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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.
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.
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.
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.
E-Commerce Deliveries: How to Master the Last Mile
March 6, 2020
If you're an online retailer, congratulations are in order. Online holiday sales grew 18.8 percent in 2019 compared with 2018, according to Mastercard. Armed with new systems and processes -- as well as lessons from the past -- etailers were able to fulfill more orders than in previous years. E-commerce business leaders are already thinking ahead to the 2020 holiday season.
RSA, COVID-19 and Risk
February 26, 2020
Two things are happening simultaneously: The RSA Security Conference is in full swing and so is COVID-19. It's a strange juxtaposition. There is geographic proximity in that the conference is going on undeterred just a few blocks from where the mayor declared a state of emergency, during the event, due to the ongoing spread of the virus. There's also topical alignment.
The Truth About Documents and SMB Security
February 22, 2020
There's a major myth about "going paperless." A paperless office doesn't mean that paper is outright banned. There likely will be a need for physical paper in business for a long time, so don't throw out your printer just yet. Rather, being paperless means being able to embrace a shift from traditional paperwork processes to those that take advantage of documents that can be in a digital state.
3 Important Factors for Long-Term E-Commerce Success
February 20, 2020
You've heard all the reasons why businesses fail: lack of capital, poor product execution, or too much competition seem to be the most frequent excuses. Lately, it's become more common to hear about retail stores closing due to competition with online stores and marketplaces such as Amazon. However, what makes an e-commerce store successful in the long term?
New Windows 7 Bug a Real Turnoff
February 11, 2020
For the second time since Windows 7 reached the end of support on Jan. 14, a bug is causing trouble for users still clinging to the operating system. The first bug, related to setting a wallpaper image, turned desktops black. This new bug prevents Windows 7 users from shutting down or rebooting their computers. Microsoft's Windows 7 support now is limited to eligible paid plans.
5 Ways to Optimize B2B Customer Experiences
February 10, 2020
You just started your Software as a Service company. With hard work and dedication, you've created a solid product that solves the challenges your business-to-business customers face on a daily basis. With any new product, questions arise on how to get the most from it. Your customers want the best experience possible, and they turn to you to deliver that experience.
Uber Tests Plan to Let Drivers Set Their Own Fares
January 22, 2020
Uber has launched a pilot program in California that lets drivers in Santa Barbara, Palm Springs and Sacramento set their own fares for airport rides. Drivers can set a fare multiple on Uber's base, time, and distance rates for UberX and UberXL trips, according to the company. Drivers can increase the fare in 10 percent jumps up to five times Uber's base price.
The Million Dollar Hidden Opportunity for E-Commerce SMBs
January 18, 2020
Every successful, long-term business has a common denominator in training as it relates to online sales customer contacts. Notice I said "long-term." A great product or unique marketing effort can fall short when a customer contacts an employee who is ill-equipped to respond. Some 72 percent of online shoppers will return up to 10 percent of their purchases, according to the UPS Pulse study.
Google Snaps Up Pointy to Help Main Street Stores Get Online
January 16, 2020
Google has inked a deal to acquire 6-year-old Ireland-based firm Pointy for $163 million. Pointy provides a $900 box with built-in cellular connectivity, which lets brick-and-mortar retailers list their stock online. It plugs into the retailer's barcode scanner and automatically obtains accurate product names and images for display on a Web page hosted by Pointy.
Adobe Offers Experience Manager as Cloud Service
January 15, 2020
Adobe has announced the availability of Adobe Experience Manager as a Cloud Service for B2B and B2C companies of all sizes. The service provides "a globally scalable, agile and secure digital foundation that optimizes marketer and developer workflows across the entire content lifecycle," said Haresh Kumar, director of product marketing for Adobe Experience Manager.
4 Marketing Automation Tools for SMB Success in 2020
January 14, 2020
Marketing automation isn't a thing of the future -- it's very much a part of the here and now for small and midsized businesses across the world. However, many are unaware of a variety of marketing automation tools that can help SMBs reach customers in a timely and effective way. To compete with larger firms on customer reach, SMBs need to approach their marketing plan with a strategic mindset.
Clock Runs Out for Windows 7 Holdouts: Upgrade or Replace?
January 14, 2020
After 10 years of fully supporting Windows 7, Microsoft ended its official support for the out-of-date Windows operating system on Tuesday. The popular classic Windows 7 OS still runs on some 200 million PCs around the globe, according to industry estimates. Users include small business owners, some larger companies, and hordes of consumers holding onto aging personal computers.
