Last month, HP announced the availability of TeamSite 8.1, which further expands the capabilities of TeamSite and gives marketers the power to design, deploy and manage a multichannel digital experience for their customers. Building on TeamSite 8.0, which enabled marketers to transform existing TeamSite websites into mobile apps for both Android and iOS, the TeamSite 8.1 release adds a new way to enhance the mobile experience offered by TeamSite: push notifications.
In-app notifications are one of the most effective ways to boost app engagement, and this new feature makes it very easy to send reminders or announcements to app users. It also includes geo-fencing, which can limit or trigger notifications within specific locations or regions.
In this short video demo, we show how easy it is to convert a TeamSite website into a modern mobile app with the following steps:
• Creating an instance of a mobile app within the TeamSite console
• Selecting existing content within TeamSite and preparing it for adaption into the mobile app
• Previewing and testing the apps’s appearance and functionality on a variety of mobile devices, using the built-in device emulator
• Loading the compiled app into TeamSite
• Setting up and testing in-app notifications, including geo-fencing specification
This feature employs Trilibis RAIN technology (a mobile application development platform) to provide a smooth path for front-end developers to deploy a TeamSite8 website as a mobile iOS or Android app. It’s incredible just how simple it is to take a highly functional website and adapt it to the latest mobile devices!
Contact Trilibis or your HP rep to learn more.
Brands that are pursuing a coherent omnichannel marketing and sales strategy often implement a digital marketing platform at the center of their customer engagement activities. The most compelling reason to do so is that such a platform can act as both the content hub (a central repository from which content can be activated with the consumer, no matter which channel he/she is using —desktop, mobile, tablet, smartphone), and a control center for executing and measuring customer engagement activities.
Today, an advanced customer engagement strategy uses both “pull” digital marketing (in which consumers are actively seeking marketing content such as websites, blogs and social media), and “push” (whereby marketers send messages with or without the consent of the recipients – such as display advertising on websites, blogs and apps, email, text messaging, and web feeds). And while it’s true that the rise in prominence of mobile devices, mobile apps and contextual signals (location, time, activity, proximity, etc.) is causing a gradual shift toward push marketing, millions of us signal our intent via search every hour.
In a recent article on CMSwire, HP’s Sunil Menon observed that:
“Most companies still think of digital experiences in terms of destination — where they’re driving customers or prospects. While that’s the predominant means of delivery, users increasingly expect content to come to them. Display advertising and retargeting solutions already work this way; why shouldn’t the rest of the experience?”
He goes on to observe that digital marketing will continue to be a combination of push and pull. I agree with that — and would add that optimization must be critical consideration for brand marketers across all their channels. In fact, without carefully considered optimization of content for customer engagement activities, performance can be hindered, especially for those customers who are accessing the content on a smartphone.
For example: websites and landing pages are often front and center in “pull” strategies that aim to engage and influence a customer. Optimizing that web page for mobile is of paramount importance, and involves the following considerations:
1. Does it respond quickly?
2. Does content load quickly and in a way that prioritizes presentation of the most important information for that customer?
3. Is the layout and presentation of the information, along with device-specific features, optimized for the specific device that’s in the hand of the customer?
There’s an abundance of research that makes the case that failing to carefully plan for any of the above will result in customers abandoning the site — or worse, abandoning their shopping cart. Our Trilibis SNOW and SNOW IO technologies are specifically designed to ensure websites are optimized to maximize engagement and minimize visitor drop-off.
On that last point — cart abandonment — I am always amazed by how many marketers fail to notify me whenever I leave a cart without checking out. Technologies now exist to implement this functionality into both commerce systems and mobile apps. Trilibis RAIN technology enables digital marketing platform vendors to integrate this feature for their customers through push messaging. This same technology enables ISVs to easily add the creation and deployment of hybrid apps —complete with built-in push notification services that amplify brand content on a new engagement channel. Indeed, just as optimization is critical for websites, so, too is it essential for mobile apps.
