February was a short month, but there was no shortage of great articles popping up around the blogosphere. Blogger's Digest is Get Elastic's monthly roundup of can't miss posts from Linda's RSS reader.
- Not one, but two of our Elastic Path software developers sent me a link to this fascinating case study by Luke Wroblewski: "Mad Libs" Style Form Increases Conversion 25-40%. Dare to give it a try on your own site?
- Another great post from Luke W, Web Form Innovations on Mobile Devices covers design best practices for mobile usability.
- Gmail is really stepping up its bells-and-whistles. One innovation is Enhanced Email which allows the recipient to browse products within the message. Sears is already taking it for a test drive. Another new feature allows YouTube video to be played within Gmail. Mark Brownlow reports how it works and explains the hope and the hype of it for retail email marketers.
- Sephora sent out a brilliant email asking recipients to personalize the email (on an interactive landing page) to get featured product recommendations that match their skin type, tone, eye color and fragrance preferences. A novel way to personalize email when you haven't collected such information in profile data.
- Avinash Kaushik blesses us with 7 sources of free intelligence data on your direct competitors, your industry segment and search engine / website behavior.
- What does the Apple iPad mean for retail? Forrester Research's Brian Walker weighs in on the multichannel opportunity represented by the iPad as an in-store device.
- HTML5 is (slowly) coming! Will it be a Flash / Silverlight killer for showing video and other rich media or is it just hype? The iStobe blog discusses HTML5's potential applications for ecommerce and mcommerce.
- Speaking of mobile commerce - Graham Charlton of Econsultancy addresses the question: should you have a mobile site or app?
- Forrester believes that retailers are leaving too much cache on the table - focusing too much on server cache, and missing the opportunity to optimize browser and edge cache:
“Caching nearest to your users goes without saying, but most companies must allocate their caching dollars carefully, and your biggest investment should be close to your most profitable customers. Your most profitable customers may not be located in your highest concentrations of customers. Work with your marketing department to analyze customer profitability and location, and then review this data at least annually.”
- Bryan Eisenberg has compiled a master list of everything you've ever wanted to know about Google Analytics (and a few hundred things you never thought of) with the Missing Google Analytics Manual. Bookmark!
- Keep your bookmark finger ready... Which Multivariate? is an unbiased review of all the conversion optimization testing tools out there and it's very comprehensive. Hat tip to Bryan Eisenberg for sharing and Conversion Rate Experts for putting it together.
- Can A/B testing have search engine implications? Traian Neacsu shares how you can minimize the impact of website testing on SEO.