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It’s a Wrap: Enterprise Mobility Forum – Fall 2014

December 11th, 2014 by Paul Matker


Earlier this week we attended the Enterprise Mobility Forum in Orlando, Florida. This year the event showcased a great set of products and discussions intended to help attendees make sense of everything that’s out there and how to best use products to develop and deliver a mobility strategy.

It was three days jam-packed with information about the future of mobile and the importance of its role in e-commerce. The title of the opening Keynote message was “Future Proofing Your Mobile IT Strategy.” The session really hit home the fact that in order for businesses to truly become customer-centric they need to embrace mobile, the cloud, and analytics.

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Happy Thanksgiving | Expressing Gratitude

November 27th, 2014 by Paul Matker

happy thanksgiving card with owl in pilgrim hat giving thanks

There’s nothing more important to us here at Thanx Media than family, friends, and taking time to express gratitude for the blessings in our lives. This has been an amazing year and we all have much to be thankful for. As we close down 2104 and before we head into 2015, I wanted to take a moment and pause to say thank you to my team, our family of clients, and our rich network of partners.

You have all contributed to our success in so many ways. Enjoy your time with friends and family, here’s wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving and a joyful Holiday season.

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Oracle Commerce Experience Manager: Now On-Demand

October 9th, 2014 by Paul Matker

It’s been an exciting year here at Thanx Media and we’re happy to offer a new E-Commerce Experience Management Solution, Business Process Services (BPS) offering based on Oracle Commerce Experience Manager (formerly known as Oracle Endeca).  It’s the SaaS version of the industry-leading faceted search and Guided Navigation System.

We refer to it as “On-Demand” because it provides businesses a way to implement and benefit from this incredibly robust technology asset without the added expense of the hardware, software  license, and manpower required to host the application internally. Oracle Commerce Experience Manager is a platform that enables companies across all industries a way to create and manage a customized experience across all channels.

The On-Demand solution for Oracle Commerce Experience Manager includes:

  • Fully managed and hosted solution – powerful software and hosting, including 24/7 support and industry best practices to reduce business risk and total cost of ownership.
  • Express deployment – streamlined and efficient implementation helps business see results faster.
  • Accelerated ROI – rapid implementation and lower software implementation costs fast-tracks the return on investment.

We enjoyed a great relationship with the folks at Endeca over the years and we’re pleased that Oracle recognizes the value we bring with our On-Demand solutions for Oracle Commerce customers through this initiative.

In addition, we already have some great success stories to tell; the Thanx Media team has implemented the Oracle Commerce Experience Manager for many national retailers, including Ulta Beauty, Zumiez, and Lumber Liquidators and other leading brands.

Check out the video for more information about how Oracle Commerce Experience Manager can help you scale the dynamic experience consumers want and expect.


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Oracle OpenWorld 2014 Hits a Home Run

October 4th, 2014 by Paul Matker


We just returned from Oracle OpenWorld  2014 and I think everyone would agree that it was an outstanding event.  It would be impossible to recap the entire event, but I thought I’d share a couple of key points.

  • The future of software & data management: As one would expect there was a lot of discussion and conversation around the future of software and data management.  Tech is the biggest thing in business today, it’s really about meshing the old and the new. In other words, taking the tried and true practices that made businesses successful in the past and finding ways to make them work in the digital world.
  • Get the right technology: Everything from customer experience to internal operations and financial processes can be made better with the right technology and business strategy. Small and large businesses alike can benefit from innovative solutions to help them store and manage their data, interact with customers, and improve profitability. We’re experiencing one of the most significant transitional times in a couple of decades.
  • The power of big data: It’s incredible to think that over 90% of the data that exists today was created during the last two years. Major drivers in this trend include, user-generated content, the trend toward social and inbound marketing, and the consumer demand for more complete and accurate data. Going forward it’s going to be increasingly important for businesses to find ways to harness the power of big data. There’s also no doubt that we’re going to see a continued focus on moving to the Cloud. Ten years from now things are going to look completely different than they do today.

