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How to Build a Flexible eCommerce Architecture for Your Global Brand

You’re the Head of eCommerce, or the CTO of a major retail brand. You’ve got a national retail store presence, and a massive customer database. Your sales are growing, your team excels at merchandising, your commerce platform works well in the US, and you’re ahead of the curve in product innovation within your industry. You’re running a well-oiled machine here, and now it’s time to expand into a new market. According to the Forrester Evolution of Global eCommerce Markets report... Meer

Redefining Commerce: Bellroy Slims Down Site Without Compromising Quality

This blog series - Redefining Commerce - highlights retail brands that are elevating traditional online commerce experiences, pushing the boundaries of what it means to be an online retailer, and delivering unparalleled consumer experiences. Bellroy sells wallets. That’s it. Their product line is simple, straightforward, and practical. If you assume that those things equate to a boring, lackluster brand, you’d be wrong. Bellroy has a carefully developed brand image with a thoughtful, comprehensive story to tell about their product and how it... Meer

Understanding the Data Behind Personalization

If you want to increase online conversions and customer loyalty, you have to get a clear handle on your target market: who they are and what they want. And the best way to do that is by collecting the relevant data to personalize the buying experience. Having up-to-date demographic, psychographic, and behavioral data will help you send consumers valuable content, do more effective A/B testing, improve click-through rates,... Meer

How will you tackle your many site problems?

As my colleague Martin Eley wrote about last week, it’s a reality of the digital age that large companies have many, many web sites. Several small companies do as well of course, but the ecosystem of web sites under a corporate umbrella explodes as companies grow and the brands they manage, the number of regions they operate in, and the number of customers they serve expands. And as companies with this predicament have found, having many sites creates “many site problems” and not solving these... Meer

Closing the Deal: What Matters Most in a Purchase Decision?

“So I buy it. The most perfect little cardigan in the world. People will call me the Girl in the Gray Cardigan. I’ll be able to live in it. Really, it’s an investment.” ~ Rebecca Bloomwood, Confessions of a Shopaholic For Rebecca Bloomwood, the path from fauxsumer to consumer was short, nonexistent even. Every item was a necessity and credit card bills were something meant for the trashcan. For those of us who live in the real world, however, the decision to purchase anything typically requires much more... Meer

How To Build a World-Class Technical Commerce Ecosystem

Building a world-class commerce website is no easy feat. Notorious for being a complicated technical venture, it requires the perfect blend of people, process, and technology. But it is possible to build a “best for me” technical solution, if you’re thoughtful and tactful in how you go about doing so. Here’s how: Step 1: Really think hard and define your commerce goals If you’re considering rebuilding your commerce backend, there must be a reason -- or many. These pain points should be used as the foundational goals for your business: What must your new system be able to excel at that your... Meer

Purchase Intent: The Journey from Fauxsumer to Consumer

“When I first moved to New York and I was totally broke, sometimes I would buy Vogue instead of dinner. I felt it fed me more.” ~ Carrie Bradshaw, Sex and the City For fans of Sex and the City, there’s no denying the emotional connection between Carrie Bradshaw and her Manolos. And fashion. And, well, shopping in general. A typical episode of the show involved brunch, shopping, and cocktails (Cosmos of course) with the girls. It was rare to see an episode where Carrie wasn’t agonizing over a pair of shoes that she really couldn’t afford (she nearly always bought them anyway). So why does... Meer

How To Build a Personalization Dream Team

Customers expect a personalized shopping experience, and leading retailers who’ve incorporated personalization are reaping huge benefits. In fact, brands that have effectively implemented personalization strategies are seeing anywhere from a 7.8 percent increase to a 21 percent increase in conversions. Done right, personalization can pay major dividends, but to implement a personalization strategy that will create the greatest returns, you... Meer

Increasing our Commitment to Higher Education: University Relations Program

Career services offices at colleges and universities understand the significant value that internships have when it comes to helping their students find jobs. Simply, as this Forbes article points out, internships offer as direct a path to a full-time job offer for college graduates as does any other pursuit. In fact, according to the survey backing up this article, college interns have a 7 out of 10 chance of being offered a full time job by the company... Meer

