In March 2019, GyanPoint reported that Mailchimp had acquired LemonStand, an integrated e-commerce platform that was competing directly with Shopify.

According to TechCrunch, the deal was described as an “acqui-hire, with the team now woking on light e-commerce functionality.”

However, 90 days later, in June of 2019, LemonStand shut down its operations.

Finding E-Commerce Alternatives to LemonStand

If you were planning on using LemonStand, you’ll need to find an alternative. A good place to start is by reading this guide from Digital.com.

The guide covers the pros and cons of all the major e-commerce platforms, including:

  • Wix
  • WooCommerce (for WordPress users)
  • Shopify
  • Magento
  • BigCommerce

It also includes comparisons between BigCommerce and Shopify and Shopify vs. Volusion. There’s enough information in the guide to help you find a suitable alternative for LemonStand.

Start With Your Goals

As an internet entrepreneur, it’s important to choose your e-commerce platform carefully. Make sure you’ve sketched out your goals first and then list the functionality that your site will need.

For example:

  • Do you need multi-lingual translation?
  • Will you be selling domestically only or also overseas?
  • Will you need to be able to display prices in multiple currencies?
  • What about shipping rates? Do you need these to be calculated automatically at checkout?
  • Do you already have product(s) to sell or do you plan to drop-ship? (Get tips on drop-shipping here.)
  • If you’re selling physical goods you’ll want to plan ahead for order fulfillment.

If you’re not sure what type of e-commerce functionality is currently available, browse the guide. That will help you narrow your goals and set your priorities.

As you develop your e-commerce plan you can find a variety information, tips, and tools for small business owners at Digital.com.

We wish you the best of luck in your entrepreneurial venture! Leave us a comment to let us know how your plan is going. We’d love to see your progress.

Over the years, technology has created a significant impact on our way of living. The continuous inventions of things have made our lives easier and more convenient. The world is evolving through the years, and to continuously improve the current things that we have to adapt to inevitable changes is one of the most significant challenges for humans. This innovation has led to technological advancements, which we use in our daily lives.

The year 2019 seems to be one of the greatest years when it comes to tech innovation. Modern technology has paved the way for multi-functional devices like smartphones and computers. In the early 2000s, you would have to settle for low-quality Tetris and car games. But now, you can even play multiplayer online battle arena or MOBA games, strategy-based games, right at your phones!

Although these advances in technology have helped us significantly, engineers kept innovating them to make our lives easier and better. The continuous innovation in technology made companies more competitive. This competition has led the Android Company to keep evolving through the years. Android is an operating system that is exclusively designed for running the applications on touch screen smartphones and devices. It has already embarked on a long journey in the field of development since its first introduction in 2008.

Like any other tech innovations, Android also adapts to the ever-changing trends and develops a series of changes. One of these is the integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Android App Development. AI is a technology that allows Android developers to create applications that will provide highly contextual and personalized experiences. It also helps understand user behavior by analyzing vast volumes of stored data in Android apps. Some of the notable features of AI in Android Applications are image labeling, face detection, text recognition, and landmark detection. Through Artificial Intelligence, we cannot deny that this newly adopted technology will make Android advance in the coming years.

Apart from the AI integration on Android and other smartphones, other outstanding inventions also deserve some recognition. Here are the top five notable tech innovations in various fields for this year.

1. Inflatable Pill

There are gastrointestinal conditions that are difficult to monitor. To treat it better, doctors must know what goes inside a patient’s stomach. However, it is not practical to place sensors inside the stomach because it is full of acid. That is why the inflatable pill was developed by the Researchers from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to address the issue. This pill is a biocompatible, hydrogel pill designed for diagnosing various stomach problems. It is an edible, Jell-O-like pill with a sensor to track a stomach’s temperature for up to 30 days. When it reaches the gastrointestinal tract, it quickly expands to a soft, flexible ball in the size of ping pong.

