OPERATIONS

ChannelAdvisor upgrades omni-channel platform

BY Dan Berthiaume

Research Triangle Park, N.C. — ChannelAdvisor Digital Marketing now offers support for Google Merchant Promotions so retailers can advertise special offers within Google product listing ads, and ChannelAdvisor’s new Portfolio Bidder predicts optimal bids to help maximize revenue for online retailers and manufacturers.

In addition, ChannelAdvisor Repricer with Pricewatch includes predictive capabilities that give retailers a preview into how certain repricing rules compare to other retailers’ prices before setting a strategy. The Repricer provides immediate feedback on the repricing strategy, and ChannelAdvisor’s new Pricewatch feature keeps a constant eye on retailers’ Amazon products and reprices in near-real-time.

Also, the new Multiple Distribution Centers feature manages all fulfillment options and allows retailers to give certain distribution centers priority over others with Prioritized Distribution Centers. ChannelAdvisor’s Proximity Order Routing allows retailers to fulfill orders from the distribution center closest to the customer. Other features include mapping of products to Amazon’s catalog and synchronizing inventory data between a retailer’s Webstore and listings on Amazon, eBay and other marketplaces.

“In our ever-changing industry, the only way for retailers to stay ahead is by working smarter, not harder, and the 2014 spring release offers features to do just that,” said ChannelAdvisor VP of product management Link Walls. “It’s our job to deliver the tools necessary to simplify the online selling process, and our new functionality allows retailers to improve core strategies and processes to make the most of every e-commerce opportunity.”

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Chicken of the Sea names its mermaid after 60 years

BY CSA STAFF

Since making her debut on Chicken of the Sea labels in 1952, the mermaid has remained nameless. But to mark its centennial this year, the seafood brand invited consumers to submit suggested names to christen the icon for a chance to win $10,000.

Participants submitted more than 49,000 entries, the company confirmed. The winning name? Catalina.

The nationwide contest ran through Feb. 14 and the winning entry submitted by a contestant in Urbana, Ohio, a suburb of Columbus.

Inspired by the brand’s 100 Years of Good initiative, which is awarding 100 community-minded individuals and nonprofits $10,000 each in 2014 to empower them to continue their charitable ways, Peggy L., will receive her own $10,000 Great American Gratitude Award and be encouraged to also pay it forward. Ten first prize winners will be awarded Chicken of the Sea seafood for one year and 20 runners-up will receive a Chicken of the Sea-branded prize.

“The name Catalina encompasses everything we feel represents our brand,” Chicken of the Sea SVP of marketing Christie Fleming said of the name, which also is the name of a historic island 22 miles off the West Coast mainland and close to Chicken of the Sea’s headquarters in San Diego. “Along with it being a naturally beautiful name suitable for our mermaid, it connects to our rich local history, as well as the adventurous spirit and lifestyle indicative of both our brand and our Southern California home.”

Also to mark its centennial celebration, the brand kicked off its Great American Gratitude tour of 39 cities across the country through Labor Day. Throughout the tour, hosted by Catalina herself, Chicken of the Sea will be awarding a total of $1 million in pay-it-forward investments.

“Instead of just presenting our Name the Mermaid Contest winner with a check for $10,000, we’re encouraging her to honor the pay-it-forward spirit of our Centennial celebration and use the money to continue the cycle of good,” Fleming said.

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NRF wants establishment of retail information sharing and analysis center

BY CSA STAFF

The National Retail Federation today told a congressional panel that the retail industry is committed to safeguarding and protecting consumer data and information from highly motivated and sophisticated cybercriminals and hackers.

“Retailers make significant investments every year in order to protect [consumer] data,” NRF VP for retail technologies Tom Litchford testified. “Collectively, retailers spend billions of dollars annually to safeguard data and fight fraud, as well as hundreds of millions annually on [credit card security] compliance.”

Litchford testified before a field hearing of the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection and Security Technologies, where he outlined specific steps that the nation’s retailers are pursuing and implementing to identify, prevent and combat cyberattacks.

He described NRF’s steadfast support for immediately transitioning away from fraud-prone credit cards that utilize 1960s technology (magnetic-stripe and signature) to more advanced and secure cards that incorporate a Personal Identification Number or PIN, or Chip and PIN cards that include a computer microchip.

The organization posits that PIN-based cards, along with data encryption and tokenization, would help prevent cybercriminals from monetizing consumer financial information and provide better fraud protection for retailers, banks and consumers than proprietary Europay, MasterCard and Visa or EMV technology that does not require the use of a PIN.

“Chip and PIN technology dramatically reduces the value of any stolen ‘breached’ data for in-store purchases because the payment card data is essentially rendered worthless to criminals,” Litchford said. “The failure of U.S. card networks and banks to adopt such a system in the United States is one reason why cyberattacks on brick-and-mortar retailers have increased.”

Litchford went on to state that the nation’s retailers are pursuing the establishment of a Retail Information Sharing and Analysis Center, or Retail ISAC, that would provide retailers and merchants (NRF members and non-members) with actionable and timely threat intelligence to help identify and mitigate cyber risks.

“The retail industry is in a particularly good position to both benefit from and bring value to information sharing with outside organizations and entities,” Litchford said as he described NRF’s recent interaction with the United States Secret Service, United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team, iSightPartners and the Financial Services ISAC on cyber threats.

“NRF is currently in the planning stages with respect to a final step in the development of the Retail ISAC: the establishment of the technological and operational infrastructure to support a secure portal through which members can share information,” Litchford said. “NRF’s goal is to allow credentialed [Retail ISAC] members to share information of varying levels of sensitivity anonymously, thus allowing the Retail ISAC to act as a repository of critical threat, vulnerability and incident information that is sourced from various members and outside organizations, and to facilitate peer-to-peer collaboration with the sharing of risk mitigation best practices and cybersecurity research papers.”

Acknowledging that there is no silver bullet to combating cybercrime, NRF called on Congress to support the retail industry’s efforts on data security and cybersecurity by passing the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (H.R. 624) or CISPA, which would further encourage businesses and retailers to share information across sectors on cyber threats in real time.

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