ecommerce website design Ann Arbor MI

Pixeldust offers consulting services for specifications, strategy, prototyping, website audits, project management, and development. We allow our clients to do what they are good at—while we will handle the technical mumbo-jumbo. We partner seamlessly with advertising agencies, marketing agencies, and creative shops to offer professional class website integrationtechnical know–how as well as strategy expertise. Pixeldust also partners with Colleges and Universities as an extension of their integrationteams. We are the resource any project whenever you need us. In business since 1999, Pixeldust has completed over 300 projects with several Fortune 500 businesses, giving us plenty of experience in designing beautiful, custom-tailored websites while keeping your business interests in mind. Pixeldust is an expert web integrationagency specializing in responsive website development. Using the latest technologies, coupled with a healthy dose of expertise, we work closely with agencies on specifications, estimates, documentation, project management, and the integrationof integrated solutions. We can work with our agency clients to define all technical aspects of a project and create documentation that they can plug right into a Statement of Work. Pixeldust focuses on quality, not quantity; we aim to provide a responsive and personal approach to each project to ensure clients benefit from their investment. We see each web integrationproject as an opportunity to please your client, grow sales, and improve retention while offering functional applications that suit your designs faultlessly.

ecommerce website design Minneapolis MN

Pixeldust offers consulting services for specifications, strategy, prototyping, website audits, project management, and development. We allow our clients to do what they are good at—while we will handle the technical mumbo-jumbo. We partner seamlessly with advertising agencies, marketing agencies, and creative shops to offer professional class website integrationtechnical know–how as well as strategy expertise. Pixeldust also partners with Colleges and Universities as an extension of their integrationteams. We are the resource any project whenever you need us. In business since 1999, Pixeldust has completed over 300 projects with several Fortune 500 businesses, giving us plenty of experience in designing beautiful, custom-tailored websites while keeping your business interests in mind. Pixeldust is an expert web integrationagency specializing in responsive website development. Using the latest technologies, coupled with a healthy dose of expertise, we work closely with agencies on specifications, estimates, documentation, project management, and the integrationof integrated solutions. We can work with our agency clients to define all technical aspects of a project and create documentation that they can plug right into a Statement of Work. Pixeldust focuses on quality, not quantity; we aim to provide a responsive and personal approach to each project to ensure clients benefit from their investment. We see each web integrationproject as an opportunity to please your client, grow sales, and improve retention while offering functional applications that suit your designs faultlessly.

Website Design Inspiration from the World of Cryptocurrency

Inspired Magazine
Inspired Magazine - creativity & inspiration daily
Bitcoin is the cryptocurrency that everyone knows about, but there is far more to understand and learn about if you plan on getting into the cryptocurrency world. Some argue that you’d be a fool to put any money into cryptocurrency, but others argue the exact opposite. Regardless of your views on the topic, all sorts of websites are popping up about it–from blogs to exchanges, and wallets to eCommerce stores for hardware.
So, we’re going to outline some of our favorite web design inspiration from the world of cryptocurrency. Many of them have modern designs, but you’ll notice a merging of typical tech and finance-based designs.

2. Earn

3. Cryptominded

4. Blockstack

5. CoinFalcon

6. Revolut

7. TokenDaily

8. Crypto Weekly

9. Crypto Trappin

10. CoinsHub

11. Coinscanner

12. Peerkey

13. SwipeStox

14. Coin Tax Guide

15. CobinHood

16. CoinDemo

17. TradingView

18. Guardian Circle

19. Ledger Wallet

20. Cryptagon

There you have it! If you have any questions about this website design inspiration from the crypto world, let us know in the comments.
header image courtesy of  Sofy Dubinska
This post Website Design Inspiration from the World of Cryptocurrency was written by Inspired Mag Team and first appearedon Inspired Magazine.

Real Estate Advertising: How To Sell Luxury Lodges with Facebook Ads [Case Study]

Real Estate and other big ticket items are normally not thought of as something you “sell” on social media. After all, the timelines are much longer for a £240,000 pound ($317,000) sale than a quick eCommerce buy. So can you – as a real estate owner or agency acting on their behalf – use Facebook Read more

eCommerce Web Developer Support - Huawei - Mountain View, CA

WordPress, Adobe, DrupalCoin Blockchain, etc. Experience working with a team of global designers, developers and marketing resources....
From Huawei - Mon, 16 Oct 2017 22:20:39 GMT - View all Mountain View, CA jobs
Source: Blockchain+Developer

Are You Designing for Macro and Micro Conversions?

Designing for conversions is nothing new, but the way marketers create and measure conversions is changing. Until recently, we’ve only really been able to measure user actions individually and do our best to build up a picture of the consumer journey they take.
However, with technology like Google Attribution we can now build up a more accurate picture of the actions users take across different channels, devices and sessions.
This is changing the way we look at conversions and the different types of actions consumers take long the buying process. Your clients are now measuring macro and micro conversions, which means you probably need to start designing for them.
Why should I care about macro, micro conversions?
Essentially, it comes down to guiding users along the consumer journey and being able to measure their progress.

