Category Archives: Online Shopping

Loyalty Miles Go a Long Way With Online Shoppers

 

SANTA CLARA, CA, Mar 22, 2012 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) —
Loyalty and rewards programs vying for the attention of online shoppers should be focusing on miles and cut back on offers like free shipping when developing programs. These are among the results of a new analysis of online shopping behavior conducted by Billeo, Inc., creator of apps that help consumers save time and money while shopping or paying bills online.

“Miles, free shipping or points — the options for online shoppers are many. And still, the majority of these offers go unused,” said Murali Subbarao CEO of Billeo, Inc. “Online shopping presents a huge opportunity for brands and merchants looking to increase customer loyalty and financial institutions that need to drive card use. The marketing professionals who run loyalty programs just need better insight into what shoppers prefer.”

The data, released by Billeo today, indicates that the rewards being offered by a loyalty program have a direct impact on where the person shops, what brand they chose and what card they use to make a purchase. According to the online shoppers in Billeo’s network, people prefer miles to any other rewards offer they were presented with during the past year.

“Our analysis shows that online shoppers are almost six times more likely to use an offer that includes miles, compared to one that does not, ” continued Subbarao. “The rising cost of airfare has turned
earning miles into a significant motivator for consumers who are shopping online.”

Other findings from Billeo’s analysis include:

Online Shoppers Prefer Rewards Points and Miles Offers

        --  Online shoppers are almost five times more likely to use a rewards offer that includes the ability to earn miles or points than one that        doesn't
            --  Offers that allow online shoppers to earn rewards points or miles
                are more appealing -- these offers average a 14.5 percent click-to
                conversion rate
            --  Offers that do not include points or miles, like free shipping,
                are less appealing -- these offers average a 3 percent
                click-to-conversion rate

Miles Rise to the Top

        --  Usage increases when you look at just miles offers, online shoppers
            are almost six times more likely to use an offer with miles than one
            that doesn't offer miles or points
            --  Offers that include miles have a 17 percent click-to-conversion
                rate, versus the 3 percent click-to-conversion rate of offers that
                do not offer points or miles
        --  Online shoppers are almost one and a half times more likely to use an
            offer with miles than an offer with points
            --  Offers that include rewards points have a 12 percent
                click-to-conversion rate, versus the 17 percent
                click-to-conversion rate of miles offers

How Many Miles? Almost Enough to Fly From Chicago to Tokyo and Back!

        --  The average online shopper earns 11,600 miles a year

Billeo creates free apps that save people time and money while shopping and paying bills online. Billeo also provides banks, credit card companies, credit unions, airlines and loyalty providers, with context-aware shopping and bill pay technologies that help them
better interact with their customers online.

The analysis is based on the 2011 aggregate shopping habits of more than 100,000 online shoppers in the Billeo network. More than 40 banks, 20,000 billers, 1,500 merchants, six of the top 10 card issuers and two of the top five airlines are part of the Billeo network. Cash back offers were not included in this analysis.

About Billeo, Inc.
Billeo, Inc. helps consumers save time and money
while shopping or paying bills online. Billeo’s free browser and mobile apps save more than 1.5 million consumers nearly 10 percent on each purchase, by helping them take full advantage of their financial relationships and loyalty programs. Billeo’s Active Context Platform(TM) provides financial institutions and card issuers like American Express, Discover, US Bank, Wells Fargo and Visa with context-aware shopping and bill pay technologies, helping them better interact with their customers online. More than 40 banks, 20,000 billers, 1,500 merchants, six of the top 10 card issuers and two of the top five airlines are part of the Billeo network. Billeo was listed as one of the fastest growing private companies by Inc. Magazine and named the 2011 best e-commerce site by the American Business Awards. For more information about Billeo, Inc. visit www.billeo.com.

SOURCE: Billeo, Inc.

Copyright 2012 Marketwire, Inc., All rights reserved.

Tips for Spotting Fake Online Product Reviews

Online product reviews play an important part in online shopping.  Before online shoppers hit the “Add To Cart” button, they will usually spend time to go through product reviews to justify their buying decision. The merchant with more positive product reviews normally gets the business.  The recent fake Amazon product review issue has drawn people’s attention to the authenticity of online customer reviews.

Here are some tips that help you spot fake product reviews from real ones.

1. The product reviews are overly positive and rated with all 5 stars.  If you see multiple 5-star reviews within a short period of time, you should be suspicious.  Normally the product review rating can be various and timing can be spontaneous.  Some customers do not even rate though they leave very positive reviews because they simply forget to check the rating.

2. The product review is too general. For example, “I’m very happy with your company, the service, quality and price.”

3. The product review is too detailed.  For example, the review gives out the product’s model number and even the percentage of savings.

4. The product review sounds like the company’s sales slogan.
For example, “ABC Company is worth to try!!!”  “Good quality, good service and price!”

CBS Early Show’s Regina Lewis says some of the review sites do scan for patterns to try and catch reviews that have been paid for and are fake. Regina also mentions some red flags in reviews that help you identify fake product reviews.

