Shopping Cart Security: Is your online shop secure enough?

Posted by: admin in General Ecommerceon Feb 27, 2012

 

It’s a sad but true story: too many good businesspeople spend considerable sums of money setting up their ecommerce website, marketing it, building customers and loading products. Security is pushed aside because it is too hard or perceived to be too expensive – until the card skimmers or spammers find their site and make a mockery of the business. Reputations tarnished, those businesspeople are left to rebuild the trust of their customers and calm any bad press or customer backlash.

You can never have too much security, and it really pays to make sure that you fully understand why it’s so much more important when it comes to an online shop.

What “extra” security is required when it comes to an online shop?

For any website you need a strong level of security to ensure that your website is not used for malicious purposes like spam. When you are operating an online shop, there’s an even greater level of security you need to attain. You are being trusted with people’s credit card details and with that comes a certain level of expectation of your customers.

In fact, the group of credit card providers (principally Visa and MasterCard) collectively known as the Payment Card Industry (PCI) have established a mandatory set of standards called PCI DSS. These standards extend beyond just your technical security of your website, they extend to your business processes too. For example:

  • What do you do with credit card details you write down from phone orders?
  • How do you set your passwords?
  • How do you protect the computers you use to access your website?
  • What procedures do you have in place for disaster recovery?

When it comes to technical security, your server has to meet some tough standards to protect the integrity of your data:

  • Where are the payments physically hosted? A hosted payment solution means that the actual payment is processed on the payment gateway provider (or bank’s) website giving your end buyer more confidence in the integrity of the payment process.
  • Does your website “give away” your merchant ID by viewing the source of your website, opening the way for card skimmers?
  • Does your website “clean” the variables that are entered into the URL of the browser before using them?
  • Does the checkout of your site use encryption (via a technology called SSL) to protect the integrity of your data?

For you to pass the requirements of the industry (and be compliant for your bank) your server provider needs to ensure that the server is set up specifically to meet the PCI requirements and is audited by an approved third party security authority. We are quarterly audited by one of the toughest and most pedantic security auditors in the industry. Pedantic can be frustrating for our tech teams, but you benefit by that with greater peace of mind in your website.

Don’t take the risk of having your shopping cart website compromised and getting fined by your bank or directly by Visa and MasterCard. Get a site that will pass a PCI DSS audit and make your business processes as secure as possible.

By amoskit

Touch-screens create online shopping experiences at stores

By Hadley Malcolm, USA TODAY

Imagine browsing knife sets in an airport and then ordering one before you board your plane, or going to a department store to look at makeup without having to bounce from counter to counter to check out each brand’s selection.

  • Macy's Beauty Spot concierge Sayla Ike, right, helps Eve Diaz, 22, at the interactive kiosk at the Macy's in Tysons Corner Center, in Northern Virginia. Virtual shopping experiences put online shopping in a physical environment.Jack Gruber, USA TODAY

    Macy’s Beauty Spot concierge Sayla Ike, right, helps Eve Diaz, 22, at the interactive kiosk at the Macy’s in Tysons Corner Center, in Northern Virginia. Virtual shopping experiences put online shopping in a physical environment.

Jack Gruber, USA TODAY

Macy’s Beauty Spot concierge Sayla Ike, right, helps Eve Diaz, 22, at the interactive kiosk at the Macy’s in Tysons Corner Center, in Northern Virginia. Virtual shopping experiences put online shopping in a physical environment.

 

Companies including Macy’s, HSN and Adidas are building large, TV-like interactive screens to give consumers experiences like these in an ever-increasing effort to bring the convenience of online shopping to the offline world.

“We are on the frontier of a really neat future of retailing,” says Michelle Tinsley, general manager of retail at Intel, whose core processor is behind new shopping technology and digital signs from Macy’s, HSN, Adidas, Kraft, Coca-Cola and others.

To enhance the in-store shopping experience, where the majority of retail sales are still rung up, retailers are looking for ways to bring the convenience, selection and ability for product comparison of the online world. For example, HSN’s digital shopping wall could be set up in an airport and would allow someone to virtually browse knife sets while waiting for a flight, complete the purchase through their phone and have the item shipped home.

“It is a way to refresh the shopping experience without having to rebuild a new store,” says Joe Skorupa, editor of retail publication RIS News.

Shop digitally in physical stores

While online shopping accounts for less than 10% of retail sales, consumers continue to demonstrate their preference for browsing, researching, sharing and buying in a digital environment. Online holiday sales were up 15% over 2010, aided by record Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, according to data from ComScore. In-store sales rose 3.4% from the previous year during the same time period, data from Retail Metrics show.

Macy’s Beauty Spot kiosk, a rounded, roughly 7-foot-tall, 4-foot-wide structure inlaid with interactive touch-screens on both sides, allows a customer to browse the department store’s makeup brands in one place. Customers can look at top-selling products or shop for products involved in specific looks on the 40-inch screen.

“It is particularly aimed at a customer who comes into a department store but really prefers to shop on their own, as opposed to coming up to a counter and getting assistance,” says Jim Sluzewski, Macy’s spokesman.

Four kiosks installed in November are being tested in stores in Willowbrook, N.J., Tysons Corner, Va., and Houston, but Sluzewski says it’s too soon to gauge how the technology has been received or whether it has increased sales.

‘Endless’ inventory

In the two weeks Adidas previewed its virtual shoe wall in one of its London stores, it saw a 500% jump in sales of the soccer cleat available through the wall, compared with a similar shoe it launched six months earlier at the same price.

The wall stands just over 7 feet tall and is split into sections that can be detached to alter the width. So far, Adidas has shown 9-foot, 13-foot and 17-foot wide versions of the wall, which all include a touch-screen panel as well as a panel of actual “dummy shoes” customers can try on for size.

The touch-screen portion of the wall showcases digital representations of a product, including marketing content such as the inspiration behind the design of a shoe, size availability and price. It also pulls in Twitter feeds related to the products being sold to show what customers are saying.

