Saturday, March 2, 2019

online business

online business

Business threatens to sue woman over negative online review - FOX13 Memphis

Posted: 01 Mar 2019 02:05 PM PST


A woman was threatened with a lawsuit after leaving a negative review about a Colorado ghost tour company.

Liz Griswold tried to cancel a tour she had paid for in November because she did not want to drive in the dangerous, icy conditions, however, she was unable to cancel or receive a refund, KMGH reported.

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"My friend and I signed up to go on this tour tonight and could not make it because of the icy roads, snow, 20-degree weather," Griswold wrote in a review. "When they say no refund they mean it. We wasted a total of $65 dollars to sit at home because they refused to cancel the tour."

Griswold told KMGH that the company sent her a text message asking her to remove the review. She refused and asked for a refund. 

She also posted the review on several websites. 

Two weeks later, she received a notice of intent letter from a New York City attorney. 

"A person in Colorado is guilty of the crime of extortion, a class 4 felony, or blackmail when that person threatens another, or his or her property or reputation," part of the two-page letter read, KMGH reported

The letter is from an attorney who is not licensed in Colorado or New York but is licensed in Nevada. The address it was sent from is a nondescript two-story house in East Meadow, New York. 

Griswold said she never heard from the company again but did eventually get a refund from a third party that processed her ticket for the tour.

Tesla's online-only sales approach comes with big risks -

Posted: 01 Mar 2019 01:54 PM PST

DETROIT (AP) — When Gary Bornstein spent $52,000 for a Tesla Model 3 last summer, he did it without taking a test drive or even seeing the car that he now owns.

The Long Island, New York, financial consultant did his research and ordered the car online, a process that Tesla CEO Elon Musk is gambling on being attractive to many more buyers in the future.

Musk on Thursday announced a radical change in Tesla's business model. The Silicon Valley electric car maker plans to close most of its stores worldwide and go strictly to internet sales as it tries to cut overhead so it can sell a base Model 3 for $35,000 and still make money.

It's a huge risk and a major departure from the way people now buy new vehicles in the U.S. Many states require cars to be purchased from physical dealerships so buyers typically do their research online but travel to a storefront to kick the tires, make the deal and drive away.

Still, experts say the time may be right. A tech-savvy generation that grew up ordering goods online from Amazon sight-unseen has reached car-buying age and is Tesla's target market. But even they may be skeptical of spending so much money without getting behind the wheel, especially for a purchase second only to the cost of buying a house.

"This is a purchase that is an extended-buy purchase. It's not something you go pick up a loaf of bread, milk and you buy a Tesla," said David Koehler, a marketing professor at the University of Illinois-Chicago. "People get upset just buying clothes online that don't fit them."

Even Musk seemed a little apprehensive on a conference call with reporters Thursday. At one point he said there's demand for 500,000 Model 3s per year, but he also added "I don't know what the demand is."

Investors also were skeptical, in part because Musk predicted a first-quarter loss after pledging to be profitable every quarter. Shares of the company took a beating Thursday and closed down nearly 8 percent.

Musk, in an email to employees, wrote that 78 percent of all Model 3s were purchased online last year rather than in a store, and 82 percent of buyers did it without a test drive. He's also offering to let people return the cars and get their money back within seven days or 1,000 miles after the sale.

Bornstein, 45, said spending more than $50,000 completely online felt strange, but he read numerous reviews and sat in a Model 3 at a Tesla store near his home before buying.

"It was a bit of a weird feeling, definitely a leap of faith," he said. But he's happy with the car and would make the same purchase online, even if he wasn't near a store.

The leap of faith may not transfer to people who want one of Tesla's more expensive models, the Models S and X, which can run well above $100,000. Bornstein said he'd be less likely to make that large of a purchase online.

Jessica Caldwell, senior analyst for the auto pricing site, said those buyers tend to be older and less apt to buy on the internet. But Caldwell said the seven-day return policy is a way that buyers can be sure they're not making a mistake.

"I think having that program probably does for a lot of people at least give them peace of mind that they can return the car if things just go sideways for them," she said.

Tesla also will lose a chance to sell people on higher-priced vehicles or features when they come into stores, a something dealers have done for generations, Caldwell said.

There's little data about online auto purchases. Edmunds, which provides content to The Associated Press, has found that it takes people an average of 3.5 months to buy a car, from starting research to the finish. Most of that time is spend doing online research, Caldwell said.

And the used-car site Carvana, which does sales totally online, more than doubled its sales last year to over 94,000, even though it started selling vehicles in 2013. The company certifies the cars, offers buyers a warranty and has a seven-day return policy.

