Category Archives: Mobile

Mobile Tip – Update on Mobilegeddon

We did it! It’s now 2017 and we survived Google’s mobilegeddon in 2015. How has the transition to mobile first design and thought changed your day to day or your business overall? We first wrote about why responsive is the best mobile friendly design and you can read that here. But have you heard? There’s a new Mobilegeddon for 2017 and here’s what you need to know:

Click-to-Message Ads

Late 2016, Google released a new feature for mobile users in Google Ads – click-to-message. Never heard of it? Maybe you’ve seen it. Some ads now give the option for mobile users to text the company for more information about their products, reservations, or availability. Using a message extension, users can get quick answers via text and never have to physically call for questions or more information.

According to Pew Research Center, 96% of smartphone owners text. With so many mobile users preferring to text instead of calling, allowing this click-to-message options is a smart adaptation by Google. Also, this allows for a “paper trail” for users and companies can refer back to what was said in a conversation, and users who are hearing impaired may prefer to use this option.

(Image from Google)
clicktomessage-ads-mobile

Interstitials

We wrote a blog post about Google + Interstitials before it went into effect and you can read it here. But just to reiterate, as of January 10, 2017, Google will demote any website that uses an interstitial or pop-over when users click on a website link from the search results page while on a mobile device. There are a few exceptions to the rule, such as age limits, country cookie legalities, or small pop-overs that do not take up the entire screen. Improve user experience on mobile and improve ranking within Google by removing or redesigning your pop-overs.

Google Updates iOS App

Google enhanced the user experience of their iOS app with three features:
1) You can now watch YouTube videos right in your feed – no need to open an external page or the separate YouTube app
2) Hotel pricing and booking information is now within the search result page all in one place
3) Restaurant menus can now be viewed instantly in the search results – no need to open an external page

What Does This Mean For You?

Hopefully you have recovered from Mobilegeddon 2015 and have transitioned to a mobile responsive website, but in case you haven’t, we know a thing or two about it and would love to talk to you about it. If you have made the transition, think about how you can improve the mobile user experience with your brand. Whether that be by trying click-to-message capabilities in your ads, optimizing your interstitials and pop-overs for mobile, or something else. See how you can use this time in the beginning of the new year to improve your website experience overall.

Marketing tip – 4 Marketing Lessons From Pokémon Go

Pokémon GO Perhaps you’ve seen them – throngs of zombie-eyed wanderers clutching cellphones in one hand, swiping rabidly with the other; murmuring gibberish under their breaths punctuated by victorious fist pumps.

Perhaps you even know a guy, who’s heard of a guy, who swears he’s seen the infamous Mewtwo, one of the ever-elusive “Legendary”.

No, these impromptu, impersonal public gatherings aren’t the advent of The Walking Dead, nor a particularly sluggish flash mob.

They’re ambitious Pokémon trainers, living their 90’s-era-obsession with “Catching ‘Em All” in the real world.

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Email tip – How Responsive Email Templates Cut Production Time in Half

Plow and Hearth Responsive Email TemplatesConsumers increasingly interact with brands from their mobile devices, and in many instances, mobile might be a customer’s only impression of a brand. It’s imperative that customers receive an excellent user experience from every device.



Who

Plow & Hearth is a multi-channel retailer of quality hearth, yard and garden, apparel, and outdoor and indoor living products.

Challenge

In 2015, 50% of Plow & Hearth’s emails were opened on mobile devices, but their emails were not mobile-friendly.

Like many retailers, they had a small team that was inexperienced in coding emails and a very aggressive email schedule. They were ready to dive into mobile email, but weren’t sure whether responsive or scalable design would be the best approach for their family of six brands.

Solution

Plow & Hearth reached out to Whereoware to develop mobile-friendly email templates for their team to update and maintain ongoing.

Due to the large volume of emails sent, and the limited staff/resources to put emails together, Whereoware had to think of a creative and straightforward way for less experienced email builders to construct anywhere from 30-60 emails in one week.

