Cyber Monday: Results, Trends and the ECF

The numbers are in for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and they are impressive! Cyber Monday saw sales increase by 33% from 2010 and online sales on Black Friday increased by 29.3% according to IBM. Within this extraordinary growth of online sales for the holiday season, there are certain trends that seem to be emerging that are drawing the customers in and making them spend. Here we discuss these trends and how the ECF can be utilized for each of them.

Promotions

Obviously it’s a tried and true tactic to offer deals during the holidays, especially Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The types of promotions being offered are more complex than ever before. Online exclusives, one hour sales, limited number of items, deals in conjunction with social media, etc. Shop.org reported major brands participating in Promos edit‘Deals of the Hour’. Those familiar with the ECF know that its promotions engine is quite powerful and leaves room for creativity. To offer deals of the week, day, or even hour, you can leverage the many layers of options in ECF’s promotions. You can drill down to the smallest detail of the promotion including whether it can be combined with others, if a specific customer group or region sees a different promotion, or anything new and creative you can imagine.

Mobile

Mobile Commerce (M-Commerce) has been a buzz word in the eCommerce industry for awhile now, and the numbers are starting to show this on a larger scale. Black Friday saw 9.51% of online customers making purchases through mobile devices, and 6.6% on Cyber Monday. Even if people aren’t purchasing directly through their mobile device, and unprecedented number of them are browsing to a retailer’s mobile site before making a purchase. Over 17% of online consumers browsed with their mobile device on Thanksgiving and Black Friday.

With the ECF, the way you enable your site for Mobile Commerce is completely up to you and what’s best for your business and customers. As the stats support, customers using their phones or mobile devices are still browsing commerce sites first and foremost, and 90% of that is still done in the web-browser. Therefore through responsive web design (see our webinar on this topic) you can facilitate Mobile Commerce with relatively low effort.

Trends and the ECF

As the numbers show, designing your site to be responsive to the latest customer trends will put you ahead of the statistics and trends. Having a true framework that is responsive to the ever changing ways is paramount. With the ECF you can be prepared for the trends of today and tomorrow.

 

References:

“Cyber Monday Racks Up Impressive Gains”, E-Commerce Times

“Over 122 Million Americans To Shop On Cyber Monday, According to Shop.Org Survey”, Shop.org.

Mediachase Announces Partnership with hodgsonConsulting

hodgsonConsulting joins the Mediachase Solutions Partner Network to combine their award-winning design and development expertise with the Mediachase eCommerce Framework (ECF™).

hodgsonConsulting logoWashington, DC – November 17, 2011 – Mediachase is pleased to welcome hodgsonConsulting to the Mediachase Solutions Partner program. Hodgson is an award-winning strategic web development and interactive technology firm headquartered in the Greater Washington, DC metro area. They offer their clients complete, end-to-end solutions of the highest quality by using their extensive technology expertise and creative capabilities to solve real world problems. By partnering with Mediachase, Hodgson seeks to further enhance their client offerings; the powerful and flexible ECF platform will allow Hodgson’s clients to harness the full potential of the online sales medium.

Hodgson has been recognized numerous times by the Washington Business Journal for their corporate culture of philanthropy and their status as one of the top 25 interactive design firms in the Washington, DC area. The combination of Hodgson’s web design and development proficiency and the extensibility and commercial versatility of the Mediachase ECF will enable clients to expand and grow their eCommerce channels, thereby increasing revenues generated through their web properties. Combining hodgsonConsulting’s strategy and web development with the superior .NET architecture of the ECF should yield impressive results for any client’s sales and online presence.

Whether a client’s project warrants using the ECF’s powerful Catalog Management System for multiple sites and sales channels, integrating the flexible Order Management System with an existing ERP solution, or utilizing the built-in provider to the Amazon S3 Cloud, the options are limitless with the robust ECF in the hands of Hodgson’s skilled .NET developers. Garry Sittig, Vice President of Marketing and Sales for hodgsonConsulting, remarked, “We’re very excited to be able to offer such a flexible, highly adaptable eCommerce framework to our clients. We can mold the ECF to suit each client’s specific needs, so it’s a natural extension of our process, which is always aimed at keeping the achievement of key business goals in the forefront as an indicator of success.”

