Tag Archives: e-commerce

6 ways to increase sales and optimise your ecommerce payment page


Online merchants can reduce payment page abandonment by focussing on a few key changes to their payment page which can increase checkout conversion rates. Customising the payment page will limit problems and help cardholders feel secure. Although one would most likely expect that many of the below points are expected norms, I have often experienced frustration at the time of purchase and seen issues surrounding the merchants payment page which either led me to repeating the payment process or bailing out of the purchase all together.

Here are a few key pointers.

1. Payment page error handling

Alerting cardholders to commonly made mistakes on the payment page limits frustration. By using in-line error handling, the number of payment processing steps are also reduced. The transaction request does not proceed to the bank or the payment provider before a cardholder’s information is accurately entered. This prevents time being wasted between web pages, lessens cardholder confusion and reduces payment page abandonment. There is nothing more frustrating than the cardholder’s payment being rejected due to invalid payment data being entered and having to click the back button to start the process over again. Error handling on the payment page alerts the cardholder of data that either needs to be added or amended such as correct card number or CVV before proceeding with the transaction.

2. Numeric validation

Only allow numeric characters to be entered in fields intended for numeric characters. Stopping alpha or special characters from being entered into the text box during the entry of card details or payment information will reduce finger error.

3. Mod 10 Luhn check

The Luhn algorithm or Luhn formula, also known as the “modulus 10″ or “mod 10″ algorithm, is a simple checksum formula used to authenticate a variety of identification numbers like credit card numbers. Most credit cards use the Luhn algorithm as a way to distinguish valid numbers from collections of random digits. Designed to detect accidental errors, this is a quick way to eliminate credit card number errors before a transaction is submitted to the payment gateway.

4. Expiry date

Make it clear to the card holder which box is for month and which is for year. This can be indicated by placing a label next to or above a text box or by making month/year a selection choice in a drop down menu. The recommended option is to enable selection of the expiration date using two separate dropdown lists: one for month and one for year. Ensure only to display current and future years.

5. Validating the CVV length

Visa, MasterCard and Diners use a three-digit CVV number placed on the back of the credit card. American Express uses a four digit number placed on the front of the credit card. Validate that the CVV code contains the correct number of digits based on the credit card type. To do this you will work with two parameters: the card number and its CVV number. The main card number is used to determine the associated account linked to the card. The first six digits of the main card number identify the card issuer, for example, American Express or MasterCard. If the card is issued by American Express, the code you will check for is 4 digits long. For all other cards, the CVV code has 3 digits. If the CVV entered by the card holder is too long or too short to match the card then you can prompt card holder to amend before proceeding.

6. 1Click payments

A 1Click Payment enables cardholders to only enter CVV after the initiated transaction. This simplifies the checkout experience and reduces the amount of data the cardholder is required to enter on the payment page. The payment gateway will tokenize the card holder’s details during the initial transaction so that the merchant does not store any card data. For subsequent transactions, the card holder is only required to enter their CVV to process the payment, making the checkout process easier. At any point, the card holder can amend card details, which will update the token with the new card information.

6 ways to increase sales and optimise your ecommerce payment page. Retrieved from http://ventureburn.com/2013/10/6-ways-to-increase-sales-and-optimise-your-ecommerce-payment-page/.


A B2B e-commerce success story: Airgas

Game Plan B2B E-Commerce Forum in Chicago last week hosted a plethora of great keynotes and industry experts to talk all things e-commerce in the B2B space.

The attendees heard from Steve Max, director of e-Commerce at Airgas,  during a featured address with author and TV personality Mark Jeffries moderating.

Max discussed “The Airgas Story – Reinventing Your eBusiness: Platform, Operations and Organization.”

Through its subsidiaries, Airgas the largest U.S. distributor of industrial, medical and specialty gases, and hard-goods, such as welding equipment and supplies. Airgas is also a leading U.S. producer of atmospheric gases, carbon dioxide, dry ice, and nitrous oxide, one of the largest U.S. distributors of safety products, and a leading U.S. distributor of refrigerants, ammonia products, and process chemicals.

It was insightful to get a peek into the Airgas customer base by market and how they sell gas online.

Airgas launched their first website in 1997 that resembled “brochure-ware” and in 2001 moved over to an e-commerce site.  Max stated that back in 2001 many folks thought e-commerce was “just a fad.”

