Two in-the-cloud apps I find really useful are HighRise and TripIt. HighRise is a simple and elegant CRM system from 37signals. TripIt manages your travel plans. Tripit creates an integrated itinerary from your air and hotel reservations, along with local sights, weather, and airport check in. What both apps have in common is how cleverly they use email for input. With TripIt, you just forward all the emails from the airlines and the hotels to [email protected]. The app does all the data entry drudgery, determining who you are from the sending address, then parsing the email to extract structured travel data from the free text message. With HiRise, you blind-carbon copy a special drop box, something like [email protected]. Again the app does all the hard work, determining who you are from the dropbox subdomain, parsing the email to determine where to file it it the CRM system, and associating the message with the right people and companies and dates. Forwarding an email is really simple. Bccing an email is really simple. If I had to visit the sites to type in my data, I would not use them. But because using them is so easy, I'm now a fan of both. What initiatives do you have on the table to make your e-commerce site easier to use?
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