It was also a great experience to share and discuss outsourcing best practices along with other Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN) Business Process Service (BPS) partners during the session, “Old School Outsourcing? BPS Partners Save You Money and Time and Mitigate Risk.”

The highlight of the conference for me was the opportunity to catch up with old friends and make new connections (and  of course, Aerosmith). The Oracle team did a fantastic job of producing the event and we’re already looking forward to next year.

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Oracle OpenWorld | “Old School Outsourcing?”

September 25th, 2014 by Paul Matker


Oracle OpenWorld is always an exciting event packed with great information presented by industry experts. The programs include everything from Big Data to Customer Experience and every industry is covered. This year the event takes place September 28 – October 2 in one of my favorite cities, San Francisco. I’m particularly excited about the event this year for a couple of reasons.

Reason #1: We recently announced news about our strategic partnership with Oracle, Thanx Media is a Gold level member of Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN) and I’m looking forward to participating in the conference as one of the Business Process Service (BPS) partners.

Reason #2: I’m honored to have the opportunity to join other OPN members in BPS from around the country in a session about outsourcing best practices on October 1.

The session is called “Old School Outsourcing? BPS Partners Save You Money and Time and Mitigate Risk.” We’ll be talking about how organizations can reduce costs, operate more efficiently, and implement innovative technology solutions by leveraging Oracle’s extensive network of partners who deliver business process services. A lot has changed in the technology landscape and some of the approaches “old school outsourcing” are outdated and businesses have a lot more flexibility than they may be aware of.

Attendees will leave the session armed with new ideas and information about how to think about outsourcing and ways that they can enhance their technology stack and also improve business processes. We’re going to focus on how a business can take advantage of outsourcing to save money and mitigate risks.

Don’t miss out on the session if you’re attending Oracle OpenWorld, it’s sure to be worth your time.

I hope to see you there!

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Rakuten Expo 2014 |New York City, Here we Come!

July 22nd, 2014 by Paul Matker

Rakuten logo


We are happy to announce that we have the privilege of  being a Bronze Sponsor through Hawk Search for the 2014 Rakuten Expo in New York City. If you’re not familiar with Rakuten, they are one of the world’s largest online retail marketplaces. In 2010 they joined forces with and in 2013 they re-branded the marketplace to

Each year they host events for their merchants that are packed with opportunities for those who participate to learn new information and gather ideas to help them overcome current and future business challenges. The event we are participating in takes place on August 7, 2014 in New York, NY. Participants will be provided an update on Rakuten’s strategy in addition to educational labs, informative sessions, and one-on-one merchant meetings.

It’s perfect timing because the event takes place while there’s still time to implement changes in strategy and technology that could greatly improve the revenue results for the upcoming holiday shopping season (yes, it’s July and we are already thinking about the ‘holiday season’).

We’re looking forward to sharing ideas and learning about the opportunities and business problems that are facing today’s online merchants. Online shopping marketplaces represent a great opportunity to expand the reach of your brand. Often times people know what they’re looking for but they don’t know exactly who they want to buy it from.

It sounds like it’s an event that is more than worth the time and investment made by merchants who attend the annual Expo. According to their studies merchants who attended last year’s Expo experienced a 38.1% year-over-year sales growth. That’s pretty impressive when you put it up against a 2.3% growth for nonparticipants.

It will be awesome to be a part of an event that obviously provides great value to the people who attend. If you’re one of the merchants planning on attending the two thousand fourteen expo in New York City, send us a note or be sure to stop by and say hello. We’re looking forward to meeting you and providing you with lots of great information on how you can grow your online presence during the remainder of 2014 and beyond.


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Announcing Free Magento Plugin for Hawk Search

July 17th, 2014 by Paul Matker

HawkSearch_plug in_FINAL


Now it’s even easier to integrate Hawk Search with either the Community or Enterprise versions of Magento. Many leading businesses utilize the feature rich and scalable e-commerce platform to deliver a flexible shopping experience for fast-growing and large businesses.