Lastly, an up-and-coming push strategy is to integrate context such as proximity/location into the customer engagement mix. When combined with an understanding of the customer’s visit/purchase patterns, a truly personalized engagement strategy can be implemented. This is an area where we can expect to see some exciting innovation from the marketing platform vendors.
Here at Trilibis, we are ready to assist them with advanced content optimization technology that can maximize engagement throughout an omnichannel marketing strategy.
It’s 2016, and if 2015 was the Year of Mobile, then mobile-optimized websites must now comprise the majority of the Web — right? Well, maybe not. Because, while it’s now clear that mobile surpasses desktop for website visits on some sites, and even now rivals desktop for purchases, many website operators still have some work to do to ensure the mobile web experience is as good as that of desktop.
One reason for this is that it’s a major undertaking to modernize a major commercial website for mobile. According to Sunil Menon, who heads up HP’s digital marketing and analytics, the majority of web pages still need to be updated for mobile:
“9 out of 10 companies say that digital transformation is the priority with web, mobile and multichannel modernization at the top of their list of things to focus on. We also hear consistently that mobile is a priority for more than 78% of firms but the reality is that only 38% of the pages are mobile ready.”
E-commerce and marketing websites that handle visitors at scale are generally based on a CMS of some sort, which means the operators of these websites are looking to their CMS vendor to provide mobile optimization features.
As we learned at the recent HP Engage conference, HP is leading the way here, with the recent launch of TeamSite8. This latest version of HP’s enterprise CMS aims to improve the experience for Web users who visit TeamSite-powered websites, and for the developers who build them.
It’s what’s under the hood of TeamSite8 where HP really stands out. HP announced several new features in TeamSite8 that leverage Trilibis technology to enable differentiated mobile experiences for HP’s customers:
1.LiveSite mobile tagging. Advanced tagging enables developers to define how a page is presented to a device based on rules that govern appearance on variables such as OS, browser, device type, and local device features. TeamSite8 uses Trilibis SNOW technology to make TeamSite websites extremely knowledgeable about the device that is being used to access the page, and provides an efficient server-side mechanism to efficiently determine how the website should respond. For example, Trilibis SNOW facilitates the definition of highly granular break-points, based on individual device characteristics. This means developers can precisely control page presentation in a manner that exceeds what can be done using typical responsive design approaches. Another benefit is that SNOW boosts performance for the user by minimizing the size of content sent to the mobile device.
2. Device reporting. A huge part of HP’s overall value proposition for its customers is marketing analytics of website visitors. Since LiveSite8 can accurately determine the precise characteristics of every device that accesses any page, marketers can better identify emerging trends and further optimize the experience for mobile users.
3. Hybrid apps. HP has enhanced the multi-channel capabilities of TeamSite8 with the addition of support for hybrid applications within LiveSite Mobile. This feature employs Trilibis RAIN technology to provide a smooth path for website developers to deploy a TeamSite8 website as a hybrid app. In conjunction with HP’s Exstream technology, this means that HP customers can now engage with their customers across every channel: print and mail, email, mobile, social, web, and video.
These new features are automatically included for any TeamSite customer that upgrades to TeamSite8 with LiveSite Mobile, making it much easier and faster for enterprises, publishers and commerce operators to modernize their websites. We are incredibly pleased to say that Trilibis technology is helping HP to offer its customers the best in multi-device rendering for enhanced personalization and analytics.
If you’re an HP business partner and need more information how Trilibis SNOW and RAIN technologies can enhance TeamSite8 for your customers, please contact us.
Here’s a useful video that provides an overview of TeamSite8.
Are web content management systems properly tuned for mobile?
Earlier this year, Google announced that it would consider the responsiveness and overall user experience of websites on mobile devices as it calculates rank and relevance of a website in search results. Google also said it would favor sites that were optimized for a better user experience on small screens — for example those that use larger font sizes and separate links so that they are easier to tap. Factoring the mobile user experience makes perfect sense in a world where the majority of web traffic is now between web servers and mobile devices.
