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Trending topics (and why customers love them)

Ewok Star Wars Pet CostumeAt this time of year, most stores have already set up their Christmas window displays, reminding us that it’s time to buy those special presents for friends and family.

We’re also decorating our homes and putting up the flashing reindeer and icicle lighting on the front porch (or is that just us?!). It reminds us that Christmas is coming and we still haven’t bought the darn turkey.

At the same time, across the world, sci-fi fans are getting very, very excited about the new Star Wars film which opens on December 18th. Wherever you look, there is Star Wars stuff, from toys to t shirts, mini figures to dog costumes (yes, really - see left).

So, three top trending topics this month are #Christmasgifts, #xmaslights and #StarWarstoys. By clever use of blogs and hashtags, your business can become part of the online conversations these trending topics create.


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Lessons from Black Friday; your ecommerce website must not crash!

black friday retro

Black Friday may not be the big deal it is in the US, but Canadians do love a bargain as much as the next shopper!

So, while the Toronto Star* reported that most shopping malls were “politely busy", possibly due to deals starting earlier in the week, the same could not be said of some online stores….


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Leaked: Google’s Search Quality Guidelines 2015

leaked info web2It’s easy to think that Google is a totally automatic system that’s all software and no humans. In fact, that isn’t the case. Google employs a team of ‘quality raters’ who manually rate websites, using a strict set of Guidelines to ensure conformity of rating.

These Guidelines are supposedly just for internal use, but a set usually find their way into the public domain one way or another. The latest set ‘released’ date from October 2015, and give an interesting insight into Google’s key criteria.

While most of the Guidelines are nothing unexpected, there are a few gems in there we can all use to improve our websites!


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Book now: ecommerce for businesses without products

schedule appointments

If you have a service business, you may think that an e-commerce solution is only suitable for those with physical products to sell. However, giving your customers the opportunity to buy your services online will open up your business to 24/7/365 trading. And that's essential in today's 'anytime' culture.

You’ve probably noticed a sea-change in your ability to book services online yourself, from haircuts and concert tickets to appointments with your physician (no more “Hanging on the telephone”, as Blondie would say).

So, what’s stopping your business doing the same? Not a lot, actually, as Akira Studio can set you up with a simple, effective ecommerce system which can usually simply be added to your existing website. Here’s a couple we prepared earlier….

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Canada, a great place to live - and work

Key Findings Canada Land of the Free

The Legatum Institute has just released the latest findings from its 2015 Prosperity Index. The headline news is that Canada is now the freest country in the world, up five places from last year to claim the top spot in the Personal Freedom index.

94% of Canadians believe that living here gives them the freedom to choose the course of their own lives. Canadians are also highly tolerant lot; 92% of Canadians think Canada is a good country for immigrants and ethnic communities alike.

And there’s more to celebrate too…


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