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Apr 16, 2015

Instant Delivery, Dash Buttons, and Delivery Drones… Oh My!

It was only a few years ago that we were amazed by the 14212354089_d2ca840dbf_z
fact that we could shop online and have an item brought directly to our door in a week or two. But as the world of e-commerce has continued to evolve, we have seen many changes and improvements to this process, due to the sites we love creating an easier and more positive shopping experience. Some of those changes include free shipping and returns, reserving items online to be picked up in-store, and an easier check out process.

Amazon has always been one of the companies who is constantly delivering a positive customer shopping experience. Some of the favorite features on Amazon are:

  • Easy navigation and search options around the site, allowing users to quickly find and purchase products, as well as sellers being able to quickly process purchases.
  • Content is tailored to each individual user based on customer’s shopping habits
  • Related items show users products they might like based on past purchases, searches and views.
  • Prices are always compared to MRSP, showing consumers that they are getting the lowest prices.
  • Shoppers know ahead of time whether the item they chose comes with Prime shipping or free shipping.
  • Easy subscription orders for items you love.

While these features are great, Amazon has recently been in the news for a few other new features they are currently piloting that could revolutionize the way we shop online.

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Apr 8, 2015

It’s the Month of the Military Child, Purple Up!

It’s officially April. We love that April means spring is here, but we also love that April is the “month of the military child,” and we get to honor all of the military children in the United States.

Month of the Military Child started in 1986, when Secretary of Defense, Casper W. Weinberger, realized that no one was recognizing the sacrifice that military children make by having one or both parents in the military. He thought that military children were inspirational in how they handled hard situations like being separated from family members due to deployment and frequently moving.13130474835_4100f43e88_z

Did you know…

  • There is approximately 2 million military children, ranging in ages from newborn to 18 years old
  • Military families relocate 3 times more often than civilian families on average, every 2-3 years
  • Since 2001, more than 2 million children have had a parent deployed at least once
  • 1/3 of school-age military children show psychosocial behaviors such as being anxious, worry often, and crying more frequently
  • The repeated and extended separations and increased hazards of deployment compound stressors in military children’s lives

In order to honor and reach out to children who are dealing/have dealt with a parent or both parents in the military, many organizations are putting on events for military children to be a part of. Here’s a few examples of the fun events being hosted:

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Apr 1, 2015

A New Kind Of In-Store Experience

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Due to the popularity of online shopping, consumers are used to seeing cool new features and technological advances available to use during their online shopping experiences, but unfortunately it is rare that we see new technology brought into the brick and mortar stores. One issue many consumers have with shopping in-stores is their negative experiences in the dressing room. Not only do you have to try on item after item, but you have to look at yourself in a mirror under fluorescent lighting (which unfortunately is not flattering), and then repeatedly leave the room to flag down a sales person to grab different sizes, colors and styles – it’s an exhausting process to say the least. Well, designer Rebecca Minkoff wanted to change this, so she brought in technology and partnered with eBay to create a whole new customer experience and environment for their dressing rooms – the interactive mirror.

Here’s a few of the problems the interactive mirrors help to solve:

  • Ideas for outfits: Walking into a store full of clothing can be overwhelming and even if you think you’ve seen everything, chances are you haven’t. The interactive mirror allows shoppers to effectively look through all the merchandise available in-stores. And rather than adding it to a cart, shoppers “add to dressing room” and once the merchandise is ready in the dressing room the customer will receive a text message to head back to their room.

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Mar 24, 2015

How to use social media to reach niche markets- Part 3- College Students

Getting Down to Business - Nazareth College, Rochester, NYWe’ve talked about a couple of different target markets now, but what about reaching the ever elusive college student? Unlike military families and teachers, college students are more likely to be early adopters when it comes to social media. Knowing this app designers and developers have created tools that are specifically for the college student market like Yik Yak and Blend. 75,000 daily active users had signed up for Blend just three months after launch. On Blend students share their photos, receive snaps from other users, and are rewarded with free gifts from Blend sponsors. Yik Yak allows users to anonymously post messages if they are within 1.5 miles of one of 1,300 college campuses supported by the app. It makes the list of the top 10 apps most downloaded in the United States.

Snapchat, which is also relatively new on the social media scene, is used by 77% of college students on a daily basis. Unlike Yik Yak and Blend, Snapchat is not specifically for college students, which means brands can join the conversation. According to Mashable, 73% of college age Snapchat users would open a Snap from a company they know. Nearly half would open it even if they’d never heard of the brand. Instagram is another photo-based app, and it’s in the top 3 most popular social media apps among college students. In Nov 2013, over half of college students had an Instagram account.
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Mar 19, 2015

How to use social media to reach niche markets- Part 2-Educators

Like the military community, teachers and faculty must operate in accordance to guidelines when it comes to social media. These guidelines are often provided by schools or school districts, although in some cases, there are state mandates prohibiting teachers from interacting inappropriately with students through social media. In their personal lives, many teachers join social media sites, but they are careful to keep their personal accounts private and separate from any professional social media activities.

