News

20 Oct
Personalizing the eCommerce Shopping Experience for More Sales
Personalizing the eCommerce Shopping Experience for More Sales

We see it all the time…

eCommerce website owners try to appeal to every single site visitor that lands on their pages. They attempt to get visitors to subscribe to a newsletter, engage with written content, or make a purchase.

To the uninitiated, their decision to maximize traffic — any traffic — at all costs seems like a legit game plan. After all, with traffic comes leads and sales, right?

There is some truth to that, of course.

However, there’s an even better approach. And that is, focus on getting traffic from a specific group of people. Those that have a high probability of converting.

Not only that, but you also need to personalize your site so it resonates well with the specific target audience that you endeavored to bring over to your site — this is where website personalization comes in.

If you’re curious how you can personalize your customers’ shopping experience and want to know what the future of website personalization looks like, keep reading.

How to Personalize Your Website

96% of your site visitors aren’t ready to buy the first time they land on your eCommerce site. As such, it’s important for you to do everything you can to impress them then, and encourage them to come back.

And when they do come back, your best way to encourage a conversion is to offer a personalized experience.

This is especially true now that most customers expect you to personalize your website and content for them.

Email Segmentation

Avoid sending out email blasts to everyone that subscribes to your email list.

By using an email service provider like MailChimp, you can segment your subscribers according to demographics, purchasing behavior, when they subscribed, and so much more.

For instance, send out a welcome email to all new subscribers (that obviously won’t mean anything to long-standing subscribers).

Recommended Products

By tracking people’s behavior while on your website, you can show them a list of related items they might also be interested in.

56% of people say they’d return to an online shop that recommends products. Because of this, you might want to start doing this right away in your own eCommerce store.

You can track behavior such as shopping history, or even items viewed, bookmarked, wishlisted, or abandoned. These are all great things to display for the customer.

Predictive Search Results

In order to find exactly what they are seeking, shoppers love to use search bars on eCommerce sites.

They also like to use them to browse things they may not know they want yet.

By showing related products in search results as a drop-down menu, you will encourage people to check out many other items, providing them with a chance to spend more at your online store

Instill a Sense of Urgency

To get more sales form the start, offer limited time coupons and offers to all site visitors that land on your site.

Then, take it one step further. Offer first-time visitors, those exiting your website, and those that have been there before their own exclusive deals. The goal is to motivate them to finalize a purchase.

As you can see, there are many ways to personalize the user experience for visitors on your website.

By tracking customer behavior, you can give them what they need at the right time, and thereby generate many more sales.

Take Advantage of Social Media

We all know that social media is a powerful tool for driving traffic and increasing conversions and sales.

Did you that know you can tap into specific groups of followers and offer them just what they need, all in social media?

It takes time to build a strong social media following. This is especially true if the competition in your industry is really tough.

That said, here are some helpful tips for growing your Instagram following:

  • Join Instagram engagement groups related to your niche to get more followers that you can then target personally on Instagram and your website
  • Get followers involved by having them post real life pictures using what you offer (in other words, take advantage of social proof!)
  • Be consistent, create an image, and build brand recognition, so people will come straight to your online shop every time they need something you sell (as opposed to visiting your competitors)

Lastly, you can add your Instagram feed to your eCommerce site. Doing this will add an element of visual appeal that people love.

The Future of Website Personalization

As consumers continue to expect a completely personalized shopping experience online, it’s safe to say that plenty more ways to personalize your website will continue to emerge.

That said, here are some trends you might expect to capitalize on in the near future:

  • Personalization across all channels, not just eCommerce websites
  • Tailored shopping deals that personalize not just based on what people want to buy, but how much they’re willing to pay
  • AI advancements, such as mobile apps designed to give both online and brick and mortar shops an opportunity to personalize the online shopping experience
  • Chatbot technology that can anticipate people’s needs based on their navigation behavior
  • Personal shoppers that help consumers save time and effort buying what they need for them, so they don’t have to
  • Targeted content that’s easy to scan that also educates, informs, promotes, and entertains customers

eCommerce personalization is already in the works and has been for some time.

But we can all expect it to get bigger and better as marketers unlock more creative ways to target consumers on an individual basis.

Final Thoughts

eCommerce site personalization is not something to take lightly.

If you’re the type of ecommerce marketer who still sends out email blasts to everyone and targets your entire audience as a whole, all while expecting to see significant business growth, it’s time to reevaluate your strategies.

Give your customers the best shopping experience possible. This should always be at the forefront of your marketing efforts.

And it just so happens that personalizing that experience is the best way to generate more traffic, conversions, and sales.


 

Readmore
18 Oct
Why Tomorrow's ERP Stands for Earn, Rest and Play?
Why Tomorrow's ERP Stands for Earn, Rest and Play?

When we’re young, we have very different notions of what makes us "super" people. We want to be Iron Man with his suit, Captain America with his shield or Wonder Woman her bracelets of submission. But as we become adults and come to grips with reality, our definition of what it takes to be "super" is completely different.   

In fact, in business, we use "super" to describe leaders who are finding the right balance between work and life. Modern superheroes lauded in the media are those who are successful in their field while also making enough time for family and hobbies outside of work. Maybe that’s getting home in time to put the kids to bed, finding time to train for a marathon, or just putting in the hours to learn how to play an instrument.

We’re in awe of these individuals not because of a tremendous feat of strength or heroic act, but because achieving a perfect work/life balance is one of the hardest things to do as an adult.

This is where ERP cloud applications are delivering the power needed to be "super." ERP might stand for “Enterprise Resource Planning”, but let’s make it stand for “Earn, Rest and Play”—helping business decision makers find the right work/life balance and prove their true worth as modern superheroes.

ERP, when bringing automation to the equation, can speed up manual tasks as well as eliminating time-consuming and costly upgrades. Focus can instead be dedicated to more strategic elements of the job. Recent Accenture research showed that finance staff spend an average of 60 to 70 percent of their time on tasks such as processing transactions, accounting, controlling, compliance and reporting; that’s a lot more time back in their day. We’re already seeing a couple of CFOs splitting their time more evenly between Earning, Resting and Playing, thanks to ERP:

With businesses more reliant on data, CFOs need to be more than number-crunchers if they’re to maximise their earning potential and add value in the right places. Our market-leading ERP helps them achieve this, making them more productive and successful at work, while freeing up the time to "do it all"—dedicating attention to family, friends, hobbies, and their general well-being. That’s why ERP with automation capabilities is the real power helping business people become our modern day superheroes.

Readmore
17 Oct
9 Must have ERP Features
9 Must have ERP Features

1.Integration

 

The one thing about that is clear about new ERP system implementation is that it is rarely ever a clear-cut process. Issues with integration arise on multiple levels. First, this list includes a number of separate modules, which need to be integrated flawlessly for your new ERP system to serve its purpose. 

Second, almost all businesses require extending additional systems, which are not a part of their new ERP solution, to cater to their unique needs. As such, to avoid future hassle and complications, make sure your new solution has the ability to interoperate with other systems.

