Posts tagged Sell
Guest author Christian Cantrell is a developer, blogger and science fiction author.
The Apple Watch looks like an excellent product likely to yield record sales. But no matter how good it is, the device seems destined to become the most unpopular product in Apple’s line-up—one that will top the charts for returns, resale and abandonment.
Compared to the company’s other gadgets, the Apple Watch faces a some formidable hurdles. Fundamental issues—like battery life, complexity and the primary dilemma of convincing people they need a wrist gadget in the first place—represent challenges for all smartwatch makers. But when it comes to Apple, which built its reputation on simplicity and ease of use, consumer expectations quite reasonably soar.
Apple has always been extremely proud of its customer satisfaction scores, yet it’s entering a new product category that will make its usual standard almost impossible to maintain. That could be bad news for developers making long-term investments in the Apple Watch, and for a company accustomed to seemingly limitless success and growth.
Too Smart For Their Own Good
The fact that watches have been on their way out for a while presents a particular quandary for smartwatch companies.
Technology early adopters tend to skew younger, but in the 16-to-34 year-old demographic, nearly 60% have eschewed watches for phones as their primary timepieces. Millennials and Generation Zs have never known a disconnected lifestyle, and some will likely have difficulty adapting to something weighing down their arms. Even those of us who grew up wearing traditional Japanese or Swiss timepieces may find some unexpected challenges with smartwatches.
With regular wristwatches, people can check the time with a surreptitious glance. But the Apple Watch’s screen mostly remains off to conserve power—which, despite Apple’s assertions, cements the device as a smartwatch first and a timepiece second. To engage, users must lift their arms or press a button—gestures which may seem intuitive at first, but will lead to the distraction and irritation of errant activations.
To be fair, others—like Android Wear devices—also suffer from this problem. (Pebble addressed it with an always-on e-paper display; its latest, Pebble Time, just added color to the screen.) But for many users, the Apple Watch will be the very first device they strap to their wrists, so these downsides (along with much higher expectations) will be a much bigger problem for it.
Another key issue: Apple lists an 18-hour battery. In the real world, that likely translates into about 14 hours—especially when the device is new and people want to show it off as much as possible.
That’s not just a very different proposition than the years-long battery life of traditional wristwatches. It’s also lackluster as far as smartwatches go. Typically, most get a day to a day-and-a-half—some even go as long as a week. At least Apple offers a “Power Reserve” mode, which keeps basic timekeeping for up to three days. That’s probably where many Apple Watches will spend a good portion of their time.
For Whom The Watch Ticks
The watch’s complexity will also challenge some early customers.
Instead of the app grids and folders iOS users are accustomed to, early adopters will face clusters of tappable dots that are, at first, easy to miss with your finger. You can use the “digital crown” (i.e., the scroll wheel) to magnify them, but it’s not obvious, intuitive or convenient. Users also have to acclimate to new inputs and interactions, including long-look notifications, glances, apps, taps, force presses, and when to use the digital crown button versus the side button.
Some users will deal with the learning curve, but others used to Apple’s typical simplicity will likely find the watch overly confusing.
Fitness tracking, one of the watch’s featured selling points, may spur another collection of deserters. The Apple Watch offers sapphire-laden sensors for presumably more accurate tracking, but that can’t change one immutable fact: Fitness just doesn’t appeal to everyone.
Even if it did, it has problems retaining users in the long-term. According to a study by Endeavor Partners, as many as one third of the participants who bought a fitness tracker lost interest within six months, and “more than half of U.S. consumers who have owned a modern activity tracker no longer use it.”
Notifications, another marquee smartwatch feature, also present more problems than solutions.
Personally, I’ve reached “peak notification.” I keep my phone in “do not disturb” mode the majority of the time. Instead of allowing in constant distractions, I pull my phone out when it’s convenient—like when I’m waiting in line or in between tasks. I’m likely not alone.
Consider it a mental health safeguard: As time goes on, we better understand the detrimental effects of constant disruption on our productivity, and how bright screens affect our sleep. Given that, expect more people to look for ways to reduce the barrage of notifications, rather than make them more accessible.
