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The product details page is the most critical component of a website, but it's often overlooked. But as the primary action point for almost every desired goal (offering options to buy direct, find a reseller, become a reseller, and get a quote) it needs to combine all the core content a visitor needs to make a purchase - from any channel. Product details pages can be broken into two core areas.
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Email is dead... long live email!  Here at Yeoman we handle quite a bit of email web operations for our clients as part of our Outsourced Web Operations services.  Part of that means applying our best practices to email newsletters and then tirelessly testing and tweaking our approach to maximize open rates and click-thrus.

That’s why I was tickled pink to find this infographic from Kissmetrics showing that industry research supports our key best practices for email marketing.  Some of the highlights include:

Format your emails for mobile. Not convinced you need to? Over 40% of consumers now open their emails on a device other than their desktop PC—a number that’s been skyrocketing in the last few years.

And if they can’t read it easily on their smart phone or tablet, 89% of them will just delete it, and 27% will unsubscribe from your list. With 39% of marketers saying they do not have a mobile marketing strategy, making a few tweaks to your email marketing plans could yield big compe

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7516855058?profile=RESIZE_400xAccording to a recent report put together by the Baymard Institute, an independent web research company, 67% of online shopping carts are abandoned. That means that 67% of web shoppers looked around your site, picked out one or more things they liked enough to save into a cart, and then just...didn't buy them. Why not?

 

The four main reasons online browsers don't make that online purchase include:

1. Taxes and Shipping. Shipping just bumped a $29.99 purchase up to $41.50. The total price is too much. Bye-bye, customer.

2. Buyer’s Remorse. Shopping around and putting things in your cart is a guilt-free pleasure. But once you see everything you picked out, a sense of regret can outweigh the actual enjoyment of potentially using the product. Customers start to ask themselves: Do I really need this product? 67% of them say "no." 

3. It was fun to pretend. I was just browsing or comparison shopping. I never planned to buy the item, or I went somewhere else and got a better price.

4. Proble

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3294931451?profile=RESIZE_320x320Amazon had 900 million visits Christmas 2014,  1.3 Christmas 2015, and have regularly cracked the 1 billion visitor mark every month this year (as of May 2016). Let that number sink in. That’s 3x the population of the United States. The giant of retail, Wal-Mart only has 240 million visits a month. Target? 140 million. Grainger (for you B2B manufacturers)? 7 million. And Amazon visitors are buying. Amazon holiday sales will likely be up 20-25% over Q4 last year. That’s a decade of double digit YoY holiday sales growth (in case anyone’s counting :)  And its not just the US - we see this growth in UK, Europe, and Canada.

What's their secret?  They key for any manufacturer or publisher to understand, is that Amazon’s success IS NOT simply due to the products Amazon buys and sells online. That’s only one part of it.

They succeed because Amazon.com is really a system that pits 4 competing divisions against each other to drive overall sales - Amazon Supply, Amazon Merchant, Amazon Marketing

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Online price discrimination?

7516874886?profile=RESIZE_400x If you’re shopping from a Manhattan zip code or logging in with a Mac (avg. household income for Mac owners is 32% higher than Windows PC owners), Orbitz concedes that you’ll pay more for your hotel room.  Orbitz has rolled out what it calls a “predictive analytics” initiative in an attempt to increase revenues.  Indeed, it’s not hard to find examples of different people paying different prices based on their demographic checkboxes.

Orbitz isn't showing the same room to different users at different prices, but more luxurious rooms at higher prices to certain users.

The sort of targeting undertaken by Orbitz is likely to become more commonplace as online retailers scramble to identify new ways in which people’s browsing data can be used to increase online sales.

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7516951294?profile=RESIZE_400x The Yeoman team is pleased to announce the 7th update to its Website Best Practice Scorecard.  Now in it's seventh year, the scorecard let's manufacturer's and brands compare their websites against 121 Best Practices across multiple industries.

Manufacturers and publishers have a unique challenge with websites. Their sites have to combine sales, operations, marketing, support, and channel programs. These have to be organized and easy-to-follow for customers and partners. Plus they have to be 'consumer friendly' and keep up with the latest trends in devices and behavior. 

The scorecard was created by Yeoman Technology Group based on an extensive review of the top 500 websites of manufacturers, content/course providers, and publishers. This primary research was then combined with usability studies from leading consulting and analysis firms.  The result is a set of Best Practices criteria that are proven elements of successful websites and, in many cases, the expected functions of any p

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If AI still sounds like science fiction to you, you might be in imminent danger of falling behind the competition. But it’s not too late to get up to speed and start using AI to advance your business. If you’d like to learn more, join me as I co-host the upcoming VentureBeat webinar: “AI-powered customer engagement isn’t optional anymore,” live online on Feb 27th, or on demand after that date.
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The recovering economy may make many brands think the painful digital shift they’ve been undergoing in their channels will subside as traditional retail, wholesale, outside, and catalog sales get a lift with a stronger economy. They'd be wrong. While a stronger economy will help all sales, this recovery will likely see its biggest boost in digital channels – everything from direct sales and drop ships to social commerce and Amazon domination. There's plenty for a brand to do in 2018, but here are 5 trends you should be acting on now.
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Should a B2B Brand Tweet?

3294932071?profile=RESIZE_180x180 Tweeting may be darlings of retail, music, and news junkies everywhere, but should it be part of a B2B manufacturers' plan?