2. Hosting options

 

Many ERP solution providers like to push their notions of whichever hosting option they prefer themselves onto their customers. This is very limiting, to say the least. You should be able to decide on your own whether you want your new solution to be hosted on your own servers, on a cloud, or a hybrid cloud (when a company uses a mix of public and private cloud services). 

Every company is different. They all have their own security concerns, update and configuration requirements, and flexibility needs. This is why offering different hosting options is on this list of must-have ERP features.

3. Usability

 

We all know that ERP solutions are complex systems with a slew of functionalities that should ideally help you carry out all your business processes. If, however, the solution is not user-friendly and too complicated to use, then all those functionalities defy their own purpose and hurt your company’s productivity. Therefore, always make sure to request a demo before deciding on a new ERP system.

4. Platform scalability

 

Your business is not a static and rigid entity. Neither should be an ERP system. You are aware that once you decide to update your ERP system, it will cost you considerable resources. This is all the more reason to make sure that your ERP provider offers you a scalable solution that will adapt to your future needs. Otherwise, you will either be forced to change your solution every couple of years, or start using additional applications to satisfy all business needs.

5. Flexibility and mobility

 

Having mobile access is no longer a futuristic ERP feature. With many workers accessing data and workflows with their own devices, having a mobile version is a must. Not only will a mobile-friendly ERP dashboard give your employees on-the-go access, it will also give you the opportunity to see how your business is doing at any particular point in time.

6. CRM and Sales Management

 

Many will argue that CRM and Sales Management are the starting points of your entire business operation. You receive a sales order, which then triggers procurement, production or service delivery, and ends with a satisfied customer. This is why this tool is usually a part of core ERP functionality.

7. Finance and Accounting

 

As your business grows, you will really appreciate having a Financial Management module as part of your ERP solution. The idea is to get a comprehensive platform that will help streamline financial operations. By integrating with other modules, Financial and Accounting will keep track of your cash flows and give you a snapshot of your financial performance at any point in time.

8. HR Management

 

Human Resources Management is no longer solely an administrative task. A good ERP system should have an HR Management module with advanced features like time and attendance management, employee benefits management, risk and compliance management, etc., in order to enable company executives to monitor and take care of its most important resource – its people.

9. BI Reports

 

Business intelligence tools are indispensable for executives to get a 360-degree view of their businesses. It enables the company to turn all of its accumulated information into actionable acumen in order to be able to analyze company performance and make better decisions.

 

 

 

Summary

When it comes to choosing an ERP solution for your business, choose one that has a solid yet flexible infrastructure that will be strong enough and lean enough to streamline your business processes. That is where RIST ERP solution comes into the equation. We ensure customer recevies a solid platform that can withstand any complex operations.

Readmore
15 Oct
What makes a good retail POS System?
What makes a good retail POS System?

Each system offers a unique set of seemingly useful features and more often than not, serves a specific vertical. Before diving into those, you’ll want to understand the big picture: how it works, how easy it is to implement, what it provides, and if it comes with good support. Below you’ll find a high-level approach to understanding what makes each POS system a good or bad choice for your business. As you search, these are the overarching points that you’ll to want to pay attention to.

Transaction Time

When you’re new to point of sale, most systems that you come across will feel like they operate fairly well and reasonably quickly. Coming from a cash register or not having previously owned a business at all, any POS software will feel like a solid choice at first. However, the speed of your transactions – or lack thereof – will have a huge impact on your business in more ways than one.

One thing that people surely don’t have much patience for at a small business is long lines. As a shopper, you come to expect it at large retailers but not at your local neighborhood shop. A fast and reliable POS system will help you fly through your busy periods throughout the day. Even a tiny stall in each transaction will add up and cost you money in the long run.

User-Friendly Interface

One of the biggest drawbacks of point of sale for many small business owners is the learning curve. Even though POS systems have become a lot more commercialized and common, there are still many small businesses that believe that they’re ‘keeping it simple’ by sticking with their old cash register. That may be true in some cases, but the right POS software is in fact, the real way of ‘keeping it simple’ at your store. Take RIST POS customer, Universal Food Stuff for example. they found that by switching to a POS system, they drastically reduced common errors made by employees on their cash register.

If your POS software isn’t simple and user-friendly, you will lose money by spending copious amounts of time training your staff and accounting for their mistakes along the way. A user-friendly system will drastically increase the transaction speed and save you money, and create a better experience for your customers.

Accurate and Timely Data

What’s the point of investing your hard-earned money on POS software if you can’t depend on the reports and the data that it provides? After all, that is the purpose of one, right? We’ve previously outlined the ways that you can use your POS software to better control your inventory, but if your reports don’t reflect the correct information or your system doesn’t provide the data in real-time, then it’s not very useful. Not to mention, with the advent of cloud technology now available to small businesses at affordable prices, if you can’t access your data where and when you want it, then it’s really not very beneficial.

Security

We’ve all seen the news stories and statistics regarding retail fraud, beginning at the point of sale system. Fraud is a major issue in GCC in particular, and it’s partly due to the lack of proper security measures built into many point of sale systems. Many POS companies are now developing better hardware and software features to address these concerns. You don’t have to be a security expert to choose a relatively secure POS solution if you just look for some key things. For starters, you should make sure that your system is PCI compliant, and that the card reader or terminal encrypts the data at the point of swipe. With new technologies like mobile wallets that use tokenization and NFC contactless payments, you should look for a system that provides the hardware to accept these types of secure transactions. 

Support

Whether you choose the simplest, most basic card reader or your traditional computer-style point of sale system with all of the bells and whistles, you will need customer support at some point. What most business owners fail to realize is that when your business is in full swing, you will be wearing way too many hats to dedicate time to troubleshooting POS issues. The worst thing is, because your business is dependent on taking sales, a POS problem is not one of those things that you can put off or even delegate to someone else most of the time. On the other hand, the great news is that with the internet and customer reviews sites everywhere, it isn’t very difficult to find out whether or not the company that you’re considering provides good service.

WHY RIST?

We check into all the boxes stated above and we have a dedicated team that ensure high quality customer satisfaction. The reason why RIST stands out in the market is due to its dedication towards its client by transpiring Security & Trust.

Readmore
05 Sep
P2C 150 Series
P2C 150 Series

Multi-Simple POS System P2C 150 Series

  • All-in-One POS with Internal Printer!
  • Low heat, near-silent, fanless method implemented!
  • Applied secured module to protect private information.(EMV Certified)
  • Multi-Simple POS System

P2C 150 Series!

