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E-commerce News & Analysis

Experience Matters in Omnichannel Commerce

Experience matters in omnichannel commerce -- both the customer experience and the software ecosystem that supports a buyer’s journey from initial discovery to customer advocate. Just as shoppers see products on display in physical stores, digital experiences have to provide relevant content and compelling interactions to convert browsing to buying. Connected consumers expect convenience and flexibility across channels, whether brick and mortar, catalog, print, in-store kiosks, web, mobile and social platforms. Nothing frustrates customers more than dead-end, can’t get there from here experiences. And second chances are rare.

Merging the Yin-Yang of Content-Commerce

2014-12-December-Kitties.jpgSince the early days of e-commerce in the mid to late 90's, businesses had a vision to merge content and commerce into a seamless experience. What people discovered pretty quickly in the 90's was that merging content and commerce was really challenging. Little has changed since then, because while people would like to join the two, they really are more yin and yang -- contrary forces, yet complementary.

Not a Rumor: Accel-KKR Invests in EPiServer

Say what you will, but sometimes the scuttlebutt that emerges through Twitter (and that we report on) happens to be the truth, or pretty close to it anyways. We can now confirm that Accel-KKR has made a “majority investment” in (and may very well own -- read on) EPiServer. This news comes to us direct from EPiServer, which says that it can’t provide further comment right now.

Hats-off to Martin Henricson, CEO of EPiServer, for letting his customers, partners, employees and anyone else who might be affected by the news know that there’s something significant going on.

Marketer, Meet Commerce Expert

2014-03-December-Meeting.jpgWe've established the importance of a strong collaborative relationship between marketing and IT. As we approach 2015, it's time to highlight another relationship that will become equally important in the year ahead: a strong partnership between marketing and commerce teams.

Commerce experts today are laser-focused on implementing the best platforms and portals to facilitate online transactions safely and securely. Meanwhile, marketers concentrate on telling strong brand stories to increase sales and build customer loyalty. While both teams have similar goals when it comes to increasing a company’s business, their efforts are often siloed. They don’t realize the benefit of integrating efforts closely in order to create bottom-line business impact.

Demystifying Web Personalization: 3 Myths Debunked

2014-12-November-Name-Necklace.jpgIf you want your online business to keep up with the competition, you should be deploying website personalization.

Amazon set the precedent some years ago, and now receives 30 percent of its revenue through its pioneering use of product recommendations. Other e-commerce giants, notably Staples, have acquired entire personalization tools into their arsenal.

Research by Forrester found personalization to be the top priority for 55 percent of retailers. For B2C marketers, it was found to be this year’s top digital priority. Insights from another survey revealed that 83 percent of consumers prefer to receive a personalized cross-channel experience.

There's a number of studies and reports available that all point to the same place: personalization is the future of e-commerce.

What Gender Should You Target with Mobile Ads?

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It’s not a myth. Women really do love to shop.

Data has long showed that men are gaining ground when it comes to buying. But women still do the bulk of the shopping for themselves and their families.

And it’s not only in stores. A new analysis by AppLovin, a mobile marketing company that came out of stealth earlier this year, shows that women dominate mobile sales as well.

Apple Pay: Using Its Midas Touch to Reinvent Mobile Payments

2014-09-October-Apple-Buying.jpgWith Apple Pay, Apple is once again doing what it does best: reinventing existing markets, products and business models by delivering a simpler, more stylish and more streamlined user experience. Let's face it: Apple has a knack for making things frictionless and more exciting.

And its ability to market new services and create demand by seducing consumer’s appetite for making things in life easier is a lesson for all marketers. That’s true innovation.

SMBs Going Global with Mobile

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Gone are the days when a company launched locally, slowly expanding into other markets. Today, businesses are thinking globally from the start, thanks to the ever-expanding use of mobile technologies.

BIA/Kelsey’s US SMB Spending Forecast revealed that by 2015 SMBs will allocate 30 percent of their marketing budgets to traditional advertising (down from 52 percent in 2010), with the remaining 70 percent going to digital/online media, performance-based commerce and customer retention business solutions.

Today, TapSense, an independent mobile advertising exchange released its annual eBook: "A Complete Guide to Mobile Marketing 2015" which provides insights, forecasts and advice on what the mobile landscape will look like in 2015. The report covers mobile advertising industry predictions for 2015 in relation to The Internet of Things, mobile payments, real-time bidding, mobile video advertising and businesses using mobile to think globally. 