The effect of the resulting tweaks that Google made to its search engine algorithms were at first discounted by industry pundits, but then later found to be quite significant. For example, Adobe tracked traffic to more than 5,000 sites, which it divided into two camps: mobile-friendly and non-mobile-friendly. Its statistics showed that, compared to mobile-friendly sites, traffic to non-mobile-friendly websites from Google mobile searches fell 12 percent in the two months after the changes took effect in April 2015. So, while Google’s new approach took time make an impact, it’s now clear that websites that deliver a poor experience on mobile devices are getting dinged by the world’s biggest search engine.
It’s easier for smaller website operators
If you’re operating a small or medium-size website with a manageable number of reasonably static pages (say, 10-20 pages), your path to Google redemption is pretty easy: make sure your website uses responsive design techniques. But if you’re running a much larger website, your path is likely much more complicated and possibly beyond your direct control. Ecommerce businesses and dynamic content publishers (enterprise and news media sites, for example) are probably using some sort of content management system, which means they’re completely dependent on their vendor’s ability to adapt to this massive shift to mobile.
Web content management (WCM) systems have become extremely popular with publishers, ecommerce operators and indeed any enterprise that manages a complex website. In a recent report, Gartner observed that the “…Web content management remains a vibrant and growing market, fueled by the aspirations of digital strategists on the demand side and continuous innovation on the supply side. IT application leaders, marketers, digital experience specialists and merchandizers all now view WCM as mission-critical.”
That report looked at just 10 vendors that offer WCM systems — although there are maybe three times that number that were not included. And that’s a lot of websites powered by WCM systems. Since dynamic content (and by extension, a WCMS) is the hub of every enterprise’s interaction with its audiences, it’s important to understand how these systems are adapting to the New World Order of the mobile web.
WCMS vendors have differing approaches to mobile optimization
To understand this, we’ve been talking to several of the WCM system vendors in recent months as they wrestle with how to improve the user experience they provide mobile users. What we’ve learned is that they employ one of four different approaches. Here’s a quick low-down of each, and our assessment of its suitability for a mobile-centric world.
First, let’s define them. Search Engine Land summarizes these rather well:
• Responsive Design. Often referred to as “RWD” for Responsive Web Design, this design approach uses fluid, proportion-based grids, flexible images and varying CSS style rules to deliver different user experiences to desktop, tablet and mobile devices — while maintaining the same HTML and URL structure. The site shrinks or grows according to device.
• Adaptive Design. Also referred to by Google as dynamic serving, adaptive design serves different devices using the same URL structure, but it does so by detecting the device and generating a different version of the site’s HTML appropriate for that device. The site has multiple versions that are served through common URLs.
• Dedicated. Sometimes referred to as mDot (“m.”), this configuration delivers different HTML on separate URLs, depending on the device detected. The usual arrangement is to have the desktop site located on the www subdomain and the mobile-friendly site’s pages located on the “m.” subdomain. Pure Oxygen Labs recently reported that 54 percent of the Internet Retailer top 500 brands currently employ this configuration.
As we apply these approaches to WCM systems, crucial advantages and disadvantages become apparent. Let’s look at each and examine the role of the server versus the client, and what this means for user experience.
Responsive Design: this is the approach most favored by WCM vendors. To enable this as a client-side approach, often the WCM system uses a front-end framework developed by a third party such as those from Bootstrap, Skeleton and Zurb.
Observations: While this approach is great for the vendors (since only one codebase is required), it’s not great for users because all the web content is sent to the client, regardless of the device type. It’s simply optimized (via CSS) for presentation on the mobile screen. In our recent responsive design survey of media websites, we highlighted the poor user experience that can result when this approach is used on an image-rich website.
Adaptive design. Typically, the approach taken here by WCMS vendors is to use pre-configured templates (minimally, three) that are selected and served after identifying the target device and categorizing it into one of three screen-size classes.
Observations: In adaptive design, the server responds with different HTML and CSS templates from the same URL, depending on the user agent requesting the page. While this improves the experience for users, it’s not ideal for massive amounts of server-side content because it requires you to create and maintain at least three sets of content and code for each page.
Dedicated/m-dot: most experts would agree that this is a holdover from the early days of website design. The fact that it’s still so prevalent with ecommerce vendors perhaps shows how disruptive and costly it is to ditch this approach on favor of something more modern.