Read the short case study to see how Whereoware worked with Plow & Hearth to deliver three responsive email templates – increasing quality of 60+ emails a week and cutting email production time in half.

Email Tip – Responsive Email Build

Liz CordeiroThis week, we welcome a guest post from our Online Marketing Manager, Liz Cordeiro. Liz is excited to take over this post + dive into mobile responsive template building with you!

 

So you’ve noticed that mobile sessions on your website are up, and that more users are opening your emails on a mobile device. The next natural progression is to start making your emails look better on a mobile device, but it can be daunting to get started. Did your eyes get wide when you Googled responsive email building and saw words like media queries, fluid, conditional statements PLUS the more advanced code than your typical HTML builds? Take a breath, I’m here to help.

I’ve designed and tested an email to look as good as possible at both desktop and mobile sizes, and I’m going to break down the code for you in a way that’s easy to digest. This is a long post, but I didn’t want to leave anything out – so stay with me!

Setting up header elements

The email will need several bits of code set up in the header. This includes everything between the initial <html> tag & the opening <body> tag. Start with the right Doctype – this will allow you to use all of the code to make it responsive. Here’s an example of how to implement a Doctype – it should be the first 2 lines of code:

!DOCTYPE html

Then the email needs the right viewport. Using this basic one will cause the email to scale to 100% on different screen sizes. Place the viewport before the <title>. Learn more about viewports here.

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Mobile tip – 4 ways mobile shoppers boost in-store + online spending

Thanksgiving shopping Bag and computer mouseThanksgiving 2014 was a milestone. For the first time, more consumers visited websites from mobile devices than from desktop computers. This habit extends beyond holiday online shopping – 53% of emails were opened on mobile devices in 2014 (a 500% increase in just four years). Mobile’s growth is a wake up call for anyone doing business online.

This holiday season, your emails and websites needs to be mobile-friendly or half your traffic will buy from brands that make it easier to read, browse, and shop from a tiny screen.

Brands offering a fantastic mobile shopping experience will maintain or grow their online base, and brands that don’t will lose customers.

Forward-thinking companies are leveraging mobile to increase their e-commerce ROI and generate in-store sales. To maximize holiday spending this year, see how mobile apps can integrate the online and in-store shopping experience.

Mobile shoppers browse before buying

Neiman Marcus Snap. Find. Shop mobile app‘N Sync gets what some brands don’t – buy-buy-buy is over (we couldn’t pass this reference up!). Customers are so over the pushy sales tactics. Instead, they want to price shop, read reviews, and see similar products to be sure they’re buying the right item at the right price.

Smartphones make it easier for customers to do product research, whether they’re browsing from their couch or pulling up competitor pricing in a store aisle. (Cough, Forrester says 34% of customers have used their mobile device to research products while in a store.)

Instead of fighting savvy shoppers, brands are using their mobile apps to supply customers with the information they need to feel ready to buy.

Neiman Marcus rolled out a Snap.Find.Shop feature in their mobile app that allows customers to take a picture of a product and retrieve similar items. They can purchase the photographed item or the product recommendations with just a few clicks.

Even better? They don’t even need to be in the Neiman Marcus store! By leveraging 3-D visual search technology, a person can take a picture of someone they see on the street and the app returns products with a similar look and feel that Neiman Marcus sells. The feature is currently limited to shoes and handbags, but Neiman Marcus intends to add additional product lines in the future.

The genius of Snap.Find.Shop is mobile shoppers checking out items from other stores are guided to instead purchase them from Neiman Marcus – a win for any brand.

Continue reading Mobile tip – 4 ways mobile shoppers boost in-store + online spending

Mobile tip – tap into mobile push

Mobile Push exampleYou know how your iPhone beeps when your friend tags a #tbt pic of you on Facebook? You eagerly open your app to realize in horror that it’s your bad hair and braces in all its junior high glory? That Facebook alert is a mobile push notification.

