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Archive for the ‘Ecommerce News’ Category

UK Christmas Spend Online To Be Up 42% on Last Christmas

Thursday, November 8th, 2007

Christmas is going to be bigger than ever this year with over £13.8 billion to be spent by the UK’s 27 million e-shoppers, According to Forester Resesearch*. This prediction is up 42% on last Christmas, compared to IMRG’s 2006 data.

Why is Online Spending Continuing to Rise?

61% of homes are now connected to the Internet and 84% of online households in the UK now use a broadband connection. But more than that, confidence in website security is rising; in fact it’s where many people feel most comfortable. According to the latest IMRG Customer Service Index by eDigitalResearch and ipoints, confidence in website security rose two percentage points in the past quarter to 75.6%. Similar causes were accounted for when UK online shopping sales rose 80% in the summer.

Jo Evans, IMRG’s Managing Director commented: “Like a lot of people, I have already begun my Christmas shopping without having to battle with traffic and crowds, by buying online. I have thousands of shops available to me, and if they are displaying the ISIS / IDIS logos, I know they are trustworthy and reliable, and I can shop safely and securely receiving my purchases at home in good time for giving to my family and friends.”

The demographic profile of the web is also changing. At one time the young, male demographic dominated online sales, but in recent times this has migrated. Now every age group, across both sexes is well represented in the share of Internet retailing spend.

Commenting on this, Simon Pitts, Managing Director of GlobalPositioningSystems.co.uk says: “We have certainly witnessed sales growth amongst a wider age group and across both sexes. This is especially true for the older generation. It seems the older generation are beginning to embrace technology; they are embracing the convenience of the Internet and also the benefits of consumer electronics.”

Hitwise research backs this, confirming: “In the UK internet users aged 55+, the ’silver surfers’, are the 2nd largest demographic group online”.

Are Christmas sales online heading for another record amount?

More and more people are connecting to the Internet and people are continuing to use the Internet to compare prices.

“At Christmas time, when budgets are tight, shoppers are especially interested in finding the best value for money.” Says Simon Pitts.

Where better to do this than on the Internet?

Shoppers can browse and compare every shop from the comfort of their own home without having to battle with the crowds, and more choice and availability is a desirable choice. Shoppers can even track their order right to their door, and select a delivery option to suit them.”

In essence, the Internet has become a more convenient way to shop. Roll on the Christmas Season.

Source: * Source: “Europe’s 2007 Christmas: An Online Retail Wonderland”, Forrester Research, October 2007 IMRG.Org

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Online UK Shopping Sales Up 80% on Last Year

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2007

Online shopping saw a massive spike in online sales last month, up 80% compared to July 2006.
Online sales were actually a huge £1.86 billion higher than they were in July 2006.

Other facts that may be of interest to all you shopping cart owners:

  • The IMRG Index exceeded 4000 for the first time, suggesting that UK e-retail sales had exceeded £4 billion in a month for the first time (£4.2bn).
  • In the high street, the average value of weekly sales in July was £5 billion, 3.3% higher than July 2006.
  • The highest sales growth was in electrical goods, according to National Statistics Online
  • Clothing sales were also strong online: the IMRG Clothing / Footwear / Accessories Index was 56% higher than a year earlier
  • Annual growth for: Jan = 16.5%; Feb = 34.7%, Mar = 40.9%, Apr = 54.4%; May = 48.0%; Jun = 55.1%.

Why such a huge annual growth?

  • Very wet weather - The rubbish UK summer has encouraged people to travel abroad - encouraging many people to shop last minute online.  It’s also forced many people into replacing water-damaged goods.
  • More competitive online prices
  • Detailed product information available
  • Ease of the buying process
  • New customers as a result of strong uptake on domestic broadband
  • Increased confidence encouraging repeat online buying.

Source: TheRetailBulletin.com

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Celebrate PHP Software at PHP Expo

Friday, August 3rd, 2007

In-depth PHP shopping cart tutorials, expert case studies, business and technical lectures, and networking events will make up the third anniversary of the PHP conference.  The latest news… Joel Spolsky is to Keynote.

DevZone announced the news earlier this week.  Although Joel Spolsky isn’t a PHP developer, he knows a lot about building good PHP shopping carts and software. 

The description of his talk at the PHP conference is as follows:

In many product categories, from software to consumer electronics, the product with the most market share is often more expensive and less functional than the number two product. I will explore why this happens and suggest some ways to design a blue chip product that people will love. After you get great software and products using the usual repertoire of debugging, usability testing, etc., you have to go still further and think about beauty, user happiness, and emotional impact.”

You can find out more about the Zend/ PHP expo at ZendCon.com.

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Google Rolls Out Custom Search Business

Friday, July 27th, 2007

Google’s Custom Search Business Edition enables shopping cart and website owners, particularly small-to-medium sized enterprizes, to utilise google’s search technology.

The custom search engine will let visitors access search results from any website or websites that you, the Webmaster, chooses.

Starting at around $100/year, you can add Google search to index and search up to 5,000 pages on your website; $500 gets you up to 50,000.

Google’s Business Edition also gives you the ability to remove Google AdWords advertisements and change the colors of the results pages so it matches your shopping cart. You can also choose to feature specific content in your search results or display particular promotions or events above the search results.

