Author: webmaster

IBM Tealeaf: Spot and Stop Problems Hindering Customer Satisfaction and Revenue

Think back to your last couple (or dozen) online shopping experiences. You’ve likely used multiple devices, and mixed online and offline interactions before handing over your credit card. Chances are you’ve also wrestled with issues along the way: a failed promo code, slow-loading pages, difficulties locating a product, or worse off, completing your checkout. Likewise, customers today interface with organizations across devices, channels, platforms, and lines of business. And 50% of them experience some or all of the above issues when shopping online. Faced with those issues, 34% abandon their transactions, and 51% are less likely to buy from...

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What if your commerce data were as easy to search as Google?

Turning Commerce Data into Online Merchandising Insight with IBM’s Commerce Insights One of the biggest pains plaguing online merchandisers today is the deluge of data from disparate sources, and how darn difficult it is to compile, interpret, and extract actionable insights that actually result in higher sales conversions. The volume of data, the speed with which it changes, and the lack of data analysis know-how among business users means most eCommerce teams are drowning in data and not getting enough value from it. On December 2nd, Internet Retailer hosted a webinar to discuss that challenge, and what the future...

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5 B2C eCommerce Mistakes to Correct in 2016

The dawn of a new year is a perfect time to take stock of things, both personally and professionally. If you work in eCommerce, you’re likely reviewing online sales performance from the hectic 2015 holiday season. So where were the hiccups? How might you make improvements for the year ahead? Truth be told, you may not need to dig too deep. Many online retailers fall victim to the same common mistakes that disrupt the eCommerce journey. Failure to recognize — and correct– these more commonplace eCommerce sins can result in eroded profits and a weakened brand. Let’s turn things around this year, shall we? Following are five B2C eCommerce no-nos worth addressing for improved online sales in 2016: 1. Not optimizing for mobile. Right? Sounds obvious, but perhaps you’ve worked so hard on perfecting your home page, landing pages and product descriptions, you didn’t put as much effort into the pages shoppers actually have to click through to complete a purchase from a mobile device. Let’s remember that mobile device usage has surpassed that of desktop computers. In fact, Google’s algorithm now rewards mobile friendliness with a boost in search results. Keep in mind the goal isn’t just to have your site look okay on mobile, but also to optimize its functionality for a mobile experience. Ignoring your mobile audience is a cardinal sin you should make haste to...

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Retail’s BIG Show 2016: Cognitive Commerce, Shifting Buyer Behavior, and Staying Competitive

The way consumers research and purchase goods and services has changed dramatically. Retailers must also change how they interact with customers if they stand a chance of remaining competitive. This is one of the market shifts to be explored at NRF’s Annual Convention & Expo 2016, nicknamed “Retail’s BIG Show,” coming up on January 17-20 in New York City. The event, which began in 1911 (yes, that’s more than a century!), gathered 33,000 retailers from around the world in 2015, and is expected to grow this year. Touted as a one-stop-shop and “the only place” to see and experience all things retail, the event offers what you’d expect from an annual convention, but super-sized: education, networking, and a massive expo hall. Among the cutting-edge intelligence and technology to be featured at the conference is IBM’s cognitive computing: a way to make your eCommerce data as easy to search as Google, and to create “serendipity” moments that delight customers with the right offer at the right moment, across all channels. To that end, IBM will offer education, case studies, peer-to-peer sessions, and demos at its booth (#1720), covering: How to “talk” to your eCommerce data like a trusted advisor Going from data to insight to action to results Omnichannel fulfillment Empowering store associates Digital marketing trends and buyer behavior shifts Changing the way you engage with customers for better results...

