Below is a list of recent news that may be of interest to webmasters. (See full list of articles)

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Switching to HTTPS: Is it really worth it?

By: Jessie Moore

There are clear benefits to obtaining that sought-after green padlock, but there is also a lot of nervousness around actually making the switch....View Full Story

Jim's Takeaway: Overall, I think most sites should "bite the bullet" and move to https. With more browser warnings, etc. it's just a bare bones requirement of being on the web these days.

Use of AI in Retail Set to Explode 87 Percent

By: MARJORIE BERMUDEZ

Retailers are increasingly turning to service and automation technologies that leverage AI in order to to unlock new revenue, reduce costs and increase customer loyalty, satisfaction and lifetime value. ...View Full Story

Jim's Takeaway: The bar is being raised for the use of artificial intelligence - I think this will raise the bar for customer interactions. The "FAQ" page will be a thing of the past, as people expect to get guided, customized help in realtime.

Can Retailers Survive Amazon's Entrance Into Subscription Fashion?

By: AMBERLY DRESSLER

Announced last month, Prime Wardrobe allows Prime members to pick three or more items across clothing, shoes and accessories, try on the items at home and return whatever they'd like in the pre-paid box....View Full Story

Jim's Takeaway: I think what's interesting here is the discussion of "pay-for-usage" models that are emerging in so many products. From computing to physical machinery, cars, etc., it seems we're moving to "rent it" rather than "own it" for more of what we use. Interesting implications for retailing going forward.

Understanding voice search: What are the implications for marketers?

By: Jason Tabeling

One report by VoiceLabs predicts that voice device growth will quadruple this year. In last year's Google IO conference Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced that 20% of search queries were coming from voice search....View Full Story

Jim's Takeaway: How does your site rank for voice / natural language queries? More importantly, are these AI engines providing the answer without even sending the user to your site?

Optimization at the intersection of search, content, social, mobile and local in 2017

By: Jim Yu

Consumer behavior has rapidly matured with the growth of the online world. Customers access the internet through a variety of different platforms and channels. Two thirds of shoppers report using more than one channel when deciding to make a purchase....View Full Story

Jim's Takeaway: The bar for successful ecommerce has been raised. Building a brand, getting customers, and selling products takes more and more investment and saavy across all channels.

Pinterest Predicts Trends of 2017

By: Jennifer Cowan

If you're a marketer or business person wondering what customers will want in 2017, look no further than Pinterest....View Full Story

Jim's Takeaway: If you are in e-commerce or starting a store, this is a list that might interest you.

Seven fascinating stats on ecommerce and cart abandonment

By: Graham Charlton

Based on data from more than 1 billion abandoned carts, we know that Tuesday is the 'worst' day of the week for cart abandonment....View Full Story

Jim's Takeaway: Interesting stats for any ecommerce site operator. If you don't measure your cart abandonment, perhaps you should!

Introducing Amazon Polly

By:

Amazon Polly is a service that turns text into lifelike speech....View Full Story

Jim's Takeaway: Here's an example of functionality platforms being made available to integrate into your website / application.

Reading Content on Mobile Devices

By: Kate Meyer

Summary: Readers can understand short, simple text content on mobile devices just as well as on computers, but they slow down when reading difficult text on mobile....View Full Story

Jim's Takeaway: As more content is viewed on mobile, site owners should be mindful of putting large blocks of text when less would suffice.

How eCommerce Store Owners Can Use Affiliate Marketing to Increase Sales​​

By: Deep Ballu

Affiliate marketing is a great way to boost your online sales. Many established as well as new store owners leverage the power of affiliate marketing because it is a performance-based marketing module. There is no risk for marketers as they only pay after an actual sale is made. ...View Full Story

Jim's Takeaway: Affiliate marketing mobilizes a commission-only sales force for your site. One downside is you will lose some control over your branding / image, as affiliates promote your products in a variety of ways.

Jim Roberts, PHP programmer