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The New Era of E-Commerce Personalization
June 17, 2019
A personalized shopping experience gives e-commerce sites an edge, and businesses increasingly have been seeking ways to welcome their customers. "Every business should make their customers feel like they are the most important customer in the world," said Rob Maille, head of strategy and customer experience at CommerceCX. "To do that you need to know and anticipate their wants and needs."
Retailers' Most Common Cloud Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
June 15, 2019
It's easy to understand why so many retail organizations have moved their infrastructure to the cloud. Cloud-based architecture allows provisioning nearly infinite compute instances on-demand in minutes. There is no need for upfront licensing or infrastructure costs, meaning a faster ROI can usually be realized. Best of all are the unmatched agility and scalability of the cloud.
Can Brands Protect Privacy While Personalizing?
June 14, 2019
I sometimes think personalization is the best thing that happened to humankind in terms of marketing. As a consumer, I love getting suggestions on what to buy, especially when it's exactly what I need. Sometimes I feel as though I'm under constant surveillance, however, so I turn on my ad blockers, I surf in private mode, and I report ads that are not relevant to me.
Are You Gish-Galloping Your Business Toward Disruption?
June 13, 2019
Recent events have led to many people learning about a long-understood rhetorical tactic called "Gish galloping." Named after creationist Duane Gish, it means confronting an opponent with a rapid-fire series of arguments -- including half-truths, misrepresentations and outright lies. Confronted with such a BS barrage, the opponent may try to refute each assertion, which is a losing proposition.
News Industry Ad Study Knocked as 'Tripe'
June 12, 2019
A study that estimates Google last year raked in $4.7 billion from news content has drawn widespread criticism. That $4.7 billion is a conservative estimate, according to the News Media Alliance, the trade group that released the study. That's because the estimate doesn't take into account Google's advertising revenue from publishers and data collected from news content.
When Retail Customers Take It on the Chin, Investors Win
June 6, 2019
I am a reluctant Costco shopper. My wife is one of the many who really love the chain. Me... not so much. Seriously -- someone should knock Costco's top officials on the head and wake them up to the need to focus on their customers. After all, it's the customers who make Costco successful. When my family owned lots of retail stores, I learned many important lessons that Costco needs to learn.
The Biggest Customer Service Mistakes Brands Make on Social Media
May 29, 2019
Social media has become a part of everyday life. Case in point: Eighty-one percent of people in the U.S. have a social networking profile, and the number of worldwide users is expected to reach 3.02 billion by 2021. Consumers also have been devoting more of their time to engaging with social media sites. One-seventh of the average user's waking life is spent on social media.
Getting Chatty With Chatbots
May 28, 2019
Chatbots are an important part of the e-commerce shopping experience. They answer questions, provide information, and help customers along in their buying journey. Though they may never replace human beings entirely, they are central to many e-commerce-related interactions. Because they can be everpresent, chatbots are vital for keeping customers and potential customers engaged with a brand.
Leveraging the Tools That Fuel E-Commerce Growth
May 25, 2019
E-commerce technologies have been innovating fast. It's no surprise, considering e-commerce in North America grew by 15 percent in 2018, to reach more than $500 billion. Today's e-commerce businesses need to stay ahead of the curve if they want to be the consumer's choice, as convenience and relevance remain king. Companies can stand out by deploying some of the latest technologies.
Better Customer Satisfaction Through AI-Enabled CRM
May 22, 2019
You don't have to be entrenched in the tech world to have heard the term, "artificial intelligence," but what is artificial intelligence, or AI, as it's commonly known? Simply put, AI is the simulation of human intelligence processes performed by machines or computer systems. Nowadays, AI is being used to carry out many jobs previously held by humans, but there's no need to panic.
