E-Commerce

Web Site Security: Back Up Your Web Site to Protect Customer Data
May 2, 2006

For every business that uses the Web as a revenue-generating channel, data are important company assets. The loss of a customer order database would be devastating to a cataloger, leading to unfulfilled orders, dissatisfied customers and loss of touch with thousands of clients. Keeping all of your Web site data on one computer or server, death-prone machines that they are, is a formula for disaster. Since it is self-evident that preventing the loss of all of a business’ orders and customer information is an important task, why is it that backup solutions are among the lowest priorities of most businesses shopping for Web hosting?

Online Retail Fraud on the Decline, but Vigilance Still Needed
April 25, 2006

Forty-eight percent of online merchants report that online chargebacks amount to about 0.1 percent of sales, which matches the generally accepted rate in brick-and-mortar stores. A recent survey by the Merchant Risk Council revealed this finding and other data revealed below: * Use of address verification systems by online merchants has increased from 70 percent to 83 percent since 2001. * The effectiveness of address verification systems on online retail sites has dropped from 70 percent to 25 percent. * Card verification codes’ use increased from 38 percent to 73 percent since 2001. * Card verification codes decreased in effectiveness from 49 percent to

By The Stats: Catalogs Available Online Jump by 20 Percent
April 18, 2006

The number of catalogs available online increased from 7,440 to 8,903 in the past year, according to the 2006 edition of The National Directory of Catalogs, which was released last week. Seventy-eight percent of the 11,438 catalogs in the directory are available online, up from 60 percent last year. Other data revealed by the directory: * 1,320 catalogs are only available online, up from 772 last year. * In the past 10 years, the strongest growing categories were Automotive, Education, and Apparel and Accessories. * In that time, the Automotive category has grown 101 percent. * The Education category has grown 54 percent. *

Security: Protect Your Company From Inside Threats
April 11, 2006

In this era of security breaches made public, you can’t be too careful when it comes to protecting your company’s sensitive data. Sure, you may be trying to secure your company’s data against external sources, but are you doing anything to protect that data from internal threats? Computer Associates, an IT management software provider, offers the following “do’s and don’ts” to keep sensitive data safe from potential disastrous inside threats. 1. DO ensure that former employee and contractor accounts are deleted or disabled promptly. Your IT and HR departments should coordinate efforts to keep old accounts from accessing sensitive company information. 2. DON’T allow IT staff

By the Stats: Consumers to Spend More on Easter This Year
March 28, 2006

Total Easter spending is estimated to reach $12.6 billion this year, up from $9.6 billion last year, according to the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) 2006 Easter Consumer Intentions and Action Survey. NRF analysts attribute this growth to the holiday falling later in the season than last year. Other data revealed by the survey of 6,341 consumers: ¥ The average shopper plans to spend $122 on Easter, up from $97 last year. ¥ 30 percent of spending will be on food purchases; ¥ 19 percent on clothing; ¥ 15 percent on gifts; ¥ 14 percent on candy; ¥ 7 percent on flowers; ¥ 5 percent

Data Security: How to Market Your Data-Security Measures
March 28, 2006

Traditionally, data security has been a back-office risk management concern. Today, whether you’re marketing to consumers or businesses, security is a top-of-mind concern that can differentiate your product or service from the competition. Breach notification laws such as California S.B. 1386 have ensured a steady stream of headlines over the last year, and consumers and businesses have begun to take note. According to the “2005 EDS Financial Services Privacy and Customer Relationship Management Survey,” 59 percent of consumers said financial institutions could further gain their trust by providing ongoing information on measures taken to improve security. What if you aren’t a financial institution? The Conference Board

E-commerce: Tactics for Developing Customer Loyalty to Your Web Site
March 14, 2006

Those e-merchants who can save customers time and/or make online shopping easier are in line to build customer loyalty, writes Ken Burke, founder and chief executive of MarketLive and author of “Intelligent Selling: The Art& Science of Selling Online.” Following are four action steps to take: 1. Offer advanced search. “Searches that use Boolean operators and multiple keywords can be powerful ways to allow experienced users to find what they want more quickly,” Burke writes. And it can incentivize shoppers to visit your site vs. a competitor’s site. 2. Send e-mail confirmations. Detail what they bought, total cost and shipping data, Burke suggests. 3.

By the Stats: Web Shoppers Pleased, and Catalogs Drive Online Sales
March 14, 2006

More than 70 percent of respondents to an online survey were pleased with their overall holiday Web shopping last quarter, according to Decision Direct Research, a division of Millard Group. More than 70,000 online shoppers offered their thoughts on their buying experiences in Q4 2005. Following are other findings from the consumer survey: * 82 percent of respondents said a catalog drove them to visit and buy from a Web site. * 81 percent said an e-mail also motivated them to shop online. For more on the survey, contact Decision Direct Research at (603) 924-9262, or visit: http://www.millard.com.

E-commerce: How Ice.com Used Blogs to Increase Natural Search Traffic
March 7, 2006

One of the biggest Web phenomena in the last few years has been the explosion of Web logs, or blogs. While initially nothing more than online diaries, blogs have emerged as opportunities for merchants to spread awareness about brands and products. Pinny Gniwisch, vice president and co-founder of online jewelry merchant Ice.com, shared how his company has leveraged blogs to increase search traffic to his Web site at an impromptu question-and-answer session at last month’s eTail conference in Palm Desert, Calif. Q: Did you have any specific objectives or metrics in mind when you started the blogs? Pinny Gniwisch: When we first were thinking

E-commerce Insights: How to Secure Your Web Site Against Hackers
March 1, 2006

From this article, you’ll learn how to start protecting your Web site and customer data from potential security breaches. A security breach could hit your company without warning. A hacker could bring your firm to its knees with terrifying swiftness. If your Web site is insecure today, hackers could break into it tonight, and tomorrow you could face widespread customer wrath, disastrous publicity and significant legal liability. If your firm hasn’t yet taken steps to reduce your Web security risk, now is the time to do so. Following are suggestions to get you started. Yes, You Are a Target Too many