Yahoo! Store Web Development Services

[Jill Of All Trades is an authorized Yahoo! Small Business Partner]

Jill Of All Trades® is listed in the Yahoo! Merchant Solutions Developer Network

Online, perception is reality - period. The quality of your site from the verbiage to the graphics and structure will all lend to the levels of professionalism and credibility gleamed by those who visit your site and whether or not they will be back or purchase your product.

As a Yahoo! Store Designer, I offer complete Store design and development services, services to redesign your existing Store or just consulting (i.e. coaching and training) on Yahoo! Merchant Solutions features and functions.

My hourly rate is $65.00 per hour with time spent based on your design and functionality requirements and rather than offering "package deals", I customize my services to your requirements.

I will say up front, that I am brutally honest when it comes to this gig — to not be will get us both nowhere. I pride myself on working with people who are business savvy, understand the value that my services & vast experience bring to the table, and will invest in their business accordingly to have it "done right" by a professional... especially in today's ultra-competitive market.

There are many elements to a successful Web presence, and all of those need to be in place, and budgeted for, to insure any level of success online. Operating an online business is not cheap and easy and actually nothing is further from the truth. You will get out of your Web site proportionally what you put in to it — both from a financial investment standpoint to the time and resources you dedicate.

Whether you are looking to have your new Yahoo! Store designed, or have your existing Store redesigned or enhanced, my services include, but are not limited to:

  • Original one-of-a-kind design and graphics including checkout pages
  • RTML template modifications
  • Responsive RTML template creation, customization & modifications
  • Mobile site RTML template creation, customization & modifications
  • Incorporate add-on features and enhancements (see below)
  • Product spreadsheet creation and maintenance, including product images
  • Detailed customer service page for perceived business creditability
  • Enhanced privacy & security policies covering everything from cookies to encryption
  • Configuring your shopping cart to include confirmation emails, status update emails, shipping costs, international rates and taxes
  • Effective guidance on social media & search engine optimization, registration and marketing
  • Insuring that all of the elements are in place for perceived business creditability
  • In depth coaching and training on Yahoo! Merchant Solutions features and functions

Add-on Features and Enhancements I Can Incorporate into Your Store

The below is a very general list of available features and enhancements that can be added to your Yahoo! Store. It should be noted for most of them, your site needs to be on custom RTML templates (see 'An Important Note About Yahoo! Merchant Solutions' below.) If you are looking for something specific that you do not see listed, just contact me!

  • Custom "Add to Cart" Button (replaces the standard gray button)
  • Enlarge Item Image in a Popup (makes "view larger image" appear in a new window versus folks having to hit their back buttons which is the default)
  • Enlarge Item Image in a Layover (makes "view larger image" appear overlayed on the current page versus folks having to hit their back buttons which is the default)
  • "New" Graphic (makes a small graphic appear next to your text item title in your sections to highlight new additions)
  • Add Quantity Box to Item Page (adds a quantity box next to the "Add to Cart" button, otherwise they must wait to change quantity on the cart page)
  • Add a "You Save" percentage feature to Section & Item Pages
  • Add a "Out of Stock" message to Item Pages
  • Add functionality to sort section pages by Price (or Name)
  • Cross Sell Items on Item page (shows other items of interest on actual product page. By default cross sells are shown on the shopping cart page and that functionality is only on Merchant Standard and better packages)
  • Related Products on Item page (shows links to all other items in the same section)
  • Product Image "ALT" Tags (Adds keyword rich "ALT" tags to all your product images as Yahoo! does not do so out of the box)
  • Custom Text Side Navigation (By default the left navigation will only show one link per top level category. If you require custom programming to show sub-categories or fly-out menus, just contact me)
  • Rotating Testimonials
  • Rotating Slide Shows
  • Custom Variables for META Tags (incorporates custom variables to allow incorporation of page specific Title, META Keywords and META Description tags)
  • Categorized Site Map (automatically generates a categorized site map based on your current site hierarchy)
  • Custom Checkout pages to match the look/feel of your site
  • Mini & Floating Cart Installations
  • Customer Registration Installation
How Much Will Your Project Cost?
Of course, that really depends. As you know Yahoo! Merchant Solutions prides itself on being the premier "point and click" Web store builder that does not require any knowledge of HTML or associated coding to get your store up and running. As you also know this results in a "cookie-cutter" Web Site that looks like all of the other Yahoo! Stores out there and learning all the nuances of new platform can be overwhelming when starting a new business.

Some clients only want a few enhancements to their existing site, others want to have a full custom design on custom RTML templates with many of the features referenced in the previous box and others may want to upgrade their sites to custom templates or Merchant Solutions.

My current hourly rate is $65.00 an hour, billed in 10 minute increments as I find a lot of time that things only take 10 minutes to accomplish, versus billing in 1/2 hour increments which would be an injustice to my clients. Minimum cost for a custom one-of-a-kind design ranges from 10 to 14 hours on up. Based on your specifications and budget, the amount of customization required to obtain the look you desire for your site will vary and as every client has different needs, I can not definitively tell you it will cost 'X' amount. I choose to run my business this way as I understand the different budgetary needs of different clients.