Personal, But Not Essential
Apple’s new wearable may be the company’s most “personal” device, as CEO Tim Cook puts it, but it’s not essential. That may be its biggest challenge. At a $350 starting price, it’s a costly item that nobody really needs, but which demands time and energy to maintain.
Unlike necessary tools like smartphones and laptops, the watch’s appeal might have to subsist on novelty for a while, making it more of an extravagance. In that way, it’s similar to the iPad, another Apple device that skeptics call redundant. But the tablet has one advantage that the watch doesn’t: You can use it casually and intermittently.
I know several people who longer pick up their iPads regularly, but who still use them occasionally at home or for watching movies while traveling. This justifies their continued ownership, although not the purchase of new models. (These are the very people whose behavior resulted in declining iPad sales.)
Prospects for the Apple Watch prospects may be worse. There is no way to just casually use this or any other smartwatch. You are either all in—wearing it every day and charging it every night—or it will end up in your drawer, back at the Apple Store or for sale on eBay.
That’s not to say Apple didn’t design an excellent smartwatch, one that might actually be the best one around. The build quality alone earns high marks, with options in aluminum, stainless steel and gold. Most will choose between the first two, with prices between $350 to $600.
But even the lower end of this range still exceeds what most competing smartwatches cost. If someone doesn’t get continued use out of their Apple Watch, that financial investment may loom even larger and discourage future upgrades.
I still plan on pre-ordering an Apple Watch along with millions of other people. But I can’t be at all sure how long I’ll stick with it.
Photos and product images courtesy of Apple
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Here are eight ways to leverage psychology to sell more online, with concrete examples you can implement instantly.
The post 8 Ways To Sell More Online With Behavioral Psychology by @Rocco_Zebra_Adv appeared first on Search Engine Journal.
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Twitch.tv fans will now have the chance to buy merchandise from their favorite videogame streamers at the Twitch site, a popular destination for watching live play of videogames.
Teespring, a custom merchandise manufacturer, will let Twitch personalities with devoted followings design custom T-shirts for sale in the newly opened Twitch store. These individuals are known as “Twitch Partners,” a designation that also allows them to share revenue from ads run alongside their videos.
Twitch, which Amazon acquired in September for $1.1 billion, boasts more than 60 million unique viewers some three years after its launch in 2011. More than 1.3 million broadcasters use Twitch each month. The Twitch Partner program has over 8,500 members.
Twitch and Teespring say that the shirts and platform will be available to all broadcasters “soon.”
“The first 200 (shirts) are already populating the store,” Brooke Van Dusen, Twitch’s director of business development, said in a statement Twitch PR provided in response to questions from ReadWrite. “As soon as we’re comfortable with the volume of orders and stability of the integration, we will allow now waves of broadcasters into the program.”
While neither side would share exactly how much each party gets per shirt, Van Dusen said that broadcasters will get the biggest cut of the money. They’ll also set the shirt prices.
“The cost of the shirt is based directly on the product expense—how many colors they used, if they printed both front and back, and of course the total number of shirts printed,” Van Dusen said. “Because there is a fixed cost associated with the printing set up, more shirts that are sold, the less the cost of each individual unit. Those savings are passed on to the broadcaster.”
Additionally, any professional streamers that might already have merchandising deals with other companies will not be obligated to switch to Teespring.
The partnership between Twitch and Teespring follows an August trial run in which 24 broadcasters sold limited-edition Teespring products to viewers. According to Teespring, the T-shirts sold out in two weeks.
Lead photo by Taz; T-shirt image courtesy of Teespring
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If your office blocks Internet access to Facebook, odds are it doesn’t block LinkedIn, too. Facebook thinks that’s no fair. Now, the social network is building “Facebook at Work,” a version of its site for the workplace.
According to the Financial Times, the site will look like Facebook proper, but allow employees to keep their work life separate. Users will be able to chat with coworkers, collaborate on projects, and build catalogues of colleague’s contacts, with each of these services directly competing with Microsoft’s Yammer, Google’s Drive, and LinkedIn.
