since the character’s recently released feature film. According to a news release, sales of Wonder Woman related items have increased by 50 per cent over the past year and include comics, Lego sets, costumes and even Wonder Woman-branded fidget spinners.

Wonder Woman is one of the most widely known and loved characters of all time, so these extremely rare comics would likely fetch high prices regardless of the timing. The Wonder Woman comics are on sale from comics shop owner Darren Adams. Adams sold a 1338, 9.0 rated copy of the first Superman comic in 2014 for a historic $3.2 million on eBay, and the Wonder Woman comics are expected to achieve a similar price. A portion of the proceeds will go to Trafficking Hope, an organization that works to combat human trafficking.

Watch the video below to hear more about the origins of Wonder Woman, and the story of this incredibly rare find.


Why load speed is crucial to your e-commerce – and ten ways to improve it.

load speed

Two-thirds of people now own a smart phone. The average smart phone user checks their phone 40 times a day. As smart phone use spreads and the majority think of the internet as an everyday necessity, our expectation of instant access to information increases, and our patience levels drop. Load speed is only getting more important.

Google evaluates your website landing pages to determine your website’s Quality Score and Ad Rank. If your landing page experience is slow, you get a lower Quality Score from Google. Which means your ads will likely rank lower in paid search results, and you’ll have a harder time climbing rank for organic search terms.

Slower sites have to bid super high to compete with faster, better quality ads and landing pages. That’s because your Quality Score is tied to the cost-per-click (CPC). So, a faster load speed can also indirectly help to drive down your advertising costs.

Google even went on record back in 2010 saying site speed was used as a ranking factor, saying;

“…faster sites don’t just improve user experience; improving site speed also reduces operating costs. Like us, our users place a lot of value in speed — that’s why we’ve decided to take site speed into account in our search rankings”

If you have been struggling to get certain pages to climb the search rankings, or are trying to drive down your advertising costs, you might want to factor in page load speed as part of a great landing page user experience.

People like fast sites. Search engines like fast sites. If your site is slow to load, now is time to do something about it.

For e-commerce sites, load speed can be directly related to sales. Amazon analyzed their ratio of sales to website performance in 2016, and discovered that for every 100ms of page load time there was a 1% decrease in sales. 40% of customers will abandon a website and not return after two seconds of waiting for a page to load. E-commerce designers are dealing with rapidly decreasing margins for load times to not result in cart abandonment.

Clearly, speeding up your website is critical—not just to ranking well with Google, but to keep your conversion rate high. Frooition sites are all created to load in one second or less across all devices, but for those of you who have non Frooition sites, we are sharing 10 things you can do to shave seconds off your site load speed and enjoy higher profits.

1. Use a Content Delivery Network

One benefit of being online is that you can sell to customers around the world. A content delivery network caches the content on servers located in different parts of the world, which reduces load times. This would help, say, a customer in Hong Kong, who could load a page from a server in China, versus hitting the master server in U.S.

2. Optimize Your Images

With images, you need to focus on three things: size, format, and the src attribute.

Image size

Oversized images take longer to load, so it’s important that you keep your images as small as possible. In Photoshop or Fireworks, you can use the “Save for Web” option to drastically reduce image size. Also:

  • Crop your images to the correct size. For instance, if your page is 570px wide, resize the image to that width. Don’t just upload a 2000px-wide image and set the width parameter (width=”570”). This slows your page load time and creates a bad user experience.
  • Reduce colour depth to the lowest acceptable level.
  • Remove image comments.

Image fromat

  • JPEG is your best option.
  • PNG is also good, though older browsers may not fully support it.
  • GIFs should only be used for small or simple graphics (less than 10×10 pixels, or a colour palette of 3 or fewer colours) and for animated images.
  • Do not use BMPs or TIFFs.

SRC attribute

Once you’ve got the size and format right, make sure the code is right too. Avoid empty image src codes.

In HTML, the code for an image includes this:

<img src=””>

When there’s no source in the quotation marks, the browser makes a request to the directory of the page or to the actual page itself. This can add unnecessary traffic to your servers and even corrupt user data.

Pro tip: Never Rely on HTML to Resize Images – HTML (and by extension, WordPress blogs), make it easy to create a smaller version of a larger graphic. But just because you load that smaller size, doesn’t mean it’s taking up any less room on the server. The browser still has to load the full image, then check the width and height you want and then resize it accordingly.

