In order to bring an ever-improving end-user experience and a conversion rate increase to our clients, we have started, at altima°, rolling up Redis caching services to our customers. In this article, we’ll be covering our deployment of Redis services to one of our high traffic clients, whose website has been tuned by our team with a set of blazing fast enhancements. These optimizations targ
In order to bring an ever-improving end-user experience and a conversion rate increase to our clients, we have started, at altima°, rolling up Redis caching services to our customers. In this article, we’ll be covering our deployment of Redis services to one of our high traffic clients, whose website has been tuned by our team with a set of blazing fast enhancements. These optimizations target an enhancement in SEO rankings and user experience through faster response time, leading to higher conversion ratios. Redis: Targeted caching Navigation menu As a website grows in features and capabilities, so does its complexity. And with complexity comes the need for optimizations. In today’s showcase, issues arose after we implemented a fully dynamic navigation menu, to be shown on every page of the website. This feature brings a lot of value but has a real performance cost. Our developer tools are always watching performance metrics When our teams noticed this new cost, we ran some benchmark and reduced the code footprint to the maximum. When that did not prove sufficient, we turned to another solution. A new hope: Redis cache! That solution was to implement a cache feature. Caching is a well known and effective way to further optimize a complex system, which cannot be trimmed down anymore. Cache strategies At altima°, we offer different caching solutions, backed by many different technologies. The most common strategies include using nginx/varnish HTML caching and redis template/database caching. All of them take responsibility of different parts of the webpage’s lifecycle. Typical caching strategies in the webpage lifecycle The best results usually come from a combination of these strategies. In our use case, the complexity is more precisely situated in one unique place, which will allow us to make a surgical focus on the template layer. Results In the end, we get the best of both worlds: high value-added features without any performance costs. Some number crunching has allowed us to measure the extend of the positive impact, as seen below. Numbers On a cache hit, the number of queries for the menu is down to the initial value, a perfect 0! The time for page generation has also greatly improved, as our benchmark shows. Benchmarking allows us be sure our improvements worked and pat ourselves on the back Depending on the pages and the traffic load, we register an improvement between grossly 40 to 60%. Our main benchmark on the home registered a 58% improvement, shown in the previous image. What’s next? We now have a working caching system and a proof of its efficiency. It is an easily implementable tool that has the potential to cache from 50% to 90% of the displayed data being cache-able. We strive and are proud to bring all such improvements to serve the best experience to the end customer and increase conversion rates for our clients.  
Every November 11th, the Chinese giant slashes prices on its online B2C and C2C platforms: respectively Tmall and Taobao. This year, the Chinese have spent 120.7 billion yuan (US$17.79 billion) in gross merchandise volume (GMV), exceeding 2015’s record by about 32 percent, and representating more than Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined.
Alibaba’s 11.11 is by far the biggest online shopping day of the year in the world. Every November 11th, the Chinese giant slashes prices on its online B2C and C2C platforms: respectively Tmall and Taobao. This year, the Chinese have spent 120.7 billion yuan (US$17.79 billion) in gross merchandise volume (GMV), exceeding 2015’s record by about 32 percent, and representating more than Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined.   1) From “singles day” to “shopping day” Double 11 used to be considered by Chinese students as the singles day. As everything in China represents an opportunity to do business, Alibaba had the brilliant idea, back in 2009, to turn 11.11 into an excuse to go shopping. From that moment on, the company's sales have skyrocketed. 2) All lights on! Alibaba Global Shopping Festival Gala Celebration is among the biggest retail ecommerce events in the world, generating interest and catching the eye of the most popular media platforms. This large-scale event is happening during double 11’s kickoff day with a focus on entertainment and interactive engagement. Alibaba introduced a wide range of multimedia activities, including a virtual reality shopping experience and a fashion show (see below). The company also leveraged famous Key Opinion Leaders (KOL): sport stars, musicians and actors such as Kobe Bryant, David Beckham, OneRepublic or Scarlett Johansson to help merchants increase their brands and products awareness. Alibaba ensured that their shopping festival show was broadcast across all existing devices (e.g. TV, computer, tablet and mobile phone) to target the largest possible audience. There was even a shopping entertainment show where they live streamed a fashion show during which viewers could preorder clothes on the website as models walked down the runway. According to the director of the gala, 35 million people tuned in for this! 3) One of the biggest multi-brands platforms in the world Alibaba offers one of the widest choice with more than 11 000 international brands from more than 200 countries. This includes brands such as Maserati, Remowa, Guerlain and Burberry who are all hoping to take a slice out of the Chinese consumer market. During 11.11, 37% of the sales were from international brands or vendors. Japan, US and South Korea are leading the ranking with Uniqlo, Apple, Nike, Siemens. (Source: Alizila) 4) The unique day for global sales in China Unlike in the West, China does not restrict periods of sales, brands are free to define their own, and people to track these periods. Double 11 became the first global sales event to take place in the lands of the Middle Kingdom. That is the only moment where everyone can expect his/her favorite brand to offer promotions. 5) Digital pioneer During the festival, Alibaba had plans to reinvent the way consumers buy goods. For example, the launch of the first virtual reality shopping experience! With a cardboard VR headset and a smartphone, shoppers could browse eight digital international stores to assess goods before buying them. And in just a few seconds, anyone could visit Macy’s New York famous department store from their home. Alibaba has leveraged other technical innovations to fight against counterfeit items sold on its marketplaces, such as the IP Joint-force Sytem: an online system aiming at controlling the sales of fake products. Here, the commerce firms and brands will work together to report suspicious activities through an online portal to track and remove counterfeit products. What shall we conclude? The “singles day” festival clearly gives us an insight about how tomorrow’s retail might look. For both buyers and sellers, 11.11 has become a key date on the Chinese calendar. More specifically for brands, it’s a great way to take advantage of consumer’s attention to transform 11.11 into a living laboratory for retail and marketing innovations, with new products and new ways to engage with customers, online and offline.
