Replatforming: Time and Budget

December 28, 2012

Replatforming may seem like a lot of work but it’s important to keep your business up with your competition to satisfy your customers’ needs. However, finishing on time and on budget is what’s difficult to achieve.

Research is necessary in this process as it takes preparation to achieve success. Choosing a great e-commerce platform gives your company the look you want and the management tools needed to run your site but which one is the best for your company? Choosing the correct one for your company is important as you’d be stuck with the decision as a long-term commitment. From long-term goals to price, you should choose the most flexible and hands-on for your transition with your customers’ best interests in mind.

Time is of the essence and turnarounds aren’t ready so quickly. The average replatform is delayed up to four months. Instead of rushing to finish everything on a three-month deadline, you need to be more realistic when it comes to your needs. You need to count on a couple of weeks for any unexpected troubleshooting or non-platform issues. It’s also important to choose a date that provides enough legroom so that it doesn’t overlap with a crucial time such as the Holidays. Six months before the season begins is the typical time for a company to start replatforming.

Planning in advance is critical to this process as delay is the most common roadblock in successful replatforming. Allocating the necessary resources and right adjustments for the new system need to be maintained before starting the process. By providing all the details and data, the replatform will be much easier to build and develop.

It is critical to know all the main features of replatforming and the necessary steps to go through the process. Expressing your business through e-commerce can make the difference in the success of your company compared to others. Once you have made the steps to go through the process, it should be easy to replatform successfully.

Customer Retention

December 26, 2012

Achieving customer satisfaction entails many aspects, especially with those on the web who can be manipulated in a myriad of ways. The advantage of the web is the strong relationship that can be made without a constant physical meeting. However, with the lack of effort, online retention can be harmful to a business-client relationship.

Client feedback is crucial to a business’ success. It’s important to know what customers think about your products and services in order to move forward or make improvements. By correlating your business to clients’ responses, it shows that you care about their thoughts and take it into consideration. This positive relationship makes customers feel connected to the company and enhances customer retention.

Effort is necessary in connecting with clients, especially on the web, but one must hold back from being too overwhelming. By reminding your customers that you’re there for them, people are more inclined to participate in your offers. It is important to keep in touch when there is relevant news available. However, businesses shouldn’t send e-mails, texts and other reminders so constantly as it may annoy customers. This may lead to adding your messages to junk mail, spam or just deleted. Balance is what can keep your business in the game in this situation. One must show effort to keep a relationship but mustn’t be too attached to keep it from moving forward.

A way to keep the effort balance in check is by tracking customers and their purchases. By tracking sale trends, it’s easier to understand the customer better and to plan the customer retention strategies. Presence also plays a role in this case as being there to answer customers’ concerns 24/7 is critical in this generation. With mobile devices, people are expected to be constantly available to assist others.

The success of a business depends on the successful customer experience. By knowing what customers want, connecting without overwhelming and keeping up with customers’s needs and concerns, a business can thrive. To analyze these processes, place yourself in your client’s position. By auditing the customer experience, it is easier to understand what they need, Catering to your clients will make their lives easier and your job more gratifying, leaving you with a successful business with happy customers.

The Evolving Workplace

December 24, 2012

The internet is changing the nature of the workplace as social media networks and apps have entered the business world. Better insight and productivity can lead to better sales through this process as this generation responds to this method effectively.

Social Media going “company-wide” can be used as an office-productivity tool. It can collaborate ideas more easily and enhance the communication not only within the office but across enterprises as well. Human Resource departments are already using social media to connect with job seekers to speed up the application process. Sales teams are using social media to generate leads and track clients as they move through sales. Operations and distribution teams are watching supply chains, while research and development squads brainstorm product ideas. Social Media is going to be seen as a strong business tool in the future, compared to its outlook as a networking tool now.

Although it may seem positive to have these advantages with smartphones and tablets in the office, the digital world sets no boundaries to employees leaving it unpredictable. Social media is the fastest way to spread news and businesses are afraid of employees spreading confidential data or making the company look bad. With social apps on phones and tablets, it is more critical to keep employees in check about the statuses that are posted on Facebook or Twitter.

Social Media will always influence mass audiences but is it safe for large companies? There are certainly many advantages to this marketing tactic that can bring a business ahead in the game. Though this is true, confidentiality is an issue. No one can know for sure until they take that risk or watch others dive into that sphere. The question is “Are you willing to take that risk if your business is at stake or are you going to stand by and watch others surpass you in taking that risk before you?”

