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EXPERT ADVICE

For Some Sellers, Black Friday Was Beige

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...

SMBs Enjoy Online Surge on Small Business Saturday

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 gr...

OPINION

When Retail Customers Take It on the Chin, Investors Win

I am a reluctant Costco shopper. My wife is one of the many customers who really love the chain. Me... not so much. Seriously -- someone should wake up Costco's top officials to the need to focus on their customers. After all, it's the customers who make Costco successful. When my family owned lots ...

EXPERT ADVICE

E-Commerce Success Strategies: Think Local, Not Global

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 h...

Kroger Gets Into Online Grocery Shopping Act

Supermarket uber-chain The Kroger Co. has launched Kroger Ship, a direct-to-consumer e-commerce platform. Ship debuted in four markets: Cincinnati; Houston; Louisville, Kentucky; and Nashville, Tennessee. The service will be rolled out to additional markets over the next few months. During the firs...

ANALYST CORNER

Uber Is Great Until It Leaves You Out in the Cold

Uber works great -- until it stops working, leaving your kid walking home alone on a cold and rainy winter night. Wireless technology opens up new avenues for innovation and excitement, with companies like Uber and Lyft. Most of the time, their technologies work just fine, but don't let your guard d...

ANALYST CORNER

Why Companies Botch Customer Care

Do your customers come first? Companies spend a fortune to win and keep their customers. They advertise and market their products and services like crazy. Because of that cost, you would think every company would want to keep its customers happy. It's more cost-effective to keep an existing customer...

ANALYST CORNER

The Growing Customer Trust Gap

Like most of you, I'm a bank customer -- and I expect that like me, most of you are getting sick and tired of all the stories about how banks abuse customers. Recent national stories about bad behavior in the banking industry, as well as my own personal experiences, have shown that banks often do no...

ANALYST CORNER

Warehouse Clubs Ignore Customer Relationships at Their Peril

Like many, I have a love-hate relationship with warehouse clubs like Costco, Sam's Club and BJ's. I've criticized them several times over the years, but it's worth noting that some of these clubs have been improving. Others not so much. I have some ideas about what these companies are doing right an...

SPOTLIGHT ON SECURITY

Ransomware’s Aftermath Can Be More Costly Than Ransom

Downtime caused by a ransomware attack can cost a company more than paying a ransom to recover data encrypted by the malware, according to a report released last week by Intermedia. Nearly three-quarters (72 percent) of companies infected with ransomware could not access their data for at least two ...

Google’s Hands Free Puts Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

Google on Wednesday announced that it has begun testing an app dubbed "Hands Free," which allows Android and iOS smartphone users to make purchases via their devices without taking them out of their pockets or purses. Early adopters in Silicon Valley can use the payment system at a small number of M...

In the Shadow of the Amazon Prime Juggernaut

When Amazon launched Prime Day six months ago, skeptics came out in force to criticize what they considered Jeff Bezos' desperate ploy to add members to a club that appeared to be peaking in a saturated domestic market. Gimmick or not, Prime Day worked. Amazon sold more than 34.4 million items acros...

ANALYSIS

CFOs Calculate Benefits of Cloud ERP

One of the clear indications that the cloud movement is becoming mainstream is the growing number of CFOs and finance departments that are adopting Software as a Service solutions to support their corporate responsibilities. Even more interesting is how cloud-based alternatives can redefine the acco...

Flights of Fancy: The Multibillion-Dollar World of Fantasy Sports

Americans are expected to spend $4.6 billion on fantasy sports this year, while vying for a payout of around $107 -- the average prize for winning the biggest fantasy league games, according to American Express. Driving that spending and risk taking are a passion for sports, the promise of purses, t...

Elon Musk's Dec. 2 action to release The Twitter Files: Approve or Disapprove?
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