Behind the glasses – Nicolas

Each month, we interview one of our awesome Whereoware employees. For May, we get to know Nicolas Sam, our Junior Front End Developer, a little better.

Whereoware Junior Front End Developer Nicolas Sam

WHO:

What’s your name? Nicolas Sam
Job title: Junior Front End Developer

BACKGROUND:

Favorite food: Steak
Hidden talents: I am a classically-trained pianist.
If there were a movie of my life, I’d be played by: Will Smith.
One item you would bring with you to a desert island and why: A phone, to get off the desert island!
In a zombie apocalypse, my weapon of choice would be: A hatchet! Portable, not too heavy, easy to clean, and maintain.

NERD QUIZ:

Facebook or Twitter: Twitter
iOS or Android: Android
‘Nerd’ or ‘Geek’: Nerd
Star Wars or Star Trek? Eh. The Matrix?

What’s the best part about working at Whereoware?

Definitely the people. I feel like I have great support, and everyone wants to succeed and help others.

Getting Started With SEO Checklist + Slides

Thank you to everyone who joined our workshop: Getting Started with SEO. We hope you have a solid basis of what SEO is and how you can make easy changes to your website to increase your search result page positioning.

If you missed the workshop or need a refresher:

Review the slides  HERE

Download the 5 Step checklist below:


2017 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Digital Commerce report

Whereoware Partner Episerver is named a Challenger in the 2017 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Digital Commerce. Episerver is now the highest placed Microsoft .NET-based solution in the Magic Quadrant.

The Gartner Magic Quadrant report evaluates 21 providers of digital commerce platforms to provide context and clarity to organizations considering vendors and platforms. Read the full report here: Gartner Magic Quadrant for Digital Marketing 2017.

Gartner awarded Episerver top marks for the critical capabilities of Agility, Customer Experience, Time to Productivity, and Total Cost of Ownership. They are the single platform listed in the “Challenger” category.

Episerver within Magic Quandrant

“A large majority of reference customers found it easy or very easy to implement and customize, whereas all reference customers reported high overall satisfaction with both Episerver and its digital commerce platform” Gartner Research, April 2017

Episerver Digital Experience Cloud provides integrated web content management, commerce, marketing and personalization capabilities. The platform provides the ability to leverage content for commerce and marketing functions and personalization/product recommendations as a core of the functionality.

Read the full report here: Gartner Magic Quadrant for Digital Marketing 2017.

Whereoware + Episerver

“Whereoware recognized a huge opportunity partnering with Episerver back in 2013. We’ve consistently been impressed with the platforms’ flexibility, innovation, and performance,” said Joe Harris, Whereoware Partner and Head of Development. “It’s gratifying to see Gartner recognize Episerver as a significant digital commerce Challenger.”

Whereoware is a longstanding Episerver partner. As the winner of Episerver’s 2016 North American Ascender of the Year award, 2015 Commerce Site of the Year award, and 2014 Best Digital Marketing Site award, Whereoware maximizes the Episerver platform to produce huge rewards for clients. See examples of our work here.

Whereoware Releases Product FastLane, Product Information Management System

Product FastLane

Whereoware adds to its product offering with the release of Product FastLane, a cloud-based Product Information Management (PIM) system. Built specifically for e-commerce companies, Product FastLane is a user-friendly system managing all the moving parts (product data, images, videos, sales sheets, inventory, and more) powering organizations’ e-commerce websites, digital catalogs, and third-party marketplaces.

Product FastLane diagram

Within one centralized location, marketers can upload, optimize, search, and organize product data and related digital assets, ultimately reducing data management costs, while improving data quality and consistency. Marketers can access and update their product data, related images, and other digital assets any time and from anywhere. They can easily share them with third-party marketplaces, like Wayfair, Amazon, Google Shopping, and Zulily, so data stays compelling, consistent, and complete across the web.

Our industry is experiencing a transformation, where technology-driven companies are quickly gaining on competitors. The explosion of third-party marketplaces, and the evolving expectations of B2B buyers are driving marketers to take control of their product data. We witnessed our clients struggling to manage thousands of products while using spreadsheets and USBs. They needed a better way, so we built Product FastLane,” said Eric Dean, CEO Whereoware.

For more information on Product FastLane, visit www.productfastlane.com.

Mobile Tip – Understand 3D Touch or Risk “Cool Mom” Status

Emilyann

This week we welcome Emilyann Key, our Digital Marketing Coordinator, to talk through 3D touch and what it means for marketers. 

