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Taps, Clicks, Bricks: Part 3 – The New Retail: Silicon Valley and Main Street Are Converging

Mobile traffic is up. M-commerce is growing fast. Desktop conversions to sales are still strong. And yet, the lion’s share of all commerce happens on the street. That means change is happening, sure. But more critically, convergence is happening. And that’s a much bigger story about retail than any individual data point on mobile, desktop,

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Taps, Clicks, Bricks: Part 2 – Shopping Is Changing: The New Customer Journey

Twenty years into the desktop explosion and a decade after the mobile revolution, bricks and mortar is still 88% of all retail commerce in the United States. But that doesn’t mean that shopping is the same. In fact, it’s never been more different. As we saw last week, the best brands are walking alongside their

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Alexa’s Huge Advantage: Amazon Is Much Better At Marketing Than Google

Alexa, what is marketing? “Marketing is the study and management of exchange relationships,” Alexa says. It’s something that Amazon knows very, very well, and is using to its advantage to continue leading in the smart speaker wars, which are of course just a prelude to our future of ambient, invisible computing. Every week I get a new

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Taps, Clicks, Bricks: How Retail Giants Are Reinventing Commerce Via Mobile, Desktop, Stores

Global mobile commerce will hit $1.8 trillion in 2018 after 40% growthlast year, and almost 60% of traffic to retailer’s sites is mobile. Does that mean actual physical stores are toast, and desktop is dead? Absolutely not. In fact, brands like Citi, Home Depot, Walmart, Unilever, and eBay are finding new and powerful ways of melding

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Facebook Adds Mobile Commerce As Fandango Starts Selling Tickets On Instagram

Facebook just unveiled a big piece of its future earnings potential. Instagram is bringing on new ecommerce and mobile commerce capabilities, and the movie tickets leader Fandango just announced that movie fans can now buy tickets via Instagram. That’s a big step away from ad revenue — which has been controversial — for the social

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Top Russian Cybernetics Experts On AI, Robot Morals, Human Extinction … And Self-Driving Cars

Elon Musk has stated his opinion that AI could lead to the extinction of humanity, and it’s one of the reasons he’s working hard to make us a multi-planetary species. Stephen Hawking was incredibly clear as well: true AI could be the “worst thing” for humanity. And yet, every country and major company is racing to build AI

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Adobe Combines AI and VR To Make Marketing Data Accessible, Visible, And Social

Marketers spend almost 10% of their budgets on analytics, more than any other single area. But they only use 1-3% of the data they collect. That’s a massive problem, and it’s precisely why Adobe created “Project New View,” an innovative social VR data experience. Still an experimental project, Adobe unveiled the software today in London to showcase how

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2M+ at Forbes!

It’s been a couple years at Forbes now, and though I only write part-time, I’m extremely pleased to have hit the two million views mark. The numbers when I wrote for VentureBeat were a bit higher … about three million … but I was full-time at VentureBeat, so it’s an unfair comparison. Here’s to five

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Facebook Unveils New Hate Speech Check For Some Users

Hate speech, bullying, and harrassment are major problems online. In one response, Facebook has launched a new feature for some users: asking if every post is hate speech. My wife saw it today on something I shared about Fortnite: Interestingly, it does not seem to be just on posts that textual analysis might indicate could

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Cloud Revenue 2020: Amazon’s AWS $44B, Microsoft’s Azure $19B, Google Cloud Platform $17B

By 2020, cloud leader Amazon will still win twice the combined cloud revenue of its two biggest rivals, according to a recent Citi Research report. And for today, all of the major cloud vendors are seeing accelerating revenue. Amazon’s AWS grew 49% in the first quarter of 2018, while Google and Microsoft grew their cloud

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VR Needs More Social: 77% of Virtual Reality Users Want More Social Engagement

77% of people who use virtual reality want more social engagement in VR, according to a new survey of 4,217 consumers. And while many of their headsets don’t get regular use, most intend to use their VR headsets more in the future. “Led by Generation Z and Millennials, 77% of respondents who own a VR

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If data is the new oil, prices just went up

As part of my consulting for TUNE, I helped out CMS Wire on a story about GDPR and artificial intelligence. The full quote: If data is the new oil, prices just went up, John Koetsier, a mobile economist at TUNE, a mobile marketing measurement company in Seattle, said. GDPR makes collecting data harder and more

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AI Assistants Ranked: Google’s Smartest, Alexa’s Catching Up, Cortana Surprises, Siri Falls Behind

Google Assistant is the smartest AI assistant. Microsoft’s Cortana is surprisingly good, coming in second. Alexa is learning faster than any other assistant. But Apple’s Siri? It’s still struggling. Digital marketing firm Stone Temple tested Alexa, Cortana, Google Assistant, and Siri via an exhaustive list of 4,942 queries. For each, the company checked if the assistant

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Trump’s Jacked-Up USPS Rates Could Cost Amazon $1.3B More on $13.3B In U.S. Shipping Costs

If President Trump gets his way, Amazon will soon be paying more to ship parcels. $1.3 billion more, to be exact. That amount that would reduce the company’s profits by 1.4%. “Why is the United States Post Office, which is losing many billions of dollars a year, while charging Amazon and others so little to

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USA Ranks 9th In Global Robotics & Automation Job Loss Report, After Korea, Germany, Japan, Canada

South Korea, Germany, and Japan are most prepared for the coming wave of automation, according to a new report by The Economist. The U.S., on the other hand, ranks ninth out of 25 countries. And the most-at-risk countries? Mexico, Vietnam, and Indonesia. Looming advances in robotics, artificial intelligence, and automation threaten to make many jobs obsolete

