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The Pandemic's Effect on Gift Giving: Is Your E-Commerce Business Ready?
October 23, 2020
For all the ways the COVID-19 pandemic has affected our online shopping behavior in 2020, add to the list: holiday gift giving. As e-commerce retailers, we should prepare for a surge in online gift purchases and also an increase in gifts delivered directly to the recipient. Here are ten ideas that e-tailers can use to rethink the gift-giving experience this holiday season.
The Strive to Survive a COVID-19 Holiday Shopping Season
October 19, 2020
The upcoming holiday season is looking much different than anyone would have suspected this time last year. Forget about the customary long lines to buy gifts for loved ones and friends this year -- if you can even find a store that is open. All of these changes make it critical for marketers to adapt in an effort to recover lost sales and attract new customers.
I Might Differ
October 15, 2020
Last week my good friends Brent Leary and Paul Greenberg opened up their online show, CRM Playaz, to an executive roundtable discussion with some of the movers and shakers in our CRM world. Unfailingly, each speaker espoused the centrality of the customer and visibility through 360 degrees of customer interaction. It's hard to disagree with that -- though I will.
The 2020 Holiday Shopping Season Will Set Long-Term Precedents
October 6, 2020
The restrictions forcing people to work and shop from the confines of their homes accelerated an already advancing e-commerce market that was years in development. As a result, the pandemic has created a case study for e-commerce and retail of the 21st century. Moving forward, this holiday shopping season will likely witness one of the next major shifts toward a different future in retail.
New Service Relays Customer Texts to In-Store Phone Lines
September 29, 2020
Curbside pickup has become a necessary option to offer customers since the onslaught of COVID-19. In fact, some shoppers will not consider doing business with a retailer or restaurant that does not offer curbside service. The TextMeAnywhere solution helps make the associated logistics to service curbside easier to execute for small businesses.
The Ease and Risk of Buy Now Pay Later Plans
September 22, 2020
Buy now pay later, or "BNPL" services are growing in popularity during the pandemic as they enable consumers to pay for purchases over a short time with no interest and a small starting payment. However, money experts urge caution. Similar to credit cards, BNPL services can negatively impact credit scores and land people in debt or collections if not used properly.
Tech's Role in the Future of Restaurants
September 9, 2020
While changes in the restaurant industry have been in response to what is hoped to be a temporary crisis, it's likely that dining establishments will never again operate exactly as they did before coronavirus. Along with altering their physical designs to accommodate the demands of the pandemic, eateries must also turn to new models for order taking, making deliveries, and payment processing.
SugarCRM Adds AI to Sweeten the Customer Experience Pot
September 8, 2020
SugarCRM last month announced its acquisition of AI-as-a-Service provider Node. This marks the fourth acquisition by SugarCRM since the company's investment by Accel-KKR in August 2018. CRM Buyer discussed the current state of CRM platforms with SugarCRM CEO Craig Charlton, and how artificial intelligence is key to improved sales, service, and predictability in automated CX.
How Customer Conversations Can Create Personalization in E-Commerce
September 8, 2020
Ask anyone in the e-commerce space and they'll tell you: it's a numbers game. The numbers we rely on every day offer insights into every aspect of our competitive industry, from the click-through success of advertising campaigns to the conversion rates of specifically placed "Buy Now" buttons. Yet in this world of quantitative analytics, we're losing something: the human element.
CRM is Failing: It's Time to Transition to CXM
September 1, 2020
Centralizing all tools and customer-effecting services into one system delivers great efficiencies for businesses. However, enabling customers to have the same experience in real time is the difference between a CRM and CXM. CRM Buyer pursued the potential transition process -- and the impact of both CRM and CXM products -- in a conversation with Thryv VP Ryan Cantor.
How Chatbots Improve Employee Productivity in the 'New Normal'
August 31, 2020
Coronavirus has ushered upon us an era of isolation and curtailed face-to-face operations in favor of virtual interactions. The service of demand and delivery has shifted mainly to digital channels. While this trend was visible in the pre-COVID world, the pandemic has accelerated digital-first engagement. Here are six ways to improve employee productivity and streamline business operations in the new normal.
Best Practices to Improve the E-Commerce Checkout Process
August 28, 2020
To deliver exceptional customer experiences at-scale, retailers need to have their finger on the pulse of changing consumer expectations. Modern consumers expect checkout to be seamless and safe, no matter the digital channel or their geographic location. Let's look at best practices that retailers are using to revamp their checkout experience.
Summer Stats Show a Frenzy of Sales and a Flurry of Fraud
August 21, 2020
Despite the struggles the pandemic imposes on the economy, consumer activity gives both retailers and e-tailers hope for continued growth as the recovery persists. Though fraud continues to escalate as criminals take advantage of card-not-present payment methods, including buy online pick-up in store (BOPIS), or click-and-collect.
