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December 3, 2021
how to manage e-commerce returned merchandise
Product returns are an unavoidable part of running an e-commerce business. They can't be eliminated, so offering the option to return items can be a vital part of a business's strategy. As the adage goes: "If you have too few returns, you're not selling enough." Still, most e-commerce businesses would like to reduce the numbers of returns they need to process. [More...]

December 1, 2021
holiday shopping trends
Concerns over supply chain snags, delivery delays and a yearning for a return to normal are influencing consumer shopping habits this holiday season. "The biggest change this year is that shopping has started earlier than in the past," observed Dave Sekera, chief U.S. market strategist with Morningstar. [More...]

November 24, 2021
Thirstie alcohol gift cards
Consumers have a strong appetite for gift cards and gifting alcohol. But until now they could not do both with a branded gift card. The market had none. Beverage alcohol e-commerce platform company Thirstie on Nov. 23 announced the first-ever alcohol branded gift cards with major liquor brands. [More...]

November 24, 2021
holiday season sees increased digital fraud activity
'Tis the season to go phishing. Nothing brings out digital bandits like the holidays, and this year is no exception. Proofpoint, an enterprise digital security company, reports its researchers are seeing a massive global increase in holiday-themed mobile phishing attacks, a.k.a. smishing. It noted the volume of mobile phishing messages has almost doubled, compared to this time last year. [More...]

November 23, 2021
how to prevent e-commerce chargebacks and fraud prevention
Cash flow concerns and fraud are going to be a menace to both retailers and consumers this holiday shopping season. One of the biggest shopping headaches this year will be a much earlier start to the chargeback cycles. Jeff Wixted, vice president of marketing and client solutions at Accertify, discusses various precautions retailers can implement and tools they need to mitigate the impact of the expected fraud and chargeback volume increases. [More...]

November 22, 2021
Inflation, Cybersecurity Issues Strain Holiday Online Shopping
Technical and logistical problems stretching across multiple industries gives both shoppers and retailers reason to double efforts to avoid being hacked this year. Two factors top the list: runaway inflation and increased cyberattacks. Both are stretching spending capacity and digital safety to their limits during the holiday shopping season. [More...]

November 17, 2021
comparing consumer expectations to marketer priorities
Marketing and business communications company R.R. Donnelley & Sons has released a study which reveals that traditional marketing channels, including word of mouth, direct mail, and in-store signage, are largely untapped and underestimated by marketers. The research uncovers significant differences between marketer assumptions and what consumers actually say influences their brand awareness and purchase decisions. [More...]

November 10, 2021
consumers have started their holiday shopping earlier than ever
Holiday shoppers can expect to see a lot of out-of-stock warnings online this year, but that won't discourage them for opening their wallets to buy gifts for loved ones. According to retail sales watchers, consumers have launched their holiday shopping earlier than ever, spending US$72.4 billion online in October, an eight percent increase over the same period in 2020. [More...]

November 5, 2021
Exclusive interview with Zebra Technologies retail consultant Mark Delaney
Closing physical storefronts in favor of internet-based direct-to-consumer selling options is not necessarily the best approach for typical store owners, according to Mark Delaney, retail industry consultant at Zebra Technologies. The E-Commerce Times heard more from Delaney in a wide-ranging conversation about today's supply chain disruptions and evolving consumer shopping habits. [More...]

November 3, 2021
Direct-to-consumer selling model
What draws the consumer to a D2C brand over traditional businesses? Two words: customer closeness. That is, the ability for organizations to feel directly connected to the users of their products or services -- understanding their motivations, lifestyles, opinions, and attitudes. Let's first explore why D2C businesses have advantages over incumbent companies. [More...]

October 25, 2021
holiday season marketing tips for online retailers
Supply chain chaos has sellers and shoppers on edge, with no relief in sight anytime soon. To better understand how marketers should navigate this unusual holiday shopping season, we spoke with a variety of experts to get tips on what makes for successful holiday e-commerce marketing -- and why planning, implementation, and customer engagement are paramount in these continually changing times. [More...]

October 22, 2021
Accelerate Seller Conference announcements
Amazon heralded its shifting strategies to help sellers expand with new tools during its two-day Accelerate Seller Conference this week. The e-commerce giant announced its growing success with American small and medium-sized businesses empowerment this year, its glowing Sellers Report, and the results of its unique CRM tools for SMBs. [More...]

October 21, 2021
Sift discovers cybercrime fraud ring Proxy Phantom
A new cyber threat group called Proxy Phantom is using sophisticated credential stuffing attack methods to take over customer accounts for U.S.-based e-commerce merchants. The latest research from digital trust and safety firm Sift demonstrates fraudsters' relentless innovation and reinforces retailers' need to double down on fraud protection as the holiday shopping season rapidly approaches. [More...]

October 20, 2021
Digital Ad tax
For years, affiliate marketers, social media companies, online marketplace platforms, and search engines alike have enjoyed the seemingly ubiquitous tax-free landscape from their digital activities afforded to them by the United States' Internet Tax Freedom Act of 1998. However, that could all be changing soon. [More...]

October 15, 2021
The Global Information Network
Let's start a new meme/hashtag/acronym: Global Information Network, or GIN. I know there's double entendre here, but we're entitled to have a modicum of fun in life, no? I've been writing about the coming of an information utility for a while, but even my visions don't match what we're watching unfold. [More...]

Which most influences your decision to accept a LinkedIn invite from a stranger?
Groups or interests we have in common
Personal message they included with the invitation
Relevance of their industry or experience to my own
Size of their network and/or how many connections we have in common
Thoroughness and credibility of their LinkedIn profile
All of the above -- I am meticulous about whom I allow in my network
None of the above -- I accept all LinkedIn invites
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