Customers who already know their size can check out through the wall as if they were online, adding a product to their basket and entering size and identification information. The information is sent to a checkout counter designated for virtual wall purchases where the customer pays.

Chris Aubrey, director of commercial experience, refers to the wall as an “endless aisle” that gives “customers access to the widest range of products that we possibly can” because it isn’t restricted by the inventory bricks-and-mortar stores are so often bound to.

“The limitations that were there prior were based on how much product were in a physical location,” says Mitch Joel, president of digital marketing agency Twist Image. “You no longer have to have that issue. You can have a store in Peoria and sell as much inventory as if you were in Times Square.”

Not just for bricks and mortar

And bringing digital shopping to physical environments isn’t just for traditional retailers. HSN, known for selling products everywhere but an actual store, developed a 15-foot interactive touch-screen that invites passers-by to play a virtual pizza-making game hosted by chef Wolfgang Puck using his products that are sold by the network.

While the pizza is “baking,” users can learn more about the kitchenware and ingredients they used, such as a particular knife for cutting a vegetable topping or the ladle used to spoon tomato sauce on the pizza dough. They can then opt to get an e-mail sent to their phone that will take them to HSN’s mobile site to purchase the products they selected.

“The wall really allows us to bring the world of HSN to life in a physical location,” says Jill Braff, executive vice president of digital commerce.

Right now the wall only offers the pizza game, but in the future HSN could re-tailor the experience around other products and personalities, such as a virtual runway to showcase the launch of a new designer, spokesman Brad Bohnert says.

While HSN doesn’t have concrete plans yet for the wall to make its debut in a specific location, Braff says it could be successful in bustling spots such as airports, malls, food festivals or even film premieres.

As retailers forge into territory that combines online and offline experiences in one location, the key will be embracing the idea of self-serve shopping as a good thing, Joel says.

“You have customers going into stores that are very adept and knowledgeable about what they’re looking for,” he says. “They really don’t need much assistance other than the ability to get in, get out and have a great experience.”

By amoskit

Maintaining Privacy While Shopping Online

You may not be aware of it, but there is currently no legislation that requires website owners and sellers to maintain the privacy of site visitors who shop online or order merchandise from them. Because there are no laws preventing it, sellers are free to collect your name, address, information about the websites and site pages you visit, what types of products or services you buy, what time of day you shop online, the address you ship items to, what shipping service you use, and even how much you typically spend on an online purchase. Sellers may use the information they collect about purchasers by selling it to other companies or sharing it with affiliates. As a result of losing this private information, you will most likely receive more direct-mail marketing, spam e-mails, and/or telemarketer calls.

Losing privacy is a major concern that consumers are worried about in terms of shopping online. In response to these concerns, government regulators are encouraging website sellers to clearly state on their websites what their privacy policies are and how they will use information gathered from buyers. If you visit a site that does not have a posted privacy policy, you should think twice before placing an order with that site. A privacy policy should include the type of information the seller will gather based on your transaction and how the seller is planning to use the information gathered. A privacy policy should offer you the option to decline acceptance (“opt out”) of these policies. If you want to opt out, you should read the privacy policy thoroughly and look for instructions about how to opt out of accepting the policies.

But having a privacy policy posted online doesn’t necessarily protect you and keep your information private. Although you may be reassured by seeing a logo or seal of an independent monitoring agency that seemingly promises a private, secure transaction, you should also read the policy. Monitoring organizations may not dictate the privacy policy site owners must follow; they may only require the seller to abide by the privacy policy they have in place, whether or not it is a good policy. These organizations are usually not liable for anything if a seller does not follow the terms of its posted privacy policy. So if you see a monitoring organization’s logo on a website, you may want to visit the website of that agency to see how trustworthy they are and what kind of monitoring they do.

Many online sites contain programming codes that insert small files – “cookies” – onto your computer’s hard drive. Some websites require cookies for visitors to use the site or make purchases; some are used simply to identify site visitors; and some cookies are useful because they keep you from having to re-enter the same personal information every time you visit the site. But other “invisible” cookies can actually keep track of the various websites you visit, the searches you do, the amount of time you spend on certain sites, and some can even obtain your e-mail address by the transactions you do online. Marketers can use this information to specifically tailor advertisements they send you. These cookies are typically referred to as “adware.” Another type of invisible cookie, “Spyware,” is added to your computer when you go to download certain free programs or spend time on certain websites. These programs are not as harmless as regular cookies; although they can keep track of your online activities, they can also be used by marketers to track what you actually type, including personal information, without you knowing it.

Your Web browser has preference settings to allow you to limit or prevent sites from installing cookies on your computer. There are also good software or even freeware programs that you can install, and they can warn you about any website that attempts to install cookies, spyware, or adware on your computer. You can choose to accept, refuse, or control these installations using the tools contained in the software. Some anti-virus packages contain these programs, and some ISPs offer them along with their service packages. For ultimate protection, you may want to install a “firewall” to prevent unwanted intrusions on your computer.

When you purchase an item from an online seller, often they will offer to send you a confirmation e-mail detailing the transaction. Before agreeing to this confirmation e-mail, be sure to read the seller’s privacy policy so you will know how their procedure is handled. You do not necessarily need a confirmation e-mail as proof of purchase or proof of payment; usually you can simply print the final screen that appears at the end of your transaction, so you will have a record of the purchase.

Keeping a grip on personal information related to your activities online is just as important as keeping a grip on financial information you enter when making an online purchase. There are always unscrupulous people and companies watching every move website visitors make, and the information they collect can totally ruin your Internet experiences as well as risk ruining your identity offline. So before you click that Pay Now button to get a great deal, take a few minutes to read the site’s privacy policies and be sure you know what you’re signing up for.

