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The Future of Invoice Payment: Emerging Trends and Technologies

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The Future of Invoice Payment: Emerging Trends and Technologies

As technology evolves at an unprecedented rate, it is fairly obvious that companies must adapt in order to remain competitive. This is especially true regarding invoicing, which is an essential element of any service-based business.

Pandemic challenges have also accelerated the implementation of certain technologies, such as mobile payments and eInvoicing. Companies that are the first to adapt to these recent developments will sustain and resolve new business challenges in the coming years. However, let us quickly review what an invoice is and what it is used for.

What Is An Invoice?

An invoice is a document containing a description of goods or services provided by one party to another and a statement of the amount owed for those goods or services. In other words, it is a bill sent out to require a payout after work has been completed successfully.

An accounting system for a small business relies heavily on invoices. It informs your client of the amount they owe you, the payment date, and the services you supply.

What Is an Invoice Used for?

Invoices serve as a starting point for business accounting. Invoices are useful for recording all sales transactions that a company has with its customers. Businesses use invoices for a wide range of reasons, such as:

  • To demand prompt payment from clients;
  • Keeping track of sales;
  • Inventory tracking for businesses that sell products;
  • Using historical information to estimate future sales;
  • To keep track of business profits for tax purposes.

Emerging Trends and Technologies in Invoicing

1680050261 997 The Future of Invoice Payment Emerging Trends and Technologies

Let’s look at some of the developing trends and technologies available to businesses that would like to deal with the ever-changing world of invoicing.

Automation of the invoicing process

Businesses no longer need to track their financial transactions because the invoicing process has been automated. Most businesses no longer use paper bills in the United States. Even businesses that have not fully automated their billing process prefer to use blank invoice templates for service providers.

The automation of invoice management allows organizations to receive notifications for due dates and payments. It has also aided the country’s businesses to stay on track with their billing and payment schedules.

Business owners and employees can focus on other critical tasks by automating the manual tasks of generating and sending out payment reminders. Businesses may also save money since these responsibilities do not necessitate the hiring of additional personnel.

Blockchain

Blockchain technology may have the ability to make invoicing safer and more straightforward. Many businesses have turned to blockchain technology to help them optimize their billing and invoicing procedures. One potential advantage of using blockchain for invoicing is the ability to create a permanent record of all financial transactions.

This can help to reduce fraud and establish confidence among businesses and their customers. Furthermore, because blockchain eliminates the need for intermediaries and third-party vendors such as banks, it can help speed up payments.

Blockchain technology has improved not only financial management but also the entire invoicing process. The technology eliminates the risk of fraudulent activities by preventing any deception or unintended deletion of invoices after they have been recorded and sent to the client.

AI and Machine Learning

1680050262 423 The Future of Invoice Payment Emerging Trends and Technologies

Advances in AI and machine learning have facilitated the automation of receiving payments online. Most software providers can provide a comprehensive solution that goes far beyond the basic invoicing cycle.

AI and machine learning intervention unlocked previously unimaginable software capabilities. Companies can process large numbers of invoices in a short period of time while also processing a great deal of accounting data.

Identifying and verifying previous transactions is also much easier, giving businesses greater control over their costs and supply chain. AI and machine learning can also detect anomalies and mistakes with minimal human intervention.

Cloud invoicing

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Most billing technologies now operate from the cloud, thanks to the increased use of the Software as a Service (SaaS) model. They enable companies to view financial records and data from any Internet-connected device in the world.

People can also receive real-time business updated information and take appropriate action using cloud-based invoicing. To protect their company’s reputation, managers can address any emergency payment issues in real-time. Digital wallets are already a part of cloud invoicing.

eInvoicing

E-invoicing, or electronic invoicing, simplifies invoice management and the interaction of invoices and compliance documents. It minimizes the potential of invoice errors and exceptions by digitizing invoice records and comparing them against contracts, purchase orders, service entry sheets, and product receipts.

E-invoices can be confirmed automatically before posting for payment when they are transmitted over a digital business network and programmed with related document data and business rules.

Eco-friendliness

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There is no denying that the invoice automation process using electronic invoicing is environmentally friendly. However, it is still typical to stumble upon an office with bundles of paper invoices stacked up on desks and filing cabinets stuffed with more than ten years’ worth of unnecessary invoices.

These offices do not require a larger filing cabinet but rather educate on how accounts payable digitization can help them save money and improve productivity. In the future, e-invoicing solutions will help eliminate more than 80% of paper from many accounting departments while significantly lowering an organization’s carbon footprint.

Mobile-friendly experience

Did you know that in 2021, mobile phone users outnumbered desktop users? According to Hootsuite research, mobile phone users generated 54% of all web traffic in 2021. This means that their first interaction with a company’s bill or payment notification came via their mobile phones.

