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Top Ecommerce Digital Marketing ideas for this Black Friday and Cyber Monday!
By: Skynet Technologies USA LLC
Date Posted: November 30, 2020
Last Updated: November 30, 2020
Ecommerce Digital Marketing

Two of the biggest shopping days of the entire year are here - Black Friday and Cyber Monday! If you are an ecommerce merchant, these are the perfect times for you to capitalize on the frenzied shopping ambience and skyrocket your business sales, as this is when businesses account for more than one-third of the annual revenue. You should tread strategically to drive quality traffic and sales during the biggest shopping season of the year. With a proper marketing strategy, content, and design, your ecommerce store would find a place in your potential customer inbox space and win out more sales. Let us discuss some of the ecommerce marketing tips to prep your online store to reap the awards of the impulse buyer.

Top ecommerce digital marketing ideas:



1. Plan Ahead

New competitors have sprouted in the market with physical stores being forced to enter the digital realm to survive in the pandemic times and beyond. So, take ample time to gear up for the shopping season with a proper strategy and prepare your site with a full-proof plan to win over your customers. Invest in marketing campaigns and retargeting ahead of time by having a laser focus on customer experience. Push the boundaries and win over your visitors who have already expressed interest and their intent to buy. But before that, focus on building the audience in advance through prospecting campaigns. Leverage them, handpick the users who fit your targeted criteria. You can work on your site, incorporate your ideas, and test them to increase your ability to grab the audience’s attention.

2. User Segmentation and Smart Discounting

Segment your customers and offer them discounts and offers that appeal to that particular customer segment. A customer buys a product if they are interested in it and not for the discounts. You can use an email marketing automation tool to segment your customers and create opportunities to target as per their interests and buying trends. You can geographically segment the customers and provide them special offers. For seasonal buyers who regularly purchase only during the holidays, you can remind them of the specific offers. Recent buyers are active and engaged so reserve your best offers for this segment to make the purchase.

3. Send Preview Emails

Send out a sneak peek email without waiting till D-day. A preview of the upcoming deals is a great way to grab readers’ attention. If you have a segmented user list, you could send out customized emails as per their preferences. You can create a personal rapport with your customers by sending a personalized email that has a 6 times higher transaction rate. Personalize the subject line and focus on the tone that resonates with your brand. Introduce killer Black Friday offers to entice the customers and also create a sense of urgency to prompt them to take the action. Provide a clear CTA for them to take a desirable action. A CTA has higher chances of click rate and sales.

4. Create a Facebook Event

Facebook enjoys a segment of the active audience who interact and engage with businesses and you can notify the customers about your Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales. This can create buzz around your sales and customers will understand when you go LIVE. Create an event and actively promote it among the target audience using FB Ads. You can create a custom audience depending on the level of interest people show and accordingly you can invest in Facebook ads. Social media marketing has been a major inbound driving strategy to your business website.

5. Deals, Promotions, And Offers

Provide your customers killer deals, huge discounts, and offers for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Hourly deals are a great option to sell more in a short time span. You can create countdown timers to push more sales with a sense of urgency. Depending on the customer segmentation, you can also send email alerts with deals that would be of interest to them. You can share the deals on social media profiles as well. Send loyalty rewards such as coupon codes for Black Friday and Cyber Monday to provide high value to your customers as well as to those who are unengaged.

6. Increase Your Ad Spend

You can reap good ROI by increasing increased ad spend during Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Your investment is going to yield greater returns during these two days. You can choose your ad channels for both days. Search engines such as Google, Bing can also be ideal to advertise and reach out to customers who are actively looking for products and deals. Social media channels such as Facebook, Instagram are other channels to reach a much wider demographic. You can also create prospecting campaigns and also invest in retargeting ads. The good news is that almost all ad platforms offer dynamic ad formats that allow you to insert products from the store and remarket them to customers.

7. Promotional Offers on Home pages

A home page is the first page visited by the customers, so display your best deals and offers on the home page. Promote the Black Friday and Cyber Monday offers on the website’s home pages, making effective use of the prime space. Your home page should have Black Friday and Cyber Monday specific landing pages to gather email addresses. Your home page is an effective way to communicate offers specifically geared towards first-time customers.