Mobile push is often confused with SMS or text messaging. Unlike a text message sent from one cell phone to another; a mobile push notification is sent through a mobile application to its users.

As mobile dominates all aspects of our personal and business lives, brands’ adoption and consumers’ acceptance of mobile push notifications will only accelerate.

The Mobile Push Opportunity

Brands can email, call, mail, tweet, and reach customers a million ways. What’s so exciting about mobile push? We’re all obsessed with our mobile phones! Unlike desktops or snail mail, consumers take their phones with them everywhere and spend on average, 117 minutes a day on their phones (that’s more than the time we spend watching TV)! We aren’t just surfing the Internet, making calls, or texting either – 86% of our cellphone time is dedicated to mobile apps. This clearly gives mobile push an upper hand to reach consumers where they’re spending most of their time.

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Get Our Responsive Email Design Cheat Sheet



 

Are you keeping up with your growing mobile customer base? According to The Radicati Group, 78% of emails will be opened on mobile devices by 2017.

You only get one chance to impress these mobile customers! Responsive email design can help you deliver a fantastic email experience from every device.

Get our Responsive Email Design Cheat Sheet to use as you code your next email. If you’re still having trouble, don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

 

Spotlight tip – Helpful iPad tricks

Desktop Mobile Tablet Omni ChanneliPads are now as ubiquitous in everyday life as our phones, but there’s one drawback to leaning on these mobile tools. Every once in a while, our iPads don’t work as we expect, filling us with a red rage.

Today, we’ll go over tips to keep your iPad humming, and how to get better support when it’s not. (Hint – smashing it on the ground is NOT advised.)

iPad Battery Low?

Screen brightness
Do you feel like someone’s been shining a flashlight into your eyes after looking at your iPad all day? Tone down the brightness by swiping up from the bottom of your screen to access your Quick Actions menu. Slide your brightness to 50% or less, and you’ll notice a significant battery life increase and a decrease in your burning retinas!

Auto lock settings
Do you ever look down and realize your iPad’s screen is on, even though you haven’t touched it in ages? Change your Auto Lock settings to a shorter time period, and you’ll see an increase in battery life. Go to your iPad’s Settings app > General > Auto Lock. We suggest setting your Auto Lock settings to 2 or 5 minutes to maximize battery life.

Airplane mode
Are you in a different location than normal, and your iPad says “searching” where it usually says AT&T, Verizon, etc.? Set your iPad to Airplane mode to keep it from searching for a signal all day. Swipe up from the bottom of your screen to open your Quick Actions menu and touch the Airplane icon toggle to ON.

Secret Tip: If you put your iPad on Airplane mode when charging, it charges twice as fast!

Is your iPad App Acting Up?

Sometimes, we all need a fresh, clean start to our day! Restarting the app simulates the first time you installed it (without losing any data).

STEP 1:
Double tap the Home button to view all applications currently running

STEP 2:
Restarting your iPad apps

STEP 3:
Reopen the app

Still Having Issues? Try Restarting The iPad

Remember powering down the old desktop computers? Of course not, none of us are old enough to remember those days!

STEP 1:
Press and hold down both the Home and Lock buttons on your iPad for approximately seven (7) seconds until the screen turns black

STEP 2:
After about 30 seconds, hold down the Lock button until the Apple logo appears

Still no luck? Send a picture to support

It won’t immediately solve your problem, but it beats sending a 1,000 word document to your support team.

STEP 1:
Hold the Home Button and Power Button simultaneously for 3 seconds until the screen shutters like a camera lens.

STEP 2:
Go to your iPad’s Photos

STEP 3:
Tap “Select” in the upper right corner in Your Photos

STEP 4:  (See graphic below)
Select your photos to send. A checkmark appears in the thumbnail’s bottom corner

STEP 5:
Select the share icon

STEP 6:
Tap the email icon and enter the support email address to send the photos.

Share photos with support

Back up your iPad!