“You say that now-a-days in a board room and you get kicked out,” said Max, when asked by Mark if he saw e-commerce as a solid career path.

B2C has set customers’ expectations for e-commerce. But for B2B, online procurement is just as important as online ordering.  Based on Max’s comments, his customers are telling him that, even more than being able to research and order online, they want to be able to complete the transactions with online (and even mobile) payments.

Companies need to ask themselves, “how does e-commerce fit into my overall brand?” before developing their strategies. After identifying what the e-commerce strategy is, then they need to find out what the customers really want out of it. The final step is bringing that strategic plan to management with a solid business case for making the investment.

E-commerce cannot be “siloed,” it must have an omni-channel focus. And as Max put it, “What is online cannot be too radical to what we do offline.”

A B2B e-commerce success story: Airgas, Retrieved from http://www.the-future-of-commerce.com/2013/10/11/airgas-ecommerce-success.

Russian e-commerce market to reach $32 billion by 2015

Russia is not often mentioned in discussions as a desirable location for international online expansion as it is often seen as a tough nut to crack.

The country remains under-developed in many minds and, with a history of distrusting online payment gateways, Russia’s online retail industry has been significantly held back by fraudulent vendors and activity. With cash on delivery being the preferred and most widely used method of paying for goods in Russia, any online retailer not experienced in dealing withdeveloping markets could find an expansion into the country challenging.

However, Russia’s e-commerce market is estimated to surpass the $32 billion mark by 2015. With an audience keen to buy more foreign and domestic products, the country is expected to see a growing number of users take to the web in the next few years.

As more users and brands engage with the market, consumer confidence is set to skyrocket – helped by the fact that Russia became a member of the world trade organization in 2012. There are a myriad of factors which make Russia a great opportunity for foreign e-commerce business.

An interesting fact of which to take note: Google’s dominance does not extend to Russian. Instead, the homegrown Yandexaccounts for the majority of that country’s search traffic, and a whopping 45 percent of the overall online advertising market.


The info-graphic below offers up some interesting statistics. Highlights:

  • By 2014, 80 million Russians will be online
  • 23 percent of Russians access the Internet via mobile means
  • In 2012, Russia became the largest Internet audience in Europe
  • 60 percent of e-commerce customers in Russia prefer to pay in cash
  • 34.5 million Russians visit at least one social network per day

Russian e-commerce market to reach $32 billion by 2015. Retrieved from http://www.the-future-of-commerce.com/2013/10/02/russia-ecommerce-market-infographic/.

Forthcoming PCI changes will bring challenges for payment card network community

Organizations that make use of SSH keys for secure access to servers should be aware that they may need to make some changes soon when it comes to managing any of their networks related to payment-card processing, according to the CEO of SSH Communications security, Tatu Ylonen.

That’s because the next version of the Payment Card Industry (PC) standard to be published in early November, PCI v.3, is expected to include some new guidance on authentication and remote access to any network segment that processes or stores payment cards that could impact use of Secure Shell (SSH) cryptographic technology,  Ylonen says. Continue reading

Big Bets on Polo Could Yield Billions

There’s a new old game in town and a lot of very smart people are placing big bets on it.

The old game is polo, and this weekend it’s being played on white sand in front of the blue-green Atlantic in the fabulous and famously hot town of Miami Beach.

Thomas Kato (pictured in photo) Merchant Hub CEO, patron for Lufthansa’s polo team, & returning Miami Beach Polo Sponsor feels it is, “a great corporate bonding experience for our employees and an excellent way for us to give even more back to our merchants“.

And though you won’t see any upfront betting on these very expensive ponies and their star-studded riders, behind the scenes there’s big money being wagered that polo will be the next global super-sport.

Event producers, sponsors, and advertisers are betting that polo, already a magnet for the super-rich, can attract a huge audience of average Joes, who even if they aren’t aspiring up the economic ladder can enjoy rubbing shoulders with the rich and famous and drinking, dressing and driving what’s being dangled in front of them as the good life.

Polo is being cross-marketed to a cross-section of the global population. And, while the usual high-end brands are big sponsors, middle-market and economy-brand sponsors and advertisers want in on the good life gravy train.