8. Dedicated Landing Pages for Deals

Create well-designed and exclusive landing pages for your Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals. It has to be clear, and website visitors should instantly see what they intended to. Use landing page software to create specialized landing pages for the holiday period. Make sure that the loading time is minimal as a higher loading time reduces the conversions by more than 7%. Every second matter when there are many competing factors during the holiday period. Don’t overstuff your landing age with a lot of content as it may create confusion. Instead of multiple offers, stick to one major offer per landing page.

9. Cross-sell and Upsell

Cross-sell and upsell are two of the important tactics for retailers to increase their revenue. During Cyber Monday and Black Friday, these techniques create opportunities to tempt the customers through increased value proposition. Cross-selling offers complementary products such as a charger when you purchase a smartphone etc. Upselling offers an upgraded product version such as iPhone X vs iPhone 7. You need a proper product recommendation engine to execute your cross-sell and up-sell campaigns. You can also use apps such as One-click upsells for WooCommerce, Product Upsell for Shopify, etc. to automatically display the offers when you select a relevant product.

10. Extended Sales

You can extend your discounts even post Cyber Monday for more conversions. For Black Friday, you can extend your sales beyond the weekend as the last-minute sales can put you ahead of the competition. The customers get a second chance to save some bucks and avail the offers and there are higher chances of making a purchase. But associate a deadline with the extension, for instance,72 hours. As the sales winds down, you can put up a banner with the tagline reflecting the extended sales message which serves as a reminder for the website visitors. You can even send out an email announcing the extended sales period.

Wrap-Up

The last quarter of the year is often when people make the most purchases especially on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Many digital stores have been geared up for the unprecedented peak in demand and you need to be prepared to survive the competitive times and drive more sales. You can also take the help of a professional Digital Marketing Agency that can help you with the Black Friday and Cyber Monday campaigns. Skynet Technologies is a full-service marketing company in the USA and we handle both all the inbound aspects like SEO, social media ads, email marketing, content marketing, etc. to put you on a high pedestal this holiday season.

Get your Ecommerce Store Ready for the Black Friday and Cyber Monday!

Now it’s time to make a digital marketing plan for your ecommerce store. Don’t wait if you want to make the most of the boost in sales on the year’s biggest retail shopping weekend. Implement the above ideas that suit your online store and ensure the best return during the biggest shopping season of the year. Our experienced team of ecommerce digital marketing and SEO will provide you a result-oriented digital marketing strategy to get a higher ranking and make your business stand out from the crowd. Are you Looking for More ecommerce digital marketing tips for Black Friday and Cyber Monday? Get in touch with us now!

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Choose the top Shopify Development Agency for your ecommerce website!
By: Skynet Technologies USA LLC
Date Posted: November 28, 2020
Last Updated: December 02, 2020
Shopify Development Agency

When digital shopping has become the norm, many entrepreneurs are quickly strategizing to take their businesses online. But starting an ecommerce business isn’t about setting up a website. There’s much more needed to analyze the market conditions, set up the product listings, marketing and sales funnel optimization, and build a solid brand positioning for your company in the market. In a highly competitive world, you need to focus not just on selling your products and services but also build a strong brand presence in the market.

Shopify is one of the best ecommerce development platforms for quickly setting up a digital store and selling your products. But as more and more agencies started to hop on the bandwagon, it gets overwhelming to identify the agency that suits you the best. Finding the right Shopify development agency for your ecommerce website is no easy task. You need to identify what you need before you go on a hunt for finding the right agency for you.

In this article, let us understand how to choose the right Shopify development agency that can help your business grow and improve your business revenue.

Need for Shopify Development Agency

Shopify is an intuitive platform that is easy to build and right from the design of their web store to enhance the customer experience by installing apps, everything can be managed in-house and hence most merchants choose it for starting their online stores. However, many merchants still reach out Shopify experts because they don’t have the required expertise to build a professional Shopify ecommerce store their customers expect and they don’t have the time to sit patiently and build a website while their primary focus remains focusing on the core aspects of their business.

