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Fresh Funds Brighten Faire Marketplace
October 31, 2019
Faire has raised $150 million in venture capital, which it will use to expand into new markets, improve the Faire marketplace, and build more tools for its customers. The latest round brings Faire's total funding to date to $266 million and gives the company a valuation of $1 billion. Faire is an online wholesale marketplace that lets retailers shop for new products to carry.
5 Things Retailers Can Do Now to Avoid a Cyber Monday Disaster
October 29, 2019
We may just be turning the calendar to November, but if you're like most retailers, you're already deep into planning for the gift-giving season. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are circled and starred as you anticipate, with a mixture of excitement and trepidation, the spike in sales and massive increase in traffic to your website and mobile app -- with good reason.
The Ultimate E-Commerce Guide to Black Friday
October 28, 2019
The shopping season is fast approaching. Black Friday -- the kickoff of Christmas consumerism -- falls on November 29 this year, six days later than last year. However, e-commerce stores easily will compensate for this shorter shopping season: Last year consumers broke records with $6.22 billion spent online, but this year Black Friday is set to surpass $12 billion in online sales.
Microsoft Takes Another Stab at Wireless
October 24, 2019
Microsoft once again is making a move in wireless with its new foldable smartphone called "Surface Duo." The company tried and failed to break into wireless several times over the last couple decades before finally pulling the plug. Now it is back. Will the Surface Duo give Microsoft a chance to succeed in wireless at last? I am sensing this might be the right time.
Ring! Ring! Your Presentation Is Calling, and It Wants an Update
October 22, 2019
Mobile phones have come a long way since Zack Morris lugged his brick of a cellphone around the halls of Bayside High School in Saved by the Bell. If Zack had one of today's smartphones, he'd be texting Kelly on WhatsApp, posting pictures of himself and A.C. on Instagram, and trolling Screech on Twitter. Today's smartphones have become essential to human communication.
Millennial Women Chart New Direction for E-Commerce
October 16, 2019
It's remarkable how a hot IPO can get discussion going. After a 50 percent rise in the stock price of The RealReal, the marketplace for consigned luxury items, following its June 28 public offering, there's been a search to define what is so lucrative about this company, or e-commerce in general. The RealReal certainly has exhibited wisdom in various aspects of its e-commerce strategy.
Fitting Clothing Sales to E-Commerce
October 15, 2019
When buying clothes, many consumers still prefer to head to a bricks-and-mortar store, browse the racks, and try things on. There's something about clothing, after all, that's inherently tactile and personal. Gradually, however, the way people buy clothes has been changing. Digital technologies are reshaping the world of online fashion sales. One of the keys to sales success is personalization.
Motorola's Razr Gamble
October 10, 2019
When word came out that Motorola was rereleasing its hit Razr smartphone, I was excited. Now that it has been delayed until the end of the year, the sizzle seems to be lessening a bit. Razr was hot more than a decade ago, but then it quickly faded away when the iPhone and Android stole the show. Motorola wants to give the Razr another shot at stardom, but will it be a long-term hit?
New Surface Line Makes the Earth Move for Microsoft Fans
October 3, 2019
Microsoft has launched a slew of new devices designed to reshape the world: the Surface Laptop 3, the Surface Pro 7, the Surface Pro X, Surface Earbuds, and the upcoming Surface Neo and Surface Duo. "The next decade will be about creation, and amplifying what we can do as humans," said Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella at Microsoft Surface 2019 in New York City.
A Peek at Our Wireless Future
September 30, 2019
Last week I attended a Qualcomm event that took me through the coming wave of both 5G and WiFi 6 products, touched on the millimeter wave, and at least spoke to 6G. From this I think I can begin to picture the world as it will exist by the middle of the next decade, and it is kind of fascinating. Qualcomm has spent nearly $50B -- yes billion -- advancing its wireless initiatives.
iPhone 11: Fewer Sales, More Yawns
September 26, 2019
After having countless conversations with iPhone users in the last few days, I've concluded that Apple will sell loads of these new devices -- but not as many as in the past. There are several reasons I'm expecting a downturn in iPhone sales. Among the top reasons are lack of support for 5G, lack of innovation, and high prices. I wanted to learn how users felt about trading up this year.
