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Amazon Eyeing Mall Anchor Stores as Fulfillment Centers
August 19, 2020
Amazon is huddling with the largest mall owner in the United States to turn anchor stores into fulfillment centers, and possibly retail outlets. The deal with Simons Property Group would give Amazon access to space formerly occupied by Sears and J.C. Penney, both of which have filed for bankruptcy.
Consumers Expect More From Brands to Earn Loyalty
August 18, 2020
Customer loyalty has increased drastically in the last five years, though it has not reached boom status for many brands. Winning repeat business is increasingly difficult, especially with the economic uncertainty brought on by COVID-19. New studies reveal how solidly personalization in marketing drives brand loyalty, however consumers still feel that brands fail to do enough to recognize them as individuals.
Return of Remote Workers Brings New Challenges to IT Heads
August 18, 2020
For those business that got it right reopening their workplaces the first time around, they should be in pretty good shape for round two. But others that struggled to get a handle on operations will likely find themselves again in chaos -- especially where IT is concerned for the transplanted work-from-home employees.
More Consumers Buying Into Digital Payments
August 17, 2020
As consumers get more acquainted with shopping and banking digitally, it seems logical that more people would be inclined to pay their bills online. A recent survey of more than 3,000 adult consumers shows that nearly 70 percent prefer digital payment options, such as website and mobile app channels, to pay their one-time bills.
In-Store Commerce Kicked to the Curb
August 13, 2020
Curbside service is one of the more popular strategies that businesses and consumers now use to navigate the 'new normal'. Ideally, it's a contactless, convenient experience for all involved. For curbside pickup to be successful, however, it needs to be as quick and easy as possible for consumers -- and a large part of that ease of use requires adequate business planning and management.
5G Rollout Includes Challenges to Supply Chain, WFH Value
August 13, 2020
The growing work-from-home movement amid the coronavirus and its likely continuing challenges has created the need for additional broadband capacity in more places. Mobile telco and other service providers are rallying around 5G wireless as the most promising solution for reliably faster Internet connectivity. But the path to rolling out 5G has been rocky and spotty.
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.
Anatomy of Failure: Why It's Problematic That Zuckerberg Is the Least Trusted Big Tech CEO
August 10, 2020
Last week we ran a survey asking people which of the CEOs that were questioned by Congress last month is the most trustworthy. Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg took the dubious prize for last place. Tim Cook of Apple was voted the most trustworthy. There shouldn't be any competition; Facebook has the tools and information access to assure it is beloved. Yet Apple, which doesn't have anywhere near that level of reach nor engagement, has a far better image. Let's talk about ironic incompetence.
Fun Seekers Revel at Virtual Parties
August 6, 2020
Though initially isolating, the coronavirus pandemic has spawned a whole new world of digital parties and get-togethers. People stuck at home are finding innovative ways to socialize, participating in everything from virtual beer tastings to online book club meetings. While the event landscape has been permanently altered by this shift, people and businesses continue to develop new ways of having fun.
Is the Gartner Magic Quadrant Obsolete?
August 5, 2020
Once upon a time, it seemed no organization had its finger on the pulse of technology more than research consulting firm Gartner. Global corporations, technology companies, and the investment community have trusted Gartner for insights and analysis across a range of market sectors. But today, that leading position has eroded, and the merits of one of the company's most widely known and used tools, the "Magic Quadrant," has lost its relevance.
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.
Congress vs. Big Tech: Breaking Up Is Hard (and Stupid) to Do
August 3, 2020
Like a lot of you, last week I watched the congressional testimony from the CEOs of Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google -- and there were a lot of apparent things that were problematic. One is that there are folks in Congress that likely shouldn't be in Congress, and another is that each company has some serious issues they haven't dealt with.
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.
The Essential Need for 5G in the COVID World
July 27, 2020
Our infrastructure wasn't set up to suddenly shift massive amounts of traffic from companies to homes. Exacerbating this are cable networks with shared capacity because they were built with the idea that most folks wouldn't be using them at the same time. 5G might be the only realistic way to deal with these issues on a sustained basis.
