Category Archives: Blog

Happy Holidays?

Christmas_computer_keyboardAs the 2015 holiday season ramps up, we find ourselves wondering: what is the best way to market to customers?

The holidays are a fairly touchy subject. In a poll conducted by Pew Research Center of 35,000 Americans in all 50 states, 70% of the country identified as Christian. The next most identified religious group in the country (22%) is “Unaffiliated.” So, is it even fair to base all marketing and displays around Christmas?

Recently Starbucks released their holiday drink cup. In past years, Starbucks has decorated its cups with ornaments and Christmas trees, this year the design is just a deep solid red.

Facebook’s Notify App

facebook-notifyThe idea of the Facebook News Feed as an actual news feed has always been a bit of a joke. A more appropriate name would be the Facebook Clickbait Stream, or the Facebook Babies & Weddings & Cute Animals Collection. The point being, more often than not, our Feeds were not feeding us any actual news. Today Facebook released Notify, a smartphone app for reading customizable breaking news (actual news), information, and entertainment push notifications from your lock screen.

EMV Shift – Where Do We Stand?

EMVIt has been over a month since EMV’s adoption began here in the U.S., and an overwhelming number of consumers are still unaware of this major change in the payments world. 

If you haven’t yet heard, from this point on, merchants will assume responsibility of fraud brought from swiping an old magstripe card instead of scanning or dipping cards with chips. However, as with all new technologies, it’s going to take a little time to adapt.

Stay Ahead of the Hackers

social-engineering-manipulate-peopleOn October 1st the EMV liability shift occurred. Now, merchants are responsible for any fraud that happens during processing. Although we’ve been told to prepare for this change for a full year, only 40% of American card-holders have gotten their chip cards. Unfortunately, this slow adoption rate has given rise to new scams.

Pretending to be a card issuer, individuals call up strangers and ask if they have gotten their new chip cards, if the answer is “no” the hacker then asks the unsuspecting victim to update their account information in order to receive the new card. In reality, you do not need to update your account to receive your card. Your credit card company will do that for you.

Reddit Gets Upvoted

upvoted.comCountless publishers “borrow” news from Reddit everyday, in response, the social aggregator has launched the dedicated news site Upvoted. Upvoted will host curated news written by Reddit’s editorial staff.

Reddit is a public site that is fueled by user-generated content or news. Content and communities are grouped by topic and/or interest in sections called Subreddits. For example, you want information on DIYs, link to the DIY subreddit (r/DIY) and bask in the glory of “how-to” heaven.

Handmade at Amazon

handmade-logo-amzn-XLHandmade goods ecommerce site Etsy is facing tough competition in the wake of the announcement of Handmade at Amazon. Just like Etsy, Handmade at Amazon is a digital space where artisans can sell their crafts to the public. In addition to the nearly universal brand recognition, Handmade at Amazon will launch with over 80,000 items, 600 of which will initially be eligible for Prime shipping.

OH, and:

          A following of 250 million customers all over the world

          Full email and phone support

          Multiple website templates and pages

Pin It for Later or Buy it Right Now

Pinterest-Post-790x310Over 73 million users log into Pinterest every month looking for their next, purchase, idea or DIY project. On June 30th Pinterest took pinning to the next level with the addition of buyable pins and promoted pins.

Introducing these two new features was a very smart move considering there are 20X the amount of pins posted a day than people in shopping malls; there are about 2 million Pins posted on any given day. That’s 2 million items seen by 73 million people, that’s a lot of foot traffic. Further, Pinterest already grabs 41% of ecommerce traffic compared to other social media sites, and these new features have made conversions even easier.

The Facebook Dislike Button Is Here – Kinda

ReactionsEarly last year Mark Zuckerberg announced that a “dislike” button would appear on Facebook. The intent of the button would be to express support when someone shares something sad… but just imagine scrolling along lazily to be confronted with a sweet photo of your ex with his or her new significant other – an impulsive DISLIKE!

Enter Reactions. Facebook’s new feature will give users the option to express seven different sentiments: angry, sad, wow, yay, haha, love, and like. Facebook chief product officer, Chris Cox, clarified in a post: “It’s not a ‘dislike’ button, though we hope it addresses the spirit of this request most broadly, we studied which comments and reactions are most commonly and universally expressed across Facebook, then worked to design an experience around them that was elegant and fun.”

I Dip, You Dip, we TIP

dipjarNo one carries cash anymore. Everything is either swiped or tapped. Carrying cash is a burden, it takes up too much room in our lives, but not carrying cash leaves the tip jar on the counter of your local coffee shop empty. DipJar is the tip jar where all you have to do is “dip” your card.

Ryder Kessler said the idea occurred to him simply because he began to “feel like a jerk” at one of his favorite coffee shops which only offered tipping via a cash-only tip jar. In 2012 he founded the New York based company and sent out two dozen prototypes to small businesses in New York.

Snapchat Update

new SC updateSnapchat has steadily become one of the most popular messaging apps in the United States, used by 100 million people daily and is among the most valued venture-backed companies in the world. Last week, users got a taste of Snapchat’s newest update that brought three new features: lenses, trophies, and paid replay.

Lenses lets users apply live “lenses” to their snaps. When enabled, the app is able to detect and map your face in selfie-mode and applies fun (and uncomfortable) filters and animations over your profile. The lenses distort your face, make hearts shoot from your eyes, steam come from your nose, and rainbows flow from your mouth. Snapchat has been adding new lenses everyday. This feature is similar to the different setting in Photobooths on Macs.