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The hybris hubris

Posted by arjit.m on December 27, 2013 in e-Commerce Information with No Comments

“Dreams of innocence are just that; they usually depend on a denial of reality that can be its own form of hubris.” – Michael Pollen

You can check any linked in groups, forums, blogs, articles, reports associated with e-commerce. All of them have one common thing to discuss.  IS HYBRIS THE BEST THING WHICH HAS EVER HAPPENED TO E-COMMERCE?

Experts from different technical backgrounds have given their opinions on this subject. Some definitely agree with statement while others don’t. I have been searching for a definite answer to this question for past couple of months and I have come across a lot of inputs from various sources. I thought it would be a good idea to collate such inputs at a single location and then ask readers to comment on this information.

So lets begin ..

Let’s find out what people who agree with the statement that hybris is the next big thing, had to say to support their belief.

1)      IBM’s server/mainframe business is dying:  This happens to be a very compelling statement.  IBM’s recent financial reports suggest that their server business is going down and most likely it is not going to recover as clients are switching to cloud.  Therefore, IBM won’t be able to push WCS as strongly as it used to do. This gives SAP, the chance to exploit ecommerce space with hybris. However, I have also seen some IBM experts vehemently denying this fact. They say that have around 3000+ customers worldwide which is quite large when compared to hybris.  Some of these experts are confident that IBM WCS will maintain its lead for a long- long time

2)      Hybris has the most flexible technical architecture when compared with other enterprise level counterparts:  Many experts felt that Spring MVC architecture used by hybris is far more flexible than others. Surprisingly, not many IBMers came forward to counter this statement. In fact, I have seen experts from Oracle ATG claiming that ATG is more flexible. Another counter same from Magento experts who are really very confident about the flexibility offered by Magento.

3)      Technical complexity associated with hybris for hosting is much lesser:   In one of the linked in discussions, an expert mentioned that IBM developers require some sort of Black magic while hosting applications .  No one from IBM WCS came forward  to counter this argument.

4)      Strong partner network: Experts also feel that hybris has been successful in establishing a very strong partner network, in a very short time. But then many experts have also mentioned that IBM and other platforms too have similar networks.

 I haven’t come across any expert who has criticized hybris but then I have seen experts believing in one common mantra and i.e. to understand, what out of the box (OOTB) means even before you choose a platform. These experts feel that performing more customizations leads to unnecessary complexities and overheads. Therefore any platform for that matter should only be customized to an agreeable limit. In other words, do not try to fit the e-commerce platform to your requirements but rather try and fit your requirements to platform.


Check the following Linked In groups for similar discussions






To know more about our hybris services , please click here


Contextual targeting in e-commerce

Posted by arjit.m on November 26, 2013 in e-Commerce Information with No Comments

Online retailers all over the world are facing a very common but really serious problem of high dropout rates across their websites.   It has been observed that this issue is the precursor of many other serious issues such as loss in sales, low customer loyalty, loss in brand identity and many more. However, there are ways to address s the problem of high dropout rate. Majority of retailers fail to have a planned approach to rectify this problem. They generally take an ad hoc approach of providing random advertisements all over their websites without realizing that this action might have detrimental effects on their website traffic.

If you are an online retailer or an e-commerce enthusiast, you might be wondering what is this planned approach?  Is it implementable? 

TAAAADDAAA…. I present targeting.  Before we go ahead let me just highlight what targeting actually means. Targeting simply involves displaying ads or messages to individuals on websites based on the following criteria’s

1.       1. Browsing history

2.       2. Click patterns

3.       3. Social media activity

4.       4. Past buying pattern

5.       5. Location

6.       6. Demographics

7.       7. Smartphone usage

8.       8. Keyword search.

Simply put, targeting is a very important weapon which can be used with various form of digital marketing to deliver a more personalized experience to customers so that he is compelled to go ahead and finish the purchase on ecommerce sites.  Furthermore, the outputs from targeting can be further taken to prepare for better marketing campaigns

As you can see from the diagram above that mobile and social media also play a vital role in marketing these days and so we cannot ignore them.

In fact targeting uses inputs from both these mediums to provide a more personalized experience to the customer.  In order to make any experience personalized, it is very important to know the context.

Now how can we get context???  That is where data analytics comes into picture.

Would like to know how can these different jigsaw pieces (e-commerce, mobile, social media and context ) used  together to improve dropout rates in e-commerce websites ?

We invite you to attend this webinar ‘Contextual targeting in e-commerce’ in which two industry experts Mr Daniel Rebhorn ( Chairman ) Embitel Technologies and Mr Lyle walker (Vice president – Customer analytics ) Manthan Systems    will share their experience and knowledge in this subject.

Please Click here to register

Is Content really the king? Tips to generate quality content for your e-commerce website.