US Mobile: Another Bait-and-Switch Disappointment
May 16, 2019
I just dumped US Mobile after less than four months, setting a new speed record for hitting my tolerance-for-b.s. ceiling. I'd had high hopes for this relatively new mobile virtual network operator, but it turns out I chose poorly. Switching wireless service providers is one of those things I don't relish doing, but every few years I find that I'm in a one-way relationship with my carrier.
Walmart Enters High-Stakes Next-Day Delivery Game
May 15, 2019
Walmart has announced free one-day delivery for 220,000 of its most-frequently purchased items. The service will be available first in Phoenix and Las Vegas, because "these locations are major metro markets served by our fulfillment center in Southern California ... where we expect strong customer adoption of our NextDay delivery offering," a Walmart spokesperson said.
Online Shopping Gets Real: The Rise of Interactive Product Visualization
May 13, 2019
The shopper's desire to touch, feel, see and hear is what interactive product visualization is all about. In a world dominated by digital interfaces, interactive product visualization gives consumers the opportunity to experience, see, and understand products before buying them. Interactive product visualization brings products closer to the people interested in purchasing them.
Google, Microsoft In Step in New Era
May 13, 2019
Apple, Google and Microsoft are three very powerful companies. Two of them had big events last week -- Google I/O and Microsoft Build. What I found interesting was that both Google and Microsoft largely were on the same page about focusing on the customer. Both Google and Microsoft have been making massive advancements with AI. Both have increased their efforts to make the world a better place.
The Vital Role of Customer Service in the Sharing Economy
May 8, 2019
By 2022, the sharing economy is expected to double, reaching $40 Billion. Pioneers such as Airbnb and Uber are now global titans, taking in billions of dollars per year. From sharing furniture to sharing clothing, every industry seems to be trying to make its way into the lucrative sharing business. With the market becoming more saturated with products, how do companies differentiate themselves?
Amazon Touts Small Biz Success on Its Platform
May 8, 2019
Third-party gross physical merchandise sales on Amazon, made primarily by SMBs, accounted for more than half the units sold in the company's stores and totaled more than $160 billion in 2018, according to Amazon's 2019 SMB Impact Report. SMBs selling on Amazon created about 1.6 million jobs worldwide, up from 900,000 in 2017. Amazon gave startups more than $500 million in AWS credits in 2018.
4 Advanced Ways Brands Use Data to Increase Online Sales
May 6, 2019
Data is one of the biggest advantages e-commerce brands have over their brick-and-mortar counterparts. Brands that sell products online can glean insights not only from sales figures, but also from impressions, click-through rates, bounce rates, and numerous other data points. They have a constant stream of visitors to help them optimize every image, ad and product description.
Small Biz Reaps Major Benefits With Oracle Autonomous Database
May 4, 2019
Drop Tank is a small company in footprint -- it started with only 22 people -- but it has an outsized mission: to provide loyalty and discount programs to thousands of gasoline retailers. It has been decades since gas stations offered incentives to purchase their products. Last time, in the 1960s, retailers routinely would offer silverware, glassware and china with fill-ups.
The Critical Role of Artificial Intelligence in Payments Tech
May 2, 2019
Long an obsession of science fiction writers, "artificial intelligence" in the modern era of fast-paced technological innovation is a term that is as ubiquitous as it is nebulous. For the payments technology industry, however, the term describes advanced analytical technology that has an outsized potential to improve the payments ecosystem for banks, payments processors, merchants and consumers.
5 Ways to Personalize B2B E-Commerce
April 29, 2019
For B2B sellers, keeping pace with customer expectations is anything but easy. Accustomed to the simplicity and convenience that has become common across B2C transactions, buyers expect more from B2B sellers than ever before. Make the most of a growing B2B e-commerce market by considering the unique needs and preferences of each customer. Avoid funneling customers into a complicated buyer journey.
