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Last week at the Retail Week Conference , I was so pleased I wasn’t in the corrugated roofing business, because no-one was talking about it. Everyone, on the other hand, was talking about multi-channel retailing - and it was great.
From the opening remarks to the close, a gruelling 33 hours later, e-commerce, its impact on retailers and on the high street was the main talk of the auditorium, the breakout sessions and the coffee queue.
Mpire, a shopping comparison site which searches for best deals from Amazon, eBay, Yahoo and other sites, has launched an 'experimental' visual shopping site.
Shopwave is the first project from Mpire Labs, which Mpire calls its 'little work area for experimenting with new ideas' , and is a Flash based application for browsing through goods.
The Guardian is reporting today that online gambling group PartyGaming has closed its French website, without notifying investors. One shareholder has offloaded around £50m of stock in the firm.
Meanwhile, John Anderson, the former chief executive of 888 Holdings, has been summoned for interview by the French authorities, prompting speculation that French authorities are about to crackdown on online gambling.
This in itself is prompting speculation that the French and American governments actually agree on something.
eBay is partnering with Bebo to allow users of the social networking site to list auction items on their profiles.
The agreement will allow Bebo's 30m members to detail items they want to buy or sell. Clicking the link will take visitors directly to eBay's own pages, the Wall Street Journal said.
Nectar is the UK's largest customer loyalty programme, and since its launch in 2002, more than ten million UK households regularly collect Nectar points.
The Nectar website, which allows users to spend the points they have earned on everything from CDs and DVDs to discounts on holidays, has recently relaunched with a view to improving usability.
We caught up with Roger Sniezek of Loyalty Management Group (which owns and operates the Nectar brand) to find out more about the site's relaunch.
Advent Venture Partners has announced that it has invested $5m (£2.5m) in online customer feedback provider Fizzback Group.
Formerly known as 'Instant Market Intelligence', Fizzback works with a number of companies, National Express included, to help them capture and analyse feedback from their customers.
Several big brands including Orange, B&Q and 3 seem to have been underperforming on eBay recently, posing questions about the effectiveness of their stores on the auctioning site.
The companies have been using eBay to sell surplus or reconditioned stock - items that can no longer be sold to high street customers but have huge appeal to bargain hunters.
Customer satisfaction with e-commerce sites improved for the second year in a row, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) released by the University of Michigan.
Online retail achieved a score of 83 on ACSI's 100 point scale, while offline retailers scored 74.4. The survey was carried out in conjunction with ForeSee Results.
BrowseGoods.com is a new site from US startup Dotted Pair, which aims to create a visual shopping experience. The site was launched in beta last week.
Rather than displaying the first ten product listings, and asking the user to click 'next' to see the rest, BrowseGoods attempts to recreate the in-store shopping experience by freely allowing you to browse hundreds of items at once.
This is a controversial thing to say, but e-commerce hasn’t been a great experience so far for most major retailers.
Despite significant investment, many are left with businesses that generate no more than 5% of their total sales – and somewhat less than their fair share of profit.
Research by online shopping comparison service uSwitch has predicted that online retail will almost quadruple by 2020.
The web currently accounts for around 10% of total UK retail sales, with sales over the Christmas period reaching £3.7bn, a 50% increase on 2005. The report predicts that 15% of UK retail sales this year will be online.