By Buzzle Staff and Agencies
By amoskit

Why Online Shopping Is So Popular

Let’s explore seven reasons shopping malls have become so favorable in recent years.
Shopping Mall Vs. online shopping

Unlimited selection freedom is a key future of online shopping. Online shopping stores are very rich in their stock level. Online store provide a wide range of products to search. Here at online store you can easily find products for entire family. Apparels, jewelry, home and garden, decor, beauty, health and hyzone products, and even personalized gifts for special movement in life.

You have a lot of time on internet because for online shopping you need not to go anywhere outside this only thing you have to do is to use internet you acne access it from your living room, office, any cyber cafe so you have full freedom of time. You can spend more time on shopping because you have no hurry to return home and no delay tension. If you had planed your shopping you can shop fast but if you did not made any planning for your shopping than it takes much time. You have to browse the market and choose according to your needs. And the store will be closing at its closing time and your shopping will be incomplete. Shopping websites don ton close until they are under mentainence of any other critical reason its very rare so you never feel rushed.

When you purchase any product it is not possible to ask somebody about every product its performance and all other details. But if you are only it is easy and simple to see full details of every product and you can find reviews of almost products. You can share the experience of previous user of the product.

Online shopping helps you to find product very fast. Collectibles and other hard-to-find Items are easily available on internet shopping. Do you have an antique items and unable to find a certain parts for it. Well if you’re logged in to an online shopping mall, you can probably find just what you are looking for with the click of a mouse.

Online shopping store have larger collection than offline stores. Especially during the holidays, online shopping is popular because it allows people to avoid the heavy crowds at the malls. However, there are some disadvantages to shopping online, such as increased identity theft and harder to reach customer service. But, as online shopping continues to increase, these problems are quickly becoming a thing of the past.

Usually the internet has a much larger selection than stores. Lots of stores even have specific collections that are available only online. Clothing stores usually carry their plus sizes or petite sizes online instead of in the store. There are more colors and styles online than in the store as well.

Some online stores have more frequent sales than the stores. The reason for this is that the stores cannot hold as much inventory, whereas, online stores have much more inventory because items ordered are usually shipped directly from the big warehouses.

Online shopping has increased over the past few holidays because people have decided they do not want to go to the malls and deal with large crowds anymore. Also, since there is a bigger selection online, it is much less likely that the online store will run out of the more popular holiday items. Online shopping makes the holidays easier also because online stores will ship the merchandise to any address in the United States, so you don’t have to worry about buying the present and then going to the post office to send it elsewhere.

Even though online shopping can be great, there are some disadvantages. When shopping online it is easier for people to get your credit card information, however, this is quickly changing as many stores have increased their security measures. In the future, it will be much more challenging for hackers to get your information from internet stores. One other disadvantage of online shopping is the lack of customer service. Many times it is hard to reach someone if you have problems online or ask questions if you are unsure of a product. Again, however, this too is changing. More and more stores are including more detailed pictures with their products to reduce the amount of questions customers have. Some online clothing stores also have sizing charts available, so you do not have to guess your size at different stores. Online stores are also beginning to include free customer service phone numbers on their websites if the customer runs into trouble when checking out.

In the past five years, people have decided it is much easier to shop for their items online. Internet stores usually have bigger selections and better sales than the regular stores do. Shopping online is great for avoiding crowds during the holiday shopping rush. With the increase in internet shopping, however, there have also come problems. Online stores are quickly solving these problems to make the online shopping experience better. With a huge increase in online shopping from one year to the next, the question that must be asked is will there be malls as we know them in the future?

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Why is Online Shopping so Popular?

Online shopping has grown dramatically in popularity over recent years to the point where now billions of pounds are spent annually by people all over the world shopping online. Everyone from the young to the old, men and women every group of people, all shop online. This article will explore some of the main factors that explain the popularity of online shopping.

The first and most common reason to shop online is the convenience – you can shop 24 hours a day 7 days a week in your pajamas. Online shopping allows anyone to shop at a time that suits them, not just when the shops are open. This is a huge advantage for many people such as those who work during shop opening hours, people who have mobility or transport problems that make getting to the shops difficult, even couples who work different hours and find it difficult to shop together.

Another major advantage of shopping online is the pure numbers of online retailers; you will be able to find numerous sites that stock the product you are interested in buying and will be able to compare prices and different products or models at all of these places easily and quickly. To do the same amount of comparison shopping in the real world would involve spending hours if not days travelling from one store to another. Shopping online you can also easily purchase products from overseas so that you not only have even more choice but can make additional savings if the exchange rate is favorable.

The comfort and security of shopping from home is also a reason online shopping has increased in popularity. Shopping online does not expose you to the extremes of weather – it will not rain or snow on you in your lounge room. You are in a comfortable and familiar environment, you do not have to physically travel to a town or section of a city that you are unfamiliar with or uncomfortable about. Many people do not like crowds and avoid large cities and large stores for this reason; there are no crowds or queues shopping online. The other plus is that you do not incur any travelling expenses such as petrol or bus fares to do you’re shopping.

The ability to locate and purchase goods from all over the world can be a huge advantage for collectors or people who are trying to purchase hard to get items. No matter what you are trying to find; a CD released twenty years ago, a specialist collectible or antique or even an original part for a vintage car, to give a few examples you can rest assured that someone somewhere in the world will have it for sale on the internet or will be able to source it for you. Many people who have purchased collectables and other valuables from overseas have also found that these articles can occasionally be purchased at bargain prices as they are not as collectable or valuable in that location, and the seller does not appreciate the item’s value in the UK. Trying to source and purchase these items in real world stores can be extremely difficult, time consuming and very expensive compared to real world stores.

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Shopping at an Online Shopping Mall has become one of the fastest growing pastimes on the internet today. Millions of people now shop online regularly, and most retailers from Sears to Armani have websites you can purchase their products on. You can purchase clothes, tonights dinner, the family car, or a trip to Europe, all from the convenience of your home or office. Many online shopping sites offer 1 or 2 day shipping, and if youre looking for just the right gift, most offer gift certificates that can be mailed to the recipient or yourself.

