eCommerce Terminology

B2B (Business to Business)

The exchange of goods and services between business.

B2C (Business to Consumer)

The exchange of goods and services with the end consumer being the target market.

Chargeback

Where a transaction is debited against a merchant account in cases of refunds and fraud. Chargebacks usually attract a fee that is debited against the merchant.

Certificate Authority

A third party company that issues digital certificates that confirms a company or individuals’ identification. A digital certificate is a crucial part of secure ecommerce

Cobranding

Where two companies identify a partnership between them through one company displaying their logos, color schemes etc on another companies application.

Cookies

Small text files stored on your computer when visiting a site that record preference for that particular site’s usage. Cookies are also common in shopping cart applications in order to remember visitors as they move throughout product pages.

CRM – Customer Relationship Management.

The entire process of a pre-sales, sales and service relationship with a customer. Many software applications are now available that permit you to record this relationship from the time the clients asks their first question. Good CRM software is much more efficient than fragmented records as it can save time in tracking communications and transactions with a particular person.

EDI (Electronic Data Interchange)

This is the business to business (b2b) flow of information between companies or within a company itself. The 90′s saw the concept of information equaling power. Whatever creates power also generates money and therefore creates new enterprises to supply this information.

Encryption

Process of transforming data into a type that prevents casual observers from deciphering.

Etailing

These are mainly “virtual” storefronts which act as a catalogue of products of merchants and usually include a “shopping cart” system to enable consumers to purchase online with the use of credit cards.

Firewall

Software/hardware used to prevent unauthorized access from a computer system or network of computer systems.

Gateway

Computer that allows communications between networks one network with another. Used in ecommerce to act as an interface between a merchant and a bank; i.e, a Payment Gateway.

Infomediary

An infomediary is an online resources that collates data from a variety of sources and acts as a middleman between those distributing the information and people who want the information.

Luhn algorithm

The LUHN algorith is used for credit card number generation and validation.

eCheck

An E-Check is a form of payment that deducts funds directly from your own standard checking account. eCheck services are usually managed by third party companies that interface with a number of different banks. An echeck provides a more fraud resistant option in terms of ecommerce transactions.

Merchant account

A special account account where money from credit card sales is first routed to and held before transfer to your own business account. This process is usually fully automated in ecommerce transactions. Money may be transferred into your standard business account in real-time or during various points in a 24 hour period. A merchant account is a crucial part of ecommerce.

Merchant Identification Number (MIDS)

Unique merchant identification number that is used in conjunction with all transactions.

Out of the box

Refers to an applications suitability to be rapidly integrated into an existing system

P2P (Peer-to-Peer)

Process whereby computers can trade information between each other directly without the assistance of a third party network.

Payment threshold

The minimum accumulated commission an affiliate must earn to trigger payment from an affiliate program.

Privacy policy

A Web site’s official statement on the type of information collected on a site, how the information will be used, how the person can access this data and the steps for having the data removed. A privacy statement will also usually include information regarding systems that are in place to protect the information of web site visitors.

Privacy seal programs

Independent organizations that verify if an online companies’ Privacy Statement is verifiable and accurate.

Scalability

The ability and flexibility of an application to meet growth requirements of an organization

Secure servers

Special servers that utilize encryption to prevent unauthorized users from intercepting and reading a message that passes through its system..

Session cookie

Temporary cookie stored in a computers memory for remembering preferences during a web site visit that is flushed on leaving the site.

Shareware

Software that is distributed at no cost that can be used for free for a specific period of time or under certain circumstances to allow evaluation.

Shopping cart

Software that keeps track of items a visitor picks to buy from your site until they proceed to the “checkout”.

SLA (Service Level Agreement)

Used in many merchant/institution and merchant/consumer transactions to define the boundaries of what the service is committed to deliver and under what circumstances.

SSL (Secure Socket Layer)

A secure protocol that ensures the integrity of information that is transmitted via this means.

Uptime

The amount of time a web site is available. The industry benchmark at this point in time for availability is 99.99%.

SOHO

Stands for Small Office/Home Office and refers to a specific group of people who work from home or very small companies.

Turnkey

Refers to an application that with very few adjustments is ready for use, such as a remotely hosted shopping cart service.

User session

Each visit to a web site by one person. The session is usually “ended” when all pages have been closed or after a specific time of inactivity.

Vortals (vertical industry portals)

Online resources that are gateways to specific industry related information.

WYSIWYG

What You See Is What You Get. An application that displays how the resulting page will look as it is being developed by the user in which the screen displays what the end result will look like, while the document is being created or modified.

