Daily Roundup for 2007-12-25

  • AuctionBytes is conducting a survey to study online shopping behavior. As more small sellers and "mom and pop" merchants launch their own independent websites, it becomes critical to learn which factors help shoppers find and research products and make online purchasing decisions.
  • In 2002, the geeks at Google named their newly launched shopping tool "Froogle," a nerdy pun on the word "frugal." But, according to Marissa Mayer, the name caused confusion for some because it didn’t clearly describe what the product did. So in April 2007, Google changed the name to the more descriptive but boring "Google Product Search."
  • One simple question. That’s all it took for Christophe Bisciglia to bewilder confident job applicants at Google (GOOG). Bisciglia, an angular 27-year-old senior software engineer with long wavy hair, wanted to see if these undergrads were ready to think like Googlers. "Tell me," he’d say, "what would you do if you had 1,000 times more data?"
  • CompUSA’s liquidation by Gordon Brothers, which acquired it in a fire sale by parent Grupo Carso SA, marks an ignoble end to a retailer that helped make computers commonplace in society. "It was the company that kick-started computers into the public consciousness," said Stephen Baker, industry analysis VP for The NPD Group. "It was the cutting-edge place to go for early adopters, and had the best and deepest selection at a time when these products weren’t available anywhere else."
  • RatePoint, Inc., the leader in providing businesses with the only comprehensive online reputation management and customer feedback platform available, today announced its ‘Critical Consumer Tips’ for last minute online shopping. In the wake of the holiday shopping season, where consumers have a tendency to fall victim to identity theft or even scams due to the pressure of shopping for holiday gifts, RatePoint offers its top ‘Critical Consumer Tips’.
  • New Trojan software has been found picking the pockets of Google (NSDQ: GOOG) and its publishing partners, and potentially exposing Web surfers to more malware. BitDefender, a software security company based in Bucharest, Romania, on Tuesday said that it had detected a new Trojan (Trojan.Qhost.WU) that replaces Google AdSense text ads with ads from a different, potentially malicious provider.
  • More online shoppers are hunting for bargains this year, and most can be swayed by free shipping offers, according to a survey by research firm TNS for business organization The Conference Board.
  • Visits to the 120 online retail web sites tracked in the Nielsen Online Holiday eShopping Index grew 9% for the week ended Dec. 16 over the comparable week last year. The fastest-growing product category was jewelry, which grew 55%, followed by consumer electronics at 9%, and books, music and video at 7%.
  • InPhonic Inc., an online seller of cell phones and wireless plans that filed for bankruptcy last month, has been sold to Philadelphia-based private equity firm Versa Capital Management. The sale was approved last week by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware.
  • Consumers’ satisfaction with their online shopping experiences reached 77.6 on a 100-point scale for the week of Dec. 3-9, up 1.7% from the previous week and 3.3% from the same week last year, reports ForeSee Results.
  • Traffic was up 10% last week compared to the same week a year ago to the 120 e-commerce sites tracked by Nielsen Online for its Holiday eShopping Index. The fastest-growing categories last week were flowers and gifts, up 29% from last year, beauty, up 11%, and shoes, ahead 10%.

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