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Three Shopify Apps That Enterprise, High-SKU Stores, Need From Day One.

Managing and optimizing tens of thousands of SKUs while while maintaining agility is hard “af” as they say. We manage high-SKU stores mostly on Shopify these days  — and we do it with the help of these three app. These apps allow merchants to bulk optimize your Google shopping feeds, optimize shipping options, and the ability to edit just about any product or subset in bulk.

 

Google Shopping Feed by Simprosys InfoMedia

Integrating your Shopify store with Google Merchant Center is a critical channel to optimize for sales. Having a properly optimized Google Shopping Feed makes your ad spend efficient. This app offers some one-of-a-kind features like being able to bulk set Custom Labels or Google Product Categories.  

Google Shopping Feed by Simprosys InfoMedia

 

Bespoke Shipping by MZL Solutions

Shopify has great shipping functionality until you want to start mixing and matching calculated rates with weight-based rates — then throw in conditional rules and free shipping and you quickly find yourself searching for a tool… This tool allows you to build a decision tree based on rules you define to show what shipping options you want to show. This app is very powerful and MZL Solutions provides awesome support. There really is no more powerful way to handle all the shipping scenarios tens of thousands of SKUs from multiple suppliers bring to your desk to manage.

Bespoke Shipping by MZL Solutions

 

Bulk Product Edit by Hextom

Bulk Product Edit is Walnut St Labs’ go-to tool for making bulk changes to products in Shopify. Need to tag 4K SKUs with a vendor name? Done. Need to add disclaimer to the bottom of every product or just a sub set? Done. Need to changes prices on a vendor by a percentage? Done. This app provides so much utility and value that managing a store without it would be truly daunting, because 50K of anything is not fast.

Bulk Product Edit by Hextom

 

We believe these apps make managing a high-SKU Shopify store easy — so you can stay focused on sales! If you need help or want to talk through one of your problems, let us know.

Press Release: BVCS (Daily Local News)

Brandywine Valley College Specialists was featured in the Daily Local News this week for the recent launch of their online program which makes college admissions a breeze.   Founded by two experts in the field of admissions, we were approached in the Summer of 2017 to help transform their previously face-to-face consultative approach into a digital experience for increased accessibility.  Fast forward to Summer 2018 and we launched a fully produced platform experience with video and downloadable supplemental materials!

If you have someone in High School who is planning to go to college check out BVCS: https://bvcollegespecialists.com/

Press Release:  https://www.dailylocal.com/business/new–part-video-on-demand-course-is-designed-to/article_6a83c580-f49d-589b-a0d6-f130e420294a.html

The “Invisible Inventor” Robert Morris

“I’ve made things that touch your life but you don’t know who I am.” It takes awhile to comprehend the magnitude of inventor Robert Morris’ journey. After telling us how he invented multimedia, he’s now moved onto the web browser. And the list of inventions doesn’t stop there. The title of his presentation, “How I Changed the World and Kept my Privacy,” contains a certain irony. While it suggests intentional ownership of that privacy, the situation is actually the result, to a large extent, of others taking his ideas. DSC_2380 Multimedia Robert’s first big invention was a linear video program called V_GRAPH that allowed for video sharing between computers. It was the early 1980s, and “People were used to computers connecting to each other using text, not video,” says Robert. He took the prototype to a friend, setting up the TV monitor that displayed video housed on a computer, and stood back so his friend could see it. “He didn’t get it. He was convinced there was a VCR attached to the TV. He couldn’t comprehend what he was seeing.” Robert then showed it to an investor, telling him, “You’re going to have multimedia on every desktop in 5 years. He told me I was crazy. But that was the same person who turned down Steve Jobs so I don’t feel so bad.” Robert and his partner struck a deal for V_GRAPH to be bundled as a part of a software package for creatives from a company called Tempra Media. But through a series of missteps, Robert lost out on the financial windfall from his invention when the company became the subject of several patent disputes in the late 1990s. DSC_2413 The Web His next project was an object-oriented platform called Ozone. “It allowed multimedia components to be displayed in one view. It could run over the web.” Most significantly, the package included a web browser. Robert and his partner took it to Microsoft. “It was responsible for them getting the AOL contract instead of Netscape.” But Robert and his partner, on their shoestring development budget, hadn’t navigated the patent and copyright implications. Once again, they lost out on the big time to a company with far greater resources. A similar fate befell an early calendar product they designed. DSC_2393 On Doing Other Things Frustrated, Robert changed gears and wrote a book (working title: Inside the Revolution: The Story of Robert Morris). It’s about Robert’s namesake, who in addition to signing the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, and the United States Constitution, also served as Superintendent of Finance from 1781 to 1784. DSC_2459 On the Future, and “Working for the Man” Robert considers himself unsuited to be an employee. “I have to put my heart and soul into things. I’m too weird to get a job. I’m just a basic guy who comes up with something he thinks is a good idea.” His next big idea? Robots. “Not a creepy plastic person or a squeezy cat, though. It will be simple and useful like everything else I’ve made.” Stay tuned.

