Development

Internet of Things Trends for 2018

Internet of Things (IoT) is a transformative trend making big splashes. With the booming ecosystem of 20 billion connected devices announcing its triumph and widespread adoption on the roll in major industries, it needs no introduction. The only question is what facet of it will manifest the most, and reshape modern products, workflows, and processes. Well, this year will not be the time of IoT revolution as much as it will be the year of infrastructure consolidation, increased investment, and steady growth. The driving force behind these developments comes in the form of following prominent trends.

● Poised for growth

On the broadest level, we see that the whole IoT sector is primed for dynamic growth. More and more devices are coming online with each passing day. By 2030, we could reach a threshold of 30 billion connected pieces. The consumer segment will have the largest share of IoT installed base. Moreover, a lion’s share of the market will be dominated by businesses offering wearable devices, industrial equipment, smart/automated home tech, and high-tech cars.  Retail, supply, and healthcare sector are not lagging behind. In fact, they are expected to undergo a phase of rapid growth as well.

● Increased fragmentation

On the flipside, this proliferation breeds the so-called “fragmentation frustration”. Namely, growth in the area of as-a-service (aaS) and cloud solutions has shown that fragmentation poses a tough challenge for companies. Adoption is not really frictionless and it demands a considerable investment of resources. There are also many compatibility issues because we will have to wait a bit more for device standardization and certification to really kick in. Those who struggle will likely have to rely on leading Internet of Things agencies for everything from strategizing to custom tool implementation.

● IoT and OT convergence

Traditionally, IoT and Operational Technology (OT) were separate domains. Nowadays, however, the gap is becoming narrower. Many companies are realizing the advantage of IoT and OT teams working hand in hand towards more efficient deployment of new solutions and initiatives. What is more, OT will have a profound impact on the design of IoT apps in 2018. They will be more friendly and accessible to end users, such as field workers and plant operators. The advantage is clear: operational decisions can be reached in real-time, by those who are closest to the workflow.

● Heightened security risks

Data breaches galore raise many eyebrows and for good reasons too. Undermined cybersecurity is yet another byproduct of soaring IoT growth. As they become more complex, networks also include more loopholes that have to be addressed. And this is no task for amateurs. Attack surface is bigger than ever, cyber threats are becoming more sophisticated, and the environment is largely unregulated. It is up to users to come up with tools and measures for preserving privacy and data safety. Note also that most attacks will be motivated by financial gains and seek to exploit IoT vulnerabilities.

● Mobile gains dominance

The shift towards a mobile-first internet world is old news already, but are we heading towards the mobile-only frontier? This kind of prediction might be premature, but there are signs that mobile platforms are being increasingly used as management systems for IoT devices. Both early adopters and late-comers are transitioning and the booming mobile market will only fuel this tendency. On the other hand, IoT is likely to change the way mobile apps are made. These products will work via new modes of connectivity and lean towards the native and hybrid end of the market.

● Data processing remains a challenges

Staying on top of the immense influx of data across channels is a daunting task, which lies beyond the capacity of human workers. Companies will have to step up the game and use more refined and cheaper methods of processing big data. In this day and age, trends like edge networking and hardened legacy frameworks are a necessity more than anything else because they lead to less network demand and operating costs. And to really harness value from vast data pools, businesses will seek to employ advanced (AI) analytics and machine learning tools capable of real-time data streaming.

● Conclusion

Despite noticeable growing pains and a handful of hurdles, 2018 paves a promising trajectory for gains in connectivity. From there, we can see IoT only going up and up. It is slowly becoming the backbone of consumer value and mainstay of the business growth across industry sectors. Yet, the full potential of this technology is still being realized. We will need even more powerful analytics, machine learning, and AI systems to support rapidly expanding IoT space.  One thing is for certain, though. We are witnessing the emergence of large inroads that will carry this cutting-edge technology to grow and evolve beyond imagination.

References:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/danielnewman/2017/12/19/the-top-8-iot-trends-for-2018/#514e3ff267f7

https://www.statista.com/topics/2637/internet-of-things/

https://www.cio.com/article/3246630/internet-of-things/6-internet-of-things-trends-that-will-dominate-2018.html

https://www.forbes.com/sites/bernardmarr/2018/01/04/the-internet-of-things-iot-will-be-massive-in-2018-here-are-the-4-predictions-from-ibm/#8a71fe8edd33

http://www.digitalaptech.com/3-ways-iot-is-changing-the-future-of-mobile-applications-development/

Insights

A beginner’s guide to crypto currency wallets

If you’re just getting started with cryptocurrencies you’ll probably agree that wallets can be a bit of a pain. There is often a relatively big learning curve that comes with effectively trading, sending & receiving and actually using crypto – all of which need a wallet to do so.

