Oct 28
Reading Time: 1

   tricks-and-treats-for-creating-a-high-converting-landing-page

By definition, a landing page “is a standalone web page distinct from your main website that has been designed for a single focused objective” (Unbounce). The objective is to persuade visitors to take actions like signing up for a free account, downloading a free eBook or report, buying a product or service, and so on. Typically, creating a landing page is easy; but a common problem for many businesses is creating a landing page that actually converts.

So, what’s the trick to creating a high converting landing page so your business is treated with shoppers that stay and convert? To start, there are many important elements to take into account.

tricks-and-treats-for-creating-a-high-converting-landing-page-bmt-micro

Proof Read
Remember, you need to look credible when someone visits your landing page so avoid silly spelling and grammar mistakes. Make sure to proofread and check over everything – it’s important.

Test
Make sure to test the full process of your landing page to ensure all steps are in place. Also, test to ensure everything is functional from a back-end perspective.

By investing the time and resources that are needed to create a high converting landing page, your business could double or triple revenue with just your current website traffic. If you already have landing pages designed, the tricks in this article can help you optimize your page and drive more conversions. Ultimately, by continually improving your landing pages, it will ensure they are effective as possible in reaching the desired goal.

Oct 21
Reading Time: 3 minutes

   handling-holiday-horrors-account-takeover-fraud-bmt-micro

Fraud can truly be a horrible nightmare for online businesses, especially as the holiday season approaches. The season is almost always the most profitable time of the year for online businesses. Unfortunately, with more than $3.5 billion lost to online fraud each year, it is also a prime time for fraudsters to attack.

As we mentioned in our previous blog, Fighting Holiday Fraud, this year will be the first holiday season where customers and retailers nationwide use EMV and point-of-sale systems. As in-store precautions are strengthened and digital sales increase, more fraudsters are shifting their focus toward online businesses. One new post-EMV attack strategy that is becoming increasingly popular is Account Takeover. This type attack can be dangerous to an online business, and between 2014 and 2015 increased by 112% (NuData).

What is Account Takeover Fraud?
According to CardNotPresent.com, “Account Takeover (ATO) is the term used when a fraudster uses a legitimate customer’s credentials to log on to their account and make purchases. In some cases, the customer’s stored payment method is used, while in others, the fraudster is using the account to make the purchases appear legitimate.”

Account takeovers have traditionally been very hard to detect because fraudsters operate from within a genuine and trustworthy user account. Fraudsters can buy login details from the black market, steal them through malware or phishing attacks, or use a list of the most common passwords to crack a customer’s account. In most cases, neither the account user nor the online business realizes what is happening before it is too late and damage is done.

How To Prevent Account Takeovers
In order to prevent account takeovers, online businesses must be able to identify high-risk users during account creation, flag suspicious account changes, and monitor suspicious purchasing behavior. For instance, to minimize the risk during account creation, a business should implement a two-step authentication process for added security. This makes it difficult for fraudsters unless they have access to both accounts.

This is why it is also important to look for and flag suspicious account changes. For example, was the customer’s email address changed recently? Was there a change of address immediately before ordering? Fraudulent activity can be indicated in ordering patterns too. Is a customer suddenly purchasing an unusually high volume of merchandise? Other red flags include login attempts from different devices and places, an unusual amount of failed attempts, a change of operating software, or attempting to log in via a proxy server or VPN. These alone are things that can be considered harmless, but they can point to the fact you might have a fraudster on your hands.

Keep in mind; fraudsters capitalize largely on the fact that most people don’t use different passwords for different web services. So, it is also crucial to require a strong password for customer’s accounts.

What To Do If Your Customer’s Account is Taken Over:
1. Lock down the account: When an account has been compromised, your top priority should be to make sure the account has been locked so the fraudster cannot make additional purchases.
2. Check for Account Changes: It is important to check the account for any changes that have been made recently and provide customers with additional options for account verification.
3. Have a Written Policy: You will need to have set guidelines and standards for verifying identities and reversing fraudulent orders. This will be different for every business.

The account takeover method is growing quickly, so protect your hard earned revenue this holiday season by monitoring the account information entrusted to you by your customers.

Here at BMT Micro we can also help your business with handling holiday horrors like account takeover fraud. We strive to be an e-commerce company where customers can rest assured their information is and will always be protected. We also want our vendors confident in the knowledge that with the right level of fraud protection, it will decrease the likelihood that their product will be taken advantage of or fraudulently used. Our state-of-the-art fraud detection system automatically screens orders and puts questionable orders through a manual approval process. Plus, all BMT Micro servers are fully secured and host all shopping carts using the highest encryption standards available.

