All posts by Toni Mojsievski

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6 Essential Web Development Blogs You Should Bookmark Right Away

Every web developer knows that in order to stay wanted and get hired, they first need to stay informed of all the latest changes in this sector. Sure, TechCrunch and other famous websites can help you with that, but in a more general way. To really grasp any knowledge and stay updated, you should spend some time browsing the Internet and find essential, reliable sources of information for further use. We saved you precious time and picked some of the most important blogs solely dedicated to web development, for you to browse and upgrade your skills in many ways. Here’s the list.


 

1. David Walsh Blog

The 33-year old web developer and software engineer knows a thing or two about these technologies. Working for the Mozilla Corporation, he is often seen as a guest speaker at many meetups and conferences, and is already the founder of Script&Style, Wyng Web Labs, as well as this famous blog.

Website:
davidwalsh.name

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2. Coding Horror

Jeff Atwood is a ‘reasonably experienced software developer’, as he describes himself. He’s worked with Microsoft BASIC back in the 80s, VB 3.0 in the 90s, and finally using C# and Ruby in present time. His blog is over 14 years old and in the meantime, he’s the co-founder of stackoverflow, the programmers’ modern Bible. You can find some extremely useful information on his blog and make sure you bookmark it – you never know what Jeff will post next.

Website:
codinghorror.com

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3. Scotch.io

This one’s bound to help you greatly and you can find hundreds of articles such as ‘6 tips for reducing JS error noise’, ‘Create a typing speed effect with VueJS’, among other useful articles. What’s so good about it is that these guys (calling themselves the small ragtag crew) act on their own and post only the ESSENTIAL content and information, instead of boring, long articles. Definitely worth paying a visit.

Website:
scotch.io

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4. Onextrapixel

Web designers and developers, unite! Everyone can find useful information on this website. Plenty of tutorials, tools, news, tips, and resources available at Onextrapixel, which started as a small blog 9 years ago. You may even contribute to the cause by writing useful content and get recognized.

Website:
onextrapixel.com

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5. Speckyboy

Based in Inverness, Scotland, Speckyboy was just a baby website back in 2007. They turned it into a legacy, a developer’s safe haven. Many insightful tips and time-saving tutorials can be found here, along with UI/UX design samples for inspiration, and even Lego-inspired content! For every coding geek out there, this website will satisfy your appetite for knowledge.

Website:
speckyboy.com

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6. Catswhocode

More than a decade old, the site’s founder is obviously a fan of the feline, furry creatures we all know as cats. The content is mostly focused on web design, WordPress and web development, so as a bonus, readers can often find discount coupons, deals, and various offers concerning these topics. Neatly categorized and easy to read, Catswhocode is a fun, yet informative site for every web designer and developer out there.

Website:
catswhocode.com

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We hope this list helps you to decide which blog you’ll use in the future, whenever you need assistance on something or stay informed of the latest updates in web development and design. Happy hunting!

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How New Technology Reshapes The Way Employers Hire New Workers

Nearly half (45%) of businesses hired workers in the past year specifically for their technical skills. But in the same time frame, 10% of businesses have laid off employees due to new technology. These divergent trends are creating growing anxiety in the workplace, according to a new survey conducted by Clutch, a leading B2B research and reviews firm.

Nearly 15% of workers surveyed by Clutch are nervous that their current role won’t exist in five years due to technological changes. However, experts say technology is unlikely to replace human workers. Rather, technology can reduce the overall number of job opportunities in some fields by making employees more efficient.

“I wouldn’t be fearful that a robot is going to take your job,” said Ira Wolfe, president of Success Performance Solutions. “But it’s not going to be the same job you had before, even if the title is the same.”

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The research suggests that some workers lacking technical skills may struggle to find a suitable position matching their years of experience. As jobs become more competitive, some workers anticipate switching industries or specialties. However, 13% of respondents say they are not confident in their ability to find a new job that matches their current skills and level of employment. Despite anxiety about the future, employees are eager to work with new technology. Nearly 90% of survey respondents say they are willing to adapt their skills to changing workplace technologies.

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Robotics and other forms of automation are the most commonly adopted type of new technology, the survey shows. Nearly 1 in 5 businesses (17%) have already implemented some form of automation, such as self-service kiosks, customer relationship management (CRM) software, or tablets used for sales. Most employees welcome the prospect of disruptive technology, such as smartphone integrations or software that improves efficiency. More than half of those surveyed (51%) say they are excited about the opportunity to master new technology in the workplace. More than one third (35%) of workers whose companies haven’t yet implemented new technology say they hope their employer will make it available to them.