Reposted from Forbes, article by: Shah Gilani

Click link to continue reading: http://www.forbes.com/sites/shahgilani/2012/04/27/big-bets-on-polo-could-yield-billions/

U.S. Consumer Credit: A 12 Month Review

I remain a bear of the U.S. markets, but the U.S. consumer credit numbers for November 2011 (just released in January 2012) were striking and definitely not bearish for the markets. If consumers are happy to take on debt, for whatever reason, it is very bullish sign. However, as with all things in economics, the devil is in the details. Below is a table of the consumer credit breakdown, from December 2010 to November 2011 (the latest available data) from the Federal Reserve Economic Data


Month TotalRevolving


TotalNon Revolving


US GovNon revolving


Non RevolvingLess


Non Revolving



Dec-10 2.20 4.10 0.70 3.4 6.30
Jan-11 -5.50 6.10 24.40 -18.30 0.60
Feb-11 -1.90 10.10 8.20 1.90 8.20
Mar-11 0.00 4.40 6.20 -1.80 4.40
Apr-11 -2.50 6.20 4.20 2.00 3.70
May-11 3.00 3.00 5.50 -2.50 6.00
6 month Total -4.70 33.90 49.20 -15.30 29.20
Jun-11 2.60 9.10 5.20 3.90 11.70
Jul-11 -2.70 14.10 15.60 -1.50 11.40
Aug-11 1.60 -8.90 6.10 -15.00 -10.50
Sep-11 0.4 7.10 14.30 -7.20 7.50
Oct-11 0.7 5.30 3.80 1.50 6.00
Nov-11 5.6 14.80 6.40 8.40 20.40
6 month Total 5.00 41.50 51.40 -9.90 46.50
12 month Total 0.30 75.40 100.60 -25.20 75.70


Let’s take a Look at the four subheadings:

Category 1 – Total revolving credit (credit cards, etc)

The figures for credit card debt have been rising very slowly during 2011, but the latest figure is the highest by some margin. However these figures may be distorted by the imposition of charges on debit card transactions introduced in October by several banks. These may be pushing consumers into using credit cards rather than debit cards. If consumers have seen that their statement for October has debit card fees on it, they may have changed to using credit cards in November. If you take out the November increase from the 6 month figure, it goes negative again and is comparable to the first 6 months of the year. It is clear that something has changed for November. This is either consumers switching from debit cards to credit cards or a change to higher spending habits using credit cards. It is unclear which, but both seem possible.

Category 2 – Total non revolving credit

Once again, the non revolving credit figures are slowly improving with the 6 month totals showing a steady increase. The figure for November is the highest for 12 months but it does not stand out as a change in trend as the revolving credit figure for November does.

Category 3 – Government non revolving credit (now included in total above)

This figure is generally regarded as a proxy for the increase in student loans from Sallie Mae. This is almost flat on a 6 month view. However Sallie Mae does securitize some of its loans and so there may be an increase in the totals of student loans for the period, not apparent from these figures. Once again, nothing unusual here.

Category 4 -Total non revolving credit less Government non revolving credit

This category will tell us what is happening to non revolving credit, once student loans are stripped out. This is the credit used for buying goods and therefore an indication of consumer credit demand. My assumption here is that families will send their children to university as a priority and so it is almost a forced increase in credit. Once this is stripped out, a better figure for discretionary spending will be revealed. This category is negative for both 6 month periods and is only slightly up for the latest 6 months. However, the November figure once again stands out as a change of the trend. It is substantially above any other month of the last 12. The common explanation for this is that, as the effect of the Japanese tsunami has now worn off, the latest models of cars are now available. The improved figure is a result of consumers taking advantage of the choice that is now available. If this is true the increase will be temporary in nature and will end, once the pent up demand has been filled. The more constructive view is that the availability of cars is irrelevant; consumers have just changed their habits and are spending more. Once again it is impossible to say which is correct. The next three months of this category, if constant at the same higher level, will provide an answer and may mark a change that is important.


The November consumer credit figures were a substantial change from previous months in categories 1 and 4 above. There may be reasons that they will return to more normal levels in the coming months. In particular, the introduction of fees for debit cards may permanently move spending onto credit cards and distort the figures, which may make them particularly difficult to analyze in the future. However for categories 2 and 3 above the figures are just part of the ongoing trend. This trend is very slightly upwards and can be reasonably ignored in deciding if November marks a distinct change.

