Alexa, what do you see?

Computer Vision: The next step in artificial intelligence taking over your life

Computers have gotten a little more human-like than anyone is really comfortable with. Robots can open doors, perform surgery, and create literally invincible tic-tac-toe strategies. It’s a crazy world. But one thing computers can’t do? They can’t see you…yet. They actually can’t see anything or understand the context and content of visual things. Artificial intelligence is trying to change that, and it could help to bring in the future of eCommerce.

Turns out, seeing is actually really hard

Can computers see? Most have cameras, but it turns out the answer is a little more complicated than that. Computer vision is the process of giving computers AI algorithms to detect and classify objects more accurately and efficiently. One example of this already in practice is facial recognition. Don’t panic, but computers are probably already identifying your face all the time.

More practical applications of computer vision are the next step for artificial intelligence, and this will allow computers to see AND understand images and videos.  Computer vision has the potential to streamline processes within every department, from manually entering product codes or barcodes in a warehouse to reviewing eCommerce photos.

Computers with vision are probably smarter and faster than you

Computer vision is starting to play a big part in eCommerce. Think of a world where your customer could search for a product with an image of a similar product on your site. Your computer could scour the entire internet for your products and bring back pictures to use on your site.

Even better, computer vision has the potential to take over retail with facial recognition, cashierless stores, inventory visibility, and visual search. This tech has recently made a noticeable impact in these four vital areas. Walmart has already been using computer vision technology in more than 1,000 stores to monitor checkouts and deter potential theft. So maybe don’t steal from Walmart.

Basically, replace all your employees with computers

Computers with vision have the ability to solve tasks that can be time-consuming, from manually entering UPCs or barcodes in a warehouse to reviewing eCommerce environmental photos for specific products. Its expansive use of big data collection allows the software to grow smarter and faster in decision making.

Today, only 3% of retailers have computer vision technology in place, however, 40% plan to start or finish implementing the tech within the next two years. Computer vision is a possibility for any company looking to streamline processes that take a manual user time to visually review and conduct an outcome.

PeakActivity is a leader in creating future-proof eCommerce. If you think your computers need a little bit of vision to drive your company forward, we can help you out with that. Visit our website for more information.

Are you guilty of bombarding your loyal customers with endless spam emails?

Tips for starting and maintaining an email marketing campaign

With all the talk about online, social and mobile marketing, it can seem like email has been reduced to poorly spelled e-mails promising to cure wrinkles and banish fat or requesting millions wired to offshore accounts (spoiler: don’t do it). But in fact, pretty much everyone still uses email, and email marketing is possibly the best marketing strategy to deepen your relationship with your customer and drive eCommerce revenue.

An email has a personal quality, which makes it a great way to connect with customers. With the newest eCommerce technology, you can even target potential customers who have browsed your site. A great email marketing campaign has become more important than ever to driving greater brand affinity and increases in sales.

Here are a few simple things that you can do to create and maintain an email marketing campaign that your customers with love.

1. Not everyone wants your emails, and that’s okay.

Having a giant email list might look great on paper, but bombarding thousands of people with unwanted emails is super annoying–probably not the best way to gain customers. Your email list should be a collection of email addresses gained by engaging with potential customers through lead-generating campaigns. Sometimes reducing your email list of customers who aren’t interested is one of the best things you can do to gain the support of your loyal customers. 

If you are looking to grow, offer in-store opt-ins and include social sharing buttons to increase the chance that visitors will subscribe. If you create multiple, targeted subscription types, you’ll increase the chance that visitors will subscribe to one of them.

2. Don’t send emails you wouldn’t want to receive

Make your email marketing campaign less spam-like by making sure that each email has a definite purpose. By creating a marketing email calendar, you plan and run a mix of content. 

Promotional emails can include any offers that your users might find beneficial. Email is a great opportunity to incentivize customers with promotions. If you can get them in the door, you can share what you have to offer, and what differentiates you from competitors.

Additionally, all of your blog posts, white papers, and anything else you have to offer can be shared via email. The content will change, but email gives you the flexibility to always be relevant and specific. By making a plan, you won’t accidentally send a ridiculous amount of emails to the same people, and each email can contain something your customers want to receive. \

3. Pretend you’re cool, and people might believe you 

Creating an online brand identity is key to a successful email campaign, as well as maintaining an online presence. Working with your client to understand their brand voice or style is an integral part of effectively speaking to the customer. Choose a tone that best fits your company’s style, whether it be playful or serious, and stay consistent throughout all of your marketing materials.