Why has shopping online become so popular? The most important reason is that internet security has improved tremendously. You can shop online today and feel secure enough to use your credit card without fear of having your number stolen. Security may be the main reason an online shopping mall has become so popular, but there are many other reasons to shop online. You can easily compare prices online from a variety of stores without ever leaving home and you can save money at an online shopping mall that offer many online only specials.

Once you begin shopping online you will wonder how you ever managed before. You can compare prices online, find the best buys online, place your order, and usually have it shipped overnight, all in a matter of minutes. Not only have you saved a trip to the store, but you will have saved money, and in many cases will not pay any sales tax.

Let’s say you are looking for the best buys online for a current novel you are interested in buying. You can compare prices online to find the best price, order the book, and arrange to have it shipped to you overnight. The entire transaction only took minutes, and you never left home. Better yet, you probably received a substantial discount off the cover price.

Most sites are nothing more than online catalogs. You browse for your merchandise, or you can use the search feature to find specific items. Once you find your item you add it to your shopping cart and continue on. When you’re done, you check out just as if you were in your favorite store. While every site is a little bit different, you will find most are similar. Most sites will email you a confirmation of your order, approximate delivery time, and a tracking number. Since online shopping malls are becoming so popular, you will find that most online stores place a great deal of emphasis on customer service. They want you to enjoy your experience, and come back again.

Rebates have become increasingly popular in the last few years on a lot of items and certainly on electronic items and computers. Rebates of $20, $50 or $100 are not uncommon. Some items are advertised as free after rebate. Do these rebates come under the heading of too good to be true? Some of them do and there are catches to watch out for but if you are careful, rebates can help you get some really good deals.

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Online Shopping is More Popular Than Ever

Electronics, designer clothes, paperback books, puzzles, underwear, sofas and vitamins – what do they all have in common? You can buy them on the Internet. Today’s shoppers can buy just about anything you can imagine, from handcrafted, one-of-a-kind garden sculptures to plastic party favors, from online retailers with just a click of a mouse. In the last few years, more consumers than ever have turned to the Internet to make purchases. The trend will continue to rise sharply as more and more traditional retailers open web-based storefronts and Internet security systems provide more secure solutions for online transactions.

In the early years of Internet commerce, Internet storefronts were expected to offer bargains in order to lure consumers to purchase online. This was their way of overcoming consumers’ distrust of security concerns and the time lag of having to wait for items to ship. Free shipping and return was another frequent offer. Today, with enhanced security and reliable shipping the norm, shoppers no longer demand bargains because price isn’t their number one concern. Instead, they rely on the Internet for convenience. It was the number one reason Internet shoppers cited for making purchases online. Others included selection, the ability to comparison shop and being able to keep up with trends.

Convenience is by far the most common reason people shop online. Nowhere else can you shop for so many different products on your own schedule? It doesn’t matter if you’ve worked all day, had to come home and make dinner, help with homework and put the kids to bed. You can put on your pajamas and hit the world’s largest mall at 11:00 at night from the comfort of your bedroom. Being able to send your grandmother flowers for her birthday, order yourself a great pair of shoes and office supplies restocked without running around scores huge points with consumers.

Educated consumers with disposable income fall into this category. Suburban malls may carry a nice selection, but it can be pretty homogeneous considering the global offerings on the Internet. Niche markets are springing up on the Internet to cater to the needs of educated professionals. Educational toys and eco-friendly furnishings for families are hot sellers that aren’t typically carried at your local mass-market retailers. Organic wineries and gourmet foods are also popular Internet niche markets that have huge followings with today’s educated consumers who are thrilled to find products they just can’t find in their local stores.

A surprising number of shoppers cited inspiration as their reason for hitting the Internet. Sites that help you select an appropriate gift can be a godsend for bachelor uncles and anyone who needs a gift for the person who has everything. Many websites let you input gender; age, interests and hobbies, then offer a selection of gift suggestions to make your shopping easier. This is especially popular for games, books, CD’s and toys and the stores that carry them.

The joys of comparison-shopping have destroyed marriages in the past. You know what we mean; the husbands who drag wives from electronics store to electronics store to compare features and prices. Girlfriends who drag their man from store to store comparing everything from stitching to lining on blouses. Now comparison-shopping can be done by simply opening new windows or going to a site that does the comparisons and ratings for you.

Comparison-shopping online is particularly popular for anyone in the market for small appliances, computers, electronics, and software.

These are the cut-edge fashionistas who are always one step ahead of what can be found in a typical suburban mall. Whether it’s the newest line of cosmetics or the latest fashion out of Milan or Paris, trend trackers always look impeccably put together. That’s because they know all of the hottest sites on the Internet for cutting edge fashion, whether it’s in clothing or cars, and they order online so that they can have it before anyone else does.

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Eight Arguments for Online Shopping

