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Industry News - February 1st 2014



The Vitamin Shoppe Unveils Omnichannel Inventory Strategies

Retail takes a lot of energy. From determining how much inventory a retailer must purchase and place in each store to forecasting each order and working with outside suppliers to maintain targeted inventory levels. In this concurrent session, discover the importance of an inside/outside inventory and profit optimization.
Jason Scheffer, vice president of inventory and transportation for The Vitamin Shoppe will provide insights around maintaining targeted inventory models for individual SKUs and automating ordering, at the 2014 Retail Technology Conference. Learn how The Vitamin Shoppe has improved fill rates, achieved higher profit margins and shorter lead times on Thursday, April 11.
The seventh annual Retail Technology Conference will be held April 10 – 12, 2014 at the Omni ChampionsGate in Orlando, Florida. RTC allows retailers and vendors to take part in peer-to-peer exchanges, interactive Masters Workshops, and relationship building.

Mobile-Friendly Payment and Customer Engagement Platform Debuts

Merchant Warehouse has introduced the Genius Customer Engagement Platform, a cloud-based platform that allows retailers to easily download the payment, loyalty or marketing apps they want to accept at their point-of-sale. At checkout, customers select a preferred payment method on the interactive Genius touchscreen; within the same transaction, retailers can add on loyalty programs or apply discounts as a customer rewards tool.

Retailers can download any mobile commerce or loyalty partner app within the Genius platform, including LevelUp and Isis. As mobile commerce opportunities expand further, they can add apps to the platform from a growing collection of third-party integrations.

Updates to Genius and partner platform apps are pushed through the cloud, and the PCI-compliant solution separates sensitive data from being stored on a retailer's POS system, protecting transactional data through encryption. Genius is a hardware-agnostic platform that currently comes preloaded on the VeriFone MX915.

"Our shop has many loyal customers that visit us repeatedly, often referring friends," said South Bend Brew Werks owner Andrew Elegante, an early Genius adopter, in a statement. "We now have a way to give our customers targeted rewards through Genius' mobile commerce application integrations, turning what used to be a countertop device at the register into a powerful marketing and loyalty platform for our business."

Meeting the Demands of Global Markets

A provider of cloud-based e-commerce solutions, ChannelAdvisor announced its 2014 Winter Release, including support for additional global marketplaces, Google Shopping in Europe and Australia, Amazon Webstore sites and more. The 2014 Winter Release is tailored to offer retailers access to additional sources of global demand as well as greater control over channel sales through multiple platform enhancements.
The 2014 Winter Release enriches ChannelAdvisor's Marketplaces solution by adding support for SHOP.com, New Zealand's Trade Me and Amazon Italy. ChannelAdvisor retailers can now fully integrate with these marketplaces to reach new customers and generate incremental revenue. ChannelAdvisor now also integrates with Groupon Goods, offering U.S. retailers the opportunity to submit deals to Groupon and generate potentially high sales volumes over short periods of time.
The Winter Release also introduces support for Google Shopping in the U.K., France, Germany and Australia in anticipation of the Google Shopping transition in February. ChannelAdvisor's global retailers will be well equipped for this coming shift in the search and shopping landscape.
The Release also eases the complexity of selling across global borders by allowing retailers to leverage new shipping services such as eBay's Global Shipping program and Amazon's FBA Export program to reach international consumers. To assist online retailers in Germany, ChannelAdvisor translated its Marketplaces, Paid Search and Comparison Shopping solutions into German.
The company also announced its support for Amazon Webstore sites, giving retailers the ability to manage their Amazon Webstore listings and orders using the same process they use for the Amazon Marketplace. The Amazon Webstore Connector synchronizes critical data points such as price and quantity while giving the retailer granular control over product placement.


PCI Security Standards Council Releases Guide for Choosing Secure Payment Tech

The PCI Security Standards Council (PCI SSC), has published the PCI DSS E-commerce Guidelines Information Supplement, a product of the E-commerce Security Special Interest Group (SIG). Businesses selling goods and services over the Internet can use this resource as a guide for choosing e-commerce technologies and third-party service providers that will help them secure customer payment data and support PCI DSS compliance efforts.
PCI Special Interest Groups (SIGs) are community-driven initiatives that provide additional guidance and clarifications or improvements to the PCI Standards and supporting programs.
In 2012, PCI Participating Organizations selected e-commerce security as a key area to address via the SIG process. More than 60 global organizations representing banks, merchants, security assessors and technology vendors collaborated to produce  guidance that will help organizations better understand their responsibilities when it comes to PCI DSS;  the risks they need to evaluate when considering ecommerce solutions; and how to determine their PCI DSS scope.
“Take SQL injections as an example. This is not a new attack, and something we’ve known about in the industry for years. Yet it continues to be one of the most common methods by which e-commerce websites are compromised, said Bob Russo, general manager, PCI Security Standards Council. “This can be addressed through simple, prudent coding practices, but merchants often don’t know where to start. These guidelines will help them better understand their responsibilities and the kinds of questions they need to ask of their service providers. In the case of SQL injections, one of the most important items to request of an e-commerce service provider is a description of the security controls and methods it has in place to protect websites against these vulnerabilities.”
The PCI DSS E-commerce Guidelines Information Supplement provides an introduction to e-commerce security and guidance around the following primary areas and objectives:
E-commerce Overview – provides merchants and third parties with explanation of typical e-commerce components and common implementations and outlines high-level PCI DSS scoping guidance to be considered for each.
Common Vulnerabilities in E-commerce Environments – educates merchants on vulnerabilities often found in web applications (such as e-commerce shopping carts) so they can emphasize security when developing or choosing e-commerce software and services.
Recommendations - provides merchants with best practices to secure their e-commerce environments, as well as list of recommended industry and PCI SSC resources to leverage in e-commerce security efforts.
The document also includes two appendices to address specific PCI DSS requirements and implementation scenarios:
PCI DSS Guidance for E-commerce Environments – provides high-level e-commerce guidance that corresponds to the main categories of PCI DSS requirements; includes chart to help organizations identify and document which PCI DSS responsibilities are those of the merchant and which are the responsibility of any e-commerce payment processor.
Merchant and Third-Party PCI DSS Responsibilities – for outsourced or “hybrid” e-commerce environments, includes sample checklist that merchants can use to identify which party is responsible for compliance and specify the details on the evidence of compliance.
The information supplement can be downloaded from the documents library on the PCI SSC website at www.pcisecuritystandards.org/security_standards/documents.php.



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