Sunday, October 31, 2010

Assessing mCommerce Performance

Moble Commerce site management "often tries to apply lessons learned in E-Commerce to M-Commerce, and that doesn’t always work," says Evan Schuman, Editor of StoreFrontBackTalk. Read his useful analysis of the"immaturity" of the mCommerce platform environment for helpful isights -- or certainly very relevant questions -- about the evolving state of the art.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Fifth Gear Hires Don Dillard as CIO

Provider of Outsourced Retail Order Fulfillment Services Adds New Talent to its Leadership Team

INDIANAPOLIS, IN (October 28, 2010) – Indianapolis-based Fifth Gear, an outsourced business services provider for direct-to-consumer retailers, announces the hiring of Chief Information Officer Don Dillard. As CIO at Fifth Gear, Don now leads the company’s information and technology direction, overseeing all aspects of computing and infrastructure operations.

Fifth Gear President Matt Konkle commented, “We are very excited about Don’s arrival on our leadership team. Our technology platforms and continued innovation play an increasingly important role now that we’ve consolidated two successful and long-standing companies into a united brand offering for direct retailers. Don’s leadership experience in technology management will serve our clients well and help us achieve our growth objectives.”

Dillard most recently served as Vice President for Technology Consulting Associates, LLC. He brings more than 25 years of executive technology management experience and professional services to both Fortune 100 and 500 companies.

Fifth Gear continues to use its proprietary technology platforms as the foundation for its services in outsourced warehousing, order fulfillment, customer service and marketing services across an extensive client base of catalogers, e-tailers and well-known retail clients. Fifth Gear is the recent consolidation of two leaders in retail services, Sigma Micro LLC and Stark Bro’s Fulfillment of Louisiana, Missouri. Both companies have provided technology and operational services to direct retailers for nearly 30 years each.

About Fifth Gear
Fifth Gear provides outsourced warehouse, order fulfillment, customer care center, and creative marketing services for specialty retailers and manufacturers of consumer products. The Company serves as a single source for industry expertise, infrastructure and technology for clients. Fifth Gear improves operational efficiencies and drives revenue growth for retailers in today's changing environment. Through its online marketplace,, Fifth Gear is also building a multi-category online discount retailer of new, "close-out" and "excess stock" specialty merchandise. The Company serves over 100 multichannel retailers today and continues to grow its client base each month.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

PayPal Introduces New Products

PayPal unveiled new technologies and partnerships at its X Innovate 2010 developer conference today in San Francisco "to monetize the three biggest opportunities converging in the technology world today – mobile, social and local," reports BusinessWire.

“The convergence of mobile, social networking, and location-based technology is creating tremendous opportunity for developers today,” said Osama Bedier, vice president of platform, mobile and new ventures for PayPal. “It's like the gold rush of the dot-com era, only bigger and smarter. PayPal X is all about helping developers monetize the opportunity, and that’s what Innovate 2010 is all about.”

Announcements made at the conference today include:

PayPal for Digital Goods
: an online checkout solution to let consumers to check out in as little as two clicks without being forced to leave their digital experience mid-session. Pricing is similar to PayPal’s pricing for micropayments: 5 cents plus 5 percent of the transaction, and leverages PayPal’s sophisticated fraud protection technology.

PayPal Embedded Payments: an online checkout solution for physical goods without having to leave a merchant’s app or website. Consumers can create a PayPal account, view payments details, choose a shipping address and approve the payment without being redirected to PayPal, improving customer retention.

PayPal Apps: in beta test, which will allow developers to embed applications directly on the PayPal website. PayPal Apps will include services such as small business tools, buyer and seller tools for eBay, and new enhanced ways for consumers to move money electronically., CreditKarma, Expensify, Freshbooks, Shipwire and Zuora are already building apps into Developers attending Innovate were given exclusive access to the beta test, and it will be available to a broader audience next year.

PayPal Business Payments: a fast, secure method for sending and receiving payments for a flat 50 cent fee. The pricing is designed to lower overhead, reduce invoicing costs, and accelerate expense reimbursements for business services such as payroll, disbursement and rental payments. Early partners include, Expensify, Freshbooks, Harvest, Plastic Jungle, and Zoho, among others.

Mobile: VeriFone announced that it plans to integrate PayPal into its merchant iPhone app and secure credit/debit card reader. PayPal’s own Mobile Express Checkout product is now available for merchants, helping them deliver a fast, safe two-click checkout experience on a mobile device. PayPal also unveiled new functionality and enhancements to the Mobile Payments Library, and introduced PayPal for Mobile 3.0, its latest iPhone app with location-based features.

: Six partners announced solutions based on PayPal X, including Discover and Bling Nation. All partner press releases can be found on at

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Five + One Website Analytics Tools

Check out what The American Express OPEN Forum has to say about Google Analytics, Chartbeat, Quantcast, Mint, and Omniture. You might also consider Clicky.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Aiming for Amazon Prime, GSI's ShopRunner Launches Web Shipping Service for Retailers

Taking aim at Amazon Prime's free shipping services, ShopRunner (SR), owned by Pennsylvania-based GSI Commerce, has launched a competing service with a set of 15 retail partners, including Rockport, Bare Necessities and the NFL, plus an additional 27, such as Borders, Barnes&Noble, and Dick's Sporting Goods, scheduled to launch soon, reports DailyFinance.

