Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Treating customers like they're your girlfriend (or boyfriend)

Closing the stable door after the horse has bolted is not a phrase you want associated with your marketing strategy but it came to mind today after receiving an e-mail. I had allowed a subscription to an online content provider to end without renewing and although I had used the service, there were few reasons for me to renew immediately. It was then that the horse bolted.

In the week since my subscription ended, I received three e-mails reminding me about renewing and then a further three e-mails about the quality of content on the site and why I should come back. All very efficient except I hadn't received any such e-mails over the previous 12 months.

I was subscribed to the newsletter, so would have weekly updates, however I received nothing to remind me about why I was subscribed - nothing targeted and no reminders about why I'm paying money for their service.

I actually felt like my ex-girlfriend was reminding me about how great we were together. If only she had put the effort into the relationship, maybe we would never have split up.

In reality that's not a bad analogy because we are in a relationship with our customers, particularly for subscription and direct marketers. Ignore them and they'll leave, show them too much love and they'll feel smothered and leave. It's about finding a balance and reminding them why you're together and what you offer each other without forgetting your anniversary.

And needless to say that the old saying 'treat them mean, keep them keen, doesn't apply here. 

Pure-Ecommerce.com has finished our new elearning library.

In addition to our consulting process you will now receive access to our library filled with additional ecommerce learning materials.

Please email Brittany to receive your log in and pass word.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Hope your having a safe and wonderful holiday!

Pure-Ecommerce.com is not open today but we are checking emails throughout the day. For any emergency needs please call our 800 number.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Batch Processing in Microsoft Dynamics GP

We would like to thank Rose Business Solutions for putting together an educational video that goes over how to quickly create and process credit card payments for a group of batch documents in Microsoft Dynamics GP using Azox Credit Card Extension. Check out the video below.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

5 reasons why Amazon's Kindle books outsell print by 2 to 1

Amazon released further stats this week to underline the success of its Kindle adoption with the headline news that its .co.uk site is outselling print copies by more than 2 to 1. The site now sells 242 Kindle books for every 100 print books sold.

According to Jeff Bezos, Amazon's CEO, they "never imagined it would happen this quickly." So what has led to this juggernaut of adoption? Here are five reasons to help explain how they did it.

1. The aggressive Christmas campaign

Launched in the UK in August 2010 to much fanfare, Amazon backed the Kindle aggressively. It reserved the prime advertising slot on the homepage to promote its availability and price, as it had done with previous success on its .com site. 

Direct emails promoted Kindle editions and their immediate availability against print, searches produced Kindle editions next to print - both in the drop-down search box and on the results page. Amazon was committed to making the Kindle its number one selling gadget and format and this top-down backing resulted in success from these integrated campaigns. 

Availability is also an important factor that encouraged Christmas sales. If the weather behaves itself, December is the traditional month for media stories about the shortage of that year's top-selling presents. The Nintendo Wii, Sony's PlayStation 3, Nintendo DS and others have all been blighted by speed of production and distribution issues. While the Kindle wasn't immune to this, it managed to handle the volume of sales in a more efficient manner.

2. Clever advertising

Amazon's UK launch was backed with the company's first television campaign. This featured a couple sitting on a beach, positioning the Kindle not only as your ideal travel companion but firmly against the iPad and other mobile devices. Its E Ink screen enables you to read in direct sunlight, something the iPad can't compete with. 

3. In-device purchasing

The Kindle's easy in-device purchasing with one-click checkout has pushed sales much in the same way that Apple grew its app sales. It's just as easy to buy your books through the Kindle as it is on Amazon's website - and importantly, personalistion and upselling make it just as tempting. 

4. The Kindle App

Even if you don't own a Kindle, you can buy Kindle editions from its app. Enabling and encouraging iPad as well as laptop, netbook and PC users to buy and read Kindle editions meant sales weren't restricted to Kindle reader owners.  

5. Cheap pricing of Kindle books

With Amazon pushing the Kindle as the number one selling present for Christmas 2010, many publishers took advantage by dropping prices. Amazon also took a loss on many titles by increasing the consumer discount, making many book purchases an easy decision. This stimulated sales and encouraged consumer migration from print. 

Despite many Kindle editions now being more expensive than the paperback version, the convenience of in-device purchasing, and its convenient masking of print price, means that many consumers have found it difficult to go back to print. This is Amazon's real achievement. 

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Competitions don't help sell your products

We often receive requests from websites for some of our books to give away to their visitors. If the target audience is right and the site big enough, we often agree - after all, they can be a good branding exercise and great publicity for the book. However we seldom hold competitions on PacktPub.com for our own books. Why? Because they stop people from buying.

I first came to this conclusion almost ten years ago as a naive young graduate fresh out of Uni. I was working for Wrox Press and had organised a competition on its website to give away a new book written by one of our more higher-profile authors. My goals were to lift visits into the site and sales of the book. I surpassed expectations with the first but failed miserably with the second. From memory, we sold one copy of that book during the course of the promotion.

