She said to herself, “If only I can touch his cloak, I shall be cured.” Jesus turned around and saw her, and said, “Courage, daughter! Your faith has saved you.” –Matthew 9:21-22

Then the LORD said: Go out and stand on the mountain before the LORD; the LORD will pass by. There was a strong and violent wind rending the mountains and crushing rocks before the LORD—but the LORD was not in the wind; after the wind, an earthquake—but the LORD was not in the earthquake; after the earthquake, fire—but the LORD was not in the fire; after the fire, a light silent sound. When he heard this, Elijah hid his face in his cloak. -1 Kings 19:11-13

Sometimes, it’s important to listen to that “light silent sound” and recognize it for what it is.

This has been kind of a crazy time at work for me recently. Between a recent acquisition and new management for my division, there’s been a lot of organizational changes, but until recently it didn’t look like it would affect me that much. I did not consider that a good thing, because I have been hoping for a change. I have a really great situation at work that allows me to spend time with my family and pays me well enough, so I wasn’t really looking to move, but when you spend 10 years working on the same thing, anyone could get bored.

So, I’ve literally written on my review for the last several years that I hoped we could find someone to take over “Project X” so that I could have more time to explore new opportunities with our customers. With the old management in place over those years, nothing ever really happened, so I was kind of stuck. But then, my boss and I met with the new GM a few weeks ago and he has reorganized the group and put me in a new role that looks like it’s going to be great.

Why do I mention all this? Because this is where that “light silent sound” came in. The meeting I described came in the midst of a tradeshow I was at, which is kind of like the violent wind and the earthquake. There was simply too much going on for me to recognize this gift for what it was.

And then, after I got back from the tradeshow, I went on a Catholic mission trip with my daughter and our parish Youth Group. For a five days, I spent my mornings going to daily Mass with the kids, and about 200 others from across the country, then rebuilding a deck for a senior citizen during the day, and then music, dancing, fun and, later, reflection in the evenings.

On one of those evenings, we ended the night with Eucharistic Adoration. It was during my meditation with the Blessed Sacrament that it suddenly occurred to me that God had answered my prayer. The whole reorganization at work has given me the opportunity to explore new paths in my career while still keeping the same family-friendly aspects of my job which, as I said, I’d been hoping for literally for years. The other thought that occurred to me is that, since this opportunity is a gift from God, I’d better not waste it.

There were other answered prayers that week, too. After the first day of wrestling with the deck, I prayed for the wisdom to know how to complete the project that, quite honestly, hadn’t gone as well as I had planned to that point. My prayer was answered when the camp director assigned another dad to help me on the project. Rather than receiving the wisdom directly, it came in the form of another more-experienced carpenter and together we got the project completed, and I learned a few things along the way. Prayers get answered, but not always in the way you expect.

Before I close, I’d just like to give a shout out to Catholic Heart WorkCamp the organization that ran the Mission Trip. They do nearly 100 week-long sessions throughout the US and internationally each summer, giving thousands of teens the opportunity to serve, connect with and love others. I was blessed to be able to share this week with my daughter, other teens and adults from our parish and even our new pastor came along for the week. I cannot say enough good things about the program and encourage you all to look into it for yourselves for next year.

God bless,
Tech Knight

 

Do you ever wonder if there is more you could do to improve your ecommerce website? Well, maybe there is. We have put together a list of useful tactics that can help you improve your ecommerce website and turn a lead into a customer.

1.  Start Upselling

Upselling is a great way to encourage a customer to buy a more premium product at the checkout. In fact, the tactic is thought to be 20 times more effective online than cross-selling. For instance, if a customer is looking at a handbag made from a low-quality material, why not upsell a similar style in a higher quality fabric?

For upselling to work, you must highlight the difference in the two products, which may convince a customer to pay a little extra for a higher quality item. Highlight a product’s USP, such as “handmade” or “as seen on TV”, etc. Ensure the upselling tactic relates to the original item, and only highlight products similar to a customer’s price range.