As the business grows, the customer expectations and needs evolve and you need to cater to the evolving trends in the market. Your Shopify development agency can handle all the aspects of your Shopify store design, development, marketing, management and more. Shopify experts would have the expertise and experience to customize your store and also help you with the migration of your site from a different platform to Shopify. A Shopify expert also helps in optimizing your expenditure and also builds a high-converting sales funnel. They can also help you with professional product pages on your site to enhance the look of the product listings.

How to choose the Shopify Development Agency?

Follow the below steps to find the right Shopify development agency.

1. Know Your Requirements for Shopify store

It is essential to know what your business requirements are, your goals, and objectives before you reach out to someone. For instance, if you are a startup and your aim is to build brand awareness in the market, your primary goal should be to be visible on the Shopify store. So, you need a website that educates your audience about your products, business to achieve visibility. This could save a lot of iterations for you as you present clear-cut goals to your agency. Research on similar brands, understand what works for them, list your own needs and expectations, and finally document them to present them to the agency. This makes the Shopify development agency to gain a better understanding, and also refine them if required.

2. Do Market Research

You can browse Shopify agencies from the marketplace and find those that match your needs. Go through the profile of each Shopify development agency and the range of services provided by them. Check the cost, ratings, testimonials received by the Shopify agency to ensure authenticity. You can also check the portfolio of the Shopify store agency work to see the list of services in each category and how they fared.

3. Skilled Shopify Developers

See if the agency has skilled Shopify developers who can work independently and efficiently to complete the projects within the stipulated time. They should be ready to do a quick code review of another person’s code and also provide constructive solutions. Understand how adaptable and enthusiastic a person is when learning new technologies. Are they customer-oriented who know what works best for clients? They must be aware of what fits the best for clients and come up with innovative solutions.

4. Effective Communication and Shopify Support

Communication skills are as important as technical knowledge. But, ironically, many companies fare poorly on this issue. It could even be related to different time zones, languages, cultural obstacles, etc. Pick the agency that sets up regular communication channels to collaborate with you. Most of the Shopify development agencies work in SCRUM/Agile. So, having daily standups, sprints, can improve effective communication. They should quickly address the issues and handle your requests.

5. Long-term vision and Policies

Shopify development agencies that have a long-term vision and strive to deliver quality work are a rare breed. They look for win-win opportunities and pursue your goals diligently. There would be some inevitable risks involved in the process but you need an agency that is steadfast in its commitment to respect your time, privacy, and avoid any discrepancies. You can agree on a collaboration model with a common agreement so that there won’t be any frequent communication gaps.

6. Shortlist the Shopify Development Agencies list

Once you have gone through the profiles, you need to shortlist them based on your budget. You can arrange a call with the shortlisted experts to understand their Shopify ecommerce expertise and experience in the niche. The agency would be willing to communicate well throughout the project and be able to clearly explain their methodologies and offer you the right solutions. You can finalize the Shopify experts based on your preliminary understanding of the agency.

7. A team of certified Shopify experts

Before you pick a Shopify development agency, understand if the agency has certified Shopify professionals who have the capability of providing all the ecommerce services a merchant need. They should have specialized skills and experience in Shopify ecommerce website design, Shopify development, branding, etc., and help the online merchants start their Shopify ecommerce stores and drive growth.

Benefits of Shopify Development Agency

  1. Time - A Shopify expert can help you save development time. Also, they would reduce time to market time and set up your marketing activities. Having a specialist on board will also provide you with assured results.
  2. Cost - It is cheaper to go for a Shopify development agency than doing everything in-house. With their specialized skills, you can reduce the turnaround time as well as achieve the desired results. You can optimize your expenditures to accommodate your expenditure on growth-based activities.
  3. Quality - A certified Shopify expert can deliver quality work and assured results for your business. This would not only improve your business but also builds a strong brand positioning.
  4. Scalability - You can rely on the Shopify agency who can help you with required support as your business grows and the store needs some changes. You can also build a custom Shopify store by making minor tweaks and changes to your store.

One needs a helping hand when figuring out how to start a Shopify ecommerce store and troubleshoot any bugs, help scale your growth. Skynet Technologies has over 19 years of experience in web development and are Shopify partners who could build Shopify ecommerce website for you customized as per your specifications. We are a full-service Shopify agency with experts in Shopify design, Shopify development, Shopify marketing, Shopify SEO, Shopify store management and support aspects. To get started, you can contact us for any range of Shopify services.

