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10 Things People With Disabilities Wish Online Retailers Knew
September 20, 2018
Many shoppers would be just fine if they could never set foot in a retail store again. After all, everything is available online: books, groceries, pizza, household necessities, even big ticket items like mattresses and cars. However, 15 percent of people worldwide have a disability that affects their daily life, and many retailers are unaware that their websites are not always accessible to them.
Utopia or Disaster? AI's Transformation of Sales
September 19, 2018
If there's one thing that can be said with certainty about AI in the field of sales, it's this: It's coming. Solutions for sales leaders, account executives and business development reps tout various AI-enabled features and the benefits they offer to sales. Writers breathlessly forecast the loss of millions of jobs due to AI, including the decimation of most professions, sales included.
Blockchain (Re)Emerges
September 17, 2018
More often than you might think, disruptive innovations travel in pairs -- at least until they are separated by the markets, which decide one is useful and the other no so much. Sometimes they're symbiotic. Both may be useful or even necessary -- like hardware and software -- but that's not always the case. Consider the strange pairing of blockchain technology and cryptocurrency.
Death Watch Begins for Google
September 17, 2018
The EU has been stretching its wings. In the shadow of Brexit, it apparently has decided it has the real enemy of the people in its sights: social media companies and Google. France is even more aggressive, suggesting that the EU's "right to be forgotten" law should apply worldwide. Given that it actually does fall within the legitimate purview of government, it is hard not to agree.
Google Digs In Heels Over Global Expansion of EU's 'Right to Be Forgotten'
September 14, 2018
Google took on French lawyers at the European Union Court of Justice this week, in an effort to fend off expansion of the EU's "right to be forgotten" judgment. The EU's attempts to broaden the scope of that judgment would be "completely unenvisagable," and it could result in impositions on the values of different countries around the world, Google argued.
How Online Retailers Can Make the Most of Preorders to Maximize Sales
September 10, 2018
Among the myriad of tactics that e-commerce businesses can use to pump up sales, preorders might be the most overlooked strategy. Yet preorder sales are a highly effective way to generate early buzz to gin up demand for new products. A "preorder" by definition is the sale of a product that is not immediately available to the consumer but will be sometime soon.
To Resist Manipulation, Ask One Question
September 10, 2018
The level of effort devoted to manipulating our opinions is unprecedented. Granted, a lot of this has to do with the fact that most of the "free" online services we use aren't free at all. They are trading our ability to make measured opinions for advertisers' money, and some of these "advertisers" are foreign governments. There is one question we should be asking of any inflammatory story: Why?
5 Tips for Creating a Gen-Z Friendly Website
September 8, 2018
Generation Z is getting a lot of attention these days, as the cohort is expected to outpace millennials, and comprise 32 percent of the world's population. This powerful group of 7.7 billion consumers was born into a digital world. A much-reported claim is that Generation Z has an attention span of 8 seconds. It may seem that your website should mirror this lightning-quick attention span.
ShipBob Gets $40M Injection to Fuel Growth
September 7, 2018
ShipBob, which offers Amazon-type fulfillment services to small and mid-sized businesses, on Thursday announced it had raised $40 million in a Series C funding round led by Menlo Ventures. ShipBob's end-to-end fulfillment solution involves a drop-ship model that lets clients deliver packages in one to two business days. Partners include Amazon, BigCommerce, Shopify and other e-commerce platforms.
Senators Bash Google at Russian Election Meddling Hearing
September 6, 2018
An empty chair reserved for Google became the focal point for harsh criticism Wednesday at the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee's hearing on Russian meddling in the 2016 elections. Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey testified at the forum. Several senators lambasted the absent company for being unwilling to answer important questions.
Google Cracks Down on Tech-Support Scams
September 5, 2018
Google has announced new steps to combat the placement of fraudulent tech support ads on its platform. The company will roll out a verification program in the next few months to ensure that only legitimate third-party tech support providers can place Google ads. There are many legitimate providers that offer local or regional services, or affordable support for out-of-warranty products.
6 Winning Shipping Strategies for E-Commerce SMBs
September 4, 2018
E-commerce continues to become more competitive as large companies like Amazon, Target and Walmart soak up market share and customer attention. Shipping window expectations have become shorter, and many online retailers struggle to keep up, particularly SMBs. How can SMBs compete? Not only is competing possible, there are many SMBs that have been finding exceptional success.
How Retailers Can Use AI to Break the Compensation Equation
September 4, 2018
Nowhere is the customer experience more vital to the long-term success of a business than in retail. This is particularly evident as retailers work to ensure that brick-and-mortar shopping experiences are as seamless and personalized as those offered by their digital counterparts. Nearly 80 percent of Americans are now online shoppers, according to Pew Research Center findings.
Of Course Google Is Biased
September 3, 2018
I once took a market research class that focused on the identification and elimination of bias. My final paper was on an intentionally biased piece of research. It was far easier to introduce bias and then talk about the bias than it would have been to attempt to do unbiased work and defend it as unbiased. For that reason alone, it's almost certainly true that Google's search engine is biased.
Google Gives Vets New Job Search, Business Promotion Tools
August 29, 2018
Google has announced several new online tools designed to help former members of the military find jobs or attract new customers to their businesses. One tool allows vets to type in the search term "jobs for veterans" followed by specific military job codes to see civilian jobs with skill requirements that match their service experience. Another tool identifies businesses as veteran owned or led.
User Experiences That Convert - The Do's and Don'ts
August 27, 2018
In tech parlance, the emotional result of a person's interaction with a website or digital app is called "user experience" or "UX" -- and the success of a business depends on it. Users who have easy, positive experiences with websites and apps likely will be drawn back to the business. On the contrary, websites and apps with poor navigation and slow loading times likely will turn off consumers.
