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Creating New Customer Experiences: 6 Retail Technology Predictions for 2019
January 8, 2019
As e-commerce has gained serious momentum over the past 10 years, there have been dire predictions about the impending death of brick-and-mortar retail. The narrative has been framed largely as "technology is killing retail," but the reality is not quite so simple. While technology undoubtedly has transformed the retail landscape, it also has been pushing the industry forward.
4 Retail Tech Trends to Watch in 2019
January 3, 2019
Year over year, we see the numbers. In 2017, e-commerce represented 49 percent of all total retail growth, up 16 percent. If this year's $119.99 billion holiday shopping season spend indicates anything, it's that 2018 is projected to be yet another banner year for commerce. Online shopping will hit unprecedented, never-before-seen rates of growth, and it'll be all thanks to technology.
E-Commerce Success Strategies: Think Local, Not Global
December 14, 2018
The borderless promise of e-commerce doesn't mean one size fits all. Your business can have customers from around the globe, but if you want to keep them and grow, it is crucial to understand local shopper preferences and behaviors, and be able to respond to them. Without localization, you won't have an effective go-to-market strategy, and your opportunity for growth will stall.
No Time Like the Present to Get Up to Speed on Sales Tax Laws
December 11, 2018
Americans are used to hearing the refrain, "We pay the sales tax," from mattress sellers and car dealerships during big sales weekends. The phrase, "You pay the sales tax," however, is something we're all going to become a lot more familiar with in the wake of the Supreme Court's ruling in South Dakota v. Wayfair. That's because the Wayfair decision reverses a precedent set in 1967 and upheld in 1992.
Did Marketers Underestimate Their Competition in 2018?
December 5, 2018
There's one competitor we underestimated this year. It's slowly draining the attention of every human on the planet. It plays into almost all human needs -- as they are defined by the Maslow Hierarchy. It's the rectangular status-seeking device in your hands. That's right. It's your smartphone. Maslow's needs start with the basics. Starting at the bottom of the pyramid, we all need food and water.
How to Use a VPN for Safer Online Shopping
December 4, 2018
With the holidays fast approaching, are you looking to buy presents online? The holiday season has become synonymous with online shopping. This isn't really surprising as physical stores usually attract crowds of deal hunters. This often conjures up images of throngs of people waiting in line outside the store, some even camping out. This activity is tolerable for some and even fun for others.
The Unsustainability of Black Friday and Cyber Monday for E-Commerce
November 28, 2018
Black Friday made its debut sometime in the 1960s as the day to help retailers move from the red to the black in profits. The day-after-Thanksgiving shopping extravaganza has grown well beyond its roots since then. Last year, at the peak of Black Friday, shoppers were spending nearly $1 million per minute. However, the origins of Black Friday were pre-Internet.
Black Friday Deal Sprawl Grows
November 13, 2018
Although retailers are slating some outstanding deals for Black Friday, the shine of the once-feverish shopping day has diminished, as product discounts have started to appear earlier and earlier in the holiday season. Discounts formerly found exclusively on Black Friday -- and on its online equivalent, Cyber Monday -- gradually have migrated to earlier in the fall.
6 Ways Retailers Can Hold Their Own in the Microbrand Revolution
November 8, 2018
The holiday shopping season is kicking off! It is only a matter of time before carols and bright lights greet us in malls and shopping centers. One popular item on many of this year's wish lists is the Velvet Lip Kit. To fulfill this particular wish, givers can skip the crowds and the checkout lines. They can skip the retail stores all together, at least for this one item, by ordering it through Kylie Jenner's direct-to-consumer online channel.
Mobile Phone Security: All You Need to Know
November 6, 2018
We rely on our phones to process and store reams of personal digital data. Our digital activities -- from checking bank balances to paying for a product with a tap of the screen, to sending friends and family messages over social media, to accessing work emails remotely -- have turned our phones into a goldmine of personal information. How secure is your mobile device?
