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Ecommerce News: Innovative Online Retail
By JVM
9/28/2009 7:34:00 AM  
ShopVisible tries hard to keep up with the latest buzz in Ecommerce news and address relevant content for its merchant base and other interested Ecommerce enthusiasts. Recently the CEO of Macy's addressed a retail conference in Las Vegas to highlight the importance of multichannel integration, a specialty of ShopVisible's Ecommerce solution.

Macy's CEO Terry Lundgren notes that "the power of Ecommerce extends far beyond the keyboard and onto the sales floor..." The company's new web presence encourages shoppers and browsers to offer up their own relevant content in the form of reviews and recommendations. Lundgren states that he was "worried about what customers would say on product reviews. We realized that if you start getting bad reviews on a product, get rid of that product. Stop doing business with that particular product."

Hubbies Smith of the Las Vegas Review-Journal shows that "Macys.com generated $30,000 in sales the first year...in 1996. Online sales now bring in about $1 billion in annual revenue...Through August, online sales increased 13 percent from a year ago..." Lundgren concludes noting "every dollar spent online influences $5.77 spent in the store over the next 10 days."

In related Ecommerce news, Forrester expert, Sucharita Mulpuru discusses how Ecommerce is indeed the bright side of retail. In her keynote address from shop.org's Annual Summit, Mulpuru delves into the significant strides being made in the Ecommerce realm that are helping to keep the retail sector afloat during these troubling economic times.

In the eyes of one Ecommerce expert, online retailers are:
  • resetting their goals: they are thinking ahead and altering standard business practices not to just emerge from the recession but in fact excel out of it...
  • alternatively assessing their competitors: looking at best practices and not just ROI driving methodologies; utilizing in some cases radical transparency as a means at the disclosure of innovation
  • developing their IT departments: folks are creating client enhancements and thinking ahead of the curve; they are testing in staging environments in an effort to provide solid QA in their production arenas
  • sticking together: they have realized that remaining close with brand loyal patrons and building upon existing relationships with their manufacturers is critical; add value to the selling arena and promote competitive pricing models 
  • blogging, tweeting, faceBooking and more: Mulpuru cannot address enough the significance of social media marketing as a form of enhanced and deliverable customer generated content; the 2 way street enables brands to promote and spread word of mouth while conversely, customers and loyal brand enthusiasts can share their positive feelings about the company
  • getting mobile: Mulpuru lauds the iPhone as a revolutionary device. She encourages Ecommerce merchants to develop mobile sites and focus on few click-thrus for checkout to enable seamless mobile purchasing and updating; Mulpuru notes that "email is web retailers best friend, but it's not the future..."
ShopVisible is an Atlanta based Ecommerce solution provider.



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Tags: ShopVisible, Ecommerce News, Ecommerce solution, Atlanta SEO, Forrester, shop.org
Categories: SEO, RSS, User Generated Content, Commerce Insights Blog
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PCI 2010 and Beyond: Ecommerce Security News
By JVM
9/9/2009 11:42:00 AM  
For many Ecommerce merchants processing orders and maintaining a website is an immense time-consuming step to growing a business. Grappling with PCI compliance and delving deeper into its origins, existence and proliferation are another daunting task to say the least.

Recently the NRF or National Retail Federation issued a merchant survey investigating PCI compliance and small online retailers. Out the polled group, 19% of non-compliant merchants said they had little to no understanding of this payment security process that is becoming increasingly imperative today in Ecommerce. Another 26% stated they lacked “the financial or technical resources to meet the standard, which covers a dozen broad areas from physical and network security to protecting” the CDE or cardholder data environment and maintaining commensurately structured security policies. Interestingly however, 86% of those polled claimed to feel somewhat familiar with PCI and its Ecommerce requirements.

A burgeoning problem for many merchants is that PCI standards evolve as do online threats and the emergence of security standards for making online transactions. New requirements are forced upon retailers in an effort to better protect cardholder spending money online. Analogously, PCI is implementing regulatory changes that will also affect payment processors and software providers. In summer 2010, new changes will occur that will dramatically affect both small online merchants and enterprise-size larger retailers alike.

