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New AI-Powered Voice Tool Aims to Boost Sales
March 3, 2018
Zoho has unveiled Zia Voice, a conversational artificial intelligence chatbot for sales teams that works with Zoho CRM. Zia Voice lets sales teams analyze their Zoho CRM database for information such as new leads created, average deal revenue, or monthly forecasts. It analyzes interaction patterns and the progress of a lead or deal in the pipeline, and suggests the probability of closure.
Amazon Buys Ring to Make Homes, Deliveries More Secure
March 2, 2018
Amazon has agreed to buy Ring for $1 billion, the companies have disclosed. Ring users already could use the Echo Show to see and hear visitors at the front door. The deal means Ring can further its "mission to reduce crime in neighborhoods by providing effective yet affordable home security tools to our neighbors that make a positive impact on our homes, our communities and the world," Ring said.
Mobile Pay, Smart Speaker Brand Confusion Means No Winners
March 1, 2018
Google Pay launched last week, becoming the latest entry in the world of master-brand confusion. The new Google Pay combines features of Android Pay and Google Wallet, brands that each had different brand relationships with customers. That means the master brand message, which should be simple and clean, and which Google should have been building all along, is shaky at best.
5 Podcast Pluses for E-Commerce SMBs
February 28, 2018
Podcasting is one of the hottest media trends. Almost everyone, it seems, has a podcast these days. Should e-commerce business owners jump on this bandwagon? Can podcasting really boost the bottom line? If you do decide to make a podcast, do your best to make it exceptional. That means having good audio quality, excellent content, a unique voice, and a strong sense of audience and purpose.
AdRoll Creates New Division to Target B2B Marketers
February 28, 2018
AdRoll has announced RollWorks, a new division that will provide business-to-business marketers with highly targeted, personalized marketing at scale across multiple channels and devices. The result of a corporate restructuring, RollWorks will focus specifically on B2B marketing, while the AdRoll business unit will focus on the company's legacy products for e-commerce SMBs.
FutureProof Retail President Di Di Chan: Combine Your Strengths
February 27, 2018
FutureProof Retail aims to redefine the in-store checkout experience. "From the consumer point of view, when you go shopping you have people who help you and service you, and you walk away happy," said President Di Di Chan. "What we're doing is bringing the online offline, to centralize that service. It's not just the top VIP shopper who can enjoy that experience -- everyone can."
5 Effective Ways SMB Etailers Can Battle Fraud
February 26, 2018
Fraud is a major concern for 72 percent of businesses, according to Experian's Global Fraud and Identity Report. More than 5,500 consumers and 500 business executives in 11 markets around the world participated in the survey. The situation has not been improving, as six out of 10 businesses experienced the same losses to fraud as they did a year ago -- or more.
FCC's Final Rule on Net Neutrality Sparks Legal Challenges
February 23, 2018
The Federal Communications Commission on Thursday officially published its Net neutrality rollback order in the Federal Register, triggering a flurry of legal actions and Capitol Hill scrambling to stop it before it takes hold. The order, which goes into effect on April 23, reverses an Obama era rule requiring that broadband access be regarded as a utility.
AI's Malicious Potential Front and Center in New Report
February 22, 2018
As beneficial as AI can be, it has its dark side, too. That dark side is the focus of a new 100-page report. AI will be used by threat actors to expand the scale and efficiency of their attacks, it predicts. They will employ it to compromise physical systems and to broaden their privacy invasion and social manipulation capabilities. Novel attacks are to be expected.
Google Pay to Challenge Apple, Amazon
February 21, 2018
Google has launched its long-anticipated Google Pay app, which combines the features of the former Android Pay and Google Wallet into one platform, with new benefits designed to accelerate mobile payment use and retailer participation. The change, first announced last month, represents a bid to expand the use of Google's growing ecosystem to take on both Apple and Amazon in the e-commerce space.
3 Cybersecurity Threats SMB Etailers Should Not Ignore
February 16, 2018
Some small e-commerce website operators may think their relative obscurity offers protection, but the fact is that SMBs are especially vulnerable to cyberattacks and malware. "Very often small businesses don't feel vulnerable to cyberthreats because they assume cybercriminals prefer to launch attacks on large companies," said Stephanie Weagle, VP of Corero.
Google Launches Offensive Against Annoying Ads
February 15, 2018
Google's Chrome Web browser has begun blocking some of the Net's most annoying types of ads. Chrome's built-in ad filter blocks ads based on standards devised by the Coalition for Better Ads, an industry group whose membership roster includes Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Procter & Gamble, Unilever and The Washington Post. The group aims to improve consumer experiences with advertising.
Can Amazon Scale Its Own B2B Shipping Service?
February 13, 2018
Amazon has been plotting its next big move to control its logistics chain, with a new service called "Shipping with Amazon" in the works and reportedly scheduled to launch within weeks. It initially will pick up goods from third-party sellers that already work with Amazon and deliver them to customers. The service eventually will expand to merchants that currently do not work with Amazon.
Account Scoring Tool Helps Companies Home In on Best Targets
February 13, 2018
DataFox has launched Account Scoring, a new product to help businesses and financial firms find and prioritize optimum target clients. DataFox offers clients data on more than two million companies to help them prioritize existing prospect accounts, as well as discover new companies to add to their CRM systems as potential high priorities, said CMO Mike Dorsey.