Posted by arjit.m on October 30, 2013 in e-Commerce Information with No Comments

We have heard experts emphasizing about the importance of quality content. ‘Content is the king’, this catch phrase has often captured our attention. But have we seriously given this statement a real good thought?Is content really the king, especially in the context of e-commerce? Will bombarding an e-commerce site with videos and images increase your conversions, reduce abandonment rate, and improve your brand image? The purpose of this particular blog is to help you decide the answers to these questions on your own.

Any successful e-commerce site has one unique attribute and that is VALUABLE content.  The term ‘Valuable’ is really important in this context because it should have the following qualities


1.       Useful to customer – The most important fact when it comes to content creation for e-commerce websites is to realize that some of the product values  are not self evident and so it has to be brought out in a way which does not sounds like a sales pitch. Customers always want to be educated.  They seek a shopping experience rather than a product.  The best way to do it is to provide some useful information about the product.                                                

 Some examples of useful information which could be provided with the product in an e-commerce website  are

1.       What is their advantage from buying this product at a given price?

2.       What are other customers saying about the product?

3.       What are experts saying about the product?

4.       How does  the product work?


1.       SEO Friendly: It is very important to keep in mind that SEO has a big role to play in e-commerce. A lot of customers visit the landing pages of products by clicking on search results. Therefore, it becomes extremely important to optimize your content for SEO.


2.       Contextual:  You may want to tweak your content keeping the context in mind. Would you like to show adult diapers to a teenage customer even though it is your high margin product ? Use bahavourial analytics to your advantage.  Create separate set of content to deliver more personalized shopping experience to your customers.


3.       Sharable:  There is nothing like word of mouth publicity. It is dependable, free and has maximum impact on customers’ decision making ability.  A sharable content is bound to be shared by customer to others via word of mouth or through social media. An important thing to consider here is the fact that a content shared in social media sites will even help your search result rankings as Google has started considering social media metrics also in its vast list of search parameters.


4.       Engaging: Ensure that your content is engaging. By engaging I mean that it should initiate a dialog with the customers. Your content should promote a two way communications rather that being a monologue. You can also use crowd sourced content in your website.


I hope that this blog will help you n deciding a content strategy for your e-commerce site. Now , I would like to ask again ,do you still think Content is the king ? My belief is that Value generated by the content is the king. Please visit blogs written by Mr Avinash kaushik for more details in this topic .        

AB Testing basics

Posted by arjit.m on September 13, 2013 in e-Commerce Information with No Comments


Online retailers spend a lot of money on getting their website up and running. A major portion of their investment is directed towards increasing the traffic of their websites or the conversion rate. A/B testing or split testing is one tool by which these retailers can pin point which elements  are to be displayed in their webpage which have a positive impact on number of customers visiting the website or increasing the conversion.

A/B Testing is basically the comparison between two versions of a single webpage to find out which version offers better result in terms of traffic or conversion.

Why A/B testing

A/B testing is a very handy cost effective way of determining the performance of any web page. Even the slightest change for eg: change in location of a Button can lead to a significant change in traffic or conversion rate. 

What can you Test

There are loads of elements on a particular webpage which can be tested for better results. Some of these elements are listed below

1)      Headlines

2)      Content displayed on the webpage

3)      Location of header, footer

4)      Location of buttons

5)      News articles

6)      Different layout of images


The figure below captures the entire A/B testing process

Determine Objective:  This is the most important step of A/B testing planning. Decide what do you want out of this testing? Is it more traffic or is it better conversion or is it for improving search rankings? Your objective will ultimately decide which pages to target and which elements of a web page should be changed.


Plan Accordingly:  Based on the objective, decide the budget and timelines for this project. Remember to remove all the test element s once this testing is over. Also be careful about SEO. Ensure that you display same content to the customers and also to the googlebot, otherwise google can remove your page from the search rankings. Also plan to use 302 redirects (temporary) rather than 301 (permanent) . This tells the search engine that the link is temporary.  There are also a couple of other SEO things which are to be considered for A/B testing. Failure to do so will lead to sandboxing by Google.


Conduct Research: Find out different stats about your website like how many users visit the landing page. What is the click through rate across targeted elements? What is the bounce rate?

Conduct the experiment & analyze data : Your objective will define your sample. The sample could be a random sample (every customer has equal chance of being selected for this testing) or a stratified sample (a specific customer segment can be selected for this testing by choosing a specific time frame or an occasion). Also choose an appropriate sample size .You can use Google Analytics or any other tool for data analysis.

Create a Hypothesis: You will have to start by assuming certain results. It’s called Hypothesizing.  Statisticians use hypothesis to prove or reject a statement based on analysis of data.

