E-Commerce and Analytics Events 2013 (DE,EU)

The dates for the most important events in the e-commerce and analytics world (Germany and Europe) for 2013:

Start End Event Location
23.01.2013 24.01.2013 9. Jahreskongress Online Handel Bonn (Germany)
21.02.2013 21.02.2013 Social Media Conference München (Germany)
05.03.2013 09.03.2013 CeBIT Hannover (Germany)
19.03.2013 20.03.2013 Internetworld, E-Commerce Expo München (Germany)
19.03.2013 20.03.2013 Affiliate TactixX München (Germany)
26.03.2013 26.03.2013 Content-Marketing Conference 2.0 Köln (Germany)
31.03.2013 31.03.2013 eMetrics Summit, Conference Stockholm (Sweden)
09.04.2013 10.04.2013 SMX, Search Marketing Expo München (Germany)
22.04.2013 24.04.2013 i-Bizz Expo Dortmund (Germany)
24.04.2013 25.04.2013 IT & Media, Expo and Conference Darmstadt (Germany)
26.04.2013 26.04.2013 SEMSEO Hannover (Germany)
30.04.2013 30.04.2013 eMetrics Summit, Conference Berlin (Germany)
13.05.2013 15.05.2013 iico 2013, Infopark Internet Conference Berlin (Germany)
03.06.2013 05.06.2013 webinale, Conference Berlin (Germany)
12.06.2013 13.06.2013 x change Conference Berlin (Germany)
18.09.2013 19.09.2013 dmexco, Expo and Conference Köln (Germany)
06.11.2013 07.11.2013 etailment Summit, Lead Congress and Expo Berlin (Germany)

 

No responsibility is taken for the correctness of this information.

 

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5 rules for success

The following tactical rules for business are derived from other peoples posts and (some of them) are slightly paraphrased by me. These rules will help in many situations at work – and I teach them. I do not want to get any credit for writing these rules down – I simply need a place to link to – whenever I am asked for advise ;o)

  1. Do not assume anything!
  2. If in doubt – ask!
  3. Think for yourself!
  4. Prepare for failure! (Have a plan B!)
  5. Act!

 

Rule 1: Do not assume anything!

Ever heard that ” I thought that …”  when things went terribly wrong?  Try not to act on unsafe ground. Either you know something or you don’t.  If you do things without a good reason you increase your chances of failure. Do what you have to do – if you know what to do. If you don’t know -> apply rule number 2 and 3.

Rule 2: If in doubt – ask!

The 2nd rule addresses the fact that people often  hesitate to ask -when they better should ask. Those people must rely heavily on assumptions and are thus much more likely to fail.

Rule 3: Think for yourself!

Sometimes people do not apply the fundamental principles of logic. They trust too much in things that others say – and do not double check for themselves. If you apply rule number 2 – always think twice and double check!

Rule 4: Prepare for failure! (Have a plan B!)

Even if we stick to rule number 1 – 3 and consider ourselves to be quiet intelligent beings – The truth is we are not as brilliant as we would like to be and things go wrong – sometimes they go terribly wrong. Be prepared to fail, even if you believe you are the most brilliant thinker and strategist on earth. Prepare a plan B so you can act fast in case of failure.

Rule 5: Act!

Do not wait too long and think too long. If you do not act you increase the chances that something goes wrong dramatically. Some people are so afraid to make mistakes that they do not act at all. But be aware that:

  • Not acting when action is necessary is considered to be a major failure.
  • If you make a mistake you will have a chance to learn, recover and repair. And after a “learn, recover and repair” things will be better than if you did not act at all.
That’s it. Please post your comments so I can rework the rules or add new ones.

[Simplicity #1] – Accessibility

 

There is much talk about accessibility in the public sector, mostly due to legal requirements and equality of treatment.

So accessibility is often an issue that seems to bug people and many ecommerce managers think that accessibility is a chore that keeps them away from making a nice and good looking shop.

Maybe that’s true – but a ecommerce manager is not a artist, he or she is not a wizard of beauty or self-realization. The job of a ecommerce manager is (unsurprisingly) to make money.