New 2013 gTLD (Generic Top Level Domain) List

See All The New gTLDs Coming Online Starting 2013

Listed Alphabetically by Category:

Generic – City – Geo/Cultural – International (ASCII) – International (not ASCII) - Brand TLDs

GENERIC

.academy .accountant .accountants .actor .ads
.adult .agency .airforce .analytics .and
.antivirus .apartments .app .archi .architect
.are .army .art .associates .attorney
.auction .audio .auto .autoinsurance

dot APP tld divide

.baby .band .bank .bar .bargains
.baseball .basketball .beauty .beer .best
.bet .bible .bid .bike .bingo
.bio .black .blackfriday .blog .blue
.boats .boo .book .boutique .broadway
.broker .build .builders .business .buy
.buzz

dot APP tld divide

.cab .cafe .cam .camera .camp
.capital .car .cards .care .career
.careers .carinsurance .cars .cash .casino
.catering .catholic .center .ceo .channel
.charity .charity .cheap .christmas .church
.city .claims .cleaning .click .clinic
.clothing .cloud .club .coach .codes
.coffee .college .community .company .compare
.computer .condos .construction .consulting .contact
.contractors .cooking .cool .corp .country
.coupon .courses .cpa .credit .creditcard
.creditunion .cricket .cruise

dot APP tld divide

.dad .dance .data .dating .day
.dds .dealer .deals .degree .delivery
.democrat .dental .dentist .design .dev
.diamonds .diet .digital .direct .directory
.discount .diy .docs .doctor .dog
.doctor .dot .download .drive .drive

dot APP tld divide

.earth .eat .eco .ecom .education
.email .energy .engineer .engineering .enterprises
.equipment .esq .estate .events .exchange
.expert .exposed .express

dot APP tld divide

.fail .faith .family .fan .farm
.fashion .feedback .film .finance .financial
.financialaid .fish .fishing .fit .fitness
.flights .florist .flowers .fly .foo
.food .football .forex .forsale .forum
.foundation .free .frontdoor .fun .fund
.furniture .futbol .fyi

dot APP tld divide

.gallery .game .garden .gay .gift
.gifts .gives .giving .glass .glean
.global .gmbh .gold .golf .gop
.graphics .green .gripe .grocery .group
.guide .guitars .guru

dot APP tld divide

.hair .halal .hangout .health .healthcare
.heart .help .here .hiphop .hiv
.hockey .holdings .holiday .home .horse
.hospital .host .hosting .hot .hoteis
.hotel .hoteles .house .how

dot APP tld divide

.immo .inc .industries .ing .ink
.institute .insurance .insure .international .investments
.ira .islam

dot APP tld divide

.jewelry .juegos
.kids .kitchen .kosher

dot APP tld divide

.land .law .lawyer .lds .lease
.legal .lgbt .life .lifeinsurance .lifestyle
.lighting .limited .limo .link .live
.living .llc .loans .loft .lol
.lotto .love .ltd .luxe .luxury

dot APP tld divide

.mail .makeup .man .management .map
.market .marketing .mba .med .media
.medical .meet .meme .memorial .men
.menu .mlb .mls .mobile .mom
.money .mormon .mortgage .motorcycles .mov
.movie .music .mutualfunds

dot APP tld divide

.navy .nba .network .new .news
.next .nfl .ngo .ninja .now

dot APP tld divide

.office .one .ong .online .organic

dot APP tld divide

.page .partners .parts .party .patch
.pay .pets .pharmacy .phd .photo
.photography .physio .physio .pics .pictures
.pid .ping .pink .pizza .place
.play .plumbing .plus .poker .porn
.press .prod .productions .prof .promo
.properties .property .protection .pub

dot APP tld divide

.qpon

dot APP tld divide

.racing .radio .realestate .realtor .realty
.recipes .red .rehab .rent .rentals
.repair .report .republican .restaurant .retirement
.review .rip .rocks .rodeo .room
.rsvp .rugby .run

dot APP tld divide

.safety .sale .salon .save .scholarships
.school .science .search .secure .security
.seek .services .sex .sexy .shiksha
..shoes .shop .shopping .show .silk
.singles .site .ski .skin .smile
.soccer .social .software .solar .solutions
.spa .space .sport .spot .spreadbetting
.star .storage .store .stroke .studio
.study .style .sucks .supplies .supply
.support .surf .surgery .systems

dot APP tld divide

.talk .tattoo .tax .taxi .team
.tech .technology .tennis .theater .tickets
.tips .tires .today .tools .top
.tours .town .toys .trade .trading
.training .trust .tube

dot APP tld divide

.university

dot APP tld divide

.vacations .ventures .vet .video .villas
.vin .vip .vision .vodka .vote
.voting .voyage

dot APP tld divide

.watch .weather .web .webcam .website
.wedding .wiki .win .wine .winners
.work .works .world .wow .wtf

dot APP tld divide

.xyz

dot APP tld divide

.yachts .yellowpages .yoga .you

dot APP tld divide

.zip .zone

dot APP tld divide

CITY TLDS

.abudhabi .amsterdam .barcelona .bcn
.berlin .boston .brussels .budapest
.capetown .city .cologne .dubai
.durban .hamburg .helsinki .ist
.istanbul .joburg .koeln .kyoto
.london .madrid .melbourne .miami
.moscow .nagoya .nyc .osaka
.paris .rio .roma .stockholm
.sydney .taipei .tokyo .vegas
.yokohama .wien .zuerich