Observations: The single-largest problem with this approach is that it requires a completely bifurcated content and layout strategy: one for mobile and one for desktop. It’s an error-prone approach that Google clearly does not favor.
Trilibis take: User-first is more important than mobile-first
Through our work with some of the leaders in the WCM sector, we frequently hear that user engagement is key for high-traffic web publishers and retailers. For this reason, some WCM vendors are adopting a server-side strategy in conjunction with client-side adaptation, such as that employed by Trilibis’ SNOW technology, which goes beyond presentation (UI) to optimize how a website behaves (UX) on a particular device.
The Trilibis SNOW approach leverages server-side resources to deliver the advantages of adaptive design, only with a single codebase. In other words, SNOW offers dynamic serving on a unified code base (RESS): this provides the positive aspects of both responsive design and dynamic serving. In this approach, server-side code, working in conjunction with the WCM system and client-side capability, identifies the device type and features, then serves up only the HTML, CSS, and images required by that particular device, all from one code base. The result is a highly optimized user experience, reduced page payloads, and a super-fast experience for all users.
For many WCM systems, we think a complete RESS (Server-Side Components with Responsive Web Design) approach is an efficient complement to their existing architecture, and has provided our WCMS partners with a distinct edge in the marketplace, and a future-proof mobile engagement strategy.
To learn more about how Trilibis can work with your WCMS, email Jason Saroyan at email@example.com.
If you’re a VAD, SI or e-commerce solutions architect who specializes in IBM® WebSphere® Commerce websites, we’d like you to know about SNOW IO, a new server plug-in that can make a huge difference in customer experience and, ultimately, conversion to sale.
Website speed can have a massive effect on conversions, both good and bad. And for e-commerce sites, every additional second it takes your site to load reduces your conversion rate by up to seven percent, according to research from the Aberdeen Group. Beyond conversion, slow-loading websites see 11 percent fewer page views and get dinged with a 16 percent decrease in customer satisfaction. While a number of factors contribute to the overall weight of a web page, in our survey of top responsive websites, we found that the size of website images is a significant contributor to lengthy page-load times on mobile devices. The solution is to optimize the images for each page and ensure the right-size image is sent to the device that requested the responsive web page.
The Trilibis SNOW® Image Optimization solution (SNOW IO) is a great way to complete the entire process. What’s great about SNOW IO is that it goes beyond image optimization and delivers optimized image selection by device type. Installed as a simple plug-in on any IBM WebSphere Commerce server, and specifically validated for use with IBM® WebSphere® Commerce, SNOW IO automatically identifies images used on every web page and optimizes them for thousands of devices. At runtime, SNOW IO works in conjunction with the web server to identify the type of device that is accessing the website, and to ensure it is served only the appropriate images optimized for that specific device.
The resulting performance increases can be dramatic. During tests that we conducted with IBM, SNOW IO reduced the image weight of IBM WebSphere Commerce responsive web pages by 23 to 61 percent. SNOW IO can reduce page weight from megabytes to kilobytes, and shave valuable seconds off overall page-load times. In other words, SNOW IO makes your responsive website even more responsive!
SNOW IO is compatible with Commerce Composer (Feature Pack 7 and better), which means business users can focus on page layout and content without having to worry about right-sizing images. And if your system is using an older version of Composer (possibly with some other web design framework such as Bootstrap or Zurb), SNOW IO will still deliver noticeable customer experience improvements by minimizing both the size and number of image versions sent to the client device.
The combination of Trilibis SNOW IO and IBM WebSphere Commerce addresses a key objective for all online retailers: delivering the best possible customer experience across all devices. To learn more, see Trilibis SNOW IO on the IBM Cloud Marketplace.
You may be wondering how this integration works and how to configure SNOW IO. Bob Balfe, worldwide technical sales leader for IBM’s Commerce program, has developed a helpful video that takes you through the technical aspects of SNOW IO, how it’s configured on IBM WebSphere Commerce, and how it optimizes images used in your IBM Aurora storefront. Thanks Bob!