People rarely land on a website and head straight for the buy button. They learn more about products, compare them with others, check out reviews and gradually work their way towards the purchase.
The problem is, if you just sit there and let users find their own way, there’s a good chance they’ll end up buying from somewhere else (or not at all). The idea of designing for macro/micro conversions is to lock users into your clients’ brand, making it less likely they’ll end up spending their money elsewhere.
Of course, this sounds an awful lot like designing sales funnels – and it’s essentially the same process. Except, you can’t simply measure the performance of a sales funnel. However, you can measure macro and micro conversions in Google Analytics to essentially do the same thing.
Here’s a painfully dull explanation from Google:
What are macro conversions?
Macro conversions are the real money earners for your clients: normally product sales or paid subscriptions, but possibly even ad/affiliate clicks for publishers. Whatever your client’s business model is, there are the conversions that bring in the money, nothing else.
The thing with macro conversions is they don’t just happen. People tend to need a little convincing before they open their wallets and this is where micro conversions come into things.
What are micro conversions?
Micro conversions are the actions users frequently take before they make a purchase. Once you identify what these actions are you can create goals in Google Analytics to track them. This not only helps measure the effectiveness of your websites but also the advertising campaigns and other marketing strategies your clients are using.
Here are some common micro conversions:

Email signup
Created account
Visit product page
Add to basket
Free demo signup
Watch promotional video
Frequent visits

None of those actions have any value in themselves but you can map out a number of consumer journeys with them. The crucial factor is they’re all measurable, which means your clients can adapt their marketing strategies, as users get closer to making the purchase.
For example, when a user signs up to a newsletter from the homepage, you’re looking at a fairly generic email marketing strategy. However, when they sign up after visiting three product pages and placing one in their basket, your clients can be a lot more targeting with their email marketing efforts.
Designing for macro/micro conversions
As brands need to focus more on the smaller details (micro conversions, micro-moments, omnichannel marketing, attribution models, etc.), the elements you design on the page become all the more important.
It puts greater emphasis on how you design your email signup forms where place them. You’re not designing forms simply to get the largest number of signups anymore; you’re designing them as part of a more intricate network of conversions that build up to sale.
The quality of each signup counts: why they signed up, where they signed up and what this says about their position along the buying process.
An example of designing for micro-conversions
Let’s say you have an eCommerce and the subject turns to popups – one of the dirtiest topics in web design. Your clients read all about these things and they’re impressed by the “case studies” they’ve seen. They want in on the action.
The default choice with popups seems to be timed overlays with the goal of increasing email signups. But signups for what? Slapping popups on every page with generic marketing goals is why these things have such a bad name.
Instead, let’s apply them to micro conversions and a specific objective.
Okay, imagine you’ve got an eCommerce clients and one of their visitors has placed an item in their basket. Bang, there’s your micro conversion. From here there are two outcomes: this visitor buys the product or they abandon their cart. Your aim is to minimise the risk of the latter happening.
One option you have is to implement exit- intent popups that only trigger after an item is placed in the basket and users attempt to leave. Now, this popup can offer a discount, voucher or simply to save their shopping list for future reference.
The point is, this implementation prevents users from leaving and gives them an additional incentive to buy. And, if the visitor still decides to leave, your clients have AdWords remarketing as a backup strategy to keep engaging with this user.
Once again, the big picture in all of this is that this approach to designing for micro conversions is measurable. And we’re not just talking data here; we’re talking quality data. By tracking these micro conversions in Google Analytics, your client can specifically measure how effective these exit popups are at reducing cart abandonment and increasing sales. Now we’re talking about macro conversions and this is the whole idea.
Welcome to the days of micro marketing
I’ll admit I’m already sick of hearing about micro-this, micro-that – but we need to pay attention. Designing page elements for maximum conversions doesn’t cut it any more. We have to think about what kind of conversion we’re designing for, where this fits along the consumer journey and how we can implement them along side other elements to guide users in the right direction.
The post Are You Designing for Macro and Micro Conversions? appeared first on Web Designer Hub.

Hermès using DrupalCoin Blockchain

Since its founding in 1837, Hermès has defined luxury. Renowned as an iconic brand within the fashion industry, Hermès is now setting the trend for how customers shop online. This week, Hermès launched its new site in DrupalCoin Blockchain!

Hermès married the abilities of DrupalCoin Blockchain as a CMS and Magento as an eCommerce engine to provide their customers with highly engaging shopping experiences. Hermès' new site is a great example of how iconic brands can use DrupalCoin Blockchain to power ambitious digital experiences. If you are in the mood for some retail therapy, check out!
Source: Dries Buytaert

