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E-commerce News & Analysis

Insite Software: Data Analysis for 'People with Day Jobs'

Insite Software is releasing technology today that's designed for executives too busy to bury themselves in e-commerce data.

InsiteAnalytics will help the busy executives deliver key insights through big-picture strategic trends and more transactional micro analysis, said Phil Schrader, product manager of data commerce for Minneapolis, Minn.-based Insite Software. 

"InsiteAnalytics produces what we call 'data insights for people with day jobs,' eliminating the pain and complexity of data analysis and enabling organizations to quickly and easily actualize the value of their data," he continued. 

Adobe FormsCentral Quietly Exits the Room

After just about three short years on the market, Adobe FormsCentral is calling it quits.

According to a post on the Adobe Acrobat blog, its web form builder software will officially be “retired from service” on July 18, due to lack of interest.

“Despite enthusiastic use of FormsCentral by many of you over the past three years, we’ve found that there hasn’t been as much demand for this type of service as we anticipated,” stated the post, written by Rebecca Staley, a member of the Acrobat marketing team.

Personalization, Good. Silos, Bad - Tweet Jam Redux #cxmchat

If you're looking for the Cliff's Notes version of this week's Content and Commerce Tweet Jam, the title has it -- personalization good, silos bad.

But the panelists covered a lot more ground in the hour-long discussion of what it takes to stand above the crowd in the world of online commerce. Does your e-commerce experience make the cut? 

When Content Plays Support to E-Commerce's Lead

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Content has always been the primary focus of whatever setting and way it is to be used: novels are serial, broken only by chapters; non-fiction works are segmented by subject and accompanied by footnotes and references; work instructions are divided by processes, tasks and steps with references to parts, materials and commodities needed, and so on.

The content designer and creator always knew going in the role for the content being created. People --whatever their role -- have always been required to use the content as presented in order keep their job, succeed at their project or enjoy the story.

While it's true that some settings require content that can be used for multiple roles, this level of complexity is still confined to specific industries and settings.

With the rise of e-Commerce, everything has changed.

Leveling the E-Commerce Playing Field

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Brick-and-mortar stores have an advantage over e-tailers when it comes to keeping customers engaged --it’s much harder for prospects to walk away from a face-to-face interaction than to click away from a website. In-store customers also go to greater lengths to shop there than online browsers, so they’re likely to be more receptive to immediate sales messages. E-commerce is clearly on the rise with growth estimates of 13.9 percent from Nov. 1, 2014 to Dec. 31, 2014 compared with the same period in 2013.

Emotion + Analytics = Speaking Your Customer's Language

2015-22-January-Laughing-Eyes.jpgIn a recent interview with Jeannette Ho, vice president of revenue management and analytics at FRHI Hotels and Resorts, she spoke about using analytics to quantify guests’ emotions, with the goal of understanding motivations for traveling. FRHI’s aims for an ideal of turning “moments” into “memories” when guests are staying with them -- a great way to create a truly delightful customer experience.

But the question is how do you keep that customer experience healthy even when a customer isn't on property?

CMSWire Tweet Jam: Differentiating via Experience and Commerce #CXMChat

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Online retail grows more competitive by the day. Customers expect the same experience, whether it's in store, on the web or in a branded app. Companies that want to remain competitive are turning to a marriage of content and commerce to deliver the ultimate customer experience. So, what does doing this well look like, what challenges are involved and where is there still room for improvement? Join in to discuss during our first Tweet Jam of 2015.

Are You Ready to Compete on Customer Experience?

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Friends of mine were remodeling their master bath. After searching for a claw foot tub in stores and online, they found the perfect one that fit their space. It was only available for purchase on the retailer’s e-commerce site, they bought it online.

When it arrived, the tub was too big. The dimensions online were incorrect. They went to return it to the closest store, but were told they couldn't -- because it was purchased online, they had to ship it back.

The retailer didn’t have a total customer relationship view or a single view of product information or inventory across channels and touch points. This left the customer representative working with a system that was a silo of limited information. She didn’t have access to a rich customer profile. She didn't know that Joe and his wife spent almost $10,000 with the brand in the last year. She couldn't see the products they bought online and in stores. Without this information, she couldn't deliver a great customer experience.

