Thank you for a great 2015 and Happy New Year!

I had 44 posts to this blog in 2015. My blog was read in 106 countries with a total view count of just over 100,000 views.

I want to thank you all for reading and engaging with me on my blog, in emails, on YouTube and of course LinkedIn and Twitter.

Also, if you use to subscribe to this blog, please re-subcribe. I lost all of my subscriptions when I moved to wordpress.com and they were not able to transport them. Go to my main site and subscribe in the upper right.

Screen Shot 2015-12-31 at 9.19.54 PM

For those interested, here are my top 20 blog posts in order of popularity this year:

Which Java sort is faster – MergeSort, QuickSort or Arrays.sort?
Finding the XPath in Internet Explorer
Properly cleaning up a JQuery Dialog box to prevent memory leaks
Getting and setting radio button values with JQuery
26 Node-Red nodes for your arsenal!
What the heck is BlueMix and why do I care about it?
5 Experts give us 12 tips for optimizing your IBM WebSphere Commerce Site
What the heck is an eSpot?
Major Apple mess up: This computer is already associated with an Apple ID
Abof.com sees results with Metail
New OpenNTF Project – Multiple Database Search
Objective-C and Opening files in your iOS application from mail
Rule based categories in WebSphere Commerce
Blog Moved to WordPress.com
Understanding the widget framework in WebSphere Commerce Feature Pack 7
Customizing Banner Ads in WebSphere Commerce
Debug JavaScript and HTML in a UIWebView on an iOS Device
plugin_customization.ini and Eclipse preferences
WebSphere Commerce developer tutorials on InfoCenter
IBM WebSphere Commerce v8 is here at last!
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Customizing Banner Ads in WebSphere Commerce

One of the cool features WebSphere Commerce added last year were banner ads that hover above the product image in category lists or search results. Here is an example banner ad for the IsNew attribute and how it currently shows on the product image:

Screen Shot 2015-12-16 at 10.06.34 PM

If you inspect the banner ad element you will see this in the inspector for the HTML div:

Screen Shot 2015-12-16 at 10.08.15 PM

Notice it has two classes associated with it. It applies the default value RibbonAdDefault and also automatically puts in another class with the same name as the attribute, in this case, IsNew. Since I just created this attribute it, is using the RibbonAdDefault class because I have not created an IsNew class.

The RibbonAdDefault css is the following:

.product_image .RibbonAdDefault {
 position:absolute;
 bottom:40px;
 left:0;
 width:110px;
 height:20px;
 background-color:#2C2C2C;
 background: -webkit-gradient(linear, left top, right top, color-stop(0.76, rgba(68, 68, 68, 1)), color-stop(1, rgba(255, 255, 255, 0)));
 background: linear-gradient(to right, rgba(68, 68, 68, 1) 76%, rgba(255, 255, 255, 0) 100%);
 -ms-filter: "progid:DXImageTransform.Microsoft.Gradient(gradientType=1, startColorStr='#FF444444', endColorStr='#00FFFFFF')";
 zoom: 1;
 font-size: 14px;
 line-height:20px;
 font-family: arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;
 color:#FFF;
 padding-left:10px;
 border-radius:3px;
 text-align:left;
 vertical-align:baseline;
 overflow:visible;
 white-space: nowrap;
}

What we are going to do is override this with our new CSS specifying the IsNew attribute. We are also going to change the position and have it be an image with no text. Here is the new CSS for the IsNew attribute:

.product_image .IsNew {
 position:absolute;
 display: block;
 top:10px;
 left:0;
 width:60px;
 height:60px;
 background-color:#2C2C2C;
 background: url("../images/new-icon.png") no-repeat;
 zoom: 1;
 font-size: 0px;
 line-height:20px;
 font-family: arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;
 color:#FFF;
 padding-left:10px;
 border-radius:3px;
 text-align:left;
 vertical-align:baseline;
 overflow:visible;
 white-space: nowrap;
}

This gives us an end results with the follow image:

Screen Shot 2015-12-16 at 10.18.18 PM

Notice since I made the font-size zero pixels. This is essentially making it so there is no text and it ends up just being the image.

Watch the video below to see me implement this:

Rule based categories in WebSphere Commerce

Genie.jpg

Imagine having the ability to have products placed into categories automatically in your online store front based on an attribute name and value. In WebSphere Commerce FEP8 you can now create rule-based categories that can be refreshed on an interval automatically. Check out the video below to learn more about rule-based categories.

5 Experts give us 12 tips for optimizing your IBM WebSphere Commerce Site

dynatrace_web

Our friends over at Dynatrace just published an ebook giving us 12 tips for optimizing your IBM WebSphere Commerce site from five experts. I really like the style of this ebook because it gives you some concrete tips and also references some of the experts blog posts. Just knowing these experts in the eCommerce field is worth having a look at some of these great tips. Check out the title and author of the tips below and then go register for the ebook here.

  1. Tune for success and failure – Andres Voldman
  2. Tune for cache entry size – Andres Voldman
  3. Use recommended configuration to start – Andres Voldman
  4. Cache at all levels – Kevin Yu
  5. Set your performance test strategy – Charek Chen
  6. Tailor facet filtering to most common user flows – Daniel Dunn
  7. Improve search relevancy – Daniel Dunn
  8. Use advanced merchandising techniques to move inventory faster – Daniel Dunn
  9. Monitor each customer’s experience – Brian Wilson
  10. Use realistic data sets for testing – Brian Wilson
  11. Set the performance baseline – Brian Wilson
  12. Track performance metrics down the conversion funnel – Brian Wilson

The paper ends with some great links to some webinar replays, some recommending readings and a blog roll.

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Webinar: 5 Tips Web Merchants Can Use To Drive Conversions

Bloomreach, a certified IBM partner, will be hosting a webinar on December 9th at 12pm Eastern (9am Pacific) titled “5 Tips Web Merchants Can Use To Drive Conversions”.

Click here to register today!

bloomreach

 

 

Abof.com sees results with Metail

metail

Since my last post about Metail the primary question I have received is “does Metail help with our key performance indicators or KPI’s?”. In other words, does it keep people shopping, raise conversion rates, contribute to additional sales, etc.

Metail’s solution is a sub 1 minute process and involves taking high quality photographs of garments from 8 specific angles to then construct a 3D model of the garment.

Well, I had the pleasure of speaking with Tom Adeyoola, CEO of Metail, and he and his team were kind enough to share some results that abof.com (All about Fashion) has seen since their launch. All about Fashion launched in October 2015 with Metail available from day one.  Within a period of 6 weeks, Metail has already demonstrated that abof.com customers who used Metail spent more time on the website, came back to the site more often, and ultimately purchased more.

Check out some of the statistics they sent me:

Customer engagement & retention

– Metail users spent 4x longer on abof.com than non-Metail users
– Metail users tried on 3 items per session on average
– Metail users were 2x more likely to revisit abof.com

Revenue impact

– Metail users accounted for 23% of total sales
– Metail users had a 6.6x higher conversion rate
– Metail users had a 8.6x higher RPV  (Revenue Per Visitor)

Even though these are very early statistics giving it has been live for less than two months, this is very encouraging. Check out abof.com and let me know your opinion.