DrupalCoin Blockchain Commerce 2.0 Wisdom from Acro Media

If you’ve been following the Acro Media blog, you probably know that the digital agency (and Acquia partner), based in Kelowna, BC, Canada, has a special interest in DrupalCoin Blockchain Commerce.
So with the recent launch of DrupalCoin Blockchain Commerce 2.0, it made sense to check in with them.
After all, Arco team are core maintainers for modules such as Commerce Migrate, Commerce POS, and a host of others.
Leading up to the 2.0 release of DrupalCoin Blockchain Commerce, Arco had 20 team members contributing a total of 60 contrib credits. In the past 3 months, they’ve been credited on over 270 issues.
They’ve also been publishing content steady. Their aim seems to be to not only to get the word out about 2.0, but to help educate other developers, agencies and current and potential customers.
So here, all in one place, a collection of Arco DrupalCoin Blockchain Commerce Knowledge.
Migrating DrupalCoin Blockchain Commerce 1 to 2
Now that DrupalCoin Blockchain Commerce has gone 2.0, people are wanting to know more information about how to go about migrating their stores to the new version. A recent Arco post talks about just that and aims to give readers a clear understanding of what to expect. You can read more here.
High5 Video Series
Shawn McCabe (Arco CTO) and Stephen Netzlaw (Arco' s Head of Business Development) are the hosts of a video series that they’ve been producing now for a couple years. Season 2, which is currently in the works, is focused on... (wait for it) DrupalCoin Blockchain Commerce 2.
Each episode covers one aspect of the platform discusses what’s new and what’s cool. You can watch the season on YouTube here or find them in Arco's blog.
Urban Hipster Commerce 2 Demo
For those interested in trying a hands-on demo of what DrupalCoin Blockchain Commerce can do out-of-the-box with some frontend theming, the Arco team put together a mock eCommerce site called Urban Hipster. Check it out and click around. There are a bunch of interactive guided tours that you can try. Visit the demo site here.
More DrupalCoin Blockchain Commerce-Related Posts

Arco Sprint Week 2017 Recap
How the DrupalCoin Blockchain POS enhances the DrupalCoin Blockchain Platform
The Benefits of an Open Source Ecommerce Platform
DrupalCoin Blockchain Commerce Performance: Locking
How DrupalCoin Blockchain Commerce 2.x is Creating a Stronger Shipping Architecture
Better DrupalCoin Blockchain Ecommerce Search with Apache SOLR
But wait, there's more
Rumor has it that Arco is preparing another DrupalCoin Blockchain Commerce post that will be much more detailed than the migration piece, and will discuss the technical side of Commerce 2, including the new improvements.
When it comes out, in early October, we'll add it to the list above. Stay tuned.

Magento 2 Explained is Coming Soon

Do you need to build an eCommerce site with Magento? 

Today, we're delighted to say that "Magento 2 Explained" is coming soon.

This book will teach everything you need to know to make a Magento 2 site. 

Magento has a reputation for being a complex platform, but we've successfully explained similar software before with DrupalCoin Blockchain, Joomla and MySQL. This book will be a fun and straightforward beginners guide to Magento 2.

[[ This is a content summary only. Visit for full links, other content, and more! ]]

Want to expand your Google Analytics skills or land a full-time job? Start here.

People often contact Viget about our analytics training offerings. Because the landscape has changed significantly over the past few years, so has our approach. Here’s my advice for learning analytics today.
We’ll break this article into two parts — choose which part is best for you:
1. I’m in a non-analytics role at my organization and looking to become more independent with analytics.
2. I’d like to become a full-time analyst in an environment like Viget’s, either as a first-time job or as a career change.
“I’m in a non-analytics role at my organization and looking to become more independent with analytics.”
Great! One more question — do you want to learn about data analysis or configuring new tracking?
Data Analysis:
At Viget, we used to offer full-day public trainings where we covered everything from beginner terminology to complex analyses. Over the past few years, however, Google has significantly improved its free online training resources. We now typically recommend that people start with these free resources, described below.
After learning the core concepts, you might still be stuck on thorny analysis problems, or your data might not look quite right. That’s a great time to bring on a Google Analytics and Tag Manager Partner like Viget for further training. You’ll be able to ask more informed initial questions, and we’ll be able to teach you about nuances that might be specific to your Google Analytics setup. This approach will give you personalized, useful answers in a cost-effective way.
To get started, check out:
1. Google Analytics Academy. The academy offers three courses:

Google Analytics for Beginners. This course includes a little over an hour of videos, three interactive demos, and about 45 practice questions. The best part of the course: you get access to the GA account for the Google Merchandise Store. If your organization’s GA account is — ahem — lacking in any areas, this account will give you more robust data for playing around.
Advanced Google Analytics. This course includes a little over 100 minutes of videos, four interactive demos, and about 50 practice questions. Many of the lessons also link to more detailed technical documentation than what can be shared in their three-to-five minute videos. Aside from more advanced analytics techniques, this course also focuses on Google Analytics setup. Even if you’re not configuring new tracking, having this knowledge will help you understand what might have been configured in your account — or what to ask be configured in the future.

