Insights
Posted by on 21 Jul 2014
internet of things
There are a lot of amazing technologies and devices being brought to market these days. We’ve all seen them — Bluetooth capable health monitors, the Nest thermostat, fitness devices — and the number is going to continue to grow. Underlying all these devices is a technological battlefield where companies are trying figure out the best way to work with and encourage the app building in the developer community. Apple and Google have huge developer camps writing thousands of new apps each week using their tools and technology. Both of these companies have well-rounded software Development Kits ( | View post
Posted by on 17 Jul 2014
M7 chip
A little over a month ago, iOS 8 was released in beta to developers, and one of its key features are enhancements to geolocation capabilities. In particular, iOS 8 will take advantage of the M7 processor in the iPhone 5 and allow developers to take advantage of indoor positioning systems (IPS) that offer great accuracy of information when indoors. I’ll spare you the exciting technical things, which are really cool, but I’m sure most folks will wonder what this means for eCommerce and Retailers. Here are just a few possibilities: I’ve written previously about OmniChannel / MultiChannel and the | View post
Posted by on 10 Jul 2014
award win
We’re proud to announce that earlier this summer, Optaros was honored with a 2013 Spirit of Excellence Award at Magento’s Imagine 2014 Conference in Las Vegas. Magento selected award recipients based on business strategy and growth, deployment, deployment quality, merchant satisfaction, penetration in emerging markets, and eCommerce innovation. Rob Willms, President and CEO of Optaros, had this to say about the honor; “We are thrilled to be recognized by Magento for our dedication to excellence. This award reflects Optaros’ unrelenting commitment to driving our clients’ success in a very | View post
Posted by on 01 Jul 2014
IRCE
The Optaros team recently spent 4 action-packed days attending and exhibiting at the Internet Retailer Conference and Exhibition (IRCE) in Chicago. If you’re like me and have attended enough of these “shows” they can start to blend together a bit in a blur of industry buzzwords and buffet lines. You know, “yada, yada, yada, omnichannel….blah, blah, blah big data….yada, yada, yada bitcoin…blah, blah, blah after-party” However, if you pay attention, there are some subtle and some not-so-subtle shifts at play that say a lot about the state of digital commerce in 2014. For me, the following three | View post
Posted by on 04 Jun 2014
ecommerce payment options
At Magento’s Imagine Conference I gave a presentation on the eCommerce payment landscape. Retailers need to recognize that the dramatic changes occurring are providing real opportunities. Payments have moved on from the traditional four options: Visa, MasterCard, Amex, and Discover. Think your site is hip because you have a PayPal Express option? Think again. PayPal offers an amazing suite of tools and services to help retailers increase their conversions. It is important for retailers to stay on top of what payments companies can provide. A common theme heard is: Make the Transaction | View post
Posted by on 03 Jun 2014
internet of things
I recently read an article about a Google filing with the SEC that describes how Google sees the future of advertising when it comes to many devices. When reading through the filing, I found this gem: "users will be using our services and viewing our ads on an increasingly wide diversity of devices in the future." While Google is probably doing the right thing to expand their business and their opportunity for revenue, I started to think about life when ads appear on, and again I'll quote, "refrigerators, car dashboards, thermostats, glasses, and watches, to name just a few possibilities." I | View post
Posted by on 05 May 2014
amazon dash
Amazon’s new Dash scanning device is being used in a few markets that have been selected as test markets for the Amazon Fresh service. I’m not holding my breath for Amazon to expand Fresh into the North Atlanta suburbs, but even so, this is a great bit of eCommerce evolution that we should see have a big impact on how we interact with online services. Why should we care? Here’s why: It’s about more than bar codes: The Amazon Fresh folks in Southern California, San Francisco, and Seattle are now able to place orders by using a bar code scanner or voice search. Bar code scanning is pretty | View post
Posted by on 22 Apr 2014
b2b ecommerce
Although B2B eCommerce doesn’t garner the same buzz and attention of its B2C counterpart, it already accounts for more revenue ($559B vs. $252B) and is growing faster as well – 20% in 2013 vs. 12% for B2C. A key reason behind this explosive growth is the expectations of B2B buyers. Just as they’ve become accustomed to the ability to make retail and lifestyle purchases online, they’ve begun searching for a similar user experience when making business purchases. This has disrupted the B2B market significantly and consumerization is presenting complexities that B2B companies have never faced | View post
Posted by on 16 Apr 2014