dot APP tld divide

GEO/CULTURAL

.africa .alsace .aquitaine .arab
.bayern .bzh .cal .catalonia
.corsica .cymru .eus .gal
.gent .genting .irish .kiwi
.lat .nrw .okinawa .pars
.quebec .ryukyu .saarland .scot
.swiss .tatar .thai .tirol
.vlaanderen .wales .zulu

dot APP tld divide

INTERNATIONAL TLDS – LATIN/ASCII CHARACTERS

.abogado .anquan .banque .blanco
.casa .cyou .dabur .gmbh
.gratis .halal .haus .hoteis
.hoteles .immo .immobilien .indians
.jetzt .jio .juegos .kim
.kinder .lacaixa .latino .maison
.moda .moto .movistar .mozaic
.mutuelle .onl .persiangulf .reise
.rest .rich .ruhr .sapo
.sarl .schule .shia .shouji
.sina .skolkovo .sncf .soy
.srl .tienda .translations .uno
.versicherung .viajes .villas .viva
.vivo .voto .vuelos .weibo
.whoswho .xihuan .xin .yun

dot APP tld divide

IDNS – INTERNATIONALIZED TLDS – NON LATIN SCRIPT

.католик .みんな .在线 .游戏
.ком .アマゾン .大众汽车 .点看
.москва .クラウド .大拿 .珠宝
.онлайн .グーグル .天主教 .삼성
.орг .コム .娱乐 .盛贸饭店
.рус .ストア .娱乐 .移动
.сайт .セール .家電 .网址
קוֹם. .ファッション .工行 .网店
ابوظبي. .ポイント .广东 .网站
اتصالات. .一号店 .广州 .网络
ارامكو. .世界 .微博 .联通
العليان. .中信 .慈善 .诺基亚
بازار. .中文网 .我爱你 .谷歌
بيتك. .亚马逊 .手机 .购物
شبكة. .企业 .手表 .通用电气公司
عرب. .佛山 .招聘 .通販
.كاثوليك .信息 .政务 .集团
كوم. .公司 .政府 .電訊盈科
.كيوتل .健康 .新闻 .飞利浦
.موبايلي .八卦 .时尚 .食品
.موزايك .公益 .普利司通 .餐厅
موقع. .商城 .書籍 .香格里拉
همراه. .商店 .机构 .香港電訊
..कॉम .商标 .机构体制 .點看
..नेट .嘉里 .欧莱雅 .닷넷
.संगठन .嘉里大酒店 .淡马锡 .닷컴
คอม. .深圳