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Why Web Designers Should Care About GDPR And Its Effects

On May 25th, the infamous GDPR went into effect, forcing all Internet-dependent companies into changing their privacy policies online, mainly to protect the privacy of all E.U. citizens. If you currently live in Europe, your inbox is probably spammed with ‘We’re changing our privacy policy” messages from Facebook, YouTube, Google, etc.

National governments aren’t required to vote on this matter because it’s a regulation, so it’s applicable with immediate effects. Why worry about it, though? Well, in some of the ‘GDPR changed our privacy policy’ messages they kept sending to you in the past month or so, they didn’t only notify users about hiring DPOs (Data Protection Officers) in their companies, but some have also announced changes in design as well.

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The beginning of human data rights

In the past few years, giants such as Facebook and Yahoo have leaked and illegally used data without their users’ consent, respectively, which is why GDPR was first created, back in mid-2016. Once these allegations went public, they were heavily criticized by Zuckerberg and other CEOs. However, the Senate testimony of Zuckerberg back in April revealed to us that Facebook’s creator not only sold data without consent and didn’t know the purpose of this data, but he somewhat disagreed with the senators concerning government-imposed data & privacy regulations.

Before the GDPR went into effect, Zuckerberg was invited as a guest in the E.U.’s Parliament as well, where he wasn’t received well by its members. Nevertheless, Facebook justifies using part of the personal information with consent for marketing purposes. In their own words, “It’s better to know what customers like and serve them quality content, content that truly matters to them.”

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Privacy by design

Part of the GDPR, the ‘privacy by design’ concept is what truly matters to designers. According to this, there are seven fundamental principles to follow when this process occurs.

1. Proactive, not reactive

This simple rule explains that DPOs and designers should act before things turn sour, instead of waiting for it to happen, then react.

2. Privacy as the default setting

It means that you, as a designer, will deliver the maximum amount of privacy by ensuring all personal data is by default – protected in any given system.

3. Privacy embedded into design

In short, every designer must include privacy as a fundamental part of the system’s core. Functionality must not suffer on account of incorporating privacy protection methods, yet the latter must remain intact.

4. Full functionality

How to achieve full functionality? No idea, but you need to achieve a ‘win-win’ situation where both privacy and security will be present in the product/solution.

5. End-to-end security

Another important feature of GDPR’s ‘Privacy by Design’ concept is the end-to-end security. Basically, what happens to gata is being born, used, and destroyed in a finite period of time. No data can be left behind this process.

6. Visibility and transparency

Trust is gained by showing everything you’ve done with the data provided, increasing the levels of transparency and visibility. Every individual stakeholder has the right to request this, so get ready to show what you’ve done with the data. On the other hand, hiding certain acts is punishable according to GDPR.

7. Respect for user privacy

Finally, there should be strong privacy defaults, timely notice concerning anything connected to data, and protective user-friendly choices.

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Conclusion

All seven of these fundamentals should be respected, as your data protection officer would ensure of it. However, this beautiful turn of events for data protection just created a world of chaos for web designers all around the world, as most of them now have tons of extra tasks, including the re-work of old designs and careful creation of new ones. In the end, everyone will agree it’s for the greater good.

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5 Privacy-Based Alternatives To Facebook Following The ‘Cambridge Analytica Data Breach’

The #deletefacebook movement is increasing by the minute. Large companies such as Playboy, Elon Musk’s Tesla have already deleted their multi-million fan pages. Famous celebrities such as Will Ferrell and Brian Acton have also announced to quit Facebook once and for all. The social network’s stocks have fallen by almost 20% and Zuckerberg counts losses of over $80 billion in just a few days.

This is but a part of the aftermath concerning Facebook and Cambridge Analytica’s data breach. Facebook allowed this political consulting firm access to data consisting of personal information on 50 million Facebook users. All this data was used to directly influence voters during political campaigns. The key people of Cambridge Analytica admitted to have been using this type of service in both the U.K. and U.S., especially during Trump’s presidential campaign back in 2016.

Following the scandal, many people now completely distrust Mark Zuckerberg, especially since he tried to justify this unauthorized breach of the security and safety of the users’ personal information. The #deletefacebook movement now offers new alternatives to end Facebook’s domination and increase our awareness of what can happen if we again allow a website to influence our voting (and other life) decisions.

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Ello

Or as the creators define it – built by artists, for artists. This ad-free social network is a great alternative to Facebook, because as a service, it has vowed to never show ads nor enforce a real-name policy. Most importantly, it will never sell user data to third parties and advertising networks. Its features include new emojis, various privacy settings and private messaging (in the process of making.) It’s been around since the beginning of 2014 and has more than 1 million users, but following Facebook’s data breach scandal, it’s expected to at least double by the end of 2018.