So now you know how to identify fake product reviews. I suggest you leave objective product reviews whenever possible. In this way, you not only help other consumers make appropriate buying decision but also help online merchants improve their products and services.

How to Safeguard Online Shopping Transactions

Security should be a top priority for every online entrepreneur with a shopping cart or an e-commerce ambition.  Giving shoppers confidence that their credit-card information and personal details will be safe in your hands can make them more apt to make a purchase and become a regular customer. Conversely, shoppers’ deep-seated worries about fraud mean that if you give them reason for concern, they could back out of a purchase and stay away for good.

Security precautions also can save you money — and maybe even preserveOnline Shopping Transactions Credit Card your business. The costs of a hack can be steep if credit-card information is stolen and you are at fault. Not only could you face huge clean-up expenses, angry customers and scary lawsuits, you also would likely face the wrath of the credit-card companies, which require merchants to abide by what’s known as the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard. The card companies could fine you, force you to undergo expensive security audits or even bar you from accepting any plastic. (Note: image used courtesy of Image: phanlop88.)

To both instill customer confidence and avoid the horrors of a data breach, experts say a locked down shopping cart system is essential. What’s more, that system should not store any cardholder data. Hacks of these complex software programs are common, and you are a target even if you’re tiny. For example, more than 80 percent of card data compromises investigated by Visa affect merchants that process fewer than 20,000 transactions a year.

How to Find Product Reviews Before Online Shopping

Reading product reviews before online shopping is very useful for online shoppers to make a buying decision. Based on these product reviews the consumer may make a more informed decision about which products to purchase and which ones to avoid. However, there are different types of reviews available and some product reviews are more useful than others. This article will discuss product reviews posted directly on the online retailer’s website as well as product reviews posted on websites dedicated to compiling product reviews.

Reviews on the Online Retailers Website

Many online retailers provide reviews of products they offer for sale directly on their own website. These reviews typically fall into two categories and include consumer product reviews and product reviews offered in terms for compensation. Consumers who are using these reviews to gather information about a product should proceed with caution to ensure they understand what type of reviews are being offered on the website.

Consumer product reviews are typically the best resource for consumers who want to learn more about a product. This includes reviews from others who have purchased and used the product in question. These reviews are usually completely candid and offer great insight into the form and functionality of the product. Online shoppers who find the majority of consumers are satisfied with a particular product may be reassured they have selected a high quality product.

Online retailers also sometimes feature product reviews on their website from reviewers who have been compensated to provide a review. When a retailer compensates an individual to make a review it is usually necessary to divulge this information because the review may tend to rate the product more favorably than they would if they were not compensated to do so.

Websites Provided for Consumers to Review Products

There are also websites dedicated to compiling product reviews. Consumers can browse through a variety of products to find additional information in the form of product reviews. The reviews may be incredibly detailed and useful or they may be brief and provide very little useful information. Consumers are advised to consider these opinions carefully especially when there are a large number of reviews available, which seem to be in agreement regarding the quality of the product. However, when there are only a few reviews available it can be much more difficult for the consumer to formulate his own opinion of the product based on these reviews posted on the website. Consumers are also advised to ignore reviews, which vary significantly from the majority of the other review posted. These reviews may be mistakenly referring to the wrong product or may demonstrate an anomaly.

In short, do your homework to study product reviews before you make a buying decision.

Save Money Shopping Online With Coupons

Smart online shoppers know there are a variety of ways to save money when shopping online. Using coupons and promotional codes can result in a significant cost savings for online shoppers. This article will discuss methods of finding coupons for online shopping and the importance of understanding the restrictions placed on the use of these coupons.

Finding Coupons for Online Shopping

There are many different coupons and promotional codes available for online shopping. The most common types of coupons and promotional codes available are those which offer a discount on the total purchase price of an order and promotional codes which offer free shipping on an order. Both of these offers can be financially beneficial to the shopper if he is able to find these valuable offers. There are a number of different ways in which a shopper may acquire coupons and promotional codes for online shopping.

Many online shoppers receive promotional codes for online retailers in catalogs they receive in the mail. These catalogs may include special offers in an attempt to entice the recipient of the catalog to make a purchase online. The shopper may receive these catalogs because they have made purchased from the online retailer in the past or because the online retailer is advertising to new clients.

Similarly shoppers may receive promotional codes offering discounts via email. This is common for shoppers who belong to buyer’s club organized by the online retailer. These types of clubs typically offer these promotional codes to regular customers to reward them for their consumer loyalty and encourage the shopper to continue to patronize the online retailer.

Still another way for shoppers to find promotional codes for online shopping is via the Internet. There are websites where members frequently post the codes they acquire via catalogs and emails for the benefit of others who may be seeking a discount on a purchase from a particular online retailer. Shoppers can use these promotional codes as long as there are no restrictions on sharing these codes.

