Thursday, July 31, 2008

SiteCatalyst adds mobile tracking

According to Omniture, the new version of SiteCatalyst, its Web Analytics solution, incorporates mobile measurement to give marketers better identification of unique mobile visitors and clearer identification of device types, helping marketers better understand how to design their sites for mobile users. It also provides a view of visitors by country and carrier, helping marketers tailor Web advertising to specific audiences.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

"Hot Potato" Payment Processing

Here's another nugget from Doug Schwegman, Market Research Director at Cybersource: To reduce their security risks in payment processing, merchants are completely eliminating payment data contact with their systems by outsourcing acceptance.

You can use a PCI-compliant payment services supplier to host the payment data fields that appear on your checkout page. This can be implemented as an iFrame within your checkout page, or a fully hosted page. Using this approach your company neither handles nor stores payment data, thereby eliminating the burden and most of the costs of payment data security management.

(From the Insider's Guide to ePayment Management.)

I would love to hear from anyone who is doing this....

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Challenge fraud-related chargebacks

According to Doug Schwegman, Market Research Director at Cybersource, if you're not challenging chargebacks, you're likely missing a quick and effective way of adding revenue and reducing costs. Research shows, on average, merchants win 40% of the fraud-related chargebacks they challenge, resulting in net recovery of 28% of all fraud-related chargebacks received. Of course, experience varies by merchant and by type of goods sold, e.g. digital merchants can find it more challenging to prove delivery/fulfillment. But the opportunity is well worth investigating, both in your internal process and in your work with solution partners.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

ePayment Management Guide from Cybersource

CyberSource has published "The Insider's Guide to ePayment Management: 30 Tactics Leading Merchants Use to Capture Hidden Profits." Discover proven tactics that can help you cut costs, increase sales conversion. and improve operating efficiency.

Based on CyberSource's field experience with leading online merchants, merchant surveys and analysis of industry data, this guide offers more than just statistics. The Insider's Guide conveniently compiles and discusses real-world payment management tactics you can implement to improve business results.

The Insider's Guide covers ePayment tactics the best merchants use to:

  • Control the cost of accepting and processing online payments
  • Increase sales conversion and revenue retention
  • Reduce fraud and fraud management expense
  • Cut the cost of PCI compliance and increase security

You can get your copy free from Cybersource.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Centris Gets PCI-Compliant

Centris Information Services, a provider of call center services, advanced automated call handling applications, on-demand interpreter services, and broadcast messaging, has received its Payment Card Industry (PCI) Compliance certificate. “Receiving this certificate ensures our customers, merchants, and cardholders our data is protected according to the industry’s highest standards”, says Dale Augustyn, Director of Information Technology for Centris.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Mining Customer Feedback

Clarabridge has unveiled Version 3.0 of its Content Mining Platform (CMP). The company says the new release incorporates a number of new customer-driven capabilities, including an intuitive guided discovery interface for analysts and researchers, enterprise class deployment capabilities and application and packaging enhancements.

Designed for use by customer-oriented analysts across marketing, product and customer care organizations, CMP 3.0 includes a drag-and-drop Web interface, Clarabridge Navigator, which makes it easy for non-IT users to harvest customer feedback from surveys, user forums, online product reviews and other consumer-oriented sources.

Further, Clarabridge says, CMP 3.0 includes significant enhancements to its sentiment extraction engine that provide clients with finer domain-specific tuning, allowing for more accurate and in-depth analysis of customer sentiment on a particular subject. Using a scalable software as a service (SaaS) model, CMP 3.0 also gives analysts from different departments the ability to collaborate on various customer experience management initiatives. It also improves the core technology that supports multi-terabyte data volumes, foreign language requirements, the processing of diverse data types, and the secure sharing of data with other applications.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Assume Your Network Will Be Breached, says Homa

Bill Homa, who just stepped down July 1 as the CIO for the 165-store Hannaford grocery chain, has two key observations about PCI, and his opinions come from hard-won experience: PCI-compliant Hannaford was the victim of an especially large data breach when data from 4.2 million payment cards was stolen.

According to an interview in Storefront Backtalk, Homa finds particular fault in one aspect of the current PCI standard: "All debit- and credit-card transactions should be encrypted from end to end. That should be the minimum. It's astonishing that isn't the standard of PCI," which only requires encryption when transmitting over a public network such as IP.

The PCI rationale is that private point-to-point networks—such as the one Hannaford uses—are sufficiently secure that they don't need encryption. Homa disagrees. "Nowadays, encryption is not that expensive. And there's no such thing as a secure network," he said. "If you think your network is secure, you're delusional."

Homa observes that most retailers handle security backwards. The put all of their attention on protecting the front door, instead of assuming theives will get through and having a plan to control them once they're inside.

Data Breaches At All-Time High

The number of reported data breaches has been soaring, with the figure from the first six months of 2008 some 69 percent higher than the number from the identical period last year, according to a report from the non-profit San Diego-based Identity Theft Resource Center.

Among those were little-known recent breaches of Facebook, H&R Block and BearingPoint.

The report lists 342 data breaches since Jan. 1, 2008. Of those 342 breaches, about 12 percent were cyber thieves, 16 percent were insider theft, 15.2 percent were accidental exposure and 13.5 percent were subcontractor issues. Also, about 20 percent of the data breaches involved data "on the move," referring to laptops, thumb drives or PDAs.

The Identity Theft Resource Center "data breach count has reached an all-time high," the report said. "The actual number of breaches is more than likely higher, due to underreporting, and the fact that some of the breaches reported, which affect multiple businesses, are listed as a single event."

PCI Knowledgebase

The PCI Knowledgebase is an independent online community of people who know PCI and how to achieve compliance with the PCI security standards from the ground up. The Knowledge Base includes merchants, assessors, banks, payment processors, consultants and vendors of payment systems and security technology.