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Steemit

A great place to communicate and gain information, Steemit allows you to publish useful posts and even get paid for it! They have their own cryptocurrency they’re trying to promote and it already has initial value. You can earn more than $500 worth of Steem tokens for being upvoted by hundreds of thousands of visitors. It allows people to comment and develop new conversations. Like in Ello, you’re not obliged to enter your real name and other personal information.

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Mastodon

The open-source, free-to-use social network is not commercial in any way possible. They will not mine data and sell it to third parties, you will see no ads, and there’s no HQ of the company. The network sees people as people, not products. Here, you’re able to talk to people on different servers and post Twitter-like messages, as well as connect with others. Its creators aim to combat the misuse of social media and respect basic human rights. It currently “houses” more than 140 thousand users.

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Vero

This is one of the most promising social networks, true to its cause. Why is it so important to us as users? Firstly, it doesn’t show useless advertising nor does it target any by collecting our data. Secondly, it already has more than a million users/subscribers waiting patiently to start using it. Most importantly, it allows you to track time spent on the network, which is the only data they collect but can be turned off with the click of a button. This network allows you to share anything you like and choose who you’ll share it with. On the other hand, it promotes using social media less than we need to due to its effects. How cool is that?

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Diaspora

Based on the Diaspora software, this network allows users to control their privacy and personal information in entirety. There are no advertisements, no staff, no headquarters and no payment methods. You can practically use it with the same options as it is on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc. Most importantly, it does not oblige you to give out correct personal information such as your real name or place of birth.

 

In conclusion, it’s much better to focus on your alternatives now that Facebook is no longer rock-solid in terms of being the ‘social media monopoly’, simply because business and other opportunities are decreasing and people turn to other channels where they will socialize, exchange experiences and seek for new job opportunities.

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YouTube’s Director Onsite: Low-Cost Video Advertising For All Marketers

Ever heard of YouTube’s ‘Director Onsite’? This option allows the owners of small businesses to advertise on YouTube with higher quality videos, for a small fee. All you have to do is contact YouTube’s marketing team and arrange for a director to come to your shop, to make a short, creative shoot that’ll last for not more than a few hours. In return, you’ll receive a cool, HQ video worth showing to the world, to attract more customers and sell more products or services. Sounds cool, right?

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There are two ways to use the Director Onsite for your business. You will need to spend at least $150 on advertising the same video once it’s completed. There’s another, free of charge method, but it’s currently available only on iOS devices. Users download the app on their smartphones and are able to follow a step-by-step guide to creating perfect videos – even if they have zero knowledge on the topic.

As the above-mentioned, the whole process doesn’t last more than a few hours, as it usually takes the director around 1-2 hours to write the script and another couple hours to shoot, edit and send the video to an available YouTube ads specialist. Finally, the video ad is online and running for (a minimum of) $150, where it’s shown to thousands of viewers. YouTube also offers this service at seven locations across the U.S. – San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, Washington, D.C., Boston and in New York. You may also check if they are filming in your area by visiting this link (https://director.youtube.com/on-site/#/) and enter your town’s zip code.

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To summarize, it’s much better to let a professional make your video ad than trying it by yourself. This pleasure will cost you $150, but it will also save you time and money. Currently, there are no real cons except that it’s limited to but a few major U.S. cities. The expansion will continue, so expect a YouTube director in your town very soon!

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The power of wearables: are they helping us?

Today each and every one of us has some tech assistance gadget. mini-wereablesWhether it is a Google glass, a Garmin, or Apple watch, or GPS running or sleeping bracelet, we’re wearing technology. And out of all technology items, wearable gadgets are the ones to have the most intimate connection to people, since they are worn or carried along with during day or night.

Internet of Things at its finest

It might just be true that the wearable technology has become the best and probably the greatest applications of the Internet of Things. And they’re not just being the next frontier to the human-tech route. The consumption of such wearable gadgets in areas as exercise, science, lifestyle, learning, and everyday living is prevalent and it’s here. Consumers every day and everywhere track and monitor their fitness, exercise, health, learning and sleeping progress in previously unimaginative and impossible ways. Now a simple electronic band could do a job of so many people.

wearable_healthcare-ftTransformation of the way we live

The wearable tech gadgets are bringing enormous power to the wearer’s wrist or hand or belt. Brands are producing various types of devices for many reasonable and even unreasonable causes. And most importantly, they are even starting. The market is still not oversaturated and the people are still in need of electrical tracker or even reminder so they are stepping the thin line of being addictive of them. Wearable tech line style illustrationBecause we couldn’t live without tactical heartbeat monitor, right? Or this new smart shirt that warns you when you need to sit up straight.