When talking about China SEO, marketers usually refer to Baidu, the most popular but sulfurous search engine operating directly from mainland China. While Baidu leading capacities were more and more challenged due to numerous scandals and a fast-growing competition over the past years, the historical Chinese search engine still remains a strong asset for any serious SEO strategy in China. In
When talking about China SEO, marketers usually refer to Baidu, the most popular but sulfurous search engine operating directly from mainland China. While Baidu leading capacities were more and more challenged due to numerous scandals and a fast-growing competition over the past years, the historical Chinese search engine still remains a strong asset for any serious SEO strategy in China. In this first article of the SEO series on altima° blog, we get back to the very fundamentals through specific insights that hopefully will help you start off your China SEO campaigns on the right foot. At a glance Incorporated in Beijing in 2000 by Robin Li, an eminent Chinese engineer trained in the US who specialized into search algorithm technologies Baidu, literally “hundreds of times”, takes its name from a well-known ancient Chinese poem and evokes the quest for the ideal In 2016, Baidu ranked 87 among the top 500 fortune Chinese company, mostly gained from the monetization of its paid search results Just like its Western competitors, Baidu also owns a search quality team, led by a certain Engineer Lee but this one (unfortunately) remains pretty mysterious and doesn’t show up very often in public Market shares Source: www.seojia.cn (November, 2016) Despite declining market shares, Baidu still appears as the dominant search engine on both desktop and mobile devices in mainland China. Behind this performance can be found the direct advantage of having been “the first one”. Through its status of historical search engine, Baidu therefore enjoys a highly diversified demographic - from young hispsters to old Dama, first tier to third tiers cities, blue collars to white collars, that allow marketers to reach their specific target audience. Search results pages’ breakdown Among all criticisms addressed against Baidu in the past, the similarities of its interface with Western search engines appear as a recurring one. If it’s true that the overall layout tends toward existing standards (paid results surrounding organic’s, related results on the right) the comparison stops here. When looking at the search results into details, differences immediately jump out. Below is for instance what Baidu shows (November 2016) when searching for the expression “what is SEO” (什么是SEO): Caption: - paid results (ads) - organic results (related suggestions) - organic results (third-party websites) - organic results (Baidu properties) As per visible among the top 5 organic results, Baidu ranks websites of its own ecosystem which consists of a wide range of properties, aiming at compensating early technological lag and a lack of indexable materials (remember that the Chinese internet is still not yet as diversified as in the World Wide Web). Besides, in an environment dominated by a need of confidence, Baidu properties eventually offer a solid user experience that is able to cover most of user’s queries. Baidu properties include both User-Generated-Content products such as, to mention but a few wiki, Q/A, forums or document sharing products, and traditional products such as video or music platforms. In addition, most of properties use to display bespoke rich snippets formats that aim at catching user attention and maximize CTR. It’s commonly estimated that Baidu properties capture between 30% and 40% of user searches. While Chinese competitors search engines all developed equivalent ecosystems, ironically, these ones still continue to enhance their own listings with Baidu properties. Needless to say, this Baidu ecosystem plays an essential role for any brand awareness or online reputation strategies. Search algorithms While Baidu could be realistically blamed in the past for its poor search technology requiring regular on-site monitoring and maintenance, this time is pretty much over. After numerous algorithms updates, ranking factors now converge toward the most advanced standards, making organic rankings comparatively more accurate and stable than its local competitors. That said, everything is not rosy and irrelevancies can still be found here and there. We therefore recommend to continue paying a specific attention to the following elements: # Website conception Ensure your strategic pages are easily accessible through the navigation (i.e. linked either from the navigation menu, a sidebar or a footer) to facilitate their crawl and (re)indexation Consider a local (or Hong-Kong based) hosting to maximize crawl frequency Avoid embedding contents (texts, links) with Flash or JavaScript Keep the page loading time low to ensure the page remains ranked (especially for mobile rankings) # Website promotion Leave the translation of your contents to a Chinese native speaker Publish regular fresh contents (through a blog, news, FAQ, templated, landing pages, etc.) Prefer qualitative link building (contextualized & natural backlinks) Baidu tools To help marketers in their daily work such as marketing