The Magento platform is delivered with an out-of-the box site search solution that offers many of the basic features needed to help shoppers locate products, however many businesses are moving toward integrating a third party search solution such as Hawk Search to take the experience to the next level.

We’re excited to announce a free plugin that’s now available and can be downloaded from the Magento Commerce page. The plugin automates the data extraction process which really speeds up the implementation process. This eliminates the need to involve valuable IT resources in low-value add tasks like creating custom data feeds to integrate with third party solutions.

Plugin Benefits and Features:

  • Hawk Search data export - data feeds that conform to the guidelines for Hawk Search are created automatically and eliminates the need to create custom scripts.
  • Stress free deployment - all installation and configuration steps can be completed by an admin user and do not require development resources. The entire process takes just a few hours.
  • Managed data feed access - you control the frequency of data feed updates. They can be scheduled or run on an “as needed” basis. “Out of stock” items and “disabled” categories can easily be excluded from the data feed and you have the option to specify which attributes to include.
  • Multiple installation types are supported - you can implement the program using JavaScript (out-of the box), a full API, or a hybrid approach via a Proxy URL.
  • Hawk Search JavaScript Integration (front end) - there’s no additional development required to style search results pages to match the look and feel of your site.
  • Configure Auto Suggest - allows you to specify the JavaScript needed to trigger the search ahead feature for your site.

Request a demo today and learn how Hawk Search can help you improve the customer experience and make the most of your Magento platform. 630-469-2929.

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Announcing the Winner of the IRCE 2014 Raffle

July 15th, 2014 by Paul Matker

We always have a great time at IRCE and the 2014 conference was no different. This year, we decided to add some additional fun; in addition to giving away gift cards and Beats by Dre Pill speakers, all qualified prospects were entered into a raffle. The theme of the raffle was “Unlock the Power of Content with Thanx Media” and we gave away a set of keys to a brand new Yamaha Zuma.

My two favorite parts about raffling off a great prize are selecting the winner and sharing in the moment of excitement when they pick up their prize.

The Winner of the Thanx Media IRCE Raffle Meets his Scooter

The winner of this year’s raffle was Pete Murphy, content specialist for NEEBO.COM. It was awesome to have the opportunity to meet him in person and I think the smile on Pete’s face says it all. It was a blast to hand over the keys to him.

Paul Matker_Thanx Media CEO With Winner of IRCE Raffle

There were a few clouds in the sky, but it didn’t put a damper on the fun. And there’s no doubt in my mind that Pete had a great time taking his new Yamaha out for a spin.

“When I won I couldn’t believe it. I never win anything. When I got to pick it up I was a little intimidated because I haven’t gotten on a bike in so long, but after a few minutes I realized how easy this scooter was to ride. I love it now and plan to use it for running errands around my neighborhood as well as just simple cruising. I am very thankful to Thanx Media for making all of this happen.”

Winner of the Yamaha Scooter - IRCE Raffle

We’re already looking forward to next year’s conference. I’m not sure how we’ll top this year’s event, but if anyone can find a way it’s our team here at Thanx Media.

I want to take a moment to say thank you to everyone here who made it happen and also express my appreciation for our awesome customers. We consider everyone of you to be part of the Thanx Media family.

Enjoy the rest of your summer!

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IRCE 2014 Highlights and Hot Topics

June 19th, 2014 by Paul Matker


It’s hard to believe that another year has come and gone and IRCE 2014 is behind us. What a great conference! As always the conference was well run and the team outdid themselves with the agenda. There were a wide variety of businesses in attendance and it was fantastic to get new insights from the experts that were lined up for the keynote speeches and panel discussions.

Time flew by at both of our booths and we loved every minute of it. It’s always fun to catch up with current customers and this year we surprised them with a hand-written note and a small gift as a token of our appreciation for their business and loyalty. We consider our customers to be an extension of our family. It was also great to meet a lot of new folks and share what’s new and trending.