Amazon Gives FedEx the Boot for Christmas
December 18, 2019
Amazon third-party sellers will not be able to ship Prime customers' orders using FedEx Ground and FedEx Home, as of Wednesday. "We have seen a drop in the delivery performance of FedEx Ground and FedEx Home ship methods for Seller Fulfilled Prime shipments," Amazon said. The restriction is temporary, although no exact date has been set for resuming FedEx Ground and FedEx Home for Prime orders.
For Some Sellers, Black Friday Was Beige
December 6, 2019
If Black Friday is the biggest sales day of the year, is it necessarily the best? For many small merchants, it seemed Black Friday was more beige than black. Black Friday is the biggest sales day of the year, but it's often dominated by massive merchants. For smaller businesses, there are other peak sales days that might be better suited to their unique positioning.
Small Etailers: It's Not Too Late to Protect Your Holiday Revenue
December 5, 2019
As consumers start to tackle their holiday shopping lists, retailers are scrambling to finish preparations for what's likely to be a record-breaking year. Total sales could break through the $1.1 trillion mark for the first time in history. Cyber Monday alone racked up an estimated $9.4 billion in sales. Most merchants understand how significant this time of year is.
SMBs Enjoy Online Surge on Small Business Saturday
December 3, 2019
While many retailers mull the takeaway from this year's Black Friday Cyber Monday shopping event, others may be more interested in the action that took place on Saturday. Online shoppers on Saturday spent $3.6 billion dollars at both large and small retailers, reflecting 18 percent year-over-year growth and setting a new sales record for the day, according to Adobe Analytics.
4 Ways Legal and Sales Can Collaborate
November 16, 2019
Sales and legal need to maintain a united front. This means being on the same page when it comes to contracting, as a significant portion of their work together is creating, negotiating and sending contracts. However, whereas legal wants to double- and triple-check that the terms are suitable, sales wants to send a contract off as soon as possible and shorten the time to closed-won.
Google to Shame Slow-Loading Websites
November 13, 2019
Google plans to use performance badges to warn users of slow-loading websites ahead. It will consider historical load latencies first, and later may expand to signal the likelihood that a page will load slowly based on the user's device and network conditions. The criteria will become increasingly stringent over time. The long-term goal is to use badging to rate qualities beyond speed.
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.
Spotlight on Cybersecurity Awareness: Own IT, Secure IT, Protect IT
September 27, 2019
Cybersecurity should be a concern for all businesses -- large and small. Cybersecurity also should be a concern for consumers, government agencies, and basically anyone who relies on the Internet in our increasingly connected world. Among efforts to focus attention on the threatscape is designating October as National Cyber Security Awareness Month.
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.
Engaging in Ethical E-Commerce
September 19, 2019
Gone are the days when businesses just did business. Now, it's almost expected that business values and ethics will play an enduring role in a company's identity. From the products they sell to the way they treat their employees, businesses are finding that they no longer can separate what they do from what they believe -- and customers want to know what the businesses they deal with stand for.
Zoho Is Starting to Look Like a Utility
September 12, 2019
It has been my belief for several years that our industry is trending toward the formation of an information utility. I draw this conclusion carefully based on my understanding of how markets develop and commoditize. I consider the beginning of the modern IT era as the early 1970s. You can graph a rising line of performance and a declining one for price -- essentially Moore's Law.
New Insightly Marketing Platform Modernizes Legacy CRM
September 10, 2019
Insightly has announced the availability of Insightly Marketing, which integrates marketing, sales and project management into a single platform to support dynamic customer journeys. The company also released the results of the Insightly Marketing Study it conducted last month probing trends and challenges in customer relationship management marketing.
How to Choose Shipping Software to Scale Your E-Commerce Business
September 3, 2019
Implementing shipping software can be a big step in scaling your e-commerce business -- providing a way to create shipping labels quickly, to gain access to carrier discounts, and more. With the holidays approaching, now is the time to get smart about your options. Before deciding to buy, it's important to know which features to prioritize. Label printing should be the bare minimum it can do.
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Which of these technologies has the pandemic caused you to increase using the most?
e-commerce
gaming
online news
social networking
streaming entertainment
texting
videoconferencing
2020 online shopping habits and retailer strategies