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ECommerceTimes.com
January 23, 2018
steve-jobs-apple-customers
What accounts for the amazing success of Apple and Starbucks? They both connect with users on an emotional level. This "secret" is evident to anyone who looks closely, and you can apply it to succeed with your own company and improve your own life. Apple was a struggling computer maker until the 1990s, when Steve Jobs returned. Jobs connected with the user base in a new way. [More...]

January 22, 2018
ecommerce-federal-government
Online retail has been booming, with consumers flocking to the Internet to shop for almost anything. Online retail revenues in the U.S. would reach a projected $445 billion in 2017 and jump to $600 billion by 2020, according to FTI Consulting. The U.S. government has begun developing a program that would allow agencies to utilize e-commerce portals for purchases of COTS products. [More...]

January 22, 2018
top-20-crm-blogs
Something very interesting is happening in the world of CRM blogs: CRM is becoming less and less of a subject. Oh, it's in there -- it's just being elbowed to the back of the stage by a whole host of other related disciplines and technologies. Customer experience, customer engagement and content marketing are vying with artificial intelligence, Internet of Things and bots to elbow ahead of CRM. [More...]

January 19, 2018
mobile-search-speed
Google has announced that page speed will be a ranking factor for mobile searches, starting in July. Speed already has been a factor in desktop search rankings. Soon, as part of Google's new "Speed Update," page loading time will be factored in when ranking mobile search results as well. The change will affect only pages that deliver the slowest experience to users, according to Google. [More...]

January 18, 2018
google-cloudml-vision-machine-learning
Google on Wednesday released its Cloud AutoML Vision service in Alpha. It is the first in a planned series of Cloud AutoML services designed to help people with limited machine learning expertise build their own custom models using advanced techniques such as learning2learn and transfer learning. Learning2learn is a process for automating machine learning [More...]

January 18, 2018
cloud-services
Oracle's race to the cloud has offered multiple successes to its investors and some disappointment as well. No transition of this magnitude can be expected to run like clockwork, but the difference between revenues for Oracle's Software as a Service apps for last quarter, $1.1 billion, and those for its Infrastructure as a Service apps, at $396 million, should at least get you thinking. [More...]

January 17, 2018
facebook-news-feed
Facebook once again has found itself at the center of a media storm, following Mark Zuckerberg's recent announcement of plans to shift its focus away from news and business content and toward interactions between friends and family. The shift follows more than a year of heavy criticism directed against Facebook, including blame for failing to combat fake news during the 2016 presidential election. [More...]

January 17, 2018
Salesfusion has launched version 12 of its marketing automation solution. It rebuilt Salesfusion 12 from the ground up to provide an architecture robust enough to support "the easiest-to-use, most modern campaign creation tools available to marketers today," said Greg Vilines, VP of product and engineering. It provides enterprise-grade power and features without the typical price tag, he added. [More...]

January 16, 2018
municipal-broadband
Community-owned fiber-to-home broadband networks generally charge less for entry-level service than private providers, according to Harvard's Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society. Despite lower "teaser rates" private providers offer during the first year of service, publicly-owned fiber-to-the-home networks in 23 of 27 communities examined offered lower-priced service. [More...]

January 12, 2018
mobile-streaming-services
The mobile data market has been approaching saturation in major industrialized nations. Mobile data consumption has increased steadily over the past several years, but consumers have found new ways to avoid paying extra for services they don't need or use -- and intense competition among mobile carriers has allowed consumers to switch from fixed-data to unlimited plans and pay less in the process. [More...]

January 12, 2018
customer-journey-hijacking
When all goes well, the customer journey "ends with buying a product," said Chemi Katz, CEO of Namogoo. "Hijacking interferes with the customer's journey. It can be a pop-up that the company didn't put there, or something that will lead a customer out of the website. It's any interference that doesn't come from the e-commerce business itself, but from a third party." [More...]

January 11, 2018
cloud-enterprise-software-training
One of the biggest challenges facing organizations of all sizes trying to move to the cloud is finding and retaining the skilled workers necessary to implement today's rapidly expanding assortment of on-demand services. This skills gap cost companies more than $250 million in lost business opportunities in just one year, according to a recent survey conducted by the London School of Economics. [More...]

January 10, 2018
e-commerce-online-marketing
Google believes that all the important consumer buying decisions happen in a brief flash of time. Understanding and responding to customer needs in those all-important, tiny moments is key to successful marketing, the company says. Specifically, they are the exact moments when people turn to a device because they want one or more of four things: to know, do, go or buy. Google has built a new marketing model around "micro-moments." [More...]