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Resolve UX & Server Performance Hiccups Faster, With Dynatrace for IBM Commerce

The following post was written with significant contribution from Ravi Sama, BlueSky Solution Architect. Never before have consumers held such high expectations for their buying journey. A simple glitch or subpar experience, and they jump ship to a competitor’s website, leaving abandoned carts and lost sales in their wake. The trouble is that user experience and server performance hiccups aren’t always plain to see, requiring long, tedious sifting through logs, disparate tools, reports, and conference-calling third-party providers. And that’s just to identify the root of the problem, let alone fix it. Until now, that is. Dynatrace for IBM Commerce...

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Sales Enablement: 5 Essentials for B2B eCommerce ROI

If you’re on the precipice of an eCommerce project for your B2B enterprise or are investing in optimizing your existing online business, then we’re sure you have put some thought into how online revenue will sit among your existing channels. In our experience helping organizations solve eCommerce problems, we’ve seen five practices that are essential for sustainable B2B eCommerce ROI. Neglecting any of them will result in lost sales. Here they are: 1. Get sales on board. Successful eCommerce projects — particularly in B2B — include the input of sales leaders. First off: Your sales reps are some of the few people in your organization who talk regularly with prospects and can tell you how they buy. Second, depending on your organizational culture, they may have the political clout to push things through. It’s incredibly detrimental not to leverage those two attributes. One leading home security retailer we know struggled several times on a product configuration project until they brought sales leaders in. If your eCommerce project lacks sales participation, you’re missing opportunities. 2. Make the eCommerce channel a boon, not a competitor. When organizations pay sales reps lower percentages for online sales, they’re essentially fostering competition between the sales team and the online store. This dynamic encourages reps to fight against online sales, encouraging clients to place orders through them directly. It also incentivizes reps to spend less...

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Better eCommerce Stores, Without IT Involvement – Commerce Composer

One hiccup in the buyer’s journey – a failed promo code, incorrect product info, lack of mobile responsiveness, or too many clicks to complete a transaction – and the sale is likely gone to a competitor. All that effort, investment, and elaborate marketing campaigns down the drain just when the customer is about to whip out their credit card, because of a subpar experience. Breaks your heart, doesn’t it? It should. The challenge in ensuring a top-notch experience is that optimizing and updating an online store can be a pain, requiring a ton of time and the assistance from...

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Sterling Configurator: Enabling Perfect, Instant, Custom Orders

For many businesses and their customers, ordering a complex product — one with lots of variable, customizable components — is a huge pain. Whether custom-crafting furniture, computers, or home security solutions, made-to-order products can be synonymous with long, resource-sucking sales cycles, errors, and lots of human intervention. Ain’t nobody got time for that. That pain is what IBM set out to solve when it acquired Sterling Configurator, which is set to re-release as Commerce Configurator (more on that in a bit.) Put simply, Sterling Configurator automates complex product configuration, transforming what was a long, troublesome process into an instant,...

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BluePrint: The Fastest Route from Zero to Done for Complex Projects

Often, clients come to us with big, hairy problems and super-sized goals, facing a long road ahead to make those goals a reality. They’re chasing outcomes and market advantages that needed to be in place yesterday, and they have no time (or money) to waste on dead-end solutions, unforeseen detours, or misunderstandings when it comes to upgrading their eCommerce strategy. When facing complex eCommerce initiatives, how do you get from A to Z fast, without sacrificing accuracy and quality? Put simply, how do you keep this train from derailing and missing its destination? Our team at BlueSky helps clients...

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BlueSky Joins Forces With Autism Advocates to Launch New Program

The following post was contributed by Angie Smitson, BlueSky Administrative Assistant. “You reap what you sow,” goes the old proverb. Call it karma, the golden rule, or simply gratitude: At BlueSky, we take service to heart, giving back through BlueSky Cares — a program through which employees donate their time, skills and resources to our community. Initiatives include an annual golf outing benefiting Brooke’s Place, adopting families in need each Christmas, pitching in for back-to-school supplies, and blood drives. Recognizing that spirit of service, Jane Grimes, author of Autism Companion and winner of the 2015 Harriet P. Isray’s Distinguished...

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