Characteristics of a Great Ecommerce Website

Characteristics of a Great Ecommerce Website

Characteristics of a Great Ecommerce Website

Although it may sound counterintuitive at first, when customers use your ecommerce website without noticing each individual element it’s a good sign. Why? Because people tend to make note of what doesn’t work, rather than what does. A great ecommerce website functions flawlessly, quickly helping customers to find what they need without hassle.

In other words, the characteristics of a great ecommerce website facilitate an excellent user experience, which keeps shoppers in the buying funnel.

Here are four elements you need on your website.

 Intuitive Navigation

You can design landing page after landing page chock full of interesting photographs, compelling copy and enticing links. But if shoppers have a hard time getting to these pages, the intended effect will fall short. Customers will probably bounce long before making a purchase.

Visitors depend on your main navigation bar to help them get around. Research shows it should contain product categories for maximum effectiveness. Including these categories in a drop-down format only can confuse or frustrate users who are in a hurry.

 Good Branding

Branding can be a double-edged sword. On one hand, effective branding sets your ecommerce store apart from the pack—like your unique selling proposition. On the other hand, ostentatious branding can get in the way of usability.

So, keep it simple. Create a logo customers will associate with your brand and display it in the upper left-hand corner of your landing pages. Populate your website with copy reflecting your brand voice and principles. Utilize custom, high-quality images throughout your site. As Business News Daily writes, “Using images is a great way to communicate your brand’s style and feel without taking up precious real estate on your website.”

White Space

Copy, images and links are vitally important components on an ecommerce website. But it’s entirely possible to have too much of a good thing. The best way to make the important elements pop is offsetting them with “negative space,” which can be any color matching your website’s background.

This foundational element in web design provides necessary visual breaks for users. It helps people retain focus and mitigates the potential for overwhelming them with information. After all, the human brain can only process so much information at once. Incorporating intentional negative space on your landing pages will help guide users toward what really matters, while helping you avoid cluttering your website.

 Customer Reviews

Ratings and reviews are some of the most influential factors for shoppers on the brink of making a purchasing decision. Sure, high ratings and positive reviews are always preferable. But even negative reviews are important because they indicate authenticity. If all the reviews are glowing, people may become suspicious about their origin. Meanwhile, if you choose to forgo displaying reviews at all, you’re missing a huge opportunity to establish trust with your customer base.

Fast, Secure Checkout

Customers frequently make it all the way to the checkout stage before abandoning their shopping carts. If customers feel suspicious about the cybersecurity strength of your payment processing system, they will leave. If you try to force customers to create an account before proceeding, they’ll often exit your site instead. So, prioritize security and speediness when you’re establishing your checkout system. Remember: You can always ask customers to create an account after they have already confirmed their purchase, but doing so beforehand can kill your chances at earning a conversion.

The characteristics of a great ecommerce website boil down to usability, branding and convenience. When in doubt, put yourself in your customers’ shoes.

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IOT, ERP Combine For Improved Food Traceability

By 2020, more than 20 billion connected things will be in use worldwide across consumer and business segments. This is an estimated 2.6 smart connections for every person on the planet! Clearly, the Internet of things (IOT) is going to be an important business driver for the next few years. Its impact on food traceability will be instrumental in addressing everything from world hunger to improving food safety.


In laymen’s terms, IOT refers to any object that can connect to the Internet. And by object, this could mean things as diverse as clothes, water meters, fitness devices, mobile phones, and even food packaging. Even though people have become familiar with the concept of being connected, IOT takes it to an entirely different level, says Stuart Scanlon, Managing Director of Epic ERP.

IOT provides organisations, irrespective of industry, with the means to capture data covering a broader range of fields than previously possible. In turn, this requires the data to be managed and converted to insights that can result in improved service delivery, product development and other competitive advantages.


Of course, managing the massive influx of data generated by these devices requires solutions that are flexible and customisable to organisational requirements. This is where enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems come in.

Many might balk at the thought of ERP being considered flexible, but today’s systems are far more nimble and user-friendly than the behemoths of the past. Modern ERP vendors cannot rely on complex proprietary code with a closed architecture. They need to be open for business and ready to interact with any device, irrespective of its location. Considering the impact this will have on businesses that embrace this philosophy, having a platform that offers real-time IOT data analysis and business intelligence will drive a lot of innovation and efficiency across the supply chain.