dot APP tld divide

BRAND GTLDS

.aaa .deutschepost .komatsu .reisen
.aarp .dhl .konami .reliance
.abarth .digikey .kone .ren
.abb .discover .kpmg .rexroth
.abbott .dish .kpn .richardli
.abbvie .dnb .krd .ricoh
.abc .dnp .kred .rightathome
.able .docomo .ksb .ril
.accenture .dodge .kuokgroup .rmit
.acer .doha .kyknet .rocher
.aco .doosan .ladbrokes .rockwool
.active .dstv .lamborghini .rogers
.adac .dtv .lamer .rwe
.aeg .dunlop .lancaster .safe
.aetna .duns .lancia .safeway
.afamilycompany .dupont .lancome .sakura
.afl .dvag .landrover .samsclub
.africamagic .dvr .lanxess .sandvik
.agakhan .dwg .lasalle .sandvikcoromant
.aig .edeka .latrobe .sanofi
.aigo .emerck .leclerc .sap
.airbus .emerson .lefrak .sapo
.airtel .epost .lego .sapphire
.akdn .epson .lexus .sas
.alcon .ericsson .liaison .saxo
.alfaromeo .erni .lidl .sbi
.alibaba .est .like .sbs
.alipay .esurance .lilly .sca
.allfinanz .etisalat .lincoln .scb
.allfinanzberater .eurovision .linde .schaeffler
.allfinanzberatung .everbank .lipsy .schmidt
.allstate .extraspace .livestrong .schwarz
.ally .fage .lixil .schwarzgroup
.alstom .fairwinds .locker .scjohnson
.amazon .farmers .locus .scor
.americanexpress .fast .loreal .seat
.americanfamily .fedex .lotte .select
.amex .ferrari .lpl .sener
.amfam .ferrero .lplfinancial .ses
.amica .fiat .ltda .seven
.amp .fidelity .lundbeck .sew
.android .fido .lupin .sfr
.ansons .final .macys .shangrila
.anthem .finish .maif .sharp
.anz .fire .mango .shaw
.aol .firestone .marriott .shell
.apple .firmdale .marshalls .shopyourway
.aquarelle .flickr .maserati .showtime
.aramco .flir .matrix .shriram
.arte .fls .mattel .sky
.asda .flsmidth .maybelline .skydrive
.astrium .foodnetwork .mcd .skype
.athleta .ford .mcdonalds .sling
.audi .fox .mckinsey .smart
.audible .fresenius .meo .softbank
.auspost .frl .merck .sohu
.author .frogans .merckmsd .song
.avery .frontier .metlife .sony
.avianca .ftr .microsoft .spiegel
.aws .fujitsu .mih .stada
.axa .fujixerox .mii .staples
.axis .gallo .mini .starhub
.azure .gallup .mint .statebank
.baidu .gap .mit .statefarm
.banamex .garnier .mitek .statoil
.bananarepublic .gbiz .mitsubishi .stc
.barclaycard .gcc .mma .stcgroup
.barclays .gdn .mnet .stream
.barefoot .gea .moe .supersport
.bauhaus .gecompany .moi .suzuki
.bbb .ged .monash .svr
.bbc .george .monster .swatch
.bbt .ggee .montblanc .swiftcover
.bbva .glade .mopar .symantec
.bcg .gle .mrmuscle .tab
.beats .globalx .mrporter .taobao
.beknown .globo .msd .target
.bentley .gmail .mtn .tata
.bestbuy .gmc .mtpc .tatamotors
.bharti .gmo .mtr .tci
.bing .gmx .multichoice .tdk
.blockbuster .godaddy .mutual .telecity
.bloomberg .goldpoint .mzansimagic .telefonica
.bloomingdales .goo .nab .temasek
.bms .goodhands .nadex .terra
.bmw .goodyear .naspers .teva
.bnl .goog .nationwide .thd
.bnpparibas .google .natura .theguardian
.boehringer .got .nec .thehartford
.bofa .gotv .netaporter .tiaa
.bom .grainger .netbank .tiffany
.bond .gree .netflix .tjx
.booking .guardian .neustar .tjmaxx
.boots .guardianlife .newholland .tkmaxx
.bosch .guardianmedia .nextdirect .tmall
.bostik .gucci .nexus .toray
.bot .guge .nhk .toshiba
.box .hbo .nico .total
.bradesco .hdfc .nike .toyota
.bridgestone .hdfcbank .nikon .tradershotels
.brother .heinz .nissan .transformers
.bugatti .hermes .nissay .transunion
.buick .hgtv .nokia .travelchannel
.bway .hilton .northlandinsurance .travelers
.cadillac .hisamitsu .northwesternmutual .travelersinsurance
.call .hitachi .norton .travelguard
.calvinklein .hkt .nowruz .trv
.canalplus .homedepot .nowtv .tui
.cancerresearch .honda .nra .tunes
.canon .honeywell .ntt .tushu
.capitalone .hotmail .obi .tvs
.caravan .hsbc .observer .ubank
.caremore .htc .off .ubs
.cartier .hughes .olayan .uconnect
.caseih .hyatt .olayangroup .ultrabook
.cashbackbonus .hyundai .oldnavy .ummah
.cba .ibm .ollo .unicom
.cbn .icbc .olympus .unicorn
.cbre .ice .omega .uol
.cbs .icu .onyourside .ups
.ceb .idn .ooo .vana
.cern .ieee .open .vanguard
.cfa .ifm .oracle .vanish
.cfd .iinet .orange .verisign
.chanel .ikano .orientexpress .vermögensberater
.changiairport .imamat .origins .vermögensberatung
.chartis .imdb .otsuka .vig
.chase .infiniti .ott .viking
.chatr .infosys .overheidnl .virgin
.chesapeake .infy .ovh .visa
.chevrolet .intel .pamperedchef .vista
.chevy .intuit .panasonic .vistaprint
.chintai .ipiranga .panerai .volkswagen
.chk .iselect .passagens .volvo
.chloe .ismaili .patagonia .vons
.chrome .itau .payu .walmart
.chrysler .itv .pccw .walter
.cialis .iveco .pfizer .wang
.cimb .iwc .philips .wanggou
.cipriani .jaguar .piaget .warman
.circle .java .pictet .weatherchannel
.cisco .jcb .pin .weber
.citadel .jcp .pioneer .webjet
.citi .jeep .piperlime .weir
.citic .jlc .pitney .williamhill
.cityeats .jll .playstation .wilmar
.clinique .jmp .pnc .windows
.clubmed .jnj .pohl .wme
.comcast .jpmorgan .politie .wolterskluwer
.commbank .jpmorganchase .polo .woodside
.comsec .jprs .pramerica .wtc
.connectors .juniper .praxi .xbox
.cookingchannel .justforu .prime .xerox
.crown .kaufen .progressive .xfinity
.crs .kddi .pru .xperia
.csc .kerastase .prudential .yahoo
.cuisinella .kerryhotels .pwc .yamaxun
.datsun .kerrylogisitics .qtel .yandex
.dclk .kerryproperties .quest .yodobashi
.dell .ketchup .qvc .youtube
.delmonte .kfh .raid .zappos
.deloitte .kia .ram .zara
.delta .kiehls .read .zero
.desi .kindle .redken .zippo
.redstone .redumbrella .joy
.homegoods .jot .homesense

Watch Out For New Domain Extension Launch Hype

The dominance of .com in power and value as a domain name extension has never been in question. Even though well over 100 million .com URLs are taken, if you’re starting a new business, you’re more likely to get a .com over another extension. The difficulty of getting a quality .com however might drive you to something else.