Retail's Mantra: Data, Cloud and Mobile #shoporg14

Think of one word to describe the 2014 Shop.org Summit in Seattle this week, a 2.5-day event specifically for digital and multichannel retailers.

If you thought of the word "transition," I'd say you were correct. Transition implies two things:

  • A passage from one state, stage, subject or place to another
  • A movement, development or evolution from one form, stage or style to another

Retail is clearly in a transitional state. It is undergoing even more fundamental changes than were driven by the emergence of e-commerce in the mid 1990s and, before that, by big box stores.  With the emergence of omnichannel retailing, technology is becoming a retail imperative, and this is bringing about transformative change. 

While omnichannel is a buzzword, people are looking to create new definitions for to reflect a more customer centric view of the changes, for better or worse its here to stay because it does encompass the structural changes retailers are attempting to make. 

Give Your Customers to Amazon - Or Do These 4 Things Instead

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As the holiday season approaches, online retailers need to step up their efforts to win and keep the online retail market share that Amazon (mostly) and other large e-retailers are quickly gobbling up.

According to Growth Champions, Amazon accounts for one third of US e-commerce, and “is growing twice as fast as online commerce in general.”

CMSWire.com recently spoke with CommerceHub founder and CEO Frank Poore about ways that retailers can succeed in an e-commerce world filled with heightened customer expectations and shrinking market share.

3 Vendors That Help Deliver the Omnichannel Vision #shoporg14

2014-01-September-Endless-Aisle.jpgI found the omnichannel retailing pulse at the Shop.org Summit taking place in Seattle, but it's not as overwhelming as you might have thought given all the noise around this over the last year. Hopefully that's a sign that more retailers are taking the message to heart, but not every vendor would agree. Retailers are being selective about their priorities and the companies they choose to work with to bring their capabilities to market.

Here’s a quick look at three companies at the Summit that are well positioned to really help retailers achieve their omnichannel vision.

Put Away the Pumpkins: It's Holiday Time for E-Commerce Sites

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It’s October ... time for ghosts, goblins and things that go bump in the night, right? Wrong. Think sleigh bells and shiny objects like holiday lights.

The winter holiday season triggers an exponential growth in online shopping volume. “Many e-commerce sites do 40 percent of their annual transactions during these holidays,” said Tom Caporaso, CEO of Clarus Marketing Group.

If you handle this demand correctly, the season can gift you with a heaping helping of new, year-round customers. If you don’t, you may watch future profits disappear right back up the chimney with the guy in the red suit.

How to Energize Your E-Commerce Site

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Does your e-commerce site still look like an electronic version of a mail-order catalog? If so, it’s time to take a big leap forward. It's 2014, after all.

“Consumers are looking for more than just a product online. They’re looking for something to support their lifestyle,” said Glenn Conradt, vice president of Global Product Marketing at CoreMedia, a web content management software provider. "It's no longer enough just to handle the transactional elements of the e-commerce relationship. It has to go beyond that and be experiential.”

This means adding features to those flat, featureless sites to give them new energy and life. Think videos, for instance, showing consumers how a product actually works, as well as providing creative ideas and tips.

Why Apple Pay Will Boost Mobile Payments

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Apple did more than announce its new, bigger iPhone 6 and super sized iPhone 6 Plus and much-anticipated Apple Watch earlier this month.

It also showcased its new mobile payment system, Apple Pay. Though payment via mobile devices using near-field communication (NFC) is not a new concept, Apple went beyond the norm.

Rather than just add an NFC radio to its new phones and watch and call it a day, it engineered a complete payment system and network. It's now ready for launch with its other new products, which is very likely why Apple Pay will succeed where other NFC payment systems have failed.

Alibaba: The Web IPO Heard Round the World

2014-18-September-Monopoly-Money.jpgThe global Internet and finance community is transfixed by the Initial Public Offering (IPO) of Alibaba Group Holdings, the  Chinese e-commerce giant that is expected to go public on Friday at a market capitalization in excess of $160 billion. This is likely to be the largest IPO of all time, raising up to $25 billion in capital for the company and giving a market capitalization larger than eBay (market cap, $64B) and possibly Amazon.com ($150B).

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