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The Massachusetts Innovation & Technology Exchange (MITX) — the leading association and voice of the internet business & marketing industry. MITX is about all things digital, about what is next for the web and how it impacts the marketing and business worlds. We are passionate about creating opportunities for individuals and businesses to connect, grow and thrive. And we are committed to showcasing the ideas, the innovations, and the contributions that are fueling a thriving and integral industry in New England and throughout the world. Our mission is to capture and convey the essence of what our industry is doing, and to challenge us all to think differently, think big about what is next, because what is next is here.

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Holiday Retail eCommerce Prediction Round Up

Kate Putnam

We are close to wrapping up our eCommerce theme this month, but first there are a few more posts we have to share with you! In this post Kate Putnam, Development Manager at Blueport Commerce makes a few predictions about eCommerce during this upcoming holiday season.

As a Business Development Manager for Blueport Commerce, Kate manages several areas for corporate growth, including sales, corporate communications and partnerships. In all of her efforts, she endeavors to strengthen the company’s success as the omnichannel solution for the $78 billion furniture industry. These days, you can find Kate busy planning a marketing and sales strategy for 2015 while writing blog posts and spreading the Blueport story to prospective investors, clients and recruits. She often shares chair space with her Vizsla, Ramsay, who is a regular visitor to the dog-friendly Blueport office. Kate is on the board and heads up the marketing of the local Boston non-profit organization, Spero, Inc.

On the heels of the MITX Data & Analytics Summit last week, the world of data is ever-changing and the tools to tackle it are numerous. As Blueport Commerce enters its peak-omnichannel commerce season with its large furniture retail clients and, analyzing data and predictions become important as we help bring in some of the best in online sales all year. Like us, you’ve probably read the countless reports and data out there on holiday retail predictions and how retailers are poised to succeed. I’ve compiled three of these predictions most relevant to our business.

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The “Lego” Model of Ecommerce: How to Save Trillions in Lost Opportunity

Ralph Dangelmaier 2

Another great eCommerce blog by Ralph Dangelmaier, CEO of BlueSnap. Ralph provides insight into how niche eCommerce developers can help save the lost opportunity currently happening in cross-border commerce. Interested in guest blogging? Next month's theme is Mobile! E-mail taylor[at]mitx[dot]org if you are interested.

Ralph Dangelmaier is CEO of BlueSnap, where he is leading the charge to establish BlueSnap as the payments leader in e-commerce. A payment processing veteran, Ralph brings a wealth of experience creating products for retailers, processors and financial institutions and has a proven track record of growing companies both organically and through M&A activity. Under his stewardship, companies have successfully capitalized on the rapid growth in commerce to increase their revenue and stock value. Ralph has more than 25 years of experience in strategy, marketing, sales, and revenue, product, SaaS, development and delivery services for global customer base. Most recently, Ralph served as the President of Global Markets and Services for ACI Worldwide, a global provider of electronic payment software and solutions.

Global ecommerce is quietly paralyzed. Payments, shipping, taxes, regulations and legal issues have made cross-border commerce so intimidating that 73% of U.S. merchants aren’t equipped to sell internationally, according to the MCM Outlook 2014 Survey from Multichannel Merchant.

Meanwhile, the MCM survey shows that Asia-Pacific is on track to surpass North American ecommerce spending this year, and by 2017, the region’s $1 trillion plus in ecommerce will dwarf North America’s $660 billion. Merchants who can’t sell abroad will miss out, but no single vendor can offer a ‘magic bullet’ that will globalize every merchant overnight.

The problem is not the availability of technology or services – the issue is that the ecommerce software industry offers tons of niche solutions that don’t work together. It’s an issue so simple that a five-year old can grasp the problem: if you buy one Lego, one K’nex and one Playmobil set, the pieces won’t fit together. It is, however, an issue so severe that “painful” and “expensive” are becoming synonyms for “integration.” Merchants are discouraged from buying multiple software products because connecting them isn’t worth it.

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Small eCommerce, Big Data

Anna Carver

Continuing on with our eCommerce theme this month we have a post by Anna Carver, Director of Account Management at Ve Interactive. Anna discusses the relevance of data to all different types of eCommerce businesses. 

Anna Carver is the Director of Account Management at Ve Interactive, a multi-award winning global technology company, driving online performance to maximize conversions. Anna is responsible for leading the North American Account Management team in building strong client relations, improving client’s online optimizations with detailed reporting and presenting digital marketing expertise.  Prior to Ve Interactive, Anna held various operations roles for eCommerce retail businesses. Anna is a graduate of Boston University, but Iowa born. She is an active runner and a true foodie.  Follow Ve Interactive @VeUnitedStates; follow Anna on Linkedin; follow Anna on Twitter @tinyendorphins

“Big data” might not be for you. As one of the current buzzwords in tech, you may feel pressured to integrate it into your current eCommerce strategy. Yet remembering the internet itself is one plot of big data, “big data” has potential relevancy for everyone—or the potential to get in over your head. Before joining the big data lemmings, there are a few points to consider before jumping off that cliff.

Storify Recap from #MITXData 2014

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Didn't get to attend this year's data & analytics summit or just looking to review some of the key take-aways? You're in luck! We pulled together some of the best tips and learning from each session for you.

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Your Customers Don’t Know Where They Live

Stephanie Zatyko

We have a great eCommerce guest blog by Stephanie Zatyko, Content Marketing Specialist at Experian Data Quality. Stephanie gives great insights into improving eCommerce check out processes. 

Stephanie Zatyko is a Content Marketing Specialist with Experian Data Quality and a self-proclaimed bar trivia extraordinaire. Find her on Twitter @StephZatyko.