The Resurrection of SoLoMo for Today's Brick-and-Click Shoppers
November 2, 2018
In the last decade or so, the inability or unwillingness to adapt has caused many businesses to succumb to a newer, more innovative company, or one that has re-thought how to do business in the digital age. For example, people who can remember browsing the aisles of Borders likely understand the irony of one of Amazon's first moves into the brick-and-mortar realm: book stores.
Resellers, It's Not Too Late - Here's How to Get a New Marketplace Up and Running for the Holidays
October 26, 2018
With the holidays approaching, many resellers may think it's too late to set up or expand their marketplaces to take advantage of the holiday rush. That is not the case. If you leverage the right technology, you can accelerate the process of setting up your marketplace from weeks to hours, and never have to hold any inventory. For social influencers, e-commerce success can have an amplified effect.
Black Friday/Cyber Monday Is Coming - and It's Only the Beginning
October 19, 2018
Are you a retailer trying to get ready for the 2018 holiday season? Well, I'm afraid I can't help you. Just kidding. Sort of. I could just sit here and share yet another checklist to remind you of all the standard e-commerce table stakes you need to master. However, what I really want to do is help you get ready for Cyber Monday 2019 -- and beyond.
Where Online Shopping Search Has Gone Wrong
October 17, 2018
While online shopping has exploded over the last decade and innovation around e-commerce has skyrocketed, there has been very little development around quality improvements in product search, navigation or discovery, notwithstanding the success of generic and open source search solutions, such as Elastic. That is ironic, as great search can make all the difference for an etailer's bottom line. Here's the problem: Define exactly what "great search" is.
Top 3 E-Commerce Trends That Will Drive Sales in 2019
October 16, 2018
When it comes to e-commerce, it seems like one day you are in and the next you are out. With online shopping now more accessible than ever, customers steadily are becoming harder to please, and they are considering it a given that their rising expectations be met every time. Just having an online version of a physical store isn't enough anymore, as consumers don't want to grab and go.
How to Avoid 10 Mobile E-Commerce Conversion Killers
October 15, 2018
Just five years ago, mobile e-commerce was a minor part of the e-commerce landscape. Today, most online searches are carried out from mobile devices, and 40 percent of all e-commerce is carried out from smartphones. This has forever changed the e-commerce industry. The smartphone is the most important lead channel. Smartphones are an extended part of our brains and social life.
4 Ways SMBs Can Compete With Amazon on Cyber Monday
October 12, 2018
E-commerce companies compete with Amazon for shoppers year-round, but especially around the holidays when Q4 earnings are made. More than 75 percent of U.S. consumers shop on Amazon despite endless e-commerce options. Amazon commands more than 49.1 percent of all online sales and has more than 300 million active consumer accounts, making it a competitor that can't be ignored.
5 Tech Advances That Can Deepen Customer Engagement
October 11, 2018
Customers are crucial to a successful business. They can be one-off customers or repeat buyers. Ideally, a business wants a mix of both. Problems arise when marketing tactics fail to attract either type, which is why customer engagement is so critical in today's hypercompetitive e-commerce environment. It should be no surprise that customers prefer companies that treat them as valued individuals.
The Fine Art of Winning Over Gen Z Consumers
October 9, 2018
From generation to generation, retail has evolved into a global business. Gone are the days of the local corner store. Today's consumers have access to products from across the world with a simple click of a button. Even brick-and-mortar stores are adapting to e-commerce as retailers find innovative ways to incorporate online orders into the storefront to accommodate their shoppers' expectations.
How to Position Your Brand for Holiday Success on Amazon
October 8, 2018
The holiday season presents a significant opportunity for sellers to capture unprecedented sales on Amazon. Cyber Week alone, the seven-day period beginning the Tuesday prior to Thanksgiving and running through Cyber Monday, is expected to account for 40 percent of all e-commerce sales during the holidays. The bulk of those holiday sales are likely to occur in one place: Amazon.com.
