Tag Archive for: Infor

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2020 Storefront Roadmap: How EasyAsk and mStorefront are working together to take your B2B business into the next decade

The Infor Storefront marketplace has been left in chaos with many customers very unsure of the future of Storefront, others even searching for a new platform.

As EasyAsk has always been the core engine powering Storefront, we’ve been working directly with increasing numbers of Storefront customers.  We have found there is a lot of room for improvement.

Additionally, almost all Storefront customers’ UX is obsolete and visually stuck in an outdated ‘aol.com’ time warp.

The September TUG webinar, focussed on the future of Storefront and how EasyAsk and mStorefront could significantly and immediately enhance a Storefront user’s experience.  Read the summary or watch the full recording.

At the November 12th TUG webinar, we took a deeper dive into the capabilities and enhancements that you can expect from the partnership between EasyAsk and mStorefront.  With advanced Search, Analytics and Merchandising, as well as a thoroughly enhanced, responsive, modern and user-friendly front-end, plus a Mobile Smartphone UX, you can take your significant Storefront investment forward into the next decade.

We have created a Roadmap showing what you can expect from EasyAsk and mStorefront in 2020:

 

  • A fresh, responsive design for your Storefront site, which will work equally well on all devices

 

  • Enhanced scanner functionality

 

An internal sales team would be able to scan products to retrieve product information for customer orders, etc..  mStorefront now allows scanning via Bluetooth-enabled devices and smartphones.

 

  • Single Sign-On Extension

 

The ability for mStorefront to integrate with any Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) based service will allow for logging users into the application based on their sessions in another context.

 

This is beneficial for account managers that need to utilize different applications including mStorefront to service their customer base.

 

  • Continuous UI/UX enhancements

 

mStorefront creates a consistent brand across your content website and your customers’ shopping experience.  Your customers will feel like they’re underneath one roof, and no matter what platform they’re viewing from, they’ll see the same

branding and design.

 

  • Integration with Content Management System (CMS)

 

This is a fully-fledged solution where mStorefront can integrate with Drupal CMS and give users the ability to control pre-determined content, create new content pages, enable blogs, as well as control headers, images, and other sections of a company’s main marketing site.  If your customers are shopping/browsing or navigating from page-to-page, they will always feel like they are on one integrated, responsive site.

 

  • Enhanced Google Analytics

 

The following Google Analytics extensions will be added:

  • Enhanced Google Analytics: giving you visibility of how customers interact with mStorefront, including understanding customers’ shopping behavior, product performance, among others.
  • User session tracking: giving you visibility of how particular users shop the site and allowing you to analyze the signed-in user experience.
  • Tag manager: giving you the ability to add and update your own tags for conversion tracking, site analytics, remarketing, and more.
  • Ecommerce Analytics: tracking orders including order values, ordered products and more.

 

New EasyAsk features:

 

  • Landing pages

 

An EasyAsk landing page is a set of products that the merchandising team wants to show customers, which are typically referenced by a specific URL. This URL could be referenced in email marketing or on another part of the site.

A landing page will contain products as well as banners and other content.  In EasyAsk Studio, it is possible to define which products and other content should be displayed on a new landing page very easily using natural language.

 

  • Banners

 

A banner is visual content that can be triggered to be shown on predefined areas of any screen.  A banner might be an image, a video, a slider – or enter html into the definition to display anything required.  Banners can be triggered by a number of situations, such as:

 

  • By the presence of a set of products. For example, if 50% or more of the products that a customer is looking at are tools, then you could show a banner for a tool brand that you’re currently promoting
  • If a user views a certain set of products, or uses a certain category, you want to put a visual element at the top of that subcategory page
  • By certain terminology used in a search. For example, if a customer uses the term ‘tool’, a banner could be displayed for a tool brand that you’re promoting

Combinations of these triggers allow any situation to be catered for.  The business user has comprehensive control. Banners can have a variety of associated actions, such as:

  • Go to a URL
  • Go to a product category or subcategory
  • Do an attribute selection, e.g. brand = xyz, optionally qualified with a category
  • Do a product search, optionally qualified with a category selection. For example, run a search for oil, but only within pump products
  • No action – the banner is simply for information or aesthetics

 

  • Messaging on EasyAsk driven Product Results Pages

 

Messaging on product results pages is used when users search and EasyAsk changes that search in some way in order to get better results.  It is an opportunity to show alternative products or searches when the original search may not find anything and to inform customers why this has happened.