All of this means the time may be right for the visionary Musk make the switch, said Koehler, who pointed out that 2018 was the first year that online sales exceeded those at traditional stores.

"He can drive revenues and reduce all that overhead with dealers," Koehler said. "It's a risky decision, but what is he known for? He's a maverick."

How to Boost Your Online Store's Revenue With Data -

Posted: 01 Mar 2019 03:09 AM PST

Image credit: William Potter / Shutterstock

Your online store is constantly generating data – don't let it go to waste. Here are some ways to harness those insights into revenue for your store.

Every e-commerce business has access to an enormous amount of data every day. From your customer behavior to the marketing strategies employed, every single action and response on your e-commerce website unravels additional data that can hold valuable information.

If you are using all this data just for monitoring the traffic to different landing pages, then you are probably letting most of the data go to waste and thereby potential revenue. There are many AI tools and machine learning algorithms that let you derive usable insights from the data you collect. By using just a few of these tools, you can do a lot to improve your business revenue.

1. Recommending products based on predictive intelligence

If you have observed the way a typical customer makes a purchase online, you will know that it is anything but predictable and even-minded. A customer can browse different e-commerce sites at the same time, often reading different blogs in between for reviews and recommendations, sometimes searching for promo codes and discounts before finally making the decision to purchase a product.

These behaviors can only be tracked properly through specific monitoring tools designed to track every single click and pause a customer takes on the website. By understanding and segmenting the customers based on these behaviors and their past searches and purchases, e-commerce businesses can make recommendations that seem attractive to the customer.

You can make use of automated algorithms to churn out recommendations for users depending on the behavior of customers from the same segmentation, the user's current searches and their past experiences with your website. Amazon is one of the best examples of an online retailer using these predictive recommendations to drive a noticeable portion of its revenue.

Predicting the demand beforehand will save you a lot of inventory costs. H&M, one of the top retailers in the world, invested in automated warehouses backed by algorithms and data in Europe, promising next-day delivery and free shipping in response to consumers' demands. This helps it keep inventory costs to a minimum without running out of products when the demand arises.

Big data analysis will let you know the increase in demand for a particular product during specific trends, which lets you exploit the best from it and increase your sales. From following the conversations happening on social media, the increase in a number of posts for a particular trend and the recent products promoted by social media personalities, machine learning algorithms can predict the rising trend that could become the latest buzz of the industry.

For example, based on the latest attires popular with celebrities, the hits of recent fashion shows and the ease of access of the product, online clothing stores can predict fashion trends and stock up the clothes right in time to meet the trend at its peak. They can even go a step ahead to get low-priced ad spaces for the trends to boost their revenue even more.

Similarly, forecasting the accurate demand during the holidays and specific seasonal offers will save inventory costs by letting you focus on the products you'll need most. Amazon uses forecasting tools to predict fluctuations in demand based on customer behavior and historical data.

3. Offering the best customer service

Did you know that poor customer service costs businesses more than $75 billion a year? Whatever kind of product you sell, the customer should always be your priority. With many similar businesses crowding the same industries, any negligence or small mistake on your side may push your customers to your competitors and lose you a good portion of your revenue.

Customizing your website for individual customers has become necessary. You can personalize the site with product recommendations based on that customer's behavior and their historical data, helping them find what they want in short time without any fuss.

In recent times, chatbots have become a practically mandatory addition to Magento e-commerce stores. These chatbots are only effective if you use the right kind of data to analyze and provide proper responses for the customers. Customers do not need to wait for a long time to speak with a representative to solve common issues like finding out where their product is or when it will be delivered. The chatbots can give that kind of information within seconds and can be further developed to answer more questions in a human, interactive way.

E-commerce businesses have no dearth of data. If you can convert this data into usable insights, it can greatly improve your revenue.

James Warner

Business Analyst / Business Intelligence Analyst as well as Experienced programming and software developer with Excellent knowledge on Hadoop/Big data analysis, Data Warehousing/Data Staging/ETL tool, design and development, testing and deployment of software systems from development stage to production stage with giving emphasis on Object oriented paradigm.

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Gap, Old Navy are splittsville, 230 Gap stores to close as business moves online - New York Daily News

Posted: 28 Feb 2019 09:55 PM PST

"Following a comprehensive review by the Gap Inc. Board of Directors, it's clear that Old Navy's business model and customers have increasingly diverged from our specialty brands over time, and each company now requires a different strategy to thrive moving forward," said Robert Fisher, Gap Inc.'s Board Chairman, in a statement. "Recognizing that, we determined that pursuing a separation is the most compelling path forward for our brands."

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