Apocalyptic Marketing

December 21, 2012

Regardless of whether or not the world “ended”, there was definitely a different mindset for people these past few days. No time was wasted and the majority of people were focused on achieving their goals with time left to live through them. This outlook on one’s business is one that everyone should have on a daily basis, not just for the Apocalypse.

Why spend hours, or even days, discussing an agenda when it can easily be achieved in an hour at most? People usually get sidetracked or blab on about things whether they are necessary or not. This slows down the marketing process and leaves goals accomplished later. It is important to understand that time is valuable and costly, regardless of an Apocalyptic proclamation.

Time is also wasted when people don’t speak up or go with their gut. Dancing around what you actually want rather than going for it hinders yourself from achieving what you really want. Without some risks, one can only go so far. People usually decide to speak up later or “when they feel the time is right”, but when does the time ever “feel” right? Discussions of ideas between all parties are necessary to accomplish a greater goal for the good of any company.

What else makes a difference? Focus on what is meaningful. This is by far the most important. By achieving what is most necessary first, a business can accomplish more. Certain influential advertising features, such as changes to a site’s homepage, should be at the top of the to-do list rather than smaller things that may not affect the masses.

Apocalypse or not, these choices should be utilized to make the best of your business.

Last Minute Holiday Marketing Tactics

December 19, 2012

Statistics say that holiday spending makes up over 25% of one’s overall online purchases each year. That is an incredulous amount compared to the purchases made the rest of the year. It is important to take advantage of this time as people are more likely to splurge. Here are some tips to help your business flourish during the holiday season:

1. Easy to find holiday gift ideas. Categorize your site under tags such as “Gifts under $50” or “Popular Gifts for Him/Her” under SEO for consumers to find it easily. Put these links and tabs on the homepage as well.

2. Show your love for mobile users. Optimizing your site for mobile phone and tablet users makes it easier for the “First come, first serve” option for holiday savings for Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

3. Go Social. Give special deals on Facebook, Twitter, etc to make consumers feel special and have advantages for finding your business socially. People like to feel like they’re getting something others aren’t by going the extra mile.

4. Decorate EVERYWHERE. Whether it’s the actual store front or the homepage of a website, make it look like it’s made for the holidays. It draws people in and shows the effort put out there for customers to see.

5. Offer FREE things. From free shipping to free gift wrapping, customers LOVE pretty much anything they can get for free. It’s one of those words that grabs people’s attention at first glance and then do they analyze what’s actually in store for them.


To Respond or Adapt To

December 17, 2012

In designing a site presented on different devices, is it more important to brand based on consistency or User-interaction (UI)? In a world where the internet is accessed on various platforms with different-sized screens, it’s difficult to understand the needs of a business website as a whole. While responsive web design has content fluidity, adaptive web design presents what’s best for each device it’s viewed from. The choice between the two designs vary depending on both the look and functionality of one’s site.

Responsive designs have been around for the past few years and are easier to maintain as they are on one content management system. The fluidity allows for one site to be presented on multiple platforms as the content changes sizes. By using this option, lower funds are needed to create a business site across the board.


Adaptive design, on the other hand, creates a variety of sites, each designed for each platform. This may be more costly, but portrays the best look and functionality for businesses, especially those that are already familiar with a set audience. If people are familiar with the brand, they understand the UI  as they have invested time to learn it and consistency is more appealing. When brands are  smaller or newer to audiences, the need for UI specificity is necessary for them to understand how each site works.


It is important for businesses to understand what is necessary for their audience. Functionality has two aspects: Is a single problem solved with a single feature? or Is there a difference between features on different platforms? If there are differences, UI is more important and adaptive web design is more reasonable.

Although adaptive web design has been on the rise lately, there are many aspects to figure out whether or not one should stick with responsive design. The cost of an adaptive site is greater. It also involves more planning and time involved. Brand consistency may also be lost in this method, unless audiences are already familiar with the company. It is vital to understand the situation of one’s business before jumping into adaptive design but once understood, can become an amazing marketing device.

The Rise of Smartphones

December 14, 2012

The Rise of Smartphones — Van West Media










Do you check your smartphone every morning for updates? How about before you even get out of bed? I thought so, but don’t worry. You’re not alone, as 90% of people do too. According to a survey of 1,800 people between the ages of 18 and 30, smartphones were preferred as the #1 device to own compared to laptops, tablets and desktops in the U.S.