Pulling a Thread
August 25, 2018
There's an emerging theme in sales and marketing that I expect could influence some of the messaging associated with upcoming events like Salesforce's Dreamforce and Oracle's OpenWorld. Each company will have lots to say about security, analytics and machine learning, the IoT, and blockchain, but what's under the radar is the practical application of much of this to marketing and sales.
Ad Targeting Tool Leverages Real-World Relationships to Influence Buying Decisions
August 24, 2018
AdTheorent, which offers a machine learning platform for advertisers, has announced AdTheorent Relationship Targeting. This new product allows advertisers to harness the power of relationships with family members, cohabitants or friends to influence a consumer to take desired actions. Word of mouth is the primary factor behind 20-50 percent of all purchasing decisions, AdTheorent noted.
From Browser to Buyer: How Smart Solutions Are Transforming E-Commerce
August 24, 2018
Shopping: It's not what it once was. Forget the long drive to the mall and countless hours of browsing. Customers now simply log in from the comfort of their own home to have the world at their fingertips. The massive uptake of e-commerce is an unprecedented shift in consumer behavior, expectations and purchases. The evidence is clear: Internet shopping is the most popular online activity.
New B2B Tool Aims to Lower Overhead, Raise Profits
August 22, 2018
Atlatl Software has unveiled its bCommerce Visual Configurator, which gives manufacturers access to the company's 3D Visual Configurator via Web browsers. B2B buyers can use it on manufacturers' websites to make selections and pass them on to the manufacturers' sales reps in real time. Customer and configuration information in bCommerce is captured in Atlatl's QuoteBooks Cloud.
5 Steps to a Riveting Company Story
August 22, 2018
Telling an engaging and effective story is vitally important for the success of a business. A good story draws people in, fosters loyalty, and brings your brand alive. "It's important for brands to tell their story because the story is what actually resonates with humans," said Nathan Young, storytelling communication instructor at Storytelling Consultant. "We're hardwired to remember stories."
Google One Paid Storage Now Open to All US Users
August 17, 2018
Google has announced the availability of Google One as a storage upgrade option for people in the United States. The option will become available in other countries within the next few weeks. Users with paid Google Drive storage plans automatically were upgraded to Google One in the past few months, noted Pavni Diwanji, VP of Google One. Google One plans begin at $1.99 for 100 GB.
Square's Cash App Supports Bitcoin in All US States
August 15, 2018
Square on Monday announced that Cash App users could buy and sell bitcoin in all 50 U.S. states. Square began testing Cash App's bitcoin purchasing option last fall and officially launched the option early this year. However, it was not available in four states -- New York, Georgia, Hawaii and Wyoming -- because of their more restrictive regulation of bitcoin transactions.
5 Strategies for Collecting, Creating and Circulating Customer Testimonials
August 14, 2018
Most of us understand how overwhelming it can be moving to a new city. Surrounded by a host of options for dining, shopping, daycare, leisure time, auto mechanics and everything else under the sun, making an educated decision on where to go involves some groundwork. So what is there to do? Many of us will turn to a new coworker or neighbor for recommendations.
The Internet's Truth vs. Fake News Showdown
August 10, 2018
Facebook earlier this week pulled the plug on the official page for Alex Jones, host of Infowars and noted conspiracy theorist. YouTube quickly followed, removing Infowars and Jones' videos. Facebook's move followed Apple's decision to pull five of Infowars' six podcasts -- including the "Alex Jones Show" and "War Room" -- from the iTunes and Podcasts apps.
The Wiggly Line Between Journalism and PR
August 9, 2018
The line between journalism and public relations can be fuzzy, and news organizations have wrestled with that problem for some time. However, that line recently has become more blurred than ever, with some publications enlisting armies of nonprofessional scribes to satisfy an insatiable appetite for content. It's easy to understand why the problem has mushroomed.
AI-Driven Marketing Offers High Hopes to B2B Firms
August 8, 2018
Versium has announced a partnership with LiveRamp to launch artificial intelligence-powered B2B audience segments,as part of a new business-to-business data management platform. The partnership will let companies perform online targeting of offline business professional data that often is housed within their own CRM systems. LiveRamp customers will get access to Versium's modeling engine.
5 Practical Tips for Crowdfunding Success
August 7, 2018
"Crowdfunding is more than just the money," remarked Justin Giddings, CEO of The Kickstarter Guy. "In some ways, it is the perfect laboratory to explore and develop the market viability of your project. If you can launch a new brand and attract thousands of people within a short time frame, it becomes a mile marker of the consumer readiness of the product."
Leveraging Blockchain for B2B E-Commerce
August 6, 2018
Worldwide spending on blockchain will hit $1.5 billion this year -- twice as much as in 2017 -- and it will total nearly $12 billion in 2022, according to IDC. The technology is expected to have a five-year compound annual growth rate of 73.2 percent. Cross-business collaboration and interoperability have emerged as key aspects in the technology's growth.
What Your CRM Data May Not Be Telling You
August 4, 2018
The ability to collect massive amounts of data represented a huge leap forward in customer service and communication when CRM first hit the market as a marketing, sales and data management tool. However, CRMs aren't a holy grail. Data management is one thing. Using data to understand what customers really need -- not just what you think they do -- and how to engage them is another thing entirely.
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What do you think of commercial spaceflight?
It's the best hope for advancing space exploration.
It's little more than a hobby for billionaires.
It will result in highly profitable new industries, like space mining.
It will dramatically increase space junk and pollution.
It will offer the opportunity to establish a new way of life in space colonies.
It should be heavily regulated by governments.