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With the continued growth in online commerce, one of the best ways to anticipate and prepare for the coming holiday season is to look back on what happened in 2014. A recent report from NRF captured data from 2014 holiday activities in North America. At a high level, the report found that consumers are more confident in the economy - leading to a likely increase in spending.
"...Confidence is on the rise -- 49.7% are confident or very confident in the economy, up from 42.2% last year -- and average gas prices are the lowest they've been in six years." 2015 Retail Holiday Planning Playbook, July 2015, National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics.
It's summertime! While most people are relaxing at the beach or enjoying a BBQ, here at Akamai we've already shifted sights towards the winter to provide relief for retailers by ensuring they have fast, reliable and secure e-commerce sites in time for the holidays. The holiday season, after all, is just around the corner. Here are four key ways we are helping retailers convert more shoppers into buyers while also securing their web experiences:
(1) Make the experience fast
Last year, for the first time, Akamai saw more than 50% of holiday traffic from mobile devices during certain periods of the day. This trend will undoubtedly continue as shoppers embrace multi-channel experiences while accessing content from different devices at different times of the day. Akamai's Real User Monitoring (RUM) provides retailers with a detailed understanding of the actual page load time visitors experience across the myriad of devices and networks. Akamai Ion provides the fastest acceleration for content accessed on all types of devices and networks including the unique challenges of responsive web design, congested cellular networks and those pesky API calls which slow down the mobile app experience.
Late last month I attended the Future Stores 2015 conference in Seattle. If you haven't heard of Future Stores before, here's some brief background: it's held by Worldwide Business Research and brings together retail, omni-channel, customer web experience, and IT execs to focus on in-store innovation and how to bridge the digital and physical retail environments. As Chief Strategist of Commerce at Akamai, I was excited to learn how future-thinking stores are innovating and better understand how Akamai fits into the picture. This is the second follow post that I'm doing to recap some of the highlights I heard at the conference. My first post highlighted how Macy's Go was personalizing and streamlining the omnichannel shopping experience.
In Part 1 of this blog post we looked at traffic trends and performance on individual devices. When we compare performance across devices we see another interesting result. This is a large data set and it is made up of different pages from different websites so there is a large element of noise here, however all device types contain a substantial sample size and the randomness of the data is shared across each parameter.
In July the New York Department of Financial Services (DFS) proposed comprehensive regulations for virtual currencies including Bitcoin. Under this 40 page proposal, DFS would issue BitLicenses to companies that meet certain criteria. Although BitLicenses would not be required for most merchants or consumers, for most others, a BitLicense will be required for any virtual currency business activity.
How will these regulations impact the Bitcoin industry, and can the industry adapt to these new requirements?
Let's take a look at the major elements of the regulation.