How I Grew My E-Commerce Business From 0-$100K in Less Than 4 Months
October 5, 2018
Over the past 10 years, I've been a part of at least that many startups. The tools of the trade have changed rapidly, but the core elements of successful entrepreneurship remain relatively unchanged. When I first started out, "social media marketing" was a brand new concept. Now entrepreneurs have a slew of tools to amplify their brand and grow their e-commerce revenue.
6 Surefire Ways Etailers Can Boost Customer Loyalty
October 4, 2018
Given today's data and technological advancements, coupled with an abundance of choices for consumers, the importance of loyalty has never been greater. The marketing landscape has shifted as power has moved from sellers to buyers, and businesses have realized a heightened need for customer loyalty. Market fragmentation has dramatically increased competition, magnifying the need for loyalty.
The Best of Both Worlds: Converging Online and Offline Shopping
September 27, 2018
Online and offline shopping businesses have to work together to improve customer engagement and retention. Although some brick-and-mortar stores are suffering revenue loss to online retailers, there is still an important space for them in the shopping experience. By joining forces, brick-and-mortar and online stores can meet the emerging needs of today's customers.
The New Brick-and-Mortar: Shopping's Blended Future
September 26, 2018
With the advent of digital technologies and the radical growth of online shopping, it might seem that brick-and-mortar stores are on the way out, but that's not so. Physical stores are likely to remain far into the foreseeable future. However, the nature of those stores will be fundamentally transformed. Only those that become capable omnichannel retailers are likely to survive.
Poor Website Designs Could Trigger Legal Actions
September 21, 2018
Internet marketing has become so popular that e-commerce retail sales in the United States are on pace to double between 2009 and 2018. The transaction value of e-commerce service industry contracts reached $600 billion in 2016. Despite the rush to digital commerce, the rules for business transactions are still the same, whether they are concluded on paper or electronically.
7-Eleven Gives Nod to Apple Pay, Google Pay
September 12, 2018
7-Eleven has begun accepting Apple Pay, and Google Pay at participating U.S. stores. The stores will add support for the services throughout this month. The convenience store chain has more than 66,000 stores in 17 countries worldwide; 11,800 are in the United States. "A 7-Eleven is a 'hit-and-get' kind of experience," noted Michael Jude, program manager at Stratecast/Frost & Sullivan.
5 Tips for Creating a Gen-Z Friendly Website
September 8, 2018
Generation Z is getting a lot of attention these days, as the cohort is expected to outpace millennials, and comprise 32 percent of the world's 7.7 billion population. This powerful group of consumers was born into a digital world. A much-reported claim is that Generation Z has an attention span of 8 seconds. It may seem that your website should mirror this lightning-quick attention span.
User Experiences That Convert - The Do's and Don'ts
August 27, 2018
In tech parlance, the emotional result of a person's interaction with a website or digital app is called "user experience" or "UX" -- and the success of a business depends on it. Users who have easy, positive experiences with websites and apps likely will be drawn back to the business. On the contrary, websites and apps with poor navigation and slow loading times likely will turn off consumers.
Square's Cash App Supports Bitcoin in All US States
August 15, 2018
Square on Monday announced that Cash App users could buy and sell bitcoin in all 50 U.S. states. Square began testing Cash App's bitcoin purchasing option last fall and officially launched the option early this year. However, it was not available in four states -- New York, Georgia, Hawaii and Wyoming -- because of their more restrictive regulation of bitcoin transactions.
CVS Offers Doc Visits via Smartphone Video
August 9, 2018
CVS Health'a retail MinuteClinic on Wednesday announced MinuteClinic Video Visits, a new virtual healthcare offering designed to assist people with minor illnesses and injuries, skin conditions, and other wellness needs. The telehealth offering will provide 24/7 access to healthcare services via mobile devices. It is available for both Android and iOS in nine states and Washington, D.C.
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