Whether you are running a small e-commerce shop or you’re Amazon, you have likely encountered customers who don’t seem to know where they live. From innocent typos or missing ZIP+4® information, to addresses in the wrong state or even country, retailers are constantly encountering issues due to invalid or inaccurate address data entered by their customers.

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Who Cares About Data? A Leader's Guide to Unlock Big Data's Impact Across the Organization

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The 2014 MITX Data & Analytics Summit is just 9 DAYS away! This week, leading up to the full-day event, we have some guest blogs written by members of our summit advisory board. Read this post by Dr. Jesse Harriott, Chief Analytics Officer at Constant Contact to get a sneak peak at some of the insights you will get at #MITXData on the 13th. Then make sure you reserve your spot and we will see you there next week!

Dr. Jesse Harriott is currently Chief Analytics Officer at Constant Contact. Prior to Constant Contact, Jesse was Chief Knowledge Officer at Monster Worldwide where he started their analytics division and created the Monster Employment Index in more than 30 countries. He also led Web analytics, business intelligence, competitive intelligence, data governance, marketing research, and sales analytics depts. for Monster. He has advised many private and public organizations, including the White House, the Department of Labor, the European Commission, and the Federal Reserve. He has authored several publications, including the books Win With Advanced Business Analytics (Wiley) and Finding Keepers (McGraw-Hill).

It’s amazing how the amount of data to analyze has grown so dramatically over the last several years. Some may remember the days before the web, before big data, before social media, and before mobile. When an annual customer survey, a customer database with basic information, and retail purchasing data from a third party or credit reporting information was about as rich – or as detailed – as a company could get. At that time, companies were flying by on less information than they needed, and there just wasn’t the flow of deep customer, competitor, and industry information that exists today. Gut feel, or instinct, was a prized business characteristic and it, rather than data, drove many corporate leadership decisions.

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How Many Golf Balls Can You Fit in a 747?

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The 2014 MITX Data & Analytics Summit is just 10 DAYS away! This week, leading up to the full-day event, we have some guest blogs written by members of our summit advisory board. Read this post by Amit Phansalkar, Chief Data Officer at MassMutual to get a sneak peak at some of the insights you will get at #MITXData on the 13th. Then make sure you reserve your spot and we will see you there next week!

Amit Phansalkar, Chief Data Officer, leads data science, data strategy and vision for MassMutual Financial. He heads the data venture for MassMutual to create a data ecosystem to help drive innovation in products and consumer engagement models. Mr. Phansalkar has more than 15 years of experience driving innovation and building products using big data and most recently served as the global head of data sciences and advanced analytics at Millward Brown Digital. Prior to that, he was a co-founder and VP analytics at Cognika, where he created predictive analytics products utilizing a combination of structured and unstructured data with applications in defense, ad-tech and healthcare industries. Amit is a data evangelist trying to solve complex challenges and representing complexity using disparate data sources.

How many golf balls can you fit in a 747? This simple, albeit ridiculous, question digs right at the heart of today's data analysis approaches and is the bane of business executives across all businesses.

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How Top Innovators Sell Big Ideas, FutureM Recap

Hayley Prendergast

We are wrapping up the month of October with a great recap from FutureM. Hayley Prendergast, Associate Manager for the Integrated Marketing Group at AMP Agency highlights some key take-aways from one of our sessions on selling innovative ideas.

Hayley Prendergast is an Associate Manager for the Integrated Marketing Group at AMP Agency of Boston. At AMP, she helps to drive the strategy behind new business opportunities to tell a compelling story about AMP’s integrated and innovative offerings. Her experience at AMP has allowed her to gain a deep understanding of multiple industries and provided her access to exclusive industry events, such as MITX’s FutureM.

Her background is in sports marketing where she worked with two popular athletic brands, gaining insight into various categories of work including retail, digital marketing, ecommerce, sports partnerships and grassroots initiatives. Beyond digital and sports marketing, Hayley is also a retired Division 1 college soccer player, avid runner, YouTube aficionado, and currently serves on AMP’s Culture Team, adding “spirit” to the agency in various ways.

The Best Things in UX…

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We have two more UX and Design posts to wrap up our theme this month. This post is written by Michael Moore, Product Marketing Manager at Pegasystems Inc. Michael provides insight into why invisibility should be a key characteristic in UX strategy and execution.

Michael (Mike) Moore, Product Marketing Manager at Pegasystems, brings a fresh perspective to enterprise software from his experience developing his marketing and analytical chops in the worlds of finance, private equity and even fantasy sports.  He’s always happy to engage in a spirited discussion on Twitter, LinkedIn or Email and just to clarify… he’s not THAT “Michael Moore” 

…Are invisible!

Context is Magic: How Disney is Creating the Future of Consumer Engagement

Mark Berinato

As October comes to a close we have a few more fantastic UX and Design posts to share with you so stay tuned! To start off the week we have a blog by Mark Berinato, Creative Director of Experience Design at SapientNitro. Mark discusses the latest integrated experiences Disney is implementing and what we can all learn from their successful strategies. Interested in guest blogging? Next month's theme is eCommerce, e-mail taylor[at]mitx[dot]org if you would like to contribute.

Mark Berinato is a Creative Director of Experience Design and leads the UX practice at SapientNitro in Boston.  When he’s not at the whiteboard sketching out solutions to client problems you’ll probably find him restoring his 130 year old barn.

Just over a year ago, Disney introduced MyMagic+ into their park experience. MyMagic+ is powerful: these RFID-enabled wristbands take the place of a park ticket, serve as your hotel key and allow you to cut the line and easily purchase things along the way. And if you happen to have a bad experience – like waiting too long in line, for example – Disney can make it up to you with a special offer or discount through the RFID wristband. All of this by storing personal information and preferences.

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