Once the new design or enhancements are in place, you can then choose to have me maintain your store at the rate specified above, or you can maintain the contents yourself - the choice is yours. You will have an e-commerce platform you can maintain in your browser, tools to manage, and promote your business and Yahoo! customer support for merchants 7 days a week. Aside from my design costs, users pay a flat rate and a percentage based fee structure regarding referrals and sales. There is no startup cost, and no minimum time commitment.

An Important Note About Yahoo! Merchant Solutions
Over the years, the 'Yahoo! Store' platform (now referred to as a 'Legacy store') has evolved into the 'Yahoo! Merchant Solutions' platform. Because of this evolution and depending on when you opened your store, there are several possible configurations of stores that can exist, along with taking into account whether your site is on "built-in" RTML templates or "Custom" RTML templates. That is why I would need to specifically assess your needs — and the configuration of your site — before I can give you a solid quote.

All of the sites listed in my Yahoo! Store Web Site Designs Portfolio have been built through the Store Editor portion of the Merchant Solutions package using custom RTML templates (imperative for increased functionality and future enhancements) which allows for less up front development costs and is easier in the end for you to maintain — which most clients want to do.

Just as a side note; RTML (Real Time Markup Language) is a proprietary language used by the Yahoo! Store software. RTML templates exist in the backend of the Store Editor and these templates control how the site is laid out, the functionality of the site, etc. The software parses the RTML templates to generate the actual HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language) files that are used when viewing your site.

It should also be noted that Yahoo! Merchant Solutions is NOT a dynamic platform that allows for different pages to load based on user input or login status, nor does it have the capability of providing/serving dynamic content. It also does not offer wish lists, product sorting, splitting sections on many pages, different pricing displays (i.e. wholesale versus retail), recently viewed products, product image zooms and several other advanced features out of the box. These are all "add-ons" (see box above) to the Yahoo! platform that can be added as again, Yahoo! is not "dynamic" just static "HTML".

Yahoo! offers several options for building your Web site, however, if you are just starting out, you should use the Store Editor method as I do not foresee the average "Mom and Pop" operation as having the development budget that would be required, if indeed, they were to take full advantage of the "Catalog Manager" and "Store Tags" (tags that can placed in all custom HTML sites) or the PHP/MySQL scripting included with the hosting account. Actually, this brings the development costs more in line with other "custom" database driven Web applications, but Yahoo! was always good for those folks who may not have had 5 figure development budgets and wanted to "do it themselves". I also know the average "Mom and Pop" would not have the Web development knowledge to bring the Catalog Manager/Store Tags platform to it's full fruition, since the PHP capability is not capable of pulling dynamic data out of the Catalog Manager, so if you wanted to use Store Tags, you would need to create each and every page "manually" as an HTML file with all of the design aspects coded, then insert that items Store Tags (or be tied into using Yahoo! SiteBuilder which has a plug-in for Store Tags) and then FTP all of the files up to the server, the same would go for all section pages. This also adds significantly to the maintenance costs of any subsequent revisions or additions. If after reading that your head is spinning... trust me – stick with the Store Editor portion to build your Web store.

Yahoo! Merchant Solutions

If you are interested in the Yahoo! Merchant Solutions offering as outlined below, you can visit Yahoo! directly for a full list of features. Please note, this product offering has been replaced by the new "Yahoo! Stores" (see next section.)

Merchant Starter

Recommended plan for expected monthly sales less than $12K/mo.

  • $39.95/mo. (monthly)
  • First 12 months: $19.95/mo.
  • $33.95/mo. (1 year term)
  • First 12 months: $10.95/mo.
  • 1.5% Transaction Fee
  • Domain included
  • Data Driven Recommendations from Live Insights
  • Create a custom online store with our easy-to-use tools
  • $100 credit for search marketing on Yahoo! Bing Network
  • Credit card and PayPal processing

Merchant Professional

Recommended plan for expected monthly sales over $80K/mo.

  • $299.95/mo. (monthly)
  • $254.95/mo. (1 year term)
  • .75% Transaction Fee
  • Domain included
  • Data Driven Recommendations from Live Insights
  • Create a custom online store with our easy-to-use tools
  • $100 credit for search marketing on Yahoo! Bing Network
  • Credit card and PayPal processing with APIs to allow for back-office integration with existing systems
  • Real-time integration with external inventory-management systems
  • Upsell and cross-sell capabilities
  • Gift certificate redemption
  • APIs to allow for back-office integration with existing systems
  • Real-time order exports to outside accounting/order-management systems
  • UPS WorldShip integration

Yahoo! Stores

"Yahoo! Stores" is the newest offering of Yahoo! Small Business e-commerce solutions. The platform includes store design templates, a shopping cart with secured payment options, shipping integrations and several features to help you grow a successful online store.


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