Saturday, March 31, 2012

Dydacomp Releases SiteLINK 7, Assures PCI Compliance

Dydacomp, a leading provider of business technology platforms for small and mid-sized eCommerce and multichannel merchants, has announced SiteLINK 7, a comprehensive eCommerce shopping cart solution that increases conversions and ensures PCI compliance.

SiteLINK 7 delivers many new features to create an enriched cross-platform shopping experience for online and mobile shoppers. Dydacomp’s eCommerce hosting environment has also undergone an independent third-party audit to ensure SiteLINK 7 is a PCI DSS certified solution and hosting platform, enabling merchants to meet strict data security standards and regulations.

PCI Compliance
“One of the business-critical areas that we addressed in SiteLINK 7 is PCI compliance," ' say Fred Lizza, CEO of Dydacomp. "The ramifications of a data breach to a small or medium-sized business can be devastating. By combining SiteLINK 7 with our Multichannel Order Manager, we provide the only integrated end-to-end PCI compliant software solution for small and mid-size merchants and their customers. Our latest solution also addresses the rapid adoption of new mobile technology. SiteLINK 7 now includes mobile-optimized layouts to allow our merchants’ customers to browse and order from smartphones and wireless devices.”

Best Practices
Enhancements were made based on best practices for increasing purchases and to help smaller companies compete with large eCommerce sites. SiteLINK7makes it easier for customers to leave product reviews which improve conversions, incorporates a persistent cart to allow visitors to add items to the shopping cart and complete the order at a later time, and presents a recently viewed items listing. All of these new features enrich the overall shopping experience for online consumers while the integration with Multichannel Order Manager provides SMBs with the ability to manage all commerce processes needed to run and scale a successful online or cross-channel business through a single solution.

The new features of SiteLINK 7 enrich the overall online shopping experience while the integration with Multichannel Order Manager provides SMBs with a single commerce management solution that manages all processes needed to run and scale a successful online or cross-channel business. SiteLINK 7 also incorporates numerous enhancements to create effective and visually powerful eCommerce sites, such as the ability to sell e-gift cards that can also be redeemed through point-of-purchase, new HTML templates to increase conversions, and integration with buySAFE to provide shoppers with a purchase guarantee.

“The new release reflects Dydacomp’s continued commitment to providing the complete end-to-end solution for small and mid-sized merchants," says CEO  Lizza. "The features and functionality we’ve incorporated into our solutions are designed to meet the expanding needs of today’s eCommerce marketplace. In addition, merchants can process credit cards and collect payment-related data with the reassurance that SiteLINK 7 has received the PCI DSS compliance certifications that will simplify meeting the requirements for annual merchant qualifications.”

Monday, March 26, 2012

Browns Shoes Selects Demandware

Demandware, Inc., a leader in on-demand eCommerce, has announced that Browns Shoes, the leading retailer of fashion footwear in Canada, has selected the Demandware Commerce platform to power its new multi-brand, multi-channel digital commerce strategy.

The company will use Demandware to launch new Web and mobile commerce sites for its key banners: Browns, B2 and Browns OUTLET, and to extend a unified brand experience from its brick-and-mortar stores across all digital commerce touch points.

Browns Shoes is replacing its legacy platform with Demandware because it enables a greater level of innovation and a better user empowerment, along with a reliable, secure and scalable operating environment for running its digital commerce operations. Browns Shoes selected Demandware for its a highly scalable platform for a multi-brand, multi-channel strategy, including:
  • A central commerce platform for developing and managing multiple branded sites across channels and geographies, including Web, mobile and social, enabling a seamless brand experience regardless of channel
  • Powerful commerce applications that empower a range of users, including merchandisers, marketers, developers, designers, operations, customer service and fulfillment teams
  • New capabilities made available through automatic global releases
  • A proven, world-class operating environment with industry-leading performance and up-time
  • Built-in scalability to support intense processing loads, easily handling sudden spikes in traffic without compromising performance
  • A business model based on partnership and complete economic alignment with clients

Warehouse Robots Get Smarter With Ant Intelligence

Inside Technology from IEEE Spectrum reports that researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics are experimenting with warehouse robots that communicate with each other rather than a central server (like Kiva's bots that Amazon just bought), using algorithms based on a model of "how ants forage for food to cooperatively decide which of them should go where and do what."

