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ECommerceTimes.com
October 17, 2018
etailers risk losing sales if their search doesn't accommodate individual customer needs
While online shopping has exploded over the last decade and innovation around e-commerce has skyrocketed, there has been very little development around quality improvements in product search, navigation or discovery, notwithstanding the success of generic and open source search solutions, such as Elastic. That is ironic, as great search can make all the difference for an etailer's bottom line. Here's the problem: Define exactly what "great search" is. [More...]

October 17, 2018
oracle likely will show off its progress making cloud inroads at its upcoming openworld event
As of this writing, I haven't been prebriefed on what Oracle will be announcing at OpenWorld regarding CRM -- or as it refers to it, "CX" -- so this is a good time to express my own opinions. Oracle's direction in the last few years increasingly has been toward cloud computing and the autonomous database, and each has several flavors or divisions. The company has three levels of cloud. [More...]

October 16, 2018
3d product visualization, artificial intelligence and in-store technologies will drive e-commerce sales
When it comes to e-commerce, it seems like one day you are in and the next you are out. With online shopping now more accessible than ever, customers steadily are becoming harder to please, and they are considering it a given that their rising expectations be met every time. Just having an online version of a physical store isn't enough anymore, as consumers don't want to grab and go. [More...]

October 16, 2018
engaged employees deliver the best customer experiences
"Customer experience" is the great watchword of 2018 -- and it was a great watchword in 2017 and 2016, too. Eighty-five percent of executives said that CX was important to their companies' strategic priorities, in an Accenture survey. Sixty-two percent of companies viewed CX delivered by contact centers as a competitive differentiator, Deloitte found. [More...]

October 15, 2018
e-commerce companies can increase revenue by optimizing their mobile stores
Just five years ago, mobile e-commerce was a minor part of the e-commerce landscape. Today, most online searches are carried out from mobile devices, and 40 percent of all e-commerce is carried out from smartphones. This has forever changed the e-commerce industry. The smartphone is the most important lead channel. Smartphones are an extended part of our brains and social life. [More...]

October 12, 2018
small and mid-sized etailers should prepare to leverage amazon for cyber monday sales success
E-commerce companies compete with Amazon for shoppers year-round, but especially around the holidays when Q4 earnings are made. More than 75 percent of U.S. consumers shop on Amazon despite endless e-commerce options. Amazon commands more than 49.1 percent of all online sales and has more than 300 million active consumer accounts, making it a competitor that can't be ignored. [More...]

October 11, 2018
new tech tools can make online shopping more interactive and satisfying for customers
Customers are crucial to a successful business. They can be one-off customers or repeat buyers. Ideally, a business wants a mix of both. Problems arise when marketing tactics fail to attract either type, which is why customer engagement is so critical in today's hypercompetitive e-commerce environment. It should be no surprise that customers prefer companies that treat them as valued individuals. [More...]

October 11, 2018
artificial intelligence can make data actionable by identifying what customers really need
The ability to collect massive amounts of data represented a huge leap forward in customer service and communication when CRM first hit the market as a marketing, sales and data management tool. However, CRMs aren't a holy grail. Data management is one thing. Using data to understand what customers really need -- not just what you think they do -- and how to engage them is another thing entirely. [More...]

October 10, 2018
apple is not in any rush to be among the first to support 5g technology
Why is Apple taking such a slow approach moving toward 5G with its iPhone models and tablets? Just look around at all the buzz on the rapid rollout of 5G products and services. It seems every wireless carrier, every other handset and tablet maker, and every wireless gear maker is in a mad dash to be first in the 5G race. Everyone is in it except Apple. [More...]

October 9, 2018
generation z shoppers grew up in a digital world and they expect multiple options and convenience
From generation to generation, retail has evolved into a global business. Gone are the days of the local corner store. Today's consumers have access to products from across the world with a simple click of a button. Even brick-and-mortar stores are adapting to e-commerce as retailers find innovative ways to incorporate online orders into the storefront to accommodate their shoppers' expectations. [More...]

October 8, 2018
follow these 10 steps to maximize your brand's holiday sales on amazon
The holiday season presents a significant opportunity for sellers to capture unprecedented sales on Amazon. Cyber Week alone, the seven-day period beginning the Tuesday prior to Thanksgiving and running through Cyber Monday, is expected to account for 40 percent of all e-commerce sales during the holidays. The bulk of those holiday sales are likely to occur in one place: Amazon.com. [More...]

October 5, 2018
5 practical tips for fast ecommerce startup success
Over the past 10 years, I've been a part of at least that many startups. The tools of the trade have changed rapidly, but the core elements of successful entrepreneurship remain relatively unchanged. When I first started out, "social media marketing" was a brand new concept. Now entrepreneurs have a slew of tools to amplify their brand and grow their e-commerce revenue. [More...]

October 4, 2018
add a premium tier to your free customer loyalty program to maximize customer engagement
Given today's data and technological advancements, coupled with an abundance of choices for consumers, the importance of loyalty has never been greater. The marketing landscape has shifted as power has moved from sellers to buyers, and businesses have realized a heightened need for customer loyalty. Market fragmentation has dramatically increased competition, magnifying the need for loyalty. [More...]