According to the scientists behind it, the new device can be a safer way of bringing sensors internally. To remove the pill inside the stomach, the patient has to drink a calcium solution, which makes the pill shrink to its original size and pass out safely from the body.

2. Apple Watch ECG

An apple watch is like any other smartwatch—a wearable digital watch. It provides additional features aside from timekeeping. It is like a small apple phone device that allows users to receive calls, e-mails, messages, and have access to the internet.

One of Apple’s current tech innovations is the incorporation of Electrocardiograms (ECGs or EKGs) that users can use anytime, anywhere, to monitor and identify heart-related problems. This Apple Watch has exclusively incorporated ECG to its Series 4, which allows the users to check how their heart is functioning without requiring any wires to be connected to their bodies. It is now a smoother, more convenient, and hassle-free way of monitoring heart activity.

3. Smooth Talking AI Assistants

The use of Artificial Intelligence has been widely popular nowadays, especially in the development of new technologies. AI is a revolutionary innovation that has a significant impact on the future of technology. Artificial Intelligence is simply the simulation of human intelligence in machines that are programmed to think and act like humans. This emerging innovation has led to the creation of Smooth Talking AI Assistants. There are a series of programs created for them to have an organic conversation rather than follow commands or the information provided.

The use of AI assistants is now becoming a trend, and the need for human assistants these days is much lower. According to Zion Market Research, there is an expected increase in the market for AI-based assistants that will reach a whopping 30.82 billion USD by the year 2024.

4. 5G Data Networks

A data network enables information transmission through the exchange of data. Mobile connectivity uses data networks to transmit information. Currently, the widely used network is 4G. It is the fourth generation of broadband cellular network technology that speeds up mobile internet up to 500 times faster than that of 3G.

This development has a massive impact on the evolution of smartphones and tablets. However, the internet of things has continuously grown, and soon, the 4G network can no longer manage the vast number of network connections. That is why developers are aiming to provide a much more significant connection capacity through the 5G network. This 5G network can increase our ability to analyze data across wireless platforms. It can also drive the creation of more complex applications to bring solutions to various problems.

5. Blockchain Technology

Blockchain, or called a chain of blocks, is a growing list of information that are connected using cryptography. There have been blockchain projects in investment and finance so as other industries like cybersecurity, healthcare, and agriculture. In 2018, about 95% of the companies across different industries invested in the blockchain projects, but only in the year 2019 that those pilot projects are now advancing to the test stage to end-users.

Embracing blockchain enables individuals to confirm their transactions without the need for a central authority. This technology can solve the increasing demand for security and managing transactions across the internet and other online platforms. Aside from that, it entails transparency and lesser transaction time. It is inexpensive and protects the business from any fraud.

The list above shows some of the most successful tech innovations for the year 2019. Some of them may not be widely used yet, but they surely provide help. Which one have you used so far? Share it down on our comment box!

True tales of IT life are Sharky’s stock in trade, but the real people in them don’t normally get named. This tale, however, comes from a pilot fish who heard it as a lad from Bob Coveyou, a noted mathematician who worked at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) with fish’s father, and he’s worth mentioning because the tale involves what may well have been a computing first.

The tale is from the early 1950s, when Bob was one of several scientists who wrote programs for a unique computer at ORNL called ORACLE, or Oak Ridge Automatic Computer and Logical Engine. Like other
computers of that era, it had enough vacuum tubes to fill a room. It also had a couple dozen cathode-ray tubes for its memory. Each CRT could store 1,024 binary digits (bits) of electrostatic memory in the form of a 32-by-32 array of charged dots spaced a fraction of an inch apart on the tube’s flat face.

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folding cartons

The worldwide demand for folding cartons is increasing, and with this increase comes the need for further innovation within the industry. Market demands are driving technological advances in folding cartons, reshaping the market to fit new trends. Consumer preferences are always evolving. Expectations have changed. Here are five trends reshaping the folding carton industry.

