Your Opinion Matters

Internet shopping and reviews have gone hand in hand for some time now. Anyone who is considering spending money online to buy a product or service that they can’t see or try before they commit to it has no doubt done their research in other ways – usually by researching the feedback left by previous users.

EBay, Amazon and Trip Advisor are just three sites that have built their own reputation on encouraging third party reviews and now almost every e-commerce site you can think of will have some kind of review or rating system. We are so used to seeing a star rating system or a comment box that if a site doesn’t allow reviews we wonder why not.

When I shop on-line or off-line, I always check both expert and consumer reviews. Whether for a book, something for the home, or for a larger purchase, such as an automobile or furniture, reviews are essential.  How have other people enjoyed their purchase?  What is the good and the bad?  Ultimately it is your decision, but we want to make these decisions with as many facts as possible.  This has been going on forever, but now, with the world as connected as it is, we have become even more dependent on reviews.  Years ago we would  ask our parents, relatives or friends for their advice.  Today, we not only ask them, but we ask experts and people we do not know for their opinions.  Just the way it is.

Check out the statistics on opinions below:

review-of-reviews-peopleclaim

Thanks to the people at PeopleClam for putting this terrific infographic together. http://www.peopleclaim.com/

Tell it like it is.

Webman

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Go Inside

“If you are not on the inside, your are on the outside”

Gordon GekkoWall Street

Well apparently Apple wants to be on the inside.  The last mile in the marketing, promotional, geo-location part of the food chain. There is still one slightly uncharted territory that will — without question — be the last mile in marketing. It is the ability for a brand to deliver contextual and highly targeted marketing at the local retail level. We may be inching ever-closer to this reality.

On March 23rd, 2013, The Wall Street Journal reported that Apple acquired a company called WiFiSLAM for an estimated $20 million. WiFiSLAM is GPS for the indoors. It is able to triangulate the location of consumers, track their every move and deliver contextual marketing messages to them while capturing a tremendous amount of consumer data.

For Apple, this may be the next big thing. Some speculate that Apple will try to grab the mapping of the inside spaces while Google continues to map the oceans and the arctic. Google is just as busy trying to capitalize on this idea of mapping the inside of spaces as well. But it’s not just a game for Apple and Google. Amazon has been hard at work capturing tons of consumer information at the retail level.

A little Eve 6 for you.

Look no further than their Price Check for iPhone app that enables consumers to scan a barcode, snap a picture of a product or use text/speech search to find out how much the product is on Amazon. This business of showrooming has become a contentious talking point in the retail sector, as more and more consumers are using their smartphones and tablets to find a better price at the physical location. These consumers are using the stores as a showroom, but completing their purchases on their mobile devices and having the products shipped to their homes. What we don’t hear much about is the data and information that Amazon is capturing about consumers, how they walk through stores, what they’re price checking, the price variances from store to store, trends in merchandising and more. All of this (and more) is being captured, each and every time a consumer uses the app to find a better price. While it’s not real-time information like WiFiSLAM is offering, Amazon still has tremendous information about consumers and how they make their way through many different retail environments.

It looks like stores are going to become as dynamic and intelligent as their e-commerce counterparts. So long as retailers seeks permission from their consumers and use this technology to drive more value to the consumers, these types of technologies could well be the linchpin that secures the future of retail.

Inside game is now officially on.  Just as spring arrives.

Webman

Who is #3?

global mobile

Android and iOS account for almost 90 percent of the global smartphone market. They control a similar share of the U.S. smartphone market, the world’s largest by revenue.

In a recent report from BI Intelligence (www.businessinsider.com), it is clear that we live right now in a mobile world dominated by Google and Apple.  Can there be a number 3?

