Ceek Software's TopSales Professional is a sales automation tool designed to facilitate communication between online marketers and clients, customers, suppliers, and other contacts. Its goal is to enhance online sales productivity by automating many of the tasks involved in Internet marketing, such as daily contact management, e-mail autoresponse, and other details that can help you build long-term business relationships. It enhances collaboration by keeping sales teams in touch, and its contacts management features are exportable to programs like Windows Mobile, a plus for business travelers and the growing number of business people who rely on handheld devices. In fact, … Read more
It may not be happy holidays for the retail industry overall. But the Web should provide one bit of good cheer.
Retail sales will probably be flat this holiday season, but online sales are expected to reach $44.7 billion, an 8 percent jump over last year, according to the latest data from Forrester Research.
Among 4,000 online consumers surveyed, 94 percent have made a purchase online in the past three months and plan to do the same for the holidays. As for retailers, 72 percent of those questioned for the third-quarter Forrester report "The State of Retailing … Read more
They said it would never happen, but the day has finally come for Justin to get some much-needed tail....as he dons a skunk costume and becomes Justin Le Pieu for today's very unspooky Halloween episode of The 404! Be sure to check out today's video for all the details. Since Jeff is out today and this coming Monday for who-knows-what, the guys ask everyone's favorite Kenley and Alli to help co-host the show.
Unfortunately, with the Swine Flu hitting New York at full force, nobody in the office is feeling too hot for the holiday, but they do their best and don some shades as they recall last night's CNET's Client Halloween Party. Kenley chooses her top picks for the Best Costume Award and Alli tells everyone a horrifying story that happened on her way to work this morning...trust me folks, NOTHING is scarier than a mouthful of New York trash water.
As October slowly fades away, and with great reluctance and tears, we must say goodbye to Beck's Beer and the Semi-Weekly Audio Draft, but not before Wilson debuts our last pick. Continuing in our tradition of introducing new and different genres of music, Fool's Gold plays a unique blend of South African, Ethiopian, and Eritrean influenced music with a twist--lead vocalist Luke Top was born and raised in Israel and sings the majority of the lyrics (although many of the tracks, including our first pick, are instrumental) in Hebrew.
The two featured tracks on today's episode are called "Surprise Hotel" and "Ha Dvash." If you're into the band, you can even win a date with Alli and Kenley to go see the band perform on November 17 at the Bowery Ballroom here in New York! All interested parties should submit a photo, general interests, date ideas, and a brief cover letter to the404(at)cnet(dot)com.
Have a great Halloween folks, and be safe!EPISODE 457 Subscribe in iTunes audio | Suscribe to iTunes (video) | Subscribe in RSS Audio | Subscribe in RSS Video
The chip recovery is under way, with quarterly sales forecast to increase year-over-year for the first time in 2009, according to a report from market researcher iSuppli on Tuesday.
Revenue from chip sales is expected to rise by 10.6 percent in the fourth quarter compared to the same period in 2008. This would mark the first time this year that revenue has risen compared to the same period a year earlier, according to Dale Ford, senior vice president, market intelligence, for iSuppli.
"The seeds of the current recovery were sown in the second quarter," said Ford. At … Read more
Amazon.com is apparently shelving its planned effort to sell wine online.
A little more than a year after word of the effort trickled out, a senior Amazon account manager told wineries about the decision to cork it in an e-mail last week.
"As you know, we were excited to work with you to build the AmazonWine business," Dini Rao said in an e-mail first reported by WineBusiness.com. "For that reason, this was a very tough choice for us. Many of you took the time and leap of faith to really support us."
Amazon representatives … Read more
TopSales Basic lets you manage of all your company's important information from one place. It has many features businesses will find useful. There's a contacts database, a calendar, and a to-do list function. You can also generate invoices and manage your company's bank account with TopSales Basic. It will generate mailing lists and all manner of reports such as Balance Sheets, Sales Analysis, Inventory Control, and other accounting, customer, and product-based data reports.
TopSales Basic's interface is basic, befitting the name, but it gets the job done. The menus are easy to navigate. You can input … Read more
BS1 Enterprise Accounting - Free Edition provides a surprising amount of control over a company's finances and makes the entire process simple. This is a great choice for small businesses.