  • 80% of K-12 teachers use social media for personal or professional reasons
  • 80% of K-12 teachers worry about potential conflicts with students or parents because of social media
  • 55% of college faculty used social media in a professional capacity in 2013, which was up 11% compared to 2012

The following graph from Pearson Learning Solutions illustrates the breakdown of teacher activity by social media platform.
teacher graph

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Mar 12, 2015

How to use social media to reach niche markets- Part 1- Military

If you’re trying to reach a niche audience like service members, educators, or college students with news about your company’s protected offers or special messaging, social media is a great option. It is cheap, it’s quick and easy to test, and it’s effective- if you know where to go to reach your intended audience. It’s easy to make assumptions about different social media platforms like ‘Pinterest is mostly for women’ and ‘teenagers don’t like Facebook anymore’. In fact, there are surveys, studies, and articles to back those statements up. But to reach a very targeted audience, you have to go beyond broad generalizations about their gender or age. You have to think about how and why your audience uses social media. In this three part blog series, let’s take a look at where military families, teachers, and college students tend to hang out when they’re feeling social. First up-

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Many military families and service members use social media to stay connected during deployments, keep in touch with each other, and find information and resources. According to the 2014 Military Family Lifestyle Survey by Blue Star Military Families, which surveyed 6200 military family respondents including active duty service members, veterans, and spouses:

  • 94% reported that they use social media, compared to 73% of civilian adults.
  • 72% said that social media is important in helping them stay connected to deployed family members. Many families use Skype to video chat.
  • 25% of military spouses use LinkedIn. Finding employment is challenging for some military spouses because they move frequently and run their households as single parents during deployments.
  • 96% of military families use Facebook, as opposed to 67% of their civilian counterparts

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Mar 2, 2015

When Multichannel Messaging Goes Wrong

dentistWho would have thought that my trip to the dentist would inspire a blog post about multichannel marketing? I recently got a new dentist. It all started off innocently enough, I filled out an online form and expressed interest in setting up a new patient exam. I got an auto response email informing me that someone from their office would be in touch shortly. And then they were. Many, many times.

When I filled out the form, I provided them with my phone number and email address. At the time, it seemed pretty standard. Within hours of sending the auto response, the front desk called my phone. I was in a meeting, so I let it go to voicemail. They left a message. Then they sent an email. Followed by a text informing me that they’d set up an appointment for me at 2pm the following Tuesday. Wow.

At first I was kind of excited that I’d made an appointment without actually having to talk to a living human being or navigate a phone tree. I texted them back to accept the appointment and went about my business. Then the barrage of emails, texts, and phone calls started.
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Feb 27, 2015

SheerID Makes 2015 100 Best Companies List

OBM-100-best-logo-2015_150pxwIt’s no secret that we love being an Oregon based company. While visiting New York or L.A. for tradeshows and meetings is fun, there’s nothing quite like coming home to Eugene.

This year, we are honored to be apart of Oregon Business Magazine’s Top 100 Best Companies to Work for in Oregon. Nominees were evaluated on criteria like work environment, management & communications, decision making & trust, and career development & learning. SheerID was ranked 19th in the “small business” category, which is 34 employees or less.

Here are just a few of the reasons our team loves working at SheerID:
1. Taking the SheerID tent to tailgaters (Go Ducks!)
2. Recycled door desks
3. The comradery of close knit departments
4. Our family friendly company culture
5. Giving back to the communities we verify

We’re proud of the work that we do and the way that we do it. Thank you Oregon Business Magazine for this honor.

Feb 23, 2015

Military Saves Week 2015

As a continued commitment to military members and their families, this week, February 23-28, is the annual Military Saves Week. Military Saves Week is dedicated to motivating military service members, retirees, and their family members to assess and set goals for their savings, stocks, and investments. In order to raise awareness throughout the week, numerous workshops will be held for anyone who is seeking information about finances, budgeting, ways to save money and more.

One of the main goals of Military Saves Week is to help all military members to set a goal, make a plan and save automatically.Military Saves Week

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Feb 16, 2015

Best Buy is now offering a wedding registry

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Brides Magazine UK

Every year millions of couples get married and go through the process of planning a wedding ceremony. Although it can be a stressful process, there are some fun planning activities that most couples participate in, one of them being creating a gift registry.  Gift registries are great, not only do you get to use a scanner gun and scan anything you want, but it also gives your wedding guests an idea of what you want. According to TheKnot.com, more than $10 billion are spent on wedding gifts per year. A majority of that $10 billion is spent on kitchen supplies and appliances, but 20% of couples have said they would register for electronics if it was an option. So, popular electronics retailer, Best Buy, is trying to change this up.

Best Buy recently started allowing their customers to create a wedding registry online and on their mobile devices and starting next month couples will now be able to go into any Best Buy store and register. Not only is it exciting to have a new place to shop for wedding gifts but I’m sure many of the husbands out there will be very happy about being able to register for something other than fine china.

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