Categories 1 and 4 will need watching for the next 2-3 months to provide the answer to the question – Is this a change of behavior? At present it is not clear what will happen and I will wait for further data before I change my opinion (which is that these figures are not a change in behavior). You can see the data and make up your own mind.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.

Additional disclosure: Long RWM & RIMM

U.S. Consumer Credit: A 12 Month Review. (2012, January 16). By Jeremy Robson. Retrieved from http://seekingalpha.com/article/319772-u-s-consumer-credit-a-12-month-review.

Google Appears Poised To Deliver Impressive 4Q

Google’s fourth-quarter earnings are expected to show the Internet search leader is doing better than ever, thanks to an online holiday shopping splurge that helped sell more advertising. The details are scheduled to be released after the stock market closes Thursday.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR: The October-December period is likely to mark the first time that Google Inc. has earned $3 billion in a single quarter. The main reason: more people were buying gifts on their computers and smartphones. Electronic commerce increased by about 15 percent from the 2010 holiday shopping season, according to the research firm comScore Inc.

The shopping spurred more Google searches as consumers looked for the best prices and things to do during the holidays. That led to more clicks on the advertising links that appear alongside the results, translating into more revenue for Google.

In the past few years, Google has diversified beyond search to sell more video ads and graphic-driven commercial messages to boost its earnings even higher.

Google probably faced its biggest challenges in Europe, where earnings were hurt by a weakening euro as the continent wrestled with unwieldy government debts.

The fourth-quarter earnings could be even better than analysts expect if Google eased its hiring at the end of the year. Through September, Google had already added nearly 7,000 workers in 2011 — the largest payroll expansion in the company’s 13-year history. Google CEO Larry Page indicated in October that the company had expanded its workforce more than he anticipated — a remark that could have foreshadowed a slight slowdown in new hires.

Since labor is one of Google’s biggest expenses, analysts will likely be pressing Page and other Google executives for information about the company’s hiring plans.

Another 19,000 workers from Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. will be joining Google this year if U.S. and European regulators approve Google’s proposed $12./5 billion acquisition of the cell phone maker. The companies are hoping to close the deal early this year.

Motorola Mobility will give Google more than 17,000 prized patents, along with potential problems that could crimp future earnings. Motorola Mobility signaled the trouble earlier this month when it advised its fourth-quarter results will fall below analyst projections. That raised a red flag among investors already wondering how Google’s expertise in software will meld with a Motorola Mobility business that specializes in making devices.

Google has said it primarily wants Motorola Mobility for its patents. The portfolio is supposed to serve as a shield against a fusillade of lawsuits filed against various features in Google’s popular Android software, which is now used in more than 200 million devices.

Investors also will be looking for updates on the Plus service that Google unveiled nearly seven months ago as an alternative to Facebook’s social networking site. Google disclosed Plus had more than 40 million users in October, but hasn’t provided additional figures since then.

Facebook has more than 800 million users, so Plus has a long way to go before it poses a serious threat in social networking.

Google is trying to increase the usage of Plus with a series of changes introduced on its search engine last week. Among other things, Google’s search results now include recommendations about people and companies with Plus accounts. The new feature omits similar accounts on Facebook and Twitter’s short-messaging hub, even though those services have larger followings than Plus.

The exclusive listings about Plus accounts have renewed concerns that Google is abusing its dominance of Internet search to promote its own services while ignoring or downplaying other options from its rivals. Regulators in the U.S. and Europe already have been investigating whether Google has been rigging its search results in a way that stifles competition.

WHY IT MATTERS: As the Internet’s main gateway, Google is one of the world’s most powerful companies. Its fortunes and decisions have ripple effects on millions of people and companies.

WHAT’S EXPECTED: Analysts polled by FactSet expect earnings of $10.49 per share, excluding expenses for employee stock compensation, on revenue of $8.37 billion, after subtracting Google’s ad commissions.

LAST YEAR’S QUARTER: In the fourth quarter of 2010, Google earned $2.5 billion, or $7.81 per share, on revenue of $8.44 billion. Excluding stock compensation, Google earned $8.75 per share on revenue of $6.37 billion, after subtracting ad commissions.

 Google Appears Poised To Deliver Impressive 4Q. By Michael Liedtke. (2012, January 17). Retrieve from http://www.rdmag.com/News/FeedsAP/2012/01/information-tech-google-appears-poised-to-deliver-impressive-4q/.