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The Online Grocery Shopping Comeback
July 16, 2019
Do you enjoy grocery shopping? Some shoppers love walking up and down the aisles, seeing what's new, looking for what's on sale, and getting new ideas. They often pick up things that weren't on their list. However, while many shoppers love that experience, others don't. They would rather run in and out as quickly as possible. That's where online grocery shopping comes into play.
For the Love of Bricks
July 16, 2019
I've been spending time this summer barnstorming Barnes & Noble bookstores in New England signing copies of my book on repairing climate change, The Age of Sustainability. These were my first visits to bookstores as a seller, not a customer -- and I previously hadn't visited a store in a while. I wasn't prepared for what I found: The experience was palpable.
Isn't It Time to Buy Cyber Insurance?
July 15, 2019
Every day we read stories about data breaches and cyberattacks on business and government websites, and the resulting the loss of personally identifiable information. Cybercrime is on the rise, and given the ever-evolving methods of attack, meaningful relief and reliable measures to fend off cybercriminals are unlikely in the foreseeable future. Companies need to insure against cybertheft.
Making Amazon Prime Day Work for You
July 15, 2019
For Halloween, we buy all kinds of crap we shouldn't be eating and feed it to our kids. When Valentine's Day approaches, husbands and boyfriends live in fear of getting their significant other's gift wrong again. Fourth of July is when we buy expensive things we can burn and piss off our neighbors. Of course, there are the various gift-giving holidays that are linked to specific religious groups.
The Subscription Model: The Shining Star of E-Commerce
July 11, 2019
Subscription sales have become a strong part of e-commerce. Everything from razors to dog toys to movies is being sold on the subscription model, and there is no sign of letting up. "Our customers tell us that opening their BarkBox with their dog is one of the best experiences they share every month," said Allison Stadd, vice president of marketing at Bark, about its monthly dog supply box.
E-Commerce Startup Bolt Snags $68M to Grow Checkout Biz
July 11, 2019
E-commerce checkout platform vendor Bolt has raised $68 million to help it increase its engineering team, invest in additional enterprise functionality, partner with best-in-breed e-commerce platforms, and build and expand advanced features and functionality. Bolt's platform combines checkout, payments and fraud detection to provide a better buying experience and maximize conversions.
Workers' Prime Day Strike Could Pose a Problem for Amazon
July 9, 2019
Amazon workers at a Minnesota, fulfillment center plan to strike for six hours on July 15, the first day of Amazon's Prime Day sales event. The strike threat reportedly is linked to unsafe working conditions at Amazon's warehouses, caused by low wages and pressure to meet shipping demands. Union officials also want a larger portion of temporary warehouse workers converted to full-time employees.
How to Run a Profitable Business on Amazon
July 6, 2019
Selling on Amazon can be an extremely profitable business all on its own. Third-party sellers like small business owners and authors on Amazon's marketplace account for 58 percent of gross merchandise volume. This provides a huge opportunity for entrepreneurs to make a massive profit. However, most entrepreneurs stop the process at taking a sale rather than scaling it into something great.
5 Effective Ways to Reduce E-Commerce Churn
July 2, 2019
The subscription model forms the backbone of the revenue streams of many SaaS companies. In fact, more than 90 percent of software providers expected to migrate to a subscription-based business model by 2022, according a Gartner report. Despite the higher rates of adoption, companies often struggle with keeping subscription customers, leading to high churn rates and lost revenue.
Oracle Advances Its Two-Pronged Cloud Strategy
June 26, 2019
Oracle has announced plans to combine its more than 18 related analytics products under a single banner, Oracle Analytics, making it easier for customers to figure out what they need. It's not unusual for a company to innovate a string of offerings before consolidating them into a single product line, and it's reasonable to assume that vendors that have not done so already will follow suit.
LinkedIn Tweaks Its Algorithms to Skew Feeds to User Interests
June 26, 2019
LinkedIn has disclosed algorithm changes designed to favor conversations catering to niche professional interests. The criteria for posts showing up in members' feeds can be summed up as "people you know, talking about things you care about," said LinkedIn Senior Director of Product Management Pete Davies. LinkedIn tested 100 variations of its feed models through online A/B testing last year.
Technology Tools and Customer Engagement: It's Complicated
June 25, 2019
The most successful brands today are those that have created engaged audiences and an exceptional customer experience. They have managed to humanize the most unsentimental of buying processes, and somehow made it look easy. Providing a world class customer experience is so profitable that Gartner has estimated the CX and CRM software market alone to be worth $48.2 billion and rising steadily.
The Greening of E-Commerce
June 24, 2019
E-commerce by its nature involves a lot of packaging and shipping, and e-commerce companies can't always control how their products get sent. There are ways to make these processes more sustainable, however, and the benefits might well be worth the effort. "E-commerce won't stop growing anytime soon," said Mark Bastiaanssen, CEO of Shiptimize. "Many models are currently being tested."
6 Things We Won't Be Able to Live Without in 2035
June 24, 2019
Things rarely happen as fast as we think or progress as slowly as we hope. We all thought we'd have flying cars by the end of last century, for instance, but we are due to be up to our armpits in them by the end of next decade if the impressive number of trials continue to go well. I touched on the drone drop issue a little last week, and I have been thinking about it ever since.
What Shifting Data Use Means for Pay-TV and Video Services
June 21, 2019
For many, Netflix was the first wake-up call that a new-generation of online or technology companies could have a significant impact on pay-TV businesses. Over a 10-year period, Netflix grew from a U.S.-only DVD-by-mail service to a force in the international video entertainment industry. Netflix operates in 190-plus countries, and it has approximately 149 million subscribers.