Through your Apple iCloud account, you can automatically backup your iPad’s content. If your iPad stops working, you can restore all of your content on a replacement iPad!

STEP 1:
Go to the iPad’s Settings App > iCloud > Backup
If you’re using iOS 7 or earlier, tap Settings > iCloud > Storage & Backup

STEP 2:
Make sure iCloud Backup is ON

iCloud Backup

 

These iPad tips may seem simple, but when the red rage overcomes us, we often lose our minds. Instead of destroying your favorite mobile tool, take a deep breath, and follow our tips. You’ll increase your iPad’s battery life, save yourself from losing important files, and rest assured that you’re not picking pieces of your shattered iPad up off the ground.

Webinar Recap – The Store Of The Future

Did you sit in on yesterday’s webinar, Connecting Devices and Data to Create the Store of the Future? The webinar covered personalization and technology in retail and had us totally geeking out. A round of applause for the host, Alicia Fiorletta of Retail TouchPoints, and the awesome speakers:

Webinar-recap-panelists

How often do you sit in on a webinar that talks about delivering a tailored customer experience, while showing off super cool technologies like RFID, augmented reality, robots (I mean, ROBOTS)?

Check out just a few of the sci-fi-ish technologies that ambitious retailers are adding into their brick and mortar stores to bridge the gap between the digital and in-store experience:

The New StoreThe webinar covered a ton of information, but we summarized a few of our favorite points for you.

Digital isn’t killing retail

The speakers agree that digital isn’t replacing retail. In fact, 94% of total retail sales are still generated at brick and mortar stores (eMarketer). Consumers visit retail stores because they’re seeking a comfortable, familiar, sensory experience. They want to touch and see your products and get feedback from your sales reps. Smart retailers are using digital to enhance and augment the retail experience, not replace it.

Continue reading Webinar Recap – The Store Of The Future

5 tips for a tablet-driven sales meeting

Is your iPad sales tool helping, or hurting, productivity in your sales meetings?

Forrester Research projects spotlight for sales - in ipad-v2that by 2017, total worldwide tablet sales will reach 381 million units, with 18% of these tablets purchased directly by enterprises.

That’s a huge number of tablet users leveraging the tool to meet and exceed their business goals. We put together our top five tips and tricks to ensure you’re using your tablet to its fullest potential.

1. Always represent your company’s brand 
In today’s competitive sales climate, it’s imperative to highlight your company’s brand wherever you go. This is especially true with your sales app, which is in front of your customers regularly. Your sales app should have a cohesive look and feel (your company’s logo, colors, and messaging) to help customers better associate and recall your brand, set yourself apart from the competition, and increase their comfort level doing business with you.

2. Be prepared before walking in the door
Open and load all the apps you need, BEFORE you walk into the client’s door. On the same note, ‘kill’ your games, email, music, and other apps that you don’t need during the sales presentation. Even better, move all nonbusiness apps to another screen. Unnecessary apps only distract your client.

3. Your tablet is guiding the meeting, not leading it!
Remember, your iPad is a sales tool, but YOU are the sales master! Don’t let technology take over your meeting – your knowledge of the customer and your product should always take center stage. Use the tool to prepare a customized presentation (based on your customer knowledge) and guide your client through closing the sale.

4. Disable all push notifications
Before walking into your meeting, picture that familiar movie theater clip about silencing your cell phone. No client should see you have another client meeting in an hour, or that you have to pick up little Jimmy from soccer at 4:00 p.m. Don’t interrupt your client’s buying experience! If you’re unsure how to disable push notifications, ask us at support@activemerchandiser.com

5. Charge your battery
How can you give an effective sales presentation from your tablet, if it won’t turn on? Charge your tablet each and every night. You should also have a car charger, for when you’re on the road all day.

Take advantage of sales apps in your meetings by following these great tips (collected from reps using our Spotlight iPad application). How do you take advantage of your iPad in sales meetings? Share your tips in the comment box below!