3. Minimize HTTP Requests

According to Yahoo, 80% of a Web page’s load time is spent downloading the different pieces-parts of the page: images, stylesheets, scripts, Flash, etc. An HTTP request is made for each one of these elements, so the more on-page components, the longer it takes for the page to render.
That being the case, the quickest way to improve site speed is to simplify your design.

    • Streamline the number of elements on your page.
    • Use CSS instead of images whenever possible.
    • Combine multiple style sheets into one.
    • Reduce scripts and put them at the bottom of the page.

Always remember, when it comes to your website, leaner is better.

Pro tip: BigCommerce sites made on the new stencil platform and coded in the handlebars language JavaScript and CSS are minified and combined, reducing file size and web requests.

4. Optimize CSS delivery

CSS holds the style requirements for your page. Generally, your website accesses this information in one of two ways: in an external file, which loads before your page renders, and inline, which is inserted in the HTML document itself.

The external CSS is loaded in the head of your HTML with code that looks something like this:

<!—Your styles –>

<link rel=”stylesheet” type=”text/css” media=”all” href=http://yourURL/style.css />

In general, an external style sheet is preferable, because it reduces the size of your code and creates fewer code duplications.

5. Reduce server response time

Your target is a server response time of less than 200ms (milliseconds). Google recommends using a web application monitoring solution and checking for bottlenecks in performance.

Big Commerce runs handlebars on the store’s server, which means there’s less strain on the browser and less Javascript is needed.

6. Enable browser caching

When you visit a website, the elements on the page you visit are stored on your hard drive in a cache or temporary storage, so the next time you visit the site, your browser can load the page without having to send another HTTP request to the server.

So the first time someone comes to your website, they have to download the HTML document, stylesheets, javascript files and images before being able to use your page. That may be as many as 30 components and 2.4 seconds.

Once the page has been loaded and the different components stored in the user’s cache, only a few components needs to be downloaded for subsequent visits. This can take an average of two seconds off load time for returning visitors.

Depending on your individual traffic, around 40-60% of daily visitors to your site will be arriving with an empty cache, so it’s critical that you make your page fast for these first-time visitors. But you also need to enable caching to shave time off subsequent visits.

7. Prioritize above-the-fold content

You can improve user experience by having your above-the-fold (top of the page) load faster—even if the rest of the page takes a few seconds to load.

Pro tip: New BigCommerce sites coded in Handlebars offers lazy-loading, which means product images will only load as the user scrolls down the page, reducing the initial load time.

8. Reduce the number of plugins you use on your site

Too many plugins slow your site, create security issues, and often cause crashes and other technical difficulties.

Pro tip: Deactivate and delete any unnecessary plugins. Then weed out any plugins that slow your load speed.

Try selectively disabling plugins, then measuring server performance. This way you can identify any plugins that harm your site speed.

9. Compress data

Large pages are bulky and slow to download. The best way to improve their load speed is to zip them—a technique called compression. Compression reduces the bandwidth of your pages, reducing HTTP response time.

BigCommerce stencil sites bundle information into a zip file for fast deployment and optimal load speed.

10. Reduce redirects

Redirects create additional HTTP requests and increase load time. So should be kept to a minimum.

If you have a responsive website, it’s more than likely that you have redirects in place to take mobile users from your main website to the responsive version.

Pro tip: Google recommends these two actions to make sure a responsive redirect doesn’t slow your site:

Use a HTTP redirect to send users with mobile user agents directly to the mobile equivalent URL without any intermediate redirects, and include the markup in your desktop pages to identify the mobile equivalent URL so Googlebot can discover your mobile pages.

The Bottom Line

Some of these tips are easy to implement, but a few are advanced tactics that can be difficult if you aren’t the most confident with web development.

If you like the idea of digging in and doing it yourself, Google Developers has useful information that can help you improve site performance.

If you know what you need, but want an expert to create it, speak to one of our e-commerce design experts.

Essential e-commerce email campaigns


According to MailChimp, the average e-commerce email open rate is 16.75% and the average e-commerce email click rate is 2.32% as of February 2017.

According to Campaign Monitor, email marketing generates 174% more conversions than social media does.

Unsurprisingly, email use on mobile is growing rapidly. According to the Campaign Monitor report, 21% opened emails on mobile in 2012. In 2016, just four years later, that number grew to 68%.

And email marketing is profitable. Campaign Monitor claims email marketing generated $44 ROI for every dollar spent in 2016, compared to $38 in 2015.