There’s a reason that online shopping continues to increase in popularity. In fact, there are eight great arguments for shopping online: 1. you can shop in your bunny slippers. Why bother to put on make-up and dress for the mall when you can visit an online mall in your bathrobe and bunny slippers? 2. You don’t have to fight the crowds. Forget about looking for a parking space and jostling other shoppers as you bring your purchases to the checkout counter at the store. Instead, fill your online shopping cart and make your purchases with a click of your mouse. 3. You can save big every day. With online shopping, you don’t have to scour the ads in the Sunday paper to find a discount on the big-ticket item you need. There are websites that allow you to comparison shop among online e-tailors, and others that offer big-ticket items at wholesale prices. 4. You can bank the sales tax. Unless you’re doing your online shopping at a place that has a physical location in your state, you’ll most likely be able to avoid paying sales tax. This can offset the shipping fees that online retailers charge. 5. You can conserve gas. With the price of fuel being near an all-time high, online shopping allows you to leave your vehicle parked at home. This not only saves on gas, but also helps the environment. 6. You don’t have to haul packages around. Carrying bags of purchases through a brick-and-mortar mall can be annoying at best and backbreaking at worst. Online shopping saves you the hassle and allows you to have your purchases delivered to your doorstep. 7. You’re only limited by your imagination. Whether you live in a small town or a big city, chances are that you’ve experienced the frustration of not being able to find the exact item you need. Because you can buy just about anything you can imagine online, you’ll never again have to settle for less than you truly want. 8. You can find name brands for less. Whether you’re shopping for electronics, jewelry, or clothing, you’ll generally spend less by shopping online than you will by shopping at your local mall. Because online retailers have low overhead, they can pass along the savings to consumers. And, because there’s a lot of competition among online retailers, they commonly sell brand name products as loss leaders. It’s a sure bet that you’ll benefit from all that competition. Once you become hooked on online shopping, you’ll never go back to the mall again!

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Internet users are increasingly using local search and online shopping sites, a new survey reveals.

Research conducted by BizRate.com and The Kelsey Group found that, when indexed by familiarity, frequency of use, and loyalty, internet mapping sites were ranked number one, followed by general search engines.

The poll of nearly 4,000 web users indicates that shopping search and internet Yellow Pages sites are growing in popularity, with internet Yellow Pages, online classifieds, shopping search sites and entertainment information sites among the top five online search behaviors.

Thirty-seven percent of online consumers are already very familiar with shopping search sites and just over 75 percent of respondents stated that comparing prices and/or merchants was their favorite aspect of shopping online. Nearly half of respondents (43 per cent) said that they preferred to research and shop online, while around 28 per cent displayed some combination of offline/online behavior.

Chuck Davis, president and CEO of leading comparison shopping site BizRate.com, said: “As online shopping becomes increasingly mainstream, buyers are more aware that comparison shopping sites save them time and money. In fact, we grew by 60 per cent year-over-year in September to 11.41 million visitors, making us the largest independent comparison shopping site.

source fromhttp://www.articlesnatch.com/Article/Why-Online-Shopping-Is-So-Popular–/891304

By amoskit

Why Is On-Line Shopping Better Than Mall Shopping?

By Fiona Heares .

 

COST Online shopping is often Cheaper. Truly! Because of lower trading costs, e-tailers don’t have expensive rates and rentals associated with high street and mall shops. This means the savings can be passed on to you the shopper. It is cheaper to run your pc for an hour than it is to run your car for the same time period and there are no parking charges. Rates of exchange on the USD and the British pound mean you can often pick up bargains from other countries. The pound and American dollar are strong and give you a whole lot more buying power for your money eg The New Zealand dollar is equivalent to just 50c USD or about 33p !!

 

LESS STRESS How many of you are familiar with “keep an eye out for a park”, or looking for change for the parking metre? Shopping with tired or hungry kids? Do you know this one “I want to go home or Mum can I have….., can I have, can I have….” Difficult isn’t it and everyone ends up tired and grumpy! When you shop on the Internet you can browse from home when the kids are in bed or at school and in PEACE! Shopping on the Internet doesn’t matter if it’s snowing or sweltering out there, you’re comfortable in front of your pc regardless. You can even invite friends over to ” to window shop” together! Internet shopping means You don’t have to put up with rude pushy sales people. It is so much easier to “just walk away” On the Internet you don’t have crowds to contend with!

 

FASTER And MORE CONVENIENT We are getting busier and busier and seem to have less time to shop around looking for that special something. Shopping over the Internet saves you time because you aren’t having to spend time driving nor looking for carparks, nor having to wait for service nor wait for the children. The Net remains open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for your convenience and the choice is ENORMOUS! You are literally shopping the WORLD! When you order goods over the internet they are shipped right to your door!

 

CHOICE & VARIETY The whole world is at your shopping finger tips! You can find the strange, exotic and unusual on the www. You can find a special something from far off Pacific countries, like New Zealand.

 

COMPARISON SHOPPING is so much EASIER on the web. (especially nifty little programmes like click the button.com) You don’t have to drive around all over town comparing prices and options. It’s all there in front of you! There are even companies like respond.com which will allow e-tailers to come to YOU and compete for your business!

 

ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY! Imagine if all of us did ALL of our shopping on the internet we would have air pollution solved in no time at all! Generally there is less waste generated with internet shopping, no plastic bags, no triple copies of receipts and invoices. Because e-tailers don’t have to have “decorative shop fronts” there is an enormous saving on building materials.

 

By amoskit

Top 10 Benefits of Online Shopping

Internet has revolutionized the way we do our Shopping. Because of the numerous Advantages and Benefits of Shopping Online more and more people these days prefer Online Shopping over conventional shopping. There are many reasons why I think buying on the internet is the best option too.

What are some reasons why Online Shopping is liked by many? Given below are my Top 10 Reasons for Buying Online.

1) Convenience: The convenience of this method of shopping is what I like best about it. Where else can you do shopping even a midnight wearing your night suit? You do not have to wait in a line or wait till the shop assistant is ready to help you with your purchases. You can do your shopping in minutes even if you are busy apart from saving time and avoiding crowds. Online shops give us the opportunity to shop 24 x 7 and also reward us with a ‘no pollution’ shopping. There is no better place to buy information products like e-books. Immediately after the payment is made one can download the information. And downloadable items purchased online eliminate the need for any kind of material goods at all.

2) Better Prices: Another thing which fascinates me is the cheap deals and better prices I get from online stores because products come to you direct from the manufacturer or seller without middlemen involved. Many online shops offer discount coupons and rebates. Apart from this, the Online Store is only required to collect sales tax if they have a physical location in our state even if we buy from a store across the world.