Amazon Enlists 30 Partners in Voice Interoperability Initiative
September 26, 2019
Amazon and dozens of partners have joined in a Voice Interoperability Initiative. Their aim is to support multiple, interoperable voice services on a single device so customers can access the one they want by saying the appropriate wake word. Companies involved in the initiative will work to accelerate the state of the art in machine learning and wake word technology.
Xiaomi Unveils Mi 9 Pro 5G and Wraparound-Screen Mi MIX Alpha
September 25, 2019
Xiaomi has introduced a refresh of the Mi 9 Pro with support for 5G and a groundbreaking smartphone with a wraparound display. The Mi 9 Pro 5G, with a base price equivalent to $520, works with 5G offerings of China's three main carriers -- China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom -- and supports speeds from 1.78 Gbps to 2.02 Gbps, or four times the speed of typical 4G services.
PriceWaiter CEO Stephen Culp: 'Negotiation Has Been Around Forever Because It Works'
September 23, 2019
Fledgling e-commerce company PriceWaiter aims to save customers money, time and energy by negotiating better-than-Amazon deals on top-rated products -- simply, quickly and privately. PriceWaiter's pitch to sellers is that it can help move inventory, maintain more margin, and make MAP moot, resulting in more efficient pricing, new sales, and new customers with virtually no acquisition cost.
Fitness: The Sweet Spot for Smartwatches
September 20, 2019
Smartwatches outsold traditional watches in the fourth quarter of 2018. The category saw a 51 percent increase in dollar sales for last year, along with a 61 percent increase in unit sales, according to recent data from NPD Group. One in four Americans aged 18 to 34 now own a smartwatch, and that is likely to increase. However, traditional watches did regain the majority of the market in Q1 2019.
iPhone 11: To Upgrade or Not, That's the Question
September 18, 2019
Early reviews on the new iPhone models are appearing, and for owners of older versions of Apple's flagship mobile, an upgrade may be in order. Reviewers had plenty of praise for Apple's more expensive iPhone models -- the 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max. However, it was the baseline iPhone 11 that came out the clear winner in the kudos game. The iPhone 11 is the lowest-priced of the three new models.
Wi-Fi 6 Is Ready for Prime Time
September 17, 2019
The Wi-Fi Alliance has released certification standards for Wi-Fi 6 devices, signaling that the technology is ready for prime time. The certification program assures buyers that products carrying the Wi-Fi Certified 6 label will deliver the best user experience with devices supporting IEEE 802.11ax. Wi-Fi 6 includes innovations to create faster network performance.
Apple Debuts Triple-Cam iPhone, New iPad, and Aggressively Priced Game and TV Services
September 11, 2019
Apple raised the curtain on its latest iPhone models, introduced a new iPad, refreshed its watch, and announced pricing for its subscription game and premium TV services at an event in Cupertino, California. The highlight of the presentation was the new iPhone lineup: the iPhone 11, the 11 Pro and the 11 Pro Max. The iPhone 11 comes in six colors -- black, green, yellow, purple, red and white.
Shifting Cable-TV Landscape Demands New Strategies for Survival
September 10, 2019
X1 is a Comcast-branded pay-TV service that gives users more control over their television experience. The service recently gained new features that cater to businesses. For example, one of the new features allows the use of the system at bars, restaurants and health clubs that have many TV sets. The user can control all of the sets with a single remote control.
Rethinking the User Interface for Consumer Voice Tech
September 9, 2019
Voice can provide a simple, compelling user experience, but the path to adding voice controls to any product, service or application is complex. As dominant tech players continue to develop voice-enabled interfaces and assistants, product designers, developers and manufacturers will be forced to rethink the user experience. For many future homes, voice control will be the primary user interface.