Consider a typical production shift of eight hours. If the machines in a food plant are inefficient by just two seconds, considering that each cycle time only last a few seconds, this can add up to losses of a full eight-hour shift per week, if not more. Being able to read the real-time machine information into production planning through IOT and ERP systems, a food processor can significantly drive efficiency. The same can be said on the volume of data.

Understanding what is really going on across all your machines, across all the plants, across any location is no longer a nice-to-have in this competitive environment. Then factor in components such as moisture content, viscosity, volume, and so on, and the business will really be able to embrace true traceability.

Solving problems

It might sound trite, but combining IOT, ERP, and effective data management has the potential to solve significant global issues such as world hunger. By optimising processes, crop yields can be improved. Furthermore, by using IOT devices in equipment, farmers can receive better insights on soil volatility as well identify the best methods for harvesting and storing produce.

As for the rest of the supply chain, being able to work out the best routes for collection and delivery, and even reducing wastage by ensuring the right stock levels are distributed to retail outlets, is beneficial.

But, without a willingness to embrace IOT and ERP-driven systems, the food sector is destined for failure. The signs are clear, change is inevitable and IOT will bring traceability to a more integrated level.

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What To Expect From SAP’s Q2 Results

Software giant SAP (NYSE: SAP) is scheduled to announce its second quarter earnings on Thursday, July 19. The market expects the company to deliver strong growth across business segments, particularly in its core businesses – Enterprise Resource Planning and Supply Chain Management. Further, the company’s renewed focus on expanding its presence in the Internet of Things (IoT) domain is likely to boost its top line growth in the near term. Additionally, SAP recently announced its plans to double its Customer Relationship Management software business, which could drive significant value in the long term.

We currently have a price estimate of $120 per share for SAP, which is roughly in line with the current market price. You can view our interactive dashboard for SAP and modify the revenue and earnings to visualize the impact of any changes on the company’s valuation.

Key Trends To Watch For In Q2 Results

  • Continuing the momentum gained in the previous few quarters, SAP’s Cloud business is expected to be the key driver of its Q2 revenue growth. With more than 80% of its customers still using its older Cloud platform, it is likely to witness a strong jump in new bookings due to increased adoption of the S/4HANA platform. Additionally, other high-growth solutions such as SAP Cloud platform, SAP Analytics Cloud, SAP Leonardo and Digital Supply Chain Management solutions will further complement the company’s top-line growth for the quarter.
  • Similar to the last quarter, SAP’s cloud and software margins are likely to remain subdued due to the negative impact of a shift in the company’s revenue mix between cloud and on-premise business.
  • The company expects its fiscal 2018 revenue to be in the range of €24.8 billion − €25.3 billion in constant currency terms. This amounts to a growth of nearly 7% on a year-on-year basis.

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Article Credit: Forbes

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SAP S/4HANA Cloud announce update

The SAP/4HANA cloud has launched its 1808 update, which particularly develops the platform’s AI capabilities

The update to SAP’s ERP solution will see businesses that use the cloud platform be able to synchronise capacity and materials planning, reducing inventory demands by up to 45% whilst also improving customer service levels.

Also, clients will see more transparency in regards to availability of resources for upcoming projects.

This will all be made possible thanks to a host of new AI-powered scenarios, including capacity evaluation, quality management analytics, staffing analysis and expense capping.

The development of AI capabilities is also being aided by the firm’s certification for Demand Driven Material Requirements Planning.

Clients of the German multinational software corporation, SAP, that could benefit from the update include SMA Railway Technology, Beyond Technologies and Topcon. These firms are already enjoying reduced total cost of ownership, less IT hassle and faster business decisions through real-time information.

SAP S/4HANA have assured these customers and others that the update will ensure they have the “most intelligent manufacturing cloud” on the market today.

Recently, the firm became the first to cloud service to receive C5 attestation, which supports stringent compliance requirements.

SAP’s UK and Ireland operations are based in Middlesex.

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Article Credit: IA

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What SAP’s youngest regional president has to say about impostor syndrome

‘If we all of a sudden switched off, nobody would drink, nobody would eat… any product you’re going to touch today, the toothpaste you use, the car you drove in, the clothes you’re wearing, all of these things will have at some moment in time touched an SAP system.’