Whether it is a smart thermometer to monitor a child’s fever, or a motion camera designed for parenting that uses AI to automatically select the best pictures, or even an intelligent smart ring that is functional in so many ways but it also matches your new purse. No matter if you need to be measuring your calorie intake, heart rate or the quality of your sleep – there is a tiny, elegant wearable for that. And so far they are making people’s lives way easier, or they are making people enormously lazy and not thinking at all.

What will the future be like?

Forbes has recently assumed that the wearables market will reach $14 billion by the end of this year only. While Business Insider’s premium research service BI Intelligence expects the wearables market to grow up to 162.9 million units by the end of 2020.

It is a fast growing market led by the healthcare sector, images (1)being one of the top facilitators of the rising trends. However, the fitness trackers will also remain to be leading in consumer case. People mostly consume these pieces of technology to record their exercise and health statistics and progress. Among others besides the hospitals are the insurance, pharmaceutical and med-tech companies, utilizing these devices.

And as the potential of wearing technology rises, the questions don’t stop to pop. Will the manufacturers ensure precise and correct data, this being especially important into the healthcare sector and hospitals? Will the consumers receive accurate and detailed progress reports? Where is all that data stored and how are users protecting their privacy?

Do we stop to think?

As we think that wearables are making our lives easier, helping us in many spheres and providing with all this statistical data about our everyday routines, are these devices truly transformative? Will an average consumer rely truly on a little piece of technology and wear it 24 hours a day so they can have all their activities monitored? Will we be wearing these gadgets out of need, dependence and habit or purely of fashion? Are we that much hooked on technology? Will we abandon the old-fashion medical check one a year? And will the wearables ultimately take over or totally wipe out some existing jobs?

Yes, we are truly excited to see where the future will take us. But as we do so, don’t get fully dependable out on anything, not even on Siri and especially not on a wearable. No watch is smarter than you, right? :)

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Does internet connectivity matter more than human connectivity?

World’s rapid move towards omnipresent connectivity is constantly changing how and where people go and what they do. The internet connectivity has been and continues to be changing the way how people associate, gather and share information and consume media and information. Recent researches show that the Internet will be so approachable and effortless that will become indispensable part of human lives, much like water or electricity.

Living the artificial intelligence

It’s no surprise that wearable and embedded computing together with mobile are tied together with the Internet of Things. People have started to loop into the artificial intelligence-improved and cloud-based storage and sharing of information. All the “Augmented reality” inventions, home and living improvements and improvements of people’s real-lives are somehow helping people’s efficiency, consumption, savings… It is true that AI innovations help us in home and security improvements, but can we stop to think whether we’ve stopped using our own intelligence and started to rely only on the artificial one? You can recall remembering at least 10 phone numbers, right? How about now? Or, just few years back we knew our driving directions. Now… well… we just ask Siri.

The thin line between Virtual Reality and Real Reality

vr-couple1Are we living the future as described in some top-notch Hollywood movie? We have our smartphones, smart TVs, smart watches, smart home appliances. And they are about to get even smarter. Virtual Reality is about to make a sufficient change into everyday living and become inevitable part of human being. And we’re not talking only in medical, educational and science purposes. We’re talking about entertainment, experiences and social pieces of everyday living. It’s a matter of years when people start going on concerts via their VR devices. It would be exactly like being there, only you’ll be at the comfort of your home, experience technology instead experience people. At some point people would use their VR devices for traveling digitally instead of visiting real places and real people. So, where would that take us?

How social can we get?

It is no more a matter of sharing experiences. social-media-istock27-crop-600x338It’s about experiencing new experiences. Digitally. The new dimension of being social is upon us, and this raises many questions. Will the technical intelligence surfeit make up for the deficiency of emotional intelligence? Are we about to abandon the concept of being together, being among people? Are we entirely changing our ability to connect other people?

Revolutionized human interactions

The next decade will be challenging in so many ways. It is true that the entire human interaction will be revolutionary changed. Technology will continue affecting 9f378aa578aa0d51c58c010942ef8963education, health, economy, work, politics, and entertainment. Most of the researchers believe the connectivity will be primarily positive. However, with every new innovation there is a new opportunity and possibility of change. And now the range is so wide and it is getting wider. Can we identify and foresee the future in terms of human connectivity? Can we identify potential areas of concern?

After all, we as humans are above the technology. We are the creators and we have the master-power of the technology. Or do we? Feel free to drop us a comment on tech predictions, AR, VR and innovative creations.