"The robots don't need fixed localization points," says the article, "but instead rely on 'integrated localization and navigation technology' (including signal-based location capability, distance and acceleration sensors and laser scanners) to find the most direct routes to their destination without crashing into anything or each other. This makes them very efficient, and it also makes the system easily scalable, since you can introduce new things and the robots won't freak out."

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Big Opportunities in Big Data has produced a useful (and nice-looking) infographic on Big Data, showing that "A fundamental role of the chief marketing officer (CMO) is to capitalize on the complexity of this Big Data. In billions of chats, blogs, e-mails, mobile phone calls, and social networks, consumers are talking about every business and organization. Somewhere in this massive conversation are shouts, whispers, clicks, and purchases that will determine each company’s success or failure.
Yet many organizations are data-rich and insight-poor. Marketers must transform available data into feasible, immediate action plans. The notion of turning data into real-time insight, and insight into instant action, is a common and growing theme."

 Click HERE to download a PDF of the infographic, and to read more see:

Mastering Multinational Search Challenges

Customer experience is at the heart of multichannel marketing. Those serving a multinational market must have an understanding of native spoken language, geography and culture and build this into every step of the program, notes Jimmy McCann, head of search engine optimisation at Search Laboratory, a provider of search engine marketing services, in an article in Direct Commerce.

"Knowledge of regional online habits should also be understood in order to develop appropriate off-page content and links with external platforms. Trends in Germany for example, highlight that Facebook commands less popularity than in other markets, indicating that retailers targeting German customers should consider alternative channels through which to engage.

"Regional and cultural perceptions of what constitutes a quality online presence also vary. Korea for instance, blogging is seen as a fundamental part of any website’s visibility. Accordingly, Naver, Korea’s largest search engine, prioritises blogs created on its own platform over traditional website content, making backlinks from bloggers of particular importance to a search strategy focusing on this market."

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Amazon Buys Kiva Robotic Systems

Bloomberg has reported that " Inc. is making its biggest acquisition since the 2009 purchase of, agreeing to pay $775 million for Kiva Systems Inc., a maker of robots that move items around warehouses."

"The all-cash deal for closely-held Kiva will close in the second quarter," notes Bloomberg. Using Kiva robots should help to lower fulfillment costs, which account for "the company’s largest operating expense at 9.5 percent of sales." Bloomberg points out that "Amazon’s operating margin is predicted to narrow to 1.6 percent in 2012 after falling 2.3 percentage points last year, putting stress on the company to bolster profits. In January, Chief Financial Officer Thomas Szkutak said operating results this quarter will range from a loss of $200 million to a gain of $100 million."
And of course, since the Kiva robots that move inventory or shelf stacks or many other materials management tasks are already orange and very similar in color to the orange in Amazon's logo, the new owner won't have to repaint any inventory they acquire!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

AZ Revives State Sales Tax Bill reports that "A House committee Wednesday revived a bill to charge sales tax on purchases, despite the fact that the measure has already failed twice in the Senate this session.

"...Members of the House Commerce Committee said their support of the bill should help intensify efforts at the federal level to change the laws on taxing online sales."

Under the current arrangement, Amazon enjoys tax-free sales in Arizona until 2013.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

mCommerce Gaining Ground

Direct Commerce magazine (UK) reports that Shop Direct Group, one of the UK’s largest online and home shopping retailers with £1.7 billion in sales from brands like, Littlewoods, Isme and, gets 11 percent of its online sales from mobile devices (and online/mobile account for 3/4 of all sales).

Says eCommerce director Jonathan Wall, "2011 was the year Shop Direct began to see 'material growth' in mobile sales. 'Where customers had perhaps been a little apprehensive about the security of the channel prior to 2011, last year we saw confidence in mobile growing. This was particularly evident at Christmas, when a greater proportion of customers chose to buy all of their shopping on mobile devices rather than just one or two items,' he says."