In this post, I’ll quickly dive into some of the key elements of a crypto wallet which will help beginners get started.

Hopefully, in the future, and with new technologies being developed, wallets and storing of crypto funds will become very simple.

We definitely need crypto to be at the lowest barrier to entry as possible in order to spur mass adoption. However, for now, you should sit back, take a few notes and get ready to learn a few things.

What is a cryptocurrency wallet?

In its very basic form, a wallet represents a cryptocurrency investor’s bank account. It’s program that stores private and public keys and helps the user interact with blockchain technology in order to use cryptocurrency. Your cryptocurrency isn’t really stored on your wallet but instead lives on the blockchain. Your wallet gives you access to it.

Different types of wallets

Seeing a wallet as a piece of software will help you understand the different types better. There are many different types of wallets but as a beginner, you’ll only need to understand the following:

Desktop wallets: A popular desktop wallet example is Exodus which is able to host a range of ERC20 (Ethereum blockchain) tokens and many of the biggest names such as Bitcoin, Litecoin, EOS etc.

Mobile wallets: Mobile wallets come in the shape of a mobile application. Using a mobile wallet means that your crypto is always with you, but it’s a little less user-friendly compared to desktop wallets. If you’d like to install a mobile wallet, give Eidoo a try.

Online wallets: When you register on a cryptocurrency exchange, that exchange creates a wallet for each of the tokens that you trade. It is possible to store all your crypto on online or exchange wallets, but it always comes with some risk as hackers love going after crypto exchanges. Some of the biggest crypto hacks include the $460 million Mt Gox hack of 2014.

Tips for security

Wallet security can a very technical and complicated process. However, there are some basic principals you can follow to keep your crypto safe.

  • Make backups of your private keys on multiple storage devices. Some people even print copies and store them in safety deposit boxes.
  • Never share your private keys with anyone.
  • Watch out for scam or phishing sites that try to steal your information. This is especially important with regards to online or exchange wallets. Always make sure you are on the site you need to be and not a fake copy of it.

Tips for transferring coins between wallets

When it comes to paying for something with cryptocurrency you own, it requires some concentration and a little know-how. Let’s say you want to invest in an ICO and the ICO only accepts Bitcoin as payment for their tokens.

In order to purchase their tokens, you’ll need to own Bitcoin. Next, you’ll want to access your wallet whether it’s desktop, mobile or based online. You’ll need to navigate towards your Bitcoin wallet and send the appropriate investment amount to the ICO’s Bitcoin wallet address.

It needs to be from a Bitcoin address to a Bitcoin address otherwise it won’t work. Follow the same principle for any other cryptocurrency you use.

Never try to type a crypto address, always copy and paste it to avoid making mistakes.

I want to participate in an airdrop, what type of wallet should I use?

It’s best to follow instructions given to each specific airdrop. However, as most ICO projects and airdrops, as discussed on The Crypto Coin Authority Blog, are based on the Ethereum blockchain, you’ll need an ERC20 supported wallet. For this, you can either use Eidoo as mentioned above or MetaMask which is a popular browser-based wallet.

Which wallet should I get started with?

It all depends on what cryptocurrencies you plan on investing in. If you plan on getting some of the big names like Bitcoin or Ethereum then a simple mobile or desktop wallet as previously mentioned will work fine.

You’ll need an exchange wallet to trade, but that gets set up when you register for the exchange. Some cryptocurrency has their own wallet that you’ll need to set up in order to own those tokens.

The same principals apply as with most desktop and mobile wallets.

Moving forward

There you have it, very simple and basic advice on cryptocurrency wallets – perfect for a beginner getting started with their first piece of the cryptocurrency market! Keep in mind that this guide is very basic and there is much more to learn.

However, that’s the beauty of cryptocurrency, there is always something new to learn. Now it’s your turn to go out and start a journey of a lifetime!

Development

A Road To The Future: The Who, What And Why Of Smart Roads

In a time where it seems that everything is linked to technology: our homes, our cities and of course, ourselves, it is no surprise that there is a view to introducing such practices to something that many of us travel along every day: roads.

Smart roads, much like smart homes and smart cities, have been devised to aid commuters in making their journeys a much more interactive experience.

The plan is to revamp the way we see our highways and streets to provide live feedback on traffic, weather, and road conditions and find solutions towards harnessing and generating solar energy to help usher in the age of autonomous vehicles.