3) Variety: The choices you can get for products are amazing. One can get several brands and products from different sellers at one place. You can get in on the latest international trends without spending money on airfare. When you shop online, you can shop from retailers in other parts of the country or even the world without being limited by geographic area. These stores offer a far greater selection of colors and sizes than you will find locally. Apart from that, How many times have it happened that you spend your money reaching a local shop only to find that the product you need is out of stock? Some online shops have a provision to accept orders without stock and ship it across to you when the stock becomes available. You also have the option of taking your business to another online store where the product is available.

4) Send Gifts: Online Shopping makes sending gifts to relatives and friends easy, no matter where ever they stay. Now there is no need of making distance an excuse for not sending a gift on occasions like Birthday, Wedding Anniversary, Marriage, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day etc.

5) Fewer Expenses: Many times when we opt for conventional shopping we tend to spend a lot more than the required shopping expenses on things like eating out, traveling, impulsive shopping etc.

6) Comparison of Prices: Online shops make comparison and research of products and prices possible. Online stores also give you the ability to share information and reviews with other shoppers who have firsthand experience with a product or retailer.

7) Crowds: If you are like me, you would like to avoid the crowds when you do the shopping. Especially during Festivals and Special events the crowds can really give a head ache. Crowds force us to do a hurried shopping most of the time. For me grumpy or irritating people and those who smell bad are a huge turn off. Crowds also create a problem when it comes to finding a parking place nearby where you want to shop and going back to your vehicle later loaded with shopping bags.

8) Compulsive Shopping: Many times when we go out on Shopping we end up buying things which we do not require because of the shop keepers up selling skills. Sometimes we even compromise on our choices because of the lack of choices in those shops.

9) Buying Old or unused Stuff at low prices: Online Shops make it possible for us to buy old or unused stuff at rock bottom prices. If we want to buy antiques there is no better options than online stores.

10) Discreet Purchases: Some things are better done in privacy. Online shops are also best for discreet purchases like adult toys, sexy lingerie and so on. Online Shops enable me to purchase under garments and lingerie without the embarrassment that there are several people watching me and my choices.

So, what do you think? Have I not given enough reasons on why online shopping is the best? In fact I love to buy Perfumes online. Another of my favorite items online is Precious and Semi precious Gemstones.

Any other reasons why people prefer shopping online to real shopping? Please feel free to add through comments.

source fromhttp://anamikas.hubpages.com/hub/Online-shopping-sites-benefits

By amoskit

Advantages and Disadvantages of Internet Shopping

You open the latest edition of Vogue on your way to office and browse through all those eligible wardrobe additions. Suddenly, you land on these awesome pair of Gucci pumps that you immediately fall in love with. You check for the code and the item number, and surf the Internet with it. You like them better in the color blue. You check the price and it seems just perfect for those perfect pumps. You check the stores in your city and hope just one store would sell these. To your disappoint and the brands’ as well, there is no store that would help you. However, there is one store in the next state that would still have them in stock. What do you do now? You shop for them via the Internet. Simple! Since it’s so simple, there are more and more people shopping on the Internet. The increase in these online shopping trends brings us to the advantages and disadvantages mentioned below. As you continue reading, you will come across some problems you must have experienced on your own. It is these problems that need a solution to make Internet shopping one of the best ways to shop.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Online Shopping

There is nothing that could ever put an end to Internet shopping, and there is just one reason that people will continue shopping via the Internet, irrespective of the drawbacks. The human need to satisfy a want is stronger than we think. Just like those Gucci pumps made you buy them, there are many others too. When you want something and know you can have it through the Internet, if nothing else, so be it!

Advantages:

Yes, it is an absolute relief to shop sans those irritating vendors. I have nothing against vendors, but they need to understand that they can’t disturb women when they are shopping. You somehow just lose the focus! However, apart from the riddance from vendors, there are more advantages of Internet shopping, as follows

  • The best part about Internet shopping is the convenience it provides to the person shopping. Usually, you need to visit a few malls before you find what you have been looking for. On the Internet, you just have to sit in one place and search for what you want until you find it. You get what you want, delivered right to your doorstep. You save money of fuel, the problem of parking your car somewhere, and various other issues. When you shop on the Internet, you don’t have to actually plan your shopping trip as such. If it’s something urgent, you can order it when you’re in office itself!
  • When you visit a particular store during your shopping trip, you see the amount of clothes that are possibly going to fit in that store. Any store, selling any number of brands, can sell so only for a limited number. On the Internet, you have unlimited variety and unlimited number of those items too. There is no such thing as ‘out of stock’ on the Internet. If it is shown on the website, it’s available. There is no limited shelf space as such and thus, there is no disappointment.
  • When we talk about the advantages and disadvantages of Internet shopping, we have to talk about this one particular advantage. If you have to buy a pair of pants, you will go to the mall and check out a few stores. When you visit the first store, you like what they have to offer but you think you can get better. So you travel some more and visit a few more stores. In the end, you realize that you have to buy from the first shop itself as those were indeed the best out of the lot. This advantage of easy comparison is possible only when you’re shopping online.
  • Agreed that you can exchange and return your clothes if you shop from a mall and even if you shop online, if obviously the policies allow so. However, there is no way you can exchange or return what you buy on the days when the stores are closed. This again, you don’t have to worry about with Internet shopping. The exchanging and returning can be done almost anytime you wish to.

Disadvantages:

While talking about these advantages and disadvantages from a customer’s perspective, it’s very important for you to know that there isn’t any grave drawback of Internet shopping. Yes, it does get boring when you shop alone, and have no opinions when you just need them. Or the fact that you will always need a computer to shop online.