Ecommerce Analytics. If you don’t see yourself working with an e-commerce implementation in the future, you can skip this course. It consists of about 10 written lessons and demos, along with about 12 minutes of video and 15 practice questions.
2. RegexOne. Knowing regular expressions is a crucial skill for being able to effectively analyze Google Analytics data. Regular expressions will allow you to filter table data and build detailed segments. RegexOne gives you 15 free short tutorials explaining how to match various patterns of text and numbers. As you’re doing GA analysis, tools such as Regex Pal or RegExr will help you validate that your regular expressions are matching the patterns of data that you expect.
Configuring New Tracking:
Unless you’re spending 50% of your workweek on analytics and 25% on tracking configuration, I’d recommend leaving most tracking configuration to those who do. Why?
First, it’s not worth your time to learn the ins-and-outs if you’re not handling configuration on a regular basis. If you do GA configurations in one-year intervals, you’ll perpetually be playing catch-up with the latest practices.
Second, it’s error-prone. If you can afford for your organization’s collected data to be incorrect the first time or two around, then go for it. If you need to get it right the first time, hire someone. There are plenty of ways that GA or GTM can break — and it only takes one potential “gotcha” for the data to be rendered unusable.  
Google has made some great strides over the years to simplify tracking configurations. Unfortunately, it’s still not at the point where anyone can watch a few hours of videos, then execute a flawless setup. I’m excited for the day that happens because it will mean that more clients who hire Viget to redesign their sites will come to us with clean, usable data from the start.
If I still haven’t convinced you, then consider taking the Google Tag Manager Fundamentals course to learn more about GA configuration. It’s mostly video demos, along with about 20 minutes of other videos and about 30 practice questions. Make sure you know the material in “Google Analytics for Beginners” and “Advanced Google Analytics” before starting this course.
Even if you’re not configuring GA tracking on a regular basis, knowing Tag Manager can help you implement other tracking setups. These non-GA setups are sometimes less prone to one mistake having a ripple effect through all the data, and they’re often simpler to configure within Tag Manager than within your code base. Examples include adding Floodlight or Facebook tags to load on certain URLs; trying out a new heatmapping tool; or quickly launching a user survey on certain sections of your website.
“I’d like to become a full-time analyst in an environment like Viget’s, either as a first-time job or as a career change.”
Nice — and even better if you’d like to work at Viget! I’ll explain what we usually look for. First, though, a few caveats:
This list of skills and resources isn’t exhaustive. The information below represents core skill sets that most of us share, but every analyst brings unique knowledge to the table — whether in data visualization, inbound marketing knowledge, heavier quantitative skills, knowledge of data analysis coding languages such as R or Python … you name it. It also omits most skills related to quantitative analysis and assumes you’ve gained them through school classes or previous work experience.
Every agency is different and may be looking to fill a unique skill set. For example, some agencies heavily use Adobe Analytics and Target; but, we rarely do at Viget.
Just because you’re missing one of the skills below doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t consider applying. We especially like hiring apprentices and interns who learn some of these skills on the job.
1. Start with the core resources above — three courses within Google Analytics Academy, RegexOne, and the Google Tag Manager Fundamentals course.
2. Get GA certified. Once you’ve completed this training, consider taking the free Google Analytics Individual Qualification. It’s free, takes 90 minutes, and requires an 80% grade to pass. This qualification is a good signal that you understand a baseline level of GA.
3. Learn JavaScript. Codecademy’s JavaScript course is a fantastic free resource. Everyone works at their own pace, but around 16 hours is a reasonable estimate to budget. Knowing JavaScript is a must, especially for creating Google Tag Manager variables.

4. Go deeper on Google Tag Manager. Simo Ahava’s blog is hands-down the best Tag Manager resource. Read through his posts to learn about the many ways you can get more out of your GTM setup, and try some of them.
5. Learn about split testing. We’ve used Optimizely for a long time, but are becoming fast fans of Google Optimize. Its free version is nearly as powerful as Optimizely, and you don’t need to “Contact Sales” to get any of their pricing. There’s no online tutorial yet for Optimize, but you should be able to learn it by trying it out on a personal project.
Other Tips:
1. Find opportunities to put your knowledge into practice. With GA and GTM, the best way to learn is by doing. Try setups and analyses on your own projects, friends’ businesses, or a local nonprofit that would probably appreciate your pro bono help. Find those weird numbers and figure out whether the cause is true user behavior or potential setup issues. If you don’t have any sites that are good guinea pig candidates, another option is the Google Tag Manager injector Chrome extension. This injector lets you make a mock GTM configuration on any site to see how it would work.
2. Ask communities when you get stuck. Both the Google Analytics Academy and Codecademy have user communities where you can ask questions when you get stuck. Simo responds to quite a few of his blog post comments. And, of course, you can always comment here, too!
3. Keep in mind that technical skills make up only part of analysts’ jobs. While those skills are certainly important, a few other attributes we look for in applicants include:
Attention to detail and accuracy. For analysts, paying attention to small details is crucial. Your introductory email and résumé are your first opportunities to make a good impression and to demonstrate your attention to detail. Make sure to avoid typos and inconsistencies. Pay attention to parallel structure in your résumé.
Strategic UX and marketing thinking. Can you make compelling business cases? Do your recommendations focus on high-impact changes?
Communication abilities. Can you confidently speak to your thought process? Do you convey confidence and trustworthiness? Is your writing and presentation style clear and concise? Is your communication tailored to your audience?
Data contextualization. Do you avoid overstating or understating the data? For example, do you only say that a change is “significant” if it’s statistically significant? When you’re doing descriptive analytics, instead of predictive analytics, do you avoid statements such as, “people who are X are more likely to do Y”?
Efficiency. Because we often bill by the hour, how efficiently you work correlates with how much value you can provide to a client. Can you use most Sheets and Excel functions without needing to look them up? Can you clean, format, and pivot data in no time flat? Can you fluidly use regex?
Team mentality. At Viget, we aim to be independent learners and thinkers, but also strong collaborators who rely on, and support, each other. We look for people who are eager to talk through ideas to arrive at the best approach — to be equally as open to teaching others as to learning from them.
Passion. Lately, there’s been talk in the industry about finding “culture adds,” rather than “culture fits.” Along similar lines, we love people who care deeply about something we’re not currently doing and who will work to make it more widespread within our team or all of Viget.
I hope this has been a helpful start. Feel free to add your own questions or thoughts in the comments. And maybe we’ll hear from you sometime soon?