The program's interface initially turned us off, since it is primarily a small toolbar on the desktop. However, after reading the Help file's tutorial, we soon loved how simple and unobtrusive the program was. This simple toolbar felt like an entire accounting department at our fingertips, from Accounts Receivable, Accounts Payable, to Inventory, Sales and Purchase Orders. Each separate department popped up as a simple screen with … Read more
The preorder has long been a staple of the video game retail industry, and with good reason. You get a customer to purchase a game ahead of its release in return for a small trinket. The hope is that buyer will keep coming back to the store, and in turn the store can provide more accurate supply numbers to the publisher and thus ensure an adequate stock. It's also been a great way for retailers to sit on that cash long before ever handing over the product.
What has made this more interesting over the years is how far some retailers and game publishers have gone to get people to come to them, and them only. This arms race has lead to some great, and some not-so-great, trends in preorder goodies. Here are five of the best and five of the worst in the last couple of years.The best
1. Getting the game before its release date
What is easily the holy grail of preorder goodies is getting the game ahead of its official street date. Very few games have ever done this intentionally, though. This usually happens only when a retailer mistakenly sells the title without knowing there's a specific release date, or when games are shipped by mail and the snafu is committed by the shipping company.
In the case of Call of Duty: World at War, which was released last November, GameStop sold the title a day ahead of its official release to those who had preordered it. According to Planet Xbox 360, the game retailer went directly to FedEx's shipping facilities to pick up the game ahead of its slated delivery time.
Also, customers who prebought Mythic Entertainment's Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning got to build their characters and start playing on the game's servers four days before the game launched--if they bought the collector's edition, while preorderers of the standard edition got a two day head start. The same went for those who preordered Pirates of the Burning Sea, who got to start playing the MMO 15 days ahead of people who simply bought it on its release day.
2. Free games
Coming up just short of getting the new game early is publishers who offer a copy of one of their previous titles free of charge. That was the case for Rockstar games, which through Valve's Steam online game store gave PC gamers who preordered Grand Theft Auto 4 a free copy of GTA: Vice City, a title from earlier in the GTA series.
Preorderers of Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts on Xbox 360 got a free code for the original Banjo-Kazooie game on XBOX Live Arcade a whole two weeks before it was officially released to other gamers.
Lionhead studios gave preorderers of the Xbox 360 version of Fable 2 a free (normally $10) Xbox Live Arcade title that let them play some of the title's in-game minigames ahead of the release, as well as put any gold they earned to use in the game once they got it.
Earlier notables include: Preorderers of Red Alert 3 getting a free Red Alert 2 download, and the Zelda: Ocarina of Time disc that came with the Zelda Wind Waker for Gamecube, which had been one of the top games of the year four years prior. Nintendo went through the effort of porting it from the previous generation's system to the GameCube, as well as throwing in a more difficult variation of the game that had previously been unreleased in the U.S. just for those buyers. Now that's cool.
3. Getting the "better" edition of the game, free of charge
The "limited" editions of games almost always cost more, and come with a few extra goodies like a download code from extra in-game content, or a spiffy case with things like concept art books and soundtrack CDs.
This time last year, Ubisoft surprised gamers who had preordered the latest Prince of Persia game with a free upgrade to the limited edition, which featured a making-of featurette, digital art book, and the soundtrack. It certainly wasn't as lavish as some other limited-edition packages, but it was free.
Developer Arksys did the same thing earlier this year with its 2D fighter BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger. Prebuyers who purchased the normal game ahead of time got upgraded to the limited-edition free of charge, which included a video strategy guide and two-disc soundtrack with close to 50 tracks. … Read more
Rightcontrol Lite is an intuitive program that allows users to track inventory and sales. Although this free version of the program is practically useless, it offers a preview of what could potentially be a very helpful program.
The program's interface is plain and well-organized, with graphical buttons that represent each of its major functions. Users create databases of customers and suppliers, enter their inventory, and then use the software to manage purchasing, ring up sales, and create invoices. The program also allows users to create and print bar codes. The program comes with a 31-page PDF manual that is … Read more
POS 4 Business (Point of Sale) is a point-of-sale program that allows users to ring up customer transactions, manage inventory, and more. It's not the most intuitive program we've ever seen, but it does have plenty of useful features.
The program's interface is not particularly attractive, and many of the images it uses are pixelated and amateurish, giving it an unprofessional air. We found the program confusing at first, and we were relieved when we finally ran across the Initial Setup menu, which explained things to some extent. The program offers several options for ringing up purchases, … Read more