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Consumers Becoming More Tolerant of Chatbots for Certain Tasks
January 15, 2021
If you want to smooth over irate clients and offer more efficient customer services, consider conversational bots instead of a roomful of human company reps. Researchers see consumers' comfort levels with a variety of chatbot technologies softening towards customer service, scheduling, banking, and therapy.
Young Entrepreneurs Bring High Tech to Quell Surgical Fears
January 14, 2021
The last thing George Kramb expected from years of walking surgeons through actual operations using medical machinery was to step into a role that helped guide patients worldwide through their own medical journeys. Kramb and his partner Patrick Frank are now listed on the "2021 Forbes 30 Under 30" list in recognition of their status as rising stars in the business world.
PC Market Upswing Accelerates in Q4 2020
January 12, 2021
The PC market ended 2020 with a big bang, as shipments during the final quarter rose 25 percent over the same period in 2019, according to a report by research firm Canalys. Much of the market growth during the year was driven by notebooks and mobile workstation shipments, which increased 44 percent over 2019, reaching 235.1 million.
Revving Up for CRM in 2021
January 11, 2021
This might be a big year for CRM. I say might because I am not clairvoyant, and humility is on the resolutions list. CRM has gone through five 5-year cycles during the past few decades. That trend feels as old as SaaS at this point, and I think we're going to embark on a new cycle that will take roughly five years to reach fulfillment. The big question now is: "What will it be?"
Package Theft Jumps 7 Percent in 2020
January 6, 2021
Porch pirates were busier than ever in 2020, according to an annual survey by market research firm C+R Research. Forty-three percent of Americans said they had a package stolen in 2020, a seven point increase over 2019, when 36 percent revealed they'd been theft victims. The report also revealed that 47 percent of those surveyed filed police reports about their theft.
Who Values Value Pricing?
January 4, 2021
The idea that CRM products should be priced according to the utility they deliver sounds good, but it raises a lot of questions too. With value pricing, you might expect the cost of CRM to rise and fall as a business gets more or less use and value from its investment, but who gets to determine the value received and, while we're at it, what is the right measure of value?
2021: The Year of Robotics and Artificial Intelligence
January 4, 2021
While the pandemic has been painful, it has caused things to accelerate in several areas impressively rapidly. Two of those areas are robotics and artificial intelligence, which we'll see adapted broadly this decade with a considerable bump in 2021. Let's talk about all of that this week, and we'll close with the first product of the week in 2021, the Somnofy AI Sleep Monitor.
Walmart Tackles Return Issues With New Home Pickup Service
December 22, 2020
Walmart has raised the bar for service by an online retailer with its announcement of free home pickup of customer returns. Called "Carrier Pickup by Fedex," the program allows items bought at Walmart's online store to be returned with a minimum of hassle by scheduling a home pickup from the store and printing a return label for the item.
Standout Tech Products of 2020
December 21, 2020
TechNewsWorld columnist Rob Enderle looks back at all of the Products of the Week he selected during the year and picks the one that made the most significant impression to crown the Product of the Year. Let's look at the contenders that made the initial cut, and then he'll rank the top four products leading up to the 2020 Product of the Year.
E-Commerce Working Beautifully for the Cosmetics Industry
December 17, 2020
Cosmetics companies traditionally have relied on in-person retail sales to attract new customers and maintain existing clientele. The pandemic, however, has upended the cosmetics industry, bringing new challenges as well as a host of opportunities for companies that are agile and creative enough to take advantage. The E-Commerce Times spoke with experts in cosmetic sales about trends in this dynamic and evolving industry.
The Evolution of Personal Communications Technology Through 2050
December 14, 2020
Sometime in the 2030s PCs and phones will merge, if they hadn't already. In the 2040s people and personal technology will merge as humans and robotics evolve into hybrids of each other. Since we're approaching the end of 2020, let's talk about what's on the way over the next three decades, and build up to what's in store for personal communications technology in 2050.
Clickwrap Technology Brings Speed, Efficiency to Digital Transactions
December 11, 2020
Clickwrap transaction platforms, which serve to replace electronic signatures, are emerging as a valuable tool to help businesses navigate the increased volume of online transactions. Instead of signing, users click to check a box, or click on a button with a label such as 'I Agree' or 'Accept'. That action authorizes the included consent language.
Where to in 2021?
December 10, 2020
The front office is moving out the front door and into the world. Actually, it's exiting via the Internet, the windows and side doors, to form the basis of what will be the 'next normal' or whatever future historians want to call it. For a while, when we were just dabbling with mobility and social media, we could ignore all that -- but no more.
Qualcomm's Powerful Preview of 2021's Premium Smartphones
December 7, 2020
Qualcomm last week launched its Snapdragon 888 platform which will show up in premium phones next year. This promises to take the high-end of Android smartphones to levels of performance they've never seen before. Let's talk about what is coming to market in Android phones -- and likely iPhones -- next year, because you've got to believe Apple watched this launch and is now furiously working to create similar functions.
The Rise of Mobile Shopping Apps
December 5, 2020
Mobile shopping apps have in the midst of the pandemic become central to online retail operations, and they're clearly here to stay. The E-Commerce Times spoke with m-commerce specialists to find out what's behind the rapid growth of consumers shopping on mobile devices, what mobile shoppers require from shopping apps, and how retailers can provide a better experience for their customers who shop on mobile devices.
'Tis the Season for Online Counterfeits
November 25, 2020
It should be prime time for shopping, but the pandemic has forced many consumers to tighten their purse strings. To help consumers -- and give e-tailers a heads up about better security -- the E-Commerce Times discussed holiday shopping issues with a panel of cybersecurity experts. They offered advice on how consumers can avoid buying counterfeit products; and analyses of how fake goods affect the broader retail market.
