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E-commerce News & Analysis

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.

News Bites: Legal Publish, Paltalk, CommerceHub, Lanyon

The latest in rankings, chatting, meetings and retailing from the Excelsior State, the City of Flowers, D-Town and Maydenheth.

Digital River and Microsoft's Bumpy E-Commerce Road

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It's been an interesting couple of weeks for Digital River. Its deadline to re-sign Microsoft to an extension of the Microsoft Operations Digital Distribution Agreement, which would continue Digital River provision of Microsoft Store’s e-commerce platform beyond March, 2015 came and went on Dec. 1. While only a handful of people might have noticed, the company made a bigger splash on Dec. 8 when it announced an extension of the negotiation timeframe until Dec. 19.

Digital River's stocks rose and fell with the ups and downs of the announcements, dropping almost 25 percent from its close of $25.51 on Friday, Dec. 5, to $19.71 on Monday, Dec. 8. The stock eventually bottomed at $16.58 on Dec. 11, a drop of 35 percent in less than a week. On the power of yesterday's news the stock closed at $24.08, a 45 percent jump from last week’s low.

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

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Since 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. 

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