Optaros is proud to welcome Bill Thomas to our team as a new Client Partner. Bill has over 8 years of experience launching and supporting immersive eCommerces experiences for exceptional brands. I sat down with Bill to pick his brain on a few key questions that eBusiness professionals everywhere are asking: What do you see as the most impactful digital commerce trends to arise in 2014? Mobile payments are going to be the fastest growing segment in eCommerce. In particular, the explosion in Mobile Proximity payments is going to have a profound impact. Mobile Proximity payments refers to using | View post
Posted by on 11 Apr 2014
demandware
I spent three action-packed days at the Demandware XChange Conference in Miami Beach earlier this week, an event that brings together Demandware, its world-class clients, eager new prospects and a great group of LINK technology and solutions partners. Demandware put on a tremendous show that included great entertainment mixed with thought-provoking keynotes from the likes of Malcolm Gladwell and Harley Manning from Forrrester, insightful breakout sessions and interactive roundtables. I left the sunny beaches of Miami with four key takeaways I’d like to share: Customer Experience Matters | View post
Posted by on 10 Apr 2014
customer loyalty
Consumers are constantly bombarded with messaging from online retailers and are presented with an increasing number of outlets to buy from. However, online retailers should be seeking to instill a stronger sense of customer loyalty. According to a report by Adobe , returning purchasers and repeat purchasers account for 41% of all eCommerce revenue. However, these purchasers only account for 8% of all traffic to eCommerce websites. This is a staggering discrepancy, especially when you consider that 80% of online retailers’ marketing budgets are spent attracting new shoppers to their website – | View post
Posted by on 28 Mar 2014
Flash Sale sites
Private Event Retail, or flash sale sites can be great tools for online retailers to reduce the cost of customer acquisition while fostering customer loyalty and increasing the likelihood of repeat purchases. In fact, retailers that leverage these types of sites see the cost of customer acquisition drop by 44% while repeat purchases jump 35% when compared to traditional eCommerce sites. There is a ton of opportunity out there with flash sale sites and Private Event Retail, however a key component to seeing this type of success is having a detail-oriented marketing strategy. Here are just a | View post
Posted by on 24 Mar 2014
ecommerce report
In a recent Forrester research report, 52% of eBusiness leaders cited an eCommerce Platform as their top investment priority for the coming year. This means many businesses are undertaking the process of defining requirements, selecting technology and putting implementation plans together. Recently , we wrote about how growing mobile and omnichannel demands are making this process even more complex. Adding to the confusion is the dizzying array of technology options available to eBusiness leaders. There are traditional on-premise options, SaaS models, managed/hosted solutions, on-demand, and | View post
Posted by on 21 Mar 2014
mobile commerce
I meet with our clients and prospects frequently to discuss mobile trends and possibilities and I really enjoy these conversations. Talking about the new and exciting things going on in the mobile world is a lot of fun, mostly because we’re talking at the 50,000 foot level and are safe from the chafe-causing regions where the rubber meets the road. By the time the conversations get down to ground-level and actual functionality, design, and implementation strategy are being discussed, there are usually a lot of “navigators” and one very lonely and scared “pilot” racing along a few feet from | View post
Posted by on 20 Mar 2014
omnichannel commerce
According to a recent joint study from hybris software , Accenture and Forrester, 94 percent of retail decision-makers surveyed admitted that their companies are facing significant barriers to omni-channel commerce. This is holding many retailers back from keeping up with shifting customer expectations that demand a blending of the online and offline shopping experience. “Customer Desires Vs. Retailer Capabilities: Minding the Omni-Channel Commerce Gap,” Takes a deeper look into exactly what these expectations are and where retailer shortfalls are creating a gap. The study is drawn from | View post
Posted by on 13 Mar 2014
responsive ecommerce design
According to a new study by Goldman Sachs , 535 million consumers will make a purchase via mobile this year. Moreover, mobile spending will jump from $204 billion this year to $626 billion in 2018. These purchases are not limited to a single device, however. Mobile sales on tablets are expected to increase from $134 billion annually in 2014 to $453 billion annually in 2018, while smartphone sales will grow from $70 billion to $173 billion over the same period. This should serve as a clear indicator that online retailers must have a mobile presence that is conducive to the manner in which | View post
Posted by on 12 Mar 2014
b2b ecommerce
Meet Bill. Bill is a 41-year-old father of three. He and his wife both work full time, so they tend to do most of their shopping online. It’s more convenient than battling the weekend mall madness, and they’ve found that with a little research they can also save some good money. During the week, Bill works for the city as the Director of Procurement for one of the largest school districts in the United States. His job is to provide expert advice on all purchasing decisions and to negotiate large purchases. But in reality, his job is to find ways to stretch an already razor-thin budget. Bill’s | View post
