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New Shopify App Offers Local SMBs a Bridge to E-Commerce
April 30, 2020
Shopify has unveiled an app that lets users discover local businesses, receive relevant product recommendations from their favorite brands, check out effortlessly, and track all their online orders. It can gather and track orders automatically, but it also works without auto-tracking. Consumers can get a customized feed with deals, trending items and recommendations from their favorite stores.
Cultural CRM-ization
April 29, 2020
You can reduce the story of CRM to a lot of things, especially its many component parts. Social networking, cloud computing and analytics are mentioned often. We don't need an exhaustive list, but if we stop there I think we miss a lot. To me CRM isn't about the parts, although like most people following the industry, I get a modicum of joy when a vendor adds something new to the toolbox.
Ad Makers Use Deepfakes to 'Refresh' Old Content
April 28, 2020
With measures to stem the spread of COVID-19 putting a chokehold on their filming capabilities, advertising agencies are enhancing old content with new tech, including deepfakes. Deepfakes typically blend one person's likeness, or parts thereof, with the image of another person. Ad agencies are so restricted in how they can generate content, they'll explore anything that can be computer-generated.
Google Tightens Reins on Advertisers
April 24, 2020
Google soon will require all advertisers to prove their legitimacy, regardless of the advertising content. All advertisers will have to verify their identity, submit personal IDs and business verification documents, said John Canfield, Google's director of product management for ads integrity. Google began requiring political advertisers to verify their identity in the runup to the 2018 elections.
Ubuntu 'Focal Fossa' Homes In on Enterprise Security
April 23, 2020
Canonical, the parent company of Ubuntu, has announced the general availability of Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, codenamed "Focal Fossa." This major upgrade places particular emphasis on security and performance. Released once every two years, the new long-term support version provides a platform for enterprise IT infrastructures and workloads across all sectors for five years.
Merchants Now Can List Products on Google Shopping for Free
April 22, 2020
Merchants soon will be able to sell products on Google Shopping at no charge. Previously, they had to pay per click, but the cost was not fixed. There was no minimum, but they had to set a maximum for ad spend and Google would stop displaying their ads once the maximum was reached. Starting next week, search results on the Google Shopping tab will consist primarily of free product listings.
Contact Tracing With Salesforce
April 22, 2020
Contact tracing is a big job, like trying to drain an ocean with a teaspoon. It involves finding people who have been exposed to the coronavirus and testing them to determine if they are infected or are carriers. Public health officials then can take necessary steps to prevent the virus' spread. It's a perfect fit for CRM, and Salesforce's core technology is coming to the forefront.
8 Things New E-Commerce Entrepreneurs Need to Know
April 20, 2020
With something like 380 websites being created every minute, building an e-commerce shop can be a daunting task. It's easy to look at all of the success stories out there and think, "How could I possibly be that lucky?" However, the opportunity for growth in e-commerce is not slowing down. E-commerce sales are projected to grow 85 percent from their 2019 totals by 2022.
E-Commerce Optimization During a Crisis and Beyond
April 17, 2020
In this uncertain and increasingly homebound era, customers are turning online for everything from groceries to cat food. It's more important than ever to make sure that websites are optimized for the highest-possible customer engagement and conversion. E-commerce optimization is one game that companies struggling for market share in the midst of a pandemic must play.
We're the Adults in the Room
April 15, 2020
The U.S. Postal Service recently has been battered by a decline in the number of packages it delivers, partly caused by the coronavirus situation. It reportedly is losing $2 billion each month and will be "illiquid" by Sept. 30. The USPS is chartered to do the hard and often unprofitable work no one else wants to do, but the White House has rejected talk of a bailout for the service.
USPS Collapse Could Be Nightmare for Some Businesses
April 15, 2020
As a result of the pandemic, USPS, which has run at a loss for years, is even more cash-strapped. It expects to lose $2 billion each month during the pandemic. That prompted Postmaster General Megan Brennan to ask Congress for $50 billion in funds -- $25 billion to offset lost revenue from declining mail volume due to the pandemic, and another $25 billion for modernization.
Get Ready for the New E-Commerce Normal
April 14, 2020
Retailers around the world are adjusting their business models in the face of COVID-19 social distancing requirements. Two consumer reports on shopping pattern changes during the pandemic offer two main findings: a) It is crucial for merchants to create ways to connect with new and long-term customers; and b) Consumers can not fully solve the empty shelf problem through buying online.
Building a Better Way to Measure Marketing Effectiveness
April 7, 2020
With the business world -- and the world at large, for that matter -- changing at what feels like a moment's notice, businesses and brands have never been required to be as limber as in this current moment. Marketing leaders want hard evidence and objective facts for decision making. It wasn't long ago that multi-touch attribution was the prized child of the hype cycle among marketers.
eBay Lends Hand to Bring SMB Merchants Online
April 3, 2020
eBay is waiving seller fees and providing other initiatives to help shuttered retailers move online, as the COVID-19 pandemic threatens to wipe out Main Street. The e-commerce giant on Thursday announced the launch of its Up & Running accelerator program, designed specifically to help the 70 percent of small businesses that lack any online presence to make the transition to e-commerce.
Coronavirus Threat Sparks Revolt at Amazon, Whole Foods, Instacart
April 2, 2020
Amazon has promised to check temperatures and provide surgical masks for workers at its fulfillment centers and Whole Foods grocery stores starting next week. Instacart workers have not received similar promises. The news came in the midst of brewing turmoil among employees. Some full-time and contract workers at Whole Foods, Amazon and Instacart walked out or called in sick on Monday and Tuesday.