As digital marketers, we strive to create excellent online experiences by speaking customers’ language. Just as slang changes over time, so does the technology we use to engage customers. If we fail to evolve our digital marketing strategies with technology, we’re analogous to the “cool mom” using outdated slang – in other words, we may as well go fly a kite!

3D touch is a newer feature of the iPhone 6s and all subsequent iPhone models, enhancing users’ functionality based on the pressure of their touch.

In digital marketing, we aim to reduce conversion resistance by streamlining each users’ journey. We minimize the number of clicks required to check out or reduce the fields in webforms, so it’s simple and pleasant for customers to complete actions.

3D touch strives to do the same for iPhone users – offering more navigation options, based on the degree of pressure placed on the screen, instead of forcing the user to navigate to separate screens or click additional home buttons.

While this is exciting news for iPhone users, it tilts the playing field for digital marketers. Today, we’ll talk through how 3D touch impacts users’ email and website experiences, and ideas for how marketers can adapt.

Users Can Write an Email from the Home Screen

Before: Users entered their inbox to start a new email. This subtly forced users to check inboxes at their leisure and every time they wanted to send a new email.

With 3D touch: Applying fingertip pressure on the iPhone mail app opens a menu where users can start a new email, view all inboxes, view VIP, and search their inbox.

3D Touch Mail

Potential Impact on Marketers: Customers no longer have to open their inbox, and might miss many of the new emails in their inbox. While this will do wonders for user productivity (at least mine), it will likely affect email open frequency and overall email performance, especially for time-sensitive campaigns.

Users Can Sneak a Peek

Before: Only from-name, subject line, and pre-header text (for Pete’s sake, use pre-header text!) was visible in the mobile inbox prior to opening.

With 3D touch: With a press and hold, users see a truncated view of the top half of an email or webpage without officially opening.

3D Touch Email Peek

Potential Impact on Marketers: Peeks provide all the excitement of opening an email or visiting a webpage, without the extensive time commitment and physical exertion of actually opening or visiting.

This function affects marketer analysis and design. Peeks will count as opens for email and visits for webpages. Most ESPs and web-tracking platforms do not yet have a unique metric to separate peeks from opens, which makes it trickier to accurately analyze email and web performance.

Before 3D touch, we’d conclude that an A/B tested email design that received 100 opens and only 2 CTA clicks probably suffered from an ineffective CTA. Now, we must recalibrate our reporting, and consider the fact that a portion of “opens” or “visits” might have only experienced the top half of the email/page.

Marketers should consider consolidating the intended user journey. Don’t panic – this isn’t a drastic change requiring a copywriting overhaul. After all, even before peeks, we front-loaded emails and webpages to entice users to scroll down the page.

If a large portion of your customers open/visit on 3D-enabled devices, consider shaking up your designs. Maybe put your navigation bar beneath the hero image or place your value proposition in plain, peek-able sight. Measure how these changes influence email performance and adjust from there.

Get Contact-Cozy with Customers

Before: To view an email sender’s contact information, users had to open the email and press from-name/email address, to open the contact’s record in the Contacts app.

With 3D touch: By pressing the from-name in an opened email, you can view a contact’s profile, save the contact, etc.

3D Touch From Name

Potential Impact on Marketers: For most companies, asking customers to “save as contacts” seems somewhat outdated. Due to 3D touch, this may become a resurging trend, particularly for email campaigns sent from individual sales-reps.

By encouraging customers to save their sales-rep’s contact information, companies can make it easier for users to call or text (and of course, reply via email) from within the opened-email interface.

We’d love to see companies utilize the contact photo space for further branding. Go on – put yourself out there and encourage customers to save your promotional email address as a contact. Make it even easier by providing a link to automatically save all your promotional contact information and create a branded logo designed for the contact photo size!

Over time, marketers will test and develop clever ways to deliver unique engagements using 3D touch. Today, we’re in that exciting stage before 3D touch’s status quo is established in the marketing space. So, go forth and be adventurous!
Explore new ideas of using 3D touch to give your customers the very best marketing experience. Don’t stop there, press on – but remember, not too hard, or you might save us as a contact!

IBM Tip – API Playbook



Thank you to all who attended our session “A Marketer’s Practical Guide to the IBM Marketing Cloud API” at Amplify!

Whether you’ve never used the Watson Campaign Automation API or the only time you did was for the certification, this playbook will help you understand why the API test harness should be your BFF. As a marketers we have a lot of tools in our marketing toolkits and the API test harness is extremely valuable.

Extend the functionality of the Watson Campaign Automation UI by diving deeper into reporting, mass calculate queries, add and remove data, and so much more.

We share tips and tricks, how to get started, and breakdown each section of XML for one of our favorite API calls.

