Amazon Changes Its Return Policy And Other Small Business Tech News This Week

forbes_logo_main

(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 changes its return policy – and merchants are concerned. 

The online retail giant has changed its return policy to state: “U.S. seller fulfilled returns that are within Amazon’s returns policy will be automatically authorized.” (Source: CNBC)

Why this is important for your business:

In other words – all returns are accepted automatically. Currently, merchants have the ability to evaluate returns for product damages or other reasons before giving a customer’s money back. That protection has been taken away. If you’re an Amazon merchant, you will have less control over when a customer wants a product returned and will be forced to refund money regardless of the reason. Amazon believes that by making the return policy easier, more customers will be likely to buy.

2 – Instagram is now making it easier for your customers to buy your products.

The popular social media platform has launched new tools to help your customers research (“tap to view”) your products and pay (“shop now”) based on that research. (Source: Forbes)
Why this is important for your business:

Facebook and Twitter are adding tools to make it easier to buy products from their sites. Now it’s Instagram’s turn. If your customers are also Instagram users, you can drive more information to them and make it easier for them to buy – right from their mobile device.

3 – Microsoft announces its Slack killer.

The software giant is releasing in the first quarter of 2017 “Microsoft Teams” to compete against Slack’s popular messaging services. (Source: Forbes)

Why this is important for your business:

If you’re an Office 365 user and also want to take advantage of Slack’s collaboration and messaging features, now you can…in Office 365. Teams has the entire Microsoft Office 365 suite, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, SharePoint and Power BI, integrated into it. (My company is a Microsoft partner.) Next up: Teams will offer collaboration functions across different companies.

4 – Twitter has added business auto-replies for Direct Messages.

The social media network has announced that it is rolling out quick replies and welcome messages for businesses that communicate with their customers via Direct Messages. (Source: Engadget)
Why this is important for your business:

This is further proof that Twitter is expanding itself into a full-blown customer service tool. If, like many companies, you’re using Twitter for this function, now you can build in automatic replies (“thank you for contacting us” or “we’re aware of the issue”) when customers send a Direct Message in the hopes of improving their experience.

5 – YouTube adds new tools for its creators to help fight trolls.

Creators can now “pin” a well-liked or popular comment to the top of the thread, show appreciation and – most importantly – enable you to “hold potentially inappropriate comments for review.” In other words, give you better control over negative comments. (Source: The Next Web)

Why this is important for your business:

As the use of video grows, so too do the number of small businesses that rely on YouTube to deliver sales, training and other educational information. These tools will make the service more business-friendly and improve your visitors’ experience.

BONUS: Scientists have created bomb-sniffing spinach plants.

 Researchers at MIT have embedded nanoparticles in the leaves of live spinach plants that can “signal to a smartphone if molecules found in common explosives are present in the soil.” (Source: Forbes).

Hmm…maybe Popeye was on to something.

Advertisements

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: