As e-commerce becomes an increasingly overcrowded marketplace dominated by a handful of major brands, businesses are having to think of new ways to stand out from the crowd and attract new customers.
Previously it was commonly assumed that price was the best way to beat the competition, but that just results in a self-defeating race to the bottom.
Instead, businesses are now focusing on the customer experience as a way of differentiating themselves. It's a subject our CEO Ashely Friedlein recently debated in a post looking at whether CMOs should actually be aspiring to become chief experience officers.
And a new survey from Oracle adds weight to the argument that the customer experience is of paramount importance online.
Metro has become the latest newspaper to embrace responsive design as it moves towards a “mobile-first” strategy.
A blog post announcing the site redesign says that the company made the change “sure in the knowledge that mobile users are making up an increasing proportion of our visitors – and will soon be in the majority.”
According to our fourth annual Conversion Rate Optimization Report, produced in association with RedEye, the proportion of organisations designing their websites specifically for mobile phones has increased from 25% to 35% since 2011.
Therefore Metro.co.uk’s redesign is part of a wider trend – in fact we’ve previously reported on the BBC’s move towards responsive design, as well as USA Today’s new site that was built with tablet users in mind.
As part of the BBC’s move to responsive design it has launched a revamped version of its sport site that tailors content to mobile screens.
We’ve previously reviewed the BBC’s redesigned news site, and the consensus in the comments section was that it’s not technically responsive design, but is in fact adaptive design.
The main giveaways are the ‘m.’ URL and the fact that if you resize your browser on a desktop the elements on the page don’t reorder themselves.
Nonetheless, it’s great that BBC Sport now has a mobile site as it means reading live football score updates on a Saturday will be a much easier experience.
Here’s what I thought of the site...
Once again we round up six of the best infographics we've seen this week.
The topics include how developers can make better use of tablets, the big data skills shortage, Cyber Monday stats, and the best time to share things online.
Here are some of the most interesting digital marketing stats we've seen this week.
Stats include Cyber Monday conversion rates, basket abandonment, eBay's 'Super Sunday' mobile traffic, online security concerns and Stylistpick's increase in conversions.
For more digital marketing stats, check out our Internet Statistics Compendium.
A new report into search visibility within the travel industry shows that aggregator sites are outspending and outperforming brands in search results.
Stickyeyes’ report focuses on the top mainstream online travel and tourism keyword markets with an emphasis on cheap and last minute deals.
The methodology looks at both paid and organic search results, tracking the number of times a brand appears in the SERPs (search volume), as well as the number of times it is clicked (click share).
It analyses the most common generic search terms for several different types of holidays, including flights, hotels, package, city breaks, skiing and coach holidays.
Everyone hates slow loading websites, and a new survey highlights just how damaging a slow site can be to the user experience.
The study by Brand Perfect found that two thirds of UK consumers (67%) cite slow loading times as the main reason they would abandon an online purchase.
It’s a topic we’ve looked at in more detail in our post 'Site speed: case studies, tips and tools for improving your conversion rate', with stats showing that slow loading websites are losing businesses up to £1.73bn a year.
The second most common reason for basket abandonment is difficult navigation or problems finding a product (50%), followed by too many steps when trying to purchase goods (40%) and not being able to gauge the size of products (36%).
A new report into the use of online video has found that sites could more than double their Google traffic by including a video thumbnail in search rankings.
The two case studies included in Visibility IQ's Social Video Report add weight to the argument that brands need to optimise their rich snippets for search, as it gives them a valuable advantage in attracting clicks.
We've already blogged 10 ways of optimising videos for search and looked at how video marketing powers SEO.
Here is a summary of the two case studies as well as details taken from our Online Video Best Practice Guide on how to optimise video content for search...
The internet has opened up hundreds of different ways of accessing content online, which is fantastic from a consumer perspective.
However it has also meant that monetising content is extremely difficult for publishers as people expect to read and watch things online for free.
Knitd, a new web and iPhone app, aims to solve this problem by allowing journalists to sell their articles on an individual basis using a micropayment system.
The model is similar to iTunes, with the idea being that readers won’t mind paying a few pence for a single article.
It sounds like an interesting solution, so I spoke to CTO Richard Sams and CEO James York to find out more...
The first weekend in December is traditionally one of the busiest online shopping days of the year, as the looming reality of Christmas suddenly comes into focus and consumers feel flush with cash having just been paid.
Ebay predicted that Sunday would be the busiest online shopping day of 2012 and was expecting around 6m visits to its website.
To put this in context, eBay normally receives around 17m unique visitors per month.
And the retailer wasn’t alone in predicting a surge in online shopping over the weekend - Experian Hitwise suggested that Monday would see 115m visits to UK retail websites, an uplift of 36% from 2011.