An App World?

App icon with exclamation pointIf you’ve picked up an iPhone, Android phone, iPad or just about any modern smartphone, you’ve probably used what is currently called an “app”. The popularity of this term is an odd phenomenon, given that apps, more commonly known as “applications”, have been around for dozens of years. We can thank the product marketing geniuses at Apple for taking something we’ve all had on our computers for next to forever and turning it into the next big thing in technology.

To be fair, an app on a tiny phone that fits in your hand is a slightly different monster than the Outlook application that sits on your desktop computer. Ten years ago, the idea of packing so much technology into a device smaller than a deck of cards was just a pipe dream. True, devices like the Palm Pilot had apps for various functions like calendars, email and so on, but modern apps have far surpassed them in quality and functionality. You can now run games on your iPhone that are comparable in quality to modern consoles like the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3. It’s really astonishing.

What sets today’s app world apart from applications of the past—both on desktop PCs and portable devices—is the sheer quantity and breadth of the apps themselves, not to mention the pace at which new apps are developed and released. Since the iPhone launched just a few years ago, hundreds of thousands of apps have been built for its app store, and thousands more are available on the Android platform. It’s an explosion in software like we’ve never seen before.

While none of us will ever download even a tiny fraction of all those apps, the ease of purchasing smartphone (or iPad, iPod Touch or forthcoming tablet) apps and the inexpensive, impulsive nature of the purchase have some pretty interesting implications. We are now accessing information in ways we may not have expected. Data is becoming specialized, something you click an icon to access rather than searching or browsing to find. It’s going to be a wild ride, and it may change the way we interact with web technology in ways we didn’t expect. (more…)

Categories: Articles

storeBlox CS: Group Management

Need to control access to a set of products? How about restricting budget access to a pool of customers without having to choose each one individually?

storeBlox CS Group Management screenshot

storeBlox CS Group Management

Enhanced Group Management is here. Manage any payment method or product access model with groups. Create custom group registration landing pages so that any user visiting the page becomes a member of the group automatically upon registering.

Here are just some of the things you can do with groups now:

  • Build custom “invite” pages with custom messaging. When a user visits this page, they view your custom message and automatically become a group member upon registering.
  • Total control of product/category access. Got a public company store but you need to show special corporate-only products to your internal marketing staff? Maybe you have certain products only available to franchisees. Groups allow you to control product access any way you want.
  • Assign payment methods and other privileges. Use groups to give pools of users access to specific payment methods and other special site features. Those franchisees that need to buy uniforms? Give them a budget or purchase order to use while hiding those payment methods from the general public.

Click here to schedule a demo of storeBlox CS; or, for more information on the most advanced e-commerce system for promotional products company stores, click here.

Categories: Launches

storeBlox CS: Supply Chain Management

storeBlox CS now includes complete vendor management for both drop ship purchase orders and pick slips.

storeBlox CS Vendor Management screenshot

This feature works for both custom items that must be ordered in quantity from a supplier and for inventoried items in your warehouse.

Just specify the vendor type and storeBlox CS generates the appropriate email automatically. Inventoried items in warehouses receive pick slips and suppliers/decorators receive a purchase order. Mixed orders are handled seamlessly without any need for intervention.

Mess something up? Both types of notifications can be re-sent from the Order Management console. Click here to schedule a demo of storeBlox CS; or, for more information on the most advanced e-commerce system for promotional products company stores, click here.

Categories: Launches