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Latest Customer Experience News & Articles

A Data-Driven Look at the Open Source E-Commerce Market

Retail businesses are moving online in growing numbers. 

Compared to Q4 2013, last quarter’s US online sales rose 14.6 percent to a staggering $79.6 billion dollars. This accounted for 6.7 percent of the total US retail sales market. Major trends fueling this growth include the proliferation of mobile devices, faster online checkout flows and improved fulfillment practices.

The availability of open source e-commerce platforms is helping some offline business with the move online. Much like WordPress provides free, customizable CMS solutions, popular open source e-commerce platforms like WooCommerce, Magento and PrestaShop offer a variety of pre-built templates and plugins that DIY retailers can customize to build and grow an online business from scratch.

To get a feel for the size of this trend, here’s a current snapshot of the top providers and number of websites they power.

News You Can Use: Microsoft, Facebook, Zendesk, More

The latest in connecting, publishing, managing, chatting, targeting, offering and backing up from the Evergreen State, the Knickerbocker State, Don’t Call it Frisco, Tree City USA, Climate Best By Government Test, Bharat, the Baked Bean State and that Toddling Town.

CMS Vendors Partner on Open Customer Data Sharing Standard

What the web has always lacked is a reliable and secure way to identify you. 

Sure, there are ways for you to log onto services, and there are servers in the business of letting you borrow their login mechanisms. But that’s just for letting you in the front door. 

What about when a commercial site wants to know something about you?

Thanks Apple: You Made It Easier to Market Luxury Wearable Tech

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You don't even have to like Apple products to acknowledge the company is a master when it comes to marketing and branding. This is the company, after all, that is widely perceived as the one that produces products that consumers want — before they know they want them.

So now Apple has entered the smartwatch market.

And it should really knock everyone over with a feather to realize that the company has gone to great lengths to develop what it predicts will be a market trendsetter, packed full of features and design refinements unseen in earlier smartwatches.

Meet the Top Brands Consumers Really Trust

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Bruce Temkin thinks it all comes down to a matter of trust.

Over the past five years, he's evaluated thousands of brand perceptions and distilled them all into his company's Temkin Trust Ratings.

Brands that earn trust do so over time — with consistent customer experiences, he said.

"Trust is built up over time based on the experience that consumers have with the company," said Temkin, customer experience transformist and managing partner of the Waban, Mass.-based Temkin Group.

"The top companies are really good at meeting their brand promises. That's why the companies at the top of the list have employees that understand and are bought into the company's mission and its brand promises. They're committed to earning the trust of customers. They tend to do really well in our Temkin Experience Ratings as well, showing that they deliver great customer experience."

I'm Not the Dammed Newbie Here

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There are few aspects of my professional life that I enjoy less than evaluating enterprise software. Granted, my company sells enterprise software, and I’m in charge of marketing it, so I get the irony here.

But while enterprise software vendors increasingly focus on user experience, we are sorely deficient in prospect experience.

The problem starts like this: I make contact and explain my interests (usually in detail), and then schedule a meeting with someone I presume to have experience with the software. Knowing that everyone’s time is valuable, I do my homework. I do research. I prepare a list of questions. If my questions involve anything more than the basics, I send them ahead of time, just to make sure I give my sales contact the time needed to prepare.

And then comes demo day.

Cracking the Code on Personalization

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It’s no secret that customer experience is a big deal. Companies who are great at it win, those who fall short, lose. While we have the necessary data to improve that experience in ways that increase loyalty and drive sales, there’s a discrepancy between what shoppers want and what brands deliver.

At the core of that? Personalization. It’s essential to success as a digital brand, yet, while our dictionaries may have agreed on its meaning — ”to design or tailor to meet an individual’s specifications, needs or preferences” — things get far trickier out in the digital marketing world.

The Cost of Complexity Is Use

The best way to measure complexity is to measure use. Given a choice, the harder something is to use the less people will use it. 

Give Your Customers Steady, Clear Messages - Or You'll Lose Them

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Bob Egner's seen good digital experiences — and bad ones, too. Egner's the vice president of product management at Stockholm, Sweden-based EPiServer.

He's also a connected consumer. Egner tried to renew a PC security subscription once but failed to navigate the company's poor — and confusing — digital experience on his mobile phone. The price changed. Offers were inconsistent.

"When I took the experience forward, there were a number of places where I got derailed. What's the takeaway? Confusion and distrust equals goodbye," Egner said during a CMSWire webinar last week. You can watch the full webinar at the end of this story.

Digital marketers and organizations investing in digital experiences can avoid losing connected consumers like Egner by simply knowing their customers' preferred journeys — and executing clear, consistent messages.

Week in Review: SharePoint Innovations + The Foundation of Analytics

Google's Knowledge Graph
Six reasons to know it.

MarTech: A Blessing or A Curse?
Are so many vendors helpful or not?

Analytics Needs Collaboration
Why one fails without the other.

SharePoint Tech Innovations
Tech boom's impact on collaboration.

Gartner's BI, Analytics Oscars
And the winners are … ?

Consulting's Swan Song? 
Why Office 365 might be its demise.

4 Technology Pillars for High-Performance Campaign Execution 
The expanded role of marketing operations

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You Want Top Customer Experiences? Get An E-Signature App

Digital processes, the argument goes, are the key to efficient organizations.

If that's the case, entire business processes need to be digitized — from ingestion to archiving. With the rise of cloud, mobile and digital technologies, this shouldn’t pose a problem. However, according to Russ Gould, senior director of Product Marketing at Kofax, organizations are lagging when it comes to e-signatures.

