'Websites' Category

E-Commerce Environment Still Facing Supply Chain Challenges

Posted by Neal Leavitt on January 31st, 2016 at 2:32 pm

No doubt about it, e-commerce continues to grow and while it represents a burgeoning share of total retail sales, there are still significant hurdles to overcome.
“We’re in the midst of a profound structural shift from physical to digital retail,” noted Jeff Jordan of venture capital firm Andreesen Horowitz.
eMarketer reported, for instance, that e-commerce growth by quarter was about five times that of store locations in 2013 and 2014.
Yet there are headwinds.
Market research firm Market Track said companies that want to succeed in e-commerce must operate successfully amidst these risk areas that could undermine snaring and retaining customers:
• Volatility – Prices changing with increasing frequency and predictability;
• Non-compliance – Pricing and promoting brands and products outside established guidelines;
• Illegal/illicit activity – Counterfeiting and unauthorized resale;
• Size/scope – More retailers, resellers and products available online than ever before.
JDA Software Group also conducted a survey of more than a thousand online U.S. - based shoppers last year. Of the approximately 35% who bought online and elected to pick up their purchases at a store, about 50% experienced problems in initially getting their purchases. Wayne Usie, a JDA senior VP, said it may suggest that retailers might find it challenging expanding their e-commerce... Read more

Internet of Things Upending Real Estate Industry

Posted by Neal Leavitt on December 26th, 2015 at 9:40 am

No matter if you’re a realtor or property manager, technology has redefined the real estate business over the past few years. And now the Internet of Things (IoT) is giving the industry a much-needed makeover – and all for the better.
One example – modelling. 3D printer technology can replicate models from computer-assisted design (CAD), photo montages and other established design tools. Urban Land, published by the Urban Land Institute, says by using architects and engineers’ original data, “real estate concepts and images can be visualized three-dimensionally for agents use in supporting customers’ reviews and decision making.”
And software applications, noted Urban Land, can facilitate making decorating and furniture decisions while construction is underway and during the entire occupancy life cycle:
“Over time, such apps could displace interior designers who will recast themselves as design coaches and logistics managers. Clients will browse the Internet and select their furniture, fixtures and equipment online, relying on the coach’s direction and follow-through to procure, supply and place the goods.”
Beacon technology, powered by Bluetooth, is now helping agents market homes. As reported by Meg White in REALTORMag, the official magazine of the National Association of Realtors (NAR), one example is an app created by... Read more

Tell Me the Story of a Log Splitter

Posted by Benjamin Taylor on December 21st, 2015 at 4:09 pm

Businesses are too often controlled by accountants. Fiscal responsibility is important, but businesses fail when short term profit motive is allowed to gouge the beating heart out of a business. Long term goals, core values, and human engagement, all of which may be responsible for the company's appeal and identity, do not become dispensable just because they are not directly bringing in money. The reason I bring this up is because we have a similar tendency in marketing when it comes to measuring return on investment (ROI).
My job is content. If I want my work to be valued, then I need to bow to the almighty Greenback and show my boss the money. My work needs to have a demonstrable short term ROI. I've worked for a handful of companies, and I've looked at the work of hundreds of competitors, and it looks very much like this is the prevailing strategy in web content today. We need to turn away from this. It's incredibly shallow marketing for shallow business owners, and if you want your business to succeed in the long term, then you need to think much bigger.
I have published several posts on this blog about our need to step... Read more

Web Design: Do-It-Yourself or Hire a Web Designer/Developer?

Posted by Emily Weeks on December 16th, 2015 at 3:30 pm

Today, websites are “must haves” for businesses of any size. Large organizations, of course, generally have the resources to invest in developing robust websites. But, on the other hand, smaller organizations and entrepreneurs are often extremely budget-conscious. With tools like WordPress, Wix and other do-it-yourself options so readily available these days, it’s not uncommon for many of these smaller, cash-strapped businesses to attempt to create a website themselves.
In most cases, the decision to create your own website is a mistake. In fact, the only real benefit to building your own website is that you are likely to save money in the process. Unfortunately, it’s money that could have been invested to generate better outcomes for your small business, such as better brand awareness, a vibrant identity, and strong lead and sale generation.
The example below demonstrates the risks of a “do-it-yourself” approach. This website was built on Wix, and as you can see, it looks outdated and is unattractive to the browsing audience.

It takes a lot of time to build a website. The process requires a lot of strategy up front to ensure that the site will meet business needs. “Depending on your skills in web design, the finished design... Read more

Make your Content Appealing

Posted by Benjamin Taylor on November 19th, 2015 at 12:18 pm

We're all spoiled brats. Think about it for a moment. It used to be normal to search through fifty pounds of books to figure out if it was ok to serve pinot blanc with brie. It was either that or pick up the phone and call that one uncle you haven't talked to in eight years.  Oh how the world has changed! If I get a Yahoo Answers reply that's over 500 words, I cry TL;DR and move on.
Now I'm not saying that our streamlining of knowledge acquisition technology and the concurrent adjustment of expectations is necessarily a bad thing. I'm saying that we, as marketers and content creators, need to acknowledge that there is a new standard that we need to meet. It isn't good enough to have the right information. It needs to be presented in a way that is easy to read and easy to understand.
Our solution has been infographics. A properly built infographic is by far the best way to organize useful information in an appealing way. That isn't to say that there aren't drawbacks. Infographics are images, so Google's web crawlers can't see the content. This can make the whole post look like there is... Read more