How a Route Planner Can Streamline E-Commerce Operations
April 27, 2019
With jam-packed delivery schedules, driver shortages, and impatient millennials who refuse to wait three days for their goods, it's clear that running an e-commerce company is not an easy walk in the park. It seems the "Amazon effect" is only growing stronger and stronger. Retail e-commerce sales are projected to surpass $735 billion in 2023. With this growth, naturally, come several challenges.
What Social Can Learn From CRM
April 25, 2019
There's been a chorus of calls from all corners for social media regulation -- from pundits like me to the halls of Congress and even from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg himself. The social media community seems tied up in knots over what to do about the abuse happening within their communities, but if you look elsewhere you might see signs of solutions that could solve some fundamental problems.
How Customer Expectations Contribute to Fraud and Losses
April 25, 2019
Contemporary online retail enables faster, smoother and more profitable interactions between consumers and merchants. Individuals can shop and make purchases at any time, from any location, with the help of the devices resting in their pockets. Plus, with innovations like same-day shipping, IoT-connected devices, and much more, it's never been easier to be a consumer.
New Apriva Partnerships Promise Mobile Shopping Innovations
April 24, 2019
Apriva has announced partnerships with AveriGo and Vagabond to offer innovative mobile shopping and payment solutions. Apriva offers an adaptive platform for secure mobile communications and omnichannel payments. Both its new partners are in the vending and F&B service industries. AveriGo offers the Averiware business platform. Vagabond offers technologies for the convenience services industry.
E-Commerce Branding in the Time of Amazon
April 23, 2019
I recently made two major additions to my life -- a second dog and a lake house. On weekends, I need to transport all my stuff and my two dogs to the lake, so I decided to upgrade my SUV to a larger model with an additional row of seats and more cargo space. When I began looking around at available models, I was stunned. The amount of competition in the SUV marketplace is astounding.
NICE InContact Packs CXone With Tons of AI Features
April 19, 2019
NICE inContact has released the Spring 2019 version of its CXone cloud-based contact center software, with multiple AI-powered updates for smarter customer and agent engagement, plus enhanced CRM integrations. NICE inContact CXone "is the most complete, unified, and intelligent cloud contact center platform available in the market," said company spokesperson Cheryl Andrus.
Disruption Plus
April 17, 2019
There's a chicken-and-egg issue with digital disruption. Making decisions based on numbers instead of gut instinct is recognized to be a superior approach in many situations, but before you can get to decision making, people have to be able to use things like AI and ML. Humans are not naturals when it comes to numbers; thinking back to high school algebra is all it takes to convince most of us.
Managing Sales Tax Complexities in Merchandise Returns
April 17, 2019
As the world has become increasingly digital, the retail industry has gone through tremendous transformation. To survive in the competitive landscape and keep up with evolving customer preferences, merchants have had to adapt and learn how to deliver the seamless omnichannel experience that shoppers expect. Delivering that efficiency and convenience comes with challenging operational intricacies.
Hackers Use Microsoft Help Desk to Pull Off Massive Email Breach
April 16, 2019
Hackers piggybacked onto a Microsoft customer support portal between Jan. 1 and March 28 to gain access to the emails of noncorporate account holders on webmail services Microsoft manages, including MSN.com, Hotmail.com and Outlook.com. Microsoft has confirmed that a "limited" number of customers who use its Web service had their accounts compromised.
The Rise of Headless Commerce
April 15, 2019
"Headless commerce" has become an e-commerce buzzword lately, but how can brands use it to their advantage? "In its most basic terms, 'headless commerce' refers to the decoupling of a website's presentation layer -- the front end -- from its commerce and business logic/function layer -- the back end," said Meghan Stabler, vice president of product marketing at BigCommerce.
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How important is a candidate's knowledge of technology in winning your vote?
Extremely -- technology is at the center of most of the world's big problems and solutions.
Very -- a candidate who doesn't understand technology can't relate to young people.
Somewhat -- a general understanding is sufficient.
Not very -- choosing good advisers is more important than direct knowledge.
Not at all -- technology is often a distraction from more important issues.