  • Simple design with built-in printer to save space and easily maintain.
  • Change the body color for your store theme.
  • Simple design with COLOR point!
  • Simple Design with Two-Tone Color
  • Replaceable Cover for Color Matching

 

 

 

All In One POS

 

  • Save space with built-in printer
  • M/B (Mother board) equipped with ultra-thin body
  • Easy to replace colored covers

All In One POS

주변기기 연결용 케이블 하단 처리로 깔끔한 배선 정리

P2C forms natural business environment

  • Body and stand can be detached with One touch! Wall mount capable
  • Both VFD and 2nd monitor (10” or 15”) installation capable
  • Simple and clean wiring for peripheral connections

P2C's easy maintenance

  • Easily and conveniently equipped with Left and right I/O placement peripherals
  • Harness and cable to minimize maintenance costs and time savings
  • Easy to assemble and disassemble
  • Cool, quiet Fanless method implemented

편리한 유지보수

Maintenance

  • Simplified maintenance due to the harness and minimzed screws within the system

Fanless

  • Cool, quiet Fanless method implemented

Cable

  • Simple and clean wiring for peripheral connections.

Customizable display

  • Replace Body and stand replacement with One Touch.
  • Instantly switched to wall-mount, after detaching from stand.

Secure Readability

  • Gently move the screen up, down, left, and right monitor for customers according to eye level improving readability.

Security Feature

  • Built-in protection for illegal use.(Site designation Possible)
  • Supports PC/SC support, IC Card Reader.
  • Magnetic Stripe Data Encryption Feature Support (AES).

MSR

  • Left and right I / O port access placement is easy and port placed in a dedicated MSR (MiniUSB), SR Interface (Serial & USB) cable changeable without altering
  • Control port-installed to support Cash drawer.
  • Default interface is USB and RS232 is available by CMOS setting
  • Smart all-in-one combination for MSR, SCR and Dallas key
  • (MSR + SCR + Dallas key as well as MSR, SCR and MSR + SCR)

2nd LCD display

  • 10inch and 15inch LCD display support
  • 1024 × 768 Resolution
  • Ultra slim bezel and case design
  • tilt and swivel adjustment bracket structure support

VFD

  • VFD type
  • 20 columns × 2 lines
  • MSR designed Body family look
  • Tilt & angle adjustment bracket structure
  • OPOS support
  • tilt and swivel support

Printer

  • Communication: UART (RS-232) or USB
  • Bu er Size: 1Mbytes
  • Paper roll : 80mm
  • High speed : 170mm/sec
Readmore
18 Aug
Gmail Now Lets You Send Mails Secretly to Users
Gmail Now Lets You Send Mails Secretly to Users

Gmail is now letting users send mails via the Confidential Mode which was first demonstrated few months back, when the mailing client was getting a design makeover.

Confidential Mode is a secretive form of sending mails for users, who want to lock the content that’s getting shared and also have a timer that ensures the mail expires. How many times have you dithered from sending critical information like bank account number or password to someone via Gmail? That’s probably going to be sorted now.

This is probably the first time that we’re seeing mail that has an option of expiring, something that has been highly used for social media platforms like Snapchat, and even Instagram.

The feature is now rolling out to the new-look Gmail app on Android, iOS and even the web version for PCs.

How the user receives a mail send via confidential mode. 

How the user receives a mail send via confidential mode.

New confidential mode allows you to remove the option to forward, copy, download or print messages — useful for when you have to send sensitive information via email like a tax return or your social security number.

Google Blog

  •  
  •  

How to send mails secretly. 

How to send mails secretly. 

(Photo: Gmail screen grab)

How to Send Mails in Confidential Mode

  1. Open Gmail (app or on a browser) and compose a new mail
  2. Select Confidential Mode on the top right of the Gmail app
  3. Web users will see it at the bottom of the mail
  4. Select duration of mail (day, week, month or year)
  5. You can send the mail with SMS Passcode or without it
  6. Enter the mobile number of the user receiving the mail

Use a passcode for the person to open the mail. 

Use a passcode for the person to open the mail.

Gmail also claims that sending confidential details like credit card numbers, bank information and passwords among others (not recommended though).

Choose the duration for which the mail will exist. 

Choose the duration for which the mail will exist. 

 

These features are making way to your devices and PCs in the coming days. During our experience with the option, we found all the points advertised are working as expected. Taking the passcode via OTP route, the security part also gets covered.

All in all, looks like an interesting option for mail users – something worth trying out over the next few months.

 

Readmore
18 Aug
Google is using AI to run its data center cooling systems
Google is using AI to run its data center cooling systems

The AI is finding better ways to reduce energy consumption.

Google's data centers hold thousands of servers and they power everything from Google Search to Gmail to YouTube. But those data centers need to be kept cool in order for those servers to run reliably. A couple of years ago, Google began applying AI to its data center cooling systems and it offered system controllers recommendations about how to boost energy efficiency while maintaining optimal temperatures. Now, Google says its AI is running the show.

When the company developed its AI-powered recommendation system, it said the thinking behind the move was simple. "Even minor improvements would provide significant energy savings and reduce CO2 emissions to help combat climate change," DeepMind said in a blog post today. After implementing the system, the company's data center operators reported that it was uncovering some improved techniques, but vetting and manually implementing they system's recommendations was requiring a fair amount of time and effort. That's when Google began to explore an automated system.

Now, the AI system is implementing actions on its own, though human operators are always there to supervise and take over if need be. Every five minutes, the system takes a snapshot of the cooling system and that information is fed into DeepMind's neural networks. The AI then assesses which actions should be taken to maintain temperature but minimize energy consumption, and after those actions are run through a number of safety checks, they're implemented.

Google says that the system has been in place for a few months and it's producing energy savings of around 30 percent. It's also continuing to find new techniques to satisfy energy saving goals. The company adds that data centers might not be the only places that could benefit from such a system. "In the long term, we think there's potential to apply this technology in other industrial settings, and help tackle climate change on an even grander scale," it said.

Readmore
14 Aug
Google Voice redesigned
Google Voice redesigned

At Cloud Next 2018, Google announced that Google Voice was now a part of G Suite and showed off a redesigned app. That mobile revamp is now beginning to roll out on iOS with new features for enterprise users, and it’s likely coming soon to Android.

As a part of G Suite, Google Voice aims to compliment Hangouts Meet video conferencing by offering a calling solution for enterprise customers. The version includes specific features like managing users, detailed reports, and setting up call routing functionality. When provisioning and porting numbers, admins can assign to either individual users or entire departments.

This redesign also involves a significant tweak of the mobile apps, starting with a new icon that’s reminiscent of the old Hangouts Dialer and replaces the previous light blue and white logo.

The new dark green background is the same shade as Hangouts Chat and Meet, with that accent color present throughout the rest of the application.

Signaling the new focus on traditional telephony, “Calls” is now the first tab in the bottom bar if you’re logged in with a G Suite account. This is followed by a new “Contacts” section that provides dedicated access to your address book. The functionality is not new given how opening search would already display an alphabetical list of contacts. There is a quick shortcut to add new contacts at the top of the list, as well as the ability to edit existing ones.

Meanwhile, “Messages” is now the third tab with “Voicemail” still at the very right. Again, this update is more of a reorganization of the app. Dark green is used to highlight the current tab you are viewing, as well as the calling and new message FAB.

