Online verification schemes see increased adoption

Payment association Apacs has released figures showing 'around 10m' UK shoppers have registered their credit and debit cards with MasterCard and Visa’s online verification schemes.

The group says more retailers have also adopted the Verified by Visa and MasterCard SecureCode systems, which remove their liability if fraudulent transactions take place and are reported to help increase average order values.

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List turnover is 'main challenge' for email marketers

List turnover has climbed to the top of email marketers’ list of problems, according to a new survey.

Almost four out of 10 practitioners (39%) cited list turnover as their biggest difficulty in the poll, conducted by JupiterResearch.


Another victory for social network campaigners

HSBC has responded to a Facebook-based campaign against its charges for graduates – another sign that social networking sites have become a hotbed of consumer activity and that big brands are listening.

Following the protests, the bank said it would reverse its decision to abolish interest-free overdrafts for students leaving university this summer and would refund charges they have already paid.

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Pure-play etailers top satisfaction poll

Pure-play web retailers are ahead of their multi-channel competitors when it comes to customer satisfaction, according to a new study.

Etail solution provider Pangora surveyed hundreds of UK online customers about their experiences of delivery, site quality and customer service, and firms with no high street presence came top in most categories.


Yahoo! tests new social network

Yahoo! is reportedly testing a new professional social networking service that connects students with prospective employers.

Called Yahoo! Kickstart but still merely a concept, the site focuses around users’ CVs in the style of LinkedIn. It also offers companies the opportunity to create groups that students can join.

Yahoo! Kickstart (via CNET)


Regional press websites top 1,000 mark

The number of regional press websites in the UK grew by 33% last year as more publishers embraced digital platforms, according to the Newspaper Society.

Its annual survey showed the number of websites rose from 828 to 1102, while online ad revenues increased 18.3% to £71m.


Where is the best practice in the IAB/DMA charter?

I can’t work out this IAB / DMA Search Marketing Best Practice Charter, which was released to the masses last week “to reinforce advertiser and agency confidence in the medium”.

I’m not sure whether to file it under ‘heart in the right place’ or not, but I do know that it is sorely lacking in any best practice guidelines.

Also, I’m not convinced that advertisers particularly need their confidence restoring (we recently estimated that in the UK more than £2bn will be spent on search marketing in 2007 – not a sign of a crisis of confidence).

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Farecast extends service to hotels

Farecast, the start-up that helps travellers predict the best time to buy flight tickets, has turned its attention to the often-confusing world of hotel rates.

The company has launched a beta service that allows consumers to search the web for hotel rooms and guesstimate whether the prices being offered are a good deal.


Consumers demand multi-channel experience

Retailers that offer a seamless experience across online and offline sales channels are set to be rewarded by consumers, according to a new survey.

The Sterling Commerce study found 57% of US shoppers wanted the ability to return or exchange products in-store, regardless of whether they had bought them from a website, catalogue or shop.


Bad email marketing can ruin product launches

One of the reasons for the failure of NatMags’ Jellyfish magazine has been blamed on email distribution problems. 

What lessons does this hold for email marketers?  

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Apple launches TV downloading service in UK

Apple has launched its video downloading service in the UK, allowing viewers to buy TV programmes from its iTunes store.

The company is initially making 28 series available via the site, which will compete with the catch-up TV services of UK broadcasters.


Scheme gives etailers access to China

A new pilot programme is set to give foreign etailers access to China’s 163m web users for the first time.

The service, launched by Alipay, an online payment subsidiary of Chinese internet giant Alibaba Group, enables foreign currency transactions between Chinese consumers and overseas firms.