Uber Drones to Make Meal Drops This Summer
June 21, 2019
Uber Elevate, the aerial arm of rideshare service Uber, will test a fast food delivery by drone service later this summer in San Diego. Delivery destinations won't be houses or apartment buildings, however, but instead will be "designated safe landing zones." Those landing zones could include the roof of a parked Uber vehicle in one scenario. An Uber courier would hand-deliver it to the consumer.
Customizing for Your Customers: How Headless Commerce Is Driving Change
June 19, 2019
The future is headless. As the world of commerce continues to mature, today's most successful retailers have one thing in common: They're getting better and better at meeting their customers whenever, wherever, and however they want to shop. The number of possible commerce touchpoints has grown exponentially, which means having a holistic commerce mindset is critical for survival.
Facebook's Libra Cryptocurrency May Revolutionize E-Commerce
June 19, 2019
Facebook has released details about Libra, its long-rumored cryptocurrency. The company outlined plans "for a new decentralized blockchain, a low-volatility cryptocurrency, and a smart contract platform that together aim to create a new opportunity for responsible financial services innovation." The aim is to help people worldwide gain access to a cheaper, more connected global financial system.
Thinking Different at Salesforce Connections
June 18, 2019
Salesforce has a genius way of putting people at ease and opening their minds before any of the company's representatives say a word about product. People who study neuropsychology point to the importance of ensuring that the audience's prefrontal cortexes are wide open and ready to transact ideas. Over the years Salesforce has opened minds by discussing philanthropy and it has worked brilliantly.
Walmart Ups the Ante in Grocery Delivery Competition
June 18, 2019
Walmart has a new weapon in the grocery delivery wars. Online shoppers can subscribe to a $98-per-year "Delivery Unlimited" plan that aims to siphon customers from Amazon's Whole Foods and Target's home delivery programs. Online grocery shopping is growing steadily as a key revenue generator and customer draw. The food division was critical in boosting Walmart's e-commerce performance in Q1.
The New Era of E-Commerce Personalization
June 17, 2019
A personalized shopping experience gives e-commerce sites an edge, and businesses increasingly have been seeking ways to welcome their customers. "Every business should make their customers feel like they are the most important customer in the world," said Rob Maille, head of strategy and customer experience at CommerceCX. "To do that you need to know and anticipate their wants and needs."
Retailers' Most Common Cloud Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
June 15, 2019
It's easy to understand why so many retail organizations have moved their infrastructure to the cloud. Cloud-based architecture allows provisioning nearly infinite compute instances on-demand in minutes. There is no need for upfront licensing or infrastructure costs, meaning a faster ROI can usually be realized. Best of all are the unmatched agility and scalability of the cloud.
Can Brands Protect Privacy While Personalizing?
June 14, 2019
I sometimes think personalization is the best thing that happened to humankind in terms of marketing. As a consumer, I love getting suggestions on what to buy, especially when it's exactly what I need. Sometimes I feel as though I'm under constant surveillance, however, so I turn on my ad blockers, I surf in private mode, and I report ads that are not relevant to me.
Are You Gish-Galloping Your Business Toward Disruption?
June 13, 2019
Recent events have led to many people learning about a long-understood rhetorical tactic called "Gish galloping." Named after creationist Duane Gish, it means confronting an opponent with a rapid-fire series of arguments -- including half-truths, misrepresentations and outright lies. Confronted with such a BS barrage, the opponent may try to refute each assertion, which is a losing proposition.
Internet's Crowds Stunting Its Growth: Trends Report
June 13, 2019
More than half the world's population -- 3.8 billion people -- have access to the Internet and that may not be a good thing for business, according to digital savant Mary Meeker's Internet Trends 2019 report. Global Internet user growth has slowed to 6 percent year over year, down from 7 percent, noted the Bond Capital general partner. The Asia-Pacific region leads in both users and potential.
Fraud Siphons Billions of Ad Cash Into Digital Hole
June 11, 2019
Fraudsters have been stealing online advertisers blind -- to the tune of $23 billion, based on a report from Cheq. Indirect economic and social costs might increase the total to $30 billion. Marketers have been wasting billions of dollars on digital ads that never reach buyers' eyes. Up to 30 percent of ads are impacted by fraud that affects 21 trillion online ads each year.
Salesforce and Tableau in Merger
June 10, 2019
Salesforce has announced an all-stock deal to acquire analytics powerhouse Tableau Software. Salesforce will pay 1.103 of its shares for one Tableau share. The deal is expected to finalize by the end of October, about a month before Dreamforce. A number of questions arise from this deal. For instance, why do it at all? Why keep the companies separate, and what will their relationship be like?
The 5 Most Pressing Problems With Drone Delivery
June 10, 2019
Amazon plans to begin drone deliveries within the next several months. The drones have become far more capable, safer, and less noisy, but there are five other problems that will need to be addressed before this delivery method reaches its full potential. Now, don't get me wrong. I'm looking forward to drone delivery. Still, there are several things that will need to be addressed.
For Brands the Future Is Facebook
June 7, 2019
Mark Zuckerberg recently said that the future of Facebook is private. Interestingly, connecting the dots between all the announcements made at Facebook's 2019 developers conference draws a bright picture of what the future looks like for brands, small e-commerce stores, and new businesses using the Facebook family of apps. It includes a whole new world of opportunities.
7 Critical Skills for Running an E-Commerce Business
June 5, 2019
There are many benefits to running an e-commerce business, whether you operate purely online or not. Online transactions allow you to expand your reach and service more customers. However, there are challenges to conducting business online. Here are some specific skills that e-commerce business owners need to develop in order to be successful.
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