New technology and evolving consumer and market needs are trends reshaping the folding carton industry. From the need to meet environmental standards, fight counterfeit products, create eye-catching products.

Much is to be done to prevent contamination and integrate with broad technological trends, folding cartons are changing everything from production processes to materials used.

The desire for environmentally-friendly services and products continues to grow at the same time that new regulations are put into place to avoid counterfeit products. These challenges, as well as changes to printing techniques and industry requirements, create an ever-evolving landscape for folding cartons.

Internet of All Things — Smart Packaging

Traditional folding cartons are also seeing the impact of broader technological trends, such as the “Internet of Things” (IoT). Industries as diverse as transportation, healthcare, and public utilities are investing in this growing trend, and an astonishing 94% of businesses implementing IoT’s into their business have seen ROI.

Embedding digital technology into packaging allows for a variety of innovations that would have been unimaginable even ten years ago. Asset management, product tracking, quality control, and direct communication with customers can all be a part of folding cartons in the future.

Placing sensors into products and packaging can help aggregate information, providing never before seen data sets to help create more effective industry strategies. Beverage companies, for example, are capable of embedding digital content into their packaging to offer services and provide product information.

Anti-Counterfeit and Security Measures

Counterfeit products account for a large amount of the global black market. Scammers and criminals can mimic designs and packaging to deceive consumers and retard growth for legitimate business. Advances in the folding carton industry are catching up with counterfeiters and adding a layer of security to the global markets.

An area of growing concern is the pharmaceutical market. Concerns about product tampering throughout the supply chain, as well as counterfeiting of products, has led to the implementation of stricter global regulations in the form of the EU Falsified Medicines Directive 2011/62/EU.

This directive regulates the manufacturing, importing, and wholesale distribution of medicinal products within the EU, and has impacts for package makers throughout the supply chain.

Folding cartons now see demand for innovations such as 2D data matrix codes, tamper evidence fixtures, and potentially RFID technology. RFID labels are capable of first-open sensors that interface with smart technology, recording information such as temperature recordings and whether or not the package was opened.

Embedding anti-counterfeit and security measures into the folding carton process will continue to be a growing area of need.

Environmentally Friendly Packaging

Globally, markets are adopting more environmentally friendly techniques and products. Consumer demands are shifting in many areas, which require an evolution in the way folding cartons are developed and distributed. This evolution has most directly impacted the materials used for folding cartons.

Pressure from brands and consumers is leading to more eco-friendly carton materials. One of the most innovative trends comes in the form of non-wood pulp materials. Manufacturers are leaning into raw materials such as cocoa beans, hazelnuts and edamame beans as a substitute for conventional materials. Hot melt adhesives used to join packaging materials are likewise made from biodegradable and recyclable material.

One industry seeing a significant change is the beverage market, which accounts for 23.0% of the carton shipments, or 1.11 million tons (see: keystoneparts.com). The market has moved away dramatically from plastic packaging and towards renewable cardboards. Improvements in decorative carton-based multipacks see more environmentally-friendly solutions come to the fore.

Food Safety Advancements

Concerns of contaminants absorbing through packaging to food products and causing widespread food contamination is an increasing area of interest among food safety experts. The growing awareness of this issue is leading the folding carton process to adopt a range of safety options for the industry.

Improvements to the techniques applied during curtain coating and advancements in water-based coatings show that the industry is responding to these needs. The movement towards alternative packaging and away from expanded polystyrene is also serving this purpose.

The application of ink coatings during the printing process can create a well-designed, consumer-friendly product for the consumer. However, potential cross-contamination during this process, or from outer packaging, has been a growing concern. Evolving processes contain this issue using new technology, which provides a barrier to prevent contaminants from entering the food product.

Improved Printing and Decorating Techniques

While environmentally-friendly, contaminant-free and secure folding cartons serve a growing need, the end-user also requires an attractive, eye-catching product. Improvements to the folding carton industry have evolved in this area as well, particularly as new printing techniques emerge.

