Tenzing

4 Ways To Speed Up Your Site For The Holidays

By | Guest Blog, holidays, partners | No Comments

This guest post was written by our partners at Tenzing

There are lots of opportunities to find hidden capacity in your environment – and that capacity can be very valuable during the busy holiday season. Our partner Tenzing is here today to share four ways to free up your environment before the holiday rush hits.

It is incredibly important to regularly review your application performance and tune areas that are resource intensive, but as we come up to the holidays this type of tuning is imperative. As a specialist in infrastructure for ecommerce, Tenzing starts working with clients on holiday plans in August, well ahead of the holiday rush, to implement the following best practices.

Adjust caching timing

Caching can save system resources by holding information in memory, but when the cache has to be refreshed it draws system resources to complete this activity. During peak times increase the time between caches.

Adjust ‘type ahead’ search

Type ahead search uses additional sessions and threads within your application. Increasing the number of characters before the search is initiated or how long the system will wait before it starts searching will give you added capacity when you need it.

Remove/adjust view all options

Giving customers the option to view all items in a category is available on many sites, but if you have a large catalog the loading of these elements take time and resources. Review all the areas where the option to view all is available and restrict the number of items that can be viewed when it is selected.

Limit Publishing

Limit your publishing during peak times. Catalog updates en mass are resource intensive because in most applications the database and search engines need to re-index. In addition caching has to be refreshed.

For more information on how to prepare your site for the holidays download Tenzing’s free Ecommerce Holiday Guide – it’s full of advice and ideas on preparing for the holiday season including how to prepare your infrastructure optimize your application and coordinate your marketing.

About Tenzing

As an ecommerce infrastructure specialist Tenzing has been helping retailers prepare for the holiday season for almost a decade. Tenzing combines scalable infrastructure, deep platform expertise, advanced managed services and extensive industry partnerships to help merchants increase revenues and deliver remarkable customer experiences. Retailers and Solution Partners choose Tenzing because we help them increase SEM performance, reduce shopping cart abandonment and ensure performance during peak seasons. To find out more about us visit www.tenzing.com or email us at ecommerce@tenzing.com

Image by Digital Operative

Digital Operative Provides Pro Bono Work To The Outdoor Foundation

By | Corporate Social Responsibility, DO Good, nonprofit | No Comments

Every year, Digital Operative selects a nonprofit organization to provide pro-bono work to and support in its endeavors. This year we are excited to be working with the Outdoor Foundation, a nonprofit that is a driving force in the promotion of outdoor recreation in America. The Outdoor Foundation prides itself on offering research, grants, and resources to promote the multiple facets of the outdoor recreation movement. Outdoor Nation is their signature program that is targeted at young adults and youth to get outside and be active. The movement includes camps, grants, and summits across the United States.

We are working with the Outdoor Foundation to create two contests on the Contestcore platform: Get You(th) Outdoors and Outdoor Nation Campus Challenge. Get You(th) Outdoors is a social campaign that asks individuals to share their outdoor stories in hopes to inspire youth to get outdoors. Where as the Outdoor Nation Campus Challenge is geared towards colleges and inspiring the college community to get outdoors and be active. Both of these campaigns are currently under development — our strategy, design and technology teams are hard at work. We will make sure to provide updates on the progress and announce when these exciting projects go live.

“These campaigns give companies and colleges a unique way to engage with their employees and students,” says Chris Fanning, Executive Director of The Outdoor Foundation, “We’re hoping to blend online social contests with outdoor activities in order to reach and introduce new people to the activities we love.”

At Digital Operative, we got involved in the best way we knew how — through digital marketing. If you need help with an online campaign or maybe you work for a nonprofit don’t hesitate to drop us a line, so we can get involved.

Ecomm-Survey

2014 Outdoor eCommerce Survey

By | digital commerce, ecommerce, strategy and planning | No Comments

At Digital Operative we work with our clients to build better relationships with their customers at the intersection of commerce, content and community. Our mission is to deliver cross-channel customer experiences that ultimately help our customers’ businesses grow their awareness, engagement and revenue. To help our clients be effective in the the outdoor space, like any other industry, we need research and data. So, our strategy and planning team created a 54 question survey in order to allow us to share valuable insight into the current digital commerce environment within the outdoor industry. Our CEO, BJ Cook states:

“Driving an initiative like the Outdoor Retail Survey is all about garnering a better understanding of how today’s Outdoors & Active Lifestyle companies are seeing their own position within the worlds of ecommerce and digital marketing. We’re hoping to gain participation from the industry’s current and up-and-coming digital leaders to paint a full picture. We see this as a great opportunity to provide insight  and do our part in giving back to the industry.”

All of the data collected and analyzed from this survey will provide outdoor industry leaders and online retailers critical gaps, opportunities and solutions to help their company be agile and responsive to the ever-changing expectations of online shoppers.