 

 

 

Google touted at Cloud Next 2018 that the new Voice closely integrates with other G Suite services. Do not disturb can be enabled automatically based on “working hours” as determined by Google Calendar. This Digital Wellbeing feature can leverage machine learning to infer your work hours based on past events and takes into account time zones. As such, messages received after hours will automatically be forwarded, while calls go straight to voicemail.

The Contacts and Calendar-based DND functionality appears to be limited to enterprise G Suite accounts. Regular and free Google accounts will continue to see Messages as the first tab followed by Calls and Voicemail. Keypad is the fourth tab, while the Calendar integration does not appear in Settings.

Version 18.33 is rolling out now to iOS, while there are already reports of Android users getting the update last week. Meanwhile, given that these features were under development in our last APK Insight of Google Voice, the Play Store update is likely coming sooner than later.

 

Readmore
11 Aug
Many Android devices ship with firmware vulnerabilities
Many Android devices ship with firmware vulnerabilities

Asus, Essential, LG, and ZTE have all vowed to patch security flaws found by mobile security firm Kryptowire, according to Wired. The firm’s research was meant to point out that some security meltdowns stem from code written by phone companies to modify Android.

Researchers found bugs in the firmware of 10 separate devices carried across the major American carriers, according Wired, which saw an early version of Kryptowire’s report. The security lapses could lead to everything from letting an attacker lock someone out of their device, to getting control over their microphone and more — though most of the attacks that the researchers detailed required users to download some sort of malicious app before they could take advantage of the holes present in the firmware. Their research, funded by the Department of Homeland Security, is being presented today at the Black Hat USA security conference.

According to Kryptowire, these vulnerabilities stem from Android’s open nature, which allows third-parties to tweak the code and modify the interference or create completely different versions of Android. However, as the researchers found out, this open-style system can also lead to gaps in the phones’ security. Wired says the research looks at these flaws as a problem endemic to Android.

“A lot of the people in the supply chain want to be able to add their own applications, customize, add their own cod,” Kryptowire CEO Angelos Stavrou told Wired. “That increases the attack surface, and increases the probability of software error.”

One particularly bad example was found in the Asus Zenfone V Live smartphone. According to Wired, Kryptowire found enough holes in its code to expose users to a complete takeover of their device — screenshots and video recordings could be taken of their screen, and someone could, theoretically, read and changing their text messages. Asus said it is “aware of the recent security concerns” and that it is “working diligently and swiftly to resolve them” with a patch.

Essential, LG, and ZTE all responded to Wired with statements saying they had fixed some or all of the problems identified by Kryptowire after being alerted by the firm. Whether those patches have been rolled out to all users is less clear, however, as only AT&T confirmed it had deployed any of these updates. And as the researchers point out, this update process is, itself, broken for many, with updates often taking months to put together and make their way to users.

Readmore
11 Aug
Microsoft releases two new Windows 10 previews
Microsoft releases two new Windows 10 previews

Microsoft today released two new Windows 10 previews for PCs. The first build, which contains only bug fixes, is from the RS5 branch, which represents the Windows 10 update the company plans to release later this year. The second build is from the 19H1 branch, which, as its name indicates, will arrive in the first half of next year.

It’s becoming more common for the Windows Insider program to get two new builds on the same day (the last time was only about two weeks ago). Microsoft is becoming more comfortable developing two updates of Windows 10 at once.

Windows 10 is being developed as a service, meaning it receives new features on a regular basis. Microsoft has released five major updates so far: November Update, Anniversary Update, Creators Update, Fall Creators Update, and April 2018 Update.

Windows 10 build 17735

As mentioned, this build doesn’t offer any new features. This is largely because the RS5 branch is feature-complete, and Microsoft is mainly now focusing on fixing bugs.

This desktop build includes the following general bug fixes and improvements:

  • Fixed an issue resulting in Reveal not working in Build 17733, for example in Start or Settings.
  • Fixed an issue resulting in links that launched one app from another app not working in the last few flights for some Insiders.
  • Fixed an issue in Windows Mixed Reality where the voice command, “Flashlight on,” would fail to activate the flashlight feature.
  • Fixed an issue resulting in Notepad’s “Search with Bing” feature searching for “10 10” instead of “10 + 10” if that was the search query and also fixed an issue where accented characters would end up as question marks in the resulting search.
  • Fixed an issue where Ctrl + 0 to reset the zoom level in Notepad wouldn’t work if the 0 was typed from a keypad.
  • Fixed an issue where nearby sharing would become blocked on the sender device after canceling share to three different devices.
  • Narrator Scan Mode has been improved to prevent multiple stops for a single control.
  • Fixed the issue where Narrator said “Not a Narrator command” when navigating Win32 menu bar items.
  • Removed the Windows alert sound when performing the Narrator Find command.
  • Fixed the issue where Narrator got stuck at a word boundary when making a selection using select current and previous character.

In the RS5 branch, this update bumps the Windows 10 build number for PCs from 17733 (made available to testers on August 8) to build 17735.

This build has eight known issues:

  • Your PC will bugcheck (GSOD) when deleting a local folder that is synced to OneDrive.
  • When you upgrade to this build you’ll find that the taskbar flyouts (network, volume, etc) no longer have an acrylic background.
  • When you use the Ease of Access Make Text bigger setting, you might see text clipping issues, or find that text is not increasing in size everywhere.
  • On Windows 10 in S Mode, launching Office in the Store may fail to launch with an error about a .dll not being designed to run on Windows. The error message is that a .dll “is either not designed to run on Windows or it contains an error. Try installing the program again…” Some people have been able to work around this by uninstalling and reinstalling Office from the Store.
  • When using Narrator Scan mode Shift + Selection commands in Microsoft Edge, the text does not get selected properly.
  • Narrator sometimes does not read in the Settings app when you navigate using Tab and arrow keys. Try switching to Narrator Scan mode temporarily. And when you turn Scan mode off again, Narrator will now read when you navigate using Tab and arrows key. Alternatively, you can restart Narrator to work around this issue.
  • A potential increase in Start reliability and performance issues.
  • After setting up a Windows Mixed Reality headset for the first time on this build with motion controllers, the controllers may need to be re-paired a second time before appearing in the headset.

Windows 10 build 18214

This 19H1 build is for Windows Insiders who have chosen the Skip Ahead option, meaning they continue to receive builds from the RS_PRERELEASE branch. Only a small subset of Insiders can opt into Skip Ahead, as Microsoft still needs testers helping with RS5.

This build mainly catches up the 19H1 branch with the improvements and fixes made recently in the RS5 branch. It supports Your Phone app, for example, which the RS5 branch already supports. It still hasn‘t quite caught up yet, however, and it’s clear Microsoft’s main focus is on RS5.