On top of that, 320% more revenue is generated with automated emails vs. non-automated emails. 39% more automated journeys created in 2016 than in 2015.

Email marketing is thriving. Especially in the e-commerce industry.

There are endless campaign ideas out there, but over contacting your prospects or customers will only get your mail relegated to spam. Over contacting customers with constant offers is most probably the reason for e-commerce’s low average open and average click rates. To keep customers opening your mail and get maximum return from your campaigns, you should change things up and send a variety of informative and engaging mails. At a minimum, you should have one email campaign per stage of the life cycle:

New Customers

Something to encourage or welcome new, first time customers.

    • Browse abandonment
    • New subscriber
    • Cart abandonment
    • First purchase welcome

This cart abandonment email from Emma Bridgewater is particularly strong, with an engaging image and clear call to action in the header. It offers a customer support number, which could save any sales which were lost because the customer did not want to email their questions. It also offers a free delivery code, and includes easy links to products that the customer browsed.



Something to encourage or reward repeat buyers.

    • Feedback request
    • Cross sell

This feedback request from Boden is short and sweet, written in their brand voice, and uses pictures to encourage engagement. This email works hard to show customers that leaving feedback is easy.


Again, Boden keeps it short and sweet, but make use of eye catching images to engage, along with the incentive of both money off, free delivery, and free returns.



Something to win back customers who haven’t purchased in a while.

    • Replenishment
    • Loyal customer offer
    • Offer notificationWin back

This win back email from Boden offers customers simple options, in a fun and engaging way. They tempt with an offer of a sale, but it’s the friendly tone of this email that secures the user engagement.

Keeping in regular contact with customers keeps your store and products in their mind. Be sure to use lots of engaging visuals to maximize this. Clear product photos and bold graphic text in exciting colours. Try to create emails that are visually interesting, and ask very little of the customer’s concentration. Ask too much, or too often, and you lose your customers to the unsubscribe button.

The summer will soon be over, and the busiest shopping season of the year will be upon us. Good mail campaigns can drastically improve sales during the competitive holiday season, and now is the perfect time to start planning your campaigns. To help you get started with planning, we have written a list of ten points to help you prepare your e-commerce for the holidays.

Managing multichannel eCommerce delivery – Expert guest post from Parcelhub

e-commerce delivery

Retail is a multi channel business and shoppers now have more choice than ever in terms of goods and services than ever before. At present shoppers can buy your goods through your website, your store, perhaps your app, your mobile website, and a dizzying array of marketplaces, from the mighty Amazon and eBay through to niche ones such as Tophatter and OnBuy.

This is changing how people shop, and how people actually want to get their hands on what they have bought.

According to IMRG, total sales on mobile and tablets now account for 40% of UK e-retail sales – and figures from the IMRG Capgemini Index in 2014 also shows that 25% of e-retail sales are now reserve/buy online and collect in- store, although for some retailers this is already much higher.

This shift to click and collect is just part of a cultural shift in how consumers shop that this multi channel world has brought about. And delivery is becoming the leading differentiator for any retailer, governing everything from its ranking on Google through to how it undertakes its marketing strategy. This is according to various studies, which found that SMEs see delivery as the key to business growth and taking on the majors in 2018.

This places a huge new onus on retailers – and the marketplaces that retailers also use – to be creative with the delivery options they offer. As a result, when it comes to fulfilling orders, retailers face a head-spinning problem of how to keep these channels stocked and deliveries flowing. So how do you do it?

At the ground level, the problem comes down to having an excellent warehouse management system (WMS) in place and understanding where your stock is held. An array of carrier partners also ensures that you can leverage this knowledge to deliver the goods to where they need to go. This works well for your own website and even your store.

But what happens when you start to work with a range of marketplaces and other third parties that sell your goods for you? How do you manage that too?

The B2C conundrum

The problem centres around having to manage the whole process of incoming goods from suppliers and then managing how they are distributed. The wealth of channels through which your customers can buy leads to a bigger inventory, which can also impact the management of incoming goods but is mainly a problem in terms of trying to understand where orders are coming from.

Where eCommerce shipping gets more complicated is if you are also using click and collect, lockers and marketplaces. Marketplaces will often handle inventory management and distribution for you – and if you want to offer click and collect, Amazon does that too – but working all this together in your office, so you know where everything is at any given time, is the real challenge with multi channel selling from a logistics point of view.

