Passwords 101

Initial investigation into the recent hack of celebrity accounts seem to indicate that the perpetrators used a brute force attack with perhaps a bit of social engineering thrown in..  This should be a wake up call for anyone with a digital life and particularly anyone with an eCommerce site. A brute force attack relies on computer repeatedly attempting to login to accounts.  As computers get more powerful they can cycle through tens of thousands of attempts an hour.  Since a shocking number of internet users…

Bank on Your Team

Victor and I had the opportunity yesterday to talk to a group of Small Business Advisers at RBC in Richmond as part of a day or workshops they were having. We were hosted by Sonya Reginato, the Sales Manager for Small Business Richmond/South Vancouver. We presented an eCommerce primer to get them up to speed on what opportunities their clients have from B2C eCommerce, B2B eCommerce, and online marketing – and what they need to look for to determine if their customers’ expectations are realistic.…

Can vs. Should. 4 Important Questions

Clients ask us all the time if we CAN do something.  I am proud and confident of our skills so my usual response is “Yes!  Our only limits are your imagination and your budget.  And we have yet to meet a client without a great imagination”. The next step though is working out if we really SHOULD be doing what the client asks.  We start with four questions to make sure we both understand the request. 1) Why do you want us to do it? …

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…