Staples Closing Stores as B2B Sales Move Online

Big box stalwart Staples announced today that they are closing 140 stores in the US & Canada as they focus on online sales and adjust their product mix as sales of traditional items fall.  This comes on the heels of venerable Canadian office supply company Grand & Toy closing all of their retail locations earlier this year to focus on online and traditional mail order. The shrinking of Staples can be looked at as part of the general decline of big box retailers when faced…

Easy is Harder Than it Looks

“I want my site/store/software to be easy to use” is a requirement we hear all of the time.  The original iPod crushed all of the other MP3 players on the market because it was so easy to use.  History is full of examples of leaps of innovation making things so easy we can’t imagine doing it any other way.  Early cars were steered with a tiller like you would a small boat for over a decade.  Doesn’t that sound fun?  Hard to imagine though because…

Not Enough Hours in the Day to Do Everything

I did a presentation last week for the West Broadway BIA here in Vancouver, BC with 5 internet tips for brick and mortar retailers to help them grow their business.  One of the questions that came up, as it always does is, “where does the time come from?”.  While this was raised specifically about social media, it pretty much applies to all of the more interactive marketing that seems to be a requirement of succeeding in the connected market place. I believe my response was…

Clicks Are Just the Beginning

If you are wondering about the benefits of all of the social media posts, and PPC ads you have been running, you will be interested in the report released this week by market research company Mintel. While the headline is that they forecast ad spending in Social Media will surpass $11 billion by 2017, it was the other data that I found more interesting and concrete: 40% of Social Media users were influenced by social when making purchasing decisions. the 18-34 cohort (Millenials/Gen Y) is…

Improving eCommerce Performance

One of the things we really work on is making sure that CommerceCM is as fast as possible so I was excited to download a new State of the Union report from Radware about eCommerce Page Speed & Web Performance and learn how our customers compare. This report looks at the top 100 eCommerce sites and how they perform.  While we don’t have any Top 100 customers (yet) I was very pleased to see that we kick some serious butt compared to many of these…

5 Tips for Using Live Chat on your e-Commmerce Site

If setup and used properly live web chat is a great customer service option for your e-commerce site.  It has low usage among consumers (24% used in the previous year) but it has a higher level of satisfaction for customer support than email, social media and even phone. Don’t show it if no one is there.  We have all seen the “Live support not available” graphics on web sites and this just seems so last decade to me.   If no one is there, just replace…

Hello? Is anyone paying attention?

“Hello… I’ve tried to call your support lines which told me that I’m not calling within business hours and the system hung up on me (I called at 2PM EST). I have also tried your “Online Assisted Support” and after filling in all of the information I received a web error that told me to try later… I filled in the form on Thursday of last week too with the same results… Are you having some technical difficulties or do you just not want to…

All Pages are Landing Pages

There is a lot of discussion about “landing pages” in the web design and marketing community.  A landing page is the first page your customer lands on when they come to your site.  Most of the effort is put into landing pages for PPC ads as site owners try to maximize conversions or revenue per visitor (RPV) for every visitor they buy from their PPC channels. Landing page optimization has become a science and there has been extensive testing on how to squeeze the last…

Common Sense SEO: 5 Tips

People will tell you that Google’s algorithm updates and the rise of semantic search has killed Search Engine Optimization (SEO).  Semantic search is all about the giving you the results you want, not what you ask for.  If you are on a mobile device and are searching for “Indian Food” at 5 pm, Google is smart enough to figure out that you would prefer a local result and will present you with options near by.  That is a pretty simple example, but as search engines…

E-Commerce in Canada Infographic

I actually spent Canada on a bicycle enjoying the beauty this great country has to offer and I am grateful to the kind folks at search optimization company Nextopia for producing this great infographic and saving me the time!