Christmas shopping can be a painful experience, particularly when you find yourself in a busy shopping centre on a Saturday afternoon facing huge crowds and massive queues.
So it probably comes as no surprise to hear that levels of satisfaction with online shopping improve slightly during the festive season, while the opposite is true for the in-store experience.
A survey by eDigitalResearch found that a quarter (25%) of shoppers feel that online shopping experiences improve at Christmas, while 42% of respondents stated that their overall in-store experience deteriorated at this time of year.
Improved satisfaction is mainly down to the lack of queues (53%), but price (51%) and the range of products available online (51%) are also seen as key benefits of ecommerce.
Companies that sell their services based on a subscription model have a difficult task on their hands when it comes to designing a simple but persuasive pricing page.
It’s something we’ve tinkered with a great deal here at Econsultancy as the only way to find the most effective balance is by testing different elements and combinations.
To see if there are any best practices or common design elements when creating subscription pages, I visited the sites of four different SaaS (software as a service) vendors.
For many SaaS companies, it’s actually impossible to find out a pricing model without getting in contact with them first.
PR and marketing are the most common reasons that UK businesses use social media, according to statistics released by the ONS.
The new Ecommerce and ICT Activity Report, which includes annual data from 2012, also shows that website sales totalled £164bn, representing 6% of total UK business turnover in 2012.
Looking at the use of social, the data shows that a third of companies (33%) that use social do so to develop the business’ image or to market products.
A further 23% use social to respond to customer opinions, reviews or questions, while 12% use it to involve customers in the development or innovation of goods or services.
A paid search algorithm update by Google has led to an improvement in the performance of PPC adverts that include an ad extension.
But overall the new AdWords Ad Rank update actually caused a slight decline in ad performance.
The update, which was announced back in October, altered the way that Google determines the order of paid search ads by adding in a third variable alongside the maximum bid and quality score.
This new variable is the expected impact of ad extensions and formats, and it has apparently had a notable impact on PPC results. So in effect, the use of ad extensions and formats can now influence ad position in the SERP.
The elements that are considered when determining the potential impact of extensions and ad formats include relevance, click-through rates, and the prominence of extensions and results on the SERP.
The results of the study are summarised below, but firstly here's a run through of the ad extensions that Google takes into account.
‘Nofollow’ tags are an HTML attribute that tells search engines not to pay any attention to links that appear on a webpage.
It was created in 2005 by the major search engines as a way of combatting link spam and dodgy SEO practices, though its impact in helping to win that fight is debatable.
Recently I’ve had a few conversations around the use of nofollow tags so thought it would be helpful to give an overview of why they’re important and in what context they should be used.
Once again, here are some of the most interesting digital marketing statistics we've seen this week.
Statistics include Pinterest, eBay, mobile, social customer service, Amazon and a bumper stack of data from Cyber Monday.
For more digital marketing stats, check out our Internet Statistics Compendium.
One of the benefits of ecommerce is that it’s very easy to present a range of products side-by-side so that shoppers can compare the various features.
This makes greatly helps the decision-making process as customers can select a product based on which has the most relevant features as well as being the best value for money.
Retailers can also present additional details such as special offers and product reviews in order to increase the chances of a conversion.
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%.
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.