Mobile has taken over everything from gaming to computing — but strangely, not shopping. That’s about to change.

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A decade after smartphones arrived on the high street, mobile dominates everything from paying bills to hailing cabs — but not shopping. In e-commerce, the all-powerful smartphone still punches below its weight.

It’s an odd one. Mobile web traffic is surging — driving more than 56 per cent of visits to retailer websites — but those sessions convert at less than half the rate of desktop — 2.25% to almost 5%.

More and more people reach for their handsets first when they want to look at products, so what’s stopping them from following through with a purchase?

The m-commerce conversion killer

Most retailers have shifted their mobile websites to browser-responsive technology. It recognises where traffic is coming from and displays information accordingly, but it also traps the mobile shopping experience in amber. …


For businesses building online presence, long-form content is a direct route to authority and rankings

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Keeping your marketing content short & sweet seems to make sense.

Reading off screens can be tiring. All communication is becoming more visual. The popularity of social has made everyone easily distracted.

Microsoft claimed in 2015 that human attention spans had sunk to Dory from Finding Nemo level. That’s been debunked, but the idea has still taken hold: in a world inundated by content, shorter must be better — right?

Maybe. Sure, there’s something to be said for brevity. People are time-constrained and overloaded with information. Lots of brands condense their messages into digestible info-chunks that average between 500–800 words.

But if you’re a startup or scale-up looking to turn organisational knowledge into marketing tools, avoiding longer-form content limits your options. …


How buying ‘green’ electrons moved from science fiction to reality.

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Cheap and reliable power is one of the pillars of modern society, and we consume it on a gargantuan scale. Last year humanity used more than 20,000 TWh of electricity — twice as much as in 1990.

We need it. And the global economy demands it. Yet most of our power still comes from fossil fuels. With the ongoing electrification of everything, the world needs clean electricity that doesn’t contribute to global warming. Bringing more renewable generation onto the grid has never been more urgent.

Until now, cost and complexity have held that process back. But as prices for wind and solar approach parity with traditional sources, new digital platforms are making it easier to access and manage all the turbines, PV panels and storage systems dispersed across the planet. …


‘We may look back and say Slussen finally convinced the industry to leave manual processes behind.’

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Designing the new Slussen: from 15,000 hand-rendered drawings to nil

A buzz of creative chaos fills the air around Stockholm’s Slussen. The civil works mega-project is gutting the city centre’s decrepit, thirties-era transport node and replacing it with a people-friendly mix of waterside parks and modern infrastructure.

It’s loud and it’s busy; an endless rush of cars, humans, buses, and ferryboats streaming to & fro amid looming concrete foundations and the hammering of heavy equipment.

You’d be forgiven for thinking it all looks an unmanageable mess. But underneath the din, digital technology is helping orchestrate hundreds of designers, engineers, architects and builders as they complete the thousands of complex deliverables needed to see the seventeen-year project through to fruition. …


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Construction sites are some of the most visible signs of a country’s commercial vigour. Hard hats, swinging cranes, and the rumble of heavy machinery signify enterprise and economic growth in a visceral way that bar charts simply can’t match.

That’s a key reason why, in many countries, construction is a priority sector in the release from COVID-19 lockdown. An extensive ecosystem of investors, contractors, suppliers, and workers all have a stake in seeing multimillion-dollar projects restart their engines. But in uncertain times, the screeching drills and swirling dust from a new build can also be powerful symbols of renewal.

Governments around the globe are giving the green light to start reopening construction projects. Many workers are returning to thousands of dormant sites; others are expanding teams that were deemed essential and remained open with skeleton crews. …


How to turn visitors into buyers

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Here’s the truth: sat in the dentists' office you’re more likely to pick up a dog-eared copy of Take A Break than the latest Economist.

National literacy studies back this up. When it comes to reading, people — even highly-educated people — prefer to punch below their weight.

Why? If you’re using up mental energy trying to decode a text, you probably aren’t enjoying yourself.

Words matter. They always did. But the wrong combination — too densely packed or composed without care — can cost you opportunities.

Pick the right words and you can spur action, spark emotion, and kickstart a new relationship. …


‘He gave me that chance’

Excerpts from my profile of Alexander ‘Sandy’ Ross, founder of Canadian Business magazine and one of the giants of Canadian journalism. (2 of 5)

It would be easy to mythologize Sandy Ross, a man for whom there is already “an enormous amount of hagiography,” says Penny Williams, who worked with him from 1984 to 1988.

A glimpse at his résumé will help explain why:

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Editor of the University of British Columbia’s Ubyssey in the mid-fifties, the days of the infamous “Vancouver Mafia” that included Pierre Berton, Allan Fotheringham, John Turner, Joe Schlesinger and Helen Hutchinson

London correspondent for UPI

Award-winning columnist for the Vancouver


On the emotional lives of keywords, and how marketers can fine-tune content to match subliminal intent

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Looking beneath the surface of search.

The best salespeople know this in their bones: emotion drives sales. It can also define how people search the internet.

Emotion is powerful. Humans tend to feel first and think last. The brain is hard-wired to emote above all, processing emotional information in one tenth the time it takes to process words and speech.

Emotion’s influence can be felt in Google’s top searches for last year. People look for the things they love, the things they fear, and the things they’ve lost:

  • Rugby World Cup
  • Revoke Article 50 Petition
  • Game of Thrones
  • Prince Andrew

While the words themselves are just characters on a screen, as search terms they reflect the joy, anger, fear, and enthusiasm people were feeling at the time they clicked SEND. …


Save time and energy. Stay organised and on-track.

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You can’t just publish, you have to distribute.

There are a million stories out there about businesses that climbed on the content marketing bandwagon, then fell right off.

They wrote a few posts, published them on their blog, pushed them out on social, then started the cycle anew for a few months while waiting for their in-boxes to fill up.

But it didn’t happen.

Why not? Lack of discipline, lack of structure, lack of focus, and lack of a plan

To avoid becoming another content marketing casualty, you need to see where you’re going and map how you’re going to get there.

Your planning calendar is the cornerstone of the content marketing process. It’s the tool you’ll use to keep execution on track. …


Not so fast. While quantity of users may on the wane, quality is going up.

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Thinking about packing it in on Twitter? Reports of purged accounts, proliferating bots, online trolls, and fake news have taken some of the shine off one of social media’s original pioneers.

But get past the negative noise and data tells a different story. There are still 330 million people using the social network each month.

While monthly users have dipped since 2018, daily usage keeps going up.

Put another way: quantity of users may be in slight decline, but the quality is rising.

Improving network quality by getting rid of bad accounts and content is the company’s current focus, and it seems to be working. …

About

Mark de Wolf

Freelance tech writer. Fascinated by digital’s impact on absolutely everything. Find me at wolfwriter.io.

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