Mediachase Senior Vice President Peter Yeung also added, “We are truly excited about our new partnership with hodgsonConsulting. They have an impeccable record of delivering results through a vision parallel to our own, because they always focus on assembling the right solution for each individual customer.” For additional information, (or for a sample, copy or demo), contact Joe Grause or visit www.mediachase.com/commerce.

About Mediachase

Mediachase designs, integrates, and builds innovative software products and tools for companies needing to streamline internal and external business activities. With thousands of customers worldwide, Mediachase is committed to improving the business lives of people implementing connected systems. Mediachase software combines the stability and support of commercial products while providing openness, choice, and complete control through source code licensing. The flagship ASP.NET eCommerce Framework (ECF) powers hundreds of eCommerce sites globally, and is the .NET commerce platform of choice for industry-leading companies, enterprises, and agencies. Since 1997 Mediachase software has enabled seamless, successful implementations for our customers and worldwide network of partners and developers.

Mediachase is a privately held company headquartered in Los Angeles, California, with offices in Washington, D.C.

About hodgsonConsulting

From our founding in 2001, we have worked ceaselessly to make hodgsonConsulting the premier strategic web development and interactive technology firm in the Greater Washington, DC metro area and Mid-Atlantic region. We’ve built our business by understanding that our growth and success depend entirely on helping businesses, associations, nonprofits, government agencies, and institutions of higher education achieve their goals through the application of strategic, creative, and technology solutions that solve real world problems for real people.

We provide our clients with indispensable web-based strategies and technologies; we design aesthetically pleasing, highly functional websites; we transform existing sites into highly effective lead generation tools; we integrate e-commerce platforms, association management systems, and other applications with the latest content management systems. In short, we do everything in our power to get our clients exactly what they need from their websites.

Hodgson’s client relationships are built entirely on a philosophy of openness and partnership; this allows us to execute every engagement with skill, imagination, and efficiency. We’re able to deliver truly effective, functional solutions because we offer a unique combination of broad business experience, an in-depth understanding of technology, and the ability to listen attentively to our clients’ needs.

When you partner with us, we’ll treat your concerns, objectives, and successes as our own.

CONTACT INFORMATION:

Mediachase:

Joe Grause

202-355-7125

Joseph.grause@mediachase.com

www.mediachase.com

hodgsonConsulting:

Brendan Magee

301-942-7040

bmagee@hodgsonconsult.com

www.hodgsonconsult.com

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Mediachase ECF™ Year End Licensing Special

Promo Image for BlogPartners, customers, and followers: Why should the holiday shoppers be the only ones getting great deals this time of year?

Mediachase is pleased to offer our ECF Year End Licensing Special! Contact us and ask about how you can receive substantial savings off your licensing costs!

Are you a partner? Know you’ll be launching more ECF-based sites in the near future? Stock up on your licenses now for those future clients! Are you an existing customer who is looking to add capacity to your existing ECF implementation next year? Save on your license purchases by purchasing today.

This end of the year deal will only last for a limited time and is subject to certain rules and stipulations, and may not be applied to any deals in progress. Please contact sales@mediachase.com or call (202) 355-7125 to ask if you’re eligible for this unprecedented deal!

Mediachase Announces Launch of Canon Australia Online Store

Canon Australia launches new direct to consumer online store on the Mediachase eCommerce Framework (ECFTM).

Canon AustraliaWashington, DC – November 8, 2011 Mediachase is pleased to announce the official launch of Canon Australia’s new online store on the Mediachase ECF G5 platform. Canon is one of the world’s leading organizations in cameras and digital imaging solutions for businesses, industry and consumers. Canon Australia, a subsidiary of Canon Inc. Group (NYSE: CAJ, TYO: 7751), launched their Canon Online Store creating a new direct to consumer channel to reach the Australian public. Providing a new eCommerce solution enables Canon Australia customers to browse, research, and purchase items all in the same place. Intelligent architecture and integration allows customers to view product availability as they shop. As part of an overall digital strategy Canon Australia plans to utilize the ECF platform for the Canon New Zealand Online Store in the future.

Meticulous planning to leverage the ECF’s intelligent architecture allowed Canon Australia to design their site using their existing CMS Solution Sitecore, which was an important criterion in Canon Australia’s selection of an eCommerce platform. The ECF’s extensive APIs facilitated the integration with numerous other third party systems including Oracle ERP, eWAY payment gateway, Microsoft BizTalk Middleware, Masterpak, and Intech Address Validation. This seamless integration all occurred in a way to maintain and enhance the security of the employee store.