  • The first thing we need to talk about here is the disclosure of private information. It is very difficult to convince people when it comes to this. You have to shop with your debit or credit card, and have to provide your card details when you shop online. This information is available to the company from whom you buy. Though hardly any companies are frauds, it’s still some valuable information.
  • The next drawback of Internet shopping (only in respect to clothes) is that of the fitting. There is no way you can be absolutely sure about how a particular dress or shirt will look on you in reality. There are virtual models on almost each website, but you just can’t ever be sure. This problem doesn’t come in the picture when you talk about shopping other stuff on the Internet, such as airline tickets (which also happen to be one of the hottest selling items on the Internet as of today.)
  • It is said that Internet shopping has just started affecting the employment of people at malls and individual stores as well. The problem here is that the forecast says this effect will increase in impact in a few more years. There will be high unemployment in this sector due to Internet shopping. You don’t need people to show you around or to help you select a particular item you need to buy.
  • Another drawback here is that people have to pay extra costs for ordering items from another state of country. These include shipping costs too. In most eastern countries, not all the luxury brands are available. People have to pay extra to order them from abroad. Sometimes, there are taxes applicable on these transactions as well.

These were some of the advantages and disadvantages of Internet shopping, that tell you how it isn’t very unsafe to shop on the web. Problems prevail everywhere, even when you shop personally at a store. The convenience and the variety are the two biggest advantages you need to focus on. After all, if you don’t get your stuff anywhere but from the Internet, you surely can’t let go of it, can you?

By
Published: 6/16/2011
By amoskit

7 Reasons Why Shopping Online Beats Regular Shopping!

Being a web analyst, and an avid online shopper, I thought it might be interesting to discuss the reasons why I think shopping online at Amazon.com is better than walking into your local Walmart or whatever… and i’m not just talking about the fact you can shop 24/7/365 online and you can’t in real stores. Read on, grasshopper…

1: You Save on Gas and Time. Remember those days of wasting time driving between stores or calling them up to find which one had the cheapest prices? I know I certainly don’t do much of that anymore because shopping online makes this a breeze with a few mouse clicks- and I can do it from the comfort of my bed if I want.

2: Online Stores Learn and Improve by Analyzing their Visitors. Real Stores Usually Don’t. If you walk into a store, and can’t find what you want, you give up, or if you wait too long in line, you give up. And the store doesn’t know you were even there, let alone that you couldn’t find what you were looking for or got angry and left for waiting too long.

By using web analytics, online stores know not only that you were there, but how and why you came to their store (from a search engine), where you went exactly in their store, which products you looked at, what you bought, and what part of their store you left from if you didn’t buy anything. Not bad eh? Based on information like that, online stores can be ‘optimized’ to meet the visitors needs better. Real stores are limited in their ability to do things like that and are many years behind in the technology they use.

3: Stores Don’t Have a Search Box. Just Idiot Store Assistants. Imagine if you could walk into a store and tell an automated machine exactly what you are looking for, and it brought everything you possibly could be interested in to you, immediately. Sounds nice eh. But if you think about it, thats what shopping online gives you when you run a search on a website. Instead, you are stuck with an idiot store assistant who barely knows where everything is in the store… and certainly won’t bring you what you are looking for.

4: In a Store, You Can’t Read Other People’s Reviews of Products. I know I don’t buy products without reading reviews from other people first – been bitten by that bug too many times before. And because online stores like Amazon offer customer reviews for pretty much everything they sell, you know if you are buying a piece of crap before you actually buy it. And when I do still buy in stores for those ‘impulse’ items, I use the wireless internet on my phone to go to Amazon.com and read the reviews first.

5: Real Stores Can’t Make Personalized Recommendations Imagine walking into a store, and immediately being given personal recommendations on what you might like to buy, based on what you bought before there, and to see them all without walking any further. That would be great right? Sound too futuristic?  Go visit an online store like Amazon.com that you have brought from before, and chances are that you will see this very thing on their home page…

6: Tax Schmax. Wouldn’t it be great if you didn’t have to pay sales tax on what you buy? Well. Shhh. Don’t tell anyone… if you go online and buy from a store that doesn’t have a physical store in the state you are living in, then you don’t have to pay sales tax. And thanks to a recent announcement by the nice US government, that tax free shopping will continue for another ten years. Not bad eh?

7. Screaming Babies. Annoying People. Old People In the Way.  No Parking. 15 year-old Idiot Checkout Assistants. Crappy Elevator Music. Bad Smells. Freezing Cold AC. When was the last time you had to deal with lovely things like this when you are shopping on Amazon.com? Enough said… right?

So. What do you think? Any other reasons why people prefer shopping online to real shopping? Anyway. I’m off to order a camera from Amazon… in my underwear.

source from http://rich-page.com/web-analytics/7-reasons-why-shopping-online-beats-real-shopping/

By amoskit

The Future of Online Shopping:10 Trends to Watch

Shopping online is about to explode. Retailers of all types are expanding product offerings, adding in-store pickup, free shipping and experimenting with social media. It’s getting harder to tell pure play Internet retailers from the bricks and mortar shops with online portals, and all of them are reinventing how we’ll shop online in the future.

Be it via a mobile device, tablet computer, in-store kiosk or computer, the lines are blurring and the result will be both good and bad for consumers.

First the bad. Much of the activity and expansion is the indirect result of new legislation requiring Internet retailers to collect sales tax. There already are 12 states with laws either enacted or awaiting approval, and now Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois is hoping to pass such a law at the national level.

There’s no telling when, or even if the legislation will pass, but there’s also no turning back the tide. It will happen and online shoppers will be required to pay sales tax, sooner or later.

But the prospect of an even playing field has emboldened traditional retailers, many of whom are becoming more aggressive in capturing online sales. We’re seeing retailers like L.L Bean launch free shipping on all items, Macy’s on purchases of $99 or more, Walmart buying social media platform Kosmix for $300 million and opening up @Walmartlabs to further build its online business, and Toys R Us announcing a new 300,000 sq. ft. distribution center to support internet sales.

Because if traditional retailers are to compete with sites like Amazon – which flourished in the absence of regulation — they must implement some of the same benefits like free shipping, liberal return policies, varied product selection and customer reviews.

