Here at Strathcom, we are constantly working on new features and new ways to provide the best experience for our clients. Here are just a few things that we updated in the last week:
New Silent Salesman Styling
Our Silent Salesman tool is just one of the tools we have added to our new website platform. Inspired by Amazon and Expedia, this tool uses scarcity tactics to create a sense of urgency for potential customers viewing a piece of inventory on your site. Last week, we updated the styling of this tool and we added arrows to indicate when the price of the vehicle as recently increased or decreased.
Incentive Pricing Calculation Fix
You and I know that manufacturers change their incentives every month, but that doesn’t mean your customers do. Our OEM incentive tool automatically pulls incentive data and displays it on your SRP as well as your VDP – it even breaks down the Cash, Finance and Lease information for you. Last week, we deployed an update to correct a small calculation error that some feeds were seeing.
For more information on both of these tools, give us a call today or subscribe to our newsletter!
Blackberry has just re-positioned themselves in the global marketplace. The longtime manufacturer of mobile phones is now shifting its focus and recently launched a new research center to develop self-driving cars.
Blackberry obtained the green light from Canadian authorities to test Ford’s Lincoln vehicles equipped with stand-alone driving software – a pilot project dubbed Autonomoose. Blackberry also signed an agreement to work directly with the automaker, which plans to launch their autonomous vehicles for car-sharing by 2021.
While Blackberry believes that it will take time for autonomous vehicles to be fully operational, this announcement demonstrates the appetite of computer giants to enter the automotive sector, as computer software and hardware are very likely to be key elements to the car of tomorrow. In fact, for many, this news may come as no surprise, as technology companies such as Google and Apple have already confirmed that they too are working on self-driving cars.
Luckily, the automobile division of Blackberry already boasts 400 employees, having already developed software currently embedded in vehicles. With safety and security at the forefront of self-driving car development, Blackberry’s high standard of security may give them a competitive advantage consumers seek. No matter the company, it’s great to see strides and significant financial contributions being made in the automotive space.
We all know that companies use these tactics to try to get us to act on a sale, and we do! We all know that 99¢ is really $1.00, but it works! Our brain tells us we need to act before it’s too late. Marketers are using our own instincts against us, and there is nothing we can do about it!
It all has to do with the Reptilian brain, millions of years of evolution, and a time when not getting that meal when the opportunity arose could mean death. It’s not that dire anymore, but we still have the faculties that cause us to make decisions based on urgency and abundance. I could talk about this for hours, but instead I’ll refer you to influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini and Neuromarketing by Patrick Renvoise, two great books that teach you how to use those faculties to your advantage.
One way Strathcom has incorporated this into our new website platform is a tool we call Silent Salesman.
When a user goes to the VDP (Vehicle Detail Page) of a vehicle they are interested in, they will still be met with the standard photos, description, pricing etc., but now they will also see how many people have viewed that vehicle and how many inquiries have been made on that vehicle. The more interest that is shown in that car, the more the user is going to want it. The more inquires the user sees for that car, the more it will trigger the reptilian brain to act in fear of missing out. It seems like a small feature, but it has tons of power.
This is just one tool that Strathcom can add to your toolbox to sell more cars. If you’d like to know how you can enable the Silent Salesman tool on your website, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. Sell more cars before the customer ever walks into your dealership!
After a 2 year wait, Google’s Penguin algorithm has finally been updated! The Penguin filter was designed to capture sites that are spamming Google’s search results in ways that Google’s regular spam detection systems might not have noticed. Previously, the Penguin filter would “catch” sites deemed as spammers, and they would remained penalized even if the site improved or changed until the next time the filter would run (which could take anywhere from several weeks to several months).
With this latest release, Penguin now operates in real time. Now when Google recrawls and reindexes pages, these pages will be assessed immediately by the filter and then released or caught as a part of this process.
Penguin will now also devalue spam by adjusting ranking based on spam signals, rather than affecting the ranking of the whole site. Previously, Penguin was a site-wide penalty, but now only specific pages on a website may be impacted rather than the entire site.
For more information on how this can affect your site’s ranking, contact one of our friendly OMM’s here at Strathcom Media!
With the announcement and upcoming launch of Google’s all new mobile-only chat app Allo and Duo, will that be the end of Google Hangouts? No way!
Google has confirmed that Google Hangout is a separate “standalone product” and it will continue to run with no interference from Allo and Duo.
Continue reading “Google Announces Allo & Duo – What does that mean for Google Hangouts?”
Throughout my time at Strathcom the Dev team has been presented with many interesting challenges. We have conquered some of them elegantly so that they won’t become a serious debt down the line and patched others with hopes of finding better tools to solve the problem later. My goal is that by sharing some of our successes and failures, you may be able to avoid the same pitfalls or find the right tool for the job before you. Let’s start with a recent experiment with AWS Elastic Beanstalk.
Almost like clockwork small seemingly one-off tasks come up again and again. I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that you have templated out the task so it only takes a few minutes to get it running. Your solution may even scale and tear down automatically. Even if you’ve done an absolutely fantastic job, what if you could get all of that in a system that had nearly nothing you need to manage? This is how we automated some of our maintenance tasks so that we never have to think about them again. They are easy to understand and, more importantly, maintain.
Using AWS Elastic Beanstalk to automate my task
My ultimate goal was to be bottlenecked by a fear of bringing down one of our database servers. The prospect of being able to do that without affecting the end users experience was very attractive. I suspected that I could write a small uWSGI worker in one of our services and utilize all of the classes within the project that I needed – completely self-contained. This ended up taking about 100 lines of code including all setup and documentation. The endpoint itself is around 5 lines. Most magical of this setup is that you can put as many messages in the queue as you want and spin up instances to fit the time frame you need. In my case, I was able to pre-cache and size all of our new images for our users in about 4 hours (292k~).
Once the initial pattern was proven it was duplicated to deleting and redownloading corrupted images and in the future it will enable us to painlessly cleanup orphaned images. Most important to me it uses only existing production classes and code. If bugs are found in that code path we are one EB CLI command away from giving the workers the fix as well.