October 4, 2018
crm industry evolving to oligopoly including microsoft oracle sap salesforce sugar zoho
As markets mature, they trend toward oligopoly or even outright monopoly. There isn't much difference, because an oligopoly has several members instead of just one. Examples include electric power generation, an oligopoly made up of vertically integrated monopolies in most areas, and the airline industry -- an oligopoly made up of many airlines that may have monopolies in regional hubs. [More...]

October 3, 2018
oracle faces difficult transition as last big enterprise software company to move to cloud
People at Oracle must sometimes feel like they're living in Mark Twain's reality. After hearing that his obituary had been published in the New York Journal, Twain published a quip for the ages when he wrote, "The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated." So too with Oracle. Ever since its earnings miss for its first fiscal quarter, a chorus of financial analysts have predicted doom. [More...]

October 2, 2018
apple's new iphone xs and xs max but many new ios 12 features are available for older iphones
For those of you who have been suffering due to the iPhone's batterygate problem over the last year, I have great news. Apple finally fixed this nagging annoyance. Batterygate was a self-inflicted wound for Apple, caused by a flaw in last year's iOS release, used by tens of millions of people. The flaw did not affect everyone, but it was a major problem for many of those who were impacted. [More...]

October 1, 2018
Salesforce has been very good at skating to where the puck will be, to paraphrase the great Wayne Gretzky. As a result, the company has a long line of firsts, beginning with its initial disruption and continuing through its early adoption of social media and analytics. So it's no surprise that it is pursuing some very different issues now than it did almost 20 years ago -- or even five. [More...]

September 28, 2018
segmenting sales professionals into a-b-c categories doesn't work in a saas world
Sales talent for a long time has been broken up into three groups: A-players, B-players and C-players. Everyone loves the A-players -- they're the ones who bring home the bacon, after all. The B-players show promise and, with the right training and motivation, could become A-players. The C-players? Well the less said, the better. This simplistic method of segmenting a sales force has worked for decades, but it dates to a simpler era. [More...]

September 27, 2018
offline and online retailers can best engage omnichannel customers by joining forces
Online and offline shopping businesses have to work together to improve customer engagement and retention. Although some brick-and-mortar stores are suffering revenue loss to online retailers, there is still an important space for them in the shopping experience. By joining forces, brick-and-mortar and online stores can meet the emerging needs of today's customers. [More...]

September 26, 2018
brick and mortar stores must adopt an omnichannel strategy to thrive in a digital world
With the advent of digital technologies and the radical growth of online shopping, it might seem that brick-and-mortar stores are on the way out, but that's not so. Physical stores are likely to remain far into the foreseeable future. However, the nature of those stores will be fundamentally transformed. Only those that become capable omnichannel retailers are likely to survive. [More...]

September 25, 2018
global software provisioning upgrades could stop cryptocriminals in their tracks
As if e-commerce companies didn't have enough problems with transacting securely and defending against things like fraud, another avalanche of security problems -- like cryptojacking, the act of illegally mining cryptocurrency on your end servers -- has begun. We've also seen a rise in digital credit card skimming attacks against popular e-commerce software such as Magento. [More...]

September 25, 2018
salesforce customer 360 pulls data out of silos into a unified customer record
I have never been a big fan of the term "360-degree view of the customer," mostly because you never can have a complete view of your customers. It's simply impossible. Things happen that you don't capture in the data, as CRM guru Paul Greenberg has pointed out. They get divorced, their dog dies, they get a really nice birthday gift. Those things can affect customers' buying behavior. [More...]

September 24, 2018
incorrect wireless caller id is a problem that can and should be fixed
I have a gripe with the way Caller ID works -- or in fact, increasingly doesn't work -- on wireless phones. I've noticed that most very stinking time I get a call on my wireless phone, the Caller ID information is wrong. Sometimes the number is correct, but the city is wrong. When Caller ID was introduced a few decades ago, it was great. It started on the landline phone, either providing a name or number. [More...]

September 22, 2018
oracle's slight q1 target miss could reflect investor unease over thomas kurian's time-out
OK, this is looking somewhat predictable. Oracle reported $9.20 billion in Q1 revenue, or $0.03 per share, against consensus estimates in the $9.24 to $9.29 range. In other words, it missed its number. How concerning is this? Excuse me while I yawn. It's important all right, but no reason to get crazy. Still, some representatives of the widows and orphans who own the stock went into a tizzy. [More...]

September 21, 2018
ecommerce companies may find that arbitration clauses are unenforceable if a website fails to provide adequate notice
Internet marketing has become so popular that e-commerce retail sales in the United States are on pace to double between 2009 and 2018. The transaction value of e-commerce service industry contracts reached $600 billion in 2016. Despite the rush to digital commerce, the rules for business transactions are still the same, whether they are concluded on paper or electronically. [More...]

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What best describes your attitude toward social networks and politics?
The value of engaging in serious political discourse outweighs the negatives.
Most of the political conversations seem overheated and ignorant.
Social networks provide a lot of very good political information from reliable sources.
Almost every political post I see is skewed or totally fake.
Political interactions on social networks simply mirror those in the real world.
Social networks remove inhibitions, bringing out the worst in people and politics.