Benefits of Smart Roads

Everybody, at one point or another, has experienced the loathsome drag of sitting in traffic that stretches as far as the eye can see. We have all found ourselves coming across an unexpected delay that disrupts the journey and leads to apologetic phone calls explaining that arrival may be a little bit later than expected.

Smart roads look to eliminate such issues. There are those digital road signs which inform you of slow traffic in the next ten miles, there are those that warn to slow down due to motor accidents, but this technology is painfully outdated and there is no guarantee that everyone will pay attention when passing them.

So, what if you could receive this information directly to your vehicle way ahead of time and suggesting alternate routes without the grating whine of Google Maps telling you over and over again to turn around? Having traffic information sent directly to your dashboard will warn you ahead of time if you need to make adjustments to your route.

Another positive is the ability to generate solar energy to help light the way, as well as aid the charging of autonomous cars to reduce battery loss.

The emphasis on green, renewable energy has encouraged people to look towards alternative methods of transport such as carpooling, public transport, or cycling. This is not always possible for long commutes, though, and so there are still many cars on the road that produce carbon emissions every day, to and from destinations.

Using solar energy will allow for a reduction in such emissions. As more people adopt electric or autonomous cars, the added bonus of charging-while-driving offered by smart roads will demonstrate a reduction in harmful gases polluting the air every day.

Challenges in Transition

There are however challenges associated with making the transition from traditional roads to smart roads. Currently, the primary reason is that not enough people own cars that would benefit such adaptations.

While there has been a surge in purchases in the last four years, there are just 150,000 owners of electric cars registered in the UK. It is not yet viable for governments to implement smart roads across the country because the market share does not suggest such actions would be a sound investment.

As autonomous are not yet commercialized, the cost to undertake these changes would not be beneficial. As attractive as a self-driving car might seem to some, there are still doubts regarding their safety. The recent Uber accident has brought many people back down to earth and made them realize that even though we have the technology, a driverless future is still far from reality.

Prominent Smart Road Nations

Wanting to stay ahead of the curve and demonstrate a willingness to start thinking about the planet, there are a number of nations that are committed to working on, developing and eventually introducing smart roads across their land.

Thoughts immediately go to the likes of the USA, the home of prominent electric vehicles like Tesla, but it is not just Elon Musk and his merry band of geniuses, as well as Smart America, who are focusing on such developments. Just recently, Sweden introduced their first smart road that charges electric vehicles while driving.

The road itself is merely a pilot scheme covering a two-kilometer stretch just outside Stockholm, but should it prove successful, it shows that this technology can be effective and might even prompt more people to invest in electric cars.

Smart Roads in the United Kingdom, http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/5251763
(Copyright Bill Boaden and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.)

Countries such as the UK have also been planning for smart roads for some time and have recently begun to implement these in 2017/2018 as seen above. In 2015 testing for charging-while driving began to solve the long commute issue. Another country that appears to be leading the way is China, which has been working on their first-generation smart road products that include solar panels generating energy.

New Road, New Technology

Solutions to adapting our roads from the old ways to the new may not entirely remove the potential for road damage, but they can help in other ways. Solar energy is now cheaper to develop than ever before, and using this to help power streetlights and road markings will reduce the amount of electricity needed to be produced.

Norway is working on fiber-optic technology to install under the surface that records information about passing traffic to provide real-time updates to drivers and help them understand what to expect during their journey.

Sweden’s aforementioned smart road utilizes charging strips along the roads, assisted by a robotic arm that connects to such strips while driving. It is not that the driver can sit back and relax – they are still responsible for steering – but the charging strip will help them avoid needing to stop and charge during long journeys and keep the car powered throughout.

Linking the roads themselves to vehicles through the Internet of Things will make the typical travel experience much more interactive. Traffic updates, roads that honk, renewable energy are all aspects that can be considered for inclusion.

A Road To The Future

Technology is always looking for solutions to make our lives easier. Smart roads have the potential to be just what weary commuters are looking for. Autonomous vehicles working in tandem with smart roads would allow for some extra sleep on the way to work, help towards fixing the environment and perhaps even solve congestion issues on busy highways.

While there is certain to be delays and issues with the installation of smart roads, finding the right systems that benefit both the driver and the planet will help other nations adapt and develop similar technologies for their own use. Countries such as the USA, UK, Sweden, Norway and China have already begun, should their methods prove successful, the rest of the journey could be easy riding.