January 10, 2018
software-platform
The new battleground in enterprise software is likely to be the software platform. This is not to say that analytics and security are not important, but they are being handled in different ways. Security is being handled in ways that address both hardware and software vulnerabilities, but these things aren't what customers or consumers spend their days thinking about. [More...]

January 9, 2018
ecommerce-product-photos
Product photos are a vital part of e-commerce. Because they provide the central connection between customers and products, photos can make or break an e-commerce business. "You can have a great looking website and user interface, but if you don't have great product photos it is like driving a Mercedes with a flat," said Sam Werkmeister, CEO of ProductPhoto.com. [More...]

January 8, 2018
5g-iot
The 5G standards target billions of new devices that will connect to operators' networks over the next decade and beyond. Each device type serves a use case that can be high-volume with low throughput requirements, or low-volume but high-value from a customer's point of view. The list of use cases keeps growing as new types of devices are added to the network, and as existing devices find new use cases with embedded mobile connectivity. [More...]

January 6, 2018
social-media-complaints
SMBs should "be proactive and ready to help [customers] right at the moment they need it," said Linda Crawford, CEO of Helpshift. Companies must streamline support systems to resolve issues faster and more efficiently, she said. An up-to-date knowledge base enables instant self-service, "but SMBs must also offer channels for customers to communicate directly with support agents." [More...]

ANALYST CORNER
Verizon's Reawakening
January 5, 2018
Verizon is finally snapping out of the doldrums it has been stuck in for the last several years. It seems to be on a comeback trail, thanks to its new advertising campaign. All of a sudden, it is blowing its own horn again. Verizon and Verizon Wireless in recent years have made many high-profile missteps, goofs and errors, but it looks as though the company is finally taking a different route. [More...]

January 4, 2018
e-commerce-2018-trends
The mushrooming popularity of smart speakers like Amazon Echo and Google Home will fuel e-commerce in the coming year. "You're going to have a whole new frontier of commerce space driven through voice and brand recognition," said Michael Levine, marketing vice president at Photon. "It's going to be a different type of playing field for these brands. [More...]

January 3, 2018
germany-law-hate-speech-social-media
Germany on Monday began enforcing its new Network Enforcement Act, or NetzDG, which imposes a fine of up to $60 million on social media networks that fail to remove hate-inciting posts promptly. The controversial law, adopted in mid 2017, is designed to help combat hate and fake news at a time when ISIS-linked terror and anti-immigrant extremism have been on the rise in Germany. [More...]

INSIGHTS
CRM in 2018
January 3, 2018
crm-2018-process-engagement
Figuring out the year ahead in CRM is tricky and getting more so. Making predictions has been more challenging for the last several years. We've seen an array of new technologies take root and blossom, but managers have had trouble figuring out how to adopt them. Those innovations have fueled a lot of anxiety in the C-suite about digital disruption, but each company's disruption is different. [More...]

January 3, 2018
online-privacy-law
The Walt Disney Company's recent decision to purchase major assets of 21st Century Fox in a transaction valued at $52 billion underscores the huge potential for distributing information and entertainment via the Internet. The deal will allow the company to improve its direct-to-consumer offerings, Disney said when it disclosed the transaction early last month. [More...]

January 2, 2018
e-commerce-2017
Moves that allowed major e-commerce players to jockey for position both off and on the Internet made headlines in 2017. "The year was a triumph for market leaders," said Mike Comstock, a senior adviser at GrandCanals. "Leading companies like Amazon, Target and Walmart just got stronger, as they have the resources to either build or buy whatever they need to win." [More...]

December 30, 2017
mobile-commerce
One thing the latest holiday sales season made crystal clear is that mobile commerce is on the rise. On Cyber Monday, mobile shopping totaled 47.4 percent of visits to retailers' websites, according to Adobe. However, etailers could do much more to milk the mobile shopping cow. "Traditional mobile sites aren't designed for the way people want to discover new products," said Qubit CEO Graham Cooke. [More...]

December 26, 2017
chargeback-fraud
This holiday selling season may have been a good one for retailers, but every silver lining has a cloud. One shadow will be cast by chargeback fraud, which can occur when shoppers make purchases with a credit card and then request chargebacks from the issuing bank instead of from the merchant. "Merchants bleed $227 for every dollar lost to e-commerce fraud," said NuData's Robert Capps. [More...]

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Will Facebook be able to fix social media's biggest problems?
Yes, its return to emphasizing close relationships is a good start.
No, its efforts aren't sincere -- it only cares about its bottom line.
Yes, but only through a huge, sustained education effort.
No, people -- not the platform -- are the problem.
Yes, the problems are wildly exaggerated -- there's not much to fix.
No, and it's too big to fail, so the problems will only get worse.
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