Scalability and flexibility for future expansion were important drivers for Canon Australia when deciding how to implement their solution. When devising a digital strategy and evaluating solutions, Tony Burke, eStore Manager of Canon Australia remarked “We decided to go with a platform solution as this ensured we have the flexibility to scale and grow as our business grows.” With the launch of the Canon Online Store, customers and employees alike are able to have access to the wealth of Canon products and expertise at their fingertips. Visit store.canon.com.au to view the new Canon Australia Online Store. For additional information on the Mediachase ECF, contact Joe Grause or visit www.mediachase.com/commerce.

About Mediachase

Mediachase designs, integrates, and builds innovative software products, and tools for companies needing to streamline internal and external business activities.  With thousands of customers worldwide, Mediachase is committed to improving the business lives of people implementing connected systems.  Mediachase software combines the stability and support of commercial products with openness and choice by including source code and engaging developer communities with each of its software platforms.  The flagship ASP .NET eCommerce Framework (ECF) powers hundreds of eCommerce sites globally, and is the .NET commerce platform of choice for industry-leading companies, enterprises, and agencies.  Since 1997 Mediachase software has enabled seamless, successful implementations for our customers and worldwide network of partners and developers.

Mediachase is a privately held company headquartered in Los Angeles, California, with offices in Washington, DC.

About Canon

Canon is the world’s leading imaging organization that actively inspires with imaginative ideas that enable people to connect, communicate and achieve more than they thought possible through imaging solutions for business and consumers. Canon’s Australian R&D company, CiSRA, develops and exports digital imaging technologies for use in Canon products worldwide. Canon has ranked among the top-three US patent recipients* for 21 of the last 23 years, and had global revenues of around $US45 billion in 2010. Canon Australia also operates Canon Finance Australia, which offers one-stop shopping for customers wanting leasing or finance services. For more information, visit www.canon.com.au, www.facebook.com/canonaustralia, www.twitter.com/canonaustralia, www.youtube.com/canonaustralia

* Based on weekly patent counts issued by the United States Patent and Trademark Office

CONTACT INFORMATION:

Mediachase:

Joe Grause

202-355-7125

Joseph.grause@mediachase.com

www.mediachase.com

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Mediachase Announces Launch of Pritzker Military Library Site

Pritzker Military Library relaunches site, integrates with kiosks, and achieves highest membership numbers ever on the Mediachase eCommerce Framework (ECFTM).

 

Pritzker Military Library

Washington, DC – June 21, 2011 – Mediachase is pleased to announce the official launch of the new site for Pritzker Military Library on the Mediachase ECF G5 platform. PritzkerMilitaryLibrary.org was designed and developed by Mediachase Solution Partner, Glaser Technology. Located in Chicago, Pritzker Military Library is a non-profit with the mission of increasing public knowledge and understanding of military history in America. The new ECF-based site allows Pritzker Military Library to expand their outreach and further their educational goals by allowing easy event registration, online payments and donations, and access to hundreds of cataloged events. Especially unique to the Pritzker Military Library solution is the integration to physical kiosks available in the library, which enables patrons to easily register for membership. These kiosks automatically integrate into the ECF, synchronizing the entire eCommerce solution and instantly benefiting both the patron and Pritzker Military Library.

Since the initial launch on the ECF platform, the new Pritzker Military Library solution showed significant results, drawing in the highest membership numbers in the library’s history. The fastest growing segment of members is now out-of-state members, thanks to the ease of registration both online and through the kiosks. With the robust ECF Catalog Management System, more resources are available online so that all members can enjoy the catalog of books, podcasts, live or archived event webcasts, and many other great educational resources, regardless of the members’ location. Various membership options are available which gives members greater access to discounts and offers. The seamless interaction of the ECF’s Catalog and Customer Management Systems ensures that members receive these benefits effortlessly.

The extended reach of the Pritzker Military Library with their enhanced web presence facilitates their goal to be a prominent forum for discussion about the sacrifices made by the brave men and women who have served in the United States Military. The appreciation of the “Citizen Soldier in America” is proudly supported by both Mediachase and Glaser Technology through this new ECF project. Visit PritzkerMilitaryLibrary.org to support their mission today. For additional information on the Mediachase ECF or Glaser Technology, contact Joe Grause or visit http://www.mediachase.com/commerce.