As a result, many businesses will need to incorporate a reliable system that allows for a fully integrated mobile payment process. Developing their company requires capitalizing on this emerging trend. This trend was accelerated by the popularity of mobile wallets, which presented customers with convenience when making in-store purchases.

In Conclusion

Personalization in invoices allows businesses to utilize customer information to enhance customer relationships. Keeping an eye on recent technologies and recognizing their influence on businesses worldwide is one way to gain an edge over competitors and achieve business objectives.

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YouTube Ad Specs, Sizes, and Examples [2024 Update]

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YouTube Ad Specs, Sizes, and Examples

Introduction

With billions of users each month, YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine and top website for video content. This makes it a great place for advertising. To succeed, advertisers need to follow the correct YouTube ad specifications. These rules help your ad reach more viewers, increasing the chance of gaining new customers and boosting brand awareness.

Types of YouTube Ads

Video Ads

  • Description: These play before, during, or after a YouTube video on computers or mobile devices.
  • Types:
    • In-stream ads: Can be skippable or non-skippable.
    • Bumper ads: Non-skippable, short ads that play before, during, or after a video.

Display Ads

  • Description: These appear in different spots on YouTube and usually use text or static images.
  • Note: YouTube does not support display image ads directly on its app, but these can be targeted to YouTube.com through Google Display Network (GDN).

Companion Banners

  • Description: Appears to the right of the YouTube player on desktop.
  • Requirement: Must be purchased alongside In-stream ads, Bumper ads, or In-feed ads.

In-feed Ads

  • Description: Resemble videos with images, headlines, and text. They link to a public or unlisted YouTube video.

Outstream Ads

  • Description: Mobile-only video ads that play outside of YouTube, on websites and apps within the Google video partner network.

Masthead Ads

  • Description: Premium, high-visibility banner ads displayed at the top of the YouTube homepage for both desktop and mobile users.

YouTube Ad Specs by Type

Skippable In-stream Video Ads

  • Placement: Before, during, or after a YouTube video.
  • Resolution:
    • Horizontal: 1920 x 1080px
    • Vertical: 1080 x 1920px
    • Square: 1080 x 1080px
  • Aspect Ratio:
    • Horizontal: 16:9
    • Vertical: 9:16
    • Square: 1:1
  • Length:
    • Awareness: 15-20 seconds
    • Consideration: 2-3 minutes
    • Action: 15-20 seconds

Non-skippable In-stream Video Ads

  • Description: Must be watched completely before the main video.
  • Length: 15 seconds (or 20 seconds in certain markets).
  • Resolution:
    • Horizontal: 1920 x 1080px
    • Vertical: 1080 x 1920px
    • Square: 1080 x 1080px
  • Aspect Ratio:
    • Horizontal: 16:9
    • Vertical: 9:16
    • Square: 1:1

Bumper Ads

  • Length: Maximum 6 seconds.
  • File Format: MP4, Quicktime, AVI, ASF, Windows Media, or MPEG.
  • Resolution:
    • Horizontal: 640 x 360px
    • Vertical: 480 x 360px

In-feed Ads

  • Description: Show alongside YouTube content, like search results or the Home feed.
  • Resolution:
    • Horizontal: 1920 x 1080px
    • Vertical: 1080 x 1920px
    • Square: 1080 x 1080px
  • Aspect Ratio:
    • Horizontal: 16:9
    • Square: 1:1
  • Length:
    • Awareness: 15-20 seconds
    • Consideration: 2-3 minutes
  • Headline/Description:
    • Headline: Up to 2 lines, 40 characters per line
    • Description: Up to 2 lines, 35 characters per line

Display Ads

  • Description: Static images or animated media that appear on YouTube next to video suggestions, in search results, or on the homepage.
  • Image Size: 300×60 pixels.
  • File Type: GIF, JPG, PNG.
  • File Size: Max 150KB.
  • Max Animation Length: 30 seconds.

Outstream Ads

  • Description: Mobile-only video ads that appear on websites and apps within the Google video partner network, not on YouTube itself.
  • Logo Specs:
    • Square: 1:1 (200 x 200px).
    • File Type: JPG, GIF, PNG.
    • Max Size: 200KB.

Masthead Ads

  • Description: High-visibility ads at the top of the YouTube homepage.
  • Resolution: 1920 x 1080 or higher.
  • File Type: JPG or PNG (without transparency).

Conclusion

YouTube offers a variety of ad formats to reach audiences effectively in 2024. Whether you want to build brand awareness, drive conversions, or target specific demographics, YouTube provides a dynamic platform for your advertising needs. Always follow Google’s advertising policies and the technical ad specs to ensure your ads perform their best. Ready to start using YouTube ads? Contact us today to get started!

