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Online Retail Articles

Hitwise: Most Twitter Users Move On To Media Sites
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Business-related Twitter success stories exist – there’s the tale of Dell bringing in about $3 million in sales, for example.  But it seems that such stories may remain rare, as new Hitwise data suggests that Twitter users are much more interested in free online media than in spending money.

What Works on Twitter May Work on Your eCommerce Site

A while back, I wrote a piece on a company called IMShopping, which was using Twitter for a fresh approach to eCommerce. Essentially what the company was doing was using a Twitter account to answer questions consumers have about products they are seeking, aiming to bring a human element often lacking in the online retail world.

Can eBay Win Back Sellers with a Shift in Focus?
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eBay recently announced it was returning to its roots as an auction site more focus on the "secondary market". This is probably a wise move as interest and enthusiasm for eBay have both steadily dwindled over the past year or so.

eBay Unleashes Changes Galore for Sellers
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Earlier in the year, eBay announced that it would be making two big announcements per year regarding the eBay Marketplace. Each announcement would be made 60 days in advance of when the changes were scheduled.

Using Twitter for a Fresh Approach to eCommerce
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WebProNews looked at some interesting research from Forrester and Shop.org this week, which indicated that while online retail sales have been increasing, those for the majority of web-only businesses have actually remained flat or on the decline.

One startup launching this week thinks injecting a little human touch into eCommerce can be a way to combat this. Naturally, Twitter is the medium the company’s using to do this.

Amazon Payments Now on Over 25 Major eCommerce Solutions
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Amazon announced today that Amazon Payments is now available in over 25 of the leading eCommerce shopping cart providers. These include solutions like CardinalCommerce, Miva Merchant, Magento, ShopVisible, Mercantec, and Zoovy.

eBay Testing New “Certified Sellers” Box
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It looks like eBay may be considering a program for "certified sellers." Ina Steiner at AuctionBytes talks about one of her readers who wrote in and told her about a survey for eBay he participated in that showed a made up listing page for a digital camera. It looked something like this:

eBay Drops $1.2 Billion on Korean eCommerce Site
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This has certainly been a huge week for eBay announcements. First, it was announced that StumbleUpon as being taken back by its founders. Then a similar scenario was announced for Skype. Then eBay announced a ton of changes to its marketplace.

Circuit City to Be Resurrected Online
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Early this year, Circuit City announced that it was closing all of its stores after being in business for 60 years. Gizmodo is pointing to a screenshot from Circuit City’s website now, however, suggesting that the company will be back in online form.

No More PPC for Amazon Associates
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Amazon is ending the payment of referral fees to associates in North America using pay-per-click (PPC) to get traffic. This is effective beginning May 1st.

The change is not temporary. Amazon will not reinstate payment of referral fees to paid search associates. They say the decision to make the change is based on their review of how they invest their advertising resources.

UK Online Shoppers Want Sales

UK retailers are benefiting online from the beginning of spring sales. Accroding to research from Hitwise, UK Internet visits to sites in the shopping and classifieds category increased by only 0.9%, while the "traditional" category, which features UK High Street department store sites like John Lewis, Debenhams, Littlewoods, etc. saw an increase of as much as 21%.

Many of these sites saw their first big increase since the Holiday Season. This is illustrated in the following graph:

Amazon To Shutdown 3 Distribution Centers
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Amazon.com is closing three of its fulfillment centers in Munster, Indiana, Red Rock, Nevada, and Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, the first time the online retailer has closed a warehouse since 2006.

Amazon said the move is part of a reorganization of its distribution network so it can "better balance product mix and customer orders."

eBay Removes Items-Per-Seller Limit in Search Results
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eBay has announced that starting this week, they will be displaying every listing according to their Best Match sort order, even when they come from the same seller. That means there is no longer a ten-listing-per-customer-per-page limit.

Hitwise Records Drop In Retail Traffic
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It would be less than shocking if a certain Pink Floyd song has become stuck in the minds of online retailers recently; "Is There Anybody Out There?" seems like a semi-appropriate question as a new Hitwise report explains that fewer people are swinging by their sites.

You Better Get Comfortable with eBay’s New Search
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eBay is 86ing its old search engine in favor of its newer one. Up until this point, users have been able to choose the one they prefer, but according to eBay the majority are using the new one, so you can kiss the old one goodbye.

eBay Highlights Trusted Sellers (and Other Tidbits)
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Matt Olson from eBayeBay recently announced a change to product pages for books, music, movies, and video games last week – a change that will likely give sellers yet another reason to complain.

Hitwise Weighs In With Holiday 2008 Data
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While the news may not be enough to cause encore performances of "Joy to the World," a new report from Hitwise on Christmas and Boxing Day search and traffic stats isn’t all bad.  Interpreted in a certain way, it even provides signs that the UK’s economy is doing all right.

Online Advertising’s Relationship with Holiday Traffic
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Nielsen Online has shared some interesting data regarding advertising on the web during the holiday season. This look comes after finding that there was 10% growth in retail site traffic.

Nachi Lolla at the Nielsen Blog wondered if the advertising strategies of these retailers had anything to do with that traffic. Lolla writes:

Report: Online Retailers Moving In Right Direction
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The news may be a little hard to believe today – the Dow has closed down about 221 points – but a fresh report from Compete says that online retailers aren’t having such a bad holiday season.  In fact, thanks to a charge led by Amazon, the latest unique visitor stats are pulling ahead of the levels set in 2007.

Nielsen Looks at Online Retail Category Performance
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Nielsen is sharing some interesting data today regarding online retail web traffic during the holiday season. This data shows that both Black Friday and Cyber Monday traffic were up by 10% each when compared to last year.

Black Friday Traffic Proved Too Much For Some Sites

Pessimistic onlookers believed retailers’ websites would do little more than attract tumbleweeds this Black Friday.  A sort of reverse situation came into being, however, as stampede-worthy traffic levels were significant enough to cause slowdowns and at least one crash.