Industries

130 articles

E-Commerce Made Easy

A conversation on Ware2Go and other solutions to the most vexing small business problems.

Click here to listen to a conversation between small business expert, Steve Strauss, and Leo Schafer, CEO of PR Diamond Products. There’s good news for small businesses: The playing field is leveling. The e-commerce boom – no doubt, the biggest game changer in recent years – has opened a world of opportunity for businesses of all sizes. […]

3 Reasons You Need to Embrace Digital Manufacturing

Why logistics companies can lead the charge into the fourth modality of transportation and additive manufacturing.

The manufacturing and logistics model is a well-oiled machine. Traditionally, manufacturers make and store products while logistics companies deliver them using one of the three modalities of transportation: air, water and ground. However, leading logistics providers like UPS and cutting-edge tech companies like Fast Radius are tapping into a fourth modality, using the internet and […]

Think You Know Your Customer?

Think again – tapping into the psychology of the consumer.

Getting to the heart of consumer behavior may be key to success, but it’s a daunting task. Turning to psychology can help. From a psychological perspective, human emotions and motivations are some of the biggest drivers of consumer behavior. Studies suggest that the factors influencing purchasing behavior are 80 percent emotion and 20 percent logic. […]

Why Listening Is the Most Important Tool for Customer Satisfaction

Building a business on sunflower seed butter cookies.

Sharon Early’s company – Early’s Edibles – launched in stores in 2014 after three years of research and hundreds of recipe tests. In her previous life, Sharon spent 25 years in the fashion industry – during which time she used baking to ease stress from her job duties and long commute. Back then, her go-to recipe was an […]

A World of Opportunity for the Automotive Aftermarket

The world is open for business, and now is the time to cross borders and find new opportunities for success. So, what are you waiting for?

In this increasingly connected world, doing business across borders isn’t as complex as it once was. Purchasing something from another continent is almost as easy as walking to the neighborhood market – though deliveries may take longer. That’s changing business. The recently released Global Pulse of the Online Shopper found most consumers in Canada, Brazil […]

Understanding Sustainability and E-Commerce Packaging

Quantifying the true cost of damage and impact can lead to truly sustainable outcomes.

A few years ago, on my way to the office, I was listening to a radio story about the quarterly earnings of a major U.S. retailer. In the story, losses from damaged goods were lumped in the same financial earnings/loss bucket as retail shrinkage and theft. This type of financial reporting is not surprising, as […]

How the Final Mile Will Define Your Brand

Delivery wherever and whenever is virtually upon us. Don't let your business get left behind.

For years, consumers were loyal. They picked a brand, a store and a variety and stuck with it. Times have changed. Loyalty no longer exists in the way that it did for our parents. As consumers, we are less tolerant and less patient. The world around us has become immediate, and consumers will jump for […]

A Path Forward for Artisans

E-commerce offers artisans an opportunity to capture international markets. But how can they become an even bigger part of global trade?

What comes to mind when you think of handmade goods? Perhaps you remember a trinket you bought during a trip to the beach, a piece of furniture made of indigenous materials or traditional art from a luxury store. These days, artisanal is its own category. The artisan economy has boosted trades like woodworking and weaving, […]

A.I. Comes of Age

How artificial intelligence will revolutionize customer engagement.

Siri, what’s the weather like in New York this week? Alexa, play playlist, jazz classics, in the living room. Just a few years ago, you would have wondered what on earth I was talking about with these two statements. However, now you’re likely very familiar with this type of conversation. Artificial intelligence (AI) has in […]

Tips for Manufacturers in Mexico to Boost Industrial Purchases

Here are four ways for Mexican suppliers to keep their current customers while attracting new ones.

Mexico might not be the first country that comes to mind when one thinks about industrial buyers and global trade, but smart manufacturers realize e-commerce is creating plenty of opportunity in one of the world’s largest exporting countries. Roughly 95 percent of Mexican buyers have purchased products directly from manufacturers – up from 74 percent […]

5 Ways Brick-and-Mortar Stores Can Thrive Today

The future of the physical store isn’t about purchases. It’s about events, experiences and brand associations.

