Friday, April 29, 2011

Preparing Your Internet Business for 4th Quarter offices are open! Email us if you have any questions or are ready for your next ecommerce consultation. Remember the holiday shopping season begins in August. I know that seems far off but now is the time to prepare. Email us directly for tips on preparing your Internet business for the 4th quarter of the year.

Backing Up Your Internet Site

Remember to back up your site weekly. There is a tutorial on how to do so in our tutorial base! It's critical you do this weekly!

Pure-Ecommerce Learning Library is so excited to announce the arrival of our new efront learning library. We will be launching the library in 2 weeks. You will be able to pull steps, webinars, videos, and updated and new steps! The library will be filled with learning material. You will receive a log in so you can go in weekly and check out new material! Watch for that to be added to the Pure-Ecommerce site very soon!

Here to all of you! Have a great weekend.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

An example of prediction markets

For the British royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, here's one of the most interesting odds listed at
Royal Wedding 2011 - Which of these guests will be seen crying during the ceremony? Tears must be visible for winner
Carole Middleton (Mother of Kate)3/2
Philippa Middleton (Sister of Kate)5/2
Michael Middleton (Father of Kate)10/1
The Queen12/1
Prince Charles25/1
Prince Harry25/1
Prince Philip25/1

Prediction markets

Prediction markets are only effective if a lot of people participate.  What are the best ways to encourage more traders and trading within internal company prediction markets?

As Cowgill suggested, we should combine financial rewards (cash, gift certificates etc.) with other incentives: social rewards, processes, infrastructure, and even perception.

Social rewards play a key role here since usually play money is used instead of real money and financial incentives are very decent. For these reasons, we should not make it anonymous. Everyone should know other players so that they have incentives to play better and more seriously. People are as competitive and caring their "faces" in games as in work and life situations. 

For processes, a market and its outcomes should be selected so that most, if not all, people are interested in the market and have some uncertainty about the outcomes. This would attract more people like Dolores Haze, who stated "It didn't tell me anything I didn't know; it just confirmed my intuition."

Infrastructure can be very broad but some specific examples are: 1) make the user interface very simple and at the same time attractive and 2) provide various tools and data for each market and its outcomes to help users get started and do further research.

Perception of prediction market participation is also important. Some people may be concerned that if they participate very actively, their co-workers may think they are not doing their "real" jobs. Therefore, specify the maximum time they can spend at work for this activity and then use their non-work time. This can discourage some people from participating but then help many more people participate actively and confidently.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


What are the similarities and differences between a community-driven product development process and a traditional product development process within a firm?

- Both go through basic development phases such as design, production, marketing, distribution, and customer services (though the community-driven one engages community tremendously in several phases, especially design and marketing).
- Both try to satisfy customer needs, either via formal market research as in traditional process or through community voting as in community-driven product.
- Both need to find more ways to bring in new customers such as rewarding referrals (though the community-driven one has users refer to others through links on their own blogs or via social networks instead of referring to others traditionally in person or via phone).
- Community-driven product development process engages a great variety of activities performed by the community as in the Threadless case: submitting designs, critiquing submitted designs, blogging about their daily lives, posting songs and videos inspired by the designs and most importantly purchasing t-shirts. In contrast, a traditional one is typically constrained by activities performed by the firm itself and involves no or limited community activities. For example, the latter has a team of designers and after some market research, comes up with new designs, and picks a few that it considers the best itself. The only community activity for the latter is to purchase whatever company designers (not "community" designers) make.
- A website for community-driven products is used not only for selling products but also for varying other services to meet different needs of the community. As in Threadless, people go to the website to buy t-shirts, to use the site to practice design skills and get feedback from fellow artists, to try to win design prizes, to interact with other consumers and designers, and to participate in blogs. A website for traditionally developed products is mainly for selling and might go as far as allowing buyers to comment and vote on products.
- For marketing, a traditional process pays for ads on public mass media such as TV, magazines, or radio. Recently, these companies also pay for ads on the Internet. For community-driven ones such as Threadless, they exploit less expensive and arguably more effective methods such as word-of-mouth marketing and press coverage as "the two major sources of Threadless community expansion."

Business Meeting With Yourself!

Today is the day to tackle your business! Have a business meeting-with yourself. Plan out your week. Make a schedule for your seo efforts. Part of our new business organizational tool package includes a seo schedule sheet. EMAIL us and we will send that to you!