-Pending PCI reqs.: any payment software handling cardholder data must comply with the PCI subset, Payment Application Data Security Standard…
-Pending PCI reqs.2: imposed by MasterCard, all merchants accepting credit cards online and in particular, those larger companies (level II merchants) must use 3rd party auditors to assess their PCI compliance

What does this mean? For starters, smaller merchants will be taking on increased spending in order to remain compliant. Further, larger merchants will have to be assessed by outside parties and done so in a more stringent manner than previous iterations of PCI compliance mandated.

So how can merchants, small or large, reduce the heightened cost of Ecommerce and PCI compliance? Internet Retailer and PCI KnowledgeBase advise not to store cardholder information if at all possible. Currently, under the PCI mandates, only “retailer systems, networks, servers, databases and software-that hold cardholder data fall under PCI.” Maintaining a strict and structured distance from the CDE will encourage PCI audit exclusion for Ecommerce merchants, small or large.


***Chart created from Internet Retailer, “Don’t Look Now.” Don Davis, Sept. 2009, p. 21***



PCI Level
Annual Transaction Volume
IR's no. of Merchants
Compliance Cost

1
6 million cc
362
$450,000-4,400,000

2
1-6 million cc
702
$77,500-470,000

3
20,000-1 million cc/Ecommerce payment
2634
$19,250-72,000

4
under 20,000 Ecommerce; under 1 million total
6 million
under $5000

Rates of Compliance:
1-93%
2-88%
3-57%
4-NA

ShopVisible is an Ecommerce solution based in Atlanta, GA.

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Tags: ShopVisible, PCI compliance, Ecommerce solution, Ecommerce security, CDE, Internet Retailer, Atlanta SEO
Categories: SEO, RSS, User Generated Content, Commerce Insights Blog
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eBay's Revamped Approach @ PowerSelling
By JVM
8/6/2009 1:55:00 PM  
Last week the New York Times released an article covering eBay and the online powerhouse's reinvented take on rewarding top sellers. While in the past eBay has rewarded top selling vendors with various discounts, it now also has applied less stringent criteria for becoming a "PowerSeller." The NYT notes that eBay is now giving "top-tier status to sellers who have very little negative feedback from buyers--even if these vendors aren't among those who make the most sales on its online marketplace."

-top selling vendors now will receive a 20% discount on fees which they have to pay eBay upon sale of an item

-top selling vendors will now be able to post an e-badge on their online storefront pages to show their "PowerSelling" status

-top selling vendor products will also be rewarded an inherently beneficial SEO gift from eBay in that the "products they offer will be more likely to show up in searches that buyers make on the site."

This shift in standards and rewards for eBay's excelling merchants is temporally situated as the online marketplace tries to reverse financial downturn. Starting in October, 2009, eBay will commence the new approach at power selling. The premise is grounded in Ecommerce customer generated content and feedback with regards to reviews. As a critical element of contemporary Ecommerce, customer generated content is crucial for selling channels and marketplaces; online consumers now heavily rely on product reviews from actual customers moreso than marketing promo hype from the vendor himself.

-"In order to qualify as a top-rated seller, less than 0.5 percent of a seller's feedback can be scores of 1 or 2"

-Merchants must also have more than 100 sales totaling at least $3000.00 with eBay per year

-of eBay's 150,000 qualified online merchants (those who were deemed suitable to become a top seller), 86,000 were not able to become a PowerSeller; thus showing how sellers must not just sell well but also sell to consumers in a satisfactory manner, generating quality traffic and delivering quality goods...

Much like the ShopVisible Ecommerce solution, eBay's revamped take on heightened online commerce is intent on "quality rather than quantity," states president of eBay marketplaces, Lorrie Norrington.

ShopVisible is an Atlanta, GA based Ecommerce solution that fully integrates with eBay and numerous other online marketplaces.



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Tags: ShopVisible, eBay PowerSellers, Ecommerce solution, New York Times, Atlanta SEO
Categories: SEO, RSS, User Generated Content, Commerce Insights Blog
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ShopVisible Client Leiberts Featured in IR
By jvm
6/8/2009 2:36:00 PM  
The June 2009 issue of Internet Retailer arrived at my house yesterday morning. As I perused the pages of the eCommerce periodical, I found one of ShopVisible's top selling online clients featured in a section called "Hometown Heroes."

