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Category Archives: Product Reviews

Asana – Task Management App

Here we have some of the very best products available in market:

http://asana.com/about

Asana :

Founded by Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz, Asana is the shared task list for your team, where you can plan, organize & stay in sync on everything.

My personal wish-list for Asana includes a mobile app; a sub-sub-task list, and an integration with Google calendar.

This scores 10 on 10 in the department of Usability. Excellent step-by-step way to register, and get verified email. Easy to understand video tour, which is not more than 2 minutes, makes perfect sense.

 

This is one of the very best Task management app I have seen so far. Hope get this for Mobile (Android, iOS etc.) and integration with Google Calendar, as I mentioned earlier. Till then cheers! Leave your feedback.

 
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Posted by on December 11, 2011 in Product Reviews

 

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InstantMeeting iPhone and InstantMeeting Enterprise – A trend setter in the world of Conference Call

A lot has happened in the world of communication since we last posted talked about Plantronics InstantMeeting. This time Plantronics updated its InstantMeeting app to allow iPhone users and enterprise users to connect to conference calls on their calendar with one tap, much like Android and BlackBerry users have been doing for almost a year.

Apart from quite a few useful features, one of the best that impress me upon a lot, is of a reminder, and that too a customized reminder. Picture this, you are in mid of lot of chaos, your product is supposed to go live, you are running around various blocks to get your work done, streamlined and you just forget that you do have an important status meeting with your CEO…Ooopsss, sound familiar! Well yes, for most of us this and many other such scenarios have been quite a daily routine. This is where InstantMeeting helps you, with what they call it as “Reminder”. InstantMeeting app reminds you with the meeting subject along with an option to “Call” instantaneously.

On the PC world of this appp, you get to call through Skype, Microsoft Office, and Lync. Gunjan Bhow, VP and general manager of New Ventures at Plantronics, says the goal is to ensure employees with VoIP clients and softphones can still take advantage of cheaper rates instead of going directly to their mobile phones and racking up big charges while traveling.

Android

InstantMeeting on iPhone                    InstantMeeting on Android

 

BlackBerry

InstantMeeting BlackBerry

Related Article: http://gigaom.com/collaboration/apps-that-help-you-work-like-an-executive/

 
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Posted by on December 1, 2011 in Product Reviews

 

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Shopping Cart Abandonment – Part II

In the first series of this article here, we found out 10 reasons as to why people abandon the shopping cart. Let's see those reasons in detail.

Why do people abandon shopping carts?

There are many reasons behind cart abandonment, but I feel that the majority of people do so for one of four major reasons, with other issues sprouting from those.

Comparison shopping

It’s not unusual for consumers to go right through the buying process to the checkout stage to get a true indication of what their purchase will cost including tax and shipping. They may repeat this process on many sites before making a purchase.

Confusion

This is a major issue. Consumers may be confused at how the process works, about added costs such as shipping or distracted by other elements on the pages.

Impatience

Too many checkout pages, shopping cart pages that load slowly, sites that require registration before purchase or requests for too much non-purchase related information can send potential customers scurrying away.

Fear

The consumer is about to hand over their credit card details to a complete stranger, and if they have any degree of common sense, they’ll be wary. Anything that seems a little out of the ordinary or order forms that ask for too much personal information may scare them away.

Minimizing shopping cart abandonment

Before putting any of these suggestions into action; you first need to think about the type of clients you cater to.

For example, the “me” generation wants everything now, skimming over information; whereas older shoppers may take the time to read everything on the cart pages and expect to be assured that it’s safe to do business with you.

Shopping cart software

If your cart software is more than a couple of years old, chances are it’s missing a lot of the features that are standard these days that shoppers expect. Like any online technology, carts have come a long way. For example, some shopping carts allow you to grab the email contact details of the customer early on in the checkout process, which then allows you to follow up with the person should he/she abandon the cart.

If your shopping cart is a bit dated, perhaps it’s time to update your current software, or move over to a new product.

Security – SSL

From time to time, I still see carts order forms requesting credit card details without a secure connection. SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is a crucial element of any ecommerce transaction and is indicated by a https:// address and associated lock icons in browsers.

Also tell your clients about the security measures you have in place, either via a scrolling text box on checkout pages so that it doesn’t take up too much space, or a page dedicated to ecommerce security that is easily accessible from any page on your site.

