Are Your Terms and Conditions in the Safe Zone?

It’s not often that a court case affects the design and the layout of an e-commerce store, but if you run your own, you should take notice. Technology and Marketing law blog takes a look at a recently handed-down decision by the 9th Circuit in the Nguyen v. Barnes & Noble case.

The important takeaway from the case for an eCommerce retailer is that according to the judges, there are two types of online agreements:

(1) Explicit agreements, which require users to click on an “I agree” box
(2) Implied agreements, where the terms and conditions are posted on the bottom of the webpage and the user is not required to explicitly express their agreement as a condition of proceeding.

If your checkout flow is not using an explicit checkbox that asks the user to agree to the Terms and Conditions you may be opening yourself to having the T&Cs invalidated and every condition you inserted in there to protect yourself being discarded as B&N just found out and Zappos recently learned the hard way as well.

A simple solution according to the T&M blog is to cross-reference the T&Cs during checkout, which makes them legally effective. “Where the company engages in a transaction or requires the user to create an account, there is little reason for this to not be buttoned up.”

So as you look to update your checkout flow for the holiday season, remember to add an explicit T&C agreement checkbox and keep your business in the legal safe zone.

 

Disclaimer: The above post is for informational purposes only; please consult your attorney for legal counsel around online agreements. 

 
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OpenSSL Announces “Man in the Middle” Security Advisory

Today the OpenSSL project announced a vulnerability that allows any network eavesdropper to decrypt and modify the traffic transmitted between a client and server. These attacks require “man in the middle” position to succeed, wherein the eavesdropper intercepts connections between the victims. OpenSSL clients are vulnerable in all versions of OpenSSL, while servers are only known to be vulnerable in OpenSSL 1.0.1 and 1.0.2-beta1.

As with the recent OpenSSL Heartbleed Bug, which was detected just over a month ago, the Monsoon Commerce team began assessing impact and vulnerabilities across all products and platforms as soon as the security advisory was announced. We can confirm that all Monsoon Commerce public-facing services are not affected, including

  • Monsoon Pro
  • Monsoon Stone Edge
  • Alibris

Amazon, a Monsoon Commerce marketplace partner, anticipates minimal to no impact to customers. They are tracking their response to the security advisory here. We recommend that you contact any relevant marketplace and eCommerce technology service providers to confirm that they are secure.

We will continue to update this post as additional details emerge.

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eBay Cyber Attack: What You Need to Know

ebay logoThis morning eBay announced that between late February and early March this year a cyber attack compromised a database containing customer information.
eBay reports that extensive tests on its networks have been conducted and there is no evidence of unauthorized activity or access to financial or credit card information. However, as a best practice, and due to the sensitive nature of the information in the database—which includes encrypted passwords and other non-financial customer details—eBay recommends that users change their passwords. They will reach out to customers via email, site communications, and other channels to alert users to the recommendation. Continue reading

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Heartbleed Bug Security Update

Yesterday the Open SSL project announced a vulnerability, the Heartbleed Bug, that affects the majority of businesses on the Internet. Information that would normally be secure, such as user credentials or secret keys, is exposed by this vulnerability.

As soon as the vulnerability was announced, the Monsoon Commerce technical team began assessing impact and vulnerabilities across all products, platforms, and service providers.

Update, 4/10/2014, 4:00pm PT:

  • Alibris and Alibris Hosted Sites were never vulnerable to this bug. We made a full assessment, and our portfolio of services either did not use OpenSSL, did not use a compromised version of OpenSSL, and/or were protected from the vulnerability by secure firewalls. Following industry recommendations and established security best practices, security certificates were reissued after the full assessment was completed.
  • At this point no marketplace partners (including Amazon, eBay, Rakuten) have recommended updating credentials.

Update, 4/10/2014, 11:30am PT:

A number of our marketplace and technology platform partners have confirmed that they are secure, including the following:

  • Amazon
  • PayPal
  • ShipRush
  • Volusion
  • 3DCart
  • Endicia

If you use other marketplaces and eCommerce technology service providers, we recommend that you contact those companies to confirm that they are also secure.

Update, 4/9/2014, 4:00pm PT:

Applicable to Monsoon Commerce products and services:

  1. All systems are secured against the Heartbleed Bug.
  2. All security certificates that might have been compromised have been replaced.
  3. We are continuing to work with our marketplace and technology platform partners to make sure that they are also secure.