A brand identity is a way to communicate with the world, stand out from your competition, and create a brand experience that encourages people to engage with you. Build a brand identity that accurately conveys your essence and is flexible enough to evolve with you. If you stay consistent with your identity, you’ll probably convince the cool kids to open your emails too. 

4. Target your customer’s, tell them what they want. 

Yes, your devices are watching you, but it can be super helpful for marketing. With new technology for automated website behavior, you can gain new customers just by targeting people who have visited your site and displayed certain browsing habits. The list of ways to target customers is endless.

One great, not super creepy example is abandoned cart acquisition. Once a user has filled their cart, ensure that they complete their purchase by sending out reminder emails or emails with promotional offers about the items they showed interest in. You can also spread goodwill about your brand by focusing on customers who did make a purchase from you. Send them info about how to properly care for the items they bought.

Email has a long history of stability, and they even get delivered on Sundays. While the email space has evolved, email marketing is more relevant than ever. An email marketing campaign is a cost-effective solution that gives you the power to reach customers in a place most people visit every day — their inbox.

PeakActivity happens to be pretty great at creating email marketing campaigns for our customers. We’ve successfully implemented non-spamlike email campaigns for quite a few companies. One of our customers even saw 76.5% revenue growth by partnering with us. Visit our website for more information. 

User Experience Design (UX): Promoting Usability by Making the Complex Feel Simple

Reader Takeaways:

User Experience Design, commonly referred to as UX, is the process of designing intuitive systems built around the user’s needs. By simplifying the user experience of the operator, the system will allow for more efficient sales to drive increases in revenue.

  • By implementing solid UX strategies, enterprises can empathize with their users to find and solve their frustrations, creating a system that allows for intuitive usability.
  • UX has the goal is to build a system so intuitive to the user that training for use would be unnecessary.
  • By collecting feedback data on the pain points from both users and management, UX can easily incorporate both the user’s needs and the company goals.
  • Using initial customer data, stakeholder interviews, and business goals, UX can grow a product in phases, giving enterprises greater accountability while promoting growth.

 

Understanding how customer needs converge with business goals can carry substantial weight in the process of designing effective retail client platforms. User experience design, commonly referred to as UX, is the process that works to build eCommerce platforms intuitive processes in mind by using data to create a user experience that makes the complex feel simple.

 

By solving for complexity, UX design utilizes intuitive task performance to drive increases in revenue. Replacing less efficient operations with UX design allows introspective simplicity, giving enterprises greater accountability while promoting businesses’ growth. An easy to use eCommerce platform will allow for more efficient sales to drive increases in revenue.

 

Leveraging Empathy to Solve for Inefficiency

In terms of design, user experience is based on empathy. By implementing solid UX design strategies, enterprises can effectively improve how they are engaging with customers, driving their behavior toward revenue growth. User experience research is essentially feeling customers’ pain through feedback. By listening to your customers and finding pain points, you can evaluate how the business goals can converge with the needs of the user. If the user is easily able to complete retail purchases, your revenue increases instantly.

 

When creating a user experience analysis for a national retail chain, it is helpful to begin by gathering data from users through surveys, forums, and competitive analysis. The goals include learning the whole process by going to stores, speaking to associates and managers, and finding how the associates use their tools rather than trusting the way they should be used. In researching for the UX best practices empathize with users to guide the design process.

 

Bridging the Gap Between Job and Tool

After reviewing the user’s needs, a UX team will incorporate the enterprise goals for the design into their analysis. By evaluating everything the enterprise needs in the platform and leveraging all of the data that had been collected, the goal is to build a system so intuitive to the associated user that training for use would be unnecessary.

 

By incorporating both the user’s need to have an intuitive experience and the company goals of creating a high-performance application, UX teams can work to bridge the gap between management and users. While blending complicated internal reporting with the efficiency of maximum intuition, the UX design team can create a prototype built around the user experience with the goals of the company in mind.

 

Building the Future With Phases of Feedback

Using initial customer data, stakeholder interviews, and business goals, the best practice in UX design requires building the product in phases. Once an initial prototype is built, the system can utilize further user experience testing to quickly modify. With user feedback, the user experience team creates the modifications, ensuring many versions of the final product with a focus on maximum user benefit.

 

In the case of the national retail chain, PeakActivity used this type of user experience design research to move an outdated paper-based system into a user-centered prototype for a national retail chain. The prototype has been a great success in pilot stores, promoting positive user experiences and driving sales with increased efficiency.

 

While elevating the user experience, UX design can convert inefficient processes into revenue-building task performance. The UX design mindset works to better connect customer intentions and business growth through forward-thinking progression. Investing in UX is the next step in balancing goals with design. Don’t make assumptions about what your customers want; invest in UX to deliver balanced usability with proven results.