Insights

6 Ways Micro-Influencers Will Increase Your Sales In 2018

Everyone is talking about it, most brands have tried it, and others remain skeptical. What is it? Influencer Marketing. The current buzzword and latest social media marketing trend is a popular way to grow brand reach, social media following and most – importantly, sales.

What Is Influencer Marketing?

Influencer marketing is a word-of-mouth marketing strategy that involves identifying and engaging with influencers and their followers by sharing content, thoughts, and opinions online about a brand’s products, services, and experiences. As mentioned, many big brands rely on the use of influencers and have taken full advantage of its provided success. Daniel Wellington, Frank Body, Triangl Swimwear, Coachella, … just to name a few who have reaped the benefits.

 

Depending on your brand, your campaign objectives, as well as your budget, that will define what type of influencer you decide to partner with. There are three types of influencers: micro, macro, and celebrity.

How Micro-Influencers Can Increase Sales  

TapInfluence partnered with Nielsen Catalina Solutions in 2016 which revealed that influencer marketing generates 11 times the ROI of traditional digital marketing. So… just exactly how can micro-influencers increase your sales?  Check out our 6 ways that micro-influencers will increase your sales in 2018!

Reach

By selecting the right influencers, you gain access to their niche following base.

Believe it or not, it can be better if your influencer’s audience it relatively small, especially if you have a specialized product offering. You want your influencers to reach audience members who are most likely to participate in the call-to-action and become your customer. By utilizing a micro-influencer campaign, you are able to reach a new set of users who would be interested in your product but might not have otherwise known or shown interest in your brand without being backed by a credible influencer.  

Brand Messaging

Partner with a micro-influencer that resonates with your brand. You will want to find an influencer whose audience isn’t so large that your message will get lost, but also large enough that your message will reach potential qualified leads.

Developing your brand message is crucial for awareness, therefore, you want it to remain consistent even throughout the influencer marketing campaign process. Although you want the brand messaging to remain the same, don’t restrict the influencers access to creative control. They know what their followers best engage and interact via certain language and design, and they too need to remain authentic.  

Trust

Successful influencer marketing depends on trust. Influencers are known to have their followers best interests in mind when posting, which makes them credible and trustworthy. Typically, consumers trust their peers and the recommendations they provide, hence why brand marketers are turning to influencer marketing. This is because micro-influencers remain unbiased as the relationship is based off similar beliefs and values and not-necessarily a paid advertisement, whereas a celebrity-influencer receives compensation for their posts. Trust isn’t only found in the influencers, due to this strategy is also establishes consumer trust for a company.

Loyalty

Influencer marketing allows for brands to build loyalty through influencers themselves. By choosing an influencer who personally reflects the brand’s values, the organization can leverage that influencer to increase customer loyalty.  

Trackable Sales

Tracking sales can be difficult to begin with, and adding in an influencer marketing campaign just makes the process even more complicated. This is because the sales cycle can extend beyond just the campaign, making continual tracking essential for measurement and results purposes. There are a few ways to track influencer marketing-powered sales via UTM parameters such as comment to buy, tracking pixels, x-hour window, retargeting, promo codes.

Engagement

Research conducted by PWC shows that revenue growth is tied to customer engagement. With micro-influencers, you are guaranteed to have higher engagement. Another study by HelloSociety revealed that micro-influencers are able to generate 60% higher engagement than other traditional means. Due to the strong relationship and sense of community established between the influencer and their followers, they are more likely to interact with posts. Engagement is created through consistent communication with their followers. Engagement can be measured by reviewing social analytics such as clicks, likes, reactions, shares, comments, and mentions.

Influencer marketing is truly a growing and effective trend. If you haven’t done so already, definitely explore this marketing strategy for your brand. To recap, working with a micro-influencer to promote your products provides you with access to a larger reach, strengthens your brand messaging, builds trust and loyalty, provides you with trackable sales, as well as increased engagement levels. When you’re successful complete with your micro-influencer marketing campaign, you will have boosted sales.

Want to know more about this topic and how to get started with your own campaign? Reach out to our friends at Socialpeeks, as they promise that the “results of influencer marketing have shown to have one of the highest ROI of any digital marketing activity”.

 

Author:

Brooklynn Boyer is Marketing Director for Socialpeeks, a marketing technology company that runs wildly successful influencer marketing campaigns with the help of its campaign management team. Visit www.socialpeeks.com to learn more.