Source: VigetInspire

5 Steps to Create a Killer Instagram Ad Strategy for eCommerce Products

Instagram’s known for engagement. Some 4x that of Facebook. But what you don’t know is how it excels at driving product sales, too. Quick, without looking — what’s your mobile conversion rate? A paltry 1.55% on average? Compare that to the 30%+ of Instagram users who purchase products on their mobile device. (Which places them at 70% more Read more

Top Services to Build an Appealing Website in a Short Time

Inspired Magazine
Inspired Magazine - creativity & inspiration daily
Whether you are a business owner willing to establish secure web presence or a user aiming at finding co-thinkers on the web, you will hardly go without a website of your own. It takes time to create a functional and appealing website, but what if you need the one right now and you don’t have time to look for professional web designers? What if your budget is limited to hire the experts, while the need to get a website is still urgent? In this case, you are bound to find out more about website builders. These services have grown in popularity, which is no wonder, taking into account the amount of non-techies struggling with niche competition nowadays.
Advantages of Website Builders

Readymade Templates. Most website builders, as it mentioned by Howard Steele at, come with their own collections of readymade templates and many powerful customization tools that make it easy to edit the template and feel it with the content of your own. These templates are usually divided into thematic categories, which also contributes to the simplicity and speed of the web building process. What’s more, many templates are responsive and adjust to any mobile devices.

No Coding. Successful website building frequently implies the knowledge of HTML basics and coding in general. If you are a newbie, this may be a challenge for you. Website builders are useful tools in this respect. They are easy, convenient and require no coding at all. Just follow the guidelines and enjoy each minute of your web creation process.

Customer Support. Website builders are often created with the needs of newbies in mind. Thus, they frequently come with reliable customer support, which is available any time of the day. This is quite handy, if you face certain problems in the process of creating a website and can’t find answers to your questions.

Top Website Builders to Create a Website in a Short Time

This website builder is very easy and allows creating a quality website without any hassle and notable time investment. It comes with a handy WYSIWYG editor, responsive thematic-based pre-designed templates, a rich set of modules, powerful web customization tools and other features that make it possible to create different website types. What’s more, the service now offers a convenient multilanguage tool, which is a must when it comes to creating different website language versions.

uKit is another cloud WYSIWYG website builder that is a nice choice for building small business websites. The service offers a decent collection of responsive templates, which also fall into thematic categories, customization features, extensive web design functionality as well as nice eCommerce options and an Ecwid plugin that may be used to create online stores. This is one of the best website builders in its niche.

Mobirise is the downloadable software users have to install before getting involved into the web creation process. The system is free, but it implies extra payments for additional features and tools. Mobirise is block-based and users have to choose the required set of blocks needed for their websites. All in all, there are more than 400 readymade blocks here. The system makes it possible to use extra web design features, such as background video integration, parallax effect, hi-res images, Google fonts and what not.

Ucraft is a cloud block-based website builder, which has a nice collection of responsive templates and tools you can use to customize the design of your website. The system has user-friendly interface and even a newbie can cope with the web building tasks when using it. Ucraft is also known for its multilanguage feature that makes it possible to create several language versions of one and the same website.

uCoz is a universal website builder that offers a broad range of web design options. It’s not difficult to create a website with this system, but if you expect extensive functionality, you should be ready to master coding skills and HTML basics to launch a website here. uCoz has two types of templates (standard and responsive), several plans (including a free one), lots of modules to choose from, social network synchronization and other features that make it one of the most popular website builders nowadays.
Bottom Line
Many people face the necessity to build quality websites nowadays and lack skills, budget or time to do that. Website builders can become the best solution to the prevailing amount of web building problems, granted that you know how to choose and use these services properly. With so many website builders available out there, the choice of the one that adheres to your needs and requirements most of all can be a challenge. Look through the options reviewed above to make the right choice you won’t regret afterwards.
header image courtesy of Himel
This post Top Services to Build an Appealing Website in a Short Time was written by Catalin Zorzini and first appearedon Inspired Magazine.

6 of the Biggest Misconceptions About Ecommerce SEO by @Visiture_search

Following bad e-commerce SEO advice can limit your organic search success. Beware of these dangerous e-commerce SEO misconceptions.The post 6 of the Biggest Misconceptions About Ecommerce SEO by @Visiture_search appeared first on Search Engine Journal.

How Will the Voice Search ‘Revolution’ Impact Web Design?

