Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Day 80 - Online shopping is easier/safer than ever

Last week, Amazon.com announced the launch of "PayPhrase," a shortcut for making purchases on the Web (just in time for the holiday season). To use PayPhrase, consumers set up a unique phrase and a 4-digit PIN that links to an Amazon.com account where shipping addresses and payment information are stored.

When you make a purchase on Amazon or any participating website, you just enter that PayPhrase and PIN, and immediately see your order confirmation so you can check out in a manner of seconds. There is no longer a need to sign in or enter your credit card information on multiple sites, according to PayPhrase.

The vision of PayPhrase (like its predecessor PayPal) is to enable consumers to pay instantly and securely wherever they want to pay. PayPhrase can be used on Amazon.com and many other sites like DKNY.com, Jockey.com, and Buy.com, since they already accept Checkout by Amazon -- a service that allows sellers to use Amazon's 1-Click checkout for their own websites.

While U.S. retailers are preparing for another slow holiday shopping season, online retail is considered to be the one bright spot. Forrester Research expects online retail sales to reach $44.7 billion during November and December 2009, an 8% increase over 2008. Despite lingering effects of the global financial crisis, online sales remain the retail industry's growth super engine. According to a study by Shop.org, 45.8 percent of online retailers expect holiday sales to rise at least 15 percent over last year. Amazon reported last week that holiday sales could come in far above expectations, sending its stock to a lifetime high.

I guess there’s no getting around it. It’s time to start the holiday shopping!

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