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Hackers Use Microsoft Help Desk to Pull Off Massive Email Breach
April 16, 2019
Hackers piggybacked onto a Microsoft customer support portal between Jan. 1 and March 28 to gain access to the emails of noncorporate account holders on webmail services Microsoft manages, including MSN.com, Hotmail.com and Outlook.com. Microsoft has confirmed that a "limited" number of customers who use its Web service had their accounts compromised.
The Rise of Headless Commerce
April 15, 2019
"Headless commerce" has become an e-commerce buzzword lately, but how can brands use it to their advantage? "In its most basic terms, 'headless commerce' refers to the decoupling of a website's presentation layer -- the front end -- from its commerce and business logic/function layer -- the back end," said Meghan Stabler, vice president of product marketing at BigCommerce.
SEO: How Important Is It to Make the First Page?
April 12, 2019
In a recent E-Commerce Times poll, only 4.32 percent of respondents said there was always enough information on the first page of search results to meet their needs. By comparison, 14.05 percent said they found the first-page search results were rigged and limited by algorithmic highlights. More than one quarter, 25.41 percent, said even if the first page provided enough, they wanted to see more.
What Sellers Are Missing From CRM
April 11, 2019
As the B2B buyer continues to evolve, B2B sellers have more solutions than ever in their technology stacks. From CRM, sales content and asset management, to sales enablement, LMS and more, these technologies have been adopted in order to stay ahead of the changing behavior of prospects. The adopter of these solutions hopes to drive individual sales while increasing the team's productivity.
10 Steps to Create a Seamless Omnichannel Business
April 9, 2019
During the last year, longstanding brick-and-mortar retailer chains such as Toys "R" Us, Payless, and Diesel USA have filed for bankruptcy. Failures like these happen despite the fact that U.S. consumer spending currently is high, and the unemployment rate is low. Why is that? We cannot address this topic without first taking a good look at Amazon and the massive power it represents.
Walmart Lets Customers Use Google Assistant to Voice-Order Groceries
April 3, 2019
Walmart has launched a limited beta of Walmart Voice Order, which lets consumers order groceries by voice using Google Assistant. The service can be used with a number of devices: tablets, watches and TV sets running Android 6.0+; smartphones running Android 5.0+; iOS 10.0+ devices; Google Home; and more. "This announcement is huge," said Ray Wang, principal analyst at Constellation Research.
Extreme Customer Experience
April 2, 2019
CRM guru Samson Lee has a new idea about customer experience. I don't know that I agree with it, but Lee has a way of making you question your assumptions and possibly change your viewpoint. Lee describes extreme experience as the inevitable pain you have to go through to reach nirvana -- that is, get the product or service you want from the vendor you want.
Retail Tech for Millennials
April 2, 2019
It's time to get strategic about winning over Gen Y. Members of the millennial generation were born roughly between 1980 and 2000. They're the largest age cohort in human history, making up about 25 percent of the entire global population. When they're mentioned in headlines, however, the news sounds bad for business: They're broke. They're self-obsessed. They're definitely not buying your stuff.
Using the Contact Center to Help Build Brand Loyalty
March 29, 2019
In 2018, 8.8 percent of all retail sales globally, totaling more than $2 trillion, were made online. As the total number of online purchases grows, a compelling case can be made that e-commerce customers expect to receive support that is as good as or even better than those who purchase the very same products in a store. In person, it is very easy to verify the proper set-up and operation.
How to Reinvent E-Commerce Personalization in 2019
March 28, 2019
You'd be hard pressed to find a tactic more capable of winning and losing customers than personalization. In the past, bad personalization has cost businesses three-quarters of a trillion dollars. In the future, smart personalization could enable businesses to boost their profits by up to 15 percent. Today, personalization is everywhere -- in B2B, B2C, e-commerce, SaaS -- the list goes on.
Is Your Contact Center Ruining Your CX?
March 27, 2019
While CRM software is a vital tool, CRM itself is really a discipline: It's the cultivation of the customer relationship and the management of customer data to create better experiences for the customer and to generate better results for the business. The CRM application doesn't exist on its own in many organizations -- or in many vendors' suites of products, for that matter.
Apple Wants Its Credit Card in Your Digital Wallet
March 27, 2019
Apple has announced a virtual credit card built into the wallet app on iPhones. Apple Card sports a number of features aimed at helping consumers lead a healthier financial life. "With our hardware, software and services, we think that Apple is uniquely positioned to make the most significant change in the credit card experience in 50 years," said Apple CEO Tim Cook.
CDP Early Days
March 26, 2019
Here we go again, right down the hype cycle and into new product land. In the last week, two major enterprise software companies, Oracle and Salesforce, announced customer data platform products. Oracle announced its product last week in Las Vegas at its Modern Customer Experience event. This week, Salesforce announced that it is building a customer data platform.
AI-Powered Inventory Management: A Make-or-Break Tool for Retailers
March 22, 2019
Retail is facing battles on all fronts. Up against Amazon's streamlined operations on one side, and a higher demand for flawless customer service and experience on the other, it's either think or sink for many. However, AI has thrown some early adopters a lifeline. As Amazon has proven with its stranglehold on the retail industry, online shopping is unquestionably the future.
Oracle MCX
March 21, 2019
Oracle held its Modern Customer Experience conference in Las Vegas this week, and it was eye-opening. This is the fourth MCX conference and an important milestone for a company that came to the cloud later than its competition. No doubt about it, Oracle has done much in a short time to develop and deploy its customer experience vision, so it is now possible and fair to critique the company's progress.