As a vital device to young adults, it is important for businesses to understand the need for mobility. This can vary from a mobile website to a mobile app, though it is preferred to have as much access to a business as possible. The mobility of a site makes a difference for a business and is necessary for it to stay competitive. However, it’s a lot of work to create a whole new mobile site. To make it easier, one can just simply make their site mobile-friendly. Through this method, businesses can reach out to their consumers in various ways and get the most from them.

Another important thing to consider is that mobile sites work universally while apps don’t. On top of being tedious to create, an Iphone app might not be the same as an Android or Blackberry app, making it even more difficult to transition. Browsers, on the other hand, are similar on all platforms so mobile sites are the way to go in this conversion to the new generation.

It is essential to understand the new market and businesses need to keep up with it in order to stand out to their consumers and reap the benefits from mobile sites.

Business campaigns in 2013

December 12, 2012

Van West Media — SEOThere have been constant changes in SEO enterprising in the past year as the industry grows rapidly by the minute. It is important for businesses to realize how critical this situation is. Many people believe the common misconception: “SEO relates to the size of a company.” This isn’t true. SEO relates to the management of a company in regards to the search, site and social aspects. This means that companies who put themselves out there are more likely to be seen by audiences.

With SEO, a company with one mere employee can create a large corporation with constant involvement with the people. Relationship engagement with audiences is critical to the success of a company. This platform of integrating search, site and social aspects brings many opportunities. This leverage between large corporations with smaller companies allows growth through effort.

Now, what makes for successful SEO campaigns? It starts with the site as the main aspect. Algorithms are crucial to SEO but variables including traffic, ranking, back-end links, social “likes” and keyword density in content make the difference in a search as well. With informative content comes positive feedback and referrals. It is important to understand what the people want and need to survive in this market. This can be achieved by searching trends on social networks and linking those trends to your site. By adapting to the market’s demands and adhering to the SEO changes, you can make your small company go far in this industry and even surpass a large corporation.

E-Commerce in 2013

December 10, 2012

E-commerceThe world of e-commerce flourished in 2012 as marketers understood the wants and needs of their audience. With the increase of sales and satisfied consumers, 2013 is sure to be a successful year for the economy. The key to this increase of consumption is the trend of personalization and mobility.

Just as people enjoy different styles of clothes, they also have preferences with technology. With a wide array of applications from stocks and e-mail to social networking apps to games to camera effects, people use their smartphones for different reasons. These choices are made through different demographics including age, gender, location, etc. The variety of choices available promises audience consumption as it gives everyone a place to express themselves. Custom experiences and personalized solutions have paved the way from marketers to the wallets of their consumers. No longer are products targeted towards a specific audience, but towards the masses as a whole, giving the opportunity for exponential growth in sales.

Mobility is of the greatest importance in today’s society. Versatile accessibility through desktops, laptops, smartphones and tablets bring attention to larger audiences. Speed is important as well for people are just impatient nowadays and want immediate results. Mobile sites need to be easily accessed and quickly loaded to satisfy consumers.

Businesses need to understand these trends for the upcoming year. Without this knowledge, they will be unable to compete or even keep up with other marketers and their consumers.

Optimization for the People

December 7, 2012

SEO Search EnginesNEW YORK, NY — Content for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) highlights information for search crawlers but what about the people? Unlike Google, Bing encourages web developers to create content giving readers the information they need. By searching for answers using SEO, the results show up based on influenced variables including paid advertising and keyword search. These variables bring sites with little-to-no information ahead in the game leaving readers hindered as they need to scroll or even go to the second or third page of the search engine results page to find the what they need.

What is the purpose of SEO for a site if business leads are questionable? Creative and useful content without regards to SEO should be the basis to one’s site. A site with blocks of advertising and mere amounts of information doesn’t guarantee results in the top ranking of a search engine and leaves readers disappointed as well.

Bing has surpassed Google as the most reliable search engine by integrating social media to the SEO. This process eliminates unnecessary sites and allows readers to find the information they need easily based on the results their friends have.

A page’s loading time also affects its SEO ranking and readership. Bing use “bounce rates” to analyze this. The lower amount of time one stays on a page, the higher the bounce rate. With a higher bounce rate, the search engine assumes the site isn’t liked by users and brings it down in the search engine result page. It is recommended to keep a page’s site map clean for lower loading time and for SEO bots to crawl through easily.

Traffic for a site is now based on a variety of things rather than just SEO keywords. People use search engines to find information and want to achieve this easily.  Think about what the people want rather than what the search engine wants and you will boost your rankings.