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Mobile is a key part of the shopping journey, both online and offline. 55 percent of Chinese consumers rate the smart phone as the most important device in making a purchase decision compared to only one-third of consumers in the US and UK. Mobile devices are also becoming the go to device for Internet access across Asia Pacific. According to an eMarketer survey, 90 percent of respondents said they accessed the Internet on their mobile devices each day, although this varies quite a bit from region to region.

Using Technology to Solve Real Users' Struggles

Rapidly changing technology is disrupting the way retailers and consumers interact with each other and creating avenues of interaction that were not even possible a few years ago.  However, this pace of change and the pure volume of available solutions can be overwhelming and make it difficult for retailers to prioritize solutions that can really help them move the needle.

eTail West Preview - 2016

I love eTail West - and not just because I get to stay in warmer climates (sorry, New England folks!), but because eTail West is a meeting of the savviest minds in the retail space. Not only am I excited about the upcoming show, but also about some of our own recent retail announcements that align with the type of innovation showcased throughout the conference. 

The Travel Challenge - Enabling The User Experience

Two weeks ago key players in the travel industry gathered from around the world to discover, debate and capitalize on the latest trends and opportunities in travel at the PhocusWright Conference in Fort Lauderdale. One of the hottest topics on the agenda was how to improve the travelers' experience from booking to actually traveling - and how important mobile is to that process. While mobile devices generate 25 percent of the transactions for the travel industry, that actually lags behind other retail verticals for mobile device sales.

Retailers can look back on the start of this holiday season and breath a sigh of relief that all signs point to another strong holiday season. According to figures released by Adobe, Cyber Monday closed with $3.07 billion in sales setting a new single day sales record. Black Friday also set records and marked the highest spike over the five-day shopping weekend with a 109 percent jump in traffic, according to Akamai's Net Usage Index.*

The Holiday Readiness Countdown

It's never too early to prepare when you're a retailer gearing up for the holiday rush, especially with the continued growth in online commerce. Now is usually the time that shoppers begin making their shopping plans, and even start to make purchases. To help prepare, we've pulled together three essential elements for providing an exceptional customer experience during the holidays, and ultimately converting shoppers into buyers! 

With the holiday season quickly approaching, retailers are thinking through every element of their company's eCommerce plans to significantly boost sales during the busiest shopping time of the year. One of the biggest drivers of online retail sales is user experience, so retailers should place increased emphasis on bolstering the following customer touchpoints during the holiday rush to ensure positive brand interactions that convert browsing into sales:

It seems like holiday promotions have already started for many retailers and the promotion timetables are even earlier than last year. On a recent trip through my local big box retailer I noticed that Christmas decorations are already out, just one aisle down from the Halloween decorations. 


Peak traffic from flash sales or new product launches can be problematic for many retailers during the holidays. With holiday season sales representing 25-35 percent of revenue for many retailers, getting your site prepared for peak can significantly affect your holiday revenue. A website's ability to deliver a great customer experience during peak can hinges on three key areas - infrastructure, application code and CDN configuration.

Though the holidays are still a few months away, now is the ideal time to run a peak threshold load test to determine how many users or how much traffic load you can have on your site before it becomes unresponsive. In a perfect world, everyone would have a staging environment that exactly mirrored their production environment to run this test on but that's not the case for many retailers. First things first for those running tests against your production environment -- make sure you coordinate with your IT teams, datacenter and CDN before and during testing to avoid any interruption to customer traffic. Without proper coordination, you could inadvertently cause a DDoS of your own website!


Picture this - you arrive to your office early in the morning to finalize your back to school promotions so you can move on to your holiday marketing plans. As you are busily trying to answer emails, you came across an ominous message explaining to you that if you don't pay 40 Bitcoins, a group you've never heard of would knock your site offline in 24 hours with a powerful distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack. A DDoS attack can be carried out in many different ways but at the most basic, it is executed by flooding a website with more traffic or requests than the infrastructure can handle - thus taking it offline for legitimate customers. It may sound like the plot to a movie but unfortunately it's a reality.  Check out our coverage of the DD4BC operation here.  

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