About Mediachase

Mediachase designs, integrates, and builds innovative software products, and tools for companies needing to streamline internal and external business activities.  With thousands of customers worldwide, Mediachase is committed to improving the business lives of people implementing connected systems.  Mediachase software combines the stability and support of commercial products with openness and choice by including source code and engaging developer communities with each of its software platforms.  The flagship ASP .NET eCommerce Framework (ECF) powers hundreds of eCommerce sites globally, and is the .NET commerce platform of choice for industry-leading companies, enterprises, and agencies.  For over twelve (12) years Mediachase software has enabled seamless, successful implementations for our customers and worldwide network of partners and developers.

Founded in 1997, Mediachase is a privately held company headquartered in Los Angeles, California, with offices in Washington, DC.

About Glaser Technology

Since 1975 Glaser Technology has been crafting custom business solutions using best-of-breed tools. With an outstanding team of experienced developers applying decades of application and business process knowledge, Glaser creates applications that are driven by business requirements and goals.

Over the years Glaser has completed projects for companies such as FTD, Rand McNally, Schawk, Inc. and a number of smaller firms in a variety of industries.

Glaser Technology, Inc. is a privately held firm located in Chicago, IL.

CONTACT INFORMATION:

Mediachase:

Joe Grause

202-355-7125

Joseph.grause@mediachase.com

www.mediachase.com

Glaser Technology:

Frank Alonso

(312) 374-9770

Frank@glasertechnology.com

www.GlaserTechnology.com

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Mediachase Announces Partnership with Sparkbox

Sparkbox joins the Mediachase Solutions Partner Network as an expert design agency and will enhance the mobile usability of the Mediachase eCommerce Framework (ECF™).

Washington, DC – May 31, 2011 – Mediachase is pleased to welcome Sparkbox to the Mediachase Solutions Partner program. Sparkbox is a premier website design and development firm that specializes in the user interface and user experience development for eCommerce sites with a focus on superb mobile usability. With the creation of this new partnership, Sparkbox will combine its expertise of mobile application development and ECF implementations to bring a compelling mobile commerce solution to the market. With experience and success designing and developing applications with the ECF, Sparkbox has become a preferred design agency of Mediachase.

clip_image001Sparkbox has extensive knowledge of both the eCommerce and mobile worlds and has honed its skills to seamlessly combine the two. Through a technique called “Responsive Web Design”, Sparkbox is able to implement websites that are impressive on any sized screen: desktops, smartphones, tablets, and anything in between. Sparkbox takes Web-Standards a step further with specific emphasis on accessibility, usability, responsiveness, and a focus on messaging. A common principle amongst Mediachase and Sparkbox is the notion of flexibility and longevity in an eCommerce solution and byleveraging the highly extensible Mediachase ECF™, Sparkbox delivers just that: an eCommerce solution built to last. The new relationship between Mediachase and Sparkbox will allow ECF users to swiftly move with the ever changing eCommerce and mobile landscape.

Ben Callahan, President of Sparkbox, expressed "The opportunity to partner with Mediachase to bring a truly responsive approach to their eCommerce framework will open up a world of possibilities to ECF customers."

Mediachase Senior Vice President Peter Yeung also added “We have great hopes for this partnership and we are excited to be working together to progress the ECF in the mobile world.” For additional information, (or for a sample, copy or demo), contact Joe Grause or visit www.mediachase.com/commerce.

About Mediachase

Mediachase designs, integrates, and builds innovative software products and tools for companies needing to streamline internal and external business activities.  With thousands of customers worldwide, Mediachase is committed to improving the business lives of people implementing connected systems.  Mediachase software combines the stability and support of commercial products while providing openness, choice, and complete control through source code licensing.  The flagship ASP .NET eCommerce Framework (ECF) powers hundreds of eCommerce sites globally, and is the .NET commerce platform of choice for industry-leading companies, enterprises, and agencies.  For over twelve (12) years Mediachase software has enabled seamless, successful implementations for our customers and worldwide network of partners and developers.

Founded in 1997, Mediachase is a privately held company headquartered in Los Angeles, California, with offices in Washington, D.C.

About Sparkbox

Sparkbox is a website design and development firm that excels in creating stunning websites that work as well on mobile devices—like smartphones, tablets and laptops—as they do on desktop computers. With a focus on standards compliance, accessibility, and usability, Sparkbox has established a solid team of experts and a track record of attractive, high-performance e-commerce sites.