It’s at that time that you might be drawn in by the massive marketing efforts of a newly released domain TLD. Hype can often surround the release of new extensions, making it seem like a hot and viable alternative, which often couldn’t be further from the truth.

How the Hype Gets Fueled

Contrary to the notion that domain names in new extensions don’t have much value, launches of new extensions commonly go well. Extensions like .mobi, .in, .co, .me and .eu each saw nice launch numbers and lots of excitement.

Why do launches often go so well? Domain speculators are always on the lookout for the next “gold rush”. After all, imagine the kind of massive returns that could be had if you could turn back time to the early-mid 90s, the early days of .com!

Even if these TLDs don’t end up being the next .com, there often is some opportunity with them, however little it may be. Buying low and selling high can happen even if the extension loses steam, as long as the selling happens before it does.

Why Entrepreneurs Shouldn’t Follow Suit

While new extensions may offer some opportunity to domain investors, they often end up as “fool’s gold” for a new business looking to brand. The most brandworthy names in the TLD get bought by speculators on or before the launch and are subsequently parked. The end result is that web goers don’t get much if any exposure to sites on the extension.

Without that exposure, any site they DO come across on the site simply looks out of place. The URL is highly unmemorable with the unfamiliar extension. Worse yet, the extension ends up lacking the trust that established extensions possess, so that initial click or type-in needed to view the site often won’t happen.

Then the Hype Dies Down

As entrepreneurs start to see through the hype and rarely if ever see any notable sites developed on it, more and more of them see little reason to get a URL in it. With development of sites on the new extension already low due to the hype-filled speculation in it, that ultimately kills the potential of the extension.

Domain name investors may have been able to buy low and sell a bit higher to other speculators and early entrepreneurial adopters of it initially. That activity can only hold up for so long however – once it dies down, it causes a lot of dropped domains and even fewer developed sites on the extension. The hype ultimately vanishes, leaving a clearly worthless extension.

Don’t Get Caught Up in the Hype

The moment you go with a TLD other than .com for your business, you’re taking a much larger risk as it is. Even with dozens of other alternatives that exist and hundreds more on the horizon, the general expectation a web goer has when it hears of a new online business is that it is on a .com.

Some other extensions have had some success however and are fairly established. Get the right URL in a TLD like .net for instance and you may still have great chances for establishing a long-lasting presence. A new extension on the other hand is not established at all and you would be lucky to get any traction with it. Even if you have many other things going for you and are a masterful marketer, your domain will greatly hamper your efforts to grow your presence.

The One Factor Many Don’t Think About

Search engines drive a significant amount of traffic online. Part of why new extensions struggle to get massive exposure is because that exposure gets hampered by the likes of Google. They will not outright say that they devalue sites developed on domains containing newly released extensions, but such sites simply rarely show up in search engines.

It often takes a massive SEO effort to make up for it, with success happening often only if a site manages to go viral through other means.

The Cycle Continues

Even as hype dies down on yesterday’s extensions, tomorrow’s new TLDs still follow the same trend of hype. Most of what you’ll see leading up to a launch is marketing done by the registry and registrars. So at the time the extension comes out, there’s usually not much apparent dissent among the many enticing ads.

The new gTLDs that start arriving possibly late this year will likely bring a sense of hype unrivaled by past extension releases. Only time will tell which of those extensions will succeed and become a truly viable option for entrepreneurs. History is likely to repeat itself however, and history tells us that only a few of them will succeed. This leads to the conclusion that using a domain name in any new extension is simply an unnecessary risk to the success of your new business.

 

A Guide to Building Successful AdWords Campaigns

Welcome to the AdWords Step by Step guide to building successful search advertising campaigns.

The following pages contain important information to help you make your ad campaigns as successful as possible. How to structure your account, how to pick the right keywords, how to write your ads – what you’ll learn here will give you the tools you need to build effective and successful campaigns.

In addition, in the workbook sections at the end of each chapter, you’ll get the opportunity to translate these lessons into real-world success by creating your own high-quality ad campaigns. If you complete each chapter’s workbook section, by the end of the book you’ll have a ready-to-launch campaign putting these guidelines into practice.

An important note: Getting the most out of AdWords requires ongoing experimentation. Whether you’re brand new to AdWords or are an AdWords veteran, following the guidelines in these pages will help you create and hone your campaigns to give you the maximum possible return on your advertising investment.