New printing technologies mean more colors and more finishes to meet consumer needs and better match brand identity. Digital printing in the form of laser and inkjet printers has improved to the point that the economics of the industry has changed. Higher quality graphics can now be produced at lower costs due to manufacturing advancements.

Special features such as hot foil stamping and registered embossing can also be included at lower costs when manufacturing folding cartons. This is now done without expensive tooling costs during short-runs. The result is a better quality product at an economical price, opening up folding cartons as an option of short-run products.

The evolution of these new techniques and features opens up new markets for the folding carton industry. Short-run projects mean that smaller producers, such as artisanal food providers, craft beers, distillers, and craft products, are now viable markets for folding cartons.

Reshaping Folding Cartons for Years to Come

The growth of technology will continue to evolve the way folding cartons are created and used. The need to keep us with evolving trends will change the market. Consumer expectations, unexpected technological advancements and continually shifting regulatory standards will shape folding cartons in the coming years.

The post 5 Trends Reshaping Folding Cartons appeared first on ReadWrite.

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ai and customer experience

 Artificial intelligence is the latest trend in technology, and its application cutting across all fields. It’s all about technology mimicking biological intelligence. Here are three ways tech startups are using AI to revolutionize customer experience.

Customer experience is becoming the hallmark of business growth.

Tesla’s self-driven cars, Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa, albeit popular are but a few examples of AI’s applications.

AI varies widely, from algorithmic trading in finance. We see medical diagnosis in healthcare, sentiment, or emotion recognition in marketing and advertising, and customer service. AI reaches use in Human resources (HR), agriculture, robotics, natural language processing, voice or speech recognition, and many other businesses and industries.

AI has transformed the customer experience greatly in the sense that it is able to predict consumer behavior, gage emotions, and sentiments of customers.

AI can ensure 24/7 customer service available to provide users with an intuitive and engaging experience, and also help businesses make informed decisions by providing their employees with intelligence to easily perform tasks.

On that note, here are three ways tech start-ups are changing the ways we relate with service providers digitally.

  1. Consumer Sentiments

Other’s opinions of a product influence our view of it. According to statistics,63.6% of consumers said they would most likely Google reviews before visiting a business. 94% of them said that online reviews assured them to avoid a specific market.

The act of avoiding a market shows how consumer opinions affect businesses. However, many businesses still haven’t been able to utilize consumer sentiment data efficiently.

Revuze, a New York City-based start-up, has developed an algorithm that analyses customer opinion.

Revuze takes information from various sources such as social media, e-mails, online reviews, surveys, and data that is collected by call centers. Many other businesses, both online and offline, thereby eliminating the need for traditional surveys that require specific surveys conducted from a single study or a couple of studies.

The algorithm monitors keywords and can decipher the context in which it is being used to estimate the user’s sentiments.

It uses this information to identify trends and topics from unstructured data. This provides businesses with information about consumer’s opinions on their products in real-time. Compared to traditional methods where it takes a while to gather and process the information needed.

Revuze’s solution is indeed revolutionary as it helps businesses to improve and provide a better insight into customer experience, and it changes the way businesses assess consumer’s perception of their products and services, and it is a self-service platform that requires no involvement of IT experts.

  1. Personalized Ads

Do you ever wonder why you receive ads for an item you just thought you needed when you surf the net, or from a site you just visited when sending an e-mail? Personalized ads deliver content to customers based on their recent online activities.

Compared to traditional means of marketing where products and services being advertised may not be relevant to those viewing it. Personalized ads directly target the interests of those viewing it based on demographic data gathered. The varied information includes such collected data such as gender, area of residence, age bracket, income bracket, likes, political leanings, race, shares, and many others.

Spirable is a tech startup that uses artificial intelligence to create personalized video ads.

To generate these video ads, data is dynamically connected into user-friendly video templates, and its data feeds include Customer Relationship Management (CRM) data.

