Strangeloop, an interesting value-add website optimizer for high volume e-merchants, reduces web page load times in order to drive more turnover and consequently increase transactions.
Located on the landing page of Strangeloop.com, visitors can toggle a slider and position it at a specific level of monthly sales revenue. As a result, the application highlights how the optimizer can directly correlate to added revenue simply by increasing page load times.
The results are staggering.
Large multinational corporations such as Visa, Sodexo, Petco and Auto Anything have already turned to Strangeloop’s intuitive site optimizer for both Web and mobile sites. Using an “advanced set of acceleration treatments,” Strangeloop streamlines and simplifies web pages in real-time by customizing them to the unique parameters of each browsing platform.
Not an out-of-the-box standardized liquid ciali software platform by any means, Strangeloop prides itself on customization and boasts that the technology is more than a one-size-fits-all approach. Considered a tailored experience mechanism, the optimizer allows for monitoring and modification of page loads based on web traffic of a specific moment, ever changing to the usage trends and needs of a given website at specific times. The site optimizer also builds in a clever tracking mechanism to predict a given users’ viewing patterns to pre-load pages and create an illusion of faster load times.
Offered as both an appliance to a company’s own datacenter or as a cloud-based service, Strangeloop can work with any IT infrastructure currently in place and lead to increased conversion rates, higher revenues, improved search engine results and most importantly, happier customers!
As major credit card companies Visa and MasterCard continue to develop and deploy mobile payment applications for smartphones equipped with NFC technology, payment processing between merchants and consumers will continue to evolve.
Many traditional brick and mortar retailers may not necessarily see the need to update their current POS terminals to accept mobile payments, as this emerging technology seems more suited to e-commerce. That said, the idea behind the “digital wallet” as a payment method may dramatically shift how sensitive client information is handled during a transaction.
Consumers are increasingly concerned with identity theft and likewise merchants worry about being sued for information leaks in their POS systems. Mobile payment applications change this very dynamic by giving the ability to consumers to keep all important payment information contained in their “digital wallet,” linking only to their respective banking institutions and cloud data management service, the two safest places to store this information.
Digital wallets will effectively turn the mobile payment enabled smartphone into a Personal Point of Sale (PPoS) device, which includes all the current features and capabilities of a standard retail POS terminal but with added levels of information security and less transfer of info between payment terminals.
Initially set-up for online shopping cart transactions, these new mobile payment applications will no longer require consumers to give out sensitive payment information during the checkout process, rather a transaction number will be pasted into the PPoS. This new PPoS system gives consumers the added ability to keep control over sensitive payment information and merchants no longer need to handle sensitive information and keep it secure.
Online merchants will also benefit from the added element of the mobile payment transaction being considered a “card-present” sale, reducing discount rates, limiting charge-back incidents and decreasing opportunities for fraudulent payment activity.
Founded in late 2009 by media maven Sarah Prevette, Sprouter was built on the notion of creating an online community to give start-ups and small-business owners access to professional guidance from experienced industry veterans.
Entrepreneurs log into the portal and are lead through a series of information pages where they can ask specific questions, browse topics, comment in discussion forums and share info with other networks. Sprouter by no means uses crowdsourcing to answer questions, as all answers are gathered from the panel of proven experts and their associates. This panel of experts is carefully chosen to provide real-world advice on various topics such as business law, marketing and funding.
Taking their initiative offline, Sprouter also hosts a series of events called “Sprout Up” allowing users to connect in a live conference format with other entrepreneurs, business owners and panel experts. Hosted monthly, over 600 entrepreneurs meet and greet at each event and gain insightful information to help build up their respective businesses. Complementing these events is a periodical magazine called the “Sprouter Weekly” which aggregates common questions on the site and outlines useful information for start-ups.
Allowing access to business minds such as Aaron Patzer of Mint.com fame and Tim Berry, founder of Palo Alto Software, Sprouter provides an instant connection to a wealth of information, potential investors and expert knowledge instantly, all in an easy to use web based platform.
It is estimated that 2.5 billion adults worldwide do not have access to standard financial products and services. Traditional money transfers and pre-paid credit cards are helping to bridge this gap and offer consumers convenient, low-cost options for financial services.
Western Union and MasterCard have recognized this need and see an opportunity to develop a crossover network between both companies’ electronic payment networks. Over the last year, both companies have been collaborating to develop a partnership that would see MasterCard become the pre-paid card of choice for Western Union and Western Union the preferred money transfer solution for MasterCard. As such, cardholders will be able to access these global networks to reload funds at any MasterCard rePower location as well as selected Western Union Agent locations. Consumers using the Western Union money transfer service will also now be able to send funds directly to eligible MasterCard holders, offering a viable, non-cash solution to these financially underserved clients.
According to Hikmet Ersek, President and Chief Executive Officer of Western Union, “This agreement sets the stage to globalize prepaid services. We’re opening up more options for consumers around the world by combining Western Union’s global network of money movement solutions with MasterCard’s world class global electronic payments network.”
“The primary focus of our global partnership is to enable greater financial inclusion for consumers and provide additional electronic payment options that create efficiencies in their daily lives,” said MasterCard President and Chief Executive Officer Ajay Banga. “We look forward to all of the benefits that our partnership will bring to consumers around the world.”
A hot topic heading into 2012 is the emerging technology coined the “mobile wallet” which Visa intends to capitalize on. Expected to launch sometime in late 2012, V.me is the official brand name for their proprietary mobile wallet.
Mobile wallets refer to applications on smart devices that allow users to store debit, credit and prepaid card information to be used for POS or online payment processing. Visa’s hedging on a similar strategy they currently employ with the various banks using the standard credit card service, the V.me mobile wallet will also be made available to companies such as PayPal, ISIS and Google Checkout along with an open beta development platform.
