Nov 24
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Today kicks off the biggest holiday shopping week of the year, but the start of prime cybercrime season. With revenue expected to surpass the $9.36 billion spent during this time last year, cybercriminals are also preparing their strategies to cash in on it.

From phishing emails to malicious links, the number of online attacks during this high sales season has been nine percentage points higher than the average number of attacks during the other months of the year. Fraudsters are going out of their way to create complex fraud schemes to target online shoppers, but they aren’t the only victims. With attacks becoming more pervasive and sophisticated, online businesses also take a huge hit from holiday e-commerce fraud.

To protect your hard earned revenue and avoid holiday scams and attacks this season, consumers and retailers should keep these smart tactics in mind:

  • Be skeptical. If a deal looks too good to be true, it probably is. Also, don’t click on suspicious links or attachments.
  • Require a strong password for customer’s accounts. Fraudsters capitalize largely on the fact that most people don’t use different passwords for different web services.
  • Create a limit on attempted and/or declined transactions.
  • You may also want to consider setting a limit on the number of purchases and/or total dollar amount you’ll accept from one cardholder in a single day.
  • Be wary of large quantity orders, especially ones for expensive goods. This may not point directly to a stolen credit card or fraud, but it is still a good idea to contact the customer to verify the order and the legitimacy of the purchase.
  • Use an AVS (address verification system) and require the CVV (card verification value) to ensure the cardholder placing the order is in physical possession of a valid card. Also, use strong SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) authentication for web and data protection.
  • Install a trustworthy antivirus and keep your software up to date (including browsers, add-ons, plugins, desktop apps, etc.).
  • Employees should know how to keep data safe and how to deal with any potential hacking scheme. With this knowledge, they can start taking more control of privacy and security to avoid attacks.
  • Consumers should make sure a site starts with ‘https’ or has a lock symbol (these indicate it is encrypted) when shopping.
  • Consumers should only shop on secure wifi. Do not shop on insecure wifi networks like a coffee shop, airport, or any other public network.

During a peak sales season (like the holidays) fraudsters will do almost anything to monetize your online actions. For businesses, having the right fraud prevention system will greatly decrease the likelihood that your product or service will be taken advantage of or fraudulently used. For consumers, utilizing these tactics and being vigilant will help decrease your chances of falling victim to e-commerce fraud this holiday season.

Here at BMT Micro, our main goal is to ensure the safety of all transactions between our vendors and customers. Our advanced, proprietary fraud detection system is state of the art and effective in preventing almost all fraudulent order attempts. 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.

Nov 17
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Whether you’re ready or not, Black Friday and the 2017 holiday shopping season is upon us. The holidays are the busiest time of the year and a huge opportunity to generate sales. By now, your business should have a plan in place to take advantage of the holiday shopping surge. But, it’s never too late to take some last-minute actions.

Here are a few last minute tips that can help drive traffic to your site and increase sales this year.

Clearly highlight your special offer and discounts
Your holiday offers need to grab the attention of your customers as soon as they land on your site. They should be prominent on your homepage and feature calls to action. Compelling call-to-actions can also improve your action rates and overall website performance.

Optimize your top pages and products
Optimize the most popular pages and products on your site. This means reviewing design, speed, call to actions, keywords, content and user experience. Another key step is to ensure the checkout process on each page is simple and clutter-free. This will result in more sales and fewer distractions on your site.

Use exit-intent pop-ups on abandoning traffic
Pop-ups are usually viewed as intruding and invasive. But, exit-intent pop-ups can actually be a great way to convert abandoning site traffic. They can entice holiday shoppers to complete a sale by offering an instant discount code.

The post-Thanksgiving holiday rush is right around the corner, but it’s not too late to give it your all. With seasonal traffic set to spike, use these tips to boost holiday cheer and revenue this season.

Here at BMT Micro we also want to see our vendors get the most out of their holiday season. Our full-service e-commerce solution can be used to set up many different discount schemes, and our experienced customer service staff is here to give your customers a great shopping experience. If you would like to more about our services or how we can help your online business this holiday season, please feel free to contact our vendor services via email at vendors@bmtmicro.com or sign-up for free today.