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Why investing in Mobile App Development is such a good idea

The World has Gone Mobile

Today’s customers own multiple devices either for social engagement, news and of course, shopping. They are using their smartphones to find local businesses, to get reviews, quality feedback and recommendations. Mobile channels have increasingly replaced the traditional shopping window. This means that just having a website is no longer enough. Even if it is responsive. To grow bigger online, you need to have a Facebook page for reviews and special offers, an Instagram profile for generating cool customer feedback, a Twitter account for quick and brief info placement, a YouTube channel, Pinterest boards… But as thrives grow, you most of all need an intuitive purchasing and browsing alternative – a mobile app. This user turnout from desktop to mobile is the switch you need to grab, immediately. The customers truly rely on the mobile apps and they expect every business or brand to have its own dedicated one. This makes the mobile app development a necessity in gaining market competitiveness over other business, larger customer base, and of course, better sales.

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The vital pulse of your business

The quick and on-demand access to information and various solutions creates indispensable comfort and convenience among the customers, thus making your base grow bigger. Being an inseparable part of their everyday living, always in their pocket or even better in their hands will make your business truly stand out. And this is not it! You can use your app as a marketing tool for promotion and advertising of your business. There are endless pros and reasons why a business should invest in mobile app development, and below is a brief list of the most important ones.

Bond with your customers being visible at all times

Bonding is important, especially in building strong customers base. Given the fact that most of the millennials have gone on mobile a while ago and that they spend at least 2 hours a day on their smartphones, you would definitely want to be “in the way”. Also, most of the users out there find mobile apps easier to use than websites, since the main purpose of an app is exactly that – to offer a next level of usability. It is quite hard to engage new and emerging customers with outdated techniques, right? And placing your business in the customer’s smartphone makes your company as flexible as customers expect it to be. Once installed, your custom mobile app will bring your customer’s experience in an entirely new level. They will be able to easily reach your support team, quickly view and shop your products and services and simply “rely” on your brand being here for them. You’ll be able to provide value for them enabling them to collect loyalty points. This rapidly increases the trust and recognition among the targeted audience, creating even more downloads and of course, many advantages your company.

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Think of your mobile app as your On-The-Go Marketing tool. Since, one of the biggest benefits will be ability to place all your information, including sales and special offers and promotions, right in front of your customer’s fingertips. They will be able to access your offers from anywhere and at any given time, even in the middle of the night. This will automatically make your company a top-of-the-mind option to the customers and when they’ll need to purchase something they more likely go to you rather than other brand. Also, with the apps push notifications you can get even close to interaction with them, reminding them about the novelties and benefits for them as your app’s users. And with the right placement you could easily gain regular app usage and with regular app usage you’ll reinforce your business, resulting in better service and ultimately, better sales.

Build and improve brand recognition

You have built brand recognition when a customer wants to buy a product or service and your brand is the first one to come on his mind. Well, a mobile app will help you reach exactly that. It will improve your business and brand awareness. Like any other advertising tool, except your app will be placed in your customer’s hand, constantly looking at it, scrolling it and experiencing it at fullest. So it is truly important to have all the features your customers would like, at the same time making it functional, stylish, informative, and well branded and beautifully designed. This will work best for your brand. And as you do so, the customers will involve in the app, but moreover, they will involve into your brand, products and services.

Next level of customer engagement

Think of your app as a one point stop for your customers. The place where they will be able to get all the information they’ll need, and most importantly, the way to reach you. Having a custom developed mobile app will change the communication with the customers and bring it to a next level. And communication is really important to the customers. Being able to interact with your business wherever they are will make your brand even more relevant and attractive. It will boost interest among the audience and increase engagement. And once you reach satisfactory customer engagement, you will be able to improve your social standing. And the millennials are obsessed with the social Medias. So your app will be your social platform. Make sure you integrate features like comments, likes and shares. Your content updates will immediately notify your customers, making them able to share the content over the social media platforms and continue the conversation out there. These features will definitely make your customers spend even more time on your app, become part of a community grow your brand as a customer-oriented business.

Collect and Analyze data real-timemobile_apps

Data is important, but getting it and analyzing it can be slow and stressful process. Well, not with a mobile app. It will save your day and you budget since focus groups and questionnaires can be expensive and time consuming. The mobile app captures all the customer preference and action information real-time. You can then use this data to deliver personalized content relevant to the exact customer using your app at the moment. You can use their location and profile information so you create personalized offers tailored to the data you’ve received, making your app more attractive to every one of your customers. But, make sure you inform your customers about data collection program explaining that it will be make their customer experience better, but give them an option to opt-in. And once you hook them and have their trust, use it wisely and avoid disappointing them.