Security warnings and errors

It’s really important to test your cart and checkout process in Firefox *and* Internet Explorer as they handle security issues differently. On a secure page, i.e. one beginning with https://, Internet Explorer is far more fussier. If one of the elements on the page such as an image isn’t referenced via a https: address; Internet Explorer will throw up an ominous message stating that one or more elements are not secure. Even if it’s just an image that’s causing the problem, it’s enough to scare off wary customers and they are very likely to abandon the shopping cart. Firefox on the other hand just ignores such issues. So if you’re a Firefox users, your site may be experiencing this problem and you wouldn’t be aware of it.

Third party verification seals

Big and small, well known and unknown retailers experience the same issues of jittery shoppers, which contributes to increased shopping cart abandonment rates. It’s been demonstrated that display of a third party verification seal can greatly increase retention and conversion rates.

Request for information

The checkout process might seem like an excellent place to gather demographics through survey-type questions, but it may scare some shoppers away. A “where did you hear about us” question is probably fine, but use a drop-down selection of answers to keep things moving along.

Clear, friendly navigation

Nothing irks me more in a checkout session than a cart that doesn’t allow me to back track to any stage of the process. If your shopping cart checkout process is multi-page, place links to each section top and bottom of the pages. It’s also good practice in a multi-page process to give clients a progress indicator.

Images of products, linking to information.

It doesn’t hurt to have a thumbnail of the product the client is purchasing in the checkout pages; but make it bandwidth friendly. The image should link to a new window with summary information about the product. The use of images can help maintain orientation and ensure the client the product they want is the one they are ordering.

Live help

Consider implementing live chat software. A live help feature on your cart pages may encourage clients who are confused to ask for assistance, thus helping you to close more sales.

Of course, never dive in and offer to assist someone during a checkout process; you may scare them away. Let the client initiate the chat.

Phone assistance and ordering

This is particularly helpful with big ticket items. No matter how simple your cart is, some folks just won’t get it. No matter what you do to show you’re a legit business, some still won’t trust. This is where offering a phone number for ordering can help and VoIP (Voice Over IP) allows you to set up phone ordering numbers around the world at minimal cost.

Friendly error handling

It’s very frustrating to complete a cart session, all the way through to submitting the order form, only to be told “you moron, your postcode is invalid!” OK, it’s an exaggeration, but developers aren’t known for using subtlety in error messages :).

Ensure the software you are using has friendly, descriptive error messages and that when an error is detected, that the client does not have to start the ordering process all over again. They should be able to fix the error and pick up from where they left off.

Distractions

A cart is not the place to have banners for other sites :). Other distractions such as flashing, whirring, spinning or buzzing elements should be terminated with extreme prejudice, unless they directly relate to the purchase – such as an error message or upsell/cross-sell offer.

Live Chat Software

– Boosts sales, a great marketing tool –
– Helps to reassure your visitors –
– Makes ecommerce more “human” –
– Track visitors on your site in real time –

Added costs

As early as possible in the ordering process, the client should be made aware of *all* costs. Slipping an added fee in at the last moment or having low product prices then a whopping shipping charge is not clever; it’s just bad business. Aside from the sticker shock it will induce, it also smells of trickery the customer may wonder what other nasty surprises may be in store when doing business with you.

Keep it simple

Anything and everything in your cart process should be as simple as possible. If it’s not absolutely necessary to the purchase or doesn’t provide the client with important information that *they* need, turf it.

Currency conversion

It’s important to remember that the US dollar is not the only currency in the world. While it has pretty much global acceptance, converting currency can be a mathematical nightmare for some. Even if you can only accept US funds via your payment gateway arrangements, at least provide a currency converter feature to save your non-US clients the effort of making the calculation.

Transparency and reassurance

So many online businesses try to hide who they are – their about pages do nothing but say “we’re the best”. This does nothing to assuage the fears of online shoppers. A person may be halfway through the checkout process and think “hrm, who are these guys anyway?”. There should be a link to a contact and about/company profile page easily accessible from the cart and the profile page should be more than just puffery – it needs to contain solid information about your company focused on reassuring your visitors.

Get others to test your cart

Once we are familiar with our own software, it’s very hard to be objective as to how easy it is for a first time visitor to use, as we become “store blind”. Enlist the help of colleagues, staff, friends and family – ask them to test your cart and to be brutally honest. Analytics software can also help indicate a common point where consumers are abandoning their purchases.

Like most ecommerce merchants, you’ve put in a lot of blood, sweat, tears and cash in building and promoting your site – I hope some of these tips help you in boosting your profits!

In third article of this series we will see the entire concept in a beautiful infographic.

