Sunday, February 27, 2011

Future Internet

WEB 2.0 - TODAY

The current Internet we are experienced is the so called Web 2.0. and referes to a series of technological improvements from the original Internet.

Some examples of features considered to be part of Web 2.0 are listed below:
  • Blogs - also known as Web logs, these allow users to post thoughts and updates about their life on the Web.
  • Wikis - sites like Wikipedia and others enable users from around the world to add and update online content.
  • Social networking - sites like Facebook and MySpace allow users to build and customize their own profile sand communicate with friends.
  • Web applications - a broad range of new applications make it possible for users to run programs directly in a Web browser, like Google Docs, Gmail, Zoho and many other.
  • RSS Feeds - pulling information from the web.
The following video explains the benefits of current Internet, the Web 2.0.




WEB 3.0 - TOMORROW

Next future of Internet is Web 3.0 or also called "Semantic Web".

The Semantic Web is a "web of data" that enables machines to understand the semantics, or meaning, of information on the World Wide Web.[1] . Semantic Web as "a web of data that can be processed directly and indirectly by machines."

The following video explains why is necessary the evolution to Web 3.0 and the future interaction between machines and applications through internet.






WEB 4.0 - AFTER TOMORROW

Web 4.0 is the web that extends to the real world. It’s the web of things. where your house becomes part of the web, and your car. Where your body becomes part of the Internet. Where you use http://twitter.com to turn the heat up because you are home early. Where the refrigerator orders milk when it notices it’s running out. Where your car checks the Google-Calendar of you and your garage to make a service appointment and where your general practitioner is notified of changes in your glucose-levels in your blood automatically and remotely. It’s the web where a seat in a plane is automatically registered when the location in your google calendar is remote and a taxi is already waiting to pick you up, without you even thinking about it.

The following video is illustrative of the current power of Internet in our society and the major role will continue playing in our lifes in the future.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Cloud computing

Cloud computing is an internet technology that utilizes both central remote servers and internet to manage the data and applications. This technology allows many businesses and users to use the data and applications without an installation. Cloud computing provides much more effective computing by centralized memory, processing, storage and bandwidth.

The most simple and understandable example of cloud application is Gmail application for e-mail. You do not need to have a software installed in your computer or a server to have e-mail service if you are using Gmail. All you need to have an internet connection and a web browser to access to your Gmail account. In this case the e-mail management software and the server are somewhere on the internet (cloud) and completely maintained by various internet service providers. The user can use the application alone and can enjoy its benefits.

The main reasons for cloud computing are:

- It´s more "cost effective". You save costs, since you don´t need to have servers or maintain any software to use applications

- It´s more "green", since with few servers many more users can use the applications, and that means less energy consumpution

- It´s more "innovative". Because the execution of the application is running in a cloud server, the application can be displayed in devices with reduced processing power, like mobile devices. On the other hand, you can access to a huge amount of different services and applications because all of them are in the cloud.

Those three reasons I am talking about are better explained in the following video:



The following video is also very good in my opinion to understand Cloud Computing benefits, and is provided by Salesforce, one cloud computing company headquartered in San Francisco, USA that distributes business software on a subscription basis.



In the following wiki page you can find a list of Cloud Computing service providers:
Cloud Computing service providers

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Retail Web Analytics

The following information comes from a report from Adobe.

There are a number of differences between retail websites and other websites. Technology adoption is one area that is especially poignant. Consider the exhibit on the right.

Does this graph indicate that users have a little desire to purchase on their web-enabled phones? Probably not. What drives the activities listed above? Availability and Usability. Because vendors concentrating on the top categories have made these activities easy to find and easy to use, the masses flock to them. What’s my point? Online retailers could easily make their shopping carts available on mobile phones, but have not. Why? I don’t have all the answers but one reason I believe is because they are apprehensive of to trying try something new, even if it has huge potential .

Adoption Life Cycle
The Rogers Curve below describes the adoption of new technologies. Many of you will be familiar with this figure. I’ve overlaid the curve with a smaller curve that represents the typical retail industry adoption. Notice that most retailers are a bit slower to adopt technology (including web analytics, social media, mobile, video and rich media) than other industries.
Retail Adoption Life Cycle
I mentioned before that retailers seem apprehensive to try new technologies. Coming late to the game may not necessarily be a bad thing. In fact, maybe we should consider it “fashionably late.” Here are the advantages.