Rarely a week goes by without news of a household high street name shutting up shop or closing stores. The rise of online shopping, or e-commerce, is widely blamed for the demise of traditional retail. Yet people are spending more money than ever – just not on the high street. In many ways, the offering […]

Brazil’s E-Commerce Market Is Booming

With some notable policy fixes, Latin America’s largest economy will drive business growth across the region. Here’s how your company can ride Brazil’s e-commerce wave.

From the outside, Brazil’s fast-growing e-commerce market looks like a huge opportunity for retailers. Simply put, Brazilians have embraced online shopping with their well-known zest and inimitability. Even as the country’s economy – the largest in Latin America and the second-largest in the hemisphere after the United States – has struggled to recover from its […]

Boosting E-Commerce in Asia

The growth of ASEAN is directly tied to the growth of trade in the region.

The growth of e-commerce has brought both opportunities and challenges to Southeast Asia. Though a powerful enabler for ASEAN’s Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) who today can instantaneously reach new markets, e-commerce has also created new challenges. Left unaddressed, these threaten the long-term viability of cross-border e-commerce. Overcoming barriers in Asia  According to the Organization of […]

Turning a Passion for Wine into an Omni-Channel Business

Studying and tasting Italian wine was once just a hobby for Luigi Cattaneo, an information technology veteran of 25 years. But when Cattaneo realized that he could transform his passion for fine wine into a successful omni-channel business, he and his friends created the wine bar and e-commerce site Bibentes.

A few years ago, Luigi Cattaneo was frustrated with his career in IT. He had handled projects involving B2B and B2C, direct and indirect sales, brand and product management, and more. Over the years, he had worked with a diverse range of people at several companies. But, says Cattaneo, “The products were starting to feel […]

Brands Haven’t Kept Up with the Ways Customers Use Products

There’s a daily tug of war between long-term brand building and short-term sales goals – brands must be relevant, useful and entertaining.

Here’s a truth: Many in the marketing industry today don’t really understand brands. Today, when there’s more of everything – more channels, more choice, more speed, more confusion – it’s fair to ask: What is a brand? To answer this question, we have to think about what has changed during the last decade. The emergence of the […]

Running with the Big Dogs of E-Commerce

(Even if you're just a pup).

In a global digital economy, size doesn’t matter. The world’s electronic commerce system has transformed retailers into e-tailers, attracting and retaining consumers around the corner and around the globe. So, brands of various sizes and scope can now compete on the new global playing field, valued at $2.3 trillion and projected to almost double by […]

5 Trends Transforming the Industrial Space

Distributors need to learn and adapt to customer needs through technology, talent and innovation.

The industrial market’s rapid transformation, which I wrote about last year,  continues unabated. The sector is drawing increased attention as the old-fashioned supply chain reinvents itself for the new business landscape. Here’s what we’re talking about right now: Millennials: You’ve heard it before, but it bears repeating. Millions of Boomers will retire this year, leaving […]

Inside UPS’s Electric Vehicle Strategy

It's time to rethink the return on investment for cleaner technologies.

Passenger electric cars get all the press, especially when someone launches one into space. But something important is going on in the world of commercial vehicles as well. Last year Tesla announced it would produce an electric long-haul big rig. PepsiCo, Walmart and UPS promptly committed to buying a few hundred. More recently, UPS made an important […]

The Next Frontier: Selling Auto Parts Online

Smart dealerships see e-commerce as a friend – not a foe.

All dealerships – regardless of specialty or volume – would be wise to pay attention to this statistic: Twelve percent of online shoppers reported that they purchased automotive parts accessories in the last three months, according to the latest UPS Pulse of the Online Shopper Study. While that is a small percentage, it is growing […]

Printing Heads: 3D Printing Launches a New Era in Aircraft Design

New technology helps engineers speed up development and remove design constraints.