What Retailers Want Infographic

Digital-Dialogs-Banner



Thank you for joining our Digital Dialogs breakfast session “What Retailers Want” at High Point this week!

You can download the infographic we shared by filling out the form.

Marketing Tip – MailChimp 101

So, What Exactly is MailChimp?

MailChimp is an email service provider (ESP) for small to midsize companies with a range of communication needs. MailChimp offers an easy to use user interface with capabilities that personalize the experience for the sender and recipient.

How to Send an Email in MailChimp

MailChimp provides numerous campaign types and templates to customize for your needs. No HTML or CSS coding is necessary to use MailChimp with easy plug-and-chug systems in place. Follow along to see how to send an email:
Step 1
Locate and navigate to “Campaigns” in the top menu. Click “Create Campaign” to get started. Select the type of campaign you would like to build. In this case, we’ll start small. Let’s choose “Regular Campaign.”

MailChimp-Campaigns

Step 2
Choose your list. This is pretty simple – just select which of your lists you would like to send to from the drop-down menu. You then see the option to choose segments. This is where you would apply a specific set of rules to a targeted audience – or, just send to the whole list. (Hint – segmenting does wonders!)

MailChimp-Sender

Step 3
Complete your mailing settings. This includes all of the basics: mailing name, subject line, from name, from email address and tracking. MailChimp provides the option to personalize the “to” field based on data, or check different methods of tracing. The screenshot below shows the generic options – which suffice for a typical send.

MailChimp-MailingSettings

Step 4
Now, the fun begins! Don’t get overwhelmed with the mailing template options, go into this step with a general idea of how you would like to layout your email.

You may choose from basic templates, themes, saved templates (from previous sends), set campaigns, or code your own. Once you have your bearings within MailChimp, you can create a saved template with standardized assets such as your logo, header, and footer. For all future sends, you can select that saved template rather than starting from scratch each time.

For now, we will select a simple 1:2 Column Banded template.

MailChimp-Templates

Step 5
Design to your heart’s content! This is your chance to play with the drag and drop functionality within the platform. Pull different content blocks from the right side and insert images and copy to make the email your own. The template you start with is just a jumping off point, customize it to your needs.

The right panel also offers you styling options per content block. Anytime a content block (image, text, column, etc.) is selected on the left, it’s settings will appear on the right. That’s where you can style based on color, size, linking and more.

Here’s a simple before and after:
Before

MailChimp-Template-Before
After

MailChimp-Template-After

Step 6
You’re almost there! Let’s quickly pause and review what we’ve accomplished. You chose the send list, completed the mailing settings, selected and styled the template. Now you can finally press the “send” button to send now, or you can schedule the mailing for a future send time! Always use an email checklist and send with a buddy to ensure your send is successful.

MailChimp-Send

Is MailChimp Only Used for Sending Email?

Nope! MailChimp has many integrations that can be set up to extend its functionality to fit your needs. Let’s break down some of the popular options:

E-commerce Integrations
The more you know about your customer’s shopping behaviors the better you can target and personalize the customer journey. MailChimp has integration capabilities with numerous e-commerce, such as Shopify, Magento, and ShipStation to name a few.

CRM Integrations
Not only is it important to track online behaviors, but it is also necessary to track offline behaviors customers have with sales or customer service reps. Connect this data with MailChimp, through CRM integrations, such as Salesforce or SugarCRM.

Social Integrations
Facebook
Build single image or carousal image Facebook ads, using the same plug-and-chug tools that you use for email. There is no extra fee for this feature within MailChimp, just pay what you would for Facebook sponsored content. Not only can you setup and trigger Facebook Ads within MailChimp, you can set up custom audiences, and access holistic campaign reporting.

Twitter
Easily integrate Twitter information in your campaigns or post to Twitter all within MailChimp.

Is MailChimp Right for Me?

The best ESP for you depends on your needs (and wants) for the tool and your budget. MailChimp is a great resource if you have a smaller in-house team, who are unfamiliar with coding templates from the ground up. We’d love to talk to more about how MailChimp or another ESP would be best to fit your organization.

The State of Online Sales in 2017

Do you still feel the need to go into a store to checkout a product in person before purchasing?  According to Invesp, 78% of online shoppers don’t look at a product in a store before buying it online.

Buyer behavior has shifted with free shipping, convenient free returns, sizing tools, and more. This shift has led to a change in the retail climate which will allow some retailers to flourish and others to perish. The National Retail Federation has stated, “online and nonstore (catalogs, etc.) sales are projected to nearly triple the year-over-year growth rate for the entire retail industry in 2017”

Continue reading The State of Online Sales in 2017