We continually make sure that online security measures remain a priority. If you have questions or concerns about your current fraud prevention or if you are interested in learning more about BMT Micro’s offerings please contact our vendor services at vendors@bmtmicro.com.

Oct 14
Reading Time: 2 minutes

  how-ad-blocking-is-impacting-online-advertising-bmt-micro

Although online advertising has never had the best reputation among consumers, many companies, like Facebook and Google, rely heavily on it to finance their operations. Unfortunately, this type of business model is increasingly coming under threat due to the rise in consumers installing ad blocking extensions.

Last year, PageFair (a Dublin-based company) revealed that ad blockers are costing around $22 billion a year in lost revenue. Specific problems that are driving consumers to install ad blockers include too many ads, over-targeting and abuse of personal data. What’s more, consumers who have downloaded ad blockers are unlikely to uninstall them, as 89% said they have no plans on abandoning them.

For many advertisers and publishers, competing with ad blocking software is forcing them to rethink their strategies and some have already begun to fight back.

How Publishers Are Responding
Many publishers have started taking action to counteract the increasing uptake of ad blockers by developing their own ad blocker detection software. In some cases, this will prevent ad blocking users from viewing a piece of content until they ‘whitelist’’ the site. Forbes, for example, is a publisher currently using ad blocker detection software for its content.

forbes-ad-blocking-message

Unfollowerstats is another example but has taken a slightly more nuanced approach. Unfollowerstats doesn’t prevent users from viewing content but instead encourages users to consider they are a free app whose only income comes from Advertising.

unfollowerstats-ad-blocking-message

Some publishers have said they don’t care about ad blockers because it saves money on pay-per-click ads by separating out consumers who were never going to buy. But, rather than trying to bypass ad blockers or pretend they do not matter, advertisers and publishers need to focus on the bigger underlying issue – consumers don’t like the advertisements being served to them.

Listening To What Consumers Want
In this digital age, consumers have more control than ever over their online experience. So, it’s not unreasonable for consumers to want and expect better from brands. The reality is that ad blocking is a phenomenon that is not going away because neither is online advertising.

As a business, the best way to deal with the ad-blocking problem is to improve the quality of your ads. A study done by Adobe found that 78% of consumers like personalized ads, but only 28% think they’re tailored correctly. The study also found that consumers are more likely to be engaged when using social media as “attention can be diverted.” They are also less likely to notice ads when doing something with intent, such as watching a video or using an app.

Today’s consumers hate banner, pop-up, and interstitial ads. But, there are many unobtrusive forms of advertising that consumers will actually tolerate, like native advertising or even the power of online word of mouth. Consumers are no longer fans of “in your face marketing” and want more from online advertising. So, it is important to remember the relevancy of your ad and the audience it is being served to.

Ultimately, consumers hate the inconvenience, not the advertising. In fact, ignoring ad quality and user experience is precisely why there is a growing adoption of ad blocking among consumers. Many methods that advertisers have traditionally utilized like pop-up as and banner ads are proven no longer effective in engaging consumers. The message to advertisers and publishers should be clear: if consumers don’t like something they will find a way to avoid or get rid of it.

Oct 7
Reading Time: 1

When it comes to choosing which social media platforms a business should utilize, it’s important to select ones that are best for reaching an ideal audience. But, it seems like every few months there is a new up-and-coming platform and dozens end up failing before most people ever hear of them. So, when a social platform is still experiencing growth, businesses should pay attention.

Snapchat and Instagram are two mobile-driven social platforms that are skyrocketing in popularity. They can be a great fit for any social media strategy; however, it can be difficult to decide which one your business should invest time in. To help determine this, you need to understand the unique differences and capabilities of each one.

instagram-vs-snapchat-infographic-bmt-micro

Although Instagram and Snapchat are very similar, there is no clear winner (yet). Right now, there are enough differences in each to make it worth taking the time to explore both. Depending on your content and goals, you may even decide to use both in different ways.

If you are a vendor of BMT Micro, an analysis of your current social media performance is available with our Marketing Analysis. The Marketing Analysis also includes an analysis of your website, SEO, digital reputation management, target market, competition, advertising and branding. If you would like to learn more about the services we offer, please contact our Marketing Specialist via email at leah@bmtmicro.com for more information.