The results were marked down as great publicity if anything else, but I couldn't stop thinking about why this didn't convert. After discussions with a colleague (thank you Linda Taylor!) we came to the conclusion that competitions stop people from buying.

If you think you're going to win something, why would you buy it?

Pretty simple really, but wouldn't the losers from the competition come back and buy the book once the results have been announced? Like a dog chasing its tail, I've run separate competitions over a number of years to continue testing this theory and on each occasion I got the same result. Sales go down and the when the competitions end, sales don't surge with losers buying a copy. We had lost that initial impulse to buy.

I even tested sending the losers a consolation email including discounts to go on and buy the book that they didn't win. This didn't turn around sales either. The consolation prize only exaggerated the disappointment of losing.

This is why, on Packt's website, we rarely give away our own books as prizes. We've given away Kindles, iPads, iPods, cameras and most commonly, discount codes, but we'll never go back to using our books.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Azox Earns Gold ERP Competency in Microsoft Partner Network

We are pleased to announce that we have achieved a Gold Competency in Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) through Microsoft's Partner Network (MPN).

Under the new Microsoft partner program launched in November 2010 competencies changed and are more specific to a companies skill set. Partners can now be Gold or Silver certified in over 28 competencies in the Microsoft Partner Network, with Gold being the highest level certification.

This competency establishes Azox as having the skills and resources to demonstrate the highest and most consistent capability in delivering e-commerce and e-payment solutions for the Microsoft Dynamics market.

To achieve this competency Azox had to pass a combination of technical exams, revenue requirements and product software tests to meet Gold Certification Level status.

Read the full press release here

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Need Help Organizing your seo schedule?

Need Help Organizing your seo schedule?
We now have a seo business orgnaizational tool available to help you organize your time.
Email us for more information.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Apple pips Google to world's most powerful brand... but where's Nokia?

Millward Brown has recently announced its annual list of the world's top 100 brands, with Apple pipping Google to the number one spot. However it's the continued fall down the list for Nokia that makes for more interesting reading.

This is the first time in four years that Google hasn't topped the rankings with Apple moving up to first from third. Seven of the eleven newcomers in the top 100 are from the BRIC countries (Brasil, Russia, India and China) and while these are all significant and important changes in the list, it's Nokia's fall from being one of the world's most powerful brands that represents the biggest talking point for me.

This is the sixth year that the list has been published and Nokia has featured in each one. At it's current rate of descent, it won't be for much longer. This highlights how steep the fall has been:

Nokia's results in the top 100 most powerful brand's list:

Year    Rank
2006    14
2007    12
2008    9
2009    13
2010    43
2011    81

Contrast these with Blackberry's results, one of it's close competitors, and the picture is looking less than rosy for Nokia:

Blackberry's results in the top 100 most powerful brand's list:

Year    Rank
2006    DNF
2007    DNF
2008    51
2009    16
2010    14
2011    25

So where has it all gone wrong for Nokia? What has driven this descent down the list? Let's take a look at the formula Millward Brown used to calculate it's top 100. This is how they describe the list:

"The BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands is the most comprehensive annual ranking of brand value. Developed by Millward Brown Optimor, the ranking analyzes the world’s leading brands and the economic and competitive dynamics that influence value fluctuations."

The methodology is neatly outlined in this simple formula:

Okay so it's not all that simple. Many of these factors are pretty difficult to determine and calculate. However it's relatively easy to pinpoint that Nokia's brand growth potential has weakened over the last two years.

Nokia actually remains the number one manufacturer of mobile phones with a global market share of 29%, although this is down over 5% on 2010. New entrants have made the market more competitive and that has squeezed Nokia's share somewhat. Added to that Apple's ubiquity and the emergence of the Android Operating System (OS) and you can begin to understand why this potential for growth has diminished.

Consumers had always been loyal towards handsets, however as phones got smarter so loyalty shifted towards the Operating System. Apple understood this and locked consumers into both. The open source release of the Android OS in 2008 gave manufacturers the opportunity to exploit this change in behaviour, making for a much more competitive marketplace.

Nokia had a similar plan in mind for its Symbian Operating System, releasing its codebase on an Open Source license in early 2010. Two years after Android did the same thing. It soon emerged that some of its important components had been licensed from third parties, which prevented the source code to be released fully. These delays and limitations prevented mass adoption, which is where Android stole its march.

This isn't the only time that delays blighted the adoption of a Nokia product. The launch of its Booklet 3G in August 2009, six months before Apple launched its iPad, only highlighted its lack of forward thinking. Nokia was reinventing the wheel while Apple was shaping the future.

In fact it's this lack of true innovation that has eroded much of Nokia's brand value. The mobile phone market has always been fast and constantly changing, from smaller and even smaller handsets to smarter and powerful portable computers. Nokia were always at the forefront of these changes, however not any more.

In fact Nokia's 'connecting people' slogan is further evidence of a lack of forward thinking. Mobile phones are not simply about connecting people anymore, they have become personal computers with communication between people being only one feature.