Retailers to Consumers: Let's Get 'Phygital'
August 20, 2020
The pandemic has exposed one fundamental, seemingly contradictory reality: people like to shop online, but they also crave in-person experiences. This era has also made clear that there's an answer to this conundrum: to provide shopping experiences that combine both physical and digital elements. Also known as "phygital" experiences, these strive to give customers the best of both the online and in-person worlds.
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.
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.
Automated CX Strategies to Revitalize Customer Relations
August 11, 2020
If the ongoing struggles amid the pandemic have taught retailers anything, it is the need to automate their customer service experience. Customer experience automation is making the difference between hanging on until closing down and ensuring more returning customers.
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.
Google's E-Commerce Push to Fill the 'Messy Middle'
July 31, 2020
Google's domination of the online ad market appears to have stalled since Amazon last year became the third-largest digital ad platform in the U.S. behind the Google-Facebook duopoly. This may have driven Google to accelerate its push into e-commerce, focusing on what it calls the "messy middle" -- the space in the customer journey between what triggers the purchase and the actual purchase itself.
B2C Response Rates at SMBs Crushing Enterprises
July 6, 2020
A company's ability to answer customer questions and resolve problems has become as essential as product, quality, and price. When customers are ignored, or given the impression they are unimportant by slow response times, the consequences of lost business and a damaged reputation can be irreversible. A recent study found that many businesses fall short of providing timely customer service.
B2C Marketers Grapple With Personalization Tactics
June 29, 2020
Marketers at B2C companies realize that personalization is key to business, but they are having problems implementing personalization strategies, according to a recent survey by Adweek Intelligence in association with IBM Watson Advertising. "Defining personalization has to start, stop and be continuously refined through the sole lens of the customer," Liz Miller, a principal analyst at Constellation Research advised.
Sellers Prep for Continued Storm of E-Commerce Activity
June 18, 2020
Online sales are projected to surge even after America reopens for business. "One of the first things companies will need to do is make sure their technology infrastructure is equipped to handle the increase in traffic," Ryan Gellis, Founding Partner at RMG Media, told the E-Commerce Times. "The best marketing campaigns are only as good as the weakest infrastructure to support them."
Virtual House Calls: The Rise of Telemedicine
June 10, 2020
Online medical appointments have become commonplace during the pandemic, and they're likely to continue, even as in-person medical visits resume. The convenience, accessibility and cost-effectiveness of telemedicine will make it a vital part of comprehensive medical care in the digital age. "Both patients and providers can benefit," said Mia Finkelston, MD, medical director at Amwell.
Verint Automates Management of Return-to-Work Health Practices
June 10, 2020
Verint has announced new capabilities within its workforce management solution that automate compliance with CDC guidelines to reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection as employees transition back to the workplace. New workflows automatically create a comprehensive schedule that is prescriptive, while including traditional workforce management criteria such as skill level, channels and peak hours.
How Will Retailers Survive This Time of Crisis?
June 9, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic will be one of the defining events of our lifetime. The economic consequences will last years and forever change consumer behavior. Over the last 30 years, experts have been studying the slow burn of consumer adoption of new technologies. Never have we witnessed adoption rates accelerate to the degree we saw in the last 60 days in e-commerce and video-conferencing.
Merchants: Adopting New Payment Technologies Is Easier Than You Think
May 11, 2020
Consumers increasingly demand seamless ways to purchase wherever they go, and they want their transactions to be quick, safe and, importantly, secure. The fact is, merchants must embrace new methods quickly or risk being left behind. Over the last decade, payment options have evolved in response to developments in technology and changing customer purchasing habits.
How to Adapt Your Customer Service When Crisis Strikes
May 8, 2020
Customer service doesn't have to suffer while your company goes through a difficult transition. In fact, 78 percent of consumers said they stopped doing business with a company because of poor customer service. Now is the time to show your most valuable buyers how you'll keep them informed, updated and respected throughout this crisis by adapting your practices to the moment.
New Shopify App Offers Local SMBs a Bridge to E-Commerce
April 30, 2020
Shopify has unveiled an app that lets users discover local businesses, receive relevant product recommendations from their favorite brands, check out effortlessly, and track all their online orders. It can gather and track orders automatically, but it also works without auto-tracking. Consumers can get a customized feed with deals, trending items and recommendations from their favorite stores.
8 Things New E-Commerce Entrepreneurs Need to Know
April 20, 2020
With something like 380 websites being created every minute, building an e-commerce shop can be a daunting task. It's easy to look at all of the success stories out there and think, "How could I possibly be that lucky?" However, the opportunity for growth in e-commerce is not slowing down. E-commerce sales are projected to grow 85 percent from their 2019 totals by 2022.
E-Commerce Optimization During a Crisis and Beyond
April 17, 2020
In this uncertain and increasingly homebound era, customers are turning online for everything from groceries to cat food. It's more important than ever to make sure that websites are optimized for the highest-possible customer engagement and conversion. E-commerce optimization is one game that companies struggling for market share in the midst of a pandemic must play.
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Forrester names NICE inContact CXone a leader in cloud contact center software