Sometime in 2014, social networking (including micro-blogging sites like Twitter and Tumblr) quietly surpassed all other online activities, accounting for 41% of time spent online (GlobalWebIndex).

If you looked back at Twitter in 2010, they had only 105 million users and 55 million tweets per day. Twitter now boasts ”about a billion” registered users who post  500 million tweets per day.  Digital Information World reports that by 2015, 99% of the world’s top brands have a Facebook page and 97% are active on Twitter. In fact, 46% of web users look to social media when making a purchase, and 67% of Twitter users say they are “far more likely” to buy from a brand they follow on Twitter that one they don’t—and the average Twitter user follows five or more brands.

Twitter is now the top news source for political information and trends (no surprise there)  But is it a

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7540320856?profile=RESIZE_400xAs the East Coast gets pummeled by the first blizzard of the year, organizations should have shifted their Sales and Marketing spend for the next two days.  It's not just the snow plow guys who are reaping benefits of snow. Regional E-commerce sales and traffic always spike during snowstorms.

How big of a spike?  A typical snowstorm can spike regional YoY traffic by 10-25%. This storm is impacting the entire Eastern Seashore, so that could drive traffic up over 30%.  If your sales team is in tune with the weather and redirects your demand gen spend (including email, Amazon marketing, Google & Bing PPC, as well as social activity) you'll see some great year over year results.  Yesterday we saw southern ecommerce revenue spiked 20% for one US retailer.  Instore traffic was going to be down anyway but the team already had a plan to shift messaging and spend to maximize the online lift.

For a brand / manufacturer, you should be able to leverage these type of events to boost your direct as

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Email Operations Review List

7540331301?profile=RESIZE_400xWhat are you going to do that last week of December?  Many customers are taking time off and you may find yourself with some extra time to review, refresh and revamp.  A good place to start is to review systems and procedures that you typically set and forget.  If you’re not reporting and monitoring activity on those platforms on a regular basis, you may be missing out on some vital opportunities.
 
Take Email Marketing for example.  When is the last time you reviewed your email preference lists, brand lists, and workflows?  It’s common to complete the initial set-up and then assume automation is working well, but we’ve found that a quick review can often uncover some easy-to-fix problems.  
 
Here are 4 quick steps to get you started:

  1. Log in to your email marketing platform and go to your lead database and/or customer management section.
  2. Review the lists you have set up (may be set up by brand, customer segment, or interest).  Look for any discrepancies.  Are the quantities what you
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Are you ready to “wow” your customers and edge out the competition in 2018? With a dizzying array of channels and marketing tools, it can be hard to know what to focus on. We here at Yeoman recommend you focus on these 6 growing trends.
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Groupon may have started life as an online coupon site, but most of its growth and revenue is due to their discount goods business, which launched in 2011. Five years and nearly $2 billion USD in goods revenue later, the company is ready to take on the world of ecommerce mega giants like Amazon, eBay, Sears, Buy.com and Jet—just to name a few.
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7540442256?profile=RESIZE_400xQuick question: What do digital strategies and bankruptcy filings have in common?
Answer: Nothing, except that if you don’t have the former, you’ll likely end up with the latter. Don’t believe us? The list of companies that have “reorged” during the last four years is a veritable who’s who of entities that failed to make the leap to digital.

In retail, think Thomasville/Lane Furniture, Brookstone, and Loehmann’s. In education, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Cengage Learning. In publishing, Gatehouse Media and Reader’s Digest. In manufacturing, Kodak, Exide, Oreck, and Hawker Beechcraft. Even in the technology world we saw two pioneers fall: SSD maker OCZ and venerable video game creator Atari.

Some blame the recession, but technically that’s been over for two years. In fact, if you strip out the real estate and financial firm bankruptcies typically associated with the downturn, most sectors are trending up. However, there’s a catch and caveat. Retail, manufacturing, distribution, publis

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Can You Feel It?

Haptics (touch) technology has been around for a while (think about how you can "feel" the buttons vibrate when you tap on your smartphone), but now is being developed with more real time control and feedback between fingertip and touchscreen. Companies like Tanvas are finding new uses for this technology. Tanvas Touch allows the user to "feel" different textures - such as grainy, silky, wavy and more - on a smart screen. It has also been used to simulate different fabrics, wood, stone and grass. Users have reacted differently to this - with some being very impressed and others "not feeling it" as much. Haptics technology could have a lot of really neat applications - it could allow users to "feel" fabrics before they purchase clothing online, it could be used in immersion gaming, and it could also be used to help the visually impaired when they use smart technology. It will be interesting to see how this technology develops over time and what new applications people create for it.

To

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3294931689?profile=RESIZE_480x480Nixie is the brain child of a Google Alumna and a PhD in experimental physics. This small camera-equipped drone is worn around your wrist, and can be quickly deployed to capture you and your besties at your best. When activated, Nixie unfolds into a quadcopter, that flies away from you (in one of its pre-programmed modes) to take photos or video and then returns to you when it's finished.

Even though this is a high-tech gizmo the likes of which neither Dick Tracy nor Jean-Luc Picard ever dreamed of, the company is going with a classic/throwback venture capital fundraising model to get it to market.

It will be interesting to see if they change it up and opt for a pre-order scheme to raise money when they are closer to launch.

If you were going to launch a new product, would you go for a kickstarter campaign or hit the fundraising trail? 

What do you think about pre-sales as a fundraising technique?

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