SEO can be hard work... Dont NOT do it just because it's hard...Make it your mission to overcome the battle. Remember what you do today is a direct result as to where you will be in the search engines 2 or 3 months from now.

SPECIAL shout out to our star client NOEL who is catching up with Pure E in terms of her SEO rankings. She is doing really well with an ALEXA ranking of 350,000.00. When she started she was ranking in the millions. WAY to go Noel!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Exciting News from

On May 2nd will be launching its new Pure-Ecommerce Learning Library. You
will be able to log in and pull courses, webinars, updated ecommerce steps, and all sorts of additional
information and articles on growing your ecommerce business! This is our next step is helping our
clients stay on top of running a successful ecommerce business!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Google's Panda update reduces traffic but raises its quality?

I've noticed this week that our daily visits to have dropped by around 12%, which reverses the longer-term trend of growth. I've looked through Google Analytics to see why this could be and the only referrer of traffic that has had much change is search and in particular, Google.

It would appear that we've been affected by Google's roll out of its Panda Update in the UK this week, which has hit many content based websites and in particular, those that publish articles and information on technology related subjects. This update comes not long after it was revealed how Google's results were easily being spammed by sites such as JCPenney, with the perception that this was lowering its overall quality and variety. Google says that the update was designed to hit content farms the most, however it is also affecting legitimate websites. You can see the impact of this update quite vividly in this article.

Looking closer at the stats is interesting, however. The screenshot below is from Google Analytics and compares Sunday to Thursday this week with the same period last week. Note that Google's update was rolled out on April 11, which is when the gap starts to appear.

This suggests that visits from search are down by almost 21% on the previous week; quite a drop. However it also looks as though the traffic that is being directed from search has improved in quality. The number of pages viewed per visit has increased by 5% and the visitors referred by search are on the site for 12 seconds longer. Tellingly, the bounce rate, which measures the number of people who leave the site after viewing only one page is down.

So how is this affecting revenue from search? If we look at the ecommerce value of these search referrals, we've generated more revenue from fewer referrals. Revenue is up 22%, conversion up 25% and the value per visit from search is up over 50%.

Therefore it would appear that despite taking a hit from Google's update, it seems to have achieved what it intended: to help people find better search results. Our traffic, despite being lower, is bringing in more quality visits who are more likely to buy. It's still early days since Panda was launched and only time will tell if this trend will continue.

H&M launches new website

H&M, one of Europe's leading high street fashion brands, launched an update to its website today, a little over six months after going live with its first ecommerce site. Today's launch is hardly a surprise. Their opening attempt at entering the world of online retailing was largely a disappointment with the site unintuitive and difficult to navigate, with a poor checkout system and featuring only a small number of products. So what's changed?

Gone is a homepage that made you click to enter the ecommerce store and in its place is extensive product navigation and quick links to view various items and collections. They have packed in three levels of navigation at the top of the page, which, despite looking a bit cluttered, gives quick access and a route to more frequently asked questions.

Category pages, linked from the main navigation, aren't much different to the homepage, only showing products specific to that category. The huge image that takes up the whole of the screen is advertising one of H&M's collections, however it's missing an opportunity to offer variety and showcase all of their products above the fold.

Product categories are a major improvement. There are more products to select from than were available on the first version of the site, which is an important step forward. Products are clearly displayed and organised with secondary image on mouse-over, pricing and colour options for each product. These lead through to specific product pages, instead of in a pop-up window, which the old site inexplicably featured. Having said that, the pop-up is still available through a quick shop link on products. 

Images, sizing, detail, pricing etc. is nicely laid out, all above the fold, and the add to cart button, despite being light grey with dark grey text (that turns black when you have selected a size), is well placed, though I would definitely A/B test its design. The absence of delivery information and shipping prices remains a disappointment. 

What I like most about the updated site is a new Dressing Room feature. This enables users to virtually try on combinations of clothes to see how they look together and then easily add the selected items to their cart. This is simple, effective and fun. I'm surprised they're not pushing this more on the site - the link to Try On is underneath the main image on the product page and on the top navigation - why not ditch that huge image on product pages (as above) and push the idea there instead?  