Just a decade ago, the idea of 3D printing metal parts directly from a computer file seemed like science fiction to many people. But the technology is quickly growing up. There are few better examples of its promise than the GE Catalyst, a new advanced turboprop engine GE Aviation started testing in December. More than one-third of […]

Whittling Away Cash Flow Woes

Capital shortfalls are a leading cause of business failure – and even profitable, rapidly growing companies are not immune.

Sourcing from overseas suppliers allows U.S. manufacturers to lower their production costs and grow their gross margins. But working capital challenges can overshadow those offshoring benefits for small and mid-sized industrial buyers. That’s something my company, Teknatool USA Inc., recently discovered when we experienced a prolonged period of rapid sales growth. We sell lathes, drill […]

Europeans Embrace Online Cross-Border Shopping

Trust, transparency and convenience are the stepping stones to e-commerce success.

The internet has reduced the world to a global village in the past few decades. Shopping has now become a global experience, enabling retailers to market and sell their products to customers anytime, anywhere.  At the same time, shoppers have equipped themselves with smartphones, 4G and various payment options like Apple Pay, PayPal and others. […]

The Way We Make Things Is About to Change

These 3 trends are driving the adoption of new printing presses.

Tooling – the process of designing and engineering the tools necessary to manufacture parts – was the essential technology behind the early industrial revolution. It allowed manufactured goods to go from humans to machines and powered the production of complex mechanical inventions like the steam engine. With new economies of scale driven by machines, raw materials […]

Focus on the Experience

How retailers can win over butterfly consumers.

For decades, the retail model worked: Open a store and consumers will come. Put a brand name or a logo on the item, and consumers will pay more. But then two seemingly unconnected events shook up the long-trusted model. First came the iPhone, a novel telephone with a touchscreen. This hit the market as the […]

IoT-Driven Manufacturing Trends to Look for in 2018

We are in as transformative a phase right now as when electricity was invented – people will wonder how we ever lived without IoT solutions.

With Internet-of-Things (IoT) technology spending expected to reach $772.5 billion this year – 15 percent higher than 2017 – the world’s top manufacturers are shifting into exhilarating overdrive down the path to AI-driven and IoT-enabled automation. So where will 2018 take us on this journey? First and foremost, the year ahead will see manufacturers rapidly connecting the […]

Returns: The Latest Battleground in Retail

Retail giants invest in solving the problem of returns.

The latest holiday shopping season posted strong results for retailers. According to MasterCard, sales between Nov. 1 and Christmas increased nearly 5 percent – the largest year-over-year gain since 2011. What’s more, e-commerce growth jumped 18 percent compared to the year before, with Cyber Weekend alone racking up a record-breaking $6.6 billion in sales, according […]

How Businesses Can Win At Leapfrog

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is creating new leapfrogging opportunities. But not all are created equal.

Rapidly emerging technologies — such as the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, wearables, robotics and additive manufacturing — are spurring the development of new production techniques and business models that will profoundly disrupt most manufacturing and global supply chains. For example, some low-cost manufacturing export economies may be at risk, as technology may soon make […]

5 Ways to Make Global E-Commerce Easier for Everyone

Small businesses face many hurdles to going global, but e-commerce brings us closer to an inclusive global economy.

‘Tis the season to shop online. Rather than braving the high street, why not open your browser? E-commerce sales worldwide hit an estimated $25.3 trillion in 2015 and have grown since. The internet makes buyers and sellers more visible and accessible to each other locally and globally. The international bit is really interesting. The opportunity […]

Our Top 5 Manufacturing Articles of 2017

A year-end look at the best manufacturing content from Longitudes.

In Part 2 of our five-part white paper series, Routes to the Future, we argued that the way we make the world around us – how we design, produce, deliver and reclaim the objects of everyday life – will follow new routes. We are trekking down many of these routes today but have just scratched the surface […]

Our Top 5 Retail Articles of 2017

A year-end look at the best retail content from Longitudes.

The companies that best adapt to the consumer-led revolution will win the future – period. That principle applies to retailers, logistics providers and any business looking to provide solutions to customers at the click of a button. As the retail landscape undergoes rapid transformation – and the line between physical and digital stores continues to blur – it’s […]