1st Quarter Problems: Low Sales, Returns, and Chargebacks

by Monica Eaton-Cardone on Jan 28, 2016 12:00:00 AM DRTV, Retail, Support Services

The holidays have come and gone. With the annual rush of consumer spending in the last two months of the year now behind us, we’re settled in for holiday season’s ugly backside: slow sales, returns, and chargebacks.

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Are Trial Offers Dead?

by Curtis Kleinman on Jan 20, 2016 12:00:00 AM Support Services

As an agent who offers a dozen payment processing solutions, I see several banks no longer accepting risk-free trials. Thus, it’s more important than ever to choose the right payment processor. Trial marketers will be put under heavy scrutiny when applying for a merchant account. This will significantly crimp the ability of some marketers to scale sales upwards. With a short trial period, it’s difficult to find banks to accept you. Once your chargebacks are over 1 percent the list gets slimmer.

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[OPINION] DRTV Epiphanies for 2016

by Craig Handley on Jan 18, 2016 12:23:48 AM DRTV, Support Services

The statements, opinions, and advertisements expressed on the ERA Blog and other online entities owned by the Electronic Retailing Association are those of individual authors and companies and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Electronic Retailing Association.

For those who have worked many years in the DRTV world, we know that shifts in TV viewership and consumer behavior are making us reevaluate our models and adapt to new realities. I’ve personally found that keeping an open mind is a great way to approach life. In business, the same concept is easier said than done, but what is life without challenges? It would be quite boring.

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Holiday Returns Are Peaking, Too

by Jim Brill on Jan 15, 2016 12:00:00 AM Digital Marketing, DRTV, e-Commerce, Consumer Behavior, Retail, Support Services

While most of us were busy taking down the Christmas decorations during the first week of January, many others were returning those wrong-sized or otherwise unwanted gifts. That’s why UPS predicted that it would return more than a million packages to retailers on Jan. 6, 2016.  

Accordingly, UPS designated this “National Returns Day,” the year’s busiest day for returns. By the end of the first week of 2016, we anticipated processing more than 5 million return packages – 500,000 more than this time last year.

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U.S. Doesn’t Seem to be ‘Keeping up With Joneses’ When it Comes to EMV Adoption

by Alison Simonton on Jan 14, 2016 12:00:00 AM e-Commerce, Support Services

The day has come and gone. It has been more than a month since the EMV’s adoption deadline here in the United States. The highly-anticipated adoption of the Payment Networks’ Liability Shift associated with EuroPay, MasterCard, and Visa (EMV) has been due to take effect in the U.S. for some time now, but retailers and merchants are lagging.

Well, not all retailers and merchants. The adoption is primarily lagging when it comes to smaller retailers and e-commerce businesses.

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Why Do Cards Decline? - The Differences Between Soft and Hard Declines

by Rick Lynch on Jan 12, 2016 12:00:00 AM DRTV, Support Services

Home Depot. Neiman Marcus. The list of data breaches over the past few years goes on and on, and with these data breaches comes an uptick in card declines. Home Depot had 56 million credit and debit cards affected by a data breach in 2014*. Then in November, the company disclosed that hackers also stolen 53 million email addresses*.

Unfortunately, these instances where payment information was stolen caused banks to re-issue millions of credit and debit cards, causing unnecessary payment declines due to outdated account information.

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Top 5 Merchant Need-to-Know Facts for the Holiday Season

by Alison Simonton on Dec 17, 2015 8:30:00 PM Digital Marketing, e-Commerce, Support Services

The holiday season shopping craze can be daunting for some e-commerce retailers, but if they use the right precautions and take into consideration these tips, the holiday season can be a tremendous opportunity to build strong relationships with consumers and vendors for years to come.

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Why Same-Day Shipping is All Talk and No Action

by Jarrett Streebin on Dec 10, 2015 6:00:00 PM e-Commerce, Support Services

Same-day and on-demand delivery is all the rage among retailers and consumers these days. The rise of Amazon coupled with major moves by Google and others has put it front and center. But, to date, it has been mostly hype and—excuse the pun—no delivery.

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Combating Fraud: A Solutions Tutorial

by Rick Lynch on Dec 8, 2015 7:00:00 PM DRTV, e-Commerce, Support Services

Mobile payments and data vulnerabilities caused fraud to skyrocket in 2014. Merchants also incurred more costs in addition to their fraud losses, with each dollar of fraud costing them $3.08, compared to $2.79 last year.* By 2018, card fraud is expected to more than double, reaching $6.4 billion**. The fact is fraud isn’t going away and EMV will only pose more challenges, making you focus on your biggest vulnerabilities and ensuring you’re using the right tools at the right to the right degree.

So, where do you start? Good question. Here are some examples of solutions that can mitigate fraud risk and decrease losses.

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6 Ways to Reduce Chargebacks and Fraud this Holiday Season

by Suresh Dakshina on Dec 3, 2015 5:30:00 PM DRTV, Retail, Support Services

The holiday shopping season is here. Phones will be ringing and e-commerce sites will be flooded with buyers searching frantically for that unique gift. It’s the perfect environment in which fraud can thrive unless businesses carefully examine their protocols and policies to ensure a successful holiday shopping season.

