EcommerceBytes-Update, Number 336 - June 02, 2013 - ISSN 1528-6703     1 of 10

From the Editor - June 2, 2013

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I'm excited to announce the finalists in our inaugural Web Design Challenge in which three web designers do a homepage design makeover for one lucky reader's website. AuctionBytes Blog editor Julia Wilkinson narrowed down the selection to today's five finalists, and it's now time for you to vote for the merchant whom you'd like to receive a redesign.

It was so much fun to go through the entries, click through to the websites, and read people's stories. Each entrepreneur has passion for what they sell and are dedicated to succeeding. It was also interesting to see such a range of vendors and shopping carts used by merchants to power their website, including BigCommerce, Magento, Volusion, Yahoo Stores, ProStores, Highwire, GoDaddy, Amazon Webstores, 3Dcart, Vendio, Shopify, Zencart, Prestashop, Chrislands, PayPal, and more. And as Julia pointed out, each merchant had a strong idea of what they wanted to accomplish with a web redesign, and many described what success would mean to them personally. It wasn't easy to narrow down the finalists to just five sites.

Julia introduces the five finalists in today's issue, and each one is presented on a separate page. We've set up an easy voting booth in Survey Monkey where you can see each site again and vote for the one you think is most deserving of a redesign. Once the voting is finished, the three designers will take over, and we'll publish the mockups in a future issue and let you choose your favorite in the final reveal.

I'm looking forward to attending this week's Internet Retailer conference in Chicago where over 9500 attendees will gather to hear over 200 speakers and visit over 600 companies showcasing their products and services in the 250,000 square-foot exhibit hall. Keynote speakers include former Vice President Al Gore, Hiroshi Mikitani of Rakuten, Mindy Grossman of HSN Inc., and Gian Fulgoni of comScore.

That's a lot of ground to cover, and I'll be looking to see what's new with longtime solution providers and seek out new solutions as well. You'll find my reports in this week's Newsflash newsletter, the EcommerceBytes Blog, and on Twitter.

In addition to presenting the Web Design Challenge finalists, today's issue includes tips on saving time and money on shipping, and the ever-popular Collectors Corner column and letters to the editor.

Remember to vote for one of the five sellers chosen as part of our Web Design Challenge - we've set up the voting on Survey Monkey to make it very easy - and stay tuned for the results.

Thanks for reading.

About the author:

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to

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