Google has launched reCAPTCHA v3 in a totally new version that detects abusive traffic on your website without user friction. It returns a score for each request you send to reCAPTCHA and gives you more flexibility to fight against spam and abuse in your own way.
Google announced this week that it has signed an agreement with New Zealand’s Ministry of Education to provide all state and state-integrated schools in the country with Chrome Education licenses. The three-year agreement goes into effect on November 1 next month. Last year, Google noted that Chromebooks “are the number one device used in New Zealand schools.” With a population of approximately 5 million people, Google and New Zealand Ministry of Education announced today that Chrome Education licenses will be available for all state and state-integrated schools.
“Starting on November 1, as part of an agreement with Google and the New Zealand Ministry of Education, all state and state-integrated schools across New Zealand will be able to start claiming Ministry-funded Chrome Education licenses to manage new and existing unmanaged Chromebooks. The Chrome Education license was developed to make device management in schools a breeze, so that teachers and students can focus on what’s most important — teaching and learning. Equipped with the Chrome Education license, schools can utilize essential education features to better support the many ways Chromebooks are used in the classroom,” says Suan Ye, Head of Google for Education, Australia and New Zealand.
Red Hat, best known for its Red Hat Enterprise Linux operating system will now be owned by IBM.
The deal which is worth USD $34 billion was announced today. Red Hat is an open source software which is used by thousands of users that include Major enterprise level companies including Oracle. IBM has long been a big user of and contributor to Linux and other open source projects. IBM would buy all Red Hat common shares at $190 apiece — 63 percent above Red Hat’s closing price Friday. Ginni Rometty, IBM’s chairman, president and CEO, says the acquisition would make IBM the world’s No. 1 hybrid cloud provider throwing a major challenge to Amazon cloud and Microsoft cloud platform. Red Hat will help IBM with that effort because it is a leading provider of open-source software and services that help companies bridge different platforms, she said.
Red Hat started in 1993, with its headquarters previously on the North Carolina State University campus. Red Hat has grown into the dominant provider of the Linux operating system to corporations. While Linux is available free of charge, Red Hat sells a version of Linux that contains software enhancements and the high level of technical support that corporations require. Today it has 12,600 workers worldwide in more than 35 countries. This is going to be IBM’s largest ever acquisition.
Walmart, the world’s largest retailer has reported better-than-expected sales results from the online sales in the current quarter. Online sales at the retail giant soared 40%In the last three months boosting the overall sales to US$128 billion. Walmart has been heavily investing in the online sales department primarily targeting Amazon which is considered to be anything into the share of Walmart. With the aggressive strategy of online sales, Walmart acquired Jet.com, for about $3bn in 2016 to increase its online presence. After a series of losses, Walmart is back on track with its e-commerce sales up 40% over the same period a year ago. Doug McMillan, chief executive of Walmart set the following in a press release,” we are pleased with how customers are responding to the way we are leveraging stores and e-commerce to make shopping faster and more convenient. We are continuing to aggressively rollout gossip pick up and delivery in the US and we recently announced expanded omni-channel initiatives in China and Mexico.”
Online grocery is another huge potential e-commerce opportunity that everyone is looking to encash. While Walmart is making a huge Push towards online grocery, Amazon has already taken the lead with the acquisition of Whole Foods for 13.7 US billions dollars. It also signaled Amazon (AMZN) was taking direct aim at the stale grocery industry. Since the deal was completed in August, Amazon has firmly put its stamp across Whole Foods’ 473 stores. Logistics and delivery are two most important catalysts to the online sales and Amazon is already contemplating its own logistics supply chain management. While Amazon is doing the best to push forward and take the lead role in the e-commerce industry, Walmart is slowly but definitely inching higher. It remains to be seen how much aggressive can these giants can go to capture the lucrative home user market.
Affiliate programs. Sound like heavy stuff.
What are affiliate programs really?
These days, it’s so easy to set up your own webpage. If you have a computer and internet access, you can simply go to a site such as Weebly.com, Wix.com or Squarespace.com and use ready-made templates to construct a simple personal page. These sites will give you a URL, store the content of your page and slap on some advertisements. In an hour or two, Voila! Your page is on the Web!