Stop Calling Personalization ‘Creepy’

If there is one trend that I can’t stand right now, it’s calling personalization “creepy.” Writers, industry insiders, digital marketers, I implore you: Cut it out. You’re giving the word creepy a bad name. Maybe growing up in a historical little New England town filled with old homes and ghost stories makes me a little protective of the word creepy. Maybe it’s that I’m a big fan of Tim Burton (his earlier work) or that every time you say it, I get either Radiohead and/or TLC stuck in my head. Either way, leave creepy alone. Creepy by definition means causing an unpleasant feeling of fear... Meer

Creating Personas vs. Customer Segments: What’s The Difference?

Developing personas and segments is a critical step in creating a personalization strategy for your business. The words persona and segment have often been used interchangeably to group and define the characteristics and profiles of customers, but the truth is the words mean two different things, and the distinction is an important one. Segments help to forecast market interest for a product or service, while Personas help to understand the emotional and behavioral triggers behind individual customers within that market. Used together, they can act as a powerful complementary set of... Meer

The Key to a Successful Marketing Strategy is an Open Approach

For marketers, the number of marketing tools available in today’s digital landscape is just as overwhelming as it is beneficial. These options help make you a more efficient marketer and provide the customer with a better digital experience. But at the same time, how do you narrow down what’s right for your business? How do you try something new that seems like it might be a good fit? How do you keep up with what’s new and what’s next? Whether it’s the Marketing Technology Landscape... Meer

How the Apple Watch Changes Web Content Management

This morning, I set my alarm at 3am ET and ordered a shiny, magical new Apple Watch. The Apple Watch is the first new product from Apple since Steve Jobs passed away. It’s an important new product for Apple, as they continue to look for ways to expand revenue beyond the iPhone. “Smart Watches” aren’t new, but as Apple always does, they are taking an emerging category and bringing it to the mass consumer market. Apple has positioned the watch as “an intimate and... Meer

Cross-Channel Browsing Behaviors of the Modern "Fauxsumer"

“I love the smell of commerce in the morning!” ~ Brodie, Mallrats In 1995, Mallrats depicted the teenage world encapsulated in a shopping mall. Breakups, makeups, and even an unprovoked attack on the Easter bunny – it all happens in the mall. In 1995 that’s where all the cool kids went on a Friday night. Fast forward to 2015, 20 years later. The New York Times recently posted a blog asking teenagers if the mall is still an important part of teen... Meer

Redefining Commerce, April 2015: Firebox, ‘Not For Everyone’

This blog series - Redefining Commerce - highlights retail brands that are elevating traditional online commerce experiences, pushing the boundaries of what it means to be an online retailer, and delivering unparalleled consumer experiences. So far in our Redefining Commerce series, we’ve focused on visually beautiful websites that blend content and commerce seamlessly. But Firebox.com is a new breed of commerce site. As their tagline suggests, it’s “not for everyone.” It pushes... Meer

Closed-Loop Marketing – Or Just Closed?

“Digital transformation” is a big phrase that scares marketers and IT people alike, because it hints at the need to rip out all of your old stuff – technology, processes, maybe even people – in favor of cutting-edge replacements. This transformation trend is gaining steam in marketing, where some vendors are promoting all-encompassing, cloud-based marketing suites that promise seamlessly integrated content management, marketing automation, analytics and other tools. The goal is the long-desired “closed loop” that ties digital marketing investments more closely to outcomes. The problem with... Meer

Context Helps Make Commerce Experiences Cool, Not Creepy

The vast majority of retailers are practicing some form of personalization, even at the most fundamental level: welcoming you back to their site by name, recommending products based off of past browsing experience, targeting offers based on search activity. But as data collection systems become more advanced, and personal information becomes more available, can a brand go too far in an effort to capitalize on new customers and just become, well, creepy? The answer is, yes. Last week, Buzzfeed published an article called... Meer

