The imminent roll out of more than a thousand new top-level domains has created a headache for small businesses seeking to protect their existing domains, as well as sparking a bidding war among the world’s tech giants for the most attractive TLDs.
The process is being handled by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and will ultimately see the number of TLDs increase from 23 to 1,500 over the next few years.
Examples of new top-level domains include .london, .plumbing, .sexy and trademarks such as .google and .bbc.
A few of the new domains have already gone live, others are awaiting final authorisation, while some are still the subject of disputes over which applicant should be granted ownership.
If the disputes cannot be settled amicably then it will ultimately go to a bidding process where the TLD will be handed over to whoever stumps up the most cash. That’s likely to be an expensive purchase, especially considering the fact that the initial application process cost £185,000.
So what’s the point of the new domain names, other than to boost the coiffeurs of ICANN? Well according to the head of ICANN's generic domains division Akram Atallah, it’s all about consumer choice.
Marriot International has come top in a usability report that includes eight of the world’s top hotel brands.
The report also looks at the onsite effectiveness and brand awareness of Holiday Inn, Radisson, Hilton Hotels, Best Western, Choice Hotels, Accor Hotels and Starwood Hotels.
As mentioned, Marriott International was the top performing hotel with an average score of 83%. Hilton came second with 81% while Accor came third with 78%. The overall average among all eight hotels was 64%.
Let’s say you have a great product or service.
Let’s also say that whatever SEO, SMO or PPC strategy you’ve used (or not used) is successfully driving traffic to your ecommerce site, and that when those potential customers have clicked through to your homepage, or landing page, you're confident that it ‘looks good’.
Finally let’s say your site even provides a fine user experience. No real complaints. Everything works as it should.
So now what?
Is there anything more you can do to convince that traffic to stay a little while longer? To not bounce straight back to the SERP? To respond to calls-to-action? To increase your conversion rate?
There are any number of reasons that online shoppers might abandon a shopping basket, ranging from the site UX to unexpected delivery charges.
Or it could just be that they were shopping around and had no real intention of making a purchase.
Similarly, it could be that the user intentionally dropped out late in the checkout process in order to trigger a cart abandonment email so they could analyse them for a blog post.
This latter course of action is exactly the one I took last Friday with several ecommerce sites so I could pull together a few different examples of retargeting emails.
Marketing automation is of growing interest to APAC marketers, but what hurdles do they face and how can they overcome them?
A fifth (21%) of APAC-based marketers reported earlier this year that they planned to increase their investment in marketing automation technology over the next 12 months.
To address this growing area of focus for the region’s marketers, Econsultancy teamed up with emarsys to produce the Marketing Automation in Asia Pacific Best Practice Guide.
Back in October we spoke with Nokia at the Festival of Marketing. The topic up for discussion was referral sales marketing and how it gives brands a new way of taking part in eccommerce without selling direct to consumers.
In this article I put forward the case for referral sales and why it could take over from brand ecommerce.
Earlier on, I published a post looking at best practices for product page copy, now it's time to show some examples of ecommerce sites doing this well.
In a nutshell, copy should be easy to read and scan, it should sell the benefits of the products and entice shoppers to make a purchase.
Different approaches will work for different sites, so some of these examples are descriptive, some funny, and some technical...
Along with a number of genuine national holidays, the end of November and beginning of December are a time for consumers to enjoy a time of frantic spending as we commemorate fictional occasions created by retailers to help make a few extra sales.
These special shopping days always have awful buzzword names that initially mean very little to anyone outside of the marketing industry, but eventually come to be used in every day conversation due to the good work of PRs and the national media.
Off the back of Thanksgiving we’ve just enjoyed Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which heralded the usual surge in online spending and unseemly squabbling in stores.
And here are some interesting stats detailing just how much was spent during the annual sales bonanza...
Many businesses have shied away from online reviews because of the fear that bad reviews will ruin their business. But it’s just not true.
Everyone knows that no business is perfect and that sometimes things can go wrong.
So, across-the-board five star reviews should always be taken with a pinch of salt as it’s inevitable that someday, someone, somewhere will have been less than ecstatic about the company they bought from.
Product page copywriting is vitally important, but seems to be overlooked by some ecommerce sites, which simply plonk the standard manufacturer's descriptions on their pages.
Paying attention to product page copy can help improve conversions rates, as better copy can be more informative and persuasive.
It can also help your site to stand out in the search results over competitors who have paid less attention to their product descriptions.
I've rounded up some examples of great product page copywriting here, but first some views from the experts on the essentials for effective copy...