It may be my connection, however the site feels a little slow still. When you click add to cart, it takes a few seconds before your shopping bag is updated, keeping you on the same page rather than directing you to the cart. When you click to checkout, the process has been slimmed down and instead of having poorly chosen related products, I'm offered more looks that show me various other items that go with the trousers that are in my cart. This is a major improvement.

The size of the text in the checkout is pretty small and there's no option to increase its size. Perhaps this is a nod to the age of the average H&M customer... Despite my eyesight, I managed to change the colour, size and quantity of the product all from the cart, rather than having to go back to the product page, which is a neat feature, just wish they'd make it a bit bigger, my mouse pointer almost covers the drop-down box!

Checking out is quicker and now you're not presented with silly cart upsells, which was a poor feature of the original site. Entering credit card details is now on a separate page and doesn't offer users with opportunities to navigate away. Weirdly, the 'Valid To' date is called 'Valid Through' on this page, which confused me a bit and possibly a translation error that wasn't picked up in testing.

H&M's first ecommerce website was something of a car crash and it would be difficult to make things worse. Fortunately for them, this is a much improved offering and the speed with which they launched version two is impressive. As well as fixing some of the poor navigation, product listings and checkout, some of the added features are a real step forward and represents the brand online as it is perceived offline - contemporary and up-to-date. 

Take a look for yourselves:

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Errata Page

It appears that the errata page for "Beginning Django E-commerce" has been wiped out for the book on Apress' web site. A few readers just emailed me to let me know. Apologies to everyone for the inconvenience. Unfortunately, I don't have a full backup of the contents of the page, but I remember some of the larger flubs, so I'll list them and post in the next week.

For those of you who have this blog in an RSS reader, here's a quick and simple CSS tip so it's not all bad news. I recently learned about a CSS property called text-overflow, which you can set to a value of ellipsis. When used in conjunction with a couple of other CSS properties, any text which is too long is truncated and "..." is appended to the end.

Example with an H1 element:

Really long long first-level header element that has a lot of text

Now, here's one that is styled with "text-overflow:hidden;":

Really long long first-level header element that has a lot of text

Here is the list of styles being applied to the latter that make this possible:

  • text-overflow: ellipsis;

  • white-space: nowrap;

  • overflow:hidden;

Seems very underutilized on the web, as I often see text wrapping on a page where the designer clearly never expected there to be a lot of text. And definitely useful if you're doing HTML5 for a mobile browser, where available space is even more constrained.

Tisk Tisk Tisk!

Have you blogged today?

How you tweeted today?

If your answer to both of these questions is NO- then you’re behind the eight ball.

Get on it dog gone it!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


LinkedIn recently hit 100M users. If you were in charge at LinkedIn, what would be your strategic goals for the next several years?  How would you achieve them?

LinkedIn has been doing great and in order to keep the momentum, it needs to stay ahead with some strategic goals for the next several years.

First, it should attract more professionals by focusing on what it has done well, PNS and by providing more relevant services such as for a certain skill or career, what degrees, certifications, or tests you need to consider. It can try to add some SNS features but there are 3 cautions. First, it can start just some basic features to see how users react. If it receives encouraging feedback, it can expand more. Otherwise, if it experiences an overall negative feeling, then stop. Second, when introducing SNS, it should be separate from PNS. It should provide a separate tab that directs users to a different page where users in the PNS services have to obtain mutual acceptance before becoming connected to others.

Second, it should open up its platform to third parties to bring in more services, fresher ideas, and ultimately, more users. It is just a matter of time since this is a trend and it proves beneficial to companies. Obviously, it needs to take cautious steps but should not avoid that. It needs to control the quality and the relevance of services. Also, privacy is crucial to build and maintain trust so a well-balanced strategy of openness and security is required.

Finally, it should partner with other companies that provide valuable services. It has already worked with several ones but it needs to explore more. For example, resume critiques, image building, and rental services. Based on the popularity (how many users use a service and how frequently they use etc.), it can list services in order of popularity, innovation, and relevance.

Title Free Advertising Credit with Facebook & Google! is excited to have found that if you pick this month’s Entrepreneur Magazine
that inside is a coupon for $50.00 worth of free advertising with Facebook Ads!
Head out to your local bookstore today! Also, Google has a $75.00 coupon for free ad words.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Electra Bicycle Enhances Business Process with Azox E-Commerce

Electra Bicycle, a leading bike manufacturer and distributor of cruiser bikes based in Vista, California, has been growing steadily since 1993 to become a successful global company that helps bring bikes to people and shops across the country. Read this case study to find out how Azox e-commerce solution was able to improve their sales order processing system by moving orders off the phone and onto their web store. Click here to read the whole story.

