Tag Archives: online shopping

Bribing Customers For Reviews Got Punished

Getting user reviews can be slow and painful for any new online merchant.  Because online shoppers depend heavily upon the user reviews to make a buying decision especially when they shop from merchants that they are not familiar with, some merchants have tried to use “creative ways” to accumulate user reviews.  If you are one of them, you have to be very careful because . . .

The New York Times reported last week that Amazon took a merchant off its site because it was offering a full rebate on $10 leather cases for the Kindle Fire if the buyer wrote an online review.  According to PCWorld.com,

Although VIP Deals didn’t explicitly require favorable reviews in exchange for the refund, the letter to customers did say “we strive to earn 100% perfect ‘FIVE-STAR’ scores from you!”

It appears that most customers were more than happy to drop a review for $10. VIP Deals’ Kindle Fire case had 310 five-star reviews by last week, according to the Times, and most of the other 25 reviews were four stars. Some reviewers acknowledged the bribe, and one said that he would have given four stars instead of five, if not for the rebate.

Amazon considered VIP Deals’ promotion violated Amazon guidelines. It has removed the reviews and the product page. VIP Deals’ other products have also disappeared from the site.

The Federal Trade Commission forbids merchants from paying for endorsements without disclosure. Sometimes it is hard to draw a clear line between bribing customers for a review or using incentive to get a customer review.  As an online merchant, you have to think of legitimate ways to get customers leave their reviews.  I would love to hear your thoughts on this.


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.

All About Online Shopping

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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