So – Why is accessibility good? – It makes your shop sell more, it helps you to make money!

As you might know about a third of the population is handicapped in the one or other way. When talking about handicaps you might think about wheelchairs or blind people. In fact there are much more handicaps and, from a commercial perspective, more annoying handicaps:

  • Many people suffer from text blindness
  • Many people have bad eyes and can not read a text that is printed too small
  • Many people are not as intelligent as we would whish them to be
  • Some people, but still a considerable number, are blind and will use a screen reader

Accessibility will make you reach more people and will make them understand what they can do with the things you offer.

How much would a consultant charge you for increasing your audience by 30 % ?

How much will you pay for this consultant ? Nothing – You can do this your self by making your site accessible!

And this exactly what every going SEO consultant will tell you: “Make your site accessible for humans and the search engines will honor it.”

Most search engines just behave like screen readers, they ‘understand’ text, they will not understand the meaning of images.

Take a look at your site in pure text form, strip off all images and the visual hassle. Then you will have a ‘structural pure’ view of what your site is. Many managers are surprised by the lack of information their site shows when all images are gone.

This ‘Zen’ of website development will hopefully lead you towards a purer look on your site. Then ask your self some of Kant’s questions:

  1. What can I know?
  2. What shall I do?
  3. What can we hope for?

Look at these questions from the perspective of one of the visitors of your site!

Translated to that perspective the questions sound like:

  1. What’s that site all about?
  2. What can I do with this site and how is it done?
  3. How will this site help me?

Again look at the fundamentals (the pure text) of your site and find out, whether you answer those questions of your visitors.

When you are focused on the pure essence of your site and you are sure that every visitor will be able to handle your site – then again it is time to add sugar and think about graphics, visual appearance and beauty.

I do not suggest to to have a ugly looking site, instead I suggest to have a good site full of content –  that just looks fine. Make use of the design paradigm  used to do in other parts of the real world —
‘Form follows function’.

  1. Have to have a clear vision of what your site is all about.
  2. Plan how your users shall make use of your site in every detail.
  3. Build your site and make it look appealing.
  4. Make people use your site.
  5. Measure success and failure.
  6. Learn from your measurements.
  7. Start again at 1. and keep on iterating. (hopefully for ever)

In my next post, I will go into details on accessibility.

The KISSS paradigm

Keep it simple small and stupid

This means make your shop do one thing and make it well. This means make it sell do not try to make it do any thing else. (stupidity paradigm)

Don’t try to sell everything possible good you can think of! Amazon already does. Nobody wants your shop to be Amazon number two. Instead be ‘YourShop’ number one! Focus on your special audience, give good recommendations. Take care of your customers. This again sounds simple – ‘yes’ it is the online version of a small highly special real world shop. But – it maybe surprising – the online world is part of a real world. (small)

To keep it simple is maybe the hardest of the three ‘s’. I think there will be a number of following posts that will take care of this paradigm.

Additionally we will have to ask ourselves: ‘What is simple?’, ‘What do my users expect?’, ‘What will statutory requirement say?’

I will try to answer those questions in the my next posts.

After spending a few words on hardware an OS, I will go back and talk about shops.

My recent postings were quiet general statements like ‘try to make a good first impression’, ‘do not bug your users’, ‘don’t surprise your users’.

You can not overestimate the importance of these simple ‘rules’ and you can not overestimate the number of times that ecommerce managers don’t follow these rules. Maybe they are too busy or or simply agnostic of these simple facts.

Know your shop and know your audience

Like every (realworld) shop owner, you should know what you sell and who your customers are.
Ask your self some simple questions:

  • Who are my users?
  • How much can I sell to them?
  • What problem will I solve for my users?
  • Why will they buy in my shop and not in any other shop?

Write down the answers and later come back and check if your estimates are right.
Check whether your shop is like the shop you want.
Check if you sell the products that your audience needs.

Yes this sounds trivial … but it is not. This is an ongoing task.
Times change, and we have to change with them