Are you attending Convergence 2011 in Atlanta? If so stop by booth 1006 and enter for a chance to win one of two bikes (pictured below) compliments of Electra Bicycle Company.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


How do Wikipedia’s processes for creating and modifying articles ever lead to high-quality results? In other words, since anyone can easily edit Wikipedia, how is it that good (and usually accurate) content emerges?

As the top-ranked science journal Nature compared the accuracy of science entries in Wikipedia and online version of Encyclopedia Britannica on the same set of 42 science articles in late 2005, the former had 162 errors while the latter had 123. This is quite interesting given the fact that Wikipedia content is generated by the public and free while the other is considered the hallmark for factual authority and very expensive.

There are several reasons behind the relatively accurate content in Wikipedia. First, most people who dedicate their time and effort to creating and/or editing have some knowledge in the subject they write about and more importantly, are interested in sharing knowledge with others. Second, people, by nature, feel good when they voluntarily share something with others. Third, each person's knowledge is limited but if people contribute, the content will get richer, more comprehensive, and more accurate. Finally, if people make mistakes or intentionally put incorrect or false information, all it takes to delete or revert to an older version with better content is less than a few seconds, just hitting a button. This concept has been leveraged in several commercial tools such as Confluence that helps thousands of organization work collaboratively and more productively.

Another person got fired because of his Twitter comments

From CNN:
"The six-figure voice-over job with benefits opened up after Aflac fired comedian Gilbert Gottfried for his fowl, er foul, Twitter comments regarding the Japan earthquake. The comedian later apologized."

Ecommerce in situ, the affiliate scheme for modern retailers

<Insert predictable ecommerce image here>
The affiliate scheme is a simple and massively successful marketing tactic that encourages third parties to, essentially, promote your products on their website and to only pay them when you make a sale. The affiliate scheme was popularised by but actually pre-dated the internet. It was brought online by PC Flowers and Gifts as far back as 1989.

Amazon's innovative and widespread approach put the choice of advertising into the hands of the third party and coupled with aggressive marketing, moved the affiliate scheme to the forefront of most organisation's ecommerce marketing strategies.

While affiliate schemes remain successful, I can't help but feel that it is a Web 1.0 tactic that needs updating. The affiliate scheme pushes visitors to your website for you to convert into customers, why can't we convert them on their website?

The relationship between the customer and the retailer would remain throughout with the transaction being fulfilled and customer details stored by the retailer. This would be achieved by ecommerce in situ - placing your own ecommerce and registration widget on third party sites.

As retailers, if we are careful and selective with these third parties, ensuring that they have committed communities and a reputation that doesn't detract from the brand, then this is a concept that should work. If visitors have a trusting relationship with the third party, who is open about the in situ relationship, then we're half way to a conversion. 

Saturday, April 2, 2011 is Introducing Our New Educational System clients will now be able to log into our NEW online educational system and pull steps, recordings, pod casts, and updated learning material. This password protected library will allow you to work through the steps at your own pace. It will also feature new and updated learning materials.

Since our team at is constantly attending trainings, seminars, webinars, etc we will be able to write up reviews and share this information with you right through the system.

We are busy installing all of the classes and steps this week! We will update you via email with more information on how you can access this system right after Easter! We plan to launch the library April 26th.

As always thank you for your continued support of!

What Have You Done Today To Improve Traffic To Your Site?

What Can I do TODAY to bring traffic in tommorow?

The basis of everything you do when you work on your website  is to bring in traffic. Your purchased  an internet business that is READY to go. Now you need to BRING in the traffic.

The first 6 months of running your internet business the primary focus should be SEO and MARKETING.

Don't get get caught up in little things that WONT bring you traffic of money. STAY focused...

What do you need to do to bring in traffic? If you don't no the answer to this question the A You haven't done seo, ppc and marketing consults with yet and you need to set  those up or B You don't remember and you need to set up a review session!

We are here 24 hours a day 7 days a week and if you need a review, inspiration or a kick in the butt to get going-call us:)!