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Posts in Ecommerce

888 sees revenues rise 7%

Online gambling firm 888 Holdings Plc has posted a 7% rise in profits for 2006, despite the loss of business which resulted from the recent US ban on online gambling.

888 Holdings lost just over half its sales and was forced to cut 25% of its workforce after shutting down its US operations when Congress banned internet gambling.

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Banks to give out card readers to combat online fraud

Banks are planning to issue their customers with handheld credit card readers under a new pilot scheme to combat online fraud.

The project is being pioneered by APACS, the UK payments association, to give customers greater protection when shopping on the internet or the phone.

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MyTravel merges with Thomas Cook

Thomas Cook has bought package holiday firm MyTravel, creating the second largest package holiday firm in Europe, with combined annual revenues of £8bn.

The travel group, which will be based in the UK, will be 52% owned by KarstadtQuelle, the German retailer that owns Thomas Cook, and will trade under that name.

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Spannerworks and iCrossing - search sector in good shape

Some early thoughts from me on our deal with iCrossing.

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SMS use up, marketing adoption gains

Americans are finally beginning to use SMS mobile text messaging, according to new research.

The Mobile Marketing Association's (MMA) latest annual survey found the proportion of customers who engage in texting daily rose from 41% in 2005 to 44% last year; 69% use the feature generally.

It is thought the American Idol pop talent show was a major driving force behind the upward trend - 64.5m SMS votes to the programme set a new texting record in the country last year.

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Google redefines ROI, misleads marketers

Lots and lots of people use Google AdWords, and have more recently layered Google Analytics over the top. But the search giant has confused these users by re-defining a well-defined business metric: 'ROI'. 

This has led to confusion within companies - and at worst, caused Google AdWords users to think their campaigns are more profitable than they are, and thus pump more money into Google while decreasing their own business' profitability.

So has Google 'done evil' this time?

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Mobile networks 'mull new-build search engine'

European mobile phone networks could start their own mobile search service as they consider how to increase revenue from search advertising, according to a report.

The companies will use the 3GSM World Congress, the world's largest mobile industry exhibition and conference, in Barcelona next week to consider a joint initiative aimed at replacing lost revenue from falling access costs with that from on-the-move ads.

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Online clothing sales break £1bn barrier

Internet clothing sales reached £1.2bn in 2006 and have increased by 461% over the last five years, according to figures from market research company Mintel.

Despite the obvious drawback of not being able to try before you buy, sales passed the £1bn barrier for the first time. Mintel is labelling it a 'defining year' for online fashion, as retailers invested heavily online.

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The pros and cons of gift vouchers and wishlists

A study by Jakob Nielsen has shown that many etailers are failing to realise the potential of wishlists and gift vouchers.

The report, called E-commerce User Experience: Wishlists, Gift Certificates, and Gift Giving in E-Commerce, found that, despite highlighting usability issues, certificates and wishlists are excellent ways to attract visitors to a site.

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Strong Christmas performance from eBay

Online auction giant eBay enjoyed a good Christmas period, particularly in the UK and Germany, as fourth quarter earnings turned out to be higher than expected.

A rush to buy hard to find games consoles like the Wii and PS3 was one of the reasons given for the success, as total revenue for the last three months of 2006 reached $1.7bn, a 29% rise on the same period a year earlier.

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Find the Gap.com (oh, actually you can't)

After almost three years of weak sales Gap CEO Paul Pressler has stepped down to enjoy more than £7m worth of severance pay. Why is the 3,100-store company suffering? One look at Gap’s website tells you all you need to know.

With just 107 words of readable text on its homepage, the Gap site is far too fond of pretty pictures for its own good. Being image-heavy isn’t always such a big problem, especially in these broadband-enabled times, but Gap has failed to strike the right balance between pictures and prose.

The main consequence for Gap is rubbish search engine visibility. Is it any wonder that the firm sales are in freefall?

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European VC investment in Web 2.0 grows in 2006

Paul Fisher has an excellent round-up of European seed and first rounds of VC investment from 2006. He reveals that more then £144 million was raised by 54 European Web 2.0 companies last year.

In his post, Paul points out the rapid growth in investment levels - in 2005, just £24 million was invested into Web 2.0 companies. That figure rose to £79 million in 2006.  

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