Welcome to our new edition of “This week’s news”, a selection of links to interesting articles and news from the exciting worlds of blogs and e-commerce.

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In the light of the EU Consumer Rights Directive the German Bundestag has implemented new rules for the costs of returning goods. Considering that Germany is one of Europe’s largest e-commerce markets, the changes could affect a huge number of retailers.

The new German law states that consumers will have to carry the costs of returning goods purchased in online shops from Juni 2014. The article on the German IT news site Internetworld (German only) refers to a survey conducted by Trusted Shops according to which 57 percent of 250 German online retailers plan to actually let consumers pay for returns. But that of course also means that there still will be lots of shops that actually cover the costs of returns, even though they are not obliged to. Another survey revealed that 37 percent of German consumers plan to only buy from shops that agree to pay for returns. 55 percent would even stop purchases from their favourite e-commerce sites if they start to require them to pay for returns.

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It’s an open secret that the visual bookmarking site Pinterest with its millions of active users is a driver in e-commerce sales. Now the American fashion retailer Nordstrom wants to find out whether the platform also can drive sales in local stores. In selected shops, products that have been proven to be popular on Pinterest are now highlighted with signs and logos describing them as “top pinned items” on Pinterest. As GigaOm puts it: “It’s one way of telling consumers: ‘This is popular, and here’s how we can prove it to you”.

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Fab, the world’s fastest growing e-commerce site focused on everyday design across, has gotten some bad press this week because of growing pains from its rapid expansion, like massive marketing costs and lower revenues than expected. A Bloomberg article also gave some insights into the special humour of CEO and founder Jason Goldberg, who likes to threaten employees in internal emails not to pay them or to fire them if they don’t follow rules – jokingly according to him. Goldberg later responded to some of the Bloomberg accusations and criticism on his personal blog. To one specific point emphasized by Bloomberg about tough behavioural rules for Fab employees the founder reacted with mentioning a “376-page company manual” which all new Bloomberg hires supposedly are required to study.

Entertaining to read, and informative as well.