There is no longer a debate over whether online retailers need a mobile site, as consumer demand dictates that brands need to optimised for small screens.
However there are still several different options facing brands that want to create a mobile optimised site.
Responsive design is seen by many as being the future of web design, and we previously looked at 11 gorgeous examples of the technology and asked several experts whether site owners need to adopt it.
But the examples we’ve seen suggest that responsive design is currently more popular among design agencies and artists, while major ecommerce retailers have been slow on the uptake.
So to show how responsive design can be applied in retail, here are 10 examples of ecommerce sites built using responsive design...
Product videos are a great way to improve conversion rates online as they reassure the customer by helping them make an informed purchase decision.
One of the main problem with ecommerce is that you can’t hold the product in your hands before you buy it, which is why offering free returns is such a great selling point.
But video is also a great way to limit the impact of returns, as it gives customers a full view 360 degree of the product.
We've previously blogged best practice tips for ecommerce product videos, and recently looked at the rise of video in 2013.
With this in mind, here’s a round up of some stats showing how product videos have improved conversion rates for six online retailers...
Live chat is still a relatively new customer service channel, though it’s proving to be an increasingly popular method of communicating with brands.
Stats from BoldChat show that more than 65% of US online shoppers have used live chat, up from 50.4% in 2009.
The figure is slightly lower in the UK but still growing at 53%, up from 41% in 2011.
The same research shows that 31% of respondents would be more likely to purchase after a live chat, however this stat should be treated with a decent amount of scepticism, as it’s difficult for people to accurately predict their future purchase behaviour.
When online photo company Alamy decided to expand its business globally one of its most important challenges was maintaining a decent site speed to ensure a consistent user experience for global customers.
As it operates in a crowded market place, Alamy focuses on differentiating itself from the competition both on the size of its database and the level of service it provides.
An important part of that is the overall speed of its site, the homepage and an on-site search tool.
So when Alamy found that its US site was noticeably slower than the UK version it ran a series of tests using Compuware to work out the best way of getting its US customer base up to speed.
To find out how Alamy resolved the issue and how it continues to track its site speed I spoke to head of production Richard Taylor...
Mobile now represents 20.3% of overall Facebook ad spend, with Google’s Android dominating the market in terms of smartphone spending.
The findings come from a new report by Kenshoo Social that analysed more than 2m Facebook ad clicks and conversions by global advertisers.
It found that the average cost per click on mobile ads (including both smartphones and tablets) is $1.38, 70% more than desktop ads at $0.81.
We’re coming towards the end of sale season, but businesses are still sending out emails to tempt customers into making a purchase.
Normally the retailer is specific about the amount of money off each product, however recently we’ve noticed that some businesses are sending emails with ‘mystery’ discount coupons, which basically means you don’t know how much the discount is for.
Yesterday Dell sent one of these emails, which attempts to lure you in with the offer a discount that could be anything from 10% to 50%. The problem is you only find out what the discount is once you get to the checkout.
The mysterious coupon is presumably supposed to make the customer so curious that they can’t help but click on the call-to-action on the off chance they are rewarded a half price laptop, but personally I find it to be an incredibly annoying offer.
Almost a quarter (24%) of UK shoppers used their mobile while in-store to compare prices in the run-up to Christmas, according to a new survey from Foolproof.
The process, known as ‘showrooming’, means that retailers have to come up with new ways to encourage customers to make a purchase in-store.
Alarmingly for some retailers, the survey of 1,000 adults also found that 40% of showroomers, or one in 10 of all shoppers, bought items from a competitor after comparing prices on their phone.
Unsurprisingly the habit is more prevalent among younger shoppers, with 39% of 18-39 year olds actively engaging in showrooming over Christmas compared to just 18% of shoppers over the age of 40.
Most ecommerce businesses invest in a range of digital marketing channels, so working out the exact attribution and ROI can be incredibly complex.
For example, the importance of search can often be overstated, as that tends to be the last step on the path to conversion.
To try to develop a better understanding of its marketing attribution, Air New Zealand began using a tag management system two years ago.
The ecommerce team found that the assumptions and investments that it made based on a last-click model were hugely inaccurate, particularly when it came to display.
To find out more about how tag management impacted Air New Zealand’s attribution model, I spoke to UK and continental Europe online channel manager Chris Allison...
The BBC’s drive to become the world’s foremost digital broadcaster took another step today with the launch of a new Sport app on iOS.
We’ve followed developments at the Beeb with interest over the past 12 months, with iPlayer updates, mobile sites and apps being unveiled on what seems like a fortnightly basis.
One of its most impressive launches was the Olympics smartphone app, which offered a great user experience alongside a massive amount of content.
Almost 90% of digital and design agencies believe their clients now expect more work for less money, according to a new survey.
The Design Industry Voices report, which interviewed 500 agency staff, found that 80% said client budgets have been reduced and more than two-thirds (70%) said clients expect more work in pitches for free.
The survey by Fairley & Associates, Gabriele Skelton and On Pointe Marketing is now in its fourth year and suggests that digital and design agencies are feeling the squeeze as a result of the economic downturn.
This is despite the fact that the Econsultancy and Experian Marketing Budgets 2012 Report showed increasing levels of investment across a range of digital channels and disciplines.