Boosting E-Commerce Sales Through Storytelling
March 18, 2019
Storytelling is a central part of e-commerce marketing, and it's vital that brands both know their own stories and understand how to tell them. Everything from brand loyalty to purchasing decisions relies on a company having an engaging and well-told story. "Facts tell, but stories sell," remarked Samantha Reynolds, president of Echo Storytelling Agency. "We decide what to buy based on emotion."
From Virtual to Value: Building Meaningful Experiences With Gamification
March 15, 2019
Amid shifting consumer habits and the digitization of everything, the retail landscape has undergone significant transformations over the past decade, and it continues to evolve as quickly as ever. These transformations bring about a slew of challenges and opportunities for retailers to improve the overall shopping experience. One technique for increasing engagement is gamification.
Millennial CRM
March 13, 2019
Trying to do business without also having a modern CRM system is like walking around naked. You can do it, at least for a little while, but people will begin to think you're weird -- and the trouble is, those people are all potential customers. CRM is essential today because, despite our reverence for the free market, it's really more like free markets -- plural.
A Lesson From Amazon: Alternative Revenue Streams Work
March 11, 2019
There's a reason that Amazon's stock skyrocketed 28 percent in 2018, a notable outlier amid the broader market trends. The behemoth retailer is bolstered by a few key differentiators when stacked against the competition -- but let's backtrack for a moment to examine the state of the current online marketplace. In truth, there's an expectation in the market that buying online is cheaper.
Target Hits the E-Commerce Bull's-Eye
March 6, 2019
Target has reported higher gains in last year's holiday sales, largely due to improved e-commerce strategies and store makeovers, and has offered an upbeat outlook. Its stores fulfilled nearly 75 percent of its fourth-quarter digital sales. Holiday sales increased 5.3 percent. Physical stores open for at least 12 months saw a sales jump of 2.9 percent. Online sales soared 31 percent.
Pitney Bowes Launches Self-Service Tool to Drive Post-Buy Revenue
March 6, 2019
Pitney Bowes has unveiled Consumer Connect, a self-service post-purchase marketing solution for retailers and brands. "Retail marketers spend a tremendous amount of time and money attracting consumers and getting them to click the buy button only to leave them in the hands of third-party shipping partners for tracking and notifications until the package is delivered," noted Pitney Bowes EVP Lila Snyder.
Learning Online: Getting Down to Business
March 4, 2019
Online learning platforms have made it easier than ever to offer workshops, courses and educational content of all kinds. In addition to the growth of online learning in traditional educational spheres, there's been growth in the business world. Companies increasingly have been using online learning platforms both to train employees and to educate customers.
Amazon Brings Big Guns to Battle Against Counterfeit Products
March 1, 2019
Amazon has announced Project Zero, a program that empowers vendors to help drive counterfeits down. The anti-counterfeit campaign will employ Amazon's advanced technology, machine learning and innovation. Amazon will partner with Project Zero's participating vendors to protect their intellectual property by detecting and removing counterfeits of their products.
The Rules of Sustainability
February 23, 2019
For online retailers, creating an unmatched customer experience is not only a top priority -- it is also a business imperative. They must make sure the items customers want to order are in stock, and that the orders are packaged correctly and shipped quickly, and delivered to the right address. Focusing solely on these necessities tends to be a shortsighted way of viewing the process, however.
The 3D E-Commerce Revolution
February 22, 2019
We're living in a time when customer expectations change particularly fast, and retailers that can't keep up get left behind. A consumer who enjoys the online shopping experience at an e-store automatically begins to expect the same level of service from every virtual point of sale. Thus, the expectation loop is born, and the only thing for retailers to do is to innovate, innovate and innovate.
Walmart E-Commerce Has Blowout Q4
February 20, 2019
Walmart's e-commerce sales were up 43 percent for Q4 FY 2019. Sam's Club e-commerce sales grew 21 percent. Customers "continue to respond to our increasingly omnichannel offerings. We're executing against our strategy and it's working," said Walmart spokesperson Robyn Babbitt. Walmart's e-commerce focus "remains on earning repeat visits and strengthening our assortment of merchandise."
Blending Offline and Online Commerce With Advanced Payments Tech
February 19, 2019
Technology by its nature changes the market. The introduction of efficient solutions spurred by technology to meet consumer demand creates new positive effects across an economy. Plenty of industries -- entertainment, transportation, the press and retail, for example -- have experienced changes in business models, delivery methods and competitors, due to the development of new technologies.
Wireless Carriers Caught Playing Fast and Loose With Location Data
February 8, 2019
AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint have sold access to subscribers' real-time location data to aggregators, which in turn have sold it to about 250 bounty hunters and related businesses, according to a report. In some cases, the data allowed users to track individuals to their specific locations inside a building. Some companies made thousands of location requests to data brokers.
How Do You Build a Software Company?
February 5, 2019
How do you build a software company? There are certainly things you need to do and not do on the way to building a successful software company, but there are no recipes. In my career, I've seen firsthand some of the ways that company builders succeed or fail, and to paraphrase Tolstoy, happy companies are all alike; every unhappy company is unhappy in its own way.
What's Wrong With the Social Media Model
January 31, 2019
The social media model has come under increased scrutiny following revelations of data misuse and news of executives reneging on some security commitments. People expecting to change the situation will need to address how social media works. This means changing not just the business model, which describes how a social media business makes money, but the fundamental technology model too.
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How important is a candidate's knowledge of technology in winning your vote?
Extremely -- technology is at the center of most of the world's big problems and solutions.
Very -- a candidate who doesn't understand technology can't relate to young people.
Somewhat -- a general understanding is sufficient.
Not very -- choosing good advisers is more important than direct knowledge.
Not at all -- technology is often a distraction from more important issues.