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Coffee with CART: 9/17 Recap

Amazon’s Latest Growth Strategy Amazon wants to deliver fresh produce and wild seafood from farmer’s market to your door within 36 hours. Amazon has been aggressive recently about expanding its presence in the food delivery sector. Are they throwing too much against the wall? Is this a growth strategy or are they simply experimenting? Heineken Picks up the Tab Heineken USA partners with Gratafy and buys Facebook and Twitter users a beer in hopes of expanding its customer base to Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago and Houston. A customer of legal drinking age can enter their smartphone’s number to get a link sent to their phone. They then click on the link and select “choose a bar.” The user is asked to allow access to their location information, which is used to order up the list of bar options near the user’s location. After the bar is chosen, the user receives a code, which can be exchanged for their free Heineken. Ad Blocks Retailers need to be online. That’s where their shoppers are. But what part should they play in…

YouTube logo

YouTube for your Small Business

According to TJ McCue, who wrote the article, “30+ Ways To Use YouTube Effectively”, YouTube is a terrific way for small business owners to compete with the big brands. Today’s consumers prefer reading small chunks of text and they love watching videos. Watching a video is easier than reading a text-based advertisement and it is more appealing for the fast-paced digital community of millennial shoppers. A high percentage of online audiences are known to interact with videos. Click through rates are always higher for videos than they are for banner and text ads. While video production can be expensive, it doesn’t have to be. Although we are more entertained by big productions, I’ve seen several decent looking videos on the Internet, recorded with someone’s phone or digital camcorder. If you’re recording a demo in the store with the camera staying stationary, your video may likely be internet-worthy. Some ideas for what to post on YouTube include: TV spots to advertise weekly specials, services or a rewards program Cooking demonstrations Tips from the butcher on how to slice the different cuts…

wall electrical socket with WordPress logo

There’s A Plug-in For That

In reference to mobile phone users, you may have heard people say, “There’s an app for that.” In the WordPress world, you may hear, “There’s a plugin for that.” At the recent WordPress Camp in Kansas City, some of the collaboration included conversations on plugins. Do you need help backing up your WordPress site? There are plugins for that. If you don’t care to use comments on your website, disable them. If you do think comments would be helpful, be prepared to get a lot of spam, although you can use a plugin called Akismet to help control spam. Videos are a popular form of media on the internet. If you want something more custom-looking on your website to play videos other than embedding Youtube, you can select from video player plugins. While plugins add to the functionality of a website, it is not wise to use more than a few plugins on one site. Having too many increases the risk of them conflicting with each other and not being able to keep up with the many updates that are…

WordPress security

Keeping Your WordPress Website Secure

I attended WordCamp – Kansas City last weekend, a conference where entrepreneurs and website designers and developers came together to learn more about the WordPress web platform. One session I went to was about keeping your website secure. The speaker, Michele Butcher, whose job is to clean infected websites said, “We will never be 100% secure because the Internet is always evolving.” Sounds scary, but I see the truth in that. I’ve heard WordPress is vulnerable to hacking but with some extra effort (sometimes lots of extra effort), it can be guarded from hackers. A WordPress website is a good solution when a retailer would like to maintain his own website but he would like some help with the initial setup. The administrator of the website has full access to design the site and add functionality. Then the retailer can take over to update the content in the role of an additional admin, an editor or an author. Just as building and maintaining the website is a team effort between the retailer and ourselves, so is keeping the site secure.…

mobile responsive website

Mobilegeddon Solution

Last month Google rolled out a new algorithm, a mobile friendly update that is expected to affect traffic to websites. Because of the new algorithm, known as “Mobilegeddon”, Google is indirectly penalizing websites that are not mobile responsive or mobile friendly by not placing them as high in their search ranking. According to an internet trends report by Mary Meeker, Mobile Internet use is growing faster than Internet usage in general: There are 2.8 billion Internet users, up 8 percent from 2014, and 2.1 billion mobile Internet users, an increase of 23 percent. I attended a 4-day training class on Mobile Web App Development. Without getting into too much detail about Javascript, media queries and pixels, I will say we learned some tips and some logic behind mobile responsive web design. Once upon a time developers created two or three websites, all with similar content but each site included images and text sizes based on the size screen the website was viewed on. That takes a lot of design and development time. Now we use so many devices, which have…

CocaCola freestyle machine

Adobe’s SUMMIT – The Digital Marketing Conference

The Adobe Summit conference took place in Salt Lake City March 9-13 with the theme, “Marketing Beyond Marketing” and featured Adobe’s Marketing Cloud. One session was on Coca-Cola, a brand that has found a way to reach a new generation for 128 years. Laurie Buckingham, the Chief Development Officer from the product side of company, spoke on how Coca-Cola is using marketing beyond marketing to continue to reach consumers and create the happiness experience for all. She asks, “How can we bring that experience to everyone in the world?” Considering how every country can relate to their country’s flag, they asked people to send in their selfies during the FIFA World Cup. They then used those selfies from 150 countries to create a digital flag. People could download an image of the flag and zoom into their own photo. Laurie says you need to surprise people. They put Coca-Cola vending machines on college campuses during finals week, a stressful time for college students. The vending machines turned out to be hugging machines. A student walks up to the machine, gives…

Apple Market website shown on desktop and mobile

Mobile App or Mobile Website?

Are you having a difficult time deciding if you should have a mobile app or a mobile website for your business? Some retailers benefit from both while others need only a mobile responsive website. To help you make the decision, let’s take a look at the differences between the two. A mobile app is an application built specifically for a smartphone, whether iPhone or Android. A mobile responsive website is a browser-based application that can run on a mobile device, tablet, laptop or desktop computer. Simply put, it is a website that adjusts its viewing size based on the size of the device it is being viewed on. One needs to be online to view a website. In most cases this is not a problem. Either a wifi network is accessible or the person’s phone service will connect them to the internet. If an internet connection is not available or service is poor in a particular area, an app can still run on a mobile device. However, many apps still require a connection with the internet to sync information with…

WiFi free

Why Retailers Should Offer Wi-Fi In Their Store

We fast-paced Americans have come to rely heavily on our cell phones. They are practically mini computers we can take everywhere we go. With an app for almost anything I can imagine, I have become so accustomed to having my phone with me and using it for everything from organizing a daily planner, online banking, GPS navigation to listening to music or reading an e-book. Oh yes, it can also be used for keeping in touch with friends and family through text messaging, email, social media, and of course by making the old-fashioned phone call. Because many tasks I use my phone for require either a strong signal from my mobile service provider or a connection to a Wi-Fi network, one thing that annoys me most is when my phone service drops off and there is no Wi-Fi hotspot to connect to. Some businesses, including coffee shops, airports and fast food restaurants have offered free Wi-Fi for years. Why not grocery stores? If a customer is looking for a place to eat lunch and get caught up on the latest…

Adobe Color CC

Adobe Kuler is now Adobe Color CC

Adobe introduced Kuler’s new name last month to better align the tool with the rest of the Creative Cloud family. In addition to saving your color themes to a URL, you can also save them to Creative Cloud Libraries, where themes can be shared among other designers. A mobile app is available for iPhone only but Adobe should be coming out with an app for Android also. Some retailers I have designed for have an eye for color and design and they have been involved in the selection of color themes during the design phase of their website. I have suggested to them to use what at that time was called, “Kuler”. Although this tool helps you match up colors that look good together, the user still has control over fine-tuning the palette of colors. Adobe Color CC mobile app allows you to use your camera viewfinder to detect colors in your surroundings and create a palette based on those colors. This would be helpful in a grocery store where there are certain colors more dominant than others. Because our…