Brian Duffy certainly has a sense of the magnitude of what he does. But then in many respects that’s a prerequisite of the tech industry in which he’s made his career. The Irishman joined SAP in 2005 after training as a lawyer in Dublin and Chicago, and hasn’t looked back. A year ago, then 37 years old, he became the software giant’s youngest regional president, responsible for the British Isles, France, the Nordics, Baltics and Benelux.

It’s clear very early on that he’s a company man, not that there’s anything wrong with that. If you ask him what he does, Duffy will quickly, almost gleefully, tell you SAP’s mission (‘to help the world’s businesses run better and improve people’s lives…we need everyone to be successful’). Dig a little deeper, and he’ll tell you his job is to enable SAP’s employees to focus on making themselves successful, ‘because that means our customers will be naturally successful. When SAP works for you as an individual, you’re unstoppable.’

On a slightly more prosaic level, he’s overseeing in his region the shift from software to cloud computing, which recently became the largest business line in the global corporation. It’s quite a different sales cycle, he says, not least because it involves selling to chief HR officers rather than chief information officers – the company intends, after all, to facilitate the ‘intelligent organisation’, where integrated cloud-based systems are plugged into every business process.

MT: You’ve risen very quickly. What advice do you give youngsters joining the company?

Duffy: In 2012 somebody sent me the Amy Cuddy TED talk on power posing. I was living in China at the time, about to do an interview the next day. I watched it and thought I am totally going to get this job. I did the power pose and got the job, working as chief of staff for a board member, Rob Enslin, who still advises me today. I was super excited.

Fast forward five months and I’m in the boardroom with the CEO of SAP, with some of the most powerful people in the tech world, and I’m thinking why am I here. What am I meant to bring to this conversation? That’s when impostor syndrome kicks in, and I tell our interns that it shouldn’t happen. You’re here for the perspective you bring. When you’re authentic, your true self at work, that’s when there are no limits and something really special can happen.

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Article Credit: MT

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Teradata v. SAP – what it means to customers and prospects

This lawsuit, like the Indirect Access flap, may trigger some interesting conversations between SAP and its customers/prospects. While it’s too early to call anything, what might this litigation trigger?

Let’s be very clear up front. We’re not taking any position as it relates to the litigation. This story is solely concerned with matters that will be of interest to SAP customers and prospective customers.

The background

Recently, Teradata filed a lawsuit against ERP vendor SAP.  The suit alleges, among other things that SAP:

  • “used its powerful position in Enterprise Resource Planning (“ERP”) Applications to gain entrance to and quickly grab market share in the Enterprise Data Analytics and Warehousing (“EDAW”) market”
  • “SAP promptly terminated the parties’ joint venture, and it is now attempting to coerce its customers into using HANA only, to the exclusion of Teradata, by forcing its customers to adopt HANA in exchange for upgrading their ERP Applications.”
  • “SAP could not have so quickly developed and marketed HANA in the first place without its theft of Teradata’s trade secrets.”
  • “SAP’s anticompetitive strategy has resulted in irreparable and ongoing harm to Teradata in the form of lost customer relationships and opportunities, lost profits, and continued erosion of market share in the very industry Teradata pioneered.”

Teradata wants an injunction, monetary damages and other relief.

As we said at the top of this story, we will not argue the merits of the case as SAP has yet to file a counter compliant. SAP did make this comment:

Teradata has been aware of the allegations made by a former SAP employee for some time now. SAP offered to discuss and address these allegations with Teradata in 2015. Unfortunately, Teradata did not accept this offer and instead chose to file a lawsuit over 2 years later.  While SAP remains willing to discuss Teradata’s stated concerns, it will vigorously defend itself.  The filing of this lawsuit does not impact SAP’s ability to continue to deliver value to all of its customers, including SAP HANA customers.

One former SAP executive, Vishal Sikka, has commented on this and his remarks can be found in this Business Today article.

Slamming the charges, Sikka in an emailed statement to PTI said: “Although this lawsuit is not directed at me, I categorically deny the baseless and outrageous allegations made by Teradata that attempt to diminish the hard work, passion, and the irrefutable and fully legitimate achievements by the Hana team, including myself.

What this article will address are the possible actions relating to pursuing a case of this magnitude and the implications of these actions might have on SAP customers and prospects.