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Why We Are Always ‘Clicking to Buy’, According to Psychologists

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Why We Are Always 'Clicking to Buy', According to Psychologists

Amazon pillows.

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A deeper dive into data, personalization and Copilots

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A deeper dive into data, personalization and Copilots

Salesforce launched a collection of new, generative AI-related products at Connections in Chicago this week. They included new Einstein Copilots for marketers and merchants and Einstein Personalization.

To better understand, not only the potential impact of the new products, but the evolving Salesforce architecture, we sat down with Bobby Jania, CMO, Marketing Cloud.

Dig deeper: Salesforce piles on the Einstein Copilots

Salesforce’s evolving architecture

It’s hard to deny that Salesforce likes coming up with new names for platforms and products (what happened to Customer 360?) and this can sometimes make the observer wonder if something is brand new, or old but with a brand new name. In particular, what exactly is Einstein 1 and how is it related to Salesforce Data Cloud?

“Data Cloud is built on the Einstein 1 platform,” Jania explained. “The Einstein 1 platform is our entire Salesforce platform and that includes products like Sales Cloud, Service Cloud — that it includes the original idea of Salesforce not just being in the cloud, but being multi-tenancy.”

Data Cloud — not an acquisition, of course — was built natively on that platform. It was the first product built on Hyperforce, Salesforce’s new cloud infrastructure architecture. “Since Data Cloud was on what we now call the Einstein 1 platform from Day One, it has always natively connected to, and been able to read anything in Sales Cloud, Service Cloud [and so on]. On top of that, we can now bring in, not only structured but unstructured data.”

That’s a significant progression from the position, several years ago, when Salesforce had stitched together a platform around various acquisitions (ExactTarget, for example) that didn’t necessarily talk to each other.

“At times, what we would do is have a kind of behind-the-scenes flow where data from one product could be moved into another product,” said Jania, “but in many of those cases the data would then be in both, whereas now the data is in Data Cloud. Tableau will run natively off Data Cloud; Commerce Cloud, Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud — they’re all going to the same operational customer profile.” They’re not copying the data from Data Cloud, Jania confirmed.

Another thing to know is tit’s possible for Salesforce customers to import their own datasets into Data Cloud. “We wanted to create a federated data model,” said Jania. “If you’re using Snowflake, for example, we more or less virtually sit on your data lake. The value we add is that we will look at all your data and help you form these operational customer profiles.”

Let’s learn more about Einstein Copilot

“Copilot means that I have an assistant with me in the tool where I need to be working that contextually knows what I am trying to do and helps me at every step of the process,” Jania said.

For marketers, this might begin with a campaign brief developed with Copilot’s assistance, the identification of an audience based on the brief, and then the development of email or other content. “What’s really cool is the idea of Einstein Studio where our customers will create actions [for Copilot] that we hadn’t even thought about.”

Here’s a key insight (back to nomenclature). We reported on Copilot for markets, Copilot for merchants, Copilot for shoppers. It turns out, however, that there is just one Copilot, Einstein Copilot, and these are use cases. “There’s just one Copilot, we just add these for a little clarity; we’re going to talk about marketing use cases, about shoppers’ use cases. These are actions for the marketing use cases we built out of the box; you can build your own.”

It’s surely going to take a little time for marketers to learn to work easily with Copilot. “There’s always time for adoption,” Jania agreed. “What is directly connected with this is, this is my ninth Connections and this one has the most hands-on training that I’ve seen since 2014 — and a lot of that is getting people using Data Cloud, using these tools rather than just being given a demo.”

What’s new about Einstein Personalization

Salesforce Einstein has been around since 2016 and many of the use cases seem to have involved personalization in various forms. What’s new?

“Einstein Personalization is a real-time decision engine and it’s going to choose next-best-action, next-best-offer. What is new is that it’s a service now that runs natively on top of Data Cloud.” A lot of real-time decision engines need their own set of data that might actually be a subset of data. “Einstein Personalization is going to look holistically at a customer and recommend a next-best-action that could be natively surfaced in Service Cloud, Sales Cloud or Marketing Cloud.”

Finally, trust

One feature of the presentations at Connections was the reassurance that, although public LLMs like ChatGPT could be selected for application to customer data, none of that data would be retained by the LLMs. Is this just a matter of written agreements? No, not just that, said Jania.

“In the Einstein Trust Layer, all of the data, when it connects to an LLM, runs through our gateway. If there was a prompt that had personally identifiable information — a credit card number, an email address — at a mimum, all that is stripped out. The LLMs do not store the output; we store the output for auditing back in Salesforce. Any output that comes back through our gateway is logged in our system; it runs through a toxicity model; and only at the end do we put PII data back into the answer. There are real pieces beyond a handshake that this data is safe.”

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