Apple Watch: The Future of Wearables Begins Now

Are you ready to pay $18,000 for the 18k gold Apple Watch?

Maybe not, but you probably watched as Tim Cook — in his first new product launch as CEO — unveiled Apple's first major push into the wearables market. With the launch of the Apple Watch, the wearables race begins.

It is yet to be seen if consumers really want these high tech devices as fashion statements. But Business Insider predicts that by 2018, the wearables market will grow to $12.6 billion. And according to The Wearable Future report, adoption rates of wearables parallels that of tablets. After two years, adoption of tablets was 20 percent and today, 21 percent of American adults already own a wearable device.

So it's safe to assume that wearables will begin to take off.

Understanding Our E-Commerce Obsession [Infographic]

Customers worldwide are moving faster than ever before, hopping from device to device, buying anywhere.

That's creating opportunities for digitally savvy retailers. But it is also creating challenges for those who fail to adapt to changing realities, according to new research from Demandware, a provider of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) e-commerce solutions.

The Burlington, Mass.-based company just released its inaugural Shopping Index, which measures digital commerce growth and identifies the trends driving that growth.

Nextdoor: An Online Community in Your Own Backyard

2015-19-March-Kickball-Champion.jpgGrowing up in Woodstock, N.Y. the neighborhood came together over kickball. Kids would gather at my house, we’d make teams, then play till the sun went down or our parents called us to dinner — whichever came first.

Outside of family, your neighborhood is your first exposure to a community. Your parents introduced themselves to your neighbors and before long, you had new friends. And I mean real world friends, not Facebook friends (I'm talking pre-Facebook, pre-Internet, pre-everything days).

But now we have communities springing up in our own backyards. And these online communities may or may not involve kickball.

Nextdoor is a private social network for your neighborhood. More than 53,000 neighborhoods have created online versions of themselves on the site. The folks at Nextdoor must be on to something, as they recently announced a $110 million funding round, which values the company at over $1 billion.

Twin Prime Promises a Fast 'Wireless Mile' for Mobile Apps

Idea conceived. Mobile app developed. Mobile app deployed.

This is where Twin Prime promises to make things better. Its technology makes mobile apps faster, officials there promised.

They disrupt the content delivery network (CDN) space better than anyone, including Akamai, who they particularly cited.

"Twin Prime’s software makes mobile apps fast," said Kartik Chandrayana, the co-founder and CEO of Twin Prime, based in Redwood City, Calif.

The mobile data delivery optimization company releases a platform out of stealth mode today. It also announces $9.5 million in funding.

"Fast apps implies happy and engaged users," Chandrayana said. "In fact, Frontback, a Twin Prime customer, saw that its users were spending 50 percent more time in the app, and requesting more images because they were getting data faster. Twin Prime enables businesses to build fast, responsive apps which make more money for them."

What Could You Do With a Digital Marketing Command Center?

This morning, a vendor promised us their solution is the only that looks at the entire customer journey and provides sales agents actionable insights.

Now another vendor is making the same promise for digital marketers.

Bedford, Mass.-based Progress Software has created a Digital Marketing Command Center. Officials said it combines technologies from its Telerik Sitefinity CMS and Sitefinity Digital Experience Cloud to help marketers track and measure customer behavior.

"We started this 16 months ago, and this is one of the things we've struggled with ourselves," said Martin Kirov, vice president of product management and marketing for the Telerik Sitefinity CMS. "And most customers struggle with the fact that digital marketing teams operate in a very fragmented way."

The Next Big Thing: #SXSW Accelerator Winners

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They came to Austin, Texas from far and wide — places as far removed from each other as Atlanta and Austria, Salt Lake City and Stockholm, New York and Tokyo … you name it.

Their mission? Plain and simple: to win the Accelerator competition in their particular category at SXSW’s StartUp Village.

This is the place to not only win, but also to become known.

"Over the past six years of companies competing in SXSW Accelerator, more than 50 percent have gone on to receive funding in excess of $1.7 billion and 12 percent of the companies have been acquired," said SXSW Accelerator Event Producer Chris Valentine.

But making it into the competition isn’t easy.

Would You Run Your Call Center on Chromebooks? Avaya Thinks So

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Avaya claims its Call Center services power a significant share of big call centers.

Among customer call centers with more than 400 agents, it estimates a 63 percent market share. Among call centers with more than 1,000 agents, it estimates a 70 percent share.

So what’s Avaya thinking right now? How does it capture that elusive market segment of call centers with 10 to 250 agents?

Today, the company spun off from Lucent Technologies and Bell Labs in 2000 announced an expanded partnership with Google.

The goal is to target a market segment that Avaya calls “green pastures.”  

That partnership creates a curious technology arrangement where Chromebooks — the class of PC created by Google to run essentially anything that can be run on the web — will become the exclusive device for running the company’s latest OnAvaya cloud-based call center.

Genesys Update Works to Engage Your Customers

Genesys released an update to its Customer Experience Platform that it boasts will help you engage and guide your customers.

Reed Henry, chief marketing officer for Genesys, said the platform integrates and augments customer relationship management(CRM). It adds native technology "to directly engage and guide customers across all interaction channels, including voice and touchpoints."

Genesys is a Daly City, Calif.-based contact center software provider. It has 3,000-employees.

"We call this orchestrating the customer journey," Henry added. Other CRM platforms react to customer behavior. But they don’t shape it or attempt to orchestrate the step-by-step sequencing of customer interactions, he added.

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