Risk Assessment: Buttress Account Security and Foil Fraudsters
March 30, 2020
Under ordinary circumstances, the average consumer can order a latte on the way to the coffee shop, book a last-minute trip to the coast, and come home to find groceries delivered -- all with the click of a button. What makes these transactions so smooth and effortless? It starts with account creation. Consumers increasingly are willing to create accounts with sites they interact with regularly.
Report: E-Commerce Account Takeovers, Shipping Fraud on the Rise
March 25, 2020
E-commerce account takeovers increased 347 percent and shipping fraud jumped 391 percent from 2018 to 2019, a fraud and identity solutions company reported. Fraudsters are gaining access to accounts using credential stuffing, romance scams, social engineering, phishing or hacking. The three-digit rise in account takeovers is connected to the rash of data breaches over the last decade.
Marketing on Amazon 101
March 23, 2020
More than 20 million individuals visit Amazon every month, making the platform the top e-commerce website in the U.S. Today's consumers don't use Amazon solely to make purchases -- they use the marketplace to check prices, discover new products, and research items they might want to buy. Amazon continues to dominate the shopping journey, and a reported 66 percent of consumers turn to Amazon first.
How AI Can Improve Customer Retention
March 21, 2020
Customer attrition and churn are not new problems. Anyone who has spent time in the sales world has heard statistics around the cost of acquiring a new customer. It can be five to 25 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one. Improving customer retention by just 5 percent can increase profits by 25-95 percent, depending on your industry and company size.
Facebook Pledges Funds for SMBs in Face of Shutdowns
March 19, 2020
Facebook has announced a $100M commitment of cash grants and ad credits to help as many as 30,000 eligible small businesses in 30 countries where the company operates. The program can help SMBs maintain their workforces, meet rent costs, connect with more customers, and cover operational costs. In addition, Facebook has earmarked $1 million in grants to local news organizations covering COVID-19.
4 Ways Intelligent CRM Can Help You Reach Tech-Savvy Millennials
March 18, 2020
Does your customer relationship management strategy have what it takes to reach Generation Y? It's estimated that by 2021, an additional $394 billion in revenue could be gained from artificial intelligence adoption in CRM activities in the U.S. As companies grow and technology evolves at a faster-than-ever pace, collecting, storing and providing data is becoming a bigger and bigger task.
Amazon Buckles Under Stress of Staple-Hoarding
March 17, 2020
Shopping hysteria in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic is crippling Amazon's ability to fill online orders and meet timely delivery promises. The company plans to increase pay in the U.S., UK and Europe for employees engaged in fulfillment operations, as well as open 100,000 new full and part-time positions to meet the surge in demand. Amazon has been was running out of household staples.
Food and E-Commerce: A Healthy Outlook
March 16, 2020
Consumers were becoming increasingly comfortable with the idea of ordering food online, either for pick up or home delivery, even before the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. Now many more shoppers are turning to online grocery shopping. "People have been comfortable ordering food such as pizza for delivery for years," noted Commercetools Vice President of Americas Marketing Margaret Rea.
Why Retailers Need to Adopt Omnichannel Personalization
March 13, 2020
The sky starts to dump the first snow of the year. Looking down at your dress shoes, you make a mental note to order some sturdier winter boots. Later that day, you're comparing two boot brands on your laptop and get distracted -- no more online shopping at work. When you get home, you grab your tablet to continue browsing boots. Maybe you can find a recommendation on Twitter?
Reddit Challenges Twitter With Trending Takeover Ads
March 12, 2020
Reddit has launched Trending Takeover ads for its Search tab and Popular feed, on both mobile and desktop versions. One third of the more than 430 million monthly active users visiting Reddit view the Popular feed every day. The Trending Takeover ad unit is in the second slot of the Trending Today module on Reddit's Popular feed and in the Trending Today dropdown in Reddit's Search tab.
4 Sales Presentation Innovations That Keep Viewers on the Edge of Their Seats
March 11, 2020
People have been giving presentations for thousands of years, from Moses with his stone tablets to Elon Musk revealing his grand plans to colonize Mars. While the elements of a great pitchman generally have remained the same over the past 5,000 years -- conviction, charisma, credibility -- today's successful presenters do more than just get in front of an audience and talk.
VPN, Ad Blocker Provider Caught With Hand in the Data Jar
March 11, 2020
A number of VPN and ad-blocking apps owned by Sensor Tower, a popular analytics platform, have been collecting data from millions of people using the programs on their Android and iOS devices, according to a report. The software involved includes Free and Unlimited VPN, Luna VPN, Mobile Data, Adblock Focus for Android devices, and Adblock Focus and Luna VPN for iOS hardware.
Podcasting Around the Virus - and Beyond
March 10, 2020
Several conferences I was scheduled to attend have been canceled in the past week. All of the sponsors cited an abundance of caution in the face of the unknown consequences of coronavirus transmission and outright COVID-19 pneumonia. That's all to the good, but we need to get business done even in the face of the virus, because business has to propel itself forward or individual companies wither.
4 Ways to Optimize Your Brand's Amazon Advertising
March 10, 2020
Way back in 1995, Amazon made its first-ever customer sale. Within two short months, Amazon was selling $20,000 per week in the U.S. and countries around the world. Today, Amazon has become the go-to marketplace for more than 310 million customers, and more than 54 percent of all product searches occur on Amazon. In other words, Amazon has replaced Google as the No. 1 search engine for products.
COVID-19 and the End of Daily Life as We Know It
March 9, 2020
We apparently have no immunity to COVID-19, and a vaccine likely is around 18 months away. It takes a while to change human behavior, but if we go a full 18 months or more with people working from home and avoiding places like malls, big box stores, and other areas where people congregate -- like offices and events -- it will force a fundamental, permanent change in the way we work and interact.
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