Restrictions on Coupons for Online Shopping

Shoppers who utilize coupons and promotional codes while they are online shopping should be aware there may be restrictions on the use of these coupons or promotional codes. Common examples of these restrictions include dates of expiration and required minimum purchase to use the discount. Similar to coupons, which are valid at traditional stores, online coupons or promotional codes usually have an expiration date and the discount is no longer valid after this date.

Another common restriction associated to offers of free shipping is a minimum required purchase. In these cases the consumer must purchase more than a specific dollar amount from the online retailer in order to be eligible for free shipping.

A required minimum purchase necessary to receive a discount can also be a common restriction on online coupons or promotional codes. In some cases the online retailer may even offer a greater discount to shoppers who are willing to spend more money on products or services. For example the retailer may offer a 10% discount on purchases of more than $50, a 15% discount on purchases of more than $75 and a 20% discount on purchases of more than $100.

With all of these different types of restrictions on online discounts it is important for the consumer to fully understand these restrictions before attempting to use one of these offers.

So now you know how to find coupons for online shopping and the possible restrictions on coupons.  Dive into the online shopping world and enjoy savings.

The Mums Guide to Safe Online Shopping

Online shopping is increasing as more and more mums are realising the advantages of shopping from home or work when it is convenient, without children, car parks and the hassle of going to the shops. To ensure your online safety we have put together our top tips to keeping you safe when purchasing from online retailers.

Prior to Purchasing:

1. Browse the site and look at the key pages like About Us, Contact Us, Delivery and Shipping terms, Payments and Refunds and what happens with Warranty/Faulty stock. Ensure that the site can answer any of your questions in relation to key issues such as how to pay, how they ship the goods, what happens if you want to change your purchase and how they ensure you receive the product.

2. Check the contact details. I personally like seeing a phone number (it helps me to feel more comfortable) as well as an email address that I can utilise if I have an issue. This way I can either email or phone depending upon my needs and time constraints. Also depending upon the purchase you are making, you may like to test the contact details by calling them or sending an email with a product question prior to purchasing.

3. Check the Privacy Policy/Statement (often found at the bottom of the page) to check that your details aren’t going to be passed on or sold and are safe.

4. You can also do a quick Google search or check their Facebook page to see what comments there are about the company.

When Purchasing:

1. Make sure you only pay via a secure web page. Check the URL/website address to see that it begins with https:// and that there is a locked padlock icon in the browser.

2. Check to verify the SSL Certificate and if it is still valid – this just can be done by pointing or clicking on the seal.

3. Payment through PayPal or BPay can act as a further security measure.

4. Never send your Credit Card details via email.

5. Always print a copy or keep a copy of your receipt/transaction as proof of purchase.

In many ways, shopping online is similar to shopping in-store:

– Trust your gut! If you are not sure about a shop, dig a little deeper or go elsewhere.
– It if looks too good to be true – it probably is.
– If the website look suspicious or unprofessional be wary – would you purchase from a store if the didn’t have a good looking shopfront or if their staff didn’t give you the information they were after?

This article was written by Lorraine Salvi, founder of MumsDelivery – http://www.mumsdelivery.com.au She is the proud mother of two wonderful children now aged almost 4 and 2yrs who each day re-affirms her desire to run a successful business and continue to remain a work from home mother. As a stay at home mum and a business woman, she embodies the key person that MumsDelivery aims to help – a busy Mum.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/6762951

All About Online Shopping

Identification
The process of online shopping is really easy. It allows people to shop for products and services from the comfort of their own home with the help of a computer and internet connection. A person can visit an online retailer and purchase an item with their credit card. The products or services are then delivered to the address that was provided. With a growth of 33% in 2005, online shopping is continuing to gain popularity all over the world.

Benefits
There are a number of benefits attached to online shopping. The most important advantage is that of convenience. Customers can buy whatever they want during breaks at work or while they are at home without going into crowded malls. Online shopping allows people to shop at any time of the day. One can also book mark a page and come back when they think that the time is right without feeling rushed.

Warning
Always make sure that you are shopping on websites that are legit. You can do so by looking up their names in the Better Business Bureau database. Be careful of phishing. Make sure that the website is secure by ensuring that the address starts with ‘https’. Only give out information about your credit card once you are sure that it is secure. Try and use a credit card as opposed to a debit card or checking account as it is easier to have the theft stopped as compared to the other two alternatives.

Considerations
Don’t get carried away with the cheap rates that you are getting online, as they may pad up process in the shipping. So, be careful and ensure that you double check the shipping rates and compare them with postal rates from UPS, Unites States Postal Service or FedEx. Also, make sure that you do not over pay your shipping charges and look for other details like cancellations, return policy etc. Make sure that you have the contact information of the online retailer in case you have any questions or want to track your shipment.

Types
Today, you can buy absolutely anything online. People buy groceries, food products, medicines and even herbal remedies. The most popularly bought products online are books. According to an online article by Nielsen in January 2008, 41 % of internet users bought books online. Clothing, DVDs, electronics, games and tickets are a few other things that are popularly bought through the online medium.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/6780909