 

Messaging can be used in the following instances:

 

  • Spell correction, for example:

 

“sofaa” returned no results, so we’re showing you results for “sofa” instead.

 

  • Out of stock products, for example:

 

“Gracey Recliner” returned no results, so we’re showing you results for “leather recliner” instead. The Gracey recliner is currently unavailable.

 

  • Products not in the catalogue, for example:

 

Sorry, we don’t stock Canon, but Nikon are an excellent alternative.

 

  • Part of the customer’s search has been relaxed, for example:

 

Sorry, we don’t have purple leather couches, but here are the leather couches we do have.

Messaging on product result pages is straightforward to set up and configure within EasyAsk Studio.  It allows merchandisers to drive a better shopping experience for their customers without relying on programmers to ‘code’ in order to explain to the searcher what they are seeing.  This can significantly reduce bounce rates.

 

  • ‘No Results’ page content

 

EasyAsk allows you to control which suggested product sets and what messaging is displayed.  The ‘No Results page might contain one or more of the following:

 

  • Show alternative products. This is an opportunity to promote specific products or groups of products.  You might display top sellers or campaign-related products, for example, summer specials.  Here is an example of promoted products from pmall.com:

  • Make some search suggestions. The possibilities here for using the No Results page are numerous.  You could make some search suggestions that will return results using some of the words from the original search or suggest that the customer removes one or more filters from their search.  You could display the top trending searches made on the site (clickable).

 

  • Invite the shopper to further action. Suggest that the shopper browses the site by category and direct them to where on the page they can do this.  You might display some clickable popular categories. Here is an example from timberland.com:

If you stock numerous brands, you might suggest popular brands or featured designers, or even just list all available brands.  It is also possible to display a ‘Still can’t find what you’re looking for?’ section, giving the opportunity for a chatbot to step in or providing a telephone number or email address.  The following pop-up was triggered from the No Results page, once again on timberland.com:

All of the above options for your ‘No Results’ page can be easily defined and controlled within EasyAsk Studio.

 

  • Merchandising slots

 

A merchandising slot is a part of a screen, often on the home page, where merchandisers want to highlight certain products or sets of products, for example, own brand specials or this week’s offers. These product groupings can be defined using EasyAsk natural language rules and are completely dynamic.  For example, if a company had own-brand specials and had a rule that defines a merchandising slot to show these products, then any new own-brand products would automatically be included. This functionality is rule-based rather than product-based.

Alternatively, it is possible to specify a set of product IDs stipulated by the marketing team to be shown in a merchandising slot.  There are no limits to the number of supported merchandising slots; the front-end design dictates how much can be shown.

 

  • Enhanced Search As You Type (SAYT)

 

SAYT is a very advanced autocomplete/type-ahead system that is designed to put the right products in front of the user at the earliest opportunity.  The latest EasyAsk SAYT system uses templates, making it very easy to change.  It includes features such as the ability to change how many products and suggested searches are displayed and whether to show relevant attributes.  EasyAsk provides multiple templates to choose from, or your business can define their own.

 

The above drop-down panel is displayed on pmall.com as a user begins to type their search.

 

We’d love to show you how we can easily transform your dated Storefront site into a cutting edge B2B eCommerce site without tying up valuable resources and potentially a $300,000+ investment by you to get there – get in touch with us to find out more.

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B2B Series Challenge 1: Product Findability

According to Forrester, B2B eCommerce in the U.S. will hit $1.2 trillion by 2021, seeing a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 7.4% over the next four years. It is therefore essential that businesses optimize the eCommerce experience for their customers. B2B sites have typically been known as less usable, but it is time for them to catch up with B2C and make it really easy for customers to do business. B2B eCommerce has unique complexities, which present unique challenges and therefore require a unique set of best practices. We will explore these challenges in our B2B blog series and offer advice and solutions to ensure that your B2B site delivers a superior experience.

Fast-track your Customers

Read More

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EasyAsk Named Cool Vendor

It is always great to be considered Cool.  But that is usually a personal distinction.  Now Cool is an attribute given to software vendors such as EasyAsk.

EasyAsk is proud to announce that we have been included in the list of “Cool Vendors” in the ‘Cool Vendors in Analytics and Business Intelligence, 2012’* report by Gartner, Inc.  We feel this is an accomplishment due to our products, our team, and most of all our customers.

