The National e-Commerce Extension Initiative
eNews: The National e-Commerce Extension Initiative

Happy New Year from all of us at
the National e-Commerce Extension Initiative.


Electronic Retailing Teaches with Interactives

Electronic Retailing has been added to our Learning Center line-up. Developed by Dr. Julie Sexton with the support of Dr. Brian McCann and Dr. Merrill Warkentin, this self-paced course introduces potential e-commerce entrepreneurs to the concepts that govern conducting online business and sales. Using interactions, such as games, simulations and you-fix-it case studies, participants will learn the basics of selling online, from understanding what motivates consumer decisions and trends to making practical choices for efficiency. This course is suitable for Extension educators and clientele alike.

To review our other learning modules, please visit The Learning Center.

In addition to The Learning Center, which currently features nine self- paced learning modules, the National eCommerce Extension Initiative’s Web site also offers both a library of resources and hands-on e-Commerce tutorials page.  Both added in fall of 2009, each offers the learner more opportunities than is provided by the modules alone. The library of resources, for example, offers the ecommerce learner more resources for updating skills or finding other information. While the e-Commerce tutorials page takes a hands-on approach to Web site development, design and implementation. Both are available to any user free of charge and are available on a 24/7 basis.

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2010 Updates

2010 Trends: 10 ½ Trends to Watch.

We read the reports. Shifted the data. Nagged insiders until they gave up the goods. Now, for the result: 10-plus business trends that are thriving even in this economy at

2010 Social Commerce Strategies: Reaching Beyond the Web Site

By Fumi Matsumoto

It's clear that social media will continue to grow in importance for online retailers. Now is the time to map out a strategy that allows you to start slowly, listen to your customers, and expand your presence. The possibility for interesting initiatives in social commerce is immense. Start simple, learn, and iterate around your offering to add more features and value over time. For the full article information, go to

E-Commerce Data Security 2010: Learning From 2009's Debacles

By Pankaj Kumar

Tough economic times brought a surge in online shopping. As more people turn to the Web, merchant readiness for handling confidential data is more critical than ever for a successful online presence. Etailers must have their data protection systems in place before flipping the switch, rather than having a major disaster to clean up after a breach occurs. Read more about securing information at

Customers Give Big E-tail Big Love in Holiday Satisfaction Survey

By Richard Adhikari

Foresee Results' annual Holiday E-Retail Satisfaction Index saw a general lift in customer satisfaction among large online sellers this year. Amazon led the pack with a record score of 87 out of 100. Last year's champ Netflix was close behind with 86. While factors like content and functionality remain important, price and merchandise still appear to be the primary drivers for making customers happy. Continue reading at

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Affiliate Marketing

Beginner Basics of Affiliate Marketing

By Rae Hoffman

A recent new hire had a few questions about affiliate marketing after her first few weeks on the job and since they’re questions I hear frequently from new hires, I asked Linda if she might have a use for some FAQ’s aimed at new affiliates. Obviously, her answer was yes. For a listing of the most common questions about affiliate marketing and the answers to them, click here

How to Evaluate a Merchant Gift Affiliate Program

When it comes to conversion rates check for these specific attributes on the merchant’s site. If you are a merchant you can also use this list to evaluate and improve your ecommerce store. For the full list, go to

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Site Traffic

How to Optimize Your PPC Advertising to Benefit YOU

The good news is that there is no faster way to increase traffic and drive major increases in sales than highly targeted Pay Per Click Advertising.  The bad news is if you don’t really know what you’re doing you can spend a small fortune and generate few or even no sales. To learn more, go to

Site Search: Please Shoppers and Boost Your Bottom Line

By Rob Swint

It's time to think about search as more than driving a list of results, and explore the ways it can leverage overlooked data sources that are becoming more readily available, such as user-generated content and site analytics that can improve relevance and better target promotions. See the full article at

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Webinars Announced

eXtension Entrepreneur and Their Communities Webinars are on the 2nd Thursday of every month. All of our Webinars are recorded and available for on-demand viewing but nothing beats the live presentation so mark your calendars and spend an hour a month learning with us! Please feel free to join us on the 2nd Thursday of the month at 2 p.m. EDT; 1 p.m. CDT; 12 noon MDT; 11 a.m. PDT.

All Webinars are one hour long. Free and open to everyone, this session is part of a monthly series. The Web meeting room opens 10 minutes before the start time. Go to to view. Newcomers to online learning are welcome.

February 11 - Analyze This

Vishal Singh, Instructional Multimedia Designer - Communications, Information and Technology, University of Nebraska

Google Analytics generates detailed statistics about visitors to your Web site. It provides you with a powerful Web site analytical tool that can help you improve your Web sites.

March 11 - Get Found!

Jay Jenkins, Extension Educator, University of Nebraska

Is your information getting lost in the sea of information available on the Internet? Are you lost in the maze of acronyms and vague meanings of terms like SEO, SEM, keywords, tags, page titles and subheadings? You will learn how clearly written and properly implemented web pages get found.

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eXtension Entrepreneurship Webinar Series

Food Safety for Farmers Market Vendors
April 11, 2013
Londa Nwadike, University of Vermont Extension Food Safety Specialist

Tracking Sales to Learn What Customers Really Think
May 9, 2013
Mary Peabody, UVM Extension

Are you a Supermarket Vendor or a Super Market Vendor?
June 13, 2013
Ginger Myers, UMD Extension Marketing Specialist

All webinars will air monthly on the second Thursday at 2 p.m. (ET); 1p.m. (CT); noon (MT); 11a.m. (PT). No pre-registration is required and there is no fee to participate. About 10 minutes prior to the start time simply go the Adobe Connect Pro meeting room at . You will be presented with a login screen that has an "Enter as Guest" option. Enter your full name then click "Enter Room" to join the conference. You will be able to hear the audio directly from your computer’s speakers.

For more information and archives on the Webinar Series, please visit our Webinar page.