Posted by on 07 Mar 2014
flash sale sites
When visualizing online membership-driven sales, many people have the perception that this type of retail revolves around receiving one quasi-relevant offer – or daily deal – via email each morning. The daily couponing phenomena peaked during the 2008 recession and seemed to be a shining star of what the Internet could offer to downtrodden consumers. However, by 2011 consumer confidence began to regrow and suddenly retailers were no longer desperate for a mass liquidation strategy. On the consumer side, inboxes were being inundated with one-off emails from a litany of copycat start-up deal | View post
Posted by on 04 Mar 2014
global ecommerce
2014 marks a crucial shift in the global eCommerce landscape that U.S. online retailers need to tracking. For the first time, North America will no longer lead the world in B2C eCommerce sales. According to eMarketer, the Asia-Pacific region will surpass North America’s share by an estimated $42.6 billion in 2014, and the gap will widen to $142.9 billion in 2015. Other factors, such as increasing access to technology and emerging middle classes in nations like China, certainly have fueled this type of growth. However, this doesn’t mean US retailers will be left out in the cold. In fact, | View post
Posted by on 19 Feb 2014
best ecommerce platform
Choosing a new eCommerce platform has become a lot more complicated these days. As Chris Langway discussed in a previous post , the rise of Omnichannel has drastically altered the way we conceive and build an eCommerce experience. Underestimating the impact of Omnichannel is one error that many business leaders are making when undertaking an eCommerce re-platforming, but there are a number of other mistakes that can slow, stall or completely nullify the intended effect of implementing a new eCommerce platform. 1. Skimping on up-front planning Let’s start with the basics. A re-platforming | View post
Posted by on 18 Feb 2014
retail store closings
A few months ago I did some research on how retail was faring given current eCommerce pressures. What it revealed was not that astonishing to those of us that live in the eCommerce world, but the rate of change in the brick-and-mortar world was a bit surprising. It appeared that retail outlets had begun planning to close locations at an alarming rate across many retails sectors including clothing, entertainment, grocery, large retail and others. The picture became a little clearer when I consolidated the data on retail closings into the graph below: What was interesting is that retail | View post
Posted by on 12 Feb 2014
Given the recent credit card mega-breach at Target, it's no surprise that the Feds will soon be jumping in to add a new layer to the already existing compliance guidelines and regulations. I'm sure this seems like a reasonable response for many, given the publicity around this breach and the potential for widespread fraud that could result. But as usual, I am concerned that Congress will be placing an undue burden on credit card processing companies instead of taking a balanced look at the industry as a whole. Thankfully, Congress is considering ways to make credit and debit cards more secure | View post
Posted by on 10 Feb 2014
As Sr. Director of Customer Experience & Design at Optaros, it’s my job to lead the strategy, design, and delivery of user experience and visual design projects for our impressive client-base. This week, I’ll be conducting complimentary design and user experience consultations for 24 companies at the IRCE Focus: Web Design + Mobile conference in Orlando. While each site will receive a comprehensive review, here are just a few of the things I plan to focus on: Site navigation and structure: The fist thing I will do is ensure the homepage messaging is clear, that consumers can easily | View post
Posted by on 05 Feb 2014
omnichannel ecommerce
Omnichannel is reshaping the future of retail, and the pace of change is accelerating every day. According to a recent eBay study, 77% of shoppers now expect a consistent, integrated experience between in-store and online channels. In fact, Forrester says that 71% of shoppers expect to view store inventory online, with more than 50% expecting to buy online and pick up in store. At the same time, pressure from the C-suite is mounting. With digital commerce now representing more than 100% of the growth for some companies, CEOs are calling for omnichannel integration and innovation to drive | View post
Posted by on 03 Feb 2014
Flash Sale sites
Event-based sale sites (flash sales, daily deals, and loyalty programs) have grown by 50% over the past five years, and are projected to generate over $6B in revenue by 2015. But as the Great Recession continues to fade in our rear-view mirror, and as the economy continues to improve, tales of massive amounts of excess inventory are becoming fewer and farther between. As a result, brand manufactures are finding third-party flash sites less and less attractive, and pulling their merchandise in an effort to re-capture brand control. This is not to say that brand manufacturers are no longer | View post

Pages

Offline
Interested in learning more? Contact Us
i