While the iPhone introduced a touch screen and apps, Nokia focused on improving existing features. Its phones introduced high spec cameras and a handset that 'comes with music', which didn't prove to be the features that encouraged the anticipated migration.

So it would appear that Nokia has been left behind and is playing catch up. So where does this leave them and how do they stop their falling market share and subsequent descent down the list of powerful brands?

In September last year, Nokia appointed Stephen Elop, the then Head of Business at Microsoft, as its new Chairman. Less than six months later, the company announced a new alliance with Microsoft to replace its Symbian OS with Microsoft Windows 7. This is an interesting partnership and will position the OS as the closest competitor to Android and iOS. Despite this, Nokia's share price dropped 14% on the announcement. Too little too late?

With Android and iOS taking up so much of the smart phone market, and the attention of developers to work with them, it will take a hugely innovative handset from Nokia or a OS from Microsoft to make any significant dent. However I believe the biggest opportunity actually lies in the one thing that neither Android nor Apple will be able to compete with and that's Office.

Through this link up Nokia could be the first to offer the Office suite on their handsets, immediately encouraging business user migration from Blackberry. If I was Microsoft, I would be inclined to go against the established model and make it a free feature on the mobile OS for an introductory offer. This would do more to encourage its adoption than anything else, giving Microsoft the opportunity to reach mobile users and Nokia an opportunity to grow again.

Whatever is decided, it's clear that this alliance with Microsoft and their next release together is crucial for Nokia. With 4,000 redundancies announced at the company recently, it feels like they're hitting last chance saloon time.

Preparing Your Internet Business for the Holidays

The holidays are just around the corner.
What should you do now to prepare for the holiday season?
Contact us for a personalized consultation on how you can best prepare your business.
Remember the holiday shopping season starts in August.

Our New Elearning Library at Pure-Ecommerce.com

Pure-Ecommerce.com is launching it's new elearning library. You will now have access to all your steps, webinars, videos, business organizational tools, articles, and much much more. We are dedicated to continue to provide our clients with ongoing support and information. Brittany will be in charge of issuing passwords to all of our clients. If you don't receive one this week be sure to let us know!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Azox Launches New Online Support Portal

Azox is excited to announce the launch of our new support portal which aims to improve and resolve all support related issues Azox partners and customers may have in one central place. Now support issues will be resolved faster and more efficiently all on an easily accessible website. In the future we plan to open up a knowledge base section which will provide articles, user guides and answers to frequently asked questions for people that use Azox software.

If you are a customer or reseller who are current on their support contract and have purchased or deal with customers who use Azox software you may fill out the form and request a user ID. We have also included a video that walks through the support portal and will take you through how to submit support cases and view existing cases. If you have any questions regarding the support portal please contact our team at 734.928.6020.

Happy Friday...

As you enter into this weekend please take 5 minutes to download your entire site to your hard drive.

Better safe then sorry!

Friday, May 6, 2011


All right all you mom's out there. Have a great Mother's Day this weekend and take next 2 days to relax your mind and soul. Spend time with your kids and let your mind refresh.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Pure-Ecommerce.com on facebook

If you aren't following Pure-Ecommerce.com on facebook be sure to find us and become our friend. We offer great tips and contests for product loading and seo services.

Follow us and you just might get some good ideas for your own facebook page.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Our new ELearning Library will be done in one week.

Our new ELearning Library will be done in one week. Brit will be contacting each one of you with your log in's. We will also be setting up a webinar to explain more about the system and how it can help you!

Also, as we know proper seo for our Internet businesses is constantly changing. As of recently Google changed things up again. Get current on proper seo. We will be updating our SEO step this week and resending out to all active clients. If you don't receive this new step please email us.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Post Convergence 2011 Recap

It’s been a whirlwind here at the office following Convergence 2011. This has probably been one of our busiest shows just judging by the amount of booth traffic we experienced at our own booth and what we saw at others. Hopefully this is an indication of where the economy is heading as more people who stopped by were looking for solutions to buy and help their business grow. Sure, the bike we had on display and were raffling away didn’t hurt either.

(Electra Bicycle's awesome looking Rat Rod, congrats to our lucky winner!)

(The team putting together booth at Convergence the day before the event)

We had a great time connecting with partners and customers throughout the four day experience, especially at our sponsored party, Rock-N-Rave, which was an awesome time as usual. Please check out all of the great pictures at the Rock-N-Rave Facebook page here and also find out about upcoming events.

Big announcements at the show included the announcement of Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 which is set for general availability in August 2011. At the opening keynote Microsoft even displayed how it could be integrated with Microsoft Kinect for motion controls on the shop room floor in a manufacturing scenario. Another announcement at one of the group sessions was Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010 R2. New features for this latest release include multi-company excel reports, creating of new document templates in Word format, and additional analytical SRS reports are just a few big enhancements.

Overall it was a great show that provided many good memories for us and Convergence 2012 in Houston!

We encourage you to take a look at our photos from Convergence by visiting our Facebook page here.