The potential timeline

Litigation is an occupational hazard for corporations. The bigger your firm gets, the more likely it will attract big lawsuits. A company will even attract more suits if it behaves in a reckless manner.  When one big firm sues another big firm, the legal warfare can reach epic levels. Since each side has the funds to fight a protracted case and hire top-flight attorneys, the case can get drug out for years.

Since both Teradata and SAP are large firms, readers shouldn’t necessarily expect a rapid cessation of litigation. (Teradata has annual revenues of approx. $2.2 billion and SAP has annual revenue of approx. $27.3 billion.)

What could happen in a case of this size, should it go to trial, is. There’s a lot of ifs, buts and maybes but this provides a flavor of what you can expect:

  • The defendant will file a counter complaint/countersuit or request summary judgment to dismiss
  • There will be a response to the original complaint
  • Each side will file motions, including motions to dismiss
  • A lengthy discovery process could be triggered

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Article Credit: Diginomica

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IoT and robotics, evolving together

Bringing IoT to a factory floor is as much about robots as it is about any other class of device. Meanwhile, robots are more attractive in their own right because labor costs are rising globally. Although robotics for automation generally focuses on movement and manipulations, IoT and robotics involves a world of devices in the field — devices that depend on electronic sensors and software.

“A lot of companies have outsourced for low-cost labor, but labor in China is going up in cost by 15% a year,” said Jim Lawton, COO at Rethink Robotics Inc., a company that focuses on designing robots that work well with humans. In fact, he noted, almost every manufacturing company he has spoken with in recent years complains about the lack of labor; temporary help firms are hired to bring in workers and by lunch time, half of them are gone, he said.

“The average age of workers in manufacturing is 58 because it isn’t a field millennials even think about,” he added. As a result, companies are desperate to address the problem — and despite capital costs and limits on the technology, they are increasingly investing in robotics for automation. In turn, those robotic investments are often matched and sometimes melded with investments in smarter, IoT-equipped factories.

“From where I sit, it is clear that all the major robotics companies are very involved in IoT efforts,” said Jeff Burnstein, president of the Association for Advancing Automation, parent group of the Robotic Industries Association. For example, he said, robotics giant Fanuc is focusing on delivering zero-downtime robots that can alert management when a breakdown is imminent and better schedule their own maintenance. IoT sensors are the key to this emerging and important capability, he noted. Likewise, ABB, another big force in robotics, is emphasizing the future “digital factory,” which builds on IoT capabilities integrated with robotic devices.

On the other hand, Burnstein added, smaller companies within the user community remain overwhelmed by both IoT and robotics and are still largely unsure about what to do.

Andy Chang, director of product marketing at Kuka Aktiengesellschaft, a German manufacturer of industrial robots and factory automation products, said the past 10 to 20 years have seen a gradual evolution for both automation and robotics. “Because of the new computation power and lower costs, we have sensors and actuators that can be more attainable for a much wider range of applications,” Chang said. That is often combined with the rise of the internet and the ability to adopt internet-specific functionality and feature sets like cloud and mobile. “We see now a tremendous opportunity for the industry in general to leverage these key technologies,” he added.

Chang said the company’s operation in Texas, particularly, has been focusing on cloud, web and mobile to augment mechanical and mechatronic technologies and better use IoT. The company has recently launched its first connected robot products, called Kuka Connect, “bringing the technology to the masses in the industrial and research space,” he said. As the company describes it, Kuka Connect is a cloud-based software platform that allows customers to access and analyze their robots’ data on any device.

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Article Credit: TechTarget

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The singularity is near summary | Ray Kurzweil | 5-Minute Summary

The singularity is near summary

The singularity is near summary

What’s in it for me? Discover how technology will change your life beyond your wildest dreams.

The singularity is near summary – Do you remember the scene in The Matrix, in which Neo has a program uploaded to his brain and, in an instant, he “knows” kung fu? What would life be like if you could upload knowledge just like a basic software program?

As these blinks will show, technology is evolving ever faster; in just a few decades, technological advances will enable us to transcend our biological shackles to overcome aging and disease.

In this new world, uploading a program to your brain will seem quaint. Technology will have become so advanced that it will mark a whole new era: a “singularity” in which computers will be billions of times smarter than all of humanity combined, and biology and technology will be one and the same.

This era isn’t hundreds of years away, either. It’s near.

