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The Pandemic's Effect on Gift Giving: Is Your E-Commerce Business Ready?
October 23, 2020
For all the ways the COVID-19 pandemic has affected our online shopping behavior in 2020, add to the list: holiday gift giving. As e-commerce retailers, we should prepare for a surge in online gift purchases and also an increase in gifts delivered directly to the recipient. Here are ten ideas that e-tailers can use to rethink the gift-giving experience this holiday season.
Rural America Is the Next E-Commerce Frontier
October 21, 2020
E-commerce is not yet every rural community's Holy Grail for shopping. Many local rural retailers are strangers to e-commerce, and the home delivery routine for rural customers is often very different from the opportunities enjoyed by suburban and city consumers. If stores in rural America want to keep customers happy and healthy, transitioning to e-commerce is key.
The Strive to Survive a COVID-19 Holiday Shopping Season
October 19, 2020
The upcoming holiday season is looking much different than anyone would have suspected this time last year. Forget about the customary long lines to buy gifts for loved ones and friends this year -- if you can even find a store that is open. All of these changes make it critical for marketers to adapt in an effort to recover lost sales and attract new customers.
The WFH Evolution of the Home Office
October 12, 2020
More people than ever now work from home as a result of the pandemic, and this shift has necessitated a rethinking of how home offices are designed and furnished. The E-Commerce Times checked in with providers of workspace furniture and accessories for insights on how the adaptation to WFH has affected home office setups.
G Suite Rebranded as Google Workspace
October 7, 2020
Google has announced its rebranding of G Suite as Google Workspace, along with its newly integrated desktop environment that is designed for enhanced collaboration and communications, marking its latest bid to challenge Microsoft 365. Google Cloud officials said the Workspace environment will create a new user experience that integrates meetings, docs, messaging and tasks in a more productive, secure and collaborative environment.
Supply and Demand: A Moving Target for E-Tail Marketers
October 1, 2020
Marketers must adapt to changing circumstances. They also have to play better hunches when handling supply and demand issues. In this constantly changing marketplace, supply and demand are moving targets. So why are advertisers not fully capitalizing on the new situation? Many marketers have not yet figured out how to do so.
Cybersecurity Assessment and the Zero Trust Model
October 1, 2020
Instead of legacy security models that differentiate a "trusted" interior from an untrusted external one, zero trust instead assumes that all networks and hosts are equally untrustworthy. Once this fundamental shift in assumptions is made, you start to make different decisions about what, who, and when to trust, and acceptable validation methods to confirm a request or transaction is allowed.
New Service Relays Customer Texts to In-Store Phone Lines
September 29, 2020
Curbside pickup has become a necessary option to offer customers since the onslaught of COVID-19. In fact, some shoppers will not consider doing business with a retailer or restaurant that does not offer curbside service. The TextMeAnywhere solution helps make the associated logistics to service curbside easier to execute for small businesses.
Do's and Don'ts for SMB Cybersecurity Safety
September 17, 2020
The stampede from offices to working from home has strained IT security teams to their limits. As a result, SMBs find they need to get more bang for fewer bucks to fight off cybersecurity threats. However, even IT departments with limited resources can implement foundational strategies to address network security issues, and lay the groundwork for future investments.
Fall Ramp-Up
September 15, 2020
Technology's fall selling season is gearing up for year-end as it always does, coronavirus or not, and the CRM industry follows suit with some mods. The majors like Salesforce and Oracle, as well as fast followers like Zoho, are in hot pursuit of what's new -- and they're betting new in this context means a process orientation, not simply delivering new products, features, or functions.
A Unique Moment in Time for E-Commerce
September 14, 2020
E-commerce is experiencing rapid growth with no sign of slowing down. Retailers and brands are finding that the new normal in retail and e-tail marketing is much like trying to hit a moving target. They have to take a refined aim and build in some lead time. This marketing strategy requires businesses to adjust their digital infrastructure and tactics. Otherwise, they will miss the target as consumers prepare for their holiday marketing and ad campaigns.
Tech's Role in the Future of Restaurants
September 9, 2020
While changes in the restaurant industry have been in response to what is hoped to be a temporary crisis, it's likely that dining establishments will never again operate exactly as they did before coronavirus. Along with altering their physical designs to accommodate the demands of the pandemic, eateries must also turn to new models for order taking, making deliveries, and payment processing.
Amazon Vendors: Look at Direct Fulfillment Right Now
September 2, 2020
Amazon recently confirmed that it is facing fulfillment center capacity limitations. This is one reason why its Direct Fulfillment program that allows vendors to ship directly from their warehouses to their customers, is going to become increasingly prevalent. Amazon sellers should prepare to adopt Direct Fulfillment immediately. But why is this the perfect moment, and how can its benefits be maximized during the remainder of 2020?
Software Piracy Spreading With the Virus
September 1, 2020
Software piracy involves much more than businesses and consumers using illegal copies of computer programs. What lurks within the pirated copies is often rogue code -- malware -- that can be just as deadly to computers and users' finances. Software companies are reporting that piracy has increased 20 to 30 percent due to COVID-19.
CRM is Failing: It's Time to Transition to CXM
September 1, 2020
Centralizing all tools and customer-effecting services into one system delivers great efficiencies for businesses. However, enabling customers to have the same experience in real time is the difference between a CRM and CXM. CRM Buyer pursued the potential transition process -- and the impact of both CRM and CXM products -- in a conversation with Thryv VP Ryan Cantor.
Holiday Shopping Forecast: Less Spending, More Empathy
August 24, 2020
The 2020 holiday shopping forecast and consumer spending patterns well into next year will be marked by a pullback in spending, an increase in consumer expectations for brand behavior, and a focus on supporting small businesses. Marketers are advised to focus on brand values and trustworthiness to combat the continuing challenges retailers face in courting consumers across all generations.