Samsung May Have New Foldable Phone in Wings
September 4, 2019
Samsung's first-generation foldable phone isn't expected until later this month, but reports of a second-generation device to be released in early 2020 already have started appearing online. The next-generation model is rumored to be a luxury phone that folds into a square. Already dubbed the "Galaxy Fold 2" in some reports -- it will have a clamshell design.
Sleep Monitoring Slated for Apple Watch
September 4, 2019
Apple reportedly has been developing sleep tracking functionality for the Apple Watch. The new "Time in Bed Tracking" feature will let users who wear the Apple Watch to bed track their sleep patterns. Consumers who have multiple Apple Watches can designate one for wearing in bed. he "Burrito" feature will let Apple Watch track a user's quality of sleep, including movement, heart rate and noises.
The Beauty of Progressive Web Apps
September 3, 2019
As more Web traffic comes from mobile devices -- particularly traffic to e-commerce sites -- it's becoming ever more important for businesses to have content that loads onto small screens easily, quickly and effortlessly. To some degree, native mobile apps until now have filled that need, but they must be downloaded, and their functionality may have significant limitations.
Can Cable TV Survive the 5G Wireless Threat?
August 30, 2019
Traditional cable TV providers will face a big competitive threat in the next decade from the Internet, IPTV and 5G wireless. Cable TV typically lands at the bottom in customer satisfaction surveys. That means there is both plenty of room for improvement and plenty of room for new competitors and new technologies to jump in and quickly win. Not long ago, cable TV companies had no competition.
Verizon Steps Up Fight Against Rampant Robocalls
August 29, 2019
Verizon, the No. 1 mobile carrier in the United States, this week introduced a free version of its robocall-blocking app, which will be standard on all new Android devices. The company further announced that it will auto-enroll eligible Android users to its Call Filter service and block what are seen as "high-risk" calls. This includes calls from numbers that have been reported as fraudulent.
Making It in Multichannel E-Commerce
August 23, 2019
Contemporary e-commerce means selling through a variety of channels beyond traditional company-owned websites -- including a plethora of social media, mobile and other platforms. Multichannel selling quickly has become the norm, and consumers increasingly expect to be able to shop wherever they happen to be in the digital world. "Today, retailers have countless options of channels to choose from," said Marcel Hollerbach, CMO of Productsup.
Will Consumers Balk at 5G Phone Prices?
August 23, 2019
Consumers could suffer from sticker shock when it comes time to buy a 5G-enabled phone, suggests a new report from IHS Markit, based on a poll conducted in the U.S. Although consumers expect to pay more money for 5G smartphones, the prices may exceed their expectations dramatically, with some devices selling for as much as 29 times more than what the average buyer might anticipate.
Yubico Offers Dual Lightning, USB-C Dongle to Secure Devices
August 21, 2019
Owners of iPhones looking for an extra measure of protection when using applications and logging into websites can get it with a new dongle from Yubico. Its new YubiKey 5Ci, which retails for $70, supports both USB-C and Apple's Lightning connectors on a single device. The dual connectors can give security-conscious consumers and enterprise users strong hardware-backed authentication.
US Backs Off Huawei Export Ban for 90 Days
August 20, 2019
The $11 billion export component of the business American companies do with Chinese electronics giant Huawei is safe for at least 90 days. The U.S. Commerce Department has extended the Temporary General License for Huawei and its non-U.S. affiliates to buy goods from American companies. The license is needed because the Commerce Department has blacklisted Huawei and its affiliates.
Avoid a Black Friday, Cyber Monday Disaster With Intelligent Testing
August 19, 2019
Many online businesses rely on Black Friday and Cyber Monday to drive their profit margins. During this four-day period, retailers will see traffic on their site skyrocket. How can retailers make sure their sites are robust and won't fail during this critical period? The answer is to ensure your site is completely bombproof and can handle the surge in load without a problem.
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