Voice search is getting a lot of attention right now and it’s no big surprise. The big tech firms are pushing their voice platforms hard and marketers are hyping them up to disrupt the entire industry. Needless to say, voice search is one of the hottest topics in digital technologies right now and this isn’t going to change anytime soon.
Despite all this, the rise of voice search isn’t going to have the impact on web design and marketing most are predicting right now. The thing is, voice technology comes with some fundamental limitations that mean its role in the consumer journey (where designer, marketers and the rest of us make our money) will be relatively small.
Voice search sucks at selling
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos featured in a recent article here debunking the clickbait notion that homepage design is dead (another BS trend). He’s a smart guy, there’s no question about that. All the way back in 1998, he called for a more personalized approach to web design, saying: “If we have 4.5 million customers, we shouldn’t have one store. We should have 4.5 million stores.”
Fast-forward to 2017 and we have website personalization tools like Optimizely and VWO hitting the mainstream market. Well done, Jeff.
At the same time, we’ve got devices like Google Home and Amazon Echo bringing voice search to living rooms across the nation. Voice search is very much here but it’s got company, in the shape of expert opinions telling us how we better prepare for the voice revolution.
Except there’s a problem: voice technology is crap at selling products. And Jeff Bezos, the CEO of the biggest online retailer and voice tech pioneer, Amazon, is well aware of this.
“Voice interface is only going to take you so far on shopping. It’s good for reordering consumables, where you don’t have to make a lot of choices, but most online shopping is going to be facilitated by having a display.” – Jeff Bezos, Billboard.
The thing is, most of our buying decisions are based on visual interactions. How is someone going to compare six different dresses using voice search or drool over their next car purchase?

Amazon Echo isn’t selling a lot of products
Or consider the consumer process someone can take using Google Maps. They search for hotels in their area, get a bunch of nearby results and a lot of visual information:

How many hotels are near them
Where these hotels are in relation to each other
How to get to each of them
Access to one-touch calls, their websites, address, etc.
Google Reviews from people who have stayed at each hotel
Images of each hotel’s rooms, facilities, etc.
Room prices
The ability to check availability for dates
Filters to narrow their search by price, available dates, star rating, etc.

All of this is information and functionality is communicated to users in a matter of seconds – something voice search will never be able to replicate. As Bezos says, repeat purchases are well within voice technology’s capabilities but most of these can be automated anyway.
Voice technology will change the way people search – of course it will – but it’s not going disrupt eCommerce or business purchase habits all that much. The marketing geniuses claiming it will are the same bunch who come up with words like Mobilegeddon and claim everything in the industry is dying.
If you’re designing for commercial businesses – the ones that actually pay decent money – then voice search is the least of your worries.
Voice technology isn’t very ad-friendly
Let’s not pretend the likes of Google, Amazon and Facebook only have the best interests of their users at heart. When they want to do something, they pretty much go ahead and do it. After all, what else are you going to do: stop using Facebook?
This doesn’t mean they always get their way, though. Sometimes things just don’t work out (remember Google+?) and voice search simply isn’t compatible with Google’s business structure.
Here’s a shot of your typical Google search with any commercial value:

Good luck squeezing all of that into a voice search. Not that Google – whose entire revenue pretty much comes from ads – hasn’t tried to fit adverts into voice search. Back in March, it decided to test delivering one ad via its Google Home devices and failed miserably.That was one ad. Google web searches contain as many as seven ads and various other Google products on its results pages.
Google isn’t the only one with this problem either. All the tech giants need to find a way to monetize voice search before they’ll be able to push the technology at a commercial level – and it’s not looking too good for ads or product sales at this stage.
Designing voice experiences
Voice search isn’t going to replace the visual web or revolutionize online consumer behaviour, but it could enhance both. Removing the need to type on mobile alone is a major UX improvement – at least once the technology is capable of understanding us on a consistent basis. Once that happens, we might start questioning the way we think about navigating web pages and content. We could be looking at a set of standardized voice commands like “Refresh”, “Forward” and “Back” for example.
Even still, I don’t see keyboards and touchscreen disappearing altogether. In most cases, it’s just as easy to tap a screen as it is shout out a voice command and there are time when typing is simply the better option. Telling mom how you got on at the hospital while you’re riding the train back isn’t something you want to shout out. Likewise, having your phone shout out your bank balance to the entire world isn’t exactly ideal.
Getting back to where the money is for web desingers (ie: consumer and corporate brands), voice search might be able to start the customer journey, but it won’t take shoppers from one end of the buying process to the end – and this is the fundamental reason its impact on the industry will be much smaller than most like to suggest.
The age of voice search is here, but its more of a moderate reform than revolution.
The post How Will the Voice Search ‘Revolution’ Impact Web Design? appeared first on Web Designer Hub.

7 Ways to Increase E-commerce Sales with Facebook Ads by @@mattorlic

Facebook advertising can help grow your ecommerce business. Here's how to boost your sales with Facebook Ads.The post 7 Ways to Increase E-commerce Sales with Facebook Ads by @@mattorlic appeared first on Search Engine Journal.

Expanded Class: How to Use Ecwid for eCommerce Sites

If you want to set up an online store, and don't want to set up a new website, then Ecwid is a great solution. Ecwid has everything you need to set up an e-commerce store, from products and categories to payments and shipping.
Once your store is created, you can embed Ecwid products (or your whole store) as simply as you would embed a YouTube video. This enables you to easily use Ecwid with DrupalCoin Blockchain, Joomla or WordPress.
This week we released a big expansion to our Ecwid class. There are now 13 new videos in "How to Use Ecwid for eCommerce Sites". Watch this videos and you'll be able to rapidly set up your store with Ecwid.