In-Store Commerce Kicked to the Curb
August 13, 2020
Curbside service is one of the more popular strategies that businesses and consumers now use to navigate the 'new normal'. Ideally, it's a contactless, convenient experience for all involved. For curbside pickup to be successful, however, it needs to be as quick and easy as possible for consumers -- and a large part of that ease of use requires adequate business planning and management.
Fun Seekers Revel at Virtual Parties
August 6, 2020
Though initially isolating, the coronavirus pandemic has spawned a whole new world of digital parties and get-togethers. People stuck at home are finding innovative ways to socialize, participating in everything from virtual beer tastings to online book club meetings. While the event landscape has been permanently altered by this shift, people and businesses continue to develop new ways of having fun.
10 Types of Social Proof and What Makes Them Effective
August 3, 2020
Social proof is an individual influencer or group clout that gives "proof" to a product. It is based on the principle that people tend to follow and conform to an influential person or a majority. They do this to be validated -- a result of a need for safety. Here are 10 kinds of social proof strategies -- and how and why they work.
Google's E-Commerce Push to Fill the 'Messy Middle'
July 31, 2020
Google's domination of the online ad market appears to have stalled since Amazon last year became the third-largest digital ad platform in the U.S. behind the Google-Facebook duopoly. This may have driven Google to accelerate its push into e-commerce, focusing on what it calls the "messy middle" -- the space in the customer journey between what triggers the purchase and the actual purchase itself.
US Makes $57B Available to Small and Disadvantaged IT Providers
July 30, 2020
U.S. government agencies will remain active in the information technology market, despite the impact of COVID-19 on agency operations. In fact, there is evidence that the occurrence of the virus has spurred agencies to improve IT resources. For example, the General Services Administration in early July launched a new contracting vehicle offering a potential US$50 billion in federal acquisition of IT products and services.
Digital Sales Boom Puts Spotlight on Fraud Control Systems
July 30, 2020
The move by retailers to online and mobile selling to survive the pandemic has resulted in a significant increase in digital fraud activity. The "2020 True Cost of Fraud Study: E-commerce/Retail Edition" by LexisNexis Risk Solutions found this to be partly because some fraud control systems are outdated, and partly because of increased transaction volume.
Victory Gardens 2.0: Gardening in the Pandemic Era
July 27, 2020
The pandemic era has seen a resurgence of interest in growing, tending, and harvesting fruits and vegetables from one's own patch of land or city balcony. Home gardening offers a sense of security and independence. Even when the world has been upended, a home garden can provide a bit of food insurance. Many people are finding that gardening offers a way to take control of a situation that can sometimes feel chaotic and unpredictable.
Refocus Your Sales Strategy on the Phone Call
July 20, 2020
Getting a prospect on the line and talking to them directly matters. It's the ability to deliver the pitch with the right content, cadence, and care for your future clients' needs that makes a voice call so effective. It's not just salespeople who prefer a call -- 92 percent of all customer interactions happen over the phone. Simply put, that direct human connection creates the right environment to establish trust.
New E-Commerce Partnership Gives U.S. Merchants Access to LATAM
July 16, 2020
ShipStation on Wednesday announced a partnership with Mercado Libre, which is known as the "Amazon of Latin America" and has operations in 18 countries throughout the region. Mercado Libre is the fourth largest marketplace in the world in terms of visits per month, and the largest in Latin America. Its top markets are Brazil, Argentina, and Mexico.
How to Win at E-Commerce on the New Walmart.com
July 16, 2020
Walmart is embracing new strategies, partnerships, and infrastructure that have modernized its e-commerce platform and made it a more formidable rival to Amazon. In particular, three big factors are at play: enhanced content opportunities, the introduction of new fulfillment capabilities, and the introduction of self-service marketing tools.
The Art of Sewing's Hi-Tech Revival
July 14, 2020
During the pandemic, increasing numbers of people have pulled out their sewing machines and knitting needles and gotten to work. A massive resurgence in sewing and crafts has taken place, as makers around the world have been sewing masks and creating other much-needed items for themselves and others.
B2C Response Rates at SMBs Crushing Enterprises
July 6, 2020
A company's ability to answer customer questions and resolve problems has become as essential as product, quality, and price. When customers are ignored, or given the impression they are unimportant by slow response times, the consequences of lost business and a damaged reputation can be irreversible. A recent study found that many businesses fall short of providing timely customer service.
Prime Day Uncertainty a Dilemma for Amazon Sellers
July 2, 2020
One of the e-tail world's most pressing questions is: When will Amazon have its Prime Day sale this year? Perhaps a better question is: Will Prime Day happen at all? Amazon so far is not telling. If Prime Day 2020 takes place in the fall, the biggest deal days of the e-commerce industry could happen within several weeks of each other.
Twitter Apologies for Data Security Incident
June 24, 2020
Twitter on Tuesday notified business clients that their personal information, including email addresses, phone numbers, and the last four digits of their credit card numbers may have been compromised. Self-serve advertisers that viewed billing information on ads.twitter.com or analytics.twitter.com were affected. The issue occurred prior to May 20, 2020. However, Twitter only notified customers about it on June 23.
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How will the pandemic influence your holiday shopping habits this year?
I will shop online exclusively, for my own safety and to help limit the spread of the coronavirus.
I will do some shopping online, and some in-person because I want to support merchants in my area.
I will shop online definitely, and I will consider local retailers -- but only if they provide curbside service.
I will only shop in-person because the risks associated with e-commerce outweigh my chance of catching COVID-19.
I will not do any holiday shopping this year due to circumstances related to the pandemic.
Salesforce Industries Summit
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