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22 Questions About GDPR We’ll Answer In Our Webinar Next Week

GDPR is coming, and it’s coming fast. Companies and marketers who aren’t ready yet have just one month to prepare for its May 25th implementation. And given that penalties for noncompliance are severe — a fine up to €20 million or up to 4% of the annual worldwide turnover of the preceding financial year — getting

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8 Of The Top 10 Most Profitable Smartphones On The Planet Are Made By Apple

In a new report released by Counterpoint Research, global smartphone profits declined by 1% last quarter, thanks to a maturing mobile market. But an astonishing eight of the top ten phones by profit share were made by Apple. One of the most expensive phones on the planet, the iPhone X, leads the way with 35%

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Multiple Million-Plus-Follower Instagram Influencers Report Hacking; Emir of Qatar Possibly Affected

Multiple large Instagram accounts are reporting sophisticated hacking attempts by attackers who seem to know their passwords, leading some to believe that Instagram servers have been compromised. “Six of my Instagram influencer friends just had their accounts breached. These are five-million-follower pages or more,” developer and instagrammer Albert Renshaw told me tonight. “And tons of other influencers

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Insights from the Future: Billion-dollar eSports Team Suspended For Illegal Use of Performance-Enhancing Drugs

Insights from the Future, chapter 3:  PEDs in eSports … Once again, looking for your input, insights, and predictions for timeline, reactions. I will feature the best ones in the book, with attribution. Thanks! Here’s the “news” story: *****Billion-dollar eSports Team Suspended For Illegal Use of Performance-Enhancing Drugs***** The entire L.A. Lightning eSports team has

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Postback 2018 Agenda Revealed: 15 World-Changing Topics You Can’t Miss

Postback 2018 is almost here, and the agenda is getting very close to complete. So what can you expect, besides 1,500 smart mobile marketing attendees, execs from the biggest tech companies, midnight parties, truly world-class influencers, and top journalists in attendance? Amazing food, cutting-edge bands, incredible conversations with smart people, and some celebrity visits (remember

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Weatherbug’s New AI-driven Forecasts Include Air Pollution Forecasts Down To The City Block

125 million Americans live in areas of high ozone or particle pollution, and Weatherbug’s new and improved mobile app is now using AI to help them manage their exposure. Some of the worst cities? Bakersfield, Fresno, San Jose, San Francisco, and — of course — Los Angeles are on the top-ten list of of most-polluted

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Amazon & Kohls: Frenemies And ‘Coopetitors’ Fighting The Retail Apocalypse Together

Late last year Kohl’s allowed ecommerce giant and retail rival Amazon to set up Amazon Return centers in select locations across Chicago and Los Angeles. At first blush, this seems insane. After all, why would a competitor help an enemy? Especially one accused of ushering in the retail apocalypse. Amazon’s ecommerce and mobile commerce success are

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Massively Popular Fortnite Game Down Globally Thanks To Epic Games Database Issues

Millions of gamers around the planet are having a bad day, mostly because Epic Games is having a very bad day. Massively popular multi-platform game Fortnite might just be a victim of its own success. Players have been complaining all day of slowness in joining games, and it’s been getting worse, with downtime approaching six

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Smart Speaker Penetration Just Exploded 50% In 3 Short Months

Apparently lot of people heard an Echo on Christmas morning, or said “OK, Google.” Smart speaker penetration exploded 50% between early December of 2017 and February of 2018, according to new data from comScore. Amazon and Google won big. Apple, on other hand, lost ground thanks to delayed HomePod availability. “Recently-released comScore Connected Home data from

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Comcast Challenges Amazon’s, Apple’s, and Google’s Leadership In Smart Home Tech

Alexa, Siri, and the Google Assistant just got some additional competition — from the TV. And your phone. And your smartwatch. Today Comcast announced a package of updates for technology that connects with its voice-controllable home entertainment Xfinity platform. An updated mobile app, Stringify, configures it all, its Android smartwatch integration enables home automation from your wrist, and new integrations with

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Why Every Amazon Meeting Has At Least One Empty Chair

Amazon is a retail giant, a technology leader, and one of the world’s top brands. But there’s something missing at every single meeting in the company. No, it’s not an agenda. But it does have something to do the overall company’s agenda. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is famously obsessed with customers. He’s famous for saying “start

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Apple Music Just Hit 40M Paid Subscribers, Gaining Ground On Spotify’s 71M

In a very quiet announcement on Twitter, Apple released some very significant news today. So quiet, in fact, that most people missed it. Apple Music just hit 40 million paid subscribers. Get the full story in my post at Forbes …

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Interviewed by Amy Peck from UploadVR on Genesis Reality

The amazing Amy Peck of Upload VR interviewed me at CES … but I just saw the video today! In it I talk about a startup that Stewart Rogers and I are working on in our copious spare time. For more info, see Genesis Reality.

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Apple Poaching Google’s AI Chief Says Apple Is All-in On AI (But Who He Reports To Is More Critical)

Siri has long been the butt of personal assistant jokes, probably unfairly. In numerousstudies, tests, and examples, Siri has drawn about even with Amazon’s Alexa assistant, but significantly trails Google Assistant in knowledge and ability to answer customers’ questions. With Alexa’s unmatched third-party penetration — more than 25,000 skills— and Google’s massive knowledge base thanks to a

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New Research: How to Find and Nurture Your Best Customers via Mobile Measurement

Every brand wants to find and nurture more quality customers — the kind that buy frequently, stay loyal, and are easy to work with. But how do you accomplish that? By mastering mobile measurement, according to a March 2018 commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of TUNE, “Master Mobile Measurement to Transform Customer

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