A work-friendly Facebook makes sense for the social network so that it can grasp even more of users’ time. CEO Mark Zuckerberg noted in July that American users spend an average of 40 minutes per day on the site. This could be compounded during work hours.
However, Facebook has several hurdles ahead of convincing companies to unblock a new work-friendly version of Facebook. First, there’s employers’ beliefs that Facebook is a waste of time. A 2009 survey found that more than half of employers had Facebook blocked. There’s also Facebook’s dismal privacy record. Will companies really want their employees storing sensitive work information in the same cloud that ignores “do not track” browser settings?
Finally, and most damningly, is the fact that all the services Facebook at Work will offer already exist. Slack, Google Drive, and LinkedIn already do these features well, and have the market for these respective services cornered. If Facebook at Work is going to have a chance of competing, it’ll need to extremely improve on its competitors’ services. And from the little we’ve seen of the service (with Facebook declining to comment), it’s hard to tell if Facebook for Work even has a chance.
Screengrab by Facebook
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Your privacy settings won’t be changing, the social network explained Thursday in a blog post. But its rules for using your location and payment information (when that service is added) are getting an update to accommodate its expanding empire.
To augment—if not distract from—this reminder that it owns its users, Facebook simplified its privacy settings with color-coding and a “Privacy Basics” tutorial.
From the Facebook blog post:
We’re updating our policies to explain how we get location information depending on the features you decide to use. Millions of people check into their favorite places and use optional features like Nearby Friends. We’re working on ways to show you the most relevant information based on where you are and what your friends are up to. For example, in the future, if you decide to share where you are, you might see menus from restaurants nearby or updates from friends in the area.
While couched in the language of “friends,” this is actually about targeted advertising. If Facebook knows exactly where you are, it know, it knows exactly which advertisements for local establishments to show you.
Soon too, Facebook will be able to help you spend that money by tapping into your wallet with those targeted ads:
In some regions, we’re testing a Buy button that helps people discover and purchase products without leaving Facebook. We’re also working on new ways to make transactions even more convenient and secure.
Facebook’s new data policy is where you’ll find the explanation on the information collected when you buy something through the social network. This includes:
… your credit or debit card number and other card information, and other account and authentication information, as well as billing, shipping and contact details.
And more targeted advertising ensues.
In keeping with Facebook’s 2011 settlement with the Federal Communications Commission, in which the social network agreed to give everyone a heads up on privacy changes, you’ve got seven days to comment on these changes.
Lead image by mwichary
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At Pubcon 2014 in Las Vegas, I was able to sit down and talk to Mark Daoust, CEO and Founder of Quiet Light Brokerage, about selling an online business. Mark’s company helps businesses sell their websites online, so he has seen what works and what doesn’t. In the video below, I ask Mark to go over some of the common problems he sees people running into when trying to sell their website online. Here are some key takeaways from the video: The most common problem Mark sees is that people aren’t really prepared. When it comes to selling an online […]
The post How To Sell Your Website: An Interview With Mark Daoust by @johnrampton appeared first on Search Engine Journal.
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In a panel discussion at ad:tech New York, Kevin Ryan of Motivity Marketing, Shreya Kushari of Digitas, and Hamid Saify of Deutsch discussed the best practices for getting reluctant clients to realize the power of search.
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Tickets for Seo Taiji's concert 'Christmaslowin' sell out within 20 minutes
In addition to performing his new songs from his 9th album, Seo Taiji is planning on performing classic Seo Taiji songs such as "Hayoga", "COME BACK HOME", "Class Ideals", and "To You", to celebrate his 22nd anniversary since his debut. To make the …
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[Update: Amazon has officially acquired Twitch for $970 million in cash.]
Twitch, the popular video-game livestreaming site, may have spurned a reported $1 billion acquisition offer from Google in favor of a richer proposal from Amazon.
The Wall Street Journal and The Information have both reported that Amazon is nearing a deal to acquire Twitch for more than $1 billion, and that the companies could announce the agreement as soon as today.