Reasons why brands should participate:

  • Insight to outdoor industry trends
  • Clarification to online shopping behaviors
  • Results of the survey before anyone else in the industry has access
  • Opportunities to be industry leaders through founded results

The following subjects are covered:

  • Industry Overview
  • Digital Marketing
  • Target Audience & Demographics
  • Social Media
  • Mobile
  • Omnichannel
  • Conversion rate optimization
  • User experience

If your company is a part of the Outdoor industry and you would like to participate in our 2014 ecommerce outdoor retail survey, Click here. The companies that participate in the survey, will personally be emailed the compiled results before anyone else in the industry has the data.

 

Multi-tool

8 REASONS TO USE CONTESTCORE FOR YOUR NEXT ONLINE CONTEST

By | digital marketing, interactive marketing, social media, Uncategorized | No Comments

ContestCore is the ultimate online customer engagement “multi-tool”. Its most attractive features include ease-of-use, flexible customization options and analytics. We’ve put together a list of the top 8 reasons to use ContestCore as the solution to your next online contest and campaign needs:

  1. Let Your Customers Spread The Word; Your customized contest has a built-in viral sweepstakes along with incentives for sharing, so participants do the heavy lifting.
  2. Full Design Control; No limitations or out-of-the-box templates, just the freedom to design your contest as you want it.
  3. Deploy Your Contest Everywhere; From a Facebook tab, a microsite with a custom domain, or embedding it in another website, all the way to desktops, tablets and mobile.
  4. Robust And Intuitive Dashboard; With your dashboard, you can view the status of your contest, see trends occurring over time and track participation in real-time.
  5. Complete Security And Privacy; With Fraud detection, IP blacklisting, HTTPS and cookie requirements you don’t have to worry about anyone gaming the system.
  6. Social, Social, Social; You will have built-in sharing mechanisms across all major social media channels. Instagram, Facebook, Youtube and even a meme generator.
  7. Responsive; The way it should be. Whether your contest is viewed on tablet, desktop or mobile, your customers won’t have to “pinch and zoom” to participate.
  8. Activity Tracking and Judging; You have full capability to track contest activity. You can track hours, participants, activities of customers, judges and votes.

Now that you know the reasons why you should use Contestcore, check out the 3 unique customer engagement packages created to combine the powerful features along with strategy and marketing support from us, at Digital Operative:

Active Lifestyle

  • Track Hours, Participants, and Activities of Customers
  • Share Your Customers Adventures Socially
  • Co-Sponsor Events That Match Your Strategy
  • Spread Viral Infographic of Results

Brand Booster

  • Develop Target Audience and Brand Strategy
  • Create Brand Loyalty Contest and Rewards
  • Collect Brand Positive Photos and Story Sharing
  • Align With Philanthropic Causes That Reinforce Brand

Product Influencer

  • Empower Customers to Endorse Your Product
  • Cultivate Influencers and Grassroots Ambassadors
  • Launch Viral Campaign For New Product
  • Elevate Unique Product Stories With Content Marketing

To find out more on pricing and features, visit Contestcore.com or email todd@contestcore.com.

CRO - Optimization and Testing

CRO – The “Correct” Term You Shouldn’t Be Using

By | strategy and planning | No Comments

When we began our practice of split testing at Digital Operative, a colleague asked me why it is commonly called Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO).

“What happens if you test something to improve conversion rate, but Average Order Value goes down?”

Technically, the question he asked showed his misunderstanding of the term CRO, but practically, the fact that he had to ask the question at all shows the inherent problems with the term. Let me explain.

First of all, let’s define what “conversion” actually means. A “conversion” refers to a user completing any desired action. This could be a purchase, but it could also be simply clicking a button, or signing up for the email newsletter, etc. So, in nearly every case, split testing is about optimizing the rate of conversion in one way or another. The problem is, in the ecommerce world, it is almost impossible to separate the word “conversion” from the word “purchase.”

Assuming your goal is to integrate split testing into the overall fabric of your digital practice (as I strongly suggest it should be), it becomes impractical to explain this terminology mix-up to everyone in an organization. Split testing can be used effectively to help with everything from branding to design to marketing, etc.

By using the term “CRO,” some departments or colleagues might get stuck on the words “conversion rate” and not see immediately that split testing tools and processes are relevant – and very helpful – to the work they do. In building a culture of optimization at your organization, it instead may be helpful NOT to use the term CRO at all.

We at DO prefer the term “Optimization and Testing.” This term is flexible enough to apply to all areas of our clients digital business while remaining descriptive of what split testing is and what it is meant to accomplish.

The term CRO certainly isn’t wrong, and it certainly is the most common term for the practice of split testing. A simple change in terminology, though, could result in the practice being more widely and effectively used at your organization.

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