But what if you have a content-driven website and want to make money off your traffic? If you are an online merchant, how can you get people to your site to buy your products? This is where affiliate programs come in.
Simply put, affiliate programs, or associate programs, are arrangements in which an online merchant pays an affiliate website a commission to send them traffic. These affiliate website post links to the merchant site and are paid according to a particular agreement. This agreement is usually based on the number of people the affiliate sends to the merchant’s site, or the number of people they send who buys something or perform some other action. Some arrangements pay according to the number of people who visit the page containing their merchant site’s banner advertisement. Basically, If a link on an affiliate site brings the merchant site traffic or money, the merchant site pays the affiliate site according to their agreement. Affiliate programs work great when selling products online, but it can also be a cheap and effective marketing strategy. It’s a good way to get the word out about your site.
Here’s a good example of affiliate programs in action. In 1996, Jeff Bezos, CEO and founder of Amazon.com, popularized affiliate programs as an internet marketing strategy. Amazon.com attracts affiliates to post links to individual books for sale on Amazon.com, or for Amazon.com in general, by promising them a percentage of the profits if someone clicks on the link and then purchases books or other items. The affiliate helps make the sale, but Amazon.com does everything else: They take the order, collect the money and ship the book to the customer. With over 500,000 affiliate Web sites in participation, Amazon.com’s program is a resounding success.
Over the past few years, affiliate programs have grown enormously in popularity, taking many interesting forms. For many Web sites that don’t deal much in e-commerce, functioning as an affiliate is a good way to jump into e-commerce.
There are three basic types of affiliate programs payment arrangements:
Pay-per-sale –Amazon’s affiliate programs mentioned above is an example of a pay-per-sale arrangement. In this arrangement, the merchant site pays an affiliate when the affiliate sends them a customer who purchases something.
Some merchant websites, like Amazon.com, pay the affiliate a percentage of the sale and others pay a fixed amount per sale.
Pay-per-click – In these affiliate programs, the merchant site pays the affiliate based on the number of visitors who clicked on the link to come to the merchant’s site. They don’t have to buy anything, and it doesn’t matter to the affiliate what a visitor does once he gets to the merchant’s site.
Pay-per-lead – Companies with these affiliate programs pay their affiliates based on the number of visitors they refer who sign up as leads. This simply means the visitor fills out some requested information at the merchant site, which the merchant site may use as a sales lead or sell to another company as a sales lead.
There are a number of other arrangements as well. But basically, a company could set up affiliate programs based on any action that would benefit them, and then pay their affiliates based on the number of customers the affiliates send them who perform that action.
Most affiliate programs also prohibit offensive content, but generally speaking, any website could be involved in an affiliate program. Although they are commonly called merchants, websites don’t even need to sell anything to benefit from having affiliates. A lot of content-based Web sites get most of their money from advertisers, which are attracted by high traffic numbers. Because of this, traffic translates directly into profit for these sites.
There are all sorts of affiliate programs, from top Web sites to small personal pages. Basically, any website can join affiliate programs, and if they choose well, they could just make some money off of it. Some sites, such as Memolink and MyPoints, are just big collections of affiliate programs. These sites join a variety of pay-per-click or pay-per-lead programs and then pay their visitors a fraction of the commission on each click or reward them with prizes.
Two of Canada’s biggest banks BMO and CIBC have reported that they have been targeted by hackers and that the personal information of over 40,000 customers may have been stolen or compromised. The hackers had broken through the security of these institutions and are now demanding a ransom of over $1 million or they will make the information public.
The Bank of Montréal and CIBC’s Simplii financial services department have received email threats on the weekends that hackers have access to personal and account information belonging tens of thousands of customers and are now demanding 1 million USD from each bank in the shape of crypto currency. Failing to do so , the hackers will release all the information to the public which can be a disaster for these institutions. This can result in multiple lawsuits as the banks failed to secure customer’s data. The banks were however quick to respond and commented that they would fully reimburse customer for any financial impact of unauthorized transactions. Welcome to the new normal of hacking winner anything and everything is possible. Despite spending millions and millions of dollars every year on security, hackers have been able to preach all major security firewalls and continue to create new since in this world of technology. This of course is a serious concern for all major institutions around the world as there is so far no despite from hacking and malware which is a flourishing industry. The hackers are always getting better and better and winning the battle.
