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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.
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.
7 Steps to Restoring Trust in Business Telephone Calls
September 18, 2020
Robocalls, spam and call spoofing have all but destroyed Americans' trust in telephone calls -- to the point that many individuals have essentially stopped answering the phone. Here are seven steps that organizations can take to combat erroneous call blocking and increase answer rates. These measures will help businesses optimize contact operations, increase call performance, and protect and promote their brands by restoring trust in calls.
How to Protect Mobile Apps Against Sneaker Bots
September 16, 2020
Automated purchasing bots, also known as "sneaker bots," "click bots," "Instacart bots" and other names, are ruining the online shopping and gig economy experience for both consumers and workers. These bots can cause considerable damage to a mobile business' reputation and bottom line. There are a number of measures that e-tailers should take a to protect their mobile apps from sneaker bots.
How to Tailor an Optimal Q4 Retail Strategy
September 10, 2020
This year, with all of the uncertainty surrounding the global pandemic, many consumer markets are faced with the fear of steep declines of in-person shopping, thus leading to a potential downtick in sales. This may seem daunting, but it should also serve as ample inspiration to develop a Q4 retail strategy well in advance. Here are a few of the top strategies to adopt as we look ahead to this year's holiday shopping season.
How Customer Conversations Can Create Personalization in E-Commerce
September 8, 2020
Ask anyone in the e-commerce space and they'll tell you: it's a numbers game. The numbers we rely on every day offer insights into every aspect of our competitive industry, from the click-through success of advertising campaigns to the conversion rates of specifically placed "Buy Now" buttons. Yet in this world of quantitative analytics, we're losing something: the human element.
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?
Open Source Best Practices for Corporate IT
September 1, 2020
Since its early inception open source has been embraced by technologists the world over. Let's examine five ways that Fortune 1000 and Global 2000 enterprises can take advantage of open source software to provide technology solutions to the enterprise -- and best practices for corporate IT to consider when adopting open source for their business needs.
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.
How Chatbots Improve Employee Productivity in the 'New Normal'
August 31, 2020
Coronavirus has ushered upon us an era of isolation and curtailed face-to-face operations in favor of virtual interactions. The service of demand and delivery has shifted mainly to digital channels. While this trend was visible in the pre-COVID world, the pandemic has accelerated digital-first engagement. Here are six ways to improve employee productivity and streamline business operations in the new normal.
Best Practices to Improve the E-Commerce Checkout Process
August 28, 2020
To deliver exceptional customer experiences at-scale, retailers need to have their finger on the pulse of changing consumer expectations. Modern consumers expect checkout to be seamless and safe, no matter the digital channel or their geographic location. Let's look at best practices that retailers are using to revamp their checkout experience.
Website Development Contracts, Part 6: Lawsuit or Arbitration?
August 12, 2020
Like it or not, disputes do arise from time to time. So it's always a good idea to plan for the worst and hope for the best. A website development contract should identify how the parties will handle disputes. Nowadays, contractual disputes can be handled in a variety of ways, in more than one forum. The most obvious forum, of course, is the courthouse.
Latest Shopping Trends Emphasize Need for Retail Marketing Foresight
August 4, 2020
Several recently-published reports and surveys tracking changes in consumer buying habits reveal a growing competition between old versus new shopping habits. The E-Commerce Times discussed the implications of these new consumer buying trends with marketing experts. The results show that e-commerce is overwhelmingly becoming the first choice for many consumers. However, some consumers are beginning to show renewed interest in returning to their previous shopping norms.
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.
Website Development Contracts, Part 5: Mediating Disputes
July 28, 2020
Contract disputes do arise from time to time. Whether the issue is early termination, delay of deliverables, breach of performance, or the like, it is best to plan for the worst and hope for the best. When there is a dispute, whether the contract contemplates this or not, either party should consider a legal process called mediation to avoid the time and cost of fighting in court or in arbitration.
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.
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.
Website Development Contracts, Part 4: Indemnification
July 13, 2020
A well-drafted indemnity clause can protect you in litigation ensuing from your violation of a website development contract which results in third-party claims against you and/or your vendor. Whether it is your vendor or a third party that initiates the lawsuit, you will want to know where the proverbial "buck" stops when the legal bills start to roll in.