Federal Spurt in Cloud Spending Will Extend Well Into the Future
November 23, 2020
The rapid expansion in the use of cloud technologies to support remote working during the COVID-19 pandemic has underscored that the U.S. government's increasingly high rate of cloud adoption will likely be sustained for the next several years. In fact, 2020 was a "historic year" for federal cloud migration, according to Alex Rossino, senior principal research analyst at Deltek.
The Best Hybrid Mid-Range SUV Might Surprise You
November 23, 2020
When we decided on a plug-in hybrid, after a lot of research it narrowed down to three with the right balance of performance and efficiency. Those were the Audi Q5 e, the BMW X3 Plug-in Hybrid, and the Volvo XC60 Recharge. Let's walk through what we ended up with, and why, because it wasn't at all what we expected.
Student Inventor Wins Prize for Breast Cancer Screening Device
November 19, 2020
A 23-year-old biomedical engineering student is one of two first-place winners in the 2020 James Dyson Award. Her invention aims to help women around the world afford the cost of early testing for breast cancer. Judit Giró Benet captured the $35,000 cash prize for developing The Blue Box, an at-home reusable breast cancer screening device. Her mother's diagnosis of breast cancer inspired Benet to find an affordable and effective screening mechanism.
The Great CRM Shift of 2020
November 19, 2020
It is often said that only a poor workman blames his tools and only an inferior vendor blames the customer for their troubles with a product. But too many user organizations just don't seem to be adopting CRM to the degree that it takes to be successful -- even after more than two decades of trying.
Meal Kit Services Package Convenience With Sustainability
November 17, 2020
With people balancing work and home life, and often trying to avoid in-person shopping, the convenience and safety of meal kit deliveries are an increasingly appealing option for many consumers. The E-Commerce Times caught up with experts in food sales, packaging, and e-commerce to get their viewpoints on the meal kit trend.
Apple's M1 ARM Pivot: A Step Into the Reality Distortion Field
November 16, 2020
Last week Apple announced a partial pivot away from x86 to ARM with one of those claims so outrageous it could have only come from Apple. The company claimed its new ARM-based PCs would outperform 98 percent of those already in the market. No proof points, no material examples, no listed benchmarks. Just "trust us," this processor optimized for smartphones is magically better than processors designed to run PCs.
Many Shoppers Now Want Zero In-Store Human Interaction
November 10, 2020
The rise in consumer adoption of e-commerce in the wake of the pandemic is pushing the rebirth of brick-and-mortar stores as potential bastions of interactionless shopping that resembles an e-commerce experience. Amenities for redesigned in-store floor space include no-contact kiosks that offer circulars and coupons. Robot greeters and sales assistants to help maintain social distancing are also in some plans.
How to Continue Winning Business During a Pandemic
November 9, 2020
Today, change feels more common than stability. On top of all the uncertainty, sales professionals face increased demands while rebuilding the pipeline. Yet it's clear that there is still business to be won. But first we must assess the new realities this pandemic has brought on. Here are five ways the sales world has changed and what teams can do to adapt and prosper.
IBM, Microsoft, and the Future of Healthcare
November 9, 2020
Healthcare is a mess, not just here in the U.S., but in most countries. Some of the biggest problems in this data-rich era are the lack of interoperability and fact-based advice. Two companies that stand out as aggressively trying to fix this are IBM and Microsoft. Let's contrast IBM's and Microsoft's healthcare efforts this week -- and we'll close with my product of the week: the most advanced electric motorcycle on the market.
Chat Commerce Driving Higher Revenue, Better CX
November 6, 2020
More consumers are shopping via phones and other mobile devices, and companies that use chat with commerce are reaping rewards while improving the customer experience. New commerce research reveals that at least two-thirds of firms using chat apps such as WhatsApp and WeChat see greater commerce gains than competitors that do not.
The Pros and Cons of Dedicated Internet Access
November 5, 2020
Although DIA can have a steep price tag and some installation complexity, most companies will opt for a dedicated connection at offices or data centers with mission-critical operations. Let's explore the benefits of a DIA circuit, as well as some potential considerations and drawbacks, to help determine if dedicated Internet is something your business should consider.
Email Still Sells for Digital Marketers
November 5, 2020
The "2020 State of Email, Fall Edition" report from email marketing firm Litmus found that 77 percent of marketers said email is one of their two most effective marketing channels. Additionally, 78 percent of marketing executives indicated email marketing is vital to the overall success of their company, a seven percent increase since last year.
A Momentous Week for 4 Tech Vendors
November 2, 2020
Powerful events and product launches by Cisco, Lenovo, Microsoft, and Qualcomm promise to make our future brighter. From more effective courts and legislators, to flexible and intelligent robots, to tools we can use to improve remote productivity, to validation that our justice system works -- last week was remarkable.
Open Source Jobs Report Shows More Openings, Fewer Takers
October 27, 2020
The Linux Foundation and learning platform edX have released the latest open source jobs report which shows that, despite the pandemic, demand for open source technology skills continues to be strong. The 2020 Open Source Jobs Report reveals a spike in demand for DevOps talent, along with a continued lack of applicants with open source skills.
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Which of these topics being featured at CES 2021 interest you most?
5G & Internet of Things
Advertising, Entertainment & Content
Automotive Technologies
Blockchain / Cryptocurrency
Esports / Sports Tech
Health & Wellness
Home & Family
Immersive Entertainment & Gaming
Product Design & Manufacturing
Robotics & Machine Intelligence