researches, website optimizations and analysis, Baidu comes with its own suite of tools, with no equivalent on the local market. Below is a list of the most generic ones. # Baidu Tuiguang Keywords Tool Equivalent to Google Adwords Keyword Planner, Baidu Keyword tool (part of the Tuiguang platform) provides daily searches impressions, CPC estimations and related expressions to be used during keyword studies. # Baidu Zhishu (Trend) Equivalent to Google Trends. In complementary to the previous keywords tool, Baidu Zhishu aims at providing context around demographics or related contents dimensions. # Baidu Zhanzhang (Webmaster Tools) Equivalent to Google Search Console. Baidu Zhanzhang provides useful SEO data such as crawl and indexation reports, backlinks history. # Baidu Mobi As a response to the rapid development of the mobile traffic, Baidu Mobi proposes to analyze website compatibility with official mobile guidelines and if necessary highlights improvements to be done. # Baidu Tongji (Analytics) Equivalent to Google Analytics. Although Baidu Tongji probably won’t replace your main analytics solution, the tool turns out to be mandatory to retrieve the full list of organic keywords used on Baidu (as Baidu now does not provide them any more out of its own analytics solution). As per described all along the article, Baidu remains the most advantaged Chinese search engine in terms of audience, technologies or data intelligence. Before we could predict the future, we’ll continue our in-depth exploration and focus in the next articles on more specific facets of this colossus search engine.
It’s official, SAP Hybris has made us Gold Solution Provider Partner! What’s Hybris by the way? Hybris was born in 1997, as one of the first multichannel ecommerce and product content management (PCM) software. In 2013, it was acquired by SAP to become SAP Hybris.
It’s official, SAP Hybris has made us Gold Solution Provider Partner! What’s Hybris by the way? Hybris was born in 1997, as one of the first multichannel ecommerce and product content management (PCM) software. In 2013, it was acquired by SAP to become SAP Hybris.  It is now is one of the leading omni-channel digital commerce solutions on the market. It helps integrate all digital and physical customer touchpoints onto a single platform – including online, mobile, point-of-sale, call center, social media and print.  In China, some of the most successful retailers have chosen Hybris to strengthen their digital ecosystem. Watsons, Cache Cache, or Benefit Cosmetics are part of these. SAP Hybris & altima° altima° has received earlier in October one of the greatest distinctions from SAP, becoming SAP Hybris Gold Solution Provider Partner. This distinction comes in recognition of altima°’s quality work on SAP Hybris. Our team, which counts more than 25 specialized Hybris engineers, conceptualizes, develops, maintains, and hosts high value-added omni-channel ecommerce solutions. With over a dozen of references, we have demonstrated our capacity to build innovative platforms in different industries using a SAP Hybris basis. As a SAP Hybris Gold Solution Provider Partner, altima° will now enjoy special support from SAP Hybris's team to deliver best quality and timely solutions to customers. Feel free to reach out to ask for more information.
With over 160 visitors, it was a great opportunity to meet actors from Demandware community such as retailers, technology and solution partners. My colleague Victor Ariza, Digital Analytics Consultant at altima° China, had the pleasure to be a guest speaker and talk about one of our favorite subjects: data and more precisely web analytics.
As previously announced, we were glad to sponsor and animate the Demandware Retail Connect conference which took place in Shanghai last September 14. With over 160 visitors, it was a great opportunity to meet actors from Demandware community such as retailers, technology and solution partners. My colleague Victor Ariza, Digital Analytics Consultant at altima° China, had the pleasure to be a guest speaker and talk about one of our favorite subjects: data and more precisely web analytics. His session was jointly presented with Helen Yang, Regional Manager of Digital and E-commerce at Clarins and Ethan Fan, Head of Digital and E-commerce in China, and moderated by Orlane Hazard, Senior Customer Success Manager at Demandware. After reminding how important the data is in the decision making process, Helen, Ethan and Victor explained how Clarins successfully set up a data driven culture among several countries in APAC (China, South Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Thailand, Malaysia and Australia). As a summary, the three main reasons why Clarins succeeded: They built up a strong data collection structure by understanding the tool ecosystem (in their case: Demandware, Tag Commander, Google Analytics), defining a measurement strategy and working continously on data integrity They defined roles and missions to perform by setting up the right organization and processes, training, explaining, evangelizing and following up They changed their way of thinking regarding media performance from ad-centric to site-centric focus and then channel contribution. You can download the full deck here.

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