Insights

Choosing a Domain Name That’s Right for Your Website

Before your new site can take the web by storm, you’ll need to decide on a suitable domain name. Unfortunately, this is often easier said than done. Whether this is their first site or one of many, a fair number of site owners fail to put in the proper amount of effort when selecting domain names. Tackling the name selection process with a lackadaisical attitude can have a number of far-reaching consequences, most notably low search engine rankings and confusion on the part of visitors. Luckily, choosing a name that perfectly suits your site doesn’t have to be an uphill battle. Putting the following tips to good use will ensure that your site receives the domain name it deserves.

Utilize Relevant Keywords

When creating a domain name, it’s important to give prospective visitors a solid idea of what your site’s all about. This will help keep confusion to a minimum and improve your chances of receiving a favorable search engine ranking. For best results, choose words that emphasize the specific field your sites cater to and any services you may offer. For example, if your site is meant to promote a hamburger restaurant in Austin, TX, your domain name should be something along the lines of “BestBurgersAustin.com” or “AustinBurgers.com.” In the search for premium domain names, the importance of clear-cut keywords cannot be overstated.

Keep it Short

In the digital age, people are bombarded by information from all fronts. Whether surfing the web, watching television or checking social media, most people are constantly processing new info at a relentless pace. That being the case, it’s in your best interest to keep things brief when deciding on a domain name for your website. Not only will this make your domain name easy to remember, it will ensure that it can easily be typed as well. For best results, make a point of limiting your domain name to no more than three words. Additionally, if possible, make these words as short as possible. The shorter the name, the more likely it is to make a lasting impression on prospective visitors suffering from information overload.

Limit Your Use of Symbols

In the quest to create a catchy, concise domain name, take care to limit your use of numbers, hyphens and other symbols. The inclusion of any of these items can make domain names very cumbersome to type, thereby increasing the likelihood of typos and misdirected visitors. Regardless of what area of interest your website serves, odds are it has its fair share of competition – and prospective visitors won’t hesitate to hit up one of your competitors if accessing your site becomes a chore. While it’s true that a small number of successful websites have domain names that break this cardinal rule, these represent rare exceptions.

Choosing the right domain name can seem like a daunting prospect, particularly for first-time site owners. However, with the right tips at your disposal, this doesn’t have to be the case. Keyword integration, brevity and the exclusion of unnecessary will all serve you well in your efforts to craft the perfect domain name.

Martech

How to use live videos to grow your business

An important element of crafting a winning content marketing strategy is live video. The tribe of content marketers leveraging Facebook live video and YouTube live streaming is multiplying. This can be attributed to the fact that YouTube has an estimated 1.5 billion active monthly users and stands second to Facebook. Facebook has an estimated 2 billion active monthly users. The numbers are colossal!

Can live videos be used to grow and build a business? Yes!

According to Facebook, users are 3 times as likely to watch a live video as compared to a non-live video. Facebook live video and live YouTube streaming can help you generate business leads, acquire new customers and retain the existing core base.

According to Statista, Facebook live and YouTube are the go-to platforms for streaming live videos. Let’s look at the state of live video streaming platforms.

Platform

Preference Percentage

Facebook Live

17%

YouTube

16%

Snapchat Live Stories

12%

Periscope

9%

Twitter

9%

YouNow

8%

Others

5%

Here is an informative account on how to use live videos to grow your business and make money live streaming.

#1: Host a live session

Thinking of hosting an on-location event?  Have you finalized the venue? Have you taken overhead costs such as food, transportation, stationery (books, pens, etc.), etc., into consideration?

Here is a simple and cost-effective solution – Broadcast live so that you can do away with over-head costs. Only a small number of your audiences will be able to join you for an on-location event. By hosting a live session, you can target a big chunk of audiences.

#2: Answer questions

Content marketers and influencers are known to write informative and insightful blogs. Audiences may post their queries and concerns in the comments section. It may take a day or two for the influencers to answer all the questions. Sometimes, it may take a week. In all likelihood, questions may be repetitive and extremely complicated. Providing lengthy answers is not a viable solution. Lengthy blog posts and answers can eat up your valuable time.

Shouldn’t customer service be top-notch? If yes, how should you ration time between doubts clarification and promotion? YouTube live streaming and Facebook live video are here to help.

You can use Facebook live video to host a Q&A session. This encourages audiences to tune into live video sessions. They can get their doubts, concerns and issues addressed sans any delay.

#3: Give audiences behind-the-scenes videos

Audiences are keen on learning about how you work. They want to know more about your core competencies. They want to know how you treat your employees. Introduce your staff to your viewers. If you give your audiences an inside look at your business, they are likely to be delighted.