At the Hawk Search booth the buzz was all about “Visitor Targets,” a unique feature that was added to the product last year. Visitor Targets enables merchandisers to deliver very targeted merchandising based on pre-defined values such as location as well as custom values that can be defined based on the data you have available about your shoppers.

Let’s say you sell sporting apparel which includes everything from winter coats to swimsuits. Using Visitor Targets you can set up rules that will feature climate and gender specific merchandise based on the demographics of the visitor. This has the potential to really improve the customer experience and increase conversions.

At the Thanx Media booth we found people to be interested in a variety of topics related to managing and optimizing data to improve their e-commerce presence.

We also had a lot of fun talking about Site Vibes, a product that’s new, hot, and trending upward quickly. Site Vibes is a cloud based software solution that allows you to tap into what your shoppers are interested in and expose those products through social media and on your website. Site Vibes tracks all activity associate with a product, including everything from product views to social shares to identify what’s hot and what’s not. Products that are hot and trending can be featured in a special section on your website and distributed through social media.

Product intelligence was another topic of interest at the Thanx Media booth. Blosm, our data collection solution is perfect for gathering product intelligence that can be used in a variety of ways to improve your bottom line and gain a competitive advantage. The technology automates the process of collecting data that can help you identify gaps in your product assets, enforce minimum advertised price (MAP) violations, gain consumer insights, and gather competitive intelligence.

A big thank you to everyone who stopped to visit us at IRCE and we hope to connect again soon!


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An Increase in Online Conversions Offsets Loss of Traffic

April 10th, 2014 by Paul Matker

There are two ways to increase online sales, you can drive more traffic to a website or find ways to increase the conversion rate for your visitors. Most of the time website owners are looking for ways to increase online sales by doing both, but sometimes a situation arises that causes the focus to change from  growth to minimizing the impact of a loss in website traffic.

Google is constantly updating their algorithms to improve search results, in fact Matt Cutts recently indicated that we can expect another round of updates. Often these updates result in lost traffic for many websites. In the past couple of years the fear of losing steady website traffic from organic search has become an unfortunate reality for more than a few online retailers.

One of our customers, Russell Rhodes, found themselves facing every website owner’s worst nightmare just a few months before the 2013 holiday shopping season. Russell Rhodes is an online ornament shop, their specialty is personalized ornaments for all occasions. Over 65% of their revenue is generated in the last three months of the year, so you can only imagine how tough it must have been to see organic traffic dropping.

Denys Slater, President of Russell Rhodes shared, “We saw organic traffic begin to drop after the update and we knew there wasn’t time to regain our rankings in time for our busiest time of the year.  That meant we had to find a way to minimize the impact of fewer visitors.”

The original growth goal for 2013 was to increase conversion by 20%; Denys and his team spend the months prior to busy season focused on enhancing product descriptions and optimizing the merchandise mix. In June of 2013 they implemented Thanx Media’s Hawk Search platform as their solution for on-site search and customer experience management.

They felt the Hawk Search features such as relevant search results pages, Faceted Navigation, Dynamic Merchandising, and Smart Auto Complete would help them meet or exceed their goals to increase conversions and improve the customer experience.

Unfortunately Denys’s prediction came true and their overall traffic was down 35% from November 1 through December 31, 2013. This meant that there was no chance of increasing online sales and improvements to conversion rates were even more critical.

I’m happy to say that the results were fantastic. There was an immediate increase in conversion rates after implementing Hawk Search. Over the course of the holiday season conversion rates increased from 5.2% to 6.9%. The average visit increased by 30 seconds, shoppers added more ornaments to the shopping cart, and converted at a higher rate than predicted.

Even though their traffic was down by 35% from the previous year, they only missed their original revenue goals by 13% due to the nearly 33% increase in conversion rate.

Slater stated, “If it hadn’t been for Hawk Search our gross revenue would have been down by a lot more than it was. What could have been a disaster turned into a manageable situation thanks to the improvements to the customer experience.”

Read the case study here.

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