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

New Web Site Released to the Public

The National e-Commerce Extension Initiative is happy to report the public release of the latest version of its Web site. The new Web site is a sleeker and more user friendly design with new menu bars and buttons that will keep all of the most recent e-commerce learning tools at the user's fingertips. To view the new design, please visit the new site at

Effort to Widen U.S. Internet Access Sets Up Battle

By Brian Stelter and Jenna Wortham

The Federal Communications Commission is proposing an ambitious 10-year plan that will reimagine the nation’s media and technology priorities by establishing high-speed Internet as the country’s dominant communication network. For the complete report, go to

A Start-Up's Guide to E-Commerce Security, Speed and Scalability

By Chris Drake

Starting an e-commerce operation involves a great many variables, but certain things are pretty much the same for all new e-tailers: You need to provide customers with a secure environment for doing business; you need to keep your virtual doors open around the clock; and you need to be able to accommodate whatever size crowd the Internet might send your way. To learn more, go to

The New Consumer Frugality

By Matthew Egol, Andrew Clyde, and Kasturi Rangan

A new survey of 2,000 U.S. consumers, the second issued by Booz & Company since the early days of the recession in October 2008, confirms that a “new frugality,” born of the Great Recession and evidenced by two consecutive years of declining per capita consumption, is now becoming entrenched among U.S. consumers and is reshaping their consumption patterns in ways that will persist even as the economy starts to recover. For the full article follow, this link

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Customer Service

Live Chat: Your New Online Salesperson

Web site operators are tapping the potential of instant messaging as a new powerful sales tool.

By Paul Sloan

A year or two ago, it looked like instant messaging and other forms of online chat had reached their full potential as a business tool. Millions of people were using IM to interact with corporate colleagues. Live chat had also become a fixture on Web sites, giving customers a way to inquire about products and receive answers in real time. For more on live chat for sales, click here

Survey Totes Up Value of Excellent Online Customer Service

By Erika Morphy

There's gold in the e-commerce hills for companies willing to take their customer service to a higher level. Consumers are willing to pay almost 11 percent more to get excellent customer service along with their purchases, according to an Ovum survey, yet few e-tailers meet that standard. Heading a list put together by StellaService, which commissioned the study, are, and To learn more about customer service, follow this link

Report: Consumers Will Be Gaga for Mobile Apps by 2012

By Brian R. Hook

Within just a few years, consumers will be paying more for mobile applications than for CDs, according to a recent report. Of course, CD sales have been plummeting the last few years, but even so, the projected 62 percent growth for mobile apps is impressive. Among other things, it suggests that demand may push the price tags for many apps upward -- the days of freebies and dollar apps may be numbered. For full information, go to

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Safety and Security

Tracking Devious Phishing Websites

Researchers are monitoring a trick that makes it harder to track and shut down fraudulent Web sites.

By Erica Naone

In the world of online fraud, as in real life, the longer miscreants can operate without being caught, the more money they stand to make. And experts have discovered that many phishers--crooks who use fake Web sites to trick users into giving up valuable personal information--have found a trick that makes it harder for the good guys to block or shut them down. For the complete article, go to

Online Bill Payments, Part 1: Fertile Soil for IT Vendors

By John K. Higgins

Consumers are becoming more comfortable with making financial transactions on the Web, and many are finding that paying bills online is far easier than the old check-envelope-stamp method. However, most of those Web-savvy consumers don't use online bill payment services as fully as they could, and a much larger number don't use them at all. For the full report and part two of the series, go to

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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.