  1. The industry tendency to adopt new methods and technology late ensures that the technology has been tested and proven. This reduces wasted investment by allowing other companies/industries to be the guinea pigs on the bleeding edge.
  2. You’re not the only one who’s late. Your competition from the same industry will likely be late adopters as well.

In essence, being an Innovator or Early Adopter in the retail industry allows for first mover advantage while still reaping the benefits of proven technology.
As you can see, timing here is crucial . Without awareness of new technologies, it will be difficult to gauge where on the adoption life cycle that technology might be. It is crucial to work on technology initiatives while keeping an eye on other innovative industries to see what is coming down the pipe.
As web technology continues to evolve at a blazing pace, keeping up with the trends will become important to more than just the fashion industry. Online retailers are in a uniquely advantageous position because early adoption of technology provides the benefits of being a first mover with the security blanket of tested and proven solutions.

Innovators in Online Retail
So, you want some concrete examples, you say? I am here to please!
In an article for eMarketer in June 2010 (Mobile Shopping From In-Store), Jeffrey Grau cites several examples of retailers who are using the mobile channel as a competitive advantage. Amazon.com launched a mobile app in December 2009. Shoppers will go to other stores to try or examine a product, then order it from Amazon Mobile. This allows Amazon to avoid the overhead of retail space.

Giselle Tsirulnik at Mobile Commerce Daily reports (Sept 13, 2010) that the retailer, Express, recently launched a mobile app that will send visitors discounts and promotions based on their GPS location. Way to think outside the box, Express!

In her article of October 18,2010 (Getting Social Customer Service Right, Forrester), Diane Clarkson describes several ways in which companies are using social media to reduce customer service overhead. One example she uses is Walmart’s online forum as a place where customers can ask and answer questions to each other.
Walmart online forumexample

In another example, Xbox is using Twitter as a method for customers to contact a representative. The upside here is that the tweet is also visible to others who may have the same question.
Xbox example

There are limitless options for utilizing technology in your online marketing strategy!
So what are you waiting for?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Analytics tools

List of some of the most used tools for analytics in the market:

1. Web Analytics Tools

  • Google Analytics
  • Yahoo Web Analytics
  • WebTrends
  • Omniture SiteCatalyst
  • CoreMetrics
  • LyrisHQ

2. Social Media Analytics Tools

  • Klout
  • Twitalyzer
  • Radian6

3. Opinion Tools

  • OpinionLab
  • SurveyMonkey
  • ForeSee Results

4. Mobile Analytics Tools

  • PercentMobile
  • Bango Analytics
  • Mobilytics

5. Experimentation Tools

  • Google Website
  • Test & Target
  • Visual Website Optimizer

Overview on Test&Target

Omniture® Test&Target™ is now Adobe® Test&Target™, powered by Omniture®. Adobe Test&Target gives marketers the necessary capabilities to continually make their online content and offers more relevant to their customers—yielding greater conversion. Test&Target provides an intuitive interface for designing and executing tests, creating audience segments and targeting content—all from a single application. Adobe Test&Target is part of the Adobe® Online Marketing Suite of applications for online business optimizations.



Adobe Test&Target puts control directly in the hands of marketers to quickly and continually execute multiple A/B and multivariate (MVT) tests, measure effectiveness and relevance of content across any online channel and increase content relevance through segmentation, targeting and automated personalization.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Kwantic

Kwantic is an online business optimization agency specializing in Analytics, User Research & Marketing. Our business model is based around success fees we charge our clients when their performance levels have improved.

We're currently 20 people who specialize in web analytics, analysis, market research, marketing, sales and usability. You can read about the individuals we have working for us on our LinkedIn Page.

Kwantic’s name is based on the English word “Quantic” which means the rational function of two or more variables. At Kwantic we believe that the result of doing analysis and taking action is likely to be a good business result.

Some words from our Chief Analytics Officer at Web Analytics conference in Helsinki.



You can find more information in www.kwantic.com