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September 13, 2013 Written by NetSphere Category: eCommerce
Is building an eCommerce website the right move for my business? In this week’s three-part blog series, the team at NetSphere Strategies laid out the pros and cons of various options related to launching a new eCommerce website. In part one, we weighed the benefits of hosting a site, and in part two, we looked at the pluses and minuses behind buying a commercial eCommerce solution.   For our third installment, we investigated why a business owner should or shouldn’t choose to build his or her own site using open source software....

September 11, 2013 Written by NetSphere Category: eCommerce
The pros and cons of hosting your own eCommerce site Decisions, decisions. Life is wrought with them. And that’s especially true for new players in the eCommerce game. Retailers wishing to establish or enhance their online presence have the choice to either buy or build their own website. On top of that, they also need to decide whether to host their website off-site or in-house.   To address the factors that play into these decisions, we here at NetSphere Strategies will publish a three-part series that lays out the pros and...

September 05, 2013 Written by NetSphere Category: eCommerce
With WebSphere Commerce, non-transactional sites have VIP status Non-transactional sites used to be reserved for luxury brands like Louis Vuitton and Rolls-Royce. They served as a digital preview of what A-listers could expect once they made their way to the shops on Rodeo Drive. Primarily, the sites showcased the high-end products, leaving off details like the cost. After all, if you had to ask the price, you probably couldn’t afford it anyway.   Today, however, non-transactional sites are finding VIP status for a wide range of businesses. Manufacturers of...

August 16, 2013 Written by NetSphere Category: eCommerce
Tag manager systems – the traffic cop for tag-based apps Buyers are becoming much more demanding when they shop online these days. And when merchants aren’t bringing on new features to match those buyer expectations, shoppers shift their purchasing interest to sites that do. The rub, however, is that more often than not, eCommerce vendors can’t provide new functionality at the pace that merchants need it. So considering that consumers are an impatient bunch, what's an online merchant supposed to do?   One option is to add new functionality through the use...

August 07, 2013 Written by NetSphere Category: eCommerce
Staying relevant with mobile, Websphere Commerce Using an abacus and churning butter add a bit of comic relief to the list of outdated tasks found on the Obsolete Skills website. Other skills, like writing in cursive and flipping over a cassette tape just add insult to injury for anyone pushing the age of 40.   But, give it a few years and who knows what else might find its way onto the list. Using a desktop computer perhaps? Although it might sound farfetched, the use of mobile...

July 29, 2013 Written by NetSphere Category: eCommerce
7 elements for creating a successful ecommerce site Web presence – almost everyone has it. The problem is that not everyone knows what to do with it.   A long, long time ago, in a browser far, far from where we are technologically today, a lackluster website seemed to be "better than nothing" for businesses trying to gain exposure. Today, however, we've advanced to the point where a teenager can put together a website with their hands tied behind their backs. And as anyone in the eCommerce world knows,...

July 24, 2013 Written by NetSphere Category: Online Retailing
Avoiding site crashes when shopping traffic is high For online storeowners, the best-case scenario this holiday season is a flood of new customers and in turn, new orders. The worst-case scenario is a site that crashes because it can’t handle the influx in activity. To avoid the possibility of lost sales or even worse, a bad site reputation, webstore owners need to know the importance of performance testing, especially the benefits that can come from load tests and stress tests.   The first line of defense will be to...

July 18, 2013 Written by NetSphere Category: Marketing

Don’t do this or don’t do that: Life comes with so many rules that it can almost stifle an individual’s ability to be an individual. Everything we do, from what time we get up in the morning to what we order for lunch, can be dictated by someone else’s preconceived notion regarding what’s best for society as a whole.

Even something as simple as how to write a subject line for an e-mail carries dozens of rules. There are so many “tips” tied up in writing those few words that a business will grapple over the task to the point that a simple marketing campaign can’t even make it out the door.

1. Don’t use all caps
2. Don’t use the word free
3. Don’t use more than 30 characters
4. Don’t use special characters
5. Don’t use exclamation points

And those are just a few.

In the video above, DJ Waldow presents a few examples where companies bucked all of those trends and found success. He says that at times, breaking the rules of e-mail marketing has garnered more click-through rates and customer conversions. And he would know. He’s the author of “The Rebel’s Guide to Email Marketing,” which touts the idea that marketers have more opportunities than ever “to guide customers from consideration and trial to repeat purchase, loyalty, even advocacy.”

So check out the video, and don’t be afraid to do what’s best for your customers, your company and your product. Rules, after all, were meant to be broken.

The importance of a code freeze before the holiday shopping season Making last-minute changes to a website is like opening the door for error. And introducing the possibility for errors can potentially create difficulties for shoppers. As most webstore owners know, there’s no room for errors of any kind during major shopping events like Black Friday, Cyber Monday or the holiday shopping season in general.   And that’s why it’s understood between the developers who make changes to a site and the business owners who oversee it that changes shouldn’t be made...

July 11, 2013 Written by NetSphere Category: eCommerce
Mark your calendars for upcoming eCommerce trade events With today’s technology, more and more individuals are working remotely. Studies have shown that productivity can be just as high – if not higher – when the daily grind happens at home.   But if there were ever a time to get out of the pajamas and back into the traditional business world, it’s for a trade show. The face-to-face opportunities are vast, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg for what’s possible at an industry event.   The eCommerce...