 

Download: step_by_step Google Adwords

43% of U.S. adults participate in showrooming

And they do it at Best Buy stores most often, a new poll shows.
Lead Photo 43% of U.S. adults have participated in showrooming, according to a new survey of 2,249 consumers conducted by the Harris Poll from Nov. 27-29. Showrooming takes place when a shopper goes to a store to test out merchandise and then searches the web—often from a mobile device while in the store—for a better deal and ultimately buys the item online.

Best Buy Co. ranked as the No. 1 store where consumers showroomed, with 24% of respondents saying they visited a Best Buy store and then purchased goods they tested out there at a web retailer. Consumers spent $281 on average online after trying out a product in a Best Buy store, the poll finds. Men (30%) are more likely to report Best Buy as their top showrooming location than women (17%). Average online spending is much higher among consumers who typically visit a Best Buy store and then buy online than among shoppers who do in-store research at Wal-Mart Stores Inc. or Target Corp. and then make a purchase on the web. Wal-Mart showrooming shoppers spent $119.10 online and those who used Target as a showroom spent $79.30.

Wal-Mart ranked as the second most popular store for showrooming, with 22% saying they looked at products there. Wal-Mart was followed by Target (9%), Home Depot Inc. (4%), Lowe’s Cos. Inc. (3%) and Barnes & Noble (3%). For both Wal-Mart and Target, women said they showroomed in those stores more often than men. 27% of women and 18% of men showroomed at Wal-Mart, and 12% of women and 7% of men did so at Target.

After consumers check out items at stores, they most often wind up buying online at Amazon.com Inc. 57% of consumers say they most frequently bought from Amazon after visiting a bricks-and-mortar store. EBay Inc. and Wal-Mart tied for a distant second at 5% each.

Some shoppers wind up buying from the online version of the bricks-and-mortar store where they showroomed.  For example, 12% of Target showroomers go online to purchase from Target.com, 11% of Wal-Mart showroomers purchase from Walmart.com, and 8% of Best Buy showroomers purchase from Best Buy online. Spending is also significantly higher among male showroomers ($269.80) than among their female counterparts ($148.70).

A recent poll from web measurement firm comScore Inc. shows similar results as the Harris poll. Nearly four in 10, or 37%, of consumers that comScore polled this year say they checked out products in stores and then bought online. However, only a fraction of those consumers answered “Yes” to that question when comScore didn’t describe what showrooming was, illustrating that many consumers don’t use the term to describe browsing in stores and then buying online.

Best Buy is No. 25 in the Internet Retailer Mobile 400. Wal-Mart is No. 6, Target No. 34 and Amazon No. 1.

MCM Outlook 2012-13: Ecommerce

Holiday 2011 went down in the books as the busiest one ever for ecommerce. ComScore reported that con- sumers spent $35.3 billion at consumer ecommerce sites be- tween Nov. 1 and Dec. 26, a 15% increase over the corresponding days in 2010.

Retailers saw tremendous lifts in online sales—from online accessories seller eBags (up 32% overall) to old-school depart- ment store Macy’s (which saw its ecommerce sales rise 40.3%). But were these kinds of numbers only a sign that the U.S. econo- my has rebounded? Or was something else at work? Based on MCM Outlook 2012-13 results—coupled with an overall 2011 holiday sales growth of 4.1% as reported by the National Retail Federation— it’s evident that merchants have responded to consumer shop- ping behaviors and adapted to maximize their online sales.

Bricks and Clicks: Rethinking Retail Real Estate in the E-commerce Era

Internet retailing has been growing steadily over the past decade but still accounts for a small share of overall retailing. However, e-commerce is now poised for explosive growth on the strength of rapidly evolving consumer shopping habits and game-changing retail technology. Impacts on the shopping center industry will be profound and far-reaching.

The retail sector is finally recovering from the recession’s brutal downturn, though not uniformly. The chasm between the best- and worst-performing shopping centers continues to widen as a host of structural and cyclical forces buffet this ever-dynamic industry. Against this backdrop, retailers and landlords are facing a new set of challenges and opportunities as internet technology transforms both consumer behavior and retailing business models. Mobile commerce has arrived, with deep and pervasive impacts across the industry.

With the recession’s financial strains still raw, consumers demand even more value, on top of the greater convenience they have come to expect. Retailers are rethinking the role of stores in their platform and leveraging technology to reach their customers faster, easier and cheaper. Chains are abandoning their old paradigm of “bigger and more” in favor of a leaner model of “smaller and fewer” stores as they are push more sales online. Meanwhile, preferred store locations are moving closer to shoppers. These shifts carry significant implications for both shopping centers and warehousing.

The greatest disruption will occur in the big-box segment that itself upended industry practices over the past 50 years – driving down prices while providing consumers with easy access to an unprecedented variety of goods. But now their very value proposition is under assault. Big- box stores will not go away quietly or immediately, but their dominance will decline, replaced by online alternatives offering superior selection, lower prices, and even more convenience.