This desktop build includes the following general bug fixes and improvements:

  • Fixed the issue resulting in the Clock & Calendar flyout sometimes not appearing until you clicked Start or the Action Center. This same issue impacted both notifications and the taskbar jump lists appearing. Thank you to all the Windows Insiders who gave feedback on this issue.
  • Fixed an issue that could result in an unexpected sihost.exe error when entering Safe Mode.
  • Fixed an issue where Timeline’s scrollbar didn’t work with touch.
  • Fixed an issue where when naming a tile folder in Start it would commit as soon as you pressed space.
  • You should find apps resize better now after monitor DPI changes. As always, we appreciate feedback in this space.
  • Fixed an issue where the enabled/disabled state of Fast Startup would be reset to default after upgrading. After upgrading off of this build your preferred state will persist.
  • Fixed an issue where the Windows Security icon in the taskbar systray would become a little bit blurrier every time there was a resolution change.
  • Fixed an issue where the USERNAME environment variable was returning SYSTEM when queried from an un-elevated Command Prompt in recent builds.
  • Updated the messaging in Snipping Tool, which could be in for a renaming.

In the 19H1 branch, this update bumps the Windows 10 build number for PCs from 18204 (made available to testers on July 25) to build 18214.

This build has 15 known issues:

  • The dark theme File Explorer is on its way to Skip Ahead, but not yet there. You may see some unexpectedly light colors in these surfaces when in dark mode and/or dark on dark text.
  • When you upgrade to this build you’ll find that the taskbar flyouts (network, volume, etc) no longer have an acrylic background.
  • When you use the Ease of Access Make Text bigger setting, you might see text clipping issues, or find that text is not increasing in size everywhere.
  • When you set up Microsoft Edge as your kiosk app and configure the start/new tab page URL from assigned access Settings, Microsoft Edge may not get launched with the configured URL. The fix for this issue should be included in the next flight.
  • You may see the notification count icon overlapping with the extension icon in the Microsoft Edge toolbar when an extension has unread notifications.
  • On Windows 10 in S Mode, launching Office in the Store may fail to launch with an error about a .dll not being designed to run on Windows. The error message is that a .dll “is either not designed to run on Windows or it contains an error. Try installing the program again…” Some people have been able to work around this by uninstalling and reinstalling Office from the Store. If that doesn’t work, you can try to install a version of Office not from the Store.
  • When the Narrator Quickstart launches, Scan Mode may not reliably be on by default. To verify that Scan Mode is on, press Caps Lock + Space.
  • When using Narrator Scan mode you may experience multiple stops for a single control. An example of this is if you have an image that is also a link.
  • If the Narrator key is set to just Insert and you attempt to send a Narrator command from a braille display then these commands will not function. As long as the Caps Lock key is a part of the Narrator key mapping then braille functionality will work as designed.
  • There is a known issue in Narrator’s automatic dialog reading where the title of the dialog is being spoken more than once.
  • When using Narrator Scan mode Shift + Selection commands in Edge, the text does not get selected properly.
  • Narrator sometimes does not read combo boxes until Alt + down arrow is pressed.
  • For more information about Narrator new keyboard layout and other known issues, please refer to Intro to New Narrator Keyboard Layout doc (ms/RS5NarratorKeyboard).
  • A potential increase in Start reliability and performance issues.
  • If you install any of the recent builds from the Fast ring and switch to the Slow ring – optional content such as enabling developer mode will fail. You will have to remain in the Fast ring to add/install/enable optional content. This is because optional content will only install on builds approved for specific rings.

Don’t install either build on your production machine.

Readmore
11 Aug
Even Anonymous Coders Leave Fingerprints
Even Anonymous Coders Leave Fingerprints

Casey Chin

Researchers who study stylometry—the statistical analysis of linguistic style—have long known that writing is a unique, individualistic process. The vocabulary you select, your syntax, and your grammatical decisions leave behind a signature. Automated tools can now accurately identify the author of a forum post for example, as long as they have adequate training data to work with. But newer research shows that stylometry can also apply to artificial language samples, like code. Software developers, it turns out, leave behind a fingerprint as well.

Rachel Greenstadt, an associate professor of computer science at Drexel University, and Aylin Caliskan, Greenstadt's former PhD student and now an assistant professor at George Washington University, have found that code, like other forms of stylistic expression, are not anonymous. At the DefCon hacking conference Friday, the pair will present a number of studies they've conducted using machine learning techniques to de-anonymize the authors of code samples. Their work could be useful in a plagiarism dispute, for instance, but it also has privacy implications, especially for the thousands of developers who contribute open source code to the world.

How To De-Anonymize Code

Here's a simple explanation of how the researchers used machine learning to uncover who authored a piece of code. First, the algorithm they designed identifies all the features found in a selection of code samples. That's a lot of different characteristics. Think of every aspect that exists in natural language: There's the words you choose, which way you put them together, sentence length, and so on. Greenstadt and Caliskan then narrowed the features to only include the ones that actually distinguish developers from each other, trimming the list from hundreds of thousands to around 50 or so.

The researchers don't rely on low-level features, like how code was formatted. Instead, they create "abstract syntax trees," which reflect code's underlying structure, rather than its arbitrary components. Their technique is akin to prioritizing someone's sentence structure, instead of whether they indent each line in a paragraph.

'People should be aware that it’s generally very hard to 100 percent hide your identity in these kinds of situations.'

Rachel Greenstadt, Drexel University

The method also need requires examples of someone's work to teach an algorithm to know when it spots another one of their code samples. If a random GitHub account pops up and publishes a code fragment, Greenstadt and Caliskan wouldn't necessarily be able to identify the person behind it, because they only have one sample to work with. (They could possibly tell that it was a developer they hadn't seen before.) Greenstadt and Caliskan, however, don't need your life's work to attribute code to you. It only takes a few short samples.

For example, in a 2017 paper, Caliskan, Greenstadt, and two other researchers demonstrated that even small snippets of code on the repository site GitHub can be enough to differentiate one coder from another with a high degree of accuracy.

Most impressively, Caliskan and a team of other researchers showed in a separate paper that it’s possible to de-anonymize a programmer using only their compiled binary code. After a developer finishes writing a section of code, a program called a compiler turns it into a series of 1s and 0s that can be read by a machine, called binary. To humans, it mostly looks like nonsense.

Caliskan and the other researchers she worked with can decompile the binary back into the C++ programming language, while preserving elements of a developer’s unique style. Imagine you wrote a paper and used Google Translate to transform it into another language. While the text might seem completely different, elements of how you write are still embedded in traits like your syntax. The same holds true for code.

“Style is preserved,” says Caliskan. “There is a very strong stylistic fingerprint that remains when things are based on learning on an individual basis.”

To conduct the binary experiment, Caliskan and the other researchers used code samples from Google’s annual Code Jam competition. The machine learning algorithm correctly identified a group of 100 individual programmers 96 percent of the time, using eight code samples from each. Even when the sample size was widened to 600 programmers, the algorithm still made an accurate identification 83 percent of the time.

Plagiarism and Privacy Implications

Caliskan and Greenstadt say their work could be used to tell whether a programming student plagiarized, or whether a developer violated a noncompete clause in their employment contract. Security researchers could potentially use it to help determine who might have created a specific type of malware.