Chasing Small Ball Counts with Alchemy Learning

Henry Blue, Co-Founder of Alchemy Learning

@AlchemyLearning

Henry Blue was restless.

“The cyclical nature of education had started to worry me,” confesses the former teacher. “I didn’t necessarily see a direction to progress in, doing the same thing year in and year out. How do you reconcile that need to impact major change during your day-to-day work?” In need of some wisdom, Henry turned to one of his mentors, who sent him off with a quote that still resonates: “Little by little, small ball counts,” a nod to the game-winning baseball strategy chronicled in the movie Moneyball.

The quote has guided Alchemy Learning’s co-founder along the startup path. 

The Classroom Inspiration

After college, Henry traveled abroad teaching ESL before returning to the Boys’ Latin School of Maryland–his alma mater–to teach. “It was great. I got to coach and teach alongside the people who had taught me.”

During this time, Henry’s buddy and fellow Davidson College grad Win Smith was working nearby in Baltimore, and they started chatting about the software education space. Henry was using more technology tools in the classroom, and together they hatched the idea for a web-based curriculum program that would allow teachers to create and deliver e-lessons for students. 

The First Version

They needed help with development, and turned to outsourcing as a solution. “Outsourcing development is kind of risky, though,” Henry advises. “We had trouble getting work done. Suddenly, we were being assigned the junior folks just cycling through.” In the end, Henry and Win were victorious, getting a minimum viable product out of the process.

They released the free tool for teachers. “Bloggers loved it, the industry loved it. It got some awards. There was a good pace of onboarding new teacher users, which allowed us to raise a little more money to build it out beyond just a free tool.” 

On the Digital Revolution

Henry was encouraged by the technology buzz going on at the time. “We saw iPads trending in schools. The White House was pushing for 95 percent connectivity of schools in a 5-year period.” He pauses. “Well, we’re still waiting for that to happen. It’ll happen…we just thought it would happen faster.” 

The Competition

“We weren’t backed by a foundation or major corporation, so we started worrying about competitors. Unlike other industries, our SaaS numbers didn’t mean anything in the education industry.”

Google Classroom, another free tool, provided an alternative for teachers to manage lessons and grades. Additionally, Khan Academy and Guru offered similar features. At the same time, “We saw some other startups running similar things and folding up shop.”

Henry and Win needed to shift gears. “We looked at our user base on the free version. Users tended to be high energy, tech-adapting teachers. Our assumption is that excitement matters for adoption when you’re talking software. And another assumption is that it’s useful for learning outcomes, but also for creating learning engagement, especially for learners who have trouble with traditional textbook learning.” 

The New Reality

Enter virtual reality. “We found that cultural institutions, museums, nature centers, and the like wanted a tool for their learning and outreach portions.” Henry and Win decided to use virtual reality in K-12 classrooms to connect those institutions.

They got funding for a first pass of the project, where students wear Oculus Rift virtual reality headsets and “float” down the Amazon. Students take photographs and get information on the things they photograph, culminating with a trip over a waterfall. 

“We took this basic prototype to education camps to see if anyone wanted it. And we saw there was a lot of excitement. Now, it’s a matter of proving the use case and seeing that people will actually use it in the classroom.”

It’s an interesting challenge. “How do you build both ends of a network?” Henry asks. “You need both schools and network providers. So we’re thinking through niche angles. This is a tool for more technical development. We’re putting students in situations they wouldn’t get in.”

Henry knows the future won’t wait. “Right now, we have the early mover advantage. We want to do everything for the school so they don’t have to do anything.”