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WEEKLY RECAP

The Hackers Parade Marches On

Many more verses have been added to the ballad of LulzSec lately. The hacker group has partnered with Anonymous for an agenda of world cyberchaos, vowed revenge on other hackers who disrupted an online gaming network -- this is after Lulz itself shot down a couple of other gaming networks -- and fli...

Amazon Lets Users Shop Around With a Single Phrase

Amazon has introduced a new shortcut for consumers to pay for their purchases on Amazon.com and partner Web sites. Amazon PayPhrase lets shoppers pick their own phrase -- for example, "Knick Knack" or "Jack's Allowance" -- and use it in lieu of entering a credit card number to make purchases. The p...

Breaking the Belkin Scandal: Blogger Schools Old-School Journalists

Arlen Parsa is about to get his degree in documentary film from Chicago's Columbia College. Yet he seems to have already graduated cum laude from the unofficial School of Blogs. Thanks to his mashup of old-school reporting and new media-fueled advocacy, a major consumer electronics company is reelin...

Despite Hot Deals, Cyber Monday Sales Tepid

Cyber Monday is the biggest online shopping day of the year, but online retail experts say it may not be big enough this year to increase overall holiday sales compared to 2007. The November-December holiday shopping season will generate $29.2 billion in sales this year, the exact same figure as in ...

Online Auctions, Part 1: The eBay Earthquake

Things are changing at eBay. eBay says it is evolving to adapt to changes in the larger market, but it's not clear how the auction giant will fare against an emerging army of specialized competitors, and it's far from clear whether sellers will warm to its new internal price structure. Changing the ...

Google’s Search-Within-Search Draws Scrutiny

Google has quietly unveiled a search-within-a-site feature on its main Web search engine, giving users the ability to refine searches before going to a merchant or publisher's page. The company launched search-within-a-site on March 5 after several days of testing, according to a posting to the offi...

Buy.com Wants to Steal eBay’s Friends

Hoping to use social networking to compete with auction giant eBay, Buy.com on Tuesday launched Garage Sale, a service that lets users sell goods and services from within their home pages on sites such as Facebook. The Internet retailer said its service would be immediately available to users of Fac...

Ending Speculation, Commencing Competition: Google Launches Checkout

Sending a competitive shot across the bow of e-tailers such as Amazon and eBay, Google Thursday launched its long-rumored online payment system, now known as Google Checkout. Checkout launches with a handful of major online merchants having signed up, including Jockey, the Starbucks Store, Levi's, D...

Report: Online Customers Happy With Service

Online retailers and service providers improved their customer satisfaction ratings during 2005 and Web-based retailers continued to do a better job of making buyers happy than their off-line counterparts, according to a new report. The annual American Customer Satisfaction Index E-Commerce Report c...

Retailers Seek Post-Holiday Sales Bump

Online and in stores, retailers sought an extra boost in the days after Christmas to help galvanize what's being described as a mixed holiday shopping season so far. They trotted out their usual array of gimmicks designed to get customers back into the buying mood on Monday, hoping that gift returns...

E-Commerce Holiday Battle Plans – Part 2

In part 1 of this story, the E-Commerce Times looked at how Web sites are gearing up for the holiday buying season by beefing up staff, servers and warehouse operations. Beyond making e-business infrastructures holiday-ready, though, e-commerce firms also have been busy crafting deals and finding wa...

E-Commerce Holiday Battle Plans

The weather outside may be frightful, but the potential for revenue is delightful. True, rewriting a holiday song so it fits e-commerce may take away some of the lyrical charm, but for e-tailers, it still captures the spirit of the season. As the holiday period approaches, e-commerce players are gea...

E-BUSINESS SPECIAL REPORT

Is Broadband Really Changing E-Business?

A new report by Technology Futures of Austin, Texas, states that in 2003, the proportion of American households using broadband of some kind -- DSL, cable or wireless -- will surpass 20 percent. At this crucial juncture in the evolution of the Internet, it might be worth reminding lawmakers who are ...

E-BUSINESS SPECIAL REPORT

Do Online Stores Really Need Free Shipping?

In the frenetic boom days of the 1990s, a matter as humble as shipping charges was nothing more than a shot over the bow in the e-commerce battles that raged. As the dot-com parade wandered off course, however, it seemed that such stunts were history. But in January 2002, Amazon.com brought free shi...

Amazon Posts Profit, Makes Free Shipping Permanent

Bellwether e-tailer Amazon.com booked its second-ever profit in the fourth quarter as shoppers flocked to the site for holiday purchases, helping push revenues to record levels that surpassed analysts' expectations. Amazon said it took in $1.43 billion in the fourth quarter. Net income was $3 millio...

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