So it is no longer a question that investing in mobile app/software development is important for your business. But to make it work and to make it successful, you would need to invest in professional development to make sure you stand in front of your competitors. The Orange Interactive Technology team of experts will help you create well thought action plans and mobile app development tailored for your business purposes.

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Maximizing email marketing success

Emails are forever

Yes, we’re consuming the social days and people mostly receive all the information from the Social Medias. But in marketing terms, some goodies like direct marketing and email marketing are essential in every brand’s strategy. You may find this strange, since Social Medias segment your audience like no other media can, but know that good email campaign can build you strong customer relationships, provide you with some valuable data and even boost your ROI. But, no email campaign is easy to execute.  And it is not only the execution. As soon as you send that email, you need to maintain the focus and effectiveness in all your next campaigns. email marketingThis means having your customers get attracted by your subject, having them open your email, read the content and most of all, not deleting the email.

Treat your email campaign like every other advertising campaign you have. Convey your message to the right audience, with the right tone of voice, with the exact edginess the consumer would like to receive and with the effectiveness like all your other ads you place. Email is the medium that is and will be forever, so below are few tips for having a successful email marketing campaign.

Who is this mail for?

Know your audience. This is the first must-have in delivering a successful email marketing campaign. Yes, your subject will ultimately attract the customers, but not if it reaches a wrong ones. Consider your customers the most valuable asset you have and place them in a clean neat list. Know their interests, free time and internet habits. Never ever spam everybody with your emails. And most importantly, don’t ever assume “they might like”, Know if they’re going to like, since this is the only thing that matters. Start with building your list. email marketingThe easiest thing you can do is offer your customers free sampling or discounts in order to receive permission for their contact details. As soon as you have the permission focus on asking hem the precise questions you need, guarantying your customers on data security. Ask only what you need and never too much since too many questions will lose your potential customers. Have a visible unsubscribe option for them, to make them sure they’re not obligated to follow you, but they’re doing it because they want to know more about your brand and products. Never spam. Never! Have a clear privacy policy that never fades your customers’ trust. And last but not least, always make sure that your list is up to date. Mail addresses change but you need to track the return emails and always reach your customers.

Set your objectives and start with them

It is the same when starting a new business. You have to have a clear and moreover achievable objective and purpose of the business itself. Understanding the objective of sending emails will lead to the path of success. Understand your emails as a whole of several important fragments that equally produce deliverables. When having an objective for the overall email campaign, you don’t just focus on your subject alone. The subject will have the desired click, but if the content doesn’t deliver what your readers were interested within the subject, your email goes to trash. Keep the close connection between the subject and the body of the email. Even if your email has outstanding content, if it is not related to the subject and is not in the customer’s field of interest or is too misleading, the customer will not read the email. Both your broad and narrow objectives should be in line with your audience. Mix and match and deliver meaningful email content that will eventually be beneficial for both you and the readers.

Catch the reader’s attention: use catchy but clear subject

Yes, his majesty, the subject. It is important to make it catchy to grab the reader’s attention, but more important is to deliver a message that will genuinely generate an interest in reading the entire mail. Be honest. Tell them exactly what your email is about. If your email is beneficial for them, let them know within your subject. email marketingThink about what you will say and how will you say it. If possible, write your subject so it generates an instant emotion about your email. Curiosity would be the perfect emotion to create, but urgency and sympathy will also do the work. Or you can simply go with call to action. Intriguing yet inspiring subject line delivers higher click-to-open rate. But, try to loose “FREE” in your subject. This is often used by selling spammers and most likely will not be clicked. Think more in terms of an opening line to a conversation you’re about to have with your customer. You grab his interest with the introduction but continue his interest with the content of your conversation.

Converse while focusing on the message

If you have already set your objective, it’s clear than email campaigns are more than communication. They send out what you have to say. They release your message. So in order to deliver your message right, you need to focus. First of all it would be highly useful if you subscribe to newsletters from other companies. As you do, you’ll start thinking like a customer. You’ll easily notice what messages you open and which ones you delete without even clicking. When writing your copy, always use conversational tone, make it direct and include call to action. Your readers will genuinely want to click on your emails if you let them know they receive valuable content. Drive their curiosity, not only in reading your emails but in visiting your website and ultimately buying one of your product or services. When an email speaks a concise and direct conversation to a specifically crafted audience, it can drive immediate and emotional benefit but also leverages curiosity. And when the conversation has started, you need to focus on maintaining it and extending it even further, by listening to the audience and adding some extra value for them. Make them engage with your emails. Ask them what they would want to know or have, like some juicy info, specially crafted offers, new services and discounts and always include your link to your emails. Try to personalize each message and even ask the readers to participate. How? Make sure you always include social buttons so the readers could easily share the content of your emails and continue the conversation on all other Social Medias.

