In the early days of e-commerce people assumed that consumers wouldn't want to buy clothes online.
Along with big ticket items like beds and furniture it was thought that customers wanted to be able to go into a store and see the products first hand.
That assumption, while understandable, has proven to be totally incorrect and online fashion retailers are flourishing - but it is still a difficult business model to get right.
Boohoo.com has achieved success by selling affordable women's fashion while also providing customers with style and fashion content.
I sat down with COO Chris Bale at the E-commerce Futures Conference to find out what digital marketing tactics Boohoo uses to promote the brand and set itself apart from the competition...
More than a third of Homebase customers research online before going to a bricks-and-mortar store, according to the retailer’s head of multichannel.
During a speech at the E-Commerce Futures Conference this morning, Andy McWilliams said it highlights the need for a joined up approach in-store and online.
Even if you think you’re a multichannel retailer, online and offline often act almost independently. You get different offers online vs. offline. They have to be the same, and communication has to be the same.
More than a third of UK consumers (36%) have engaged with brands through social media, according to a survey from Fishburn Hedges.
This has doubled from 19% since August 2011 and equates to around 18m people.
The increased interaction appears to be driven by the widespread belief among respondents (40%) that social media improves customer service, compared to only 7% who feared it would harm service.
In fact 68% of those who have engaged with brands through social media believe that it “allowed them to find their voice.”
There’s been much excitement in the world of mobile payments around Square, a credit card reader that allows merchants to take payments using an iPad or iPhone.
More than 1m businesses have signed up to use the device in the US, but it still isn't available in the UK.
However, as of this morning UK retailers can apply to join the beta phase for iZettle, a mobile card reader backed by Carphone Warehouse founder Charles Dunstone.
It already has 50,000 users in the Nordic market since launching in its native Sweden last September, increasing the number of point of sales terminals on the region by 10%.
One tablet generates as many website visits as four smartphones, according to data from Adobe's Digital Index Report.
By the end of Q1 2012 smartphones accounted for 6.1% of site visits compared to 4.3% on tablet.
However, smartphones only maintain a greater share of website visits due to the lower penetration rate of tablets.
The report highlights that from 2010 through to 2011 there were 5.3 times more smartphones shipped across North America and Western Europe compared to tablets.
NFC smartphone payments are slowly making their way into the mainstream, but there is still a long way to go before we see widespread consumer adoption.
Visa plans to use the London Olympics as a showcase for mobile NFC, although the trial will only involve a limited number of athletes.
And the infrastructure for consumer adoption appears to be in place with more than 140,000 contactless terminals around the UK.
So what is holding smartphone payments back?
To find out more about NFC payments and the opportunity for retailers, I spoke to The Logic Group's marketing director Mark Kusionowicz.
Majestic Wine has launched a new mobile site to allow its customers to browse and buy wines on the go.
It has been developed by Usablenet, which also designed mobile sites for House of Fraser, Tesco and M&S.
A wine merchant isn’t necessarily the type of business you would expect to have a mobile site, and it doesn’t seem to be a common feature among its competitors.
So how does it measure up in terms of usability?
Streaming music online is a competitive business.
Spotify is probably the most recognisable provider, but the likes of Deezer and Grooveshark are also posting strong user numbers.
In order to keep attracting new users, one of the key challenges for streaming services is differentiating themselves from the competition.
Last.fm seeks to do this by tracking user listening behaviour and recommending artists based on their musical tastes. Since launching in 2002 the London-based company has collected 65bn pieces of track data from its users, which is obviously a powerful tool for advertisers.
To find out how Last.fm makes use of its data and sell its service to marketers, I spoke to commercial director Chris Wistow...
More than a third of UK businesses (36%) now use Facebook to attract new customers, according to data from Basekit.
This makes it more popular as an advertising tool than local business directories such as Yellow Pages and Thomson, which are used by 27% of the 500 small businesses surveyed.
The use of online advertising is now almost as common as print advertising (20% vs. 21%), and Twitter is also quickly gaining popularity (17%).
Launched at the beginning of this month, Present.me enables individuals and businesses to combine online presentations with video, viewable on demand.
I've been asking co-founder & CEO Spencer Lambert about the challenges of launching Present.me, its business model and plans for the future.