Forbes

Amazon Delays Prime Day…And Other Small Business Tech News

By July 26, 2020 July 27th, 2020 No Comments

(This post originally appeared on Forbes)

Here are five things in technology that happened this past week and how they affect your business. Did you miss them?

1 — Amazon pushed out Prime Day.

This past week, Amazon shared their decision to push back the original date of Prime Day. The company decided to put their popular Prime Day on hold in the United States due to the coronavirus pandemic but will move forward with the event in India. Amazon also shared the results of their yearly SMB report, detailing that sellers sold over 3.4 billion in items, which is an estimated average of 6,500 items sold every minute. It is predicted that the impact of COVID-19 could have even more positive impacts on these numbers. (Source: Pymnts)

Why this is important for your business:

The decision is somewhat surprising, considering the surge in Amazon sales this year with so many people ordering online during quarantine and the potential for pent-up demand. This decision has a big impact on some online sellers – many who are small businesses – who rely on the annual event as much as holiday sales. The lesson is that “regular” annual promotions like this can easily change and revenues that you relied on can be affected. It’s important to have other channels and marketplaces when you’re selling online.

2 — A wireless signal is being tested to detect crowd density.

Given the shift in public events due to the coronavirus pandemic, several companies such as Athena and Outsight have developed technologies using AI in order to create detection and sensor platforms in order to help monitor the density of a crowd in a way that does not need to rely on video or other data. More recently CrowdScan—created through the University of Antwerp—developed a system that is able to calculate how dense a crowd is by using a wireless sensor network, all while measuring in real-time. The system uses radio waves— not mobile phone data— negating any privacy concerns. (Source: ZDNet)

Why this is important for your business:

These technologies are relatively inexpensive, effective and plainly make sense. Putting security and privacy concerns aside (and they are significant) I predict more applications in the near future leveraging CrowdScan and technologies like this to monitor customer traffic by their phone connections which can help increase safety.

3 —Microsoft introduced Customer Voice, a real-time customer feedback tool.

Microsoft announced this past week that they are rolling out Dynamics 365 Customer Voice, which is a real-time feedback feature geared toward customers. The addition is due to the fact that— since more companies are moving online due to COVID-19— a need to gather immediate customer feedback has grown. The Customer Voice tool is able to be customized in order to provide a tailored experience for each and individual business utilizing it. (Source: Tech Crunch)

Why this is important for your business:

Looks like a great and easy to implement a customized survey tool for the large number of companies that use Microsoft Dynamics. My company is a Microsoft partner and implements some of these solutions.

4 — Gmail for G Suite has integrated with Chat, Meet, Rooms, and more.

Google has launched a significant update to G Suite allowing more productivity tools to integrate with Meet, Rooms, Chat, and Gmail in both the web and mobile platforms. Additional features such as Sheets, Slides, Docs, and Calendar will also be included in the update. Part of the update will include the ability to simultaneously work in Calendar, having the video chat function open, while also collaborating and working in a document. (Source: Google)

Why this is important for your business:

The main purpose is to allow the tools to effectively integrate while allowing users to create a more efficient and seamless workflow. Per Google’s blog, “flexibility isn’t the only thing that workers want. Remote working has significantly increased the demands we’re getting from many directions—in both our professional and our personal lives. People tell us they feel overloaded with too much information and too many tasks across too many different tools. Instead of learning another tool, we need the tools we already use to be even more helpful, and work together, in an integrated, intuitive way.”

5— A Texas restaurant has installed a ‘disinfectant portal’ that sprays customers with a skin-safe sanitizer before they enter.

Alamo Biscuit Co. in San Antonio Texas has come up with an interesting approach to combating new dining regulations due to the coronavirus. The restaurant has installed a “disinfectant portal” that diners will walk through in order to be sprayed with skin-safe sanitizer before entering the restaurant. The mist that the portal sprays off is chlorine-based and is able to kill 99.7% of germs. While the restaurant is not requiring customers to utilize the portal, it has been reported that many are voluntarily walking through it when entering and leaving the restaurant. (Source: Business Insider)

Why this is important for your business:

Yuck. There has to be a better way.

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