Though taking shape only now, these shifts and their downstream impacts will both accelerate and intensify in the next few years. We continue to see outstanding opportunities in the retail sector, but investors must be more selective in their asset selection, preferring well-located sites and unique shopping environments over commodity space in inferior locations. Investors should be especially cautious in pursuing value-add opportunities that aim to reposition struggling centers in anticipation of a general market recovery. The retail sector already suffers from a significant oversupply of commodity space, and emerging technologies will only augment this obsolescence.

6 WordPress Ecommerce Plugins 2012

Introduction

A lot of you have WordPress websites and blogs these days, so it makes sense for you to consider getting one of WordPress’ many ecommerce plugins to turn your site into an online store. It’s convenient. It’s inexpensive. But is it the best ecommerce solution for you? In the coming weeks, I’m going to review all the popular WordPress ecommerce plugins laying out the good, the bad, and the ugly. But for now, I’m going to go over a few of the most popular and also tell you why you may be barking up the wrong tree with WordPress ecommerce plugins at all.

The Problem With WordPress Ecommerce Plugins

The problem with using WordPress for ecommerce is that all the plugins available are extremely lightweight and best suited for entry level online stores. Why is that a problem? Well, because most WordPress ecommerce plugins have awful documentation and even worse customer support. WordPress ecommerce plugins are built for small and medium sized online stores, which are generally run by a less tech-savvy entrepreneur, and yet they can be incredibly difficult to setup, customize, run, and if you encounter a problem customer service is often impossible to get ahold of, or they charge extra money for each issue. There’s also the bug issue, which deserves an article to itself.

WordPress is awesome for blogs. Nobody can deny that. Its possibly the best CMS (content management system) in the world. I built the website you’re on right now using WordPress and I love it. But I’m not selling anything. This isn’t an ecommerce store. I don’t have to worry about inventory, payment gateways, shipping integrations, security concerns, credit card information, and more. These plugins aren’t dedicated ecommerce platforms, like Shopify,BigCommerce, and the likes.

Yes, WordPress ecommerce plugins come with some benefits, but they also come with some big drawbacks you should be aware of as well. Here are the 6 WordPress ecommerce plugins that I’m currently evaluating for an in-depth review. In the comments, please let me know which you’re most interested in reading about.

 

Top 6 WordPress Ecommerce Plugins

Shopp

Shopp is one of WordPress’ first ecommerce plugins – it’s been around for quite some time. I really like how easy it is to customize your online store’s design with Shopp. This ecommerce plugin can be liensed for $55 – $299 and you also need to pay more for further functinoality. For instance, if you want a specific payment gateway, or a shipping module, or support, you’re going to have to pay a lot extra.

This one is easy to install and use, and I am impressed with their documentation, but don’t expect any type of customer support…. at all.

I tried Shopp. It’s a great product, but the customer service is dismal or non-existent unless you pay an extra premium fee for it. (Source)

Not everyone agrees that Shopp is “a great product” – here is an excerpt from a review that compared Shopp with Cart66:

Why does Shopp suck? Because it is very misleading with the phrase, “Need to customize every aspect of the shopping experience without a bunch of code hacking headaches?” Shopp is nothing but a headache for a designer like myself, I guarantee the people who Love Shopp are coders. The response from the help desk is to go seek help in the forum or hire a coder. I wasted almost 2 years learning code, instead of selling and creating my artwork which is all I wanted to do in the first place! (Source)

WP E-Commerce

WP E-Commerce is also known as “getshopped.org” and it’s easy to use and is definitely one of the most popular ecommerce solutions for WordPress out there. Many consider it the best option, and it has a strong community of developers ready to help you.  You get the basic functions you’d want from a shopping cart without too much extra. You can download WP E-Commerce for free, but all features need to be purchased. It’s got a lot more features than eShop and yes, you can print invoices, but NO they’re not customizable. You get a good amount of payment options (PayPal, Manual, Google Checkout, Chronopay, etc, etc,) but if you need anything above super-basic functionality you’ll need to upgrade to their “Gold Version” which costs a lot extra.

Some more downfalls with WP E-Commerce are bugs. Depending on what you’re trying to do, you may or may not need to call an exterminator this plugin is so damn buggy. Also, support is widely regarded as horrendous.

While I loved the wp e-commerce because of its functionality, unless you are a PHP guru, be warned. Their support sucks big time. I bought the Gold cart and needed support and am still waiting after almost a week. The program has a ton of bugs that if you are good with PHP you can fix. Don’t expect them to do it! (Source)

WooCommerce

Famous design studio, WooThemes, has now dipped into the world of ecommerce. Their plugin, WooCommerce, is free to download and use, but most extensions and functionalities cost money to use. Example: Basic accounting will cost +$50, Purolator shipping integration +$50, most payment gateways +$25 and up. You can see here for a whole list.

Potential issues include:

Shipping: The free version includes support for only flat fee shipping. Ie you can calculate shipping at a flat rate for the entire order or per item. There is an extension available for table based shipping prices and another for each of the realtime shipping gateways but this can add up quickly at $50 per realtime shipping provider.