Find out more at Google - Custom Seach Business

Source: BeWebDriven.com

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Viart Shopping Cart Software Adds 3D Secure Payment Gateways

Tuesday, July 17th, 2007

To ensure the highest level of compliance under the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI), Viart Shop has recently added two 3D secure payment gateways to their shopping cart software.

Viart.com (http://www.viart.com/), an online company supplying PHP shopping cart software worldwide, has recently enabled two more 3D secure payment systems.  This will help merchants to safeguard online shoppers and help protect them against online credit card fraud.

3D secure is a new technical standard developed by Visa and MasterCard to secure CNP transactions over the Internet.  Visa brand their version of the scheme ‘Verified by Visa’ and MasterCard have called their initiative ‘MasterCard SecureCode’. Other cards included in the scheme are Maestro and solo.

“3D secure transfers the liability for fraud from the merchant to the card issuer, under a range of conditions. It’s an online version of ‘Chip and Pin’ technology, making shopping online more secure for both merchants and shoppers. Explains Mr. Birzul, Technical Director of Viart.com.

Fraud and security concerns have grown in tandem with the growth of eCommerce.  By offering 3D secure payment systems, Viart is making shopping online safer for both buyers and sellers.

3D Secure authentication requires the cardholder to enter a PIN/ password they previously assign to their credit card.  This is needed to complete any transaction online and therefore protects the cardholder from unauthorised use of their card.

For merchants, the benefits of 3D secure include confidence in order acceptance and protection from fraudulent charge backs. (more…)

Google to Acquire Postini For £320 Million/ $625 Million

Thursday, July 12th, 2007

Google has recently announced the acquisition of Postini - A company that offers security and corporate compliance solutions for email, IM and other online based communications.

Postini serves over 35,000 businesses and 10 million users worldwide. 

Google has explained the deal will allow them to offer more hosted services to businesses.  At the moment, 1,000 small businesses sign up for google Apps (Which includes Google Mail, Calendar, Talk etc.) on a daily basis.   While Google launched Google Apps to help businesses to communicate and share information, larger companies have been unable to use it due to breach of legal and compliance issues.

Google has said that they want to address these information security and compliance issues - hence the reason for the acquisition of Postini.

Read the full press release from google at: Google to Acquire Postini

 Source: TechCrunch - Google Acquires Postini

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Flickr Integrated into Yahoo Image Search

Thursday, June 28th, 2007

Very recently it was reported that Yahoo has added millions of Flickr images into its image index. 

This is a huge step for Yahoo! in their efforts to improve relevancy!  This has to be the central reason why Yahoo bought Flickr in the first place way back in March 2005!  It’s impressive that a move towards social search was imminent way back in 2005!

Having taken the first step, Yahoo are heading in the right direction towards using social search and rank to increase the relevancy of their image search! 

[Via ReadWriteWeb - Yahoo 2.0 It’s Recognization & Future - This is a great article, definately worth a read]

Shopping Carts Get More Traffic from Social Network Sites

Thursday, June 7th, 2007

The latest statistics from Hitwise has revealed that the arrival of MySpace has had a significant impact on shopping carts.  Shopping carts now receive 3.15% from MySpace - up 86.1% in the past year

LeeAnn Prescott from Hitwise notes that the increase from MySpace to ecommerce shopping sites could have several explanations: more advertising presence on the site, a general increase in traffic to the website or Google search on the site.

So, despite scepticism about the advent of social marketing, it seems it might be starting to take hold.  TopShop for example got 5% of its shopping traffic from MySpace.

It will be interesting to see what the traffic stats are from social network sites next year.  My prediction:  Facebook will be up there with MySpace and there presence for ecommerce sites will continue to grow! 
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Convert More Shoppers with More Information

Wednesday, May 30th, 2007

A survey carried out on US web users has revealed that customers with plenty of information during the buying process can help to convert more browsers to buyers.

2,873 US online shoppers were surveyed and amongst other findings, it was revealed that almost half of consumers have abandoned their shopping carts because they couldn’t find the information they wanted.

56% of consumers surveyed said they wanted to be able to access information during the checkout process

The survey was carried out by Harris Interactive.  Follow this link to view the full Online Retail report.

Further reading:
Shopping Cart Abandonment
84% of Online Shoppers Don’t Browse

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Ecommerce News: Google Trends Launch Hot Trends

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2007

Hot Trends is Google’s new Google Trends feature that will now report the top 100 ‘hottest’ search queries for each day. 

For each ‘hot’ search query, you can view a graph that displays the popularity of the query, related searches and the top results from Google News, Blog Search and Web Search. These results should explain to you why the queries are so popular.

How do google define a hot trend?

Google say they use an algorythm to identify a sudden rise in a query phrase, that is not the norm for that query.  The higher the sudden rise, the hotter the topic.

You will also be able to access an archive of ‘hot’ trends - just select a past date and up pop the ‘hottest’ queries for that day!  See the people, the news and the events which defined that day in history!

At the moment Google only shows the “hottest” queries in the US, but it is expected that other countries will follow.

When you click on a search query you can even see how popular that search query is in a certain city or state and compare these stats from city to city. 

I expect to see things of this nature a lot more in the future on Google’s various properties, what do you think?

Via: PCPro - What’s hot in Google Trends?

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