Adobe Systems Inc. today announced that it is acquiring Magento, one of the most popular open-source e-commerce platform for our whooping 1.68 billion USD. This is a major acquisition by Adobe which was looking for a partner in the e-commerce industry. This is a major news for the e-commerce world especially Shopify, which is seen as a fierce rival to Magento. Shopify has gained thousands of small to midsize e-commerce retailers from popular e-commerce platforms such as Magento, OS commerce, Prestashop and this is a major update. Last month, Square announced that it would require a popular website builder platform name Weebly for three $365 million and today Adobe made this surprise announcement of its acquisition. Adobe has popular software’s including Photoshop, flash, Adobe analytics and this platform will definitely provide a Launchpad to the e-commerce market. Magento technology supports more than one $155 billion in gross merchandise volume and has customers that include Canon Inc., Coca-Cola etc. eBay previously owned Magento which was later sold to Permira holding LLP in the year 2015. This punch is wordlessly the company battle cloud-based services especially the e-commerce.
Cross-selling is one of the most important elements for any type of e-commerce selling techniques solution. The best example of cross-selling that we see around us is from the McDonald’s restaurant. You must have heard the very popular saying, “would you like to have fries with your burger?” Or “would you like to have a drink with your order?”. This is one of the best examples of how successful cross-selling can be effective and can bring significant revenues.
Cross-selling is an amazing opportunity that anyone can exploit as the customer is in the buying mode and anything that you sell apart from the intended product is a plus and win-win for you. But consumers’ purchasing decisions are greatly impacted by personalization factors. If they’re recognized, offered relevant recommendations, or remembered by businesses, they’re 75% more likely to buy a company’s products again. It is advisable that you should only offer the cross-selling products when your customer is ready to buy a product. If however, you try to sell the customer before he has made a decision, that might confuse him and he might not actually buy the product he intended to buy in the first place. Don’t get carried away with upselling too much or you will crash the customer budget and that might cause him to abandon the shopping process. Make sure cross-selling pitch is relevant to the customer need and that it will add real value to his business. If your qualification process is executed properly, this should fall easily into place. Your cross-selling product should be relevant, useful and offer a lower cost option. Let’s take an example here. If you are selling a mobile phone, it is a good idea to upsell the mobile case or an extra charger cable. These two items are necessary and will add value to customers product requirements. This will help you make extra profit and at the same time, the customer will get products that will complement his initially brought product. As a good practice, if you are cross-selling your products on an e-commerce site, create a resource page for your product which will have all the relevant information about your products and also all the associated products that can be sold as a bundle. This will help your customers to stay longer on your site, browse products more efficiently and make multiple sales at the same time creating revenues for you. Creating resource pages for each and every product is a time-consuming process but is definitely an investment worth spending time.
Amazon Cross Selling Model
Amazon is the best example of cross-selling products one may see. If you are looking to buy a computer monitor, you will see several other options such as bundle products and cross-sell products displayed underneath the main product. Based on your interest in a current item, Amazon suggests other items you might want to buy. Cross-selling is one of the best techniques to generate additional revenues for an e-commerce platform. Cross-selling builds customer loyalty, improves your profit and present customer options to stay longer on your website
WordPress is arguably the most popular open-source platform for website design and development. WordPress began its journey from a modest blog creating site and today you find amazing versatility and scalability with WordPress-based websites. Be it an e-commerce site or a community site, WordPress has all the required features to design a fully functional website with tons of features. As per an estimate, over 30% of the web uses WordPress which includes hobby blogs to the biggest news sites online. Some of the big-name brands that use WordPress includes
- our own e-commerce partners website
- BBC America
- Sony music
- Walmart blog
- NASA blogs
- Jay Z website
- CNN and more
WordPress was founded in the year 2003 some 15 years ago and was written in PHP using MySQL database. The platform currently powers over 10 million websites all over the world.
