Monday, January 31, 2011

The iPad User Experience is Everywhere, Including Notre Dame

It seems iPads are popping up everywhere. This week I'll be testing the compatibility of one of our client's websites on the iPad and revamping the site for better usability.

It seems everyone is down with the iPad, even my professors at Notre Dame. Too bad I didn't get an iPad when I was at Notre Dame. What's interesting is how much people favor the iPad depending on their use. I read an article today that just goes to show, feature by feature, it's functionality is not optimal in all circumstances - The iPad still has a long way to come but has definitely taken eCommerce to a whole new level in terms of being able to shop anywhere you want.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Never Leave the Home to Shop for Groceries?

Could it be true? An article posted in the Wall Street Journal yesterday suggested that Amazon's AmazonTote, a grocery service similar to Peapod, may begin planning to spread to other areas of the country. Currently, is only available in the Seattle area. The great thing about this service is that there is no service or delivery fee.

While Amazon's PR rep did decline to comment and it may be that the suggestion of expansion is not valid, it does pose the question of where the service industry is going when it comes to our eCommerce world. Online grocery shopping would put local grocery stores out of business or would force them to drastically change their business model. It's likely most individuals would buy their hard goods online but still choose to purchase their meats, fruits, and vegetables locally.

Whatever the case, our daily shopping lives will likely be very different five years from now. See the full article here -

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

An Aftermarket Shopping Site for Coupons?

Today, I read an article about a new website called Lifesta ( that allows users to post coupons for sale that they no longer want. So I went and checked it out for myself. My initial thought was this is a really great idea! I can't wait to see what deals I can get. So to my surprise, I was able to search for deals without being forced to enter my email address and subscribe. And boy, am I glad I didn't subscribe. Because, after a search for coupons for just Indianapolis, I discovered there weren't very many coupons available. In fact, with a search across the entire nation, the coupons were the same as the ones available for Indianapolis.

I'll give the site the benefit of the doubt since it's a new concept and it takes users like us to post great offers to make it a great site to shop. It's definitely worth a peak but not a site you want to give your email address to for another subscription in your email in box. I'd say you're better off sticking with your original subscription to the original coupon sites since the coupons posted on are going for the same price as coupons from the original site. In fact, it appeared some people were trying to sell their coupons for more than the original Groupon price, probably to make up for the 8% service fee Lifesta charges. We'll see how this site progresses over time...

Monday, January 24, 2011

Technical Introduction to IBM WebSphere MQ V7

Don't Miss IBM's Social Jam February 8 - 10th

If your New Year's Resolution is to improve your social marketing strategy, IBM's free online social jam will be right up your alley...

The Social Business Jam is an online brainstorming event sponsored by IBM taking place Tuesday, February 8th - Thursday, February 10th. Via Social Business Jam, thousands of existing and prospective clients, subject matter experts, partners and developers will share ideas — and engage in conversations — about the meaning and value of social business.

Interested parties can sign up here -
Happy jamming!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Ask Your Shoppers What Motivates Them and You Shall Receive

I've often wondered why more marketing departments don't take advantage of surveying their customers to find how what motivates multi-channel shopping habits. Pottery Barn Kids marketers seem to be taking advantage of surveying their customers and ask really great questions to get to what drives the consumer.

After completing a baby registery at their store, I received a survey with some great questions to find out what would drive me to shop at their store in the future and what drove me to register at their store. Another "no brainer" question was what competitor stores I also registered at. After completing this survey, they'd be able to identify if I'd shop their again based on a $50 off $300 order or whether a meager 10% coupon would do the trick.

So why are so many retailers paying research firms for these answers when they can just ask their customers themselves? I've found the most common answer to be that they don't collect the proper data on their customers in the first place to be able to segment their customers properly. I mean, Pottery Barn Kids had to be able to segment only customers that had a baby registry and had completed their registry in the last 60 days. They had to also know that I hadn't already completed the survey. It seems simple but without the proper database management and email applications in place, collection can become quiet daunting. However, once put in place, the sky can be the limit on marketing research not to mention the personalized customer experience that's brought to all of your customers. And Pottery Barn Kids didn't use some fancy surveying software. They used Zoomerang, which anyone could set up in about 5 minutes.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Online Christmas Shopping Forever!

This Christmas was especially special for the Khans. Sofia Ellen Khan was born December 11th. And being the big planner that her mother is, the internet was her savior for not missing a beat on getting Christmas gifts out on time (in between feedings and diaper changes every 2 to 3 hours). And with free shipping at every site I shopped at, I just might do my Christmas shopping every year online.

According to Internet Retailer's article "Nearly 64% of Americans shopped online over the holidays", it sounds like I'm not the only one on the internet shopping bandwagon. (Reference:, January 21, 2011)

With a new baby in the home, I'm sure to do a lot more shopping online since my shopping time is drastically decreased when carting around a child who might cry for a diaper change or food at any moment. In fact the deals on clothes, accessories, and other items for Sofia are now dropped right in my email in box on a daily basis. sends a daily email alert with exclusive designers with up to 80% off. The only catch is that the deal is only available for up to 48 hours and you must be a member of the web store. Sign up is easy and the daily alert is fun to receive. Who needs to bundle up and head to the store when you can snuggle up with a cup of coffee and your new baby next to the computer each morning! Hurray for online shopping and online Christmas shopping from here on out! That's my New Year's resolution...much easier than loosing that extra 20 pounds of baby weight in 2011.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Grand Opening

Here at BlueSky Technology Partners, we want to introduce our brand new blog. At the start of 2011, we decided to introduce a blog where our expert consultants and developers will blog on current industry trends, new ideas, news, and advancements in technology. We would like everyone who is interested in technology to come see what BlueSky is up to and what we currently are doing to be thought leaders. Please stay tuned for more blogging from our employees!

Happy blogging! :)