Let’s say you make ice creams and dairy products. Dairy industry in the US is messed up completely. Cows are exploited a big time. For all intents and purposes, your business can be a first class exception. You can show your customers how you treat and how much you care for animals. You can broadcast the entire quality inspection process. 

Such videos can improve customer confidence in your brand and boost your sales

#4: Conduct live tutorial sessions

I use Facebook Live to explain complex processes and methodologies. I have expertise in using Adobe Photoshop. I organize live tutorial sessions to explain how to efficiently use Photoshop software. ‘

I also maintain a Facebook group and more often than not, I give free mini-courses to the members.

Audiences may not be receptive to lengthy blog posts. However, they connect well with live videos.

#5: Host Product / Service Launch sessions

Thinking of launching a brand new product/service?

People go crazy during product launch sessions. This is one of the reasons why Apple announces new product launches, upgrades, and redesigns by hosting live sessions. Check out Apple’s archive of product launches and services. You will gain a mountain of knowledge!

#6: Promote your scheduled events

Still using Twitter to promote your upcoming events? There is little harm in resorting to traditional techniques. But did you ever think of using live videos? Create a post to keep your audiences informed on your special announcements. When you go live, unfold the specifics and details of your upcoming event

Don’t forget to share your easy-to-remember URL. It is likely that viewers may not have enough time to write it down. It’s best to post the link in the comments section. It’s easy to create easy-to-remember URLs. Use tools like Bitly.

#7: Generate huge product pre-launch buzz

For all intents and purposes, you can bet your chances on YouTube live streaming to generate huge product pre-launch buzz. Let’s say you have a shipment of an innovative product which is yet to hit the markets. Tease your audiences by using a live video. By teasing your audiences, you are building excitement.

Provide a link to take pre-orders. If your prospective customers have any doubts, clarify then and there. Capitalize on the excitement!

#8: Share breaking news

Be the first one to share industry relevant breaking news. Share your opinion(s) on how exciting or terrible the news can be. Tell your audiences to keep viewing your timeline for updates and events.

#9: Go live with an industry influencer

Invite an industry influencer or an opinion leader. Do a live interview with him / her. Your leads are likely to multiply.

Final Thoughts

It’s important to focus on the quality of live videos. Purchase a tripod and a stabilizer to stabilize your videos. Shaky content is loathed by audiences. If you are keen on doing live streaming with a smartphone, invest in a tripod mount. And yes, optimal lighting is also mandatory. Purchase a portable LED lighting solution. Nobody likes dark and poor quality videos.

Found this post useful and insightful? Keep watching this space for more informative content on Facebook live video and YouTube live streaming. Cheers!

Development

How Live Streaming Platforms Are Spawning New Industries

A lot is written about the effect that the streaming era might have on television. The widespread assumption is that a growing variety of streaming options are giving birth to a generation of “cord cutters” who will ultimately dismiss television (and perhaps movie theaters as well) entirely. The data backs up the idea. A 2017 analysis revealed that while the transition is somewhat slow (a predicted decline of 1.5% a year in cable subscriptions over the next decade), it is happening. The notion of conventional viewing entertainment may look very different in a matter of years.

What we don’t spend as much time writing or talking about however is that the emergence of “streaming” as its own portion of the Internet is also spawning new entertainment industries altogether. It allows those who enjoy television, film, gaming, etc. to have more control over what content they access, and in some cases, it even enables closer interaction with that content.

The clearest examples of this can be found in some of the newer streaming options that have become available to consumers. YouTube TV may be the first that comes to mind – a platform that essentially operates as a more comprehensive version of Sling, providing a variety of cable channels, as well as a very robust DVR system to its users. However, while YouTube TV is certainly one of the more competitive alternatives to cable, it’s also a fairly basic concept already. It’s an adaptation more than a new concept.

We can look to more niche streaming options as indications of new industries, per se. For instance, one of the most recent to come about is ESPN+. Faced with a rapid change base of consumers with a variety of different preferences, ESPN introduced this platform not as an app version of its TV network, but rather as a sort of catch-all for interesting, streamed sports content. Users signing up for the service can enjoy everything from live games to, for instance, a new exclusive program in which ex-NBA star Kobe Bryant breaks down the tactics of a recent basketball game. Again, it’s less a version of the ESPN you can get with a basic cable package (or YouTube TV or Sling for that matter), and more an alternative form of streaming sports content.

