A weekly look at the latest products and services designed to help you run a better business.
If only you had a crystal ball for business.
Gilbert Systems seeks to provide just that -- with a new product that helps business owners anticipate their customers' spending habits in order to maximize sales.
Proclivity is a consumer predictive engine technology that is able to analyze a customer's online activity and identify their interest in certain types of merchandise. The program aggregates the data collected and then generates probabilities for the number of customers likely to buy a certain product, during what time period, and at what price point.
Online businesses can then use the results from Proclivity to design their marketing campaigns around specific consumer interests. For example, if an online clothing retailer wants to launch a campaign around jeans, Proclivity will quickly generate a list of customers based on the analyzed data that predicts how many customers would buy jeans and how much money the company would make in a given amount of time. The company can then decide how much to invest in certain campaigns.
According to Sheldon Gilbert, CEO of the New York-based firm, Proclivity clients have seen 13-fold increases in order conversion rates, and up to 600 percent increase in their campaign productivity.
"The intelligence that Proclivity provides allows our clients to immediately maximize sales and ROI with the generation of high-performance campaigns and optimization of their inventory," Gilbert said in a statement.
Spam can be a threat to any business, but small businesses often lack the resources to fight a full-on attack. Iomega Corporation (NYSE: IOM), a San Diego-based data-storage and security-solutions company has launched a new spam defense program for small businesses that is affordable and easy to manage.
Iomega's OfficeScreen Managed Email Security and Spam Defense is an on-demand service platform that filters out spam and viruses and blocks threats from entering a company's e-mail gateway or network. The program catches spam messages in a Web console and the user will receive an alert that their message has been quarantined.
Users can then manage and monitor any unwanted messages without a large investment of time or additional technology. Typically, businesses are forced to buy additional software or hardware as spam increases, however, Iomega's technology adapts to changing threats so that even as spam increases, costs remain the same.
When it comes to choosing an office-wide calling plan, business owners often find it hard to find a plan that meets the varied needs of a growing company. Speakeasy, a Seattle-based VoIP provider this week announced a new flexible calling plan designed for small businesses.
EasyVoice Office calling plans allow businesses to pay a flat rate of $19.95 per employee for local calls each month and then purchase one long distance plan that is shared by all employees at the company. The plan is flexible because anytime a business needs more minutes, it can make a simple upgrade to the next available option. The plan also allows any unused minutes to carry over from the previous month so businesses never have to pay for a service beyond their needs.
National plans start at $13.95 per month for 500 minutes and go up to $189.95 for 10,000 minutes. International plans range from $44.95 for 1,000 minutes to $204.95 for 5,000 minutes. Both the national and international calling plans can also be selected as a standalone option.