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Top 10 Tips for Magento Performance Optimization for your store!
By: Skynet Technologies USA LLC
Date Posted: November 16, 2020
Last Updated: December 02, 2020
Magento Performance Optimization

Magento is a powerhouse ecommerce platform empowering many businesses with thriving digital stores built on it and optimized for a great customer experience. While you build a feature-rich and robust Magento store with flexible shopping carts, secure payment options, SEO optimization, another prominent factor that decides the success of your online store is your website performance. As you scale your website or build a robust product catalog, there could be a significant slip in the performance. A slow site is an indicator of a sinking business with a great dip in the conversion rate. This would affect your business by reducing customer retention and conversion rates.

If you have a Magento Store, then here are a few actionable tips that would boost the performance of your Magento store and improve your conversion rate.

1. Go for Powerful Hosting

The first step to improve the performance of your Magento store is to choose a powerful and fast hosting server. There are some cheap hosting plans readily available and may seem to be a better choice. But do not fall for it as it can dampen the functionality of your feature-rich Magento store. When you’ve invested in building a robust store that has the capability of garnering millions for you, why not make the first step right by choosing a good and dedicated hosting server having a high-speed connection, enhanced security mechanism, and quick support if there is downtime. While choosing the hosting server, check for uptime guarantees and reliability options.

2. Upgrade the Latest Version

As the latest updates are rolled out with new features and bug fixes, update your Magento swiftly for improved performance. Keep an eye on the latest update, check the release notes, and see the admin panel inbox for any update-related notifications. Always backup your data before you get the updated version. Choose a suitable time like the night when there is the least traffic to your Magento store.

3. Opt for High-quality Media

Multimedia elements like images and videos are crucial to the success of any ecommerce store as they fuel customer engagement in the desired manner. High-quality product images and video descriptions amplify the shopping experience of your customers and also boost up the SERP rankings. No ecommerce business survives without including high-quality product images showcasing the product in such a way that the prospective buyer goes through a real-time experience. While you choose high-quality images, you pay attention to the size of the images as it can impact the page load speed of your Magento store. So, compress the product images on the Magento store to deliver a faster website. You can also use a CDN for this purpose. There are also many Magento extensions available in the market to optimize the image sizes.

4. Setup a CDN

Delivering a high-speed browsing experience is the primary purpose of a Content Delivery Network (CDN). With the use of a CDN, you can load the pages of your store faster. It is typically a group of networks around the world in different regions serving diverse users and catering to the browsing needs of web users by efficiently delivering the content from the nearest location. This reduces the bandwidth consumption by a great deal and also improves the page load speed of your Magento ecommerce store. Suppose a user from New York accesses your website which is hosted in Ohio, with CDN implementation, the content delivery would be through the CDN server from New York itself, rather than delivering from the primary server, the one based in Ohio. This delivers a guaranteed faster experience to the website users.

5. Maintain Flat Catalog

Magento typically stores the catalog data in multiple database tables. This is based on the Entity-Attribute-Value (EAV) model wherein the data is stored in a normalized form and attributes in multiple tables. This is a time-consuming and complex process if you want to fetch the product details. So, go for a flat catalog that maintains just one table and clears the overheads of the EAV model by taking less DB space, improves query execution, and reduces the data fetch time.

6. Use Extensions Efficiently

The Magento extensions increase the functionality of your website. However, when you run an extension in your Magento store, it loads CSS, JS files, HTTP requests, affecting the store performance and page load speed. Have only those extensions that are necessary and serve your needs. Uninstall unused and unnecessary extensions. There are ready-made extensions available that can help the store owner to overcome the issues like high load time, cache delays, and other performance-related hassles. Tools like Full Page Cache, Google speed optimizer are a great way to up the speed and boost the performance. Image optimizations, advanced JS bundling, HTML & CSS minification, page speed monitoring is some of the services enabled by the Magento store extensions.

7. Optimize the Database

Database storage and retrieval are also crucial to improving website performance. A poorly optimized database is a mess and puts a load on the server. This results in shabby performance as it takes longer to serve. Go for a Magento site audit if you want to unravel any obscure issues that are sliding down your store performance. While retrieving the data from the database, use manual indexing. E-commerce is a dynamic business and the data (price, discounts, total amount, etc.) will be ever-changing and hence Magento reindexes the data. Without reindexing, Magento has to calculate the price of every product with the applied discounts. This results in poor performance and ultimately leads to cart abandonment rates, a major pain point for any ecommerce merchants.