2.  Decrease Cart Abandonment Rate

One big issue troubling many ecommerce websites is cart rate abandonment. It is easy to take an abandonment personally, but don’t. Instead, take action to reduce the number of people clicking away from your website in the middle of a sale.

More than likely, a customer may not have been 100% confident a product was right for them during the online shopping experience, so they chose to click away. Look for ways to persuade them to buy a product from your website by providing free delivery or a welcome discount code.

Another effective tactic is an email marketing campaign, as you can send an automated email to remind potential customers to complete a purchase on your website. A well-designed, professional and friendly email could be all it takes to convince a visitor to buy a product.

3.  Build a Following with Instagram

Are you taking advantage of Instagram to drive traffic to your e-commerce site? If not, now is the time. While Facebook and Twitter are two of the biggest social media platforms, Instagram is certainly hot on their heels. It currently has more than 500 million active users and is growing five times faster than overall social network usage.

By using the right hashtags, stunning photos and scheduling posts at the right times, you could gain an impressive Instagram following in no time. As a result, you can direct a large proportion of followers to your website, who may browse and buy your products.

Encourage engagement by running competitions, beautiful advertising campaigns or providing a behind-the-scenes look at your products or office. Don’t forget to regram photos of followers using your collections, which will prove to others that you have many happy customers.

4.  Integrate Shopify with NetSuite

Did you know you can integrate Shopify ecommerce with NetSuite? The simple solution can help you to streamline back office operations to run a more efficient ecommerce business, which will provide you with more freedom to sell and deliver great products to your customers. Easily manage orders, cancellations and refunds in one location, while unifying stock levels and connecting multiple Shopify stores to a comprehensive account.

5.  Utilize Email Marketing

Email marketing is one of the most powerful marketing tools available. If you want to regularly engage with new and existing customers, while turning leads into sales, you must deliver aesthetically-pleasing, relevant emails directly into a subscriber’s inbox.

According to the Direct Marketing Association, the marketing tactic can provide an ROI of approximately 4,300%. While only 2% of social media followers will view your posts, it is believed an average of 90% of emails will reach subscribers. So, if you want to grow your online store, it is time to create an email marketing strategy that complements your brand and audience needs.

6.  Wishlist Reminder Email

One tactic you should add into an email marketing strategy is a Wishlist reminder. Allow a customer to place an item into their account’s Wishlist. If they haven’t viewed the Wishlist in a while or if the item will soon be sold out, send them a helpful reminder to consider buying the product before it is too late. This may cause a customer to develop a sense of urgency, so they may decide to buy the product after receiving your email.

7.  A Beautiful Website

Customers will not buy from a website they cannot trust. An easy-to-use, visually-appealing website will prove to a visitor that you are an established company. Don’t stuff a home page or landing page with too much text or photos, and try to find the right balance between the two.

It is not only the aesthetics that can cause a person to click away from your website. The site should feature well-written content and detailed product descriptions; provide clear navigation and offer a quick load time.

8.  Encourage Product Reviews

Prove to your customers that you have nothing to hide and encourage product reviews on your ecommerce site. A customer will appreciate your transparency, which is a great tool for building trust in your products. What’s more, it will allow each visitor to make an informed decision before they make a purchase. Highlight the product review section at the bottom of a page, and ask people to leave a review via an email marketing campaign or social media.

9.  Embark with Market Research

Update your collections to encourage customers to return to your store again and again. However, don’t rush in when adding new items to your inventory. Embark on market research to identify if market demand outweighs the cost.

Undertake keyword research and review social media trends to meet upcoming industry demand. Don’t be afraid to test items by listing them as “out of stock” to see how many people enquire about the product. Review the pages for each “out of stock” item to see which one receives the most attention, so you know the right product to sell to your customers.

For fear of sounding like Pauline Kael, who apparently said,”I live in a rather special world. I only know one person who voted for Nixon,” yesterday I did an informal survey of people I’ve known for years and all but one said that they’re “up-to-here” and fed up of hearing about Russia Russia Russia in the news. Some used less delicate words.

