Too often when people think of developing their websites for mobile, they limit that thinking to smartphones. In fact, tablet use is not only on the rise, but for eCommerce site owners out there, online shopping via these devices has risen significantly in the past year while desktop use has dropped. In March 2012 alone more than 40 million Americans visited Amazon via tablet or smartphone. A recent Adobe study showed that one tablet generates as many website visits as four smartphones.

With the continued rise of eTailing and consumer online spending, you would think that in-store (or offline) purchases would be slowing, right? Not entirely. Though online purchasing is indeed on the rise, 90% of consumers in a recent poll (illustrated in the infographic below) reported that a physical store is still very important . A new trend is emerging where consumers are researching online for purchase offline, referred to as ROPO. More and more online eTailers are providing ROPO capabilities through their website so that their customers can enjoy all of the convenience of online shopping AND in-store shopping. So, how can you help your customers make the best purchase decision and actually make that purchase in your store? Here are a few ideas for offering your customers what they want - online and offline:

I recently stumbled upon the following infographic from http://visual.ly/. It gives an overview of the history of eCommerce from the first electronic transactions to today. eCommerce come so far since the days of teleshopping and Netscape, with online stores now offering everything from bagels to a zombie apocalypse survival kit. So, what's next?

Out of the box, Magento is one of the most powerful ecommerce platforms available. There are many tools available with a base Magento store that make online retail simple for stores all over the world. The added value with this platform is the amount of extensions available to a store owner. Most of these extensions are low in cost and easy to install. Several extensions available for the Magento platform today can drastically alter the shoppers’ buying experience and increase conversions. Below are just a few extensions that will bring an inexpensive boost to your Magento store.

Late last night I was doing my regular educational search when I found myself at the latest article by Luke Wroblewski on the continually evolving e-commerce checkout - which I highly recommend you read. The best part about the post is that it provides strong data to prove that certain standards that online marketing managers adhere to aren't worth drawing a line in the sand for. It also showed how, based on skill set, people tackle getting conversion rates up very differently from one company to the next.

The hottest way to monetize the internet these days is the term known to most as Big Data. Facebook is using it, Google is using it, Amazon is using it, all the big players these days are using it in one way or another. Most of them sell it to third-party companies who want the data itself. Others collect the data, and leverage it to talk directly to customers with focused advertising. Something that's proven time and again to work is getting to know your customers and fine tuning your advertisements directly to their needs and wants. Customers get a product that fits their interests and needs and companies sell more of their product. And a key way of doing it these days is all with Big Data.

In a recent webinar, Unleashed Technologies CEO, Michael Spinosa, took a close look at the investment involved in deploying a Magento Enterprise website versus a Magento Community driven website with similar project scopes. Michael explored a lot of the misconceptions eCommerce businesses have when it comes to "free" platforms, comparing true development and support costs with license fees.

There are very few eCommerce platforms on the market that are as robust and flexible as Magento. However, with any complex online store comes the risk of increased load times and potential lost conversions due to slow site performance. Recent studies have shown that just a one second delay during page loads can reduce conversions by 7%. There are several steps that can be taken to optimize a Magento site. Here are a few of the basic measures that can be taken to speed up the user's shopping experience.

Today, platform upgrades are coming in full versions every 12 to 18 months. How do organizations of any type manage this constantly evolving web world? This is a question that often comes up for many people and it's hard to understand what the value of continually upgrading that can sometimes result in a rewrite of custom functionality is.

One of the most impressive facts that I heard this week was that the user base for Magento Enterprise has doubled since the last Imagine conference. That's explosive growth and one that has resulted in Magento representing a 20% share of the eCommerce market.