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Author: James Cronin

James Cronin

Eric Abensur is the CEO at Venda, the world’s largest on-demand convergent commerce provider. Venda works with a number of high profile fashion retailers such as Urban Outfitters, Laura Ashley, Clothing at Tesco and Wonderbra, delivering reliable and scalable mobile, social and ecommerce platforms and processing over $1Bn in transactions annually. 

Eric took charge of Venda in 2008. He was previously Vice-President of Orange Home and Chief Executive Orange Home UK PLC following the merger of the internet and mobile operations of France Telecom in the UK. Before that he was CEO of Wanadoo (formerly FREESERVE), a leading UK Internet Service Provider.

Eric started his career in 1989 with Ernst & Young in Paris and Los Angeles, where he specialised for the Technology Media Entertainment sector. From 1998 to 2001, he was Finance Director of France Telecom Pay-TV division.

Is trust the biggest barrier to Bitcoin adoption?

Bitcoin, the latest and arguably most successful ‘virtual currency’ to date, is causing a stir in many circles.

The digital currency stands completely alone from any government, central bank or other type of business to underwrite its value, and Bitcoin exchanges take place directly between the buyer and seller – meaning no banks are involved to facilitate Bitcoin payments.

In this post, I'll look at the future of these crypto currencies. 

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Eric Abensur, CEO of Venda

How brands can use social images to sell online

When it comes to shopping, consumers have always preferred a more tactile and visual experience. 

The growth of ecommerce and social networks like Pinterest means that brands are increasingly allowing, even encouraging, consumers to share images of products online. 

Here, I'll look at how the mobile revolution and the prospect of wearable technologies like Google Glass are set to change how retailers  can use images to drive both brand awareness and, ultimately, sales.  

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There are more than just four days of Christmas online

Over the last decade, the weekend between Black Friday and Cyber Monday has become known as the major sales high for retailers in the run-up to Christmas.  

But with the gifting season expected to exceed £10bn overall this year, retailers shouldn't put all their presents under the ‘Cyber Weekend’ tree this year. 

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Can Google Glass help retailers?

It's difficult to believe that the iPad only launched three years ago. Everyone knew a naysayer: 'Why do I need it? I have a laptop, I have a mobile – the iPad is just a gimmick somewhere in between'.

There's a heavy sense of deja vu with Google Glass. The naysayers of the world once again unite to knock a device before it has even had time to get off the ground.

Perhaps they will be proved correct or, as with the iPad, the naysayers will eat their words and Google Glass will become the new must have device.

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Do you know who I am? The importance of personalisation

The online retail market is a competitive place, but despite the challenging economic times shoppers aren’t spending less, they are just spending differently. 

According to figures from IMRG, conversion rates from visitors to sales for online retailing in May 2013 rose by 20% when compared to the same month in 2012. 

However, while overall sales and conversion rates may be on the up, the average basket size has actually fallen to £77 from £83 in 2012, indicating a change in consumer behaviours.

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From share to sale: is social commerce worth the investment?

The social media gold rush is well underway and many retailers are still weighing up how best to approach social commerce.

With new tools being launched every month and audiences continue to grow social commerce is a tempting prospect for retailers but what sort of return can brands expect to see on their investment?

In this post, I'll explore the prospects of social retail and how retailers can capitalise on sharing.

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Returns: the Christmas present that keeps on giving

Despite the ecommerce industry booming, retailers need to be aware of some of the potential pitfalls of an environment where consumers are unable to touch, feel or try on new items before they buy.

This, coupled with the 'cooling off period’ means return rates are much higher for online retailers than they are for their bricks and mortar counterparts.

Here are some tips for online retailers, which should help them to think and act smarter with their returns policies...

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Did Christmas save retail?

In this post, I'll look at Christmas e-tailing and the likely trends over the next 12 months.

Retailers must look towards implementing digital strategies into their traditional bricks and mortar approach if they want to capitlise on the potential growth opportunities online and mobile can provide. 

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Peak period lessons from Cyber Monday

Mega Monday, Cyber Monday, the day for flurried transactions, huge site traffic and flash sales. Whatever you call it, the much-discussed day has passed with a significant boost for online retailers. 

The results for the 2012 holiday season have, so far, been promising. Retailers on our platform saw this Sunday nudge Cyber Monday off the top online shopping day spot as far as revenue is concerned, but both days performed exceptionally well. 

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