Test your messages and measure the success

You’ve come up with mail concepts, you have good subject lines and you’re about to launch your big email campaign. Stop. Before sending your email out, you need to do the test. You need to test out the look, feel and performance of your emails in order to achieve optimal results. For example, you have two concepts that you think would work great. Test them both between your employees, or friends. Find out which one performs better in terms of subject, body, call to action and you will have your winning email. There is a standard A/B testing for subject lines that determine whether your message is the right one to go to your readers’ inbox. Also emphasize the images. Always use clear, royalty cleared images and even better; make photo shoots to have your own image base. Make sure all the links are in right position, all clickable, all delivering the reader to the right destination. The last thing you would like is to carry your customer to a different location than desired one.

email marketingAfter all tests have ensured your email is ready and you send it and launch your email campaign, make sure you’ll able to measure the results. Measuring will help you see what works and what doesn’t for your audience which will allow you to have better and better future campaigns. Try to gather as many data as you can. Look up for real-time reports and results via Google analytics or similar tools. A successful email marketing campaign will indicate high percentage of people who have opened the email. The open/send ratio improves with considering all above points, especially accentuate the audience segmentation. But ultimately, the success of your email campaign will be resolved at the moment when you truly understand the email as your marketing medium.

Automation as a tool

There is a great advantage in email marketing. You don’t have to do everything by yourself. You can automate your email marketing. It’s easy, affordable and can save you a whole load of time, while letting you more space in developing your other strategies or creatively express yourself. Orange Interactive Technology creates customized email marketing automation solutions, enabling you to build stronger relationships with your audience, while measuring your results and keeping track of all previous and next campaigns.

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E-commerce Marketing trends for 2017

Online shoppers are here to stay

It is already the fourth month of 2017. By now, the total number of internet users worldwide has reached 3.5 billion from which 40% have bought at least one thing online. Or in plain imagesnumbers, that means that at this moment there are more than 1.4 billion customers worldwide available to be attracted by the e-commerce players in the market. And those numbers are about to rise as marketers everywhere are doing everything they can to get the piece of the online shopping pie. As e-Commerce itself is rapidly growing, marketers are using all possible forms of marketing channels and techniques to stand up against the already large competition and get more customers to shop their brands. But this refining of the e-Commerce marketing is constantly making customers even harder to win.

It’s all about the user experience

As it grows, the market becomes more innovative increasingly technology friendly. With all those new means, like VR for example, not only that attract new customers, but they boost their engagement, creating an extraordinary user experiences. And customers really care about that.  Companies and brands working in line with behavioral trends and following the consumers instead the otherwise will easily succeed in their e-Commerce marketing planning. Knowing the customers, not only current but potential ones as well and integrating their behaviors into the planning will be beneficial for both sides. For example, knowing that nowadays 51% of Americans prefer online shopping rather than in-store — number that rises to 67% for Millennials and 56% for Gen Xers will help you in your further positioning if you’re delivering in the US market.

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The megatrends in e-Commerce

Looking at the numbers, one can easily conclude that brands without online stores are doomed to disappear. Starting from the fact that 2017’s customers owns at least 3 devices – smartphone, tablet, and computer, they expect quick, easy, and, above all, user friendly online shopping experience. So make this your starting point in the planning. Brands will need to be both aware of and benefit from the latest trends in ecommerce. To make it easier, we’ve identified several e-Commerce trends for 2017 to be taken into consideration in order brands to ensure both online and in-store sales growth.

  1. Be mobile friendly and advertise on Mobile: If you own a site that is not responsible for mobile devices, you’re wrong on so many levels. They are convenient and accessible making the customers addicted to them. So, if your customer is constantly holding a device, the chances they indexwill shop from it are really high. Some researchers show that 88% of consumers who search for a type of local business on a mobile device call or go to that business within 24 hours. So, if you don’t own a responsive web site, you’ll be losing at least 70% of the visitors. True that mobile site doesn’t sound like a marketing tool, but if you think about advertising your products or services on Google or Social Medias, more than 0% of the traffic will be mobile device generated. PewInternet.org has researched the US population, concluding that two thirds have a mobile device and using it for the majority of their online searcher. 40% of the Americans abandon a slow loading website. While 74% of them return to mobile friendly websites, 67% were more likely to buy from a mobile friendly website. So, to conclude, making your website responsive, thus mobile friendly, will ultimately lead to more visits and necessarily to maximization of sales.