Leiberts Royal Green Appliance Center is highlighted in this month's IR in an article prefaced by stating that "[t]hey survived the competition of big box retailers and now they're trying to figure out how to compete in the age of the Internet. Increasingly, local retailers are selling online, with the personal touch that's kept many of them in business for generations."

Leiberts has been providing customers with exceptional service and quality products since 1955. Based in the White Plains suburbs of NY, Leiberts Director of Business Development, Rob Satran has helped the company excel and grow online with the support of the ShopVisible eCommerce solution.

IR notes that Leiberts "is trying to build its web business by allying with kitchen designers around the country who may not have ready access to stores with a wide range of appliances." Leiberts has also initiated an affiliate marketing program in which participating designers are given their own "microsite within the Leiberts domain, each with a customized selection of appliances and a 2% discount for customers." Thus far, says Satran, Leiberts has been working with about 20 different dealers in the online appliance medium.

En lieu of utilizing a PPC campaign for paid search, Satran notes that Leiberts prefers gradually growing its business through organic natural search as provided by ShopVisible. Linking social media marketing and customer generated content as a means to driving site traffic and procuring quality leads and sales online, Satran  believes it is "important to call each customer who makes a purchase online to make sure the buyer understands what she is getting and how long it will take for the item to arrive." This is just one key illustration of the ShopVisible and Leiberts effort at promoting user generated content and natural, organic search positioning.

Satran states that his company is selling "high-priced items and we want to make sure they're comfortable with what they're buying and that their expectations are in line with our ability to fulfill them..." Satran goes on to discuss his latest marketing tactic that entails not just radio advertising promotion, but more directed at online traction, the way in which in these aural advertising ideas, Leiberts mentions not its brick and mortar address but in fact their online URL.

This is online marketing and this is customer service at its best says ShopVisible.

ShopVisible is an Atlanta, GA based eCommerce solution located @ 1095 Zonolite Road, Atlanta, GA, 30306.

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Tags: ShopVisible, Internet Retailer, Leiberts Royal Green, Atlanta SEO, eCommerce Solution
Categories: SEO, RSS, User Generated Content
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ShopVisible Breaks Browser Incompatibility
By JVM
5/22/2009 10:38:00 AM  
Here at ShopVisible we test sites in various web browsers to ensure client satisfaction and optimal web performance for our eCommerce customers. Sure a given site looks and functions flawlessly in FireFox or Google Chrome but will it adapt to changes and incompatibilities in things like divergent versions of Internet Explorer? Is IE6 the same as IE7 or 8 even? The answer is no...And thanks to the ShopVisible QA processes, our clients experience fluid and seamless browser performance in all varying web browsers.

Recently a Practical eCommerce piece on Microsoft's new "Web SuperPreview" software examined this browsing conundrum. Armando Roggio notes that "[IE] has always been a problem as designers were forced to choose between widely accepted Internet standards and what would work in IE. The problem has been exacerbated by the complexity of designers having to maintain various generations of IE on a single computer."

While Microsoft has created an "Expression WebSuperPreview for IE" in order to function as a "visual debugging tool that makes it easier to migrate your web sites from [IE6] to [IE 7 or 8]," the ShopVisible design team can also strategically run through websites testing and troubleshooting these browsing inaccuracies.

The problem with browser disjunction: "Most web browsers are quick to push updates to the masses...But IE is released in a herky jerky fashion, with one generation of IE baring little or no resemblance to its predecessor." There are still web users out there using IE versions 5.5-8, meaning a "designer must code for at least three different [IE] browser that behave nothing alike." Most machines cannot support multiple versions of IE but the ShopVisible team does...We test, retest and succeed. The Microsoft package, "SuperPreview," solves this problem by permitting techies and designers to simultaneously view pages in IE 6, 7, and 8.



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Tags: shopVisible, eCommerce solution, Atlanta eCommerce, Atlanta SEO, hosted eCommerce platform
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