Direct merchants outside the UK will be interested to learn that UK shipper Collect+ has played a big role in the company's fulfillment strategy. Says Wall, “Gone are the days of waiting in the house all day for an item to arrive. In this respect, Collect+ is a major advantage for us, providing a footprint of more than 4,500 ‘stores’ across the UK without any of the associated cost of bricks and mortar. Customers can have items delivered to their local Spar or petrol station at no extra charge and can then collect or return their goods at a time to suit them.”

Direct Commerce also reports Wall as saying that “Our shopping sites are now all ‘on rails’ and device-agnostic, offering every customer a simple and effective browsing and purchasing experience whether on a smartphone or a tablet.”

Warns Wall, "'get mobile wrong and you risk losing existing customers to your competitors.' Get it right and Wall believes the opportunity for incremental sales will come—'particularly on smartphones and smaller tablets, which we expect to display more truly ‘mobile’ behaviours when they begin to appear later this year.'

"In order to deliver a truly exceptional mobile shopping experience for customers, Wall says Shop Direct has a number of advancements in the pipeline for 2012. 'Our current shopping apps work well, but our next wave of apps aims to be world class, offering enhanced gesture-based shopping, barcode and QR code scanning and Collect+ geolocation services. Our third generation ‘beyond rails’ mobile sites will also offer greater choice, flexibility and ease of use for customers.”

So-called "digital fingerprinting will help Shop Direct Group knit together a better 360-degree view of "each individual’s browsing and shopping behaviour patterns across multiple devices. . . providing Shop Direct with enough data points to support substantially more effective personalisation. 'Our mobile strategy can be summed up simply as "always connected, any device.' Now more than ever, customers are moving faster than retailers; we plan to be the best at keeping up.” 

Friday, March 09, 2012

Twitter Planning Big Changes to Brand Pages

Launched last December,Twitter's Brand ages show a brand's Twitter feed and images. Now Twitter plans to add "experiences," including eCommerce options, contests, and sweepstakes, according to three executives familiar with the matter in an article in AdAgeDigital.

According to AdAgeDigital: "Twitter declined to comment on the new features.

"While 21 high-profile marketers like Nike , American Express and McDonald's were part of the launch group, and more brands that had committed $25,000 in advertising came onboard in January, many marketers have wondered about the usefulness of Twitter's brand pages in their present form. But the prospect of developing content that's native to the Twitter experience and using it to drive users to their own pages could make brand pages' function -- and value -- clearer to marketers.

"Particularly interesting is the idea of e-commerce on Twitter. Twitter co-founder and Executive Chairman Jack Dorsey is also CEO of mobile-payments company Square. And American Express recently started a program in which it sends offers to Twitter users in exchange for certain actions, such as tweeting a hashtag. Dell , Best Buy, H&M and 1-800-Flowers are participating in the program"

Icebreaker on Demandware Commerce

Demandware, a leader in on-demand eCommerce, has announced that Icebreaker, the New Zealand company that pioneered the outdoor merino wool apparel category, has selected Demandware Commerce to power its global digital commerce initiatives.

Icebreaker relaunched its U.S. eCommerce site on Demandware in September 2011, and launched its first site in Canada — — just two months later. The company plans to leverage Demandware’s multi-site capabilities to expand beyond North America into Europe and the Southern Hemisphere during 2012 and 2013.

Monday, March 05, 2012

European ePrivacy Directive

Ten countries have passed the European ePrivacy Directive, including the UK, France, Ireland, Sweden and Finland. The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) gave the industry a 12-month enforcement extension which expires on 26th May 2012. In response, the IAB Europe has published a self regulation framework for online behavioral advertising (OBA) based on seven principles identified by Direct Commerce magazine as:

1.    Notice
2.    User choice
3.    Data security
4.    Sensitive segmentation
5.    Education
6.    Compliance and enforcement
7.    Review

Notes Stuart Colman, European managing director of AudienceScience, a digital marketing technology company, author of the Direct Commerce article: "The framework sees the introduction of the 'enhanced notice icon,' which will need to be shown on or near any online advert that has used behavioural targeting or when third parties are collecting data on a website. By clicking on it, users will be able to see a clear notice describing data collection and usage, and also link to the new site, to manage their privacy preferences."
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