SR is offering a 30-day free trial of two-day shipping and free returns for an unlimited number of items from its retail partners. After the trial, SR will charge members $79 a year.

GSI is spending about $5 million on SR and will split some of the subscription revenue with its member companies, SR President Mike Golden told The Wall Street Journal. He declined to say how much stores are paying for the service.

SR will manage the logistical and bookkeeping to account for all shipments, while each retailer will be responsible for their own shipping, updating SR on each member's purchases, and abiding SR's service standards. "There are lots of pieces that you have to figure out," Clay Cowan, VP eCommerce at The Sports Authority, told The WSJ. "That's one reason we view this as a pilot and will see how it goes."

Saturday, October 09, 2010

SAS Offers Do-It-Yourself Predictive Analytics

Integration Developer News reports that "SAS has launched a Rapid Predictive Modeler aimed at letting business users develop predictive models for scenarios across various industries. Examples include customer segmentation, up-selling, cross-selling and campaign management, customer acquisition and customer turnover, according to SAS officials.

"SAS Rapid Predictive Modeler will let business users can generate models in a few simple steps. Specifically, business users will select data and other inputs they need to do their analysis, choose the types of outcomes and/or reports they want to see, and the SAS software will automatically process the data and select the best predictive models.

"SAS Rapid Predictive Modeler models can also be deployed in-database, which allows results to be used to make faster decisions. In specific, SAS’ latest offering provides key analytics benefits to corporations and individual business end users, including:

* Lets business analysts and subject-matter experts analyze their data using familiar UIs of SAS Enterprise Guide or Microsoft Excel.
* Provides a range of basic, intermediate and advanced prebuilt models that use a broad range of classical and modern data modeling techniques.
* Automatically treats data to handle outliers, missing values, rare target events, skewed data, correlated variables, variable selection and model selection.
* Lets users develop modeling and scoring tables using the data preparation tasks to stack, transpose, join, filter and sample data."

SAS Rapid Predictive Modeler score code is fully compatible with the SAS Scoring Accelerators for Netezza, IBM DB2, and Teradata

BankServ Powers PayPal Check Capture

BankServ has announced that its advanced mobile capture technology is the technology being used in the PayPal Mobile Check Capture feature in version 2.7 of the PayPal iPhone application recently released in the USA.

With Mobile Check Capture, PayPal iPhone users can take a photo of a check payable to the user and electronically transmit the check for processing with BankServ's technology. The funds are transferred into the user's PayPal account at no cost to the user. (See PayPal Deposits $100,000 in Checks via iPhone in the first 36 hours of its release, in Mashable/Mobile, which notes that "PayPal wasn’t first to introduce the mobile check capture feature — the online payment platform was preceded by brick-and-mortar Chase Bank’s Quick Deposit app.")

"It is a privilege to provide the underlying processing services for PayPal's Mobile Check Capture," said Danne Buchanan, head of Payment Solutions at BankServ. "This represents an opportunity to reach millions of customers and is a further proof point to our distributed capture strategy and the power of mobile technology."

"With PayPal Mobile Check Capture on the iPhone, there'll be no more checks lying around the house for months -- a user can transfer a check to his account as soon as he receives it by just snapping a photo," said Laura Chambers, PayPal's senior director of mobile. "BankServ was selected because their remote check processing experience is the best in the industry."

About BankServ
BankServ is a leading provider of banking and payment technology for financial institutions and businesses. With its SaaS delivery model, BankServ offers world-class service bureau products for Fedwire processing, SWIFT messaging, check image capture, mobile and online payment acceptance. Founded in 1996, BankServ acquired NetDeposit, LLC, on September 3, 2010 and is a privately held company headquartered in Las Vegas, NV. More information on BankServ is at

BuyWithMe Doing Daily Location-based Offers

Mobile Commerce Daily reports that BuyWithMe is offering members daily offers via rewards-based mobile challenges that let them earn points and rewards at their favorite places.

The company has partnered with SCVNGR for the location-based service that lets users discover new offers from local businesses and lets businesses create promotions to gets consumers in-store. New York City, Boston and Philadelphia BuyWithMe members can participate.

See also the very comprehensive overview on "Eval­u­at­ing the busi­ness poten­tial of location-based social applications" from

Thursday, October 07, 2010

UK Direct Commerce Suppliers of the Year Awards

Ten supplier companies were rewarded for their outstanding contribution to the multichannel commerce sector at the Catalogue Exchange/ECMOD Supplier of the Year Awards ceremony. The awards evening on Wednesday 6th October at the Chelsea Old Town Hall, London was part of the ECMOD 2010 conference and exhibition at Earls Court. 

For some of the categories, client-side companies were invited to nominate those suppliers that they felt had been instrumental to their business's success over the past 12 months. The winners are those that received the most votes. There are also winners in three further categories, which gave suppliers the opportunity to put themselves forward.

And the winners are...
* Creative and Design Services: TA Design
* Catalogue and Promotional Print Production: ec2i
* Customer recruitment: Abacus
* Delivery Services: Citipost
* IT Platforms: Maginus
* Website and Digital Development: Feefo
* Third-Party Order Fulfilment: Prism
* Best ROI from creative makeover/rebranding: Howard Hunt Group
* Most Innovative Solution--back-end business management: Advansys
* Most Innovative Cost-Saving Solution: Garnett Dickinson
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