The advantages of a mobile wallet are that they allow customers to shop and purchase without transferring sensitive payment information over to merchants via a standard debit or credit card terminal. This added level of security, combined with the convenience and flexibility of standard payment processing and the ability to shop easily using a mobile smart device, all add up to why mobile wallets are an emerging trend and gaining momentum.
Visa is hoping this trend will continue to develop and take their existing credit and debit card business in new directions. For more info on this platform by Visa, visit www.v.me.
By Evo Canada Merchant Services
This pay-at-the-counter device is the perfect solution for high-traffic / high-volume retail, restaurant and service environments looking for a hassle free and complete point-of-sale option. Boasting a lightweight hand-over device perfect for end-consumer usage at cash registers, the terminal is equally suited to multi-lane environments.
Complete with a powerful user-friendly PIN Pad and extensive POS capabilities, the Verifone VX810 Duet leaves merchants with many options to expand. Using the Electronic Cash Register interface (ECRi), the device can be connected to existing POS systems enabling control of transactions directly from the cash register if needed and compatible.
Entirely secure, the VX810 Duet is backed by 3DES encryption, Master/Session and DUKPT key management, is PCI PED approved and uses VeriShield authentication to keep all transactions covered and safe.
Through a simple set-up, the VX810 Duet is easy to implement and does not require additional certification for merchants, bringing you EMV capabilities right away!
Connections are all around us, from daily use of smartphones to highly enabled Web 2.0 sites, people and businesses communicate and transact in more ways than ever before. Many look solely to technological advancement, as the catalyst for innovation but what we often forget is the work that goes on before a new technology comes to life.
A simple idea based on the desire to fulfill a need generally forms the basis for technological advancement. In order to properly understand what needs are left unfilled, one must have a clear understanding of their respective “ecosystem” in order to find solutions to current and/or future problems.
As for payment processing, there are a plethora of options merchants may or may not know are out there and need guidance to decide on what may be the best for their business and customers. Further, more people are interacting and sharing info with brands and products of preference, creating a world of opportunity on how to use this data to connect longer and deeper with customers.
Merchant service providers are at the frontline of technology and understanding the needs of customers. They are trained to be knowledgeable on emerging technology and grasp the fundamentals of each of their client’s “ecosystems” and business infrastructures. As such, they can provide insights into how to optimize payment-processing systems and connect with customers on new levels by incorporating technology.
Work with a merchant service provider more closely and go beyond basic payment processing needs to brainstorm new ideas. Instead of viewing technology as innovation, see it more as a tool for business advancement and get “hyper-connected” to customers sooner.
By Evo Canada Merchant Services
The recent US Thanksgiving holiday weekend showed positive retail sales comparatives to the previous year, indicating that the economy is showing signs of improvement.
Shoppers were out and about in abundance, both in traditional retail and online before, during and after one of the most important holiday seasons for US retail. As online retail sales continue to trend upwards, so has the rise of mobile purchases and this holiday season was exceptionally positive for this emerging sector.
IBM’s Coremetrics retail data division stated an annual increase of 39% in online sales over last year with significance on emerging mobile shopping trends. Consumers opting for mobile devices to visit retailers’ websites versus traditional computers or laptops, rose from 6.45% in 2010 to 15.2% this year and actual consumers making an online purchase increased to 11.09% up from 4.25% in 2010.
eBay has termed this emerging trend as “couch commerce” where most consumers find time in-between turkey, football and family, to surf and shop the web from the comfort of their living room using a tablet or mobile device.
As shopping gets more “comfortable” and more mobile devices become accessible to the general population, perhaps we’ll finally see the end to the massive pile-ups of people running into stores on US’s Black Friday and Canada’s Boxing Day.
With exciting new features and innovative apps, Blackberry smartphones running this next generation operating system have gotten the facelift needed. Armed with liquid graphics technology, ultra-quick web browsing speed, breakthrough technology and the revolutionary BBM messaging service, it’s all the Blackberry functionality you’ve come to not be able to live with out, now on a whole new level.
Experience what is called “augmented reality” through Wikitude’s Blackberry’s app which connects to the upgraded social media BBM messaging service that allows users to see if friends are close by, read reviews on restaurants in the near vicinity or get stories behind interesting landmarks, all on the go!
Incorporating NFC (near field communication) technology right into the smartphone itself, a Blackberry device can link-up to other NFC enabled devices or accessories with a new, one tap feature. This technology also lends itself to the emerging “digital wallet” trend and can host mobile payment apps as well.
Checkout all Blackberry related products, the new OS 7 and tons more over at Blackberry’s site.
The largest social media conference in Canada brings to light the many aspects of social media and more importantly how to capitalize on the various platforms to drive revenue. Focusing on four themes throughout the day, participants will hear from guest speakers on topics revolving around social gaming and how this market will surpass $2 billion in revenue in 2011, mobile platforms, and measuring social media campaign effectiveness and how to create revenue opportunities through content, apps and more.
Speaker’s range from Brian Carter, CEO of FanReach to Jim Hedger, acclaimed SEO specialist and attorney David M. Adler who specializes in intellectual property law. The full-day conference will largely focus on each of their presentations with a vendor workshop scheduled mid-day.
Produced by industry collaborators Mediabistro, Socialtimes and AllFacebook, the event will be held on January 27th, 2012 at St. Andrew’s Club & Conference Centre, kicking-off at 9am sharp. Early entry fee cost to participants is $249 CAD if booked on or before December 15th.
For more information and all conference info, including accommodation suggestions, please visit www.mediabistro.com/socialize.