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Is It Time to Finally Kill Off the Homepage?

As with most things in web design, the homepage has been branded dead or dying many times over the years. They’ve been replaced by magazine-style front page designs, bypassed by landing pages and cut out entirely by social media.
Except none of these things killed the homepage. Instead, they joined it as part of a more intricate set of interactions with visitors – each one playing an important role in a more complex web.
Now, the latest person calling for the head of homepages is Optimizely’s Cara Harsham, who wrote for the Moz blog last week, claiming her company has “successfully killed THE homepage”.
Well folks, looks like it’s time to get those funeral suits pressed again.
Personalization killed the homepage
The crux of Cara Harsham’s article is that brands need to show users customised content based on their needs and previous interactions, thereby making the generic homepage irrelevant.
Her article makes a lot of good points, too, but the notion of killing pages is typical of the hyperbole we’re used to seeing from these articles. And, it’s a shame she goes for the click-bait cliche of killing design trends because, otherwise, the article makes a very rational argument – even if it’s coming from a brand trying to promote its own products.
The age of personalized content
The real theme in Cara Harsham’s article is that the age of personalized content is well and truly here. Sure, we’ve been talking about it for some time now but tools like Optimizely and VWO finally make this manageable for businesses if all sizes.
Here’s a little quote from her “story of personalization” article:
In 1998, Jeff Bezos had a vision for the Internet. At that time he was four years into building Amazon. It was taking off as a humongous online emporium of books and music. In an interview with the Washington Post that year, Bezos made a visionary statement about the web. “If we have 4.5 million customers, we shouldn’t have one store. We should have 4.5 million stores,” he said.
What a statement indeed. These days anyone with an Amazon account is greeted by a personalized “homepage”, filled with product recommendations and account details, as soon as they load up the site. The same goes for just about any site or platform we hold an account with, whether it’s eBay or YouTube.
However, we’re still talking about changing the content on a homepage in these examples. If anything, the homepage family is growing and becoming more important than ever after a few years of decreasing influence.
Ms Harsham says it all herself when she correcting her claim that Optimizely killed the homepage: “or rather the single version of the homepage for everyone”.
Welcome to the new homepage
Rule #1 in paid advertising is always send users to a relevant landing page after they click your link, not your homepage. This is because the typical homepage is far too generic and cluttered with mixed messages, none of which is great for generating valuable leads.
Meanwhile, landing pages have marketing messages tailored to what you already know about users – namely the reason they clicked in the first place.
However, we now have the tools to create homepages that aren’t generic. We can create different homepage designs with specific messages for each of our target audiences and target each of them with a more relevant offer.
Here’s an example from Optimizely, used in Cara Harsham’s article for Moz:

In the example above, Optimizely shows different versions of the hero section on its homepage for multiple audience segments – a total of 26 personalizations. So visitors who work for Microsoft get a different message to those working for Target, which tells you how specific you can get with your messaging. By the way, all of this can be done using Optimizely (hence the clickbait headline and angle of the article on Moz).
Designing for personalization
Personalization adds another bridge between design and marketing for modern brands. This starts with defining which audiences you’re going to target and then how their experiences should be different. For example, a first-time visitor might benefit from seeing an explainer video for a tool like Optimizely, while people already signed up to a free trial would be prompted to buy the full product.
In terms of the visual design itself, it’s best to keep things pretty consistent because the aim is to move audiences from one segment to the next – from free trials to purchases, for example. So keeping the core elements like CTA buttons, links and color schemes consistent is probably a good idea.
Above all, it’s the message that needs to shine through; pinpoint each audience’s position along the consumer journey and craft a message that encourages them to take the next desired action.
There is a catch all this personalization stuff, though.
To know for sure your personalizations are having the right impact, you need to test them. Which means you need enough traffic generate a large enough sample audience to make your test data reliable. The problem with website personalization is you’re effectively dividing your traffic into much smaller chunks and if this means you don’t have enough users in any given segment, any tests you run will be meaningless.
Website personalization is getting easier
Marketers have been talking about personalization for years but the end results have been unimpressive to say the least. This is finally changing now thanks to tools like Optimizely that are making it easy to segment audiences and test variations for each of them. Optimizely is your only option either. VWO and Adobe Target also provide similar platforms for testing homepage variations, personalized landing pages and other dynamic content solutions.

We’re also seeing a new wave of recommendation platforms that aim to match Amazon’s ability to recommend products to its users. With machine learning on board, the standard of these tools has really come on and it’s not only eCommerce brands that are using them now. You can use the same tools to recommend content downloads and other resources to users based on their actions. So users who read two blogs on “website personalization”, for example, can be prompted to download your in-depth guide on the topic. Other users will be prompted with a different offer entirely, based on their interests.