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  1. Content Marketing: It’s 2017, customers already hate advertisements and over 200 million of them have installed an ad blocker. No one wants to be spammed anymore. So now what? You pull out that king card and win those customers with content. There are many companies that already sell thanks to content marketing. Communication with audience in all possible ways will both cost you lower and generate you 3x as many leads. It is simple – people love to be consuming content and creating interesting, relevant and catchy content will definitely increase your traffic and help you in sales growth.
  1. Listening to the customers and understanding their journey: Let’s face it: if one user has a bad experience on your website, he might never come back. Or even worse, a word-of-mouth campaign those customers bring can mean a big failure for a brand. This makes the user experience (UX) of your website now more important than ever. Following and understanding the customer journey by using Google analytics or any other analytics tool available should become top priority for any brand. No one should afford loopholes in their websites since they will lead to sales drops. As Brian Solls in his new book X: The experience when business meets design says: “Experiences are more important than products now. In fact, experiences are products.” So a smart thing to do would be to surf your website as if you were a customer. Shop like you would do on any other site. See what works well and what doesn’t and figure out a way to make the annoying stuff easier.
  1. Consume the technology, engage with VR and AR: From day to day harder it gets to become a market leader. The competition is fierce and overwhelming. So earlier you vrstart investing in the futuristic marketing, the sooner you’ll stand out from the competition. And by futuristic marketing, we mean investing in the “next big thing” which right now is the Virtual and Augmented reality. Take PokemonGo for example. It became a massive viral hit last year. And the total amount of active VR users is forecasted to reach 171 million by next year. So the time is now, take this advantage and improve the eCommerce experience with VR. Make your product virtually presented so the online shopper experiences them as he is in your physical store. Yes it is an expensive cutting-edge of technology. And yes, if you can afford it, go for it and immerse your customers with and VR experience.

 

  1. Take what your customers give you with User generated content: The idea of motivating your customers to generate content for you has been ongoing for a while now. users-social-media-contentBut is not as easy as it sounds. A brand should really stand out to have its customers speak instead. Being relevant, unique or even funny are among the attributes a brand should have to trigger conversation from its customers. And believed or not, user generated content id 20% more influential than any other media but much harder to have. Increasing the conversation should be among top of the planning list for eCommerce strategy for this year. Especially when 70% of consumers consider product and brand recommendations from their social circles trustworthy and 46% trust online reviews posted by other customers. In comparison, only 10% trust banner ads on websites. So, ask your customer to post images from your products, give them a hash tag, give them coupon or small rewards and increase the conversation for better sales.
  1. Invest in Review Marketing and Social feedback: And by invest, we mean try really, really hard about this. Today you’ll win a customer based on the reviews. It’s pure psychology. People like to be a part of the pact. They believe s recommendation they receive from a close member or someone they trust. So, the right thing to do now is to have a small incentive investment in your current customers in order to gain new ones. It will ultimately pay off. Numbers say that almost 63% of consumers are more likely to purchase from a site if it has product ratings and reviews from other customers. So if we haven’t convinced you yet, these numbers should.
  1. Hire a professional Influencer: Influencer Marketing can really help you increase your reach and ultimately your sales, if you do it right. And the right way to do it is by knowing and finding the right influencers. Whichever platform you choose (Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, Snapchat or Instagram) they each have different influencers. And it is still human recommendation. Consider influencers as brand ambassadors. Have them say what you have to say instead of you and have them interact with a community that will eventually become your community. And if knowing that almost 74% of consumers use social media channels to make purchase decisions and the previously stated facts that they believe user recommendations over brand ones should motivate you enough. As soon as customers relate to your brand it will be much easier.

 

  1. Make your customers feel special with a Loyalty program: It is quite easy. Reward your current customers for their loyalty. Coupons or points for discounts on every purchase will make them really happy. At the same time it is quite a good trigger for other customers to become yours as well. Attract the “onetime shoppers”, intrigue the “browsing shoppers” and reward the “loyals” and you will definitely rise your online sales.

 

  1. Be everywhere. Use an Omni-Channel selling. You have an banner-building-b2b-omni-channel-commerce-platform2eCommerce site. Your online shop is seamless. But why restrict? Put your products everywhere, on all selling platforms such as Amazon, eBay, Etsy, Jet, etc. This may seem like a contrary-marketing for you but you are wrong again. Multichannel shoppers do shop more often and they do spend over 3 times more than single-channel shoppers.

 

Other important marketing channels to focus your eCommerce in 2017:

  • Wallet payments
  • Triggered emails
  • Better & Free Return Shipping
  • On-Site Personalization
  • Social Media And Google Search Buy Buttons
  • Marketing automation
  • Non-robo response
  • Video marketing
  • Data driven from SEO