Archive for January, 2009

CVV and Conversion Rates

Yesterday on the Intellivative blog, there were two interesting blog posts:

  1. AVS & CVV: When to use it and why?
  2. Does CVV affect e-commerce conversion rates?

The second one is the most intriguing to me because it presents a quandary for e-commerce businesses.  CVV–that 3-digit code on the back of the credit card–is one of the recommended practices for fighting fraud; yet, if you use it on your e-commerce site, it appears that it might actually reduce the number of orders you may get from your site. The surprising mythbuster comes from the E-commerce Checkout Report from Get Elastic, which found:

Conversion rates were a full 40% higher where Top 100 retailers did not request a CVV (Card Verification Value), yet over 55% of them do.

The other interesting part about it was even though conversion rates were higher when the e-tailers didn’t use the card code, still over 55% of them still use it–which implies that either they didn’t know their conversion rate might be higher without it (did they try an A/B test on CVV code?) or that the fraud reduction benefits of the CVV code outweigh the potential higher conversion rate.

As a consumer, I think I would like it better if the site did ask for my CVV code–it shows they’re doing the due diligence to check for fraud which not only protects them, it helps me, the consumer. After all, if someone is out there trying to use my credit card (who wouldn’t have the CVV number), wouldn’t it be better if they were inhibited in their spending spree by web sites who do check the CVV code?

I always thank people who ask to see my ID with my credit card–they’re protecting me by doing that. Even though it’s a hassle for me to get out my ID and show it to them, I’d much rather they ask for it and make sure that I am the rightful owner of the card.

But apparently I’m an oddity. Either the CVV code is too complicated to find–or too much work to enter for many consumers shopping at the top 100 e-commerce web sites. Or maybe consumers just aren’t aware that the card code actually helps protect their identity and their credit card?

Thanks to Get Elastic for putting the work into this study and challenging our paradigms.

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ProQuo: An easier way to get rid of junk mail

Several months ago, I found a site that claimed it would help reduce the amount of junk mail I get. I wasn’t sure it would work, but I thought I’d give it a try and see how things went. What I’ve noticed since I started this is that I get a lot less junk mail–between that and signing up for e-billing for all the bills I can, on some days we don’t have ANYTHING in the mail box. My goal is to get rid of all the unnecessary paper and junk that we get every day.

The problem with junk mail is we all get on a lot of lists. It takes a lot of vigilance to get your name removed from all those mailing lists (let alone to know what mailing lists you’re on!)

ProQuo helps you discover which lists you’re on and allows you to get off of most of them with just a click of a button. There are some lists where you have to go on another web site to opt out of their list, but wow does this simplify things. It’s not a one-time shot–you have to go back a few times and get off new mailing lists your name slipped onto, but it is awesome.

The site is organized very well with big buttons that are clearly labelled. You can make sure you still get the catalogs and mail that you want, and get off all the rest of the lists that you don’t want.

Check it out: http://www.proquo.com/

Gratitude on the iPhone

iPhone Gratitude AppHere’s a usable app for your iPhone or iPod touch–one that can bring positive energy and change to your life.  Happy Tapper makes gratitude journals even easier.

I was introduced to gratitude journaling a few months ago. The idea is to write down the positive things that happened to you that day–ending your day each day on a positive note. My daughter and I started doing this, using traditional paper journals, but sometimes we are running late and we don’t have enough time to write at night. If we had Happy Tapper, perhaps we could actually do our gratitude journals every day!

In this virtual gratitude journal, you enter five things you are grateful for each day, then rate the day. You can even add a picture if you want. Then the application gives you a little inspirational quote as a reward for doing your journaling. And you can change the look of it to suit your own tastes. That’s better than our static paper journals–and a whole lot faster!

I’m really impressed with the usability of this little gem. My 9-year-old daughter picked it up and figured it out right away.

Check it out at happytapper.com.