Payment Gateways: The free version can only process credit cards via PayPal standard. There are also extensions here that can be purchased for different gateways.

Support: There is no support at this time for the free version, not even via the forum.

Inventory: Items can only be uploaded and managed one at a time. I was unable to find any sort of mass import. (Source)

Cart66

Cart66 is a WordPress ecommerce plugin that offers a lot of super basic shopping cart functionality to your site. Cart66 is well known for handling recurring billing (subscriptions) and selling digital downloads (good for selling MP3s, video, and more).

I can’t stress how basic Cart66 is enough. If you go with this plugin, I hope you’re good with your hands – because you’re going to be doing a lot of manual labor (ie. manually sending emails with order status, copying and pasting packing slip info, copying and pasting addresses onto shipping labels, and more).  Cart66 costs anywhere between $89 and $399.

Cart66 Lite is in many ways similar to previously reviewed Quickshop and wins in direct comparison. Nevertheless, I can recommend it only to small time merchandisers dealing in the US or Canada. It is not a good solution for retail sellers from other than the above-mentioned countries or ones selling more than few, unique items (no storage data). (Source)

Ecwid

This is another free plugin for WordPress that lets you sell online. I’ve read a lot of positive reviews and comments about Ecwid, so I’m excited to try this plugin; however, I’m skeptical of Ecwid for a few reasons, one being it uses Ajax for almost everything so your sites SEO will be affected and people who don’t have JavaScript enabled will have a hard time finding your online store. Anyways, I’m going to hold off judgement until I personally give Ecwid a spin.

eShop

I found eShop to be one of the eaisest to use WordPress ecommerce plugins. The admin area is nice, and they make it simple to add products, and check very basic stats. Again – like all WordPress ecommerce solutions, there is always a downside, and with eShop you’re extremely limited when it comes to payment gateways. With eShop you can only use PayPal, Payson, or their own payment system (they take a cut), and if you choose to use eShop as a payment method, you won’t be able to print an invoice for the customer, which… is kind of ridiculous.

Even though eShop is easy to use, I think it’s too lightweight and basic for almost anyone. There is a laundry list of things it doesn’t (and SHOULD) do. For instance, you can’t even do simple reporting:

Reporting in eShop is lacking and there’s no where to see your overall sales on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. It’s important to know how much business is coming in from your shop and most e-commerce software has at minimum a sales report function. (Source)

Conclusion

Picking an ecommerce platform isn’t an easy task. From my experience, using a WordPress ecommerce plugin is not ideal for building and running an online store.

ForeSee Results: Daily Deal Websites and Emails Bring in New and Existing Customers

Daily deal companies such as Groupon and LivingSocial are unquestionably popular. Unfortunately, with such popularity comes criticism. Recently, merchants and industry experts have bombarded daily deal companies with concerns regarding their business model and the business value of the deals themselves, while consumers seem generally pleased with the concept of purchasing coupons that provide discount of up to 90%.

The data we compiled shows that while overall deal subscriptions are down slightly since we researched daily deals last spring, Groupon and LivingSocial remain healthy and deal purchases have increased since last year. That’s great news for consumers, retailers, and for companies like Groupon, who is leading the way in the daily deal frontier.

The research included in this report is based on surveys conducted in November and December 2011 as part of our Holiday E-Retail Satisfaction Index, which included responses from almost 10,000 visitors to the top 40 retail websites as determined by Internet Retailer’s 2011 Top 500 Guide. ForeSee conducted similar research in the spring of 2011, allowing for a number of comparisons over time.

5 Ways Holiday Ecommerce is Changing

Lessons learned from the Chase Paymentech Cyber Holiday Pulse Index

Expectations ran high for the 2011 holiday shopping season. Statistics from the U.S. Depart- ment of Commerce showed ecommerce sales for the first three quarters were up over 17 percent versus 2010. Forrester Research issued a forecast predicting 15 percent growth for ecommerce during the holiday season. Federal Express announced plans to hire 20,000 seasonal workers to handle an anticipated 10 percent increase in package volume.

These trends were not lost on merchants. It was clear that online merchants were looking forward to the prospect of a successful holiday season, with some home pages showing holiday gift guides and early season deals. Based on the analysis of data from the Chase Paymentech Pulse Index, it appears those ecommerce retailers made wise choices, capitalizing on what turned out to be a very successful extended holiday shopping season.

For the merchants included in the Pulse Index, customers turned to ecommerce in record numbers for their holiday shopping, with year-over-year growth rates far outpacing forecasts. For the full 2011 holiday shop- ping season, online sales grew 25 percent, and transaction volume increased a staggering 37 percent.

Looking at growth rates by themselves, however, only scratches the surface when it comes to understanding how ecommerce is changing. By digging into the Pulse Index data, we can identify some clear trends and develop strategies to leverage the changes.