Nov 10
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Over the past decade, the freemium model has become widely used across a number of digital apps, Internet start-ups, and SaaS. “Freemium” (a combination of the words “free” and “premium”) refers to a business model that mixes free services or software with paid upgrades. Unlike a free trial, the time duration the user can utilize the free services or software is unlimited. Several factors contribute to the appeal, but the great advantage of this model is that it can quickly drive leads, conversion, and revenue without intermediaries.

Plenty of developers and startups like the idea of the freemium model and assume it will work for them since it has worked so well for others (like Evernote, MailChimp, and Dropbox). But, freemium is not a perfect business model for every business.

Take a look at the pros and cons of the freemium model to determine if it is a viable option for your business.

PROS

  • Potential to unlock viral growth for your product
  • Opportunity to upsell & monetize user base
  • Increases audience size with no barriers to entry & no risks
  • Perfect opportunity for free beta testing of new products & features
  • Advertising can be a viable revenue stream

CONS

  • Low free user to paid customer conversions rates – meaning a high percentage of free users never convert
  • Incremental overhead & performance problems – support for freemium users can potentially be a large expense
  • Finding the right balance between your freemium and premium offerings – customers need to see enough value in your product to persuade an upgrade conversion at some point
  • Higher churn rate – users can easily adopt a throwaway mentality. This means users intend to use a product only for a short time, and then “throw away”
  • Lowered Value – freemium users are not financially invested in using your product

The freemium business model is not a good fit for every business. For some, freemium is a costly trap. But, depending on how it’s designed and implemented, freemium can actually unlock sustainable growth for some businesses. Your success will ultimately come down to how well you understand the value of your product and strike the right balance between paid and free features.

Are you considering whether or not a freemium model is right for your business? We can help with that decision. Our system will allow you to set up free products for distribution, without any costs for processing the orders (this is very useful for upgrades and beta testing). If you would like to learn more about our services or if you have questions, please feel free to contact our vendor services via email at vendors@bmtmicro.com or visit our website at www.bmtmicro.com.

Nov 3
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Affiliate marketing can be a highly effective sales channel for an online business. When utilized correctly, affiliates can ensure the right messages get to the right people at the right time by capitalizing on the following they have. But, a common issue many businesses face with affiliate marketing is inactive affiliates.

Why Do Affiliates Become Inactive?

  • They are missing the tools they need to promote your product
  • They didn’t receive information to get started with your affiliate program
  • They found another product that’s easier to sell or an affiliate program with higher commission and/or special promotions

It can be tempting to just remove inactive affiliates from your program. However, this is one of the worst things your business could do. Instead, focus on creating, growing, and maintaining good affiliate marketing relationships by:

Providing Affiliates With Necessary Resources
In order for your affiliates to promote your products successfully, you have to ensure you are providing them with up-to-date links, banners, text campaigns, landing pages, product data feeds, and so on. Making these resources available to new and existing affiliates can make it easier for them to ensure they’re always promoting current offers and products. This also shows affiliates you are committed to providing them the tools to make them more successful.

Actively Communicating With Affiliates
Actively communicating with your affiliates provides a foundation for stronger, more productive relationships. Make sure you are giving affiliates all of the information they need to fully participate in your program and the product details they’ll need to make sales. This will not only give your affiliates important information up-front, but it can also ensure the right affiliates are applying for your program.

Keeping Affiliates Motivated
Keeping affiliates motivated is arguably the most difficult part in affiliate marketing, but it doesn’t have to be. Performance incentives are an excellent way to get affiliates motivated and even improve their performance in your program. Your business can organize affiliate contests or compensate them with tiered increases in commissions. You can test several options to see which one increases engagement the most.

Affiliate marketing relies on relationships, and relationships need to be maintained. Having inactive affiliates can be discouraging. But, with some motivation and initiative on your end, you can actually convert them into productive partners that drive your business forward.