Click and collect

The other area where multichannel retailers and marketplace sellers increasingly struggle is in fulfilling the demands from consumers for click and collect. Of course, retailers with a physical store footprint can, of course, use these shops for click and collect fulfilment, but for those that are online only entities, how do they manage this?

Here pure-play retailers need to collaborate with partners that do offer a physical presence to deliver this. In the mainstream retail world we have seen the likes of Sainsbury’s and Argos tie up has given Argos a much bigger physical footprint for click and collect thanks to Sainsbury’s stores. There are also a number of other more odd-couple partnerships, with Amazon working with Transport for London to allow consumers to collect goods at certain tube stations on their way home.

This model is going to be something that even the smallest pure-play retailer is going to have to leverage. Some carriers offer locker services and some locker service companies offer carriage – but between these and a range of physical retailers out there, there is going to be a shift towards retailers, carriers and other working together to fulfill click and collect.

What it means in practice

The key thing to remember across all of this is that you have to make sure that you are offering the consumer what they want. Your whole multi channel strategy will be dictated by how your customers choose to shop. This will, as we have seen, affect how you look to manage your B2C supplies, but it will also impact how you approach logistics management companies and carriers. Talk to your carriers and carrier management companies and see what they can do to help meet the challenges of click and collect and other delivery models that are increasingly prevalent.

If you customers want same day, find how best to do it; if they want to click and collect, find the sort of locations that they might consider and then look at how to partner to make this happen.

However you do it you also have to constantly test and tweak how you do it and, perhaps the most important thing to remember is to not over promise. This is perhaps the hardest and most important part of the whole multi channel delivery paradigm: you have to meet the expectations of your customers if you are to keep them, while also not over promising what you can do.

The solution

The ideal way to manage the vast array of delivery and stock issues associated with selling across channels is to use a multi-carrier shipping and customer service solution that can integrate with all major e-commerce platforms and all major parcel carriers and associated logistics firms to let the retailer manage their multi channel distribution from one ‘screen’.

Parcelhub does just this. It easily integrates with most multi channel e-commerce platforms and dedicated proactive parcel management comes as standard across a wide range of carriers. Distributing more than 4.5 million parcels on its own carrier contracts every year, Parcelhub’s free multi-carrier shipping software grants hundreds of national and global businesses access to ‘pooled volume’ discounted rates from its carefully selected range of carrier partners.

In essence, it offers a ‘single point of control’ for logistics for multi channel retailers. Simple.

It has already worked well for a number of different clients that have all had very specific multi-channel shipping issues.

The Amazing Chocolate Workshop sells finely crafted items made of chocolate – tools, toys, the works – and typically sold on market stalls and in stores. Increasing custom from the web presented the company with a unique challenge: how to ship very delicate items often for next day delivery and at weekends.

It took advantage of Parcelhub’s recent integration with eCommerce platform WooCommerce to sort it out.

“Parcelhub offered us the opportunity to use one system to select loads of different carriers for next day, early morning and weekend deliveries,” explains company co-founder, Ed Starr. “It gives us the power to utilize the appropriate carrier depending on the level of urgency, dimensions, and destination.”

He continues: “Parcelhub has made the online side of the business a lot easier to manage. The E-commerce Customer Support team is unbelievably helpful and is surely the best thing about Parcelhub. Any parcel tracking queries go straight to the CS team who deal with everything really quickly and professionally; we don’t hear from customers unless they need a refund. It saves us time and makes us a more professional business. Not only does Parcelhub save us time and money, it also adds value to our business offering.”

The advantages of having a ‘single point of control’ for managing complex warehousing and distribution is clear. With the right tools in place, multi-channel retailing should be a boon to companies, not a burden. Managing logistics in a simplified way takes much of the pain out of joining the multichannel revolution. What are you waiting for?

About Parcelhub

Parcelhub is a multi-carrier shipping and customer services solution. Flexible and scalable, it integrates seamlessly with order management systems, providing hundreds of eCommerce and wholesale businesses with one access point to many of the largest UK and international parcel carriers.

Multi-channel eCommerce platforms are easily integrated and dedicated pro-active parcel management comes as standard.

Distributing more than 4.5 million parcels on its own carrier contracts every year, Parcelhub’s free
multi-carrier shipping software grants hundreds of national and global businesses access to ‘pooled volume’ discounted rates from its carefully selected range of carrier partners, including Yodel, Hermes, DPD, UK Mail, DHL, Whistl, UPS, DX, Parcelforce, CollectPlus, SkyNet, Panther Logistics, Direct Link and Palletforce.