The only one who is interested in Russia Russia Russia/Trump campaign story at this point lives in Washington, D.C., is heavily involved in politics and despises our current President.

Perhaps “I live in a rather special world.” Perhaps Washington is the “rather special world.” But by now everybody, except for those in D.C., who has been hearing about this for over half a year is concerned about their well being and that of their families, health and personal problems as they may arise, paying their bills and solidifying a stable financial situation, and myriad other problems. That is, the same problems adults grapple with their entire lives consume their time.

Some are in terrible situations: Larry O’Connor’s radio show caller dramatically explains (emphasis added),

O’Connor: Allen in Southern Maryland, you’re on WMAL. Go Al.
Allen: I’m sick of the Donald Trump stuff, all the Trump stuff. I consider myself one of the forgotten men and women. I’m worried about job creation. I’m worried about tax cuts. I need more money. I’m living paycheck to paycheck. They just cut off my cable bill. I’m rubbing two nickles together. My girl can’t find a job to help me. We’re out here struggling and these people don’t get it. I mean they really don’t get it. [Inaudible] I don’t have money. I mean, I’m cutting back on my medicine, my groceries. She can’t find a job…
O’Connor: Do you feel like the President … Allen, do you feel like the President is keeping his head down and doing what he promised to do to try to help you and other Americans like you?
Allen: If they let him do it and give him a chance. They are fighting him every step of the way. We need help out here. We’ve been struggling for years under Obama and he had the right message. We voted him in because of that. We need tax cuts. I need a couple of extra dollars on my paycheck every week. We need jobs. We need Trump and these liberals, the press and all this to get off that and think about us that’s out here putting our boots on everyday, getting up at four o’clock in the morning, going to work and trying to provide for our families and it’s hard. I love you Larry.
O’Connor: Thank you Allen. Thanks for listening and keep the faith.

I’ve written at my blog about how this media obsession is obscuring coverage of whatever else is taking place around the world; when it comes to Latin America, our hemisphere has nearly vanished from American media.

We could spend days discussing the disconnect of the media and the Beltway from the average American, or speculating about who benefits from this Russia Russia Russia/Trump campaign story obsession. My colleague Snoopy at WoW! Magazine posits there’s someone laughing:

. . . the only man that is still laughing is the one in Kremlin. Watching the travesty of the ongoing witch hunts and the administration busy at counterattacking the media, instead of doing what the government is meant to do – how could the man not laugh?

Aye, there’s the rub.

Fausta Rodríguez Wertz writes on U. S. and Latin America at Fausta’s blog

Here are the last Pintastic 2017 Videos and interviews from the show.

I talked to Jessie who was at her first Pintastic

and watched her play a little Wizard of Oz

I talked to Sean who was waiting to play Dialed In

I played a little of the new Star Wars Pinball (only got to play it once)

And that ended the Pintastic Interview on Saturday. On Sunday morning I shot (what I thought) was the last Pintastic interview again with Gabriel D’Annunzio the man who made it all possible at the cost of being flat out taking care of things

If you enjoyed Pintastic he is the man you need to thank the most.

I was getting ready to leave and join my wife and other son at a breakfast/lunch Buffet down the road when internet sensation Todd Tuckey’s partner in crime Frank joined me for an interview filmed by my son, we were shortly joined by Todd Tuckey himself.

That video I shot for Todd that we’re talking about is not up at TNT Amusements yet, I’ll post it once he has it up.  I was wearing two hats and scarfs btw because we were leaving and I had not packed a hatbox.

My full playlist for Pintastic is embedded below

As you can see there was a lot of work along with the play at Pintastic 2017.

I’ll likely have one more pintastic post related to a topic I’ve dealt with before but we now return to our normal blogging, at least until next week when I’ll be at the Catholic Media event in Chicago and I shoot a whole bunch of new interviews to post


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And as I’ve said before if you can’t spare the cash we will be happy to accept your prayers.