What Old School ERP and Shared Services Can Teach Us About Digital

I recently came across a social media post that read: In 2015 Uber, the world largest taxi company, owns no vehicles. Facebook, the world’s most popular media owner, creates no content. Alibaba, the most valuable retailer, has no inventory. Airbnb, the world’s largest accommodation provider, owns no real estate. As the digital movement increases in momentum, with little sign of a slow-down, I’ve started to wonder: how can existing global enterprises, including some 150-year-old companies, adapt and acquire the capabilities they need to optimise digital? Many enterprises have business... Meer

The One Metric That Proves College Websites Are Worth the Investment

Zero. That’s the number of revenue-producing business metrics most college and university web marketing teams use to prove their impact to the school’s bottom-line. Zero. Zilch. It’s not that they don’t want to prove value. It’s just that colleges’ data systems are byzantine, isolated, and hard to connect. Plus, there aren’t universally accepted goals for a college website. Showing impact is hard. We hate that. Despite defining business goals at the start of every of our 50+ college and university web projects, we are often unable to demonstrate – with numbers – that we met these business... Meer

Driving Customer Loyalty: The Transactional vs. The Emotional

In today’s world of retail, consumers demand a certain experience, and brands must deliver. However, those desired experiences can vary drastically from one consumer to the next. There are two buckets that retail customers generally fall into: those driven by the “deal” and those driven by the experience. Those always chasing the deal want the best price as quickly as possible, through whichever channel is most convenient. Those seeking the best experience aren’t necessarily price averse, but they crave a tailored experience. Transactional Loyalty Marketplaces like Amazon, Overstock, and Ebay... Meer

Gearing up for Demandware XChange and Magento Imagine Commerce 2015

Here in New England, the sun is finally shining, the snow mountains are finally melting, and yet we can’t wait to jet cross country for the next duo of commerce conferences. In April, our commerce team will be attending two major industry events, the 2015 Demandware XChange Conference (April 13-15) and the Magento Imagine Commerce 2015 Conference (April 20-22) -- both held in warm, sunny Las Vegas. We’ll be armed... Meer

Want Digital Transformation Success? Get IT and Business on the Same Page

Every organization needs to harness technology and strategies to transform its business, and to move forward fast in a digital-first world. If you do this right, you're ready to empower your customers and deliver personalized digital experiences across websites, mobile, social, and commerce platforms. You've embraced Age of the Customer thinking. It also means you have the chance to apply digital technology to become a more efficient operation across sales, marketing, customer service, support, and even manufacturing and R&D. The digital enterprise is here. Yet I’m still amazed when I... Meer

Social Selling and Building Brand Awareness with Snapchat

The unique appeal of Snapchat from a brand marketing perspective is the allure of the elusive images. Traditional “snaps” only last for 10 seconds before they disappear forever. This means that unlike a pin on Pinterest or a post on Instagram -- which exist indefinitely -- a snap’s lifetime is finite, and if not “consumed” during it’s lifetime, it’s lost. This creates an unusual opportunity for brands to interact with their customers, and to target them on a platform that is frequently used in their daily lives.... Meer

Customers Want Personalized Content and Data-Driven Commerce

Republished from The Digital Economy Report Digital has changed everything in today’s world of online commerce. Personalization of digital experiences is no longer an extra, but an expectation. If a customer has visited your site once, they expect you to recognize them on subsequent visits and they expect a tailored experience. A study by Janrain showed that the majority of consumers – 75 percent – like it when brands personalize messaging and offers. Personalization is a win-win; customers are presented with what... Meer

Shop and Browse Everywhere in the Age of the Omni-Channel

Retailers are experimenting with alternative commerce experiences to make the shopping journey easier and provide it across all channels, from brick and mortar to online to mobile and beyond. The most successful retailers unite their messaging and media across channels, taking a “channel-less” approach to interacting with the consumer, and enabling commerce wherever the consumer is. Here are a few ways retail is embracing ways to make browsing and shopping possible everywhere. Bring the store to the people To be able to shop anywhere, you need a cash register everywhere: the shopping cart on... Meer

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