10 Points to help you prepare your e-commerce for the holidays.

Prepare e-commerce for Christmas

According to Yes mail Interactive, 38.1% of people start their Christmas shopping before November which jumps up to 69.8% of people starting their Christmas shopping before the 1st December. Merchants must act now to get their inventory, processes, and protocols in place if they hope to see good performance come November.

Here are ten key actions that retailers can action now to prepare for making the 2017 holiday period their most profitable yet:

1. Curate your lists

Clean your marketing lists. Make sure you have the right contact information for all your customers and prospects. Then segment them. Segmenting by gender, location, or category products they purchase from you will help you to target campaigns. Look at ways to market different messages to your lists, based on who they are and how they buy.

2. Re-engage with existing customers

Focus on your loyal customers. Yes, spend time getting new customers. But spend more time on the customers who already buy from you. Create campaigns to get them to become loyal, repeat customers.

3. Learn from the past

Look back at your analytics and sales figures from last year. Look at the offers you ran and the marketing you put out. Remind yourself of what worked and what didn’t work, and use that information to plan for this year.

4. Plan inventory

After looking at peak points in last year’s sales, you will be able to plan your stock ordering. Consider how you will cope with the logistics of increased sales from last year, and look at how a fulfilment partner could work with your business to help you cope with increased inventory and deliveries.

5. Brainstorm

Brainstorm on what marketing campaigns you should do to attract the right prospects to your website. Think about images, themes, and offers for marketing; as well as the design of your website.

6. Have a strict third-party apps policy

The same way retailers decorate heavily their high street store windows, they tend to do the same for their e-commerce site by investing in additional content, such as third-party tags, SEO and videos. Many of these apps and plugins, including marketing analytics tools, are designed to create powerful online experiences. However, they can significantly affect how fast a page loads and contribute to a poor consumer experience that leads to a consumer clicking off a retail site early. Rich media like embedded videos, social media and other interactive features can help retailers to create compelling online experiences but should be placed into a page in the most streamlined way, to ensure optimum load speeds.

Over the lunchtime on Black Friday 2016 itself, analysis from IT reseller magazine showed that the websites of two of the UK’s biggest department stores took over 4 seconds to load. Upon investigation, this was attributed to poorly performing 3rd Party elements. When there are traffic surges, this can mean the site slows down to a crawl or there are minor or major outages. All Frooition custom designs and Froo Apps are tested to deliver feature rich eBay designs that load in a second or less.

Retailers should analyze the additional content they invest in and ask themselves the question “What is the value of this service?”

7. Check mobile performance

Looking at total e-commerce traffic from the holiday period of 2016, Mobile traffic volume was very close to that of desktop (41% vs 50%). However, there was a much bigger difference in sales volume. 69% of sales came via desktop but just 21% from mobile (31% if you include tablet devices). This suggests that while people like to browse or compare via mobile, they still prefer to complete transactions via desktop.

Mobile usability has improved a lot over the last few years, but on many sites, it is still much easier to transact on a desktop site than mobile. Both BigCommerce and Shopify designs from Frooition are mobile responsive, with optimized checkout pages to turn more mobile browsers into buyers.

Looking specifically at eBay, 2016 was the first year where sales from mobile devices during the holiday period overtook sales from desktop.  Ebay had made many improvements to mobile user experience, and their increased sales from mobile devices reflected that. Frooition eBay designs are all made to be mobile responsive as standard, with speed, usability, and security being a focus for our designers.

8. Make updates

Update your website and eBay store. Make sure that all of your branding is up to date, and think about holiday graphics. Work with an expert to ensure the navigation of your website is well designed and easy to navigate. Ensure that your eBay listings are active content free and that your eBay listings contain cross-promotion for other related items.  Make sure your website is fast and secure. Customers will not tolerate slow websites, and security concerns are one of the main reasons for sales being abandoned.

9. Tackle cart abandonment

Retailers bring out their strongest offers and biggest discounts during the holiday period, customers are comparison shopping, and cart abandonment rates are at their highest at this time of year. Make sure you save as many of these sales as possible by taking a little time to put together a strong cart abandonment strategy. Here is our advice on creating a cart abandonment strategy.

10. partner up

Partnerships can be important. Do you know complimentary businesses you can consider joint marketing campaigns with? For example; if you sold chocolates, you could create a discount offer for customers of a mail order florist. If they featured that in their newsletter, they would be offering their customers something of value, and you would be reaching their customers for free.