8. Enable Caching

Caching is probably the most popular option and the easiest way for Magento optimization. With Magento’s inbuilt caching mechanisms, you can improve the Magento site performance by speeding up the transfer of data and removing any performance bottlenecks. Caching improves performance by reducing the iterations of fetching the data every time from the server. The browser doesn’t need to reload the entire web page every time when the visitor makes a visit. This also reduces the server response time and bandwidth usage. With a plethora of caching mechanisms available on the Magento store, there is no way the performance of your Magento store going down. With Full Page Cache (FPC), you can retrieve and display the entire page in just a few microseconds. You should also use the Google page speed plugin to help the page load with the necessary speed.

9. Merge Files and Clean the logs

You can merge both the JavaScript and CSS files into one compressed file in the Magento store. With this, the content of your store can be retrieved by a single HTTP request. This not just saves the bandwidth but also improves the website performance. The latest version of Magento comes with a JS optimization and you can load the JS files after loading the main content. Magento also stores the logs for a period of 180 days and this is huge! Delete them and also choose the number of days for which you need to store the logs.

10. Reduce Time to First Byte

Time to First Byte (TTFB) determines how quickly your Magento website responds to browser requests. It is an indicator of how fast your Magento store is. Primary reasons for a slow TTFB are web server issues if the main server reaches its full capacity, slow commands due to DB optimizations. To inspect your website’s platform, there is a readily available built-in tool called Profiler that tweaks the Magento performance. There are a few other ways to reduce your Magento store’s TTFB. You can also use some online tools like Pingdom to find out what your TTFB is. The ideal TTFB would be under 1s. If it is more than that, it’s a sign of poor performance and you need to research to reduce it.

11. Use Eye-Catching Themes

An unoptimized theme could slow down the store and seriously impact the customer experience. However, choosing the theme is a challenge for store owners without the help of the Magento expert. If you are technically well-versed, then compare the technical features of all the available themes and choose the one that suits best for your business. Choose the template that comes up with the services and features required by the merchants. A well-optimized theme drastically reduces the need to have external plugins.

Closing Thoughts

You can follow the above checklist for Magento Performance Optimization to improve the website performance of the Magento ecommerce website. However, sometimes, it’s better to leave it to the trained professionals who have deep technical expertise to fix any issues and run your Magento store at peak efficiency at all times. They conduct a site audit to unravel any issues, fix them, and maximize your Magento store performance.

Magento is one of the best ecommerce platforms to drive more conversion rate and sales. But the implementation of above Magento Performance Optimization tips can boost your Magento store and leads to an improvement in sales. We provide end to end Magento store development services that will take your ecommerce business to new heights! Want to get more sales on your magento ecommerce store on this holiday season? Hire our Magento Developers who have extensive knowledge and expertise in managing simple to complex Magento store!

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The Ultimate Guide on osCommerce Store Security and Protection!
By: Skynet Technologies USA LLC
Date Posted: November 06, 2020
Last Updated: December 02, 2020
osCommerce Store Security

osCommerce being an open-source ecommerce platform is exposed to various security vulnerabilities. It is one of the oldest platforms and has multiple businesses active on it and hence safety is of the highest importance. osCommerce security and protection measures entail blocking and taking off the malicious content that may potentially cause colossal damage to your osCommerce store.

Hackers around the world have been prying to exploit any weaknesses in your osCommerce store and trying to cause colossal damage to your business. Possible actions are they turn your website into a phishing site and commit data fraud, send out spam emails to millions, place any malware code on your site that installs erosive elements on your website, use your web server to hack, and more.

Need for osCommerce security and protection

osCommerce is one of the established ecommerce platforms with various businesses choosing this to be their preferred platform. Given its popularity, it is prone to be on hacker’s radar all the time who try to break down the osCommerce system via various mediums like malware, XSS, SQL injections, DDoS attacks, and others. And all these businesses relying on this platform need protection and security should be preserved. It is important to focus on osCommerce malware removal, blocking SQL attacks, without which external parties would enter your webspace and tamper with your content. You can tighten the security of your site by swiftly updating to the secure versions of osCommerce. Any negligence in safeguarding your osCommerce websites would be like a free pass to the trespassers. So, you shouldn’t ignore or make security an afterthought.