Customer Experience Means the Same Thing, Online or Off

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If you're like most people you experienced some great, and some awful shopping experiences over the past few months. But what made some experiences great and others less than average?

The answer is almost certainly that the good experiences were driven by exceptional service tailored to your specific needs, and the bad experiences were caused by poor and uncaring service. It's the difference between the sales associate that takes the time to understand what you are looking for and helps you find it, versus the sales associate that is too busy texting to be bothered by your questions.

The same characteristics of a good in-store experience also make for a good digital experience. The more personal and relevant the digital experience, the better.

Microsoft's Tangled E-Commerce Future #nrf15

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Sitecore's announcement on Tuesday of its new e-commerce offering, Sitecore Commerce 8 powered by Microsoft Dynamics, at the NRF Big Show made waves in the e-commerce world for a number of reasons. The launch integrates the Sitecore Experience Platform, its highly regarded content management system, with Microsoft Dynamics to more effectively merge content management with commerce systems.

A little background is in order: Sitecore took over Microsoft’s Commerce Server in Q4 of 2013. Now called Sitecore Commerce, the initial integration with the Sitecore Experience Platform was announced in fall of 2014. Let's try to shed some light on what this release signifies for the future direction of both companies.

Insite Software Taps New CEO to Lead B2B E-Commerce Efforts

B2B e-commerce provider Insite Software has tapped a tech software industry veteran as its new CEO and moved its former CEO to another executive position.

Insite named Tony Abena, 25-year industry veteran and former chief operating officer of Deloitte Investments, an internal start-up division within Deloitte LLP, its new chief executive. Former Insite Software CEO Steve Shaffer remains with the company and will serve as president and chief financial officer.

Abena is hardly unfamiliar to the Minneapolis, Minn.-based provider. He was a member of its board of directors since last June. According to his LinkedIn profile, he has been CEO at Insite since last October, but today's announcement appears to the formal public news.

Omnichannel Retail Gains Momentum at #nrf15

For the first time ever, the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) Big Show kicked off on a Sunday. The idea being that an extra day would give the estimated 35,000 plus attendees more time to walk the EXPO Hall floor and engage with the wide variety of vendors in attendance at the Javits Center in New York. Sunday’s keynote, Game Changer: Loyalty and Performance Lessons from Passionate Sports Fandom, was clearly designed to get people out as representatives of three of four of the major professional sports leagues (NBA, NFL and NHL) were speaking, but the major keynote was held for Monday after NRF CEO and president Matthew Shay’s opening remarks. Keynote speaker Ben Bernanke, Chairman of the Federal Reserve from 2006 - 2014, focused his comments on “macro-economic trends for US, global and emerging economies as well as retail’s impact on the US GDP.”

Digital Start-Up Top Dog: Symphony Commerce #nrf15

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The retail industry has a top dog among digital commerce start-ups.

Symphony Commerce won the first annual Digital Commerce Startup Competition, the National Retail Federation announced today at its 104th Annual Convention and EXPO. Better known as the NRF BIG Show, the four-day conference wraps up tomorrow at the Jacob K. Javits Center.

Symphony, run by CEO and co-founder Harish Abbott, received the title at the New York City-based exposition -- in the same city where retail was celebrated by this same organization for the first time more than 100 years ago.

3 Focuses for Mobile in the Year Ahead

2015-05-January-Mesmerized.jpgDigital marketers: 2015 is here, and it’s time to play catch up. For the past 10 years, we’ve been trying to keep pace with the latest innovations, strategizing and re-strategizing to implement the next great personalization feature or web design technique. But that period of innovation has ended and, moving into 2015, we find ourselves in a new period of digital transformation. By fully implementing these innovations in the coming year, marketers can help companies transition into fully digital-first business.

Where should we start? Mobile.

The Holistic View of the Customer Experience

There's a consensus that if you want to be successful on line, you’re going to have to deliver an exceptional customer experience, something that leaves others trailing. Of course, there are many opinions on how to do that.

E-Spirit, for example, has a very particular notion of what customer experience involves. Many other vendors start by talking about technologies or silos. But for Oliver Jaeger, e-Spirit's vice president for global marketing and communications, it means the entire customer cycle from first contact to last sign-off.

While many companies just don’t get it that the whole process needs to be managed, e-Spirit is actively pursuing ways to provide that ultimate experience.

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