  • Personal information data includes purchase data, website activity, service usage data.
  • Preferences like social audience data (such as audience persona, behaviors, interests, and preferences).
  • Location data (such as location stores, weather forecasts, pollen levels, UV levels, and markets).
  • Live contextual data (such as live sports, trending events, stock levels, live travel date, time, and date).

These data feeds tailor the content of the ads to the customer’s preferences based on events happening around them in real-time to provide the right message at the right time.

  1. Consumer Behaviour

The popularity of virtual assistants has contributed to how we purchase goods and services online. According to statistics, 54% of consumers said that digital assistants have played a huge role in simplifying their lives.

  • 65% of consumers who have virtual assistants use them for a lot of purposes besides communication.
  • 50% of them use it to surf the net, obtain weather forecasts, and stream music.
  • 37% use it to check messages, e-mails and traffic reports while the rest use it to obtain information and shop online.

This goes to show the influence of virtual assistants on our daily lives. Based on personal data and artificial intelligence algorithms, these virtual assistants are able to anticipate customer behavior. They are thus predicting what users need in order to provide service and product recommendations.

Tact.ai is a tech start-up located in Sunnyvale which developed a digital assistant for sales teams.

Through the use of Artificial intelligence, the Tact sales assistant integrates customer data from multiple sources. Using such data as CRM, e-mails, calendars, LinkedIn, Zendesk, OneDrive, Box and legacy databases. Creating a frictionless experience for businesses, Tact.ai can increase sales, productivity, drive revenue growth, and improve the user experience.

Conclusion

Artificial Intelligence is a booming market because of its dependence on a large amount of exploitable data easily available from multiple digital channels.

Through the development of machine learning (ML) algorithms that are tailored to efficiently maximize the usage of data AI applications are limitless. Its role in improving the customer experience online has however changed the marketing for the better.

Customers derive satisfaction from purchasing goods and services than ever before due to algorithms that express empathy, apply humor, show understanding, and respect. These attributes build trust and establishing loyalty.

Also, employee efficiency is increased as repetitive tasks are automated and they are fed with predictions to enable them to make sound judgment when engaging customers.

The post 3 Ways Tech Startups are Using AI to Revolutionize Customer Experience appeared first on ReadWrite.

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Burning Vocabulary is a new Chrome extension that is designed to help users learn new words while browsing the web. Users of the Burning Vocabulary Chrome extension can mark and save any words on a…

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Anchor is the service that I am using and have been recommending to anyone who wants to quickly start a podcast. Anchor does all of the work of submitting your podcast’s feed to all of the major…

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It’s the mid-’90s and this pilot fish is the DBA for DB2 running on MVS. He’s the software DBA and the application DBA, meaning he does it all: installing and tuning DB2 itself, backing up the catalog, changing the ZPARMS, designing the application tables with the programming staff, backing them up, tuning the buffers for each application, and more.

A new head of IS is installed who seems to just like to stir things up. Which may be the entire reason she decides they should use DB2/2 running on OS/2 for a new project.

Fish points out that no one on staff is familiar with either OS/2 or DB2/2, but the boss isn’t concerned: “I’ve hired an expert on DB2/2 because you don’t know anything about it.”

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Tech gear is a perennially popular holiday gift. If you’re the proud owner of a new phone, tablet, computer or other device — or you provide tech support for family and friends with new devices — we’re here to help.

Check out and share these stories, which can help you get the most out of a new Android or iOS device, Chromebook, Mac, or Windows PC.

Android devices

Android apps: Best of the best

Our Android expert highlights the standout apps in the categories that matter most to busy professionals: office apps, privacy and security apps, email and texting apps, note-taking apps, apps for team collaboration, apps for organizing your life, and more.

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In this week’s Practical Ed Tech newsletter I included a seven page handout containing tips and tutorials for improving the accessibility of documents, slides, websites, and videos. In that handout…

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