Daily Roundup for 2008-02-27

  • When Alden Kellogg discovered a glitch on Wesabe, he went to the personal finance tracker’s home page, looking for a tech support number or e-mail. Instead, he found a link labeled "Talk to Jason, CEO of Wesabe." The page invites users to reach CEO Jason Knight by phone during a four-hour period seven days a week. Kellogg, a 35-year-old attorney in New Orleans, called the number in July, and Knight picked up.
  • Amazon.com Inc. is testing a new paid advertising program that will drive shoppers away from products on its own Web site.  When shoppers click, the advertiser’s site opens in a new window.  And Amazon makes money for sending the user along _ sometimes more than if it had held onto the shopper.  Razor-thin retail margins have prompted Amazon to look beyond directly selling and shipping merchandise to customers.

  • A study shows a disconnect between the number of clicks on ads, and the number of people behind the clicks. As a result, advertisers and marketers are advised to find ways other than clicks to optimize performance-based campaigns.  The report, "Natural Born Clickers," commissioned by Starcom and AOL’s Tacoda and conducted by comScore, finds 16 percent of Internet users click on 80 percent of ads, and those people aren’t representative of the general online population.  "Close to 70 percent of the online universe doesn’t click at all," said Greg Rogers, VP of sales strategy at Tacoda.
  • For retailers in markets such as consumer electronics where competition is fierce, the ability to offer an alternative payment option with buyer protection can make the difference between a customer making a purchase or jumping to another site, e-retailer Etronics Inc. says.
  • Europe is a diverse region comprising 48 countries, 27 of which are in the European Union. The region contains some of the world’s Internet usage leaders, such as the Netherlands and Scandinavia, where penetration is around 80% of the population.
  • Convenience and bargain-hunting tend to drive younger Americans to online shopping, while all adults share concerns about security and other drawbacks, a new study finds.
  • Getting objective opinions has never been easier for consumers. If they don’t personally know someone who has used a product or service, they can go online for the thoughts and experiences of millions.  Most online buyers do just that.  PowerReviews and the e-tailing group found that nearly nine out of 10 US online buyers surveyed in February 2008 read customer reviews at least "some of the time" before making a purchase.
  • A bond is basically an insurance policy that protects a consignor (someone who gives you goods to sell) from a trading assistant selling their goods on eBay and getting paid for them, but not paying the consignor.  When eBay revised the trading assistant program, they required a $25,000 bond for trading assistants who wanted to be listed as Registered eBay Dropoff Locations (REDOL) which is eBay’s new name for a trading post –a consignment seller who has a store or locations where consignors can drop merchandise off for sale. buySAFE and the Liberty Mutual Insurance Company announced that such a bond is now available for qualified TAs to purchase at:  http://www.buysafe.com/tradingassistant.

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