By following these six easy tips, businesses can stay ahead of the curve, and in the black, this holiday.

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TeletonUSA: A Direct Response Fundraising Success Story

by Tom Sheppard on Dec 1, 2015 12:00:00 AM DRTV, Support Services

As the holiday season approaches, let’s bring focus to how the direct response industry not only facilitates a massive gift-giving tradition, but how it is also an instrumental tool to help people in need. This is a case study showing how powerful storytelling can transcend countries and move the masses to support a cause that makes a significant difference.

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Preparing for Social Commerce

by Rey Pasinli on Nov 16, 2015 7:30:00 PM Digital Marketing, Support Services

For over a decade, we’ve been completely captured by what we call Web 2.0. We upload content to social media channels. We talk about events, post our thoughts, take photos of our meals—all in real time.

But what’s next? If you ask me, we’re on the verge of the next revolutionary wave of peer-to-peer interaction.

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Criminal Minds: The Common Types of Card-Not-Present Fraud

by Rick Lynch on Nov 9, 2015 5:30:00 PM Digital Marketing, e-Commerce, Support Services

By 2018, card fraud is expected to more than double, reaching $6.4 billion*. Hacking. Friendly. Social engineering. Malware. It doesn’t matter because fraud is here to stay in all shapes and sizes. Every day security companies document new ways fraudsters are separating card-not-present (CNP) merchants from reaping the full benefits of their profits.

To help you keep your bottom lines healthy and profitable, here’s an overview of the most common types of CNP fraud.

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Is There Such a Thing as Overprotection?

by Rick Lynch on Oct 22, 2015 10:00:00 PM Support Services

Employing every single fraud prevention tool available isn’t feasible, nor is it necessary. When evaluating chargeback prevention solutions, you should be aware of the types of solutions available and employ each as needed. In the end, you must evaluate the cost of fraud prevention against the benefits. It’s easy to fall into the trap of “turning on” all fraud prevention measures to ensure that nothing seeps through the cracks; however, there is such a thing as being too aggressive.

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Using Storytelling to Unlock Your Team’s Potential

by Adam Altman on Oct 13, 2015 6:00:00 PM DRTV, Support Services

You probably already know how valuable storytelling is in your marketing arsenal. But when was the last time you used it where the intended audience were your colleagues?

Proper storytelling improves communication. At my company, we recently began storytelling to explain new projects internally. The results are dramatic, in terms of alignment and understanding.

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Chargebacks: Myths vs. Reality

by Rick Lynch on Sep 29, 2015 10:00:00 PM Support Services

Chargebacks are expensive, time-consuming, and resource draining. They are burdensome for all merchants, but smaller merchants can especially struggle if they don’t have the necessary in-house expertise to make an impact. Debunking common misconceptions and addressing common problems in the dispute resolution process provides a good basis for merchants looking to implement an effective chargeback program.

Here’s a quick breakdown of some chargeback myths and realities.

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Payments Big Data: 3 Tips on Profit Maximization for Retailers

by Adam Altman on Sep 15, 2015 8:00:00 PM e-Commerce, Retail, Support Services

Big Data has emerged as a buzzword that means analyzing extremely large data sets to reveal patterns and trends. How are people applying Big Data to payments? And how might it affect you?

Data analysis is nothing new. Marketers have been segmenting audiences to craft optimal messaging for decades. The same is going on in payment processing. Visa has used it to identify billions of dollars in fraud.

Like Visa, leading retailers are using Big Data to identify threats and opportunities by marrying payments data with marketing data. Here are three areas that are ripe for continued mining:

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Why the Reemergence of Robocalling Threatens Contact Centers

by Eric Eriksen on Aug 3, 2015 4:00:00 PM DRTV, Support Services

It goes without saying that the rise of VoIP has revolutionized the direct response world. Plummeting costs and enhanced CTI opportunities allow contact centers ever-better customer relationship management and improved bottom lines. By most standards, Internet voice communication has been a godsend. However, these advances cut both ways.

VoIP has empowered unscrupulous organizations to overcome the regulatory and price hurdles that once laid harassing robocalls to rest. Law-abiding contact centers stand to lose the most from this development, with as much as 10 percent of inbound call volume at contact centers coming from robocall operations.

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How Quality Packaging Impacts the Customer Experience

by Maria Haggerty on Jul 23, 2015 4:00:00 PM Digital Marketing, e-Commerce, Support Services

In today’s increasingly competitive e-commerce market, consumers have infinite options for what to buy and from whom. To compete, retailers are trying to stand out with a superior customer experience. But, unfortunately, many continue to neglect the importance of their product’s exterior packaging as they push for more orders and loyal customers.

At my company, we wanted to quantify how important packaging really is to the typical shopper to show retailers how packaging for delivery makes a difference.

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Editorial Disclaimer

The statements, opinions, and advertisements expressed on the ERA Blog and other online entities owned by the Electronic Retailing Association are those of individual authors and companies and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Electronic Retailing Association.