Victory Gardens 2.0: Gardening in the Pandemic Era
July 27, 2020
The pandemic era has seen a resurgence of interest in growing, tending, and harvesting fruits and vegetables from one's own patch of land or city balcony. Home gardening offers a sense of security and independence. Even when the world has been upended, a home garden can provide a bit of food insurance. Many people are finding that gardening offers a way to take control of a situation that can sometimes feel chaotic and unpredictable.
Panic Buying Sparks New E-Tail Strategies
July 23, 2020
Panic buying and competition for consumer attention between in-store and online transactions have created a brave new world of retail that is bound to continue into a post-pandemic reality. The E-Commerce Times reached out to several firms that guide brands on how to prepare for, and adapt to, changes in consumer behavior and product demand -- and what this means for the future of retail.
US Cloud Gaming Subscriptions Target $3B
July 22, 2020
Consumer interest in cloud gaming could boost annual subscription revenues to nearly US$3 billion, according to Parks Associates. There is renewed interest, the research firm's report noted, in gaming services that can stream over the Internet and deliver games to multiple platforms without downloads and without taxing local processing power.
Fitness Products Shatter Online Sales Records During Lockdown
July 20, 2020
As traditional gyms, fitness centers, and health and wellness studios shutter during COVID-19, technology has kicked in to provide a replacement or an alternative for growing numbers of online shoppers. Digital at-home exercise sessions and sales of home exercise and health equipment purchased online are fueling new consumer trends that could permanently supplant old shopping routines.
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.
Why Microsoft Teams Will Be the De Facto Standard for Video Collaboration
July 20, 2020
I've been covering video conferencing since before we called it video conferencing. It has been an exciting and somewhat painful technology to watch because it seemed like everyone in the segment fundamentally didn't understand that if you don't have interoperability and didn't focus on ease of use, it wouldn't work. Let's talk this week about why Microsoft Teams is trending to be the new standard for video collaboration.
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.
Google Clamps Down on Ads for Spyware, Stalkerware
July 14, 2020
Advertising for software and hardware designed to stalk and spy on people will soon be banned on Google. Promotion of products or services that are marketed or targeted with the express purpose of tracking or monitoring another person or their activities without their authorization will be prohibited on the platform starting Aug. 11.
The Art of Sewing's Hi-Tech Revival
July 14, 2020
During the pandemic, increasing numbers of people have pulled out their sewing machines and knitting needles and gotten to work. A massive resurgence in sewing and crafts has taken place, as makers around the world have been sewing masks and creating other much-needed items for themselves and others.
The Secrets of How IBM Maintains AI Leadership
July 13, 2020
IBM is chasing two of the three technology areas that I think will change the world as we know it over the next two decades. The three technology changes that I'm watching are robotics, AI computing, and quantum computing. IBM's focus has been on AI and quantum computing. I got an update on their AI efforts last week, and they have moved the ball a lot over the last few months.
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.
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.
AI Advantages in the Wake of the Pandemic
July 10, 2020
Artificial intelligence will play a major role as we try to move to a post-pandemic world, especially as it pertains to tracking people's health and wellbeing in public areas. Employers will tap technology solutions to help them face challenges such as adhering to new rules and regulations, monitoring compliance, and ensuring employee confidence and morale remains positive.
Digital Fraud Flourishing During Pandemic: Report
July 9, 2020
If you conducted e-commerce transactions since the pandemic struck, you have probably been the target, or even a victim, of online fraud. A report from Sift titled "Q2 2020 Digital Trust & Safety Index" details a 109 percent increase in content abuse and growth of the fraud economy from January through May 2020.
Tech's Role in the Future of Health and Public Safety
July 9, 2020
Digital technologies can help shift health and public safety agencies from a "detect and respond" approach to a "predict and prevent" stratagem. They can also set the stage for a more connected and data-led approach through robust cybersecurity architectures, efficient remote workforces, and secure connectivity services.
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