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Location Data Selling Threatens Consumer Privacy
December 11, 2018
Selling location data collected by mobile phones has become a lucrative business, according to a report that noted location advertising sales are expected to reach $21 billion this year. At least 75 companies receive anonymous, precise location data from applications with the location services feature activated. Several of those outfits claim to track 200 million mobile devices in the U.S.
10 Brand and Marketing Trends to Watch in 2019
December 7, 2018
Metrics matter. In business they measure sales, they measure profits, they measure brand health. Marketers measure their reputations, their ad recall, and their shares-of-market. They measure tweets and shares and all sorts of social networking outreach. With all their measuring, marketers haven't yet located the silver bullet, but really smart marketers have caught the glint.
Salesforce IoT Insights Could Turbocharge Field Service
December 6, 2018
Salesforce has announced the addition of IoT Insights to Field Service Lightning. The new tool permits signals from IoT devices to show up directly on Salesforce Service Cloud and Field Service Lightning mobile app consoles, alongside CRM data. Service organizations can draw on those IoT signals to anticipate and diagnose issues remotely, determine the source of the problem.
Virtual Reality: Slow Growth but Expanding Use Cases
December 3, 2018
When the Oculus Rift launched in 2014, industry stakeholders speculated that the new, high-end in-home virtual reality headset would disrupt the entertainment industry. Just four years later, the technology has reached a crossroads, still lacking adoption by mainstream consumers. In a recent survey, 25 percent of broadband households indicated they were familiar with some type of VR technology, but just 8 percent actually owned a headset.
Transforming Customer Insights Into Actionable Intelligence
November 28, 2018
From technology innovation to the workplace, the business landscape has been evolving rapidly, and companies now are tasked with adapting to fast change in a world of digital transformation. There is one element that will remain a constant requirement for success: meeting the needs of customers and delivering a quality experience. Nurturing customer relationships is vital for a company's success.
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.
How to Choose a B2C E-Commerce Suite
November 27, 2018
In order to grow, brick-and-mortar stores realize they must use their digital touchpoints to enhance their customers' in-store experiences. Online retailers recognize they need to separate themselves from the pack through faster and more informative shopping experiences. And omnichannel sellers and brands are aware they need to provide their customers with a seamless, cross-channel experience.
Governance: An Overlooked but Critical CX Solution
November 20, 2018
Today's customer feedback world is extremely complex with data coming from a variety of sources. With the growing number of cross-functional teams and silos within an organization, leaders have been finding it increasingly difficult to capture the full 360-degree view of the customer to drive true change within an organization. While it's clear that problems exist, what's less straightforward is why.
Solid Cross-Border Strategies for International Growth
November 19, 2018
International e-commerce has become more pervasive and sophisticated in recent years. In 2017, 1.66 billion people worldwide purchased goods online. During the same year, global e-retail sales amounted to $2.3 trillion, and that figure could grow to $4.48 trillion by 2021. E-commerce providers must continue to innovate to ensure they take full advantage of opportunities outside their home market.
Chatbots Gaining Altitude
November 15, 2018
How do they really know? That's the question that immediately comes to mind in reviewing the top-level data from Voxpro's recent survey of customers and their relationship with chatbots. The data show that 68 percent of consumers haven't used chatbots to contact a brand. About 1,000 people answered the survey. How reliable is that number, though? I'm not disrespecting Voxpro -- just the opposite.
The 4 Best Ways to Get Customers to Pay Attention
November 14, 2018
I don't have to tell you how difficult it is to find and attract customers online. With millions and millions of businesses all vying for attention, the Internet has quickly turned into a very crowded place. But, believe it or not, there's opportunity in all that clutter, and if you approach your marketing and visibility right, you can easily rise to the top.
Above the Funnel No More
November 7, 2018
The conventional sales funnel exceeded its usefulness a long time ago, roughly when the Internet gave us the ability to gather information about vendors, products and services. Without the necessity of contacting a salesperson, individuals and businesses could eliminate the middleman in the information exchange. The result was sales cycle compression and more emphasis on getting a good deal.
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.
Oracle, the Hardware Company
October 31, 2018
For all of the dazzle of its rapidly evolving software portfolio, which includes a self-monitoring and self-patching database that also configures itself, as well as numerous cloud applications, Oracle has begun showing its credibility as a hardware vendor. Hardware has commoditized and will not return to the prominence it had in the early days of the tech era.
Dialing Up CRM: Harnessing the Power of Voice
October 30, 2018
Until fairly recently, industry pundits had all but written off voice as a customer engagement channel. Considering there were more than 100 billion inbound calls via mobile devices alone in 2018, the past year has proven them wrong. There has been an incredible resurgence of voice as the new UI of choice, and it remains the chief channel for complex customer inquiries and interactions.
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.
Oracle OpenWorld: Margin Lab
October 24, 2018
Markets grow at the margins. This bit of sage advice was given to me at the start of my analyst career, and it has kept me in good nick for nearly two decades. Of course the focus has drifted over time but that's the point: The CRM market has evolved, and the job of an analyst is to make sense of the evolution. Oracle OpenWorld 2018 held in San Francisco this week is a laboratory for the margin.
7 Priceless E-Commerce Tips for Small Businesses
October 24, 2018
From big companies to small-town mom-and-pop shops to "mompreneurs" working from home, e-commerce is the key to keeping revenue streams flowing and businesses afloat. In fact, e-commerce is really the only way for you to ensure your business' longevity these days, especially if you are a small retailer. Why? Because your customers don't always live in your neighborhood.
6 Tactics to Bring Out the Superpowers in Retail SMBs
October 23, 2018
There could be as much as a 22 percent increase in holiday sales this season. The 2018 U.S. retail e-commerce season will reach $123.4 billion, up from $106.14 billion in 2017, according to Statista's estimates. If you are a small business retailer, these numbers no doubt will bring a twinkle to your eye. However, to get your share, you will need to step up your game.
Harnessing Video for Customer Advocacy
October 22, 2018
Video has risen in recent years to the forefront of any marketing campaign, recognized as the optimum medium to elevate brand awareness and share a company's latest product buzz with an increasingly diverse and sophisticated audience. It's so easy to work with; platforms are readily available, simple to learn, and hyper affordable. High-quality results can be achieved on a budget.
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.
OpenWorld Preview
October 17, 2018
As of this writing, I haven't been prebriefed on what Oracle will be announcing at OpenWorld regarding CRM -- or as it refers to it, "CX" -- so this is a good time to express my own opinions. Oracle's direction in the last few years increasingly has been toward cloud computing and the autonomous database, and each has several flavors or divisions. The company has three levels of cloud.
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.
For Great Customer Experiences, Design Great Employee Experiences
October 16, 2018
"Customer experience" is the great watchword of 2018 -- and it was a great watchword in 2017 and 2016, too. Eighty-five percent of executives said that CX was important to their companies' strategic priorities, in an Accenture survey. Sixty-two percent of companies viewed CX delivered by contact centers as a competitive differentiator, Deloitte found.
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.
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Does it matter to you if products you purchase are manufactured in another country?
Yes, and I will pay more for a domestically produced product.
Yes, but my shopping decisions won't change anything, so I do what's best for me.
I care, but it's impossible to keep track of where everything is made.
I want the best quality and price, regardless of country of origin.
It depends on the country. Some are OK, some aren't.
It depends on the company. I'll buy from a reputable non-domestic brand.
salesforce commerce cloud