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July 02, 2013 Written by NetSphere Category: Industry Events

At the 2013 Internet Retailer Conference and Exhibition at Chicago’s McCormick Place, the NetSphere Strategies team hit the convention floor running. During the three-day event, we covered a lot of ground (an exhibit space of 250,000 square feet, to be exact), all the while, meeting a lot of new, interesting people and discovering a host of cutting-edge tools and technologies. And, we caught some of those experiences on film.

Over the course of the show, we got insight from industry leaders like Cheryl Wellman, the CFO at eCatalog Services, and Dan Schottenfels, vice president at CPI Data Services. No matter who we were talking to at IRCE, each conversation revealed a thought-provoking angle on the direction in which the industry is headed. And we discovered that many attendees were focused on four trends: mobile, analytics, social and cloud.

To offer additional information on those key ideas, we tracked down a few statistics that put their relevance into perspective:

Mobile: By 2014, about 25 billion visits to the Internet Retailer top 500 e-retailers will come from smartphones. – Internet Retailer

Analytics: By applying predictive analytics to Big Data, retailers have the ability to increase operating margins by over 60%. – McKinsey

Social: Social media ad revenues expected to grow to $11 billion dollars by the year 2017. – BIA/Kelsey

Cloud: By 2014, IT organizations in 30% of Global 1000 companies will broker two or more cloud services for internal and external users. – Gartner

Every year, the IRCE, hosted by Internet Retailer, is the eCommerce industry’s biggest – and most comprehensive – trade event. So it makes perfect sense that it would serve as the ideal location for networking and discussing the issues that are affecting eCommerce businesses.

For the team at NetSphere Strategies, IRCE 2013 was a major success. We came, we saw, we eCommerced! But it was the people that we met that truly made it worthwhile, and we’d like to extend our heartfelt gratitude to everyone that participated in the video and everyone who shared their thoughts and feelings on our dynamic industry.

April 04, 2013 Written by NetSphere Category: eCommerce

For anyone who’s noticed the dog-eared “view summary” paper icon located at the bottom of a tweet, you’ve probably wondered how it got there and why it only appears on some status updates. The same goes for the staggered “view image” icon.

As it turns out, the expandable content is what Twitter refers to as a card, an added-value feature that makes it possible for Twitter users to attach additional media to their tweets. To include a card on a status update, it’s necessary to add a few lines of HTML to the web pages where the original content can be found.

Twitter rolled out its cards in mid-2012, initially delivering summary and image offerings. This week, however, the social media giant revealed three new cards – one of which that will have a substantial impact for online retailers active on Twitter.

“The product card is a great way to better represent retail items on Twitter, and to drive sales,” explains the Twitter development site. “This Card type is designed to showcase your products via an image, a description, and allow you to highlight two other key details about your product.”

The video above walks users through the process of adding Twitter cards that will appear every time a tweet references some aspect of their website. Currently, however, Twitter doesn’t allow for just anyone to use the product portion of the service. Businesses and individuals will need to apply for the ability to do so. In the meantime, the video does a good job of explaining how to add meta tags to tap into the pre-existing portion, which will be similar to the functionality of the product cards when they become available system-wide.