In this article, you’ll learn

• how DNA will be used to build supercomputers;
• why, in the future, you won’t have to worry about sunburns; and
• how a few years from now, anyone can become a Spock

Evolution is picking up speed. Each development builds and moves faster ahead than the last.

Think about how many major technological changes your grandparents may have witnessed during their lifetimes. Now, think about the changes you’ve seen over just the last 15 years.

Stunning how far technology has advanced in such a short period of time, right?

It’s evident that, as time passes, things are changing more rapidly. History tells us that the rate of change has been growing exponentially.

Roughly 3.8 billion years ago, single-celled life on earth evolved slowly. It took some 2 billion years for multicellular organisms to emerge

Yet gradually, the process of evolution gained momentum. For example, there were only 200 million years between the first mammals and the evolution of Homo sapiens.

If you were to draw a graph showing major evolutionary development on earth, you’d see that evolution does indeed move faster with the passing of time. The same can be said for the rate of technological evolution.

Technological development is also accelerating. Some 50,000 years ago, discoveries such as making fire were few and far between, occurring every 1,000 years or so. Compare this rate with today, where it’s a challenge to list the gadgets and revelations of just last year.

Importantly, the returns of this accelerating process of evolution are also accelerating.
For instance, computer speed in cost per unit doubled every three years between 1910 and 1950, then every two years between 1950 and 1966; today, it’s doubling each year.

This exponential development in technology is known as the “Law of Accelerating Returns.”
We know that the greatest triumphs in each stage of development help to form the next. For example, biological evolution resulted in Homo sapiens; humans then invented technology, and the best technologies are used to develop even better technologies.

It follows then that eventually, supersmart computers will be able to design superior technologies themselves and in doing so, further speed up technological evolution

Computers are making leaps and bounds in speed and processing power. DNA computing is near.

Computers are evolving rapidly, especially as ever-shrinking silicon components improve their performance. But even silicon has its limitations.

Very thin silicon components leak electricity, and densely wired chips overheat, which lowers efficiency. To counter these problems, new technologies are already in the pipeline.

One such invention is nanotube technology, an invention that will significantly speed computer calculations.

Nanotubes are tiny cylinders made out of sheets of carbon atoms. They are excellent candidates as…………….

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Companies set to spend $520bn on IoT devices by 2021

IoT spending is set to hit record heights over the next four years.

In IoT news this week, Vodafone became the first Irish telecoms operator to introduce dedicated internet of things SIM cards to the consumer market.

The V-Sim cards will come as standard with consumer products sold by Vodafone with IoT capabilities.

Customers can use a handy V by Vodafone smartphone app to get an overview of all IoT-enabled products registered to their account.

Launch products include mobile security cameras and briefcase trackers.

IoT spending set to soar

A comprehensive study carried out by consulting firm Bain & Coshows the IoT budgets of large companies will balloon to an annual total of $520bn over the next four years.

This forecast is much higher than an initial prediction from a previous report in 2016, which said the figure would be around $450m by 2020.

While this report shows companies are eager to use devices such as factory sensors and video surveillance gear, the number one concern of customers is still security. 42pc said the risk of hacker infiltration made them anxious about IoT adoption.

Arm buys data management company for new IoT SaaS platform

British chipmaking giant Arm has bought Treasure Data and will use its technology to create a new SaaS product for end-to-end IoT management, the Arm Pelion IoT platform.

The platform will offer data and device management and will be used on public and private clouds, on-premises and in hybrid environments.

Does the internet of things need safety grades?

Anxiety around the security of IoT devices is a constant presence, regardless of the innovative potential of the technology.

Activist Cory Doctorow told Motherboard that a security and privacy grading system could put a lot of these worries to bed: “Until now, reviewers have primarily focused on how smart gadgets work, but not how they fail: it’s like reviewing cars but only by testing the accelerator, and not the brakes.”

Consumer Reports announced last year it would begin working on an open-source standard with some collaborators to help make IoT devices safer. The group has already implemented the idea in its review of mobile payment platforms.

China Mobile sees spike in NB-IoT interest

China Mobile is one of the leaders in the NB-IoT space and it has revealed it now supports more than 384m overall IoT connections, up from 151m in June of 2017.

According to Light Reading, the network is also building out a nationwide NB-IoT network which will be complete by the end of 2018. The huge boost in connections could increase adoption rates around the world by helping to reduce the cost of chipsets.

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Article Credit: Silicon Republic

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