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Zappos Hacked In Big Security Breach

Two days ago I received the email all online shoppers fear; the dreaded “Sorry, but our security system has been breached and someone has accessed your personal details.”  This single, often unavoidable error is something that can destroy the reputation of a company overnight, causing sales to plummet and making consumers think twice about shopping online.  Fortunately my card details weren’t accessed, yet my email, phone number, address and other bits might have been. See the key parts of the email Zappos sent me below:

First, the bad news:

We are writing to let you know that there may have been illegal and unauthorized access to some of your customer account information on Zappos.com, including one or more of the following: your name, e-mail address, billing and shipping addresses, phone number, the last four digits of your credit card number (the standard information you find on receipts), and/or your cryptographically scrambled password (but not your actual password).


The database that stores your critical credit card and other payment data was NOT affected or accessed.

Zappos is owned by Amazon, the company famed for its cloud storage. It is unclear yet as to whether Amazon was housing this data on their cloud facility or Read more

Calculating The True Cost of Your PPC Campaign

PPC - Pay Per Click

A click, a conversion, a sale, a nice profit; add all the sales up at the end of the month and deduct what you spent on clicks; voila! Well, that’s what it looks like if you aren’t calculating the real cost of your PPC campaign. It isn’t quite as simple as that, and there are a few things you need to consider to make sure your accounting is accurate.

1.   Credit Card Rejection

Make sure you look at all the transactions that were denied by banks throughout the month. You need to find a way that your system can cross reference each one and determine whether it arose from a PPC click. Often businesses count the sale, not thinking twice about tracing possible rejections, which can occur up to 48 hours later. Read more

4 Places You Should Be Using Your Primary Keyword Phrase


This is one for SEO beginners and something I have overlooked writing about until now. As you know, or should know, it is important to select keywords relating to your website that receive high search volume in the search engines.  When conducting your keyword research, it is likely that you will identify one primary keyword phrase that best describes your site, such as “leather handbags” or “meditation mp3s”, depending on your industry. This keyword might not necessarily be the most lucrative in terms of buyers, but it will describe your site with exact relevance, identifying the primary purpose of your website to Read more

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10 important online marketing strategies to implement after launch of your online store

So, you have become the proud owner of the online store. Well, I wish you achieve your online business objectives. Certainly, you must have worked really hard, invested a lot of money, and took real pain in planning, designing and developing your e-commerce website. Here, I would like to ask you a few questions which are: “Are you sure your online store will enjoy web traffic that can fulfill your business objectives and goals?,” “Do you think your e-commerce website or online store would get higher ranking from search engines?” and “Have you integrated your marketing message in this online store and is it perfectly made to get this message across?” Read more

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Ecommerce Site Design and Usability Guidelines to Gain Sales (Part 3)

Since this final article focuses on the importance of design in the usability of ecommerce websites, let’s get back to the basics of design. To begin with, design has been defined as ‘the purposeful or inventive arrangement of parts or details’. To put it simply, design in relation to websites is an amalgamation of appearance and usability. Design more often than not defines the user experience and is important to the functionality of a product, especially when everything depends on how a product is perceived and used.
Thus in an E-commerce website, a well-defined website design will influence how the user perceives your website and spur their interest to further explore it.   Read more

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Ecommerce Site Design and Usability Guidelines to Gain Sales (Part 2)

In the first article of this 3-part series on ‘Ecommerce Site Design and Usability Guidelines to Gain Sales’ we discussed how navigation plays an important role in ensuring that customers purchase products from your website. In this article, we continue to highlight additional usability areas like user-friendly links that should be incorporated in order to prevent poor merchandising and convert your website visitors into customers.

Deliver precise product information

Just suppose a website visitor has managed to narrow down your product list and discovered the product that he wants to purchase. Now, he needs to further feel comfortable that your product is the appropriate one for him based on the information you’ve provided. As an online e-tailer, you have a great advantage of displaying comprehensive product information unlike a printed brochure, which has limitations. However, the information should be conveyed in a factual, informative and interesting manner. You should refrain from merely highlighting product specs and instead focus on delving on the resultant benefits to the customer. This way, you will spur on the customer’s interest to purchase your product.

In addition, you need to place a thumbnail photograph of the product which the customer can enlarge and view from various angles. Read more

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Ecommerce Site Design and Usability Guidelines to Gain Sales (Part 1)

While in the past I focussed on website design tips in general, this time round I’m packing in specific information on how as an ecommerce website owner you can increase your online sales by incorporating succinct navigation and usability techniques into your website’s design. Several research insights indicate that ease of navigation is crucial in enhancing user experience, leading customers to make purchases from well laid-out websites.

Clear navigation leads the way

As an astute marketer you can’t afford to lose your customer as he navigates your site to make a purchase. Reduce his burden of having to figure out what to do next by guiding him to the product he desires to purchase, in a way that is simple and easy. Else you stand the chance of losing out on a prospective customer and potential sale. Read more

6 Tips for a Sure Measure of Your SEO Success

As a business owner you spent a considerable amount of time and effort on search engine optimising your website. But how do you guarantee whether this investment is really paying off? Are you thoroughly confident that the surge in performance is due to your SEO efforts or evidence of a corollary marketing campaign? While there are several ways to stay competitive by assessing the returns on your SEO spend, I have outlined below 6 key tips that enable you to measure whether the time and money spent on your website’s optimization campaign are working well for you. Read more


Online Reputation Management (ORM) – A Proactive, not Reactive Process

Unlike traditional media, the online world moves at dizzying speeds as information travels instantly across time and geographical boundaries. While this bodes well for marketers who spend time and effort to improve their visibility on search results, it can transform into a double-edged sword when the search results are negative. As an increasing number of unhappy customers, ex-employees and nasty competitors take advantage of the quick and easy online forums, blogs and message boards to vent their frustration on companies and individuals they are unhappy with.

Why Online Reputation Management (ORM) is Important

Your customers are no longer passive receptors of the information you disseminate to them through your website. However, with perceptive online marketing you can convert critics and disgruntled customers into your advocates and evangelists. While most customers make purchases offline, they take advantage of the internet to make purchasing decisions based on online research and reviews of customers who’ve used your products and services. Hence, it is very important to ensure that you have an ORM process in place to protect and advance your online reputation. Read more

Planning an E-Commerce Business

A job gives a fixed monthly income. In today’s world everyone wants to Earn More, Earn Big! It has become all the more possible due to the Internet Revolution. You just need a website to get started and establish an online business. Some of the fundamentals for conducting an online business are explained below:

@ Unique Product: Your product should have an edge over other products of the same line. It should be innovative with some special features, better utility, and most importantly affordable. It can soon become hot in the market if it is adapted by different stratas of the society. If people realize why your product is unique it will be successful. Read more