 
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Posted by on November 23, 2011 in Product Reviews, UX and Usability

 

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TweepsMaps : An excellent concept to see your brand reach

Name: TweepsMap

Quick Pitch: TweepsMap provides a visual, interactive map of your Twitter followers by country, state or city.

Genius Idea: Measures the effectiveness of Twitter campaigns by analyzing the locations of your followers.

Knowing where your Twitter followers are located can not only feed your curiosity, but it can also help you measure the success of your social campaigns. Here comes, TweepsMap which links to your Twitter account, analyzes your followers and provides a map or chart that shows where they’re located by country, state or city.

The genius app was Launched in October, the tool helps Twitter users learn if their campaign is successful in a targeted region. For example, if your Twitter campaign is targeted toward Delhi, India residents, TweepsMap helps you see how many of your followers are actually located in Delhi, India.

“One of the most important aspects of a campaign is to measure location to see where your followers are and if they are engaged or not,” says Samir Al-Battran, founder of TweepsMap. “TweepsMap helps you learn whether you need to adjust your campaign to reach your targeted audience.”

After authorizing the TweepsMap API, it generates a color-coded map with Twitter birds spread across it to show the number of followers in that specific location — red birds represent the largest number of followers, and yellow represents the second largest number.

Here is the Slide show which explains the step by step way of activating TweepsMap.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 
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Posted by on November 23, 2011 in Product Reviews

 

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Samsung Galaxy Note – Awesome

 

Benefits

Feel Free, It's Note!

  • Large & immersive screen with smartphone
    portability
  • Full screen utilization for fast and effective tasking
  • Free capturing and creation
  • Powerful performance

This is super…super cool…Phone, Tablet…or what…Ah ha! More here

 
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Posted by on November 18, 2011 in Product Reviews

 

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Google’s New Algorithm Update Improves Google’s Chance at Ruling the World 35% more Likely?

Google announced they are rolling out a new search algorithm change that helps make the search results “fresher.” The big news here is that besides for the results being fresher, the results will change for about 35% of all searches.

Caffeine Was Infrastructure, This Is Algorithmic

Fresher results can make for more relevant results, which is why Google moved over to the caffeine infrastructure last year.

Google said:

We completed our Caffeine web indexing system last year, which allows us to crawl and index the web for fresh content quickly on an enormous scale. Building upon the momentum from Caffeine, today we’re making a significant improvement to our ranking algorithm that impacts roughly 35 percent of searches and better determines when to give you more up-to-date relevant results for these varying degrees of freshness.

35% Of The Searches Are Impacted

That is larger than the Panda update which impacted 12% of the searches conducted.

What type of searches does it impact? Google said:

  • Recent events or hot topics. For recent events or hot topics that begin trending on the web, you want to find the latest information immediately. Now when you search for current events like [AdTech Conference NY], or for the latest news about the [Cricket WC 2011], you’ll see more high-quality pages that might only be minutes old.
  • Regularly recurring events. Some events take place on a regularly recurring basis, such as annual conferences like [ICALP] or an event like the [presidential election]. Without specifying with your keywords, it’s implied that you expect to see the most recent event, and not one from 50 years ago. There are also things that recur more frequently, so now when you’re searching for the latest [NFL scores], [dancing with the stars] results or [exxon earnings], you’ll see the latest information.
  • Frequent updates. There are also searches for information that changes often, but isn’t really a hot topic or a recurring event. For example, if you’re researching the [best slr cameras], or you’re in the market for a new car and want [i40 Reviews], you probably want the most up to date information.
Issues:

Twitter : Sorry you still can’t get freshest info:

The situation with Twitter is still not clear. The largest amount of “fresh” information on the web are tweets. Despite the growth of Google+, the volume of tweets happening far eclipses the content there.

Google has been without timely access to tweets since July. It simply cannot crawl Twitter fast enough without receiving the “firehose” of Twitter data to keep up. Today’s announcement does nothing to solve this. Google is only introducing a ranking change, not an indexing change that brings in more tweets.

“Freshness” another way of Spam:

There are potential downsides. Sometimes you do want to reward fresh content. But what’s fresh? If someone simply makes a small change to a page, does that give it a fresh boost? If someone reposts exactly the same content on a new page a day or two after initially posting it, is that fresh? Is when the page was first found define freshness, or is the first modified date used?

As per Google:

Freshness is one component, but we also look at the content of the result, including topicality and quality.

Let’s wait and see how these changes impact the overall SEO market?

Cheers!

 
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Posted by on November 3, 2011 in Product Reviews

 

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How do Colors Affect Purchases…

 
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Posted by on November 3, 2011 in Product Reviews

 

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