  • Microsoft – It launched Windows Phone in 2010, and tablet-friendly Windows 8 this year. It is experienced in building developer communities. However, Windows Phone has so far only managed a paltry 3 percent platform market share.
  • Amazon – A smartphone would be a natural extension of Amazon’s distribution empire, and its Kindle Fire tablet play. Amazon has 106 million unique visitors accessing its sites, many of them with credit cards on file.
  • Samsung – Its dependency on Android may become a liability and push the South Korean manufacturer into the platform business. Samsung’s strength is its hardware sales prowess — Samsung shipped over 56 million smartphones in the third quarter of 2012.

Blackberry? Dead.  Check out John Belushi and insert Blackberry for Niedermeyer.

Webman

 

iPad vs Kindle Fire

New iPad vs. Kindle Fire: Which Tablet is Right for You?

I have written about the iPad a number of times. One of my followers, Michael, is considering taking the plunge and buying a tablet.  He wanted to know the differences between an iPad and a Kindle.  So here we go Michael.  Not that I am trying to influence you in any way but Apple sold about a gagillion new iPads since the new one launched.  Not that I am trying to pressure you in any way or influence your decision 🙂

Headline – Two completely different products.  The new iPad with it’s coolness factor, new retina display, apps, and overall capabilities including as a reading device, etc. is a game changer but not as friendly to your budget while the Kindle Fire is more budget-friendly and primarily serves as a reading device.  So let’s take a look at the various factors to consider when you’re looking for your next tablet:

Media Content and Reading Experience

Both the new iPad and the Kindle Fire offer awesome content.  

Amazon offers more than 100,000 movies and TV shows to rent or buy, and Amazon Prime users can access unlimited free streaming for over 10,000 titles; Apple offers no such program. The iTunes store has more than 15,000 movies and 90,000 TV episodes. Both Amazon and Apple tout music collections nearing 20 million songs. Impressive.

When it comes to the music, Apple has the benefit of iTunes, with special features like Genius and iTunes Match. Amazon allows a little more breathing room for playback on other devices; from phones to other tablets to internet-enabled TVs. Apple is more restrictive, limiting media to its own devices.

Then there are books, newspapers, and magazines. Amazon’s selection is superior, but since you can get the Kindle App for your iPad, there really is no advantage there. The iPad retina display, with its 264 pixels per inch, game changer and not on the Fire

Specs

A quick summary for you:

Chart

The iPad offers 4G LTE connectivity.  Both access all wireless hot spots of course so you need to decide if you want the data plan on the iPad as this will add additional costs

If you want your new tablet to replace your digital camera, then the iPad’s new 5-megapixel camera will be a big factor. No camera on The Kindle Fire. Battery life will likely be longer on the iPad too, but that’s because it’s a bigger tablet that can house a bigger battery.

Software and Apps
The Amazon Appstore is very good, with thousands of choices, but it can’t compare with the more than 170,000 native iPad apps in the Apple App Store.  

It’s hard to argue with the simplicity and elegance of Apple’s iOS. It is just better.

Pricing and Value
The Kindle Fire costs $199, while the entry level 16GB iPad will cost $499. If your intentions are purely casual, like light Web browsing, email, and Angry Birds, then the Kindle Fire will likely suffice. But if you want your tablet to replace your laptop, or at least come close, the iPad is more powerful, feature rich, and offers a superior, tablet-optimized app selection.

Both great products.  Time to decide which one is right for you.

Webman

What is a Cloud?

Growing up we learned about clouds, the ones that we see in the sky.  We learned that they had a number of names such as cumulus, stratus, cirrus and nimbus.  These clouds were responsible for our weather, our views and sometimes our amazement.

In our rapidly changing technology world, clouds have taken on new names; Amazon, Google, Apple, Carbonite and many others.  The term most often used is Cloud Computing.  So what is Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing provides computation, software, data access, and storage services that do not require end-user knowledge of the physical location and configuration of the system that delivers the services.   Simply put, if you need a music file, Word document, application, picture, object or just about anything else digital, you can now store it and access it from any device in the cloud.

Enjoy the view!