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Digital News & Analysis

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.

If Your Social Media Marketing Tools Could Think

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If you spend several hours a week trying to determine the best day and time to post to social media, posting content and trying to make sense of the analytics afterward, you might want to listen to Brennan White.

He’s the CEO of Cortex, a new artificial intelligence tool for social media marketing that he claims can save marketers so much time, they can finally get back to the root of social media: creating content.

White believes we’ve entered into an era where marketers should demand more from their marketing tools, and use less of them.

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?

3 Reasons a CMO's Digital Projects Fail

2015-26-March-face-plant.jpgIf you’re a CMO, you know better than anyone how your role has transformed over the past few years. CMOs are no longer an advertising cost center, isolated within their organizations with accountability for secondary digital projects.

Today, they are full-blown digital players, charged with profit and loss and caring for the entire customer lifecycle. If your company has a digital customer-facing project underway, it’s a sure bet that the buck stops with the CMO.

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.

Adobe Helps Marketers Measure a Changing World

In recent years Adobe Systems has concentrated on refining Adobe Analytics into the Adobe Marketing Cloud solution.

Adobe shared its updates at the Adobe Digital Marketing Summit. The summit is a premier event for analytics practitioners, including many who still remember when Adobe Analytics was Omniture Site Catalyst.

The big deal this year was the transformation of web analytics tools to physical analytics solutions.

The latest Marketing Cloud changes, for example, signal that measurement must extend beyond a web or app page to share measurement insights.

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.

Coke's Happiness Formula: Compelling Stories About Real People

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Tim Goudie is a pilot, a camper, a hiker, a swimmer, a skier.

But he's also an international marketer with global experience in a variety of packaged goods industries.

He's director of social media, sustainability, for The Coca-Cola in Atlanta, where he specializes in driving corporate trust and brand love.

His 15-year career with the company spans three countries and includes roles in global interactive marketing, sports marketing and strategic brand marketing, among others.

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.

Oracle: Our Real World Data Cloud Can Help You Simulate Audiences

Oracle’s recent launch of its Data Cloud service for customer data is not just another acquisition, renamed and relaunched with Oracle’s red banner. It’s not just one more step toward parity with Salesforce — the company founded by the Oracle CEO’s former protégé.

It's an acknowledgement from one of the companies that established data as a business that deep behavioral analysis of customer behavior is not only common — but a commodity in itself.

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. 

News You Can Use: RAMP, TubeMogul, Vidder

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The latest in partnering, pairing, closing and creating from the Hub of the Solar System, the Grape State and the Gateway to the World.

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.

4 Must Have Skills for Data-Driven CMOs

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It wasn't that long ago when most CMOs and senior marketers were considered the keepers of the brand. Today CMOs have a seat at the table. Their customer-centric insight drives the business-building strategy in front of the funnel, in the funnel, and all the way to the close and beyond.

In Forrester and Heidrick & Struggles most recent report, "The Evolved CMO in 2014," 40 percent of the CMOs surveyed aspire to the CEO position -- an almost inconceivable transition five years ago.

Give Users a Vote: Why Testing in Email Matters

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Consumers want their voices heard.

Social media marketers have turned to crowdsourcing to include customer's voices. But email marketers have been giving people the opportunity to vote for years.

We're not talking about direct surveys, although those can work. What we're talking about is measuring the votes that customers make every day when they choose to click or not click -- using A/B testing. 

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