We would like to thank everyone for a great 2013. We welcome on board splendid new Affino users, and celebrate the amazing success that so many of you are seeing with your online engagement and revenue growth.
It has been a year when we’ve seen some great site evolutions and have started to see Affino sites win major awards. In particular Procurement Leaders with three PPA awards (the UK publishing Oscars). We continue to see Affino sites evolve towards their potential and we’ll work with you to help you get the maximum benefit from your online presence over the coming year.
This year has been a great transitional year for Affino with the first half of the year focused on the Big Bang move to the new super scaling high availability version of Affino. From your feedback we know that you’re appreciating the solid improvements in uptime and performance.
Online business has been evolving more gradually over the year and the improved stability in the ecosystem means that for the first time we’ve been able to slow down the release cycle somewhat, something that we know many of you appreciate. Looking ahead we’re aiming to bring out just three to four major release each year, compared to the 6+ we have been historically.
There have been a number of key enhancements to Affino this year including the greatly enhanced Analysis Centre with the updated Customer Ladder, Ecommerce Dashboards and greatly increased timeframes for all analytics. Messaging had the biggest evolution to-date with greatly improved messaging campaigns, SMS integration and improved auto-responders.
Invites and relationship management have both been transformed this year, in fact it is now easier to look up, select and connect throughout Affino. Affino’s look and feel also improved considerably with more refined styling options, Design Panels and greater ability to use custom CSS.
The second half of this year has been all about developing Affino into being a cutting edge responsive design platform that works seamlessly across all devices. Like many good things it’s taking longer than we had hoped to bring you the first responsive release, but the long baking period will be worth the wait.
This year has been very much a transitional year for the Internet, the biggest story has no doubt been the revelation that all our emails, calls, social communcation including Skype and much more are now being monitored on a grand scale. That ’privacy’ absolutely doesn’t exist on the major networks. It is also a year which has seen many of the biggest sites penetrated and personal details shared on the dark nets by the hundreds of millions.
Other big news this year has to be the continued rise of mobile devices and the need for sites to cater to them. Personalisation is becoming a bigger deal every month so that customers see the right products at the right time, and increasingly in the right place. The enhanced mobile browsers also mean that the mobile web has greatly improved and is open to great new possibilities.
We’re seeing more factionalim by the major social networks: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google. These networks increasingly don’t work together, and in fact work against each other. They also have a tendency to stifle innovation around them by killing off successful integrations when it suits them. It means that companies must increasingly own the core of their social / customer experience.
Platforms continue to affect the development of the net, Android’s imperious rise continues, iOS is in relative decline, but still a major factor, Windows is still relevant and Windows 8 starts to make a dent with the release of 8.1. Blackberry on the other hand has gone into freefall, and the Opera browser is fading.
2014 will see the launch of Affino Responsive Design. It will also see great ease of use improvements with a slimmed down Affino core and much simpler setup process. We’re introducing new setup wizards and making it easier for you to focus on what is relevant for you. Affino will be moving much deeper into the realtime era with live one-to-one chat and much more direct ecommerce.
The responsive design approach for Affino will herald the biggest transformation in Affino since the original launch. Every single line of front-end code is being re-written around an optimised experience. It will mean superior engagement, performance and conversion rates when you launch your responsive sites.
The second biggest focus for 2014 will be to make everything Affino already does more accessible and and easy to use. Expect to see fewer profiles, fewer settings, fewer but smarter options, more on-screen management and much more tailored interfaces during the course of the year.
We’ll be posting our annual recap and future posts and many more over the coming days so stay tuned, and have a great holiday and a Happy New Year.