Benefits of osCommerce Security and Protection

osCommerce security and protection measures safeguard your website against any PHP security flaws. They also help in securing your business by offering intense security to your website. You can also secure your content by osCommerce security services by preventing hackers from tampering with it. This elevates your brand presence and builds trust among your audience. The financial savings are massive with proper security measures. There would be uninterrupted business throughout the day and your customers would also have a great shopping experience.

How Can You ensure osCommerce Security?

osCommerce web stores are prone to security attacks if adequate care is not taken. There are numerous reputable sites that are infected with malicious code, spam, iframe viruses, and raise security requests. Whenever there is a security breach, you need to swiftly fix the issue if you don’t wish to lose out on your customers and search engine rankings. You need to have 24*7 safeguard mechanisms that protect your website.

Some measures harden the osCommerce store security and help prevent your web store from becoming a victim of a brute force attack.

Stay Up-to-date - Your osCommerce CMS should be up-to-date. All the plugins and modules should be updated and safe. Some of the plugins have security loopholes and they need to be avoided if you wish to avoid security complications.

File Permissions - To prevent unauthorized and external third-party incursions and malware injections, we recommend assigning 444 or 644 file permission types.

Manual Tests - Check if there are any .php files in your image’s directory as osCommerce doesn’t store any .php files in it. Further, test if there are any suspicious admin users on your website by checking the configuration settings in the administrator’s option.

Run safe scripts - Remove any vulnerable scripts off your site. Add a site monitor script to trace any undesired changes in your store. You can also add a script to trap and lock the hacker bots. You can also build a custom script to lock and unlock any website from accessing your files.

htaccess Protection - Enabling htaccess security layer automatically protects the admin username and passwords in a htpasswd file.

osCommerce Security Modules - There are a lot of osCommerce security modules that will tighten security and prevent various kinds of attacks. These allow you to block unsafe bots, prevent SQL injections, scan CMS core files for uncovering any vulnerabilities, monitor any NS changes, and more.

Secured Hosting - With a highly secured osCommerce hosting service, many possible security attacks are kept at bay. It fixes all possible issues for absolutely zero cost.

Add Captcha to Your Forms - osCommerce has contact forms by default and these forms have no validation mechanisms to prevent bots from filling them. You can add a Captcha addon to your website to prevent this from happening.

osCommerce Antivirus - With this, you can provide integrated website security as it detects infected files and application vulnerabilities on your website and prevents any type of attack on your osCommerce website.

osCommerce Firewall - It is a security module used by business enterprises to safeguard their websites against SQL injections, XSS attacks, zero exploits, or any other vulnerabilities. An osCommerce firewall also prevents cross-site scripting attacks, buffer overflows, and session hijacking.

osCommerce Malware Removal - Removes malicious code from your website. With numerous unexpected security breaches, you need this to prevent any kind of security attack on your web store.

Make a backup - Backup your site files and database. Even when there is a major breach, this backup data helps in quick recovery and minimal damage.

Hire a professional - There are dangers from everywhere who are lurking to make a break-in and hence it is recommended to take the help of a professional who can remove all viruses from your website and close all the backdoor entries.

If you are worried about the security of your osCommerce store, Skynet Technologies is your one-stop place for all your security needs. We offer comprehensive osCommerce security solutions for your business at an affordable price. Some of our services include malware detection and prevention, custom osCommerce firewall, SQL/XSS protection, backdoor entry removal, blacklist monitoring, DDoS protection, file change monitor, brute force protection, and ensure a minimum incident time with effective scans. All your security requirements will be met with great efficiency here. Let’s talk!

Skynet Technologies proud to be osCommerce official partner. We provide end to end osCommerce development including new store, store migration, integration, custom development, plugin development, support & maintenance, patches, add-ons, custom analytics, regular security audit and more. Our experienced osCommerce developers ensure the security of your website & protect it from any malware, thus it ensures the high performance of your osCommerce website!

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