CONTACT INFORMATION:

Mediachase:

Joe Grause

202-355-7125

Joseph.grause@mediachase.com

www.mediachase.com

Sparkbox:

Ben Callahan

937-401-0915

ben@heysparkbox.com

http://seesparkbox.com/

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Higher Gas Prices Means More Online Shoppers (Version 2, 3 years later)

For a bit of nostalgia I decided to look back on the Mediachase blog to see what was happening today in previous years.  Interestingly enough, it seems that some things haven’t changed one bit.  In a blog post by Richly from April 28, 2008 (copied below) he discussed how the rising gas prices were making people opt to shop online instead of venture out to the malls and stores.  Today the average price of gas is once again hovering around $4 per gallon here in the U.S., and once again people are taking measures to save their gas and money by shopping online.  This blog post from 3 years ago is literally the same situation as today with a few changes:

    • Circuit City no longer exists (womp womp)
    • eCommerce has expanded to encompass our laptops, tablets, and smart phones, making it more accessible than ever.
    • Small brick and mortar companies have invested in eCommerce so are better equipped to survive when people don’t want to drive out to their storefronts.  Cupcake delivery anyone?

Read Richly’s original blog below.  If you didn’t know it was from 3 years ago you’d swear it was written today (minus the Circuit City reference).


“With the price of gasoline at the pump nearing an average of $4, and with prices expected to soar in the future, shoppers are looking online to make their dog and cat food purchases (or at the very least a gift for Ma on Mothers’ Day).  While our European friends and customers are already shelling out about $9 a gallon, for us Americans, spending $4 is enough to feel the sting of a deep puncture wound in the pit of our wallets.  So for the web savvy, online shopping is bound to go up, according to this study by Harris Interactive and iCongo.  About 33% of adults surveyed said that they’re more likely to shop online because of higher fuel costs.  And with tax rebates expected to arrive for millions of Americans in the coming weeks, over 40% of shoppers intend to spend it according to recent surveys.

Still, most shoppers will still travel to brick and mortar retail stores to buy their goods, especially for groceries, food, and other necessities.  But for other must-want items, such as digital devices, driving out to the local Circuit City doesn’t sound as enticing as getting free shipping from Amazon.com from the discomfort of their wobbly office chair.  And as the cost of living continues to rise, retail sales will likely go down, but eCommerce is likely to pick up this year.”

Richly, April 28, 2008 on the Mediachase Blog

Earth Day and the Tech Industry

Today is Earth Day.  While sipping coffee from my reusable coffee mug and starting up my computer, I got to thinking about whether or not the recent technology we use in our daily lives has helped or harmed the Earth?  On a daily basis you use your phone, computer, and the internet (all of course constantly converging nowadays).  Remember when they thought these would make us jump to a paperless society?  Well that hasn’t happened quite yet, but here are a few interesting reads on technology, its impact on the Earth, and some cool ways it’s helping.

“Cool ways tech is helping the Earth (images)” by ZDNet.com 

“Is the ‘cloud’ green or not?  Greenpeace scrutinizes 10 giants” by ZDNet.com 

“Can green tech save the Earth?  It won’t be easy” by CNet.com News 

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Check out Earth Day Network for more Earth Day knowledge.

The End of Full Price?

With the proliferation of group coupon sites like Groupon, LivingSocial, and all of the others that seem to be popping up on a daily basis, it seems that everything has a coupon or discount available for it.  Even nationwide chains are getting in on this, such as today’s Groupon for Domino’s Pizza (check it out if you need dinner plans) or Amazon’s deal through LivingSocial a few months ago. 

imageConsumers are coming to expect deals to be made and prices to be dropped.  I do wonder though if name brands that have customers loyal to their brand will eventually feel the pressure to offer deals too.  Will Apple one day have a Groupon for iTunes or their products (dare we dream)?  Or is this trend simply the market adapting to the demands of consumers who are working with tighter budgets due to the recession?  Do you think coupons, specials, and deals will continue after the economy has fully recovered? 

In my opinion this trend will continue because it is simply the coupons that your mom clipped being brought to a modern platform with a social twist.  Whether or not the brand loyalty type of companies will cave to the pressure or not I think will be seen only with time. From an eCommerce framework perspective, my advice is to make sure that your platform can handle all of the promotions that you’ll be needing to offer your customers as well as be able to integrate with whatever social commerce outlets you choose.  It must be flexible to accommodate whichever direction your customers want to go.