E-commerce News Roundup, Feb. 22

Morning all, here’s your ecommerce news roundup. I read the internet so you don’t have to!

eMarketer, a market research and trend analysis company, predicts that online retailers in the US will ring up over $100 billion more in sales in 2012 than they did in 2007. They predict that the sales growth will come mainly from consumers who are shifting their spending from traditional retail stores to the Internet.

Great news (and great kudos) for online retailers: The American Customer Satisfaction Index reports that while customer satisfaction in retail is down overall, it has increased for online shopping. As stated by Medill Reports, the sole bucker of the depressing slump is ecommerce, “an avenue that enjoyed its highest ever rating of 81.6, a 2 percent improvement from 2006 and the apex of its eight-year presence on the index.” The highest rated online retailer was Amazon.com, with Newegg and Netflix close behind.

“Basically, the theory being, as consumers are satisfied, they spend more,” said Larry Freed, president and CEO of ForeSee Results, an Ann Arbor company that measures online customer satisfaction in conjunction with the ACSI. “This is one of the best indicators of consumer spending.””

More good news from the UK: Ecommerce Topline Growth Continues, with electronics and clothing leading “led year-on-year growth of 75 per cent during January or the equivalent of £74 [being] spent online for every person in the UK.”

Also for UK designers: The Manufacturing Institute is providing a grant to SMES in areas of Northwest England to assist them to diversify online. This could be a great incentive for some of your customers to take the next step. More information is available online.

Got news? Email Shannon at Affiliates [at] jadedpixel [dot] com.

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Storage Space

I just wanted to confirm that we are aware of the storage space issues. There was a bug which caused the storage display to be reported incorrectly and when addressing this it turned out that many customers were using more space than previously thought.

This is clearly a mistake on our side as we were reporting the storage usage incorrectly. To address the issue we went ahead and raised the storage limit of every shopify store by 50%. This is true for existing as well as new stores.

This is not all however, we are doing some infrastructure changes with will allow us to raise the storage limits further. Expect an announcement regarding this in the coming months.

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Affiliate News: February 19

Hi all,

A few tidbits for your perusal today.

You’ll notice that the feed for Affiliate Blog articles is now in your affiliate page (Thank you Tobi!). This will allow you to easily be notified of new content, which we plan to provide you frequently.

We’re pleased to announce that Australian SecurePay Payment Gateway has been integrated in to Shopify. SecurePay supports merchant accounts with most Australian banks including Advance Bank, ANZ Bank, Bank of Melbourne, Bank of SA, Bank West, Commonwealth Bank, Challenge Bank, National Australia Bank, St George Bank, and Westpac Bank, and should help extend the reach of Shopify to more Australian customers.

If you haven’t seen it already, the Pew Internet Report on Online Shopping covers a lot of very interesting ground on the average American online shopper. The report details how attitudes, technology, socio-economic status and age factor in to an individual’s likelihood of carrying out an online transaction. The good news is, consumers find ecommerce easy and convenient, but concerns about entering their credit card details keeps many from pushing the “buy” button. Which is interesting, since as this article states, online credit card purchases are generally safer than in-store transactions. The report, while a bit dry, has a lot of valuable information about the kind of person who tends to be an online shopper – and the reasons why others aren’t.

Cool Blog Find: This Week in Etail showcases the changing face of online stores, displaying screenshots of popular sites and tracking the ongoing changes made to keep their looks fresh – or not so fresh.

For our European and International partners: Computer Weekly states that The UK will account for at least 40% of 2008 online sales in Western Europe. That’s great news for our UK and European partners; now how to capitalize on that trend? If any of our UK/European partners want to comment or share some ideas with others in that space, please let me know and we can look in to doing a feature in this blog.

Finally, do you have any questions about the content of the blog, about the Affiliate program or about Shopify in general? If so, please let me know by contacting me at affiliates [at] jadedpixel [dot] com. Thanks and keep in touch!

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Australian SecurePay Payment Gateway Integrated

Shopify now has support for the Australian payment gateweway SecurePay. SecurePay supports processing all the major credit card types including Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Diners Club, and JCB.

SecurePay also supports merchant accounts with most Australian banks including Advance Bank, ANZ Bank, Bank of Melbourne, Bank of SA, Bank West, Commonwealth Bank, Challenge Bank, National Australia Bank, St George Bank, and Westpac Bank.

Some more information from the SecurePay website:

Combining the latest in internet, telephony and banking network technologies, SecurePay delivers real time secure communications and provides dependable connectivity throughout your company, and its suppliers and customers.

Our strategic alliances with financial institutions and telecommunication carriers has enabled the SecurePay Network to deliver complete 24×7 payment services, including processing of financial transactions in real time through all major banks.

We’re happy to add support for another payment gateway to our Australian customers.

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Affiliate News, February 7

Hi all! This entry will cover off the following topics:

1. Adding previously referred shops to your affiliate account

2. Shopify Banners

3. Using your Affiliate Token

If there are any other burning issues you’d like addressed, please let me know and I’ll do my best to answer them in a future entry.

1. Adding previously referred shops to your affiliate account

By now you all should have received your email confirming you as part of the affiliate program. Many of you have also requested to have shops you’ve previously brought to Shopify added to your account. If there are any more of these requests, I’ll be happy to accommodate them, just drop me a line, telling me the URL of the shop you’d like added.

If you ask to have a specific store affiliated with your account, I will confirm that the shop is not owned by you or your company (as this is a violation of the terms of service). Most of the time this is easy for me to check through our admin interface. However, if you are signed up as the store owner, I’ll be double checking with you to confirm ownership. Often, the designer will create the store and do the design work under their own name, and at launch time transfer ownership to the client. You simply need to ensure that down the line the client is associated with this account, or eventually the system will choke on paying you out affiliate transactions.

2. Shopify Banners

If you’re interested in putting a Shopify banner on your site, we have several available here. If there are any specific banners or badges that you think would be valuable, drop me a line and let me know.

3. Using your Affiliate Token

Your affiliate token is the link that you need to sign your clients up under to have the store automatically associated with your account. When you log in to the affiliate portal, you can view your token by clicking on the “affiliate token” button. You’ll see the following text (replacing “shannon” with your handle):

The first link is the one you’d use if you’re simply creating a link from your website to ours, or if you want a client to check out the Shopify website. The second one is the one where you or the client would directly sign up for an account.

Once the link is clicked, your affiliate token is valid for 7 days. So if someone clicks on the link to access Shopify through your token, then return to shopify.info and sign up within 7 days, you’ll automatically get the affiliate relationship with that client. However, tokens can be overwritten – as in, if a client clicks on your token, then clicks on someone else’s and signs up, the last token to refer will get the affiliation. If you suspect something parasitical’s happening, as in someone is intercepting your clicks and replacing them with their own token, please let me know immediately. We will do our utmost to quash those kinds of shenanigans immediately.

Please let me know if you have any questions on the affiliate system. Til then, happy shopifying!

Shannon

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