In other areas, streaming platforms are also enabling fans to take part in the action rather than simply choose what action they’re seeing. Most notably, live streaming has become a very significant part of the online betting industry. Through platforms like YouTube and Stitch, as well as those dedicated to specific sports, games, or activities (like, say, horse racing or poker), live streaming is able to create a gaming experience that’s almost as good as being in the thick of it. In this instance, not only can fans choose their content and access it live – they can use that real-time access to make informed betting decisions on the content, should they so choose.

Taking all of these developments together, we begin to see the emergence of new industries spinning would-be television content (or in some cases events that are simulated or would never have been on TV before) into specialized and/or interactive entertainment. Streaming platforms, ultimately, have the power to give each individual almost exactly what he or she wants out of viewing entertainment. And we’re starting to see things moving slowly but surely in that direction.

Development

ECommerce Website Development Steps to Help You out Developing a Successful eCommerce Site

Time and Tide wait for none and so is the case with the increasing trend of purchases from an eCommerce website.  According to an estimation, there have been 1.66 billion people from across the globe who made the online purchases from a different eCommerce website. Based on this trend, there has been a projected growth of 4.48 trillion USD by the year of 2021. Obviously, these figures are capable enough to enchant the big names to go live to expand the reach of the customers but it is equally important to ponder over some criterion that makes your eCommerce website development a successful and fruitful venture be it the user experience or the overall performance of your website when it goes live.

Here are some intuitive tips that will definitely help you create a unique and flawless website of your dream.

  • Enchanting Design responding exactly to the visitors:

The simple message that I wish to convey here is that while you are planning to create an eCommerce website, it is inevitably crucial to take care of the Responsiveness of your website be it to a mobile device, desktop, or a tablet. It has to be so mainly because, according to a survey, 62% of mobile devices users have preferred to make their purchases through Smartphone in the past few months and the same trend are still expected to grow in numbers.

Hence it is more advisable to equip your website responsive using effective CMS platforms to make your website Smartphone user-friendly in order to grab a maximum number of customers for the products or services you are offering online.

  • Checkouts:

The most successful online businesses are expected to have the complete details of the visitors visiting their websites and for it, they need to create an ideal checkout funnel with which one can access to the information of the visitors for future follow-up and/or for the communication of new products launches.

However, every customer may not prefer to register at your website or may avoid the filling up process. And hence, it would be ideal to design the Purchase Process in such a way that the customer is required to fill the necessary details and creating an account on your website (guest purchase).

  • Ideal Site Search Options to glide through the website:

It is interesting to note here that when a visitor lands on your website, he would first prefer to go to the Search Option to select the product of his/her choice. Hence, it is desirable to equip your e-commerce website with Product Search Option with automated details filling facility which will ease the comfort of the visitors. This functionality will definitely reduce the pain of their search in terms of the size of the product, color, category, price range, availability etc.

  • Strong Security Checks:

Before you initiate your e-commerce website development, this aspect is very crucial to be taken care of. Because every individual making an online purchase expects that his/her personal information relating to his debit/credit card, bank account number, and password are secured with proper encryption of the data he is submitting online. For this, your website is required to be equipped with SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) which ensures the encryption of the data. This feature on your online website will help you earn the trust and loyalty of your customers.

  • Well Optimized Performance:

What if your e-commerce website does not act as it is expected to perform. It is the most common experience of major website handlers that when it takes too long to load a website, then the possibility of the switching over to another is always greater. And you need to take care of this element mainly because of the multi-tasking trend prevailing among today’s mobile devices users.

This load time issues can be eliminated by:

  • Combining the CSS files to boost the speed of the website in respect of the load time your website is taking.
  • In the same, graphics or images should be compressed to a comparatively small size as it would also help in reducing the load time.
  • Proper management of the data transportation between the website server and database server.

There is a law in economics, that as the demand increases, the price for the same goes down and I would love to add to it considering the current mindset and time that as the Demand increases the multiplicity of choices increases and every business needs to cope with this with an ideal e-commerce website that matches rightly with the expectations of an end-user.

Insights

The Ultimate Warning Signs Checklist of A Low-Quality Web Host [Infographic]

While mistakes are a part and parcel of doing business, some mistakes can cost you more than others. As an ever-evolving landscape, the online world is full of opportunities that can help make your business a profitable niche. However, for you to achieve success, you need to ensure that your website is built on a robust CMS, have a good domain name and has a reliable web hosting. Thus, one such common mistake, which if not rectified can negatively affect your site’s ROI is a poor quality web hosting.