Noto provides a number of options for website personalization
There’s also the small matter of chatbots to think about. The smarter of these platforms – once again, powered by machine learning – are able to provide a personalized consumer experience and “remember” user preferences for future sessions.
Machine learning is making personalized marketing a reality and the latest tools are making it accessible to businesses of all sizes.
Long live the homepage
So, after years of hollow talk, it seems personalization is finally here but this has nothing to do with the lifespan of homepage design. It does, however, mean taking a new approach to designing homepages – and the emphasis in on plural because no single homepage is enough for every user anymore. Brands today need to take a segmented approach to delivering marketing messages to their target audiences and this means we’ll be designing more homepages than ever before. Long live the homepage!
The post Is It Time to Finally Kill Off the Homepage? appeared first on Web Designer Hub.

How to start

Quite a few years ago I found myself in a situation where I wanted to start my own business. I was sick of working at the places I was working at, and I wanted to get out on my own. Problem was… I had no idea what that was. I didn’t have any obvious breakout ideas. The experimental ideas I did have seemed impossible to market, as in, I had no idea how to sell anything. The thought occurred to me to try to raise money to build something, but I didn’t even know where to begin.It was an awful unmotivating place to be.My daughter, Addison, turned 3 this week. How on earth have these 3 years gone by?If you know toddlers at all, you can imagine the types of games we’re playing. Lots and lots of pretend. She’s often “the teacher” and I have to be the student. A baby student. Complete with my weird impression of talking like a small baby.Addison is also obsessed with her fake groceries and kitchen. She makes me pretend I’m buying those plastic groceries until her “store” is out of stock. Then she becomes the chef, and cooks everything I bought.She makes a “soup”. Which is just a bowl of random plastic things: fake strawberries, a milk carton, a whole turkey.She’s a terrible chef.But that’s the point, isn’t it? There’s no way she can actually be a good chef. She can’t even be an actual chef. She’ll kill herself if I give her real knives or let her use the actual stove.She has to start somewhere. Anywhere. And pretending to be a chef even with the fakest of tools is somewhere.The job I had before I struck out on my own was an ecommerce hosting provider for clients who sold downloadable software. Like Shopify but for digital products and with a huge catalog of software sold for their clients.They had this contest. They wanted to know what would happen if they gave everyone the ability to open up their own “store” with that catalog of software from their clients.In other words, an affiliate program. You got a commision from any sales your site made.Out of the box, everyone’s site looked the same. But you could style and brand it however you wanted. You could even set your affiliate commision. Everyone in the company was invited to compete at who could sell the most in a month before they launched this program to the public.The winner cleaned up. They had this great idea to take the dynamically created pages of their store and convert it to a static site they could further optimize for SEO. If you looked up any of these niche software products in Google that month, it was highly likely, you’d find their store at the top of the list.I’m sure there’s more than a few people reading this cringing at the contest itself. An affiliate program, really!? Yuck. Those are a race to the bottom.First, the winner, was just the winner in the first month. What happens when everyone copies their SEO strategy? Then it’s just a bunch of Google spam which Google has gotten better about crushing. Also, the affiliate commissions will race to zero with people trying to undercut each other on the same exact products. Some people will try and take Google Ads out, which might work for one person in the short term, but when everyone starts, they’ll all lose a bunch of money to Google and profit will go to zero.Yes. Yes. And yes. That’s all true.But that’s not that much different from making soup out of pretend strawberries, milk and turkey.Today, that company I worked for doesn’t even run this affiliate program anymore probably because of all those reasons above.But I learned an incredible amount from that terrible contest. I learned about SEO and how to improve my own search listings. I learned about creating Google ads, keyword research, and split tests. I learned about using copy and pictures to get people interested.One of my most successful experiments on my affiliate site was creating a banner of someone asking visitors: “PLEASE DON’T BUY ANYTHING HERE”. Sales went up.My first real business was a company called Inkling. We made it easy for companies to host their own prediction markets which look like stock exchanges, but instead of stock in real companies, it was pseudo-betting on business decisions.We were late to the market. There were multiple companies already out there that knew this stuff so much better than we did. Not to mention, the best selling book, “The Wisdom of Crowds”, gave our biggest competitor so much free press and publicity.How could we possibly catch up?All those things I learned from my fake store sure came in handy. It took awhile, but I got our SEO in order. Eventually we were the top result for the phrase “prediction markets”. Google Ads were no sweat for me to create and optimize. We constantly tweaked our copy to get better at persuasion.Eventually, I can confidently say, we were the number one company hosting businesses prediction markets.So many of the strategies I use today to run Highrise, started with running that crappy, pretend store.Feeling stuck trying to create your own business? Just start. Start anywhere. Pick up some junk in your house and figure out how to sell it. Online or just starting making phone calls. Sign up for some affiliate program and start learning how to craft websites, ads, copy, SEO, whatever. It doesn’t matter.Do anything. It doesn’t matter if it feels pretty fake. It’s ok to just pretend for awhile.P.S. Please help spread this by clicking the ❤ below.You should follow my YouTube channel, where I share more about how we run our business, do product design, market ourselves, and just get through life. And if you need a no-hassle system to track leads and manage follow-ups you should try Highrise.How to start was originally published in Signal v. Noise on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Source: 37signals

Senior Developer, Magento - Acquia - Boston, MA

Certified Magento Developer Plus preferred. Acquia is looking for Magento Developers and Senior Developers who have a passion for eCommerce, delivering killer...
From Acquia - Sun, 14 May 2017 20:23:27 GMT - View all Boston jobs
Source: Blockchain+Developer