More worryingly, an authoritarian government could use the de-anonymization techniques to identify the individuals behind, say, a censorship circumvention tool. The research also has privacy implications for developers who contribute to open source projects, especially if they consistently use the same GitHub account.

“People should be aware that it’s generally very hard to 100 percent hide your identity in these kinds of situations,” says Greenstadt.

For example, Greenstadt and Caliskan have found that some off-the-shelf obfuscation methods, tools used by software engineers to make code more complicated, and thus secure, aren't successful in hiding a developer's unique style. The researchers say that in the future, however, programmers might be able to conceal their styles using more sophisticated methods.

“I do think as we proceed, one thing we’re going to discover is what kind of obfuscation works to hide this stuff,” says Greenstadt. “I’m not convinced that the end point of this is going to be everything you do forever is traceable. I hope not, anyway.”

In a separate paper, for instance, a team led by Lucy Simko at the University of Washington found that programmers could craft code with the intention of tricking an algorithm into believing it had been authored by someone else. The team found that a developer may be able to spoof their "coding signature," even if they're not specifically trained in creating forgeries.

Future Work

Greenstadt and Caliskan have also uncovered a number of interesting insights about the nature of programming. For example, they have found that experienced developers appear easier to identify than novice ones. The more skilled you are, the more unique your work apparently becomes. That might be in part because beginner programmers often copy and paste code solutions from websites like Stack Overflow.

Similarly, they found that code samples addressing more difficult problems are also easier to attribute. Using a sample set of 62 programmers, who each solved seven "easy" problems, the researchers were able to de-anonymize their work 90 percent of the time. When the researchers used seven "hard" problem samples instead, their accuracy bumped to 95 percent.

Aylin Caliskan, George Washington University

In the future, Greenstadt and Caliskan want to understand how other factors might affect a person’s coding style, like what happens when members of the same organization collaborate on a project. They also want to explore questions like whether people from different countries code in different ways. In one preliminary study for example, they found they could differentiate between code samples written by Canadian and by Chinese developers with over 90 percent accuracy.

There’s also the question of whether the same attribution methods could be used across different programming languages in a standardized way. For now, the researchers stress that de-anonymizing code is still a mysterious process, though so far their methods have been shown to work.

“We’re still trying to understand what makes something really attributable and what doesn't,” says Greenstadt. “There’s enough here to say it should be a concern, but I hope it doesn’t cause anybody to not contribute publicly on things.”

Readmore
11 Aug
Samsung's Galaxy Watch: A Scientist Weighs in on Its Features
Samsung's Galaxy Watch: A Scientist Weighs in on Its Features

On Thursday, Samsung revealed the latest addition to its collection of wearables. The Galaxy Watch looks a bit sleeker than an average fitness watch — a chic timepiece one might wear if one is not interested in advertising that they Seriously Work Out Regularly. Beneath the window dressing, the Galaxy successfully straddles two different worlds of fitness trackers: trackers that look good, and ones that can offer robust data.

The fitness watch spectrum ranges from hardcore workout trackers that don’t necessarily translate to daily wear (e.g., heart rate monitors that require a chest strap, like the [Polar M400 GPS(https://www.amazon.com/Polar-Heart-Monitor-Bluetooth-Chest/dp/B06WV8NGTN]) to watches that are designed to look good — or at least inconspicuous. The Galaxy watch appears to fall somewhere between the extremes if you take a look at the components, as Jonathan Peake, P.h.D, a senior lecturer at Queensland University’s Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation points out to Inverse.

“There is plenty of window dressing to suit personal preference,” Peake says. “It is promoted as military grade hardware, I doubt many users would requite that level of durability. Likewise, it’s rated to five atmospheres of underwater pressure, thus it could be used while deep-sea diving.”

galaxy watch fitness

If you wanted to, you could take this watch deep sea diving 

How the Galaxy Watch Appears to Stack Up to Competition

Deep-sea diving capability isn’t the only elite-level sport aspect of the Galaxy watch. For instance, it has some advanced GPS technology — in particular capability to integrate with GLONASS, Russia’s satellite navigation system. But aside from those notable features, Peake, who conducted a systematic review of hundreds of consumer fitness trackers earlier in August and published his findings in Frontiers in Physiology, mentions that the Galaxy doesn’t have too much else under the hood to differentiate it from competitors.

“The sensors included in the watch are pretty standard for measuring activity levels, heart rate and daylight,” Peake says. “Monitoring activity levels at the wrist is most convenient and comfortable for users, But some activities don’t involve arm movement, and other activities involve only the arms while otherwise remaining sedentary.”

The Fitness Watch Still Has Two Big Problems

Still, even the Galaxy hasn’t solved two universal fitness tracking issues: the wrist is neither the best place on the body to even put a fitness tracker, nor is it the best place to get a heart rate reading. This is because it uses a system of measurement called plethysmography, which uses a light to sense the blood flow through the veins in the wrist, as opposed to chest-strap heart rate monitors, which measure the heart’s electrical activity.

fitness sport tracking

The different workout modes for the Apple Watch. Samsung's watch boasts more than three times as many sport choices. 

Galaxy Watch Appears to Be an Organizational Game-Changer

But what does seem unique to the Galaxy watch is not how it collects data, but rather how it allows you to organize it. At the unveiling, it was revealed that the watch has workout modes for 39 sports, from cycling to yoga. For comparison, the Apple watch’s newest line only has specific modes for ten different sports.

Having this level of labeling specificity with sport tracking is incredibly helpful when you’e looking to run any kind of analysis on your workout data. For instance, it’s good to know if that a data point showing low heart rate is due to a yoga class and not, say, a slow struggle through a spin class.

For now, the Galaxy watch is one of the first to really attempt to be a true lifestyle fitness tracker that straddles both the worlds of Russian satellite tracking and intense deep-sea diving but can also trick you into thinking it’s a fashion accessory. We won’t know much about how people react to the Galaxy watch’s interfaces until it launches officially on August 24, but if anyone takes it deep sea diving, Samsung would likely be happy to hear about it.

Readmore
09 Aug
Microsoft releases dark theme for File Explorer
Microsoft releases dark theme for File Explorer

Microsoft today released a new preview for PCs with dark theme support in File Explorer and improvements to Narrator. This build is from the RS5 branch, which represents the Windows 10 update the company plans to release later this year. The company is also releasing builds from the 19H1 branch, which, as its name indicates, will arrive in the first half of next year.

Windows 10 is being developed as a service, meaning it receives new features on a regular basis. Microsoft has released five major updates so far: November Update, Anniversary Update, Creators Update, Fall Creators Update, and April 2018 Update.

Back in May, Microsoft released the first Windows 10 build to support a dark theme in File Explorer. Today’s build completes “what we set out to do for this release,” the team announced. That doesn’t mean dark theme development is done, but it does mean that what you see in File Explorer in this build is what you’ll get in the next Windows 10 release.