Previous reports that Google was acquiring Twitch were fueled by the company’s previous moves in the online video space, particularly its purchase of video streaming site YouTube in 2006. With YouTube’s strong ties to the gaming community, many believed a future partnership with Twitch was highly plausible.
Twitch was introduced by livestreaming site Justin.tv in 2011. Earlier this year, Justin.tv rebranded itself as Twitch due to the success of the video-game network.
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ReadWriteBody is an ongoing series in which ReadWrite covers networked fitness and the quantified self.
My Nike+ Running app is free, like most of the running apps I’ve tried. So how does Nike make money off of it?
It’s all in the shoes. Nike’s app asked me which shoes I run with, and when I’ve logged enough miles to run my soles into the ground, it gently suggests I get myself down to Niketown to replace them.
MapMyFitness, another big running-app maker, has now copied Nike’s moves with a new feature called Gear Tracker that it unveiled Thursday. You can now track the mileage you’ve logged on a particular set of kicks, and get reminders to replace them. MapMyFitness has partnered with Zappos.com, the Amazon.com-owned apparel store, to sell shoes.
If The Shoe Doesn’t Fit
This isn’t a shoe-selling gimmick, by the way: Runner’s World recommends replacing running shoes after 300 to 500 miles, something I didn’t realize as a novice runner. I found Nike’s nudge helpful rather than annoying.
And MapMyFitness isn’t doing this for the money—at least not the easy kind. While Zappos has a program to share a percentage of revenues with sites and apps that direct customers to it, MapMyFitness spokesperson Allison Glass tells me her company isn’t participating and that Zappos is keeping all the revenue.
A few years ago, most of the big running apps introduced premium subscription options, offering more advanced run-tracking features like live run broadcasts or more detailed analysis for a monthly or annual fee. Strava has done particularly well with its subscription offering, and MapMyFitness, RunKeeper, and Runtastic all have them as well.
But selling gear may be the real secret to making money in fitness. MapMyFitness and Runtastic have the most advanced strategies here.
MapMyFitness’s success at pushing fitness apparel and hardware is a big reason why Under Armour paid $150 million to buy the Austin, Texas-based company last year. Shortly before Under Armour announced the deal, MapMyFitness had struck a partnership with Brooks Running.
Under Armour is making a big move to sell more than just athletic clothing, including wearables like its Armour39 activity tracker and shoes, a market where it hopes to go toe to toe with Nike.
Unlike Nike+, MapMyFitness’s Gear Tracker will track any kind of shoe—which is a sensible strategy for an upstart like Under Armour. Gear Tracker’s openness mirrors MapMyFitness’s digital strategy: Its application programming interface connects to a wide array of other fitness apps and devices—including Nike’s.
In contrast, there’s Runtastic, a fitness app maker which has put its brand on a number of devices it sells, from heart-rate monitors to apparel to bike cadence sensors to wireless scales. Some are just generic devices with the Runtastic name attached, while others, like the Libra scale and the Orbit activity tracker, are deftly integrated into Runtastic’s mobile apps and website. (The only thing Runtastic isn’t selling, it seems, is shoes.)
Collecting The Data, Sale Or No
The underlying thread here is that the savviest fitness-app developers are finding ways to link free software with paid hardware. Rather than slap tiny mobile banners on their apps, they’re getting directly involved in the sale, by tying shopping to specific moments in an active person’s life. Your shoes are worn out? Buy some new ones. Not making progress on your bike rides? Try a heart-rate monitor or cadence sensor to analyze your performance.
And ultimately it may not matter if MapMyFitness sells a lot of shoes, or gets a cut of the proceeds. Just knowing what its users are wearing could be invaluable market research for Under Armour as it tries to gain share of feet in the shoe market.
Nike’s running-app strategy, which assumes people live in a Nike universe, works well for retaining current customers and prompting them to buy new shoes. But it closes it off to what’s happening in the world outside. Once people stop buying Nike shoes, Nike stops gathering data. And in a digital world, without data, you might as well close up shop.
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock
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