The beauty of WordPress lies in the ease of use. You don’t have to be a hardcore developer to be able to make changes to your website and WordPress exactly has done the magic for them. The WordPress has easy to use content management system which can be used by even a school going kid. WordPress also comes with tons of amazing plug-ins which allows you to extend the features and functionality of the website. It is estimated that WordPress has over 50,000 plugins available each of which can offer custom functionality. You do not need an FTP client to add a plug-in as it has a very simple to use popular functionality to upload the plug-ins. WordPress is also an SEO friendly as they are several amazing plug-ins which can extend the core as your functionality to meet your website fully SCO optimized.
Easy Theme Integration
Another amazing feature of WordPress is the ability to change the Themes with one click. WordPress offers free themes which can change the entire look and feel of your website. If however, you are looking for advanced design changes, you can always go with a paid theme from any popular template website such as themeForest.net or template monster.
Themeforest.net has some of the best WordPress themes and plug-ins to extend the functionality of your website. Whether you’re running an e-commerce WordPress site or a service based website, you can find thousands of amazing themes and plugins including WordPress SEO Plugins to custom design your website. These plug-ins and themes are fully tested before they are launched in the market.
WordPress comes in bed with several integrated features including a search engine friendly functionality, clean Permalink structure, support for tagging, support for videos and galleries and much more. WordPress is truly giving the e-commerce specialized software’s run for the money.
Here are some shortcuts you can use while working on a WordPress website.
Call us for free estimate if you are looking for WordPress SEO.
Getting mortgage is getting harder and harder day by day especially after introduction of new measures to tighten up the real estate and market. Bank of Canada has increased the rate of interest three times in one year to put a squeeze on the housing market in Canada especially the greater Toronto area which has resulted in higher mortgage rates. If you are looking for a mortgage to secure a home, we recommend that you shop around extensively to look for the best available rates in the market. The posted rates on the bank websites are usually higher than what you find internally. Talk to Mark H specialist with whom you have your primary bank account and tried to secure this possibility. All the banks have targets for the mortgages and they are willing to go the extra mile to help you become their mortgage client. Mostly banks do on her great match policy so you should try to make the best bargain possible. If somehow bank declined to offer you mortgage, you can always look for private lenders who can help you get the mortgage at same or even better rates. You have the option to go with either fixed or variable rate. There are several pros and cons of fixed versus variable mortgage rates so you should properly review your case and get qualified accordingly. As you are aware in fixed mortgage, market rate and payments are fixed for a period of time while in the variable market-rate, the interest rate fluctuates with the market. Market interest payments either fluctuate with frustration in the prime rate or the interest portion of the payment varies. As per the latest trends in the market, the best fixed mortgage is being offered by TD Canada trust Bank with the mortgage rate of 3.34% on a five-year term. If you are looking for a three-year term, you can qualify with the rate of 3.44% while with the one year your rate of interest decreases down to 2.99%.
For the variable mortgage, the best rate is 2.95% being offered by TD Canada bank for a period of five years. If you go with a private lender you might get a fixed mortgage rate of 3.09% for a period of five years while 2.69% for a period of one year.
Considering the market scenario, the real estate market has corrected itself from the last year. The overall sales of homes in the GTA have dropped over 30%. Securing a mortgage has become very difficult as banks have been instructed to be vigilant on high-value mortgage transactions. Based on the scenario, there is a chance that the Bank of Canada will increase the rate of interest again. If you are looking to buy a home, now is the best time as the prices are comparatively lower than the previous year and there are limited buyers looking out to buy a home. The introduction of foreign buyers tax has further helped the market for a reasonable correction. Although the prices are still very high against the actual value, the home prices are expected to increase again next year. As per the recent report, there is a glut in the supply of new homes in the greater Toronto area while the demand and population are on the rise. The prices therefore won’t last long and the search is imminent. If you’re looking to buy or sell a home in the greater Toronto area, please contact the team at local Toronto and he would be happy to give you all the information about the homes and in market scenario.