Update, 4/9/2014, 9:00am PT: 

  1. We’ve patched all of our internal systems with the new, secure version of OpenSSL where necessary. Many of our systems were unaffected, as they do not use this content library.
  2. We’re working with our marketplace and technology platform partners to make sure that they’re also secure.
  3. We’re updating SSL Certificates as the next phase of securing information.

In the event that our partners need to reset their credentials, we have contingency plans in place and will communicate those as needed.

Our team of engineers will continue to respond to this issue until we’re satisfied that all vulnerabilities under our control are secure.

We will continue to update this post as information becomes available, including any steps you need to take to secure your information.

 

Posted in E-Commerce, Marketplaces, Monsoon Commerce, Multichannel, Online Stores, Platforms | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

10 Key Monsoon Pro Features of 2013

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We have put together an infographic highlighting 10 Key Monsoon Pro Features of 2013, thus adding our own contribution to the year-end lists.

In order to be considered for the list of key features infographic the features needed to be in high demand by customers, changes required by a marketplace, or a feature that our product team identified as a high value-add for our customers. These features range in focus from protecting your profit margins to helping you win the Amazon Buy Box.

Do you have any favorites we missed? As we continue to add features throughout this year, please let us know what your favorites are and how they are helping you grow your business.

Posted in E-Commerce, E-Commerce Strategy, Marketplaces, Merchandising, Monsoon Commerce, Pricing | Tagged , , , | Comments Off

New Alibris Fee Structure for Gold Sellers

On March 1st the Alibris marketplace will roll out a new fee and inventory structure for Gold Sellers. Eliminating its 13-tier structure, Alibris will introduce a simplified, more affordable 5-tier plan. As a result of this new plan, current Gold Sellers will receive lower monthly fees, higher inventory allowances, or in some cases, both. New sellers can take advantage of the program as well, which offers an affordable opportunity to list on Alibris and across their extensive Partner network.

As of 3/1/2014, the new fee and inventory structure for Gold Sellers:
New Alibris Gold Seller Fees 2

Continue reading

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How to Leverage Technology to Build a Successful Business and Still Have a Life

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Many eCommerce business owners will tell you that in order to be successful, you must be consumed by your business. It is a delicate balance to not let it run you into the ground. Not only do you have to address the logistics of managing inventory, customer satisfaction, and reducing labor costs, but you also have to stay ahead of the competition around the clock. If you sell on marketplaces as well as your own webstore, the challenge doubles. You must constantly monitor your inventory levels across channels, make sure you are pricing your items competitively in all locations, and stay on top of your orders to avoid errors, duplicate shipments, or shipping the wrong items.

Continue reading

Posted in E-Commerce, E-Commerce Strategy, Electronics and General Merchandise, Fulfillment and Delivery, Inventory Management, Marketplaces, Monsoon Commerce, Multichannel, Online Stores, Order Management, Platforms, Pricing | Tagged , , , | Comments Off

Newer, Faster, Better: Amazon’s Subscriptions API and the Evolution of Repricing

Evolution_Goldfish

Back in August, eCommerceBytes reported on the announcement of Amazon’s new Subscriptions API and the role that Monsoon Commerce played in its development. As with any significant change to Amazon services, the announcement generated a lot of buzz along with questions about how sellers and repricing tools were positioned to take advantage of the new API features.

Continue reading

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Growth Through More Efficient Order Management

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Anyone who owns an eCommerce business will tell you that the logistics of managing inventory, satisfying customers, and reducing both labor costs and order errors can be a real challenge. And it can be even more challenging—and even scary—when a business is started in a room in your house and you must invest all of your own money into it in order to succeed.

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8 Things Gaming Can Teach You About Software Development

boardgameToday’s post is from Andrew Migliore, the VP of Engineering at Monsoon Commerce, and gamer extraordinaire.

Andrew-MiglioreI am an avid “grognard” and enjoy playing all kinds of tactical, grand tactical, strategic, and grand strategic war games that simulate various battles over the centuries. To give you an idea of the scope of my grognard affliction, I currently own over 300 board games and have been playing a face-to-face seven player grand strategic Napoleonic war game from Avalon Hill called Empires in Arms for two and half years and probably have another year or two before we will finish. Granted, we only play once a month for a full day, but you can see the amount of time invested in a single game like this.

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