For eg

H(0): Null Hypothesis : The color of button ‘Add to cart’ has no impact on the conversion rate.

H(1): Alternate Hypothesis: The  color of button ‘Add to cart’ increases the conversion rate

Test the Hypothesis:  Based on the data collected during the testing, you can use a variety of probability distributions like Normal distribution or t distribution to find out whether the Null Hypothesis is true and hence reach a conclusion.

Track the results and repeat the experiment: If   your analysis says that your change did not give you the correct result, then you need to make some more changes and repeat the entire process.


Please find below some important and useful links for AB Testing

1)  https://www.optimizely.com/ab-testing

2) http://www.maxymiser.com/resources/ab-testing

3) http://kb.mailchimp.com/article/how-a-b-split-testing-works



Adword keyword tool was replaced with Keyword estimator

Posted by padmanabhan on August 27, 2013 in SEO with No Comments

With Keyword Planner, we’ve combined the functionality of Keyword Tool and Traffic Estimator to make it easier to plan search campaigns. That’s why Keyword Tool is no longer available. You can use Keyword Planner to find new keyword and ad group ideas, get performance estimates for them to find the bid and budget that are right for you, and then add them to your campaigns. We’ve also added several new features with Keyword Planner.


The external Keyword Tool is also no longer available. If you want to get keyword ideas using Keyword Planner, make sure to sign in to your AdWords account.

As you start to use Keyword Planner, you’ll likely notice some differences between Keyword Planner and Keyword Tool. Read on to learn more about what has changed.

No match type data for search volume

With Keyword Tool, we showed you broad match statistics by default with the ability to get data for other match types, like phrase and exact match. But with Keyword Planner, you’ll get historical statistics only for exact match. To decide what match type to use, add the keyword idea to your plan and review the traffic estimates for each match type. This change will help you get an accurate estimate of how much traffic you can expect to get with different match types. There’s quite a bit of overlap between broad and phrase match keywords, and the search volume statistic in Keyword Tool didn’t take that overlap into account. Traffic estimates like click and cost do take this overlap into account, so checking those can help you decide which match type to use.

For example, let’s say your keyword is dark chocolate. If you want to check that keyword’s average monthly searches, we’ll show you the same stats whether you use a broad, phrase, or exact match type with dark chocolate. Traffic estimates like clicks and cost, on the other hand, do take into account keyword match types. For example, if you get estimates for a list of broad match keywords, we’ll take into account any overlap between those keywords.

No device targeting

Keyword Planner doesn’t let you specifically target mobile devices, like tablets and mobile phones. By default, it targets all devices, which is in line with recent changes made to AdWords campaigns. We’re working on a feature that’ll allow you to get traffic estimates by device type and set bid adjustments for mobile devices.


In general, you’ll notice that the average search volume data is higher in Keyword Planner as compared to the exact match search volume data you got with Keyword Tool. That’s because we’ll show you the average number of searches for a keyword idea on all devices (desktop and laptop computers, tablets, and mobile phones). With Keyword Tool, we showed you average search volume for desktop and laptop computers by default.

Other changes in the data columns

In Keyword Planner, you’ll notice several different data columns than those that you were used to seeing in Keyword Tool. Here are the differences:

Local monthly searches and global monthly searches: These two columns have been replaced by the “Average monthly searches” column, simplifying the search volume data you can get. The average monthly search volume is specific to your targeting settings, and you can get data for an entire country or individual cities and regions within a country. Note that you can still get global monthly search data by targeting all locations.

Ad share: This column is being replaced with a new column called ad impression share to help you look for potential impressions.

Google Search Network: This column has been replaced by the network option within the targeting settings. To get data for the entire Search Network, select the “Google and search partners” targeting option.

Search share: This column has been retired.

Approx. CPC (Search): This column has been replaced by the “Avg. CPC” column. You’ll get more accurate data in the average cost-per-click column than you did in the approximate cost-per-click column.

Local search trends: This column doesn’t appear in the Keyword Planner interface. However, you can still get search volume trends by hovering over the icon in the “Avg. monthly searches” column. You can also see these trends segmented by month when you download your historical statistics from Keyword Planner.

Extracted from webpage: This column has been removed from the Keyword Planner interface. However, you can still get the webpage the keyword idea came from when you download your historical statistics from Keyword Planner. Note that you’ll only get this data when you search for keyword and ad group ideas based on a URL, like a webpage on your website.

source : google

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Smart e-Commerce is the Blog from Embitel Technologies which provides the latest e-commerce trends, strategies, e-Retail Solutions, Magento solution, Social Media Optimization, Blog Marketing, Online Seminars, Search Engine Optimization, Google Rankings and e-Marketing Solutions in India, America, Middle East, Australia, South Africa & South America.

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