Intel's Fake 5G Olympic Hail Mary
February 12, 2018
If there ever were a time when perception Trumped reality, this would be it. So much of what we see these days that looks real just isn't. I can connect a lot of this back to Steve Jobs, who was the master at this in the tech world. However, I'm worried that too many people don't realize that there were several times Steve missed jail by the skin of his teeth, largely because he did amazing work under pressure.
Amazon Makes Free Whole Foods Deliveries a Prime Perk
February 9, 2018
Amazon has begun offering same-day delivery of grocery items from Whole Foods Market to Prime members in four select markets. For a minimum order of $35, Prime members get free two-hour delivery between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m. One-hour delivery is available for a $7.99 fee. Among the items customers can order for delivery are fresh produce, meat and seafood; flowers; and some alcoholic beverages.
Will 2018 Be the Year of Reckoning for Online Tax Collection?
February 6, 2018
The United States Supreme Court recently decided to revisit Quill Corp. v. North Dakota, which basically allowed states to collect taxes on online sales only from sellers that had a physical presence within their boundaries. Brick-and-mortar retailers for years have argued that the ruling puts them at a competitive disadvantage. At least 35 states have been urging a reconsideration of Quill.
3 Reasons Your E-Commerce Biz Should Have a Blog
February 5, 2018
Blogging might seem a difficult task to many e-commerce retailers, but the effort you put into it likely will pay off. With some forethought and commitment, blogging can become part of your overall strategy for e-commerce success. If you're still on the fence, here are three reasons to consider getting started with a blog. First, it will improve your SEO.
There May Be Gold in Them Thar Podcasts
February 2, 2018
User engagement with podcasts has been steadily increasing, and many listeners actually prefer longer-format content, based on results of Apple's Podcast Analytics reported this week. The service, which Apple launched late last year, gives podcasters a way to track performance metrics including number of listeners, total time listened and time per device.
Facebook Is Gobbling Less of Users' Time
February 1, 2018
The social media industry may have to struggle to rehydrate in light of some surprising and troubling metrics Facebook released on Wednesday. In addition to a pause in user growth, there have been signs that user engagement may have reversed course. The decline may have something to do with Facebook's efforts to recover from accusations that it has provided fertile ground for fake news.
Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, JP Morgan Aim to Untangle Employee Healthcare Knot
February 1, 2018
Three corporate giants on Tuesday announced they were banding together to provide healthcare for their 1.1 million employees. The companies -- Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JP Morgan Chase -- plan to form a company "free from profit-making incentives and constraints" in order to improve employee satisfaction with their healthcare coverage as well as reduce costs.
Apple May Be Gearing Up to Crack E-Books
January 31, 2018
Apple reportedly has been working on a redesign of its e-book app for iPhones and iPads, in what could be the biggest upgrade to its e-book service in years. The new app reportedly is undergoing testing and will be released in the next few months. It will have a simpler interface that better highlights books currently being read in a section called "Reading Now."
Alphabet's New Chronicle Promises to Speed Threat Data Analysis
January 30, 2018
Alphabet has launched Chronicle, a new cybersecurity venture, following two years of development at the Alphabet X research lab. Chronicle will include VirusTotal, a Google-owned cybersecurity and intelligence platform and malware intelligence service. The idea behind Chronicle stems from the fact that many companies receive many more security alerts per day than they can handle.
Google's Ad Mute Option Could Be a Valuable Messaging Tool
January 26, 2018
Google on Thursday announced a new feature that will let users mute so-called "reminder ads" in third-party apps and websites that are powered by its ad engine. It plans to expand this feature to its own services, including Gmail, YouTube and Google Search, in the coming months. The new tool is the latest addition to Google's dashboard for ad controls.
Self-Service AI Aims to Grease the Wheels for B2B Sales Teams
January 26, 2018
SalesDirector.ai has released a self-service version of its artificial intelligence sales execution and sales forecasting platform for B2B sales teams. The system provides enterprise-grade AI to sales teams in less than five minutes, according to the company. Like the regular SalesDirector.ai platform, the self-service version is offered as a service.
AT&T Raises Eyebrows With Call for Internet Bill of Rights
January 25, 2018
In an open letter and a series of full-page ads in major newspapers, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson has urged Congress to enact an Internet Bill of Rights and to bring the Net neutrality debate to an end. Although AT&T supported the FCC's December vote to repeal its Net neutrality rules, the company has called on legislators to establish new laws to regulate the Internet.
New Service Aims to Ease B2B Tech Purchasing Process
January 24, 2018
TechTarget has launched Deal ScoreCard, a quarterly report designed to help B2B technology executives make better purchasing decisions. Deal ScoreCard covers 20 technology product market segments across the storage, data center, cloud, and end-user computing enterprise technology markets. It leverages proprietary buyer-generated data across four categories.
The Top 20 CRM Blogs of 2017: Countdown, Part 1
January 22, 2018
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.
Feds to Ramp Up Online Purchasing Presence
January 22, 2018
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.
Google to Ding Sluggish Sites in Mobile Search Rankings
January 19, 2018
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.
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