A good web host is important in order to improve your site’s speed, which will help enhance user experience leading to improved ranking. It will also help improve your website security by providing you with a safe and secure framework. Additionally, it will help make integration of new software on your site easy and provide essential features like daily backup, 1-click installation and more, which will further aid in keeping your site one-step ahead of your competitors.

However, choosing a reliable web host can be a challenge, simply because there is a wide range of hosting providers to choose from. This makes the task of selecting the best from the lot difficult as mostly all claim to be the best while offering you ‘unlimited’ everything.

Thus, if you are facing this dilemma and are not sure which is the best hosting for your website then check out this web hosting warning signs infographic that will help you make the right decision. This infographic can be used as a checklist by both – those looking to purchase a web host as well as those who have already purchased one.

Comprising of 21 warning signs, this checklist will help you steer clear of terrible hosting service providers. As such, take a look at this infographic and make the most out of it!

21 Warnings That Indicate It’s Time to (Switch) Your Web Hosting Right Away[Infographic] by the team at Hostgatorcouponcode.in

Martech

Assessing Virtual Reality as a Viable Marketing Strategy

No one likes to read papers anymore. They are considered by many to be a waste of time, energy, and money in today’s era of lightning-fast media. Why should you wait for the early morning newspaper when you can simply swipe your smartphone screen and get updated without having to get out of bed?

This is a groundbreaking change in consumer behavior which is being felt across the wide commercial sphere. Sensing this transition in public taste, marketers have decided to alter their promotional techniques, shifting from old-school tactics to technologically-incorporated strategies.

One such strategy is the use of virtual reality (VR).

People love watching videos online. It’s now something we can do at any place and at any time. Now imagine if we could interact with the video content as well. This brings us back to virtual reality.

VR is a computer-generated simulation which imitates reality and enables users to actually physically interact with the artificially created visual scenario. It’s nothing short of a thrill ride, which you as a marketer can easily monetize.

The main question then becomes: is VR the new marketing vehicle? If so, will it work? 

All about the Immersion

Looking at an image of new sports equipment is one thing. Getting the chance to virtually engage with the equipment in order to test it out is an experience of a whole other level. Which one do you think would attract more leads? The second option, obviously. Why? Because it builds a much more immersive and interactive connection with the product. And it is only possible because of virtual reality.

Potential Adoptions

Businesses are continuously looking for new ways to entice young people and to convert consumers into clients. To do so, they tend to rely on social media marketing, email marketing, and content marketing. But all of this is already being done by their competitors.

So how can they stand out and get an extra advantage? By changing their groove and adopting a new innovative technology, like virtual reality, into their strategies.

In what potential sectors can VR benefit the conversion rate and bring in profits? Take a look at the following industries which can possibly implement the VR advertising strategy:

  • Travel: With VR, people can experience luxurious flights over the Atlantic Ocean and into the heart of the sunset, the best an airline has to offer, right from the comfort of their home. Or they can travel to exotic places in an artificial simulation as a part of a travel agency’s ad campaign. How cool would that be!?
  • Real Estate: Virtual reality takes traditional home viewing to a whole new level. Now, you can check out new estates and get virtual tours of properties, even ones under construction, by simply wearing a VR headset and interacting with the sellers’ avatar. Imagine, seeing the house of your dreams in VR even before its creation! In addition to this, and speaking safety-wise, you can also check out the most optimal spots for installing your wireless home security cameras, where they won’t jut out and ruin the outlook of your home.
  • Retail: People love to shop, but they can’t practically travel to a foreign market just to buy that perfect pair of sneakers, can they? So what can they do? Visit the store in VR right from their plushy armchair, and then buy whatever they like using a simple hand or head gesture. Revolutionary, right?
  • Education: Reading up on concepts in books gets boring after a while, doesn’t it? What if you could walk through the lives of famous scientists and virtually see them at their work, or visit famous landmarks right from the classroom using VR? Wouldn’t this sort of learning experience stay with you forever?
  • Music: Watching a music video is all well and good. But being able to participate and interact with the video in virtual reality is a totally phenomenal experience for users. They’d be more than willing to buy such a track using their Xfinity deals, wouldn’t they?

Gear Restriction:

Although virtual reality sounds quite promising to many businesses, there are many who are still reluctant to adopt it. Why? The main reason is the equipment hassle and cost. It is still quite cumbersome to set up, even though it provides an out-of-this-world experience.

Thus, VR gives people a preliminary choice. It allows them to virtually test a product before buying it. To expand their experiential scale. To achieve the impossible using this technology.

Though it is still in its developmental stages, it seems to modify the sphere of marketing tenfold and projects it into a progressive future.