The Knowledge in the Knowledge Base includes: Advice from other members of the Knowledge Base, as well as Best Practices, Spending Levels and Plans, Lessons Learned, etc.

Looks like an interesting source of information on the subject. Check it out!

Thursday, July 03, 2008

USPS Forms New Shipping Division

The US Postal Service (USPS) has announced a major realignment that creates two new strategic focuses, the first grouping all major shipping and mailing products in one division, and the other (representing the voice of the customer) giving priority to the interests of business and individual mailers.

The realignment also consolidates all Intelligent Mail Barcode activities under the chief operating officer to focus on execution in the year ahead.

"Today's decisions may be viewed as a sea change for some," said Postmaster General John E. Potter. "But these are challenging times and it's critical that we take advantage of recent changes in federal law which give us the tools to move into the competitive environment. We are now positioned to do that."

A law enacted in the closing days of 2006 (the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006) streamlined the way the Postal Service sets prices and added certain flexibilities in the pricing of its shipping (package) services enabling it to become more competitive with private shipping companies like UPS and FedEx. The first initiative under the Act was to implement a new rate structure based on both weight and shape (as opposed to just weight), which went into effect in May 2007.

Robert F. Bernstock, a corporate leader with more than 30 years of private sector experience, has been brought on to be president of the newly created Shipping and Mailing Services Division. Most recently he was chairman and chief executive officer at Securesheet Technologies. Bernstock also serves as a director on a number of public company boards, including Nutrisystem, the Pantry, and KBL Acquisition Corp.

Intelligent Barcode System
The reorganization is partly to prepare for the May 2009 rollout of the new USPS Intelligent Mail Barcode system, which will improve operations and enable customers to track letters and parcels as they move through the mail stream.

The 65-bar code will be required starting in May 2009 for companies looking to earn the maximum USPS automation discounts. It replaces the POSTNET and PLANET barcode systems which are already in place and promises to raise the level of service the USPS provides to its customers.

The new system was originally due to be rolled out in January but the USPS postponed implementation due to a lack of public awareness.

In an interview with Multichannel Merchant magazine, Potter noted that he expects the USPS to develop “a more effective game plan on how to reach out to the mid-market -- because while we do an effective job with very large customers, and we’re as good as any in dealing with consumers, it’s that mid- and small-sized business market that is a real opportunity."

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

UPS Expands Paperless Invoicing

UPS has incorporated its paperless invoicing service into the UPS Shipping Tool, an application program interface (API) that allows for integration of the tool into customers' own websites and internal applications.

The UPS Paperless Invoice and international UPS Returns features were introduced by the company in January. Since that time, customers with shipments originating in more than 30 countries have processed hundreds of thousands of paperless shipments, UPS claimed.

The free service allows for the integration of order processing, shipment preparation and commercial invoice data. It then transmits that data to customs offices around the world electronically. As a result, UPS said, customers reduce the chance of making manual errors while filling out customs documentation. The paperless technology aids companies who manage shipments to 98 countries and territories via systems such as UPS WorldShip, CampusShip and Internet Shipping.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Customer Service Pet Peeve

Richard Hughes , Director of BroadVision, writes in the current issue of Insight, the eletter of Catalogue & eBusiness magazine, about one of my pet peeves:

Many websites send order confirmation emails from an address along the lines of But why shouldn’t I reply? Surely if I have a query about an order, the easiest thing for me to do is to reply to the order confirmation. What’s more, it will have all the information that the customer service agent will need to process the enquiry – my name, email address, order number, date of purchase and a list of items purchased. Instead, the customer is often sent to the website to log in, find the relevant order and hope that the type of enquiry he want to make fits one of the predefined templates the site knows how to handle.

Introducing SigmaCommerce 4.2

Sigma Micro has announced the upcoming availability of its direct commerce order management solution, SigmaCommerce 4.2, scheduled for a 2008 mid-summer release.

New benefits and features include:


In conjunction with Sigma Micro’s new integrated Web 2.0 partner Last Piece Software, Product Ratings and Reviews are available for clients to create an online customer loyalty experience. They also leverage feedback from customers to build long-term relationships.

Deep Link URL Creation Wizards allow direct retailers to integrate content with commerce for an internet e-mail or keyword marketing strategy. You can also use generated URLs and source codes in other campaign management tools such as Google Adwords, FireClick, or Yahoo! Paid Search.


The Featured Items Control provides for more automated dynamic merchandising rules. These allow you to dynamically generate Hot Sellers for the Home Page and Landing Pages relevant to the category page or group page a shopper is navigating.


With expanded configurability of User-Defined Holds, retailers can control fraud management by placing an order on hold for credit reasons, bogus addresses, specific countries, or just to monitor an operator.


SigmaCommerce 4.2 allows retailers to maintain and attach specifically branded documents and communication materials. The new Document Control allows retailers to build unique branding around each product in item detail pages. This creates a rich media “experience” while providing a quick and easy way to publish return policies, how-to videos, workshops, and instruction sheets. Using the CSS Import Utility, retailers can create and import unique site themes to enhance site ranking in search engines and give shoppers the experience they demand.

Voice Prints For Payment Authorization?

A UK company is enabling retailers to use voice-recognition to authenticate purchases over the phone and online, according to StoreFront Backtalk.

The Voice Commerce Group’s Voice Transact package has consumers call the service, quote a pre-arranged product code and then a series of digits dictated by the automated system. Verizon is involved in the rollout. VCG CEO Nick Ogden was quoted in E-Commerce Times saying that there are "current problems with the system, the biggest of which was interoperability between different banks’ systems and the standards used in the technology."
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