Improving Company Performance
July 13, 2020
A recent study found that businesses across North America are led well and staffed with people who are engaged in what they're doing. But technology is barely adequate -- and because of this, managers should devote their attention to improving systems whenever they think about how to improve overall company performance.
Building Supply Chain Resilience During a Global Disruption
July 8, 2020
As a result of the severe business disruptions brought about in recent months by the pandemic, many businesses have been reconsidering how to retool their supply chain to build in more resiliency. From digitizing the supply chain to developing more local and regional components, businesses are finding new and innovative ways to strengthen their capacity to keep moving forward during crisis.
The Changing Dynamics of Essential Product Sourcing
July 1, 2020
The heart of the manufacturing world was the first region to feel the effects of the pandemic. While we have seen some stabilization, many challenges remain in terms of pricing, reliability, and the supply chain itself. Let's take a closer look at these challenges to better understand how best to navigate sourcing essential products from Asia in the current landscape.
Website Development Contracts, Part 3: Important Cloud and SLA Considerations
June 25, 2020
The cloud is an essential component of all e-commerce sites. Not all clouds, however, are created equal. The key thing here is reliability. Making sure that the cloud service and Service Level Agreement (SLA) are right for your business may not be clear before you enter into a website development contract.
The WFH Model Is Changing Customer Service for Good
June 11, 2020
As the dust settled on what most have deemed the "new normal" of working from home, many industries -- including customer service -- rapidly shifted operations to be remote work-friendly. At the same time, call volumes increased exponentially: During the last few months, airlines saw a 199 percent increase in customer inquiries, while grocers saw a 39 percent increase.
How Will Retailers Survive This Time of Crisis?
June 9, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic will be one of the defining events of our lifetime. The economic consequences will last years and forever change consumer behavior. Over the last 30 years, experts have been studying the slow burn of consumer adoption of new technologies. Never have we witnessed adoption rates accelerate to the degree we saw in the last 60 days in e-commerce and video-conferencing.
Website Development Contracts, Part 2: Who Owns the IP on Your Site?
June 8, 2020
When entering into website development contracts, the more you know, the more likely you will be able to avoid common pitfalls. It is your website, but ownership of the intellectual property on the site is not always apparent or obvious. When you engage an information technology vendor to build a new website you probably expect that you will own the IP in the end product.
Blueprint for Building a Global Commerce Site
June 3, 2020
Building a successful global business is a never-ending juggling act. With what can seem like an unlimited number of moving parts, compromises feel inevitable. Efficiency is traded for simplicity. Optimal long-term solutions are traded for quick and dirty fixes. These tradeoffs can be especially problematic for e-commerce businesses. Inefficiencies aren't just theoretical problems.
Website Development Contracts, Part 1: How to Avoid Major Disasters
June 1, 2020
When entering into website development contracts, the more you know the more likely you will be able to avoid contract disasters that could prevent your website from launching on time or working properly. There are many stories about failed software development projects, not just in connection with website development contracts, but with all information technology projects.
Influx of E-Com Sales? Now's the Time for 2021 Tax Planning
May 29, 2020
Consumer spending has shifted even more heavily from brick-and-mortar to e-commerce during the coronavirus pandemic. Many retailers are pivoting to e-commerce shops for the first time, and established online retailers are experiencing sizable growth. Businesses that are seeing the highest uptick are those selling "essentials" -- including groceries, office supplies and more.
How to Create Valuable Customer Conversations
May 28, 2020
A pandemic, economic uncertainty and social distancing -- what a kerfuffle we are in. As marketing leaders, it's an incredibly difficult time to direct our teams. Yet, while we're all figuring out how to juggle emotions, families, dogs, toilet paper shortages, and a calendar full of conference calls, the revenue team has to press on in building pipeline and establishing predictable growth.
4 Key E-Commerce Fulfillment Strategies During the COVID-19 Pandemic
May 18, 2020
It is true that the U.S. economy never has faced the challenges it faces now, but the implications for e-commerce and direct-to-consumers' fulfillment functions are particularly significant. This is clearly demonstrated by the federal government's determination that companies that ship goods directly to people's homes are an essential service and, as such, are permitted to continue operating.
See More Articles in Expert Advice Section >>
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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.
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