This desktop build also includes the following general bug fixes and improvements (most of which are for Narrator):

  • The XAML shadows have been taken offline and acrylic has been removed from some popup controls. They will be back in a later build.
  • Fixed an issue from recently flights where the touch keyboard might become invisible on the screen.
  • Fixed an issue in recent flights where components of a notification with a progress bar (like the one when using nearby sharing) might flash every time the progress bar updated.
  • Fixed an issue where on certain devices if you reset your device and chose to keep files, after logging back into Windows the Sound Settings page would be unresponsive.
  • Fixed the issue where the High Contrast dropdown flashed when the values were changed.
  • Fixed the issue where Narrator couldn’t access all the emoji in the Touch Keyboard’s emoji panel.
  • Fixed the issue where Narrator didn’t say “selected” after image was selected using the keyboard.
  • Fixed the issue where Touch Narrator’s focus remained on the word even after deselecting it.
  • Fixed the issue where the Narrator key got sticky when using the Mouse Mode command.
  • Fixed the issue where Narrator’s Command Restore Default dialog was not read by Narrator.
  • Fixed the issue where Narrator’s copy and paste feature would say “selection removed” but the selection remained.
  • Fixed the issue where Narrator automatic dialog read the Command key Assignment dialog twice.
  • Improved the Narrator experience when moving by character and announcing phonetic pronunciations.
  • Fixed the issue where Narrator focus and keyboard focus got out of sync after navigating TreeView controls.
  • Fixed the issue where Narrator misread the Calculator app’s display on focus for values over 100.
  • Fixed the issue where when launching Narrator QuickStart using the link in Narrator Settings, the Narrator icon would appear in the taskbar.
  • Fixed the issue where Narrator couldn’t read the label of the Word document recovery dialog.
  • Fixed the issue so Narrator can now navigate the New Notepad Status Bar contents.
  • Fixed the issue where Narrator Scan mode navigation didn’t progress after tabbing onto a link.
  • Fixed the issue where Narrator navigated out of the Microsoft Edge browser window using Scan mode on some web pages.
  • Fixed the issue where Narrator crashed when Developer Mode was in use and the generated string to display was null.
  • Fixed the issue where Narrator continuous reading got stuck on a table element in some HTML emails.

Today’s update bumps the Windows 10 build number for the RS5 branch from 17730 (made available to testers on August 3) to build 17733.

This build has 11 known issues:

  • Your PC will bugcheck (GSOD) when deleting a local folder that is synced to OneDrive.
  • Clicking a link to launch one app from another app may not work for some Insiders.
  • When you upgrade to this build you’ll find that the taskbar flyouts (network, volume, etc) no longer have an acrylic background.
  • When you use the Ease of Access Make Text bigger setting, you might see text clipping issues, or find that text is not increasing in size everywhere.
  • On Windows 10 in S Mode, launching Office in the Store may fail to launch with an error about a .dll not being designed to run on Windows. The error message is that a .dll “is either not designed to run on Windows or it contains an error. Try installing the program again…” Some people have been able to work around this by uninstalling and reinstalling Office from the Store.
  • When using Narrator Scan mode you may experience multiple stops for a single control. An example of this is if you have an image that is also a link.
  • When using Narrator Scan mode Shift + Selection commands in Microsoft Edge, the text does not get selected properly.
  • A potential increase in Start reliability and performance issues in this build.
  • After setting up a Windows Mixed Reality headset for the first time on this build with motion controllers, the controllers may need to be re-paired a second time before appearing in the headset.
  • When using a Windows Mixed Reality immersive app, saying “Flashlight on,” may fail to activate the flashlight feature even though the status appears as active on the Start menu.
  • If you install any of the recent builds from the Fast ring and switch to the Slow ring – optional content such as enabling developer mode will fail. You will have to remain in the Fast ring to add/install/enable optional content. This is because optional content will only install on builds approved for specific rings.

As always, don’t install this on your production machine.

Readmore
09 Aug
Artificial intelligence will soon power robots; replacing farmer
Artificial intelligence will soon power robots; replacing farmer

Artificial intelligence will soon be powering robots that will essentially replace farmers to pick vegetables. Thanks to the global warming, the increasing demand in agriculture, and the lack of ample land for farming, robotics is the solution seem by many to meet the demand of the exploding global population.

An American startup, Root AI, is working towards the direction of making indoor farming the next big thing in agriculture where robots, and not humans, help produce and harvest the crop with maximum optimisation of resources.

One of the first inventions coming from Root AI is a mobile robot for indoor farming facilities. Using the cameras and sensors on it, the robot is capable of picking tomatoes the right way and assess the health of the crops, conduct operations such as pruning vines, observing and controlling ripening to cultivate crops, TechCrunch reported.

Root AI is expected to begin the pilot tests from 2019. Given that the US, and other parts of the world, are facing a labour shortage in farming, the concept of indoor farming with AI at the core is likely to gain popularity.

Readmore
09 Aug
Artificial intelligence can now help write Wikipedia pages
Artificial intelligence can now help write Wikipedia pages

Plenty of prominent scientists have Wikipedia pages. But while checking to see if someone specific has a Wikipedia page is a quick Google search away, figuring out who should be on Wikipedia but isn’t—and then writing an entry for him or her—is much trickier.

For example, you may or may not have heard of Christina Economos. She doesn’t have a Wikipedia page about her, although she’s a professor at Tufts University and the New Balance Chair in childhood nutrition. But while she lacks a Wikipedia page, she does have a very short stub describing who she is professionally on a website made by a company called Primer. That little blurb, which could one day grow into a full-blown Wiki entry, was created by an AI system dubbed Quicksilver.

The idea behind the project is to use AI as a jumping off point. Humans can use it to help them write Wikipedia pages for scientists who don’t have them, but deserve to. For example, on Economos’ Primer page, there’s a link to an article from CBS Boston that mentions her—a good potential source for a human Wikipedia editor who may want to write an entry for her.

Primer launched officially last year and uses AI to read information and generate reports; part of its focus is doing the kind of work an intelligence analyst might do. Their customers include Walmart and the U.S. government, by way of an organization called In-Q-Tel. Artificial intelligence generally needs data to learn from, and so for this project, Primer used around 30,000 existing scientist Wikipedia pages to train their machine learning systems.

Then they fed 200,000 names and related employment information into their AI system. Those names came from the listed authors of scientific papers focused on computer science and biomedical research provided to Primer from the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence.

“That was the input to Quicksilver—we just fed it in, and we went home, and it ran,” says John Bohannon, the director of science at Primer. “We generated 40,000 new people overnight.”

The system as a whole is more complicated than that, of course: one step is that the AI system needs to do disambiguation (a weird term you’ve probably seen on Wikipedia) that in this case mean making sure that the system isn’t mixing up two people who have the same name. It also reads a slew of news sources to learn more about each scientist: “It builds a model of the person,” he says.

It also does “event detection” when scanning the news for each name, which entails organizing news documents into clumps in which “each clump seems to be describing a real world event.” That “news event” could be when a scientist publishes a study that garners media attention and is thus something possibly worth including in a Wikipedia article.