As we look at our market position today, EasyAsk has dramatically expanded its solution footprint and customer reach in the past 12 months.  Direct sales to customers have grown.  We’ve forged new solution partnerships with IBM Big Insights and SugarCRM while expanding our partnerships with Infor and NetSuite.  We have also more than doubled the number of channel partners we work with, including our distribution partnership with BrainSell in the SugarCRM market.

Our eCommerce edition product continues to be the clear solution leader in e-commerce search, navigation and merchandising.  No other vendor can come close to performing the long-tail natural language searches that EasyAsk does, nor can any vendor make merchandising as easy to use as EasyAsk.

And our new Quiri product is revolutionizing the way people use mobile devices and mobile corporate applications.  Quiri is the only solution on the market that provides Siri-like voice-enabled natural language tools that work with your corporate data and applications.

Thank you, Gartner.  And a special thank you to our customers and partners.

 

*  Gartner “Cool Vendors in Analytics and Business Intelligence, 2012” by Bill Gassman, Douglas Laney, Andreas Bitterer, David Newman, Rita L. Sallam, James Richardson, 27 April 2012

Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

 

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EasyAsk Brings Intelligence and Control Lucene/Solr Can’t Touch

Lucene/Solr is great for developers that enjoy tinkering with code as if it’s DNA and you’re working on the Captain America Super-Soldier Serum. But what if you don’t have the time or resources? What if you’re a company that cannot afford the manpower or hours needed to work on the open-source, Java-based search library? What if… what you need is a rich, mature product with the most accurate search engine on the planet?

Apache Lucene, for those who are unclear on the difference, is the library and Apache Solr is a layer of code on top of Lucene that turns it into a search platform, adding management and website APIs that are tailored for e-commerce. With Lucene/Solr you get a basic search engine, that requires a large IT staff or an army of consultants. It takes a lot of time, experience and troubleshooting to get the results you’re hoping for.

But let’s say you’ve outgrown the basic search functionality, or get frustrated having to build everything you need. And you’ve noticed how the e-commerce community has shifted to mobile sites with voice-recognition, and the abilities of open-source seem more and more limited. So wouldn’t you be tired of continuing to compete with every other e-commerce company that is trying to do the same thing with the same keyword-hampered technology? Why wouldn’t you want to stand out from the pack?

Where Lucene/Solr falls short, EasyAsk excels.

Companies like IBM, Magento, NetSuite, Infor and more have partnered with EasyAsk for a reason. The powerful Natural Language search-box and easy-to-use merchandising tools allow you to perform tasks a keyword-based software (Lucene/Solr) can’t even dream of. The intuitive site-search, dynamic navigation, and merchandising software utilizes Natural Language to increase conversion rates. It understands the intent of the search and delivers faster, more accurate results than keyword or navigation-driven softwares. The limitations you find with Lucene/Solr are simply not found with EasyAsk.

From understanding numeric units, to intelligent term relaxation, to merchandising capabilities like: Cross-Sell/Up-Sell promotions, EasyAsk has proven to bring something to the table that Lucene and Solr just can’t touch. Not to mention with EasyAsk you’re a step ahead of the game.

Take a quick look around and see which direction the technological world is headed. IBM’s Watson, Apple’s Siri, Nuance’s Dragon-Go, Panasonic’s Smart-TVs, and many more have all made the jump to a Natural Language Processing engine. It’s just a smarter way to connect with your customers.

And EasyAsk has been a leader in Natural Language for over a decade.

For example, on an EasyAsk-powered site, you can use your iPhone 4S or Android to verbally search for products on their mobile-sites. And thanks to the natural language engine that powers EasyAsk, they’ll find exactly what they’re looking for. Go to Lands’ End’s site on your phone, type-in or speak a product you’d like to see and a price constraint (i.e. Black Sleeveless Dresses for under $100) and see for yourself how powerful EasyAsk is. You’re not going to find that functionality with an open-source, keyword-based software.

Also the EasyAsk Commerce Studio puts the power back in the hands of the merchandiser. Want to add a new brand for your site, or cross-sell a couple of items? No problem, it literally takes a minute. To see what I’m talking about click here.

Look, if you want to keep trying to reinvent the wheel, go right ahead. But if you’re tired of sputtering in a Model-T and you’d rather upgrade to a search that’s better, the wave of the future, comes with merchandising capabilities that Lucene/Solr just can’t match, come take a look at EasyAsk, the Search That Means Business.

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