It’s going to be a great year for online retail.  Here are 10 trends to watch:

  1. In-store pick up. In the past few months we’ve seen Walmart implement in-store pick up for orders placed online, while Sears and Kmart are going a step further bringing online purchases out to your car. In Chicago, Sears and Kmart are even testing home delivery and bundling items with those from its retail partners at Sears’ Marketplace, further blurring the lines between online only retailers and those that came before. And in Florida, Farm Stores lets shoppers order groceries online and pick up at a drive through.
  2. Pick up depots. Smaller retailers without a vast network of stores like Walmart or Sears may open designated pick up locations for goods ordered online. Retail consultant Neil Stern of McMillan/Doolittle points to French retailer Chronodrive.com as an example.
  3. Mobile Apps. Smartphones are the dominant cell phone and apps for all platforms are growing. The ones that allow for price comparisons or send out coupons are already among the most heavily used with good reviews, but we’re just getting started.
  4. Less flash more function. Forget about flashy apps or features like virtual dressing rooms. Consumers haven’t responded to these and rightly so. Maybe the technology will get there, but until it does, user reviews are better gauges of clothing fit and quality than any technology can offer.
  5. Video. Look for more user-generated video on retail sites. Retailers are letting customers upload video clips modeling new clothes or using a new purchase. Davis believes this is one trend that will definitely pick up speed.
  6. Social networking. Facebook and Twitter aren’t even close to played out yet. Consumers can increasingly “like” or follow a favorite retailer and get discounts or tips on deals. JCPenney is using Facebook to actually sell goods and more than 12 million consumers “like” Victoria’s Secret on Facebook as of last month (March), making it the most popular retailer on the site (its Pink brand ranks No. 2, according to the ChannelAdvisor Facebook Commerce Index). That’s an active population of customers reaching out and requesting information from the retailer. And social shopping is just getting started, says Jim Okamura, managing partner at Okamura Consulting, a group specializing in online retail. “There’s evidence (that Facebook offers) a good return on investment and there are a lot of retailers that haven’t done anything yet,” he says. “This is going to be the year of Facebook testing.
  7. Daily deals and flash sales. This may seem like a very crowded playing field, but sites like Ruelala and OneKingsLane are reproducing at a furious pace. And based on how quickly many items sell out, often within minutes of email notifications going out, more will jump on this popular trend.
  8. Retail based social networks. This is one trend experts don’t expect to happen at any large level. Sears is still trying to build a social network of its own customers and Walmart tried and abandoned a similar effort, neither attempt bodes well for its success. Facebook really owns this space, but look for small, focused sites to create communities of like-minded users, says Okamura.
  9. International. “There’s been an accelerating trend in international or cross border e commerce, of small niche online retailers are now doing 10-20% of their sales outside of their own country,” says Okamura. Look to online shops like SousVide Supreme that sells specialized cooking equipment and StyleTrek.com, a community built to launch up and coming international designers as models. Other big name retailers like Zara and Top Shop are building out their online business to reach U.S. shoppers, even as the store base grows more slowly.
  10. Deal aggregators. Of course there are always deal sites, like Dealnews, ConsumerSearch, FatWallet and Brad’s Deals that are cutting through the din of so many sites and sales to bring consumers only the information they’re interested in.

And according to Don Davis, editor of trade magazine Internet Retailer, there’s one more positive side effect for shoppers: the in-store experience is likely to become better as online shopping grows. As it becomes easier to compare prices, stores will be forced to create better physical experiences with more knowledgeable sales staff and proprietary items hard to find anywhere else.
On one thing all our experts agreed. There will be more choices for consumers. More things to buy, more ways to compare products and prices, and more methods to evaluate goods.

By amoskit

Canadians are spending more online , and more often

Canadians placed orders online worth C$15.1 billion in 2009, up from C$12.8 billion in 2007.

Allison Enright

Senior Editor

Topics: Canada, Crocs Inc., Gap Inc., online sales

More Canadian consumers are shopping online more often, says a report issued by Statistics Canada, the government agency equivalent to the U.S. Census Bureau.

The report found that Canadians spent C$15.1 billion (US$14.7 billion) in 2009 on goods and services, a 17.9% jump from C$12.8 (US$12.5 billion)  billion in 2007 when the survey was last conducted. Moreover, the volume of orders also grew—from 69.9 million in 2007 to 95.7 million in 2009, a 37% increase in two years.

The lone damper on the growth was the average order value declined 13.7%, from C$183 (US$178)  in 2007 to C$158 (US$154)  in 2009.

The survey says 39% of nation’s Internet users also are online shoppers, with larger concentrations of Internet users who shop online living in British Columbia (47%) and Alberta (45%). The report, compiled from the survey responses of more than 23,000 consumers age 16 and older, says 80% of all Canadians are online.

Travel services and entertainment ticketing are the top two categories purchased online by Canadian consumers. 49% of online shoppers purchased travel services in 2009, up from 45% in 2007, and 40% purchased entertainment products, which includes tickets, up from 32% in 2007. Other leading categories for Canadian consumers in 2009 were books, magazines and online newspapers (35%), clothing, jewelry and accessories (33%), music (26%) and computer software (22%).

Interestingly, while only 21% of Canadian online shoppers purchased consumer electronics online, the category had the highest percentage of window shoppers who researched online but purchased offline. And this percentage is increasing: 44% of Internet users in 2007 browsed electronics online; in 2009 it was 48%.

As more Canadians shop online, U.S.-based e-retailers are expanding into the Canadian market with dedicated sites for Canadian consumers. For instance, Shoe manufacturer Crocs Inc., No. 151 on Internet Retailer’s Top 500 Guide announced this week that it would launch an online storefront for Canadian shoppers, and Gap Inc., No. 23 in the Top 500 Guide, in August launched a Canadian online store for its Gap, Banana Republic and Old Navy brands.

By amoskit