Another aspect of the project is to make it easier for scientists who are women to get the representation they deserve on Wikipedia—to empower human editors “to close the gender gap in representation of women in science,” Bohannon says. One of the ways that can happen is if a group wants to create more Wikipedia pages with a focus on women scientists, they could use data from Quicksilver, which Bohannon points out is filternable by gender.

“Our goal is definitely not to have a ‘bot write Wikipedia,” Bohannon says. Instead, it’s a launchpad for people who do want to write new pages or update old ones. If you’re curious to see a sample of what Quicksilver’s output looks like, head on over to this page—it has 100 examples of AI-generated Wikipedia-style blurbs.

Readmore
09 Aug
7 eCommerce Myths that Stop Conversions in Their Tracks
7 eCommerce Myths that Stop Conversions in Their Tracks

You could have conversions within your grasp and not even know it. There are a lot of popular eCommerce myths out there concerning marketing, traffic and advertising that even established eCommerce stores are believing.

This week, we bring you 7 eCommerce myths that stop concessions in their tracks and what you should do instead.

1. Your Biggest Marketing Efforts Don’t Include Your Site

If you believe the myth that most of your marketing takes place off your website, you’re missing out on a lot of revenue opportunities. Compartmentalizing your marketing efforts into UX and promotion without any symmetry will make it hard for you to join the 7-figure eCommerce club. Some of the biggest eCommerce success stories we’ve featured are a testament to how vital on-site marketing is for your online store brand, as it not only moves potential shopper traffic into your sales funnel but helps you convert them.

While small lead-generating changes to your store can help increase your conversions, it’s also important to see your UX not just as a mechanism to sell your products but as a powerful marketing, trust-building and conversion tool. Here are the top ways you can use your site and store UX to convert more potential shoppers:

  • Entice new shoppers with good product images and descriptions.
  • Have a good, visible return and shipping policy to build trust.
  • Offer prompt customer service in real-time with online chat.
  • Provide good content that establishes you as an authority in your niche while driving traffic to your store.
  • Build product trust by showcasing customer product reviews.
  • Use coupon pop-ups to build marketing lists while converting sales, like this online boutique that made $40K in 10 days using Coupon Pop.
  • Implement on-site retargeting.
  • Catch potential shoppers before they leave with exit pops.

2. Going Viral is the #1 Goal for Social Media Marketing

This may surprise a lot of you, but if your number one goal for your social media marketing campaigns is to go viral, you’re missing the point. That is not to say that there aren’t eCommerce social media videos that go viral, like this store owner that got 8 million Facebook views with a smartphone video. Plus, as you can tell from this example, you don’t need to hire a fancy videographer to do it.

The trick is to create social media marketing campaigns that are aimed at your target audience, with a message that speaks directly to them to reach your marketing objective. The secret to doing just that is to create smaller campaigns that reach a highly segmented target audience, therefore increasing your chance of converting. And if your video does go viral, like these 2017 trending products, that is just the branding cherry on the top.

3. Email Marketing is Old News

If you believe the myth that your email marketing strategies should take a back seat, you’re missing out on a lot of revenue. Don’t take our word for it; this past January, Smart Insights reported that email is still the highest-converting channel.

 

Every million-dollar eCommerce store owner we’ve interviewed has a sound email marketing strategy that includes email capturing strategies, weekly newsletters, seasonal promotions, remarketing campaigns and automated emails to convert sales and build customer loyalty.

Unlike any other marketing platform, you own your email marketing lists and they give you one-on-one contact directly with your audience and if segmented well, you could increase your email revenue by over 700%.

 

4. Your Best Products Will Market Themselves

No matter how awesome your products are, they won’t market themselves. It is the myth to the contrary which leads so many online sellers to hold onto their advertising budget too tightly. No matter how bootstrapped you are, the old adage, “You need money to make money” is still true. You can’t rely solely on word-of-mouth or the organic power of the internet alone to drive awareness about your products; you need targeted marketing to break through the noise.

You can break through the noise by ensuring your marketing strategy is segmented, shows the product benefits, talks your target shoppers’ language, and catches potential customers when their buying intent is high. The best way to do that is to have a comprehensive marketing strategy that uses the power of social media and Google to drive awareness, promotional and remarketing campaigns to sell your products.

 

5. Social Media is Only for Lookie-Loos

There’s a common eCommerce myth that says social media content is good at driving awareness, but that these engagers are looking, not buying. If you believe this misconception, you could be missing out on those Facebook users who purchase after clicking. Some studies have shown that percentages can be as high as 20%.

Even if your social campaigns do have a lower on the average conversion rate that email or search, as shown in the conversion average graph from earlier, social media is far more than a conversion tool. There are hidden benefits of social media, all working together to drive significant traffic, which you can then market on your site and remarket with your email and PPC campaigns. Potential shoppers that you can nurture down your sales funnel to ultimately convert.

6. The Bigger Your Reach, The More Sales You Will Make

A widespread myth, especially with social media advertising, is that advertisers are looking for the highest number of impressions possible from their campaigns. But in truth, it is not the size of your impressions which you should be monitoring, but the results that reach brings.

We know a good marketing strategy is all about segmentation. You WANT campaigns targeting more segmented, smaller audiences to ensure your messages are reaching the potential shoppers who are more inclined to be interested in what you’re selling. It is one of the reasons why Facebook remarketing campaigns are considered expert Facebook strategies for expert eCommerce entrepreneurs.

Yes, the reach/impressions metric relationship is a good indicator of your ads’ performance but making that pool bigger doesn’t mean more people buy – which means your ROIs suffer.

Which brings us to the next point.

7. Profit and Revenue Are the Only Metrics You Should Care About

We obsess over the metrics and refresh our analytics over and over, looking for sales, revenue, profit. And why wouldn’t we; isn’t it revenue that matters? The problem with this is you need a holistic approach and not everything is about total revenue.

Say what?!

Yes, yes, you want sales. But you also have various sales funnel steps and you need campaigns that reach all your stages with your marketing. Add that to the fact that revenue and profit are not the only KPI (key performance indicator) that shows your store is winning, having tunnel vision could be costing you sales. Here are the must-watch ad, analytics and site metrics:

  • Lifetime asset value – how much revenue and profit each of your products bring.
  • Traffic per channel – to see where your traffic is coming from.
  • Bounce rate – to see how long that traffic sticks around once they get to your page. This will show you which landing pages are lacking, as well as point to areas you need to fix for SEO.
  • Session duration – to see how long potential shoppers are spending on your site.
  • Conversion rates – to see the percentage of that traffic that is converting.

Believing these eCommerce myths without testing them for yourself is literally like throwing money away. But don’t take our word for it – test, test, test!

The bottom line is that no matter what the experts are telling you, what the popular beliefs are or what other entrepreneurs swear by, you need to test and try everything to find the winning strategy for YOUR store.

 

Readmore