I’m trying my best to sound literary in this post - the pseud’s headline, the confessional first line.
I was tweeted by an author this morning. The whole uplifting experience was enough to slap me in the face with the wet fish of Twitter’s usefulness to the author and publisher.
I thought suddenly, I should write this up for the blog! One of the great things about the blog is the opportunity it affords us to commit the bonne pensée to a medium slightly less fleeting than mere conversation.
The story is this: I was tweeted by an author and subsequently decided to buy her book. These things happened for a number of reasons.
I’ll detail the exchange and then discuss why this case study is symptomatic of Twitter’s use and usefulness.
I’ve written two posts already about Marks & Spencer's new website. It’s not a love-in, in fact both posts have generated some good debate.
Should it be so editorially led? Could the navigation be slicker? Should there be a guest checkout? Despite these issues, I’m a fan of the new look and aside from the intricacies, the new site is about finally aligning the brand's image with top quality high street fashion.
But it’s about more than just a new website, M&S is investing across the multichannel customer journey, in the knowledge that a multichannel customer can be worth four times as much as one that only shops either on- or offline.
Here are 11 ways Marks & Spencer is enriching its multichannel business, aside from its new desktop and mobile sites and revamped apps.
Deciding what approach to take on mobile is a debate-worthy topic, as proved by the comment thread in this post on responsive design.
Marks and Spencer has a new site that is tablet-optimized, adapting to the iPad and its competitiors via device recognition rather than screen size. The brand has also updated its apps and mobile sites.
I thought I’d take a look at the mobile site in order to highlight a few nice features. It looks as good as the new desktop, tablet-optimized site, and I found it worked well, aside from a few niggles.
Of course, displaying large and high quality product ranges to their full potential on mobile is a challenge.
See what you think.
The new Marks & Spencer website, two years in the making, is a feast for the eyes. As a replatform, it cost a lot of money and accompanies other changes such as an upgraded contact centre and new in-store tech and merchandising.
In this first look at the site, I'll be pointing out the most obvious changes and discussing why it's a step change and effectively gives the impression of 'luxe high street' online.
What stands out is the focus on visuals, a curated experience with magazine-style editorial, and a user experience that’s particularly impressive on tablet. This isn’t a surprising approach given that 44% of Christmas traffic to the website was from tablets and the brand is moving to a ‘lean back’ experience online for those that want it.
I’ll be following this post with more discussion of the new site and its various features that could be set to revitalise the brand across devices (the M&S mobile site and its apps have been updated, too).
Here’s a joyously surprising list brought to me by Andrew Warren Payne.
The headline is entirely factually correct, these websites are not responsive. Whether they should be or not is a matter for debate, and I hope one you will take up in the comments section.
There are pros and cons of going responsive and each organisation should be aware of its own ideal site strategy. I’m sure many of our readers know the UX and hence search boost of going responsive is now growing large enough to prove worthwhile, even in the face of much development time.
See what you think of this list.
Companies are reporting the underperformance of ecommerce solutions in critical areas of functionality such as site search, product management, SEO and mobile-supported commerce.
These deficiencies, coupled with difficulties with integration, have led many merchants to replatform, according to Econsultancy’s first survey-based Technology for Ecommerce Report.
The reports, carried out in association with Neoworks, shows that only a minority of respondents say their technology performs well across each of the key functionality requirements.
In this post I’ll look in more detail at some findings of this new report based on a survey of more than 500 client-side and agency respondents
We’ve looked previously at the state of digital retail in London and found that bricks and mortar, in most cases, is still exactly that.
A lack of wi-fi and interactive devices was identified as an issue for Oxford Street's retailers.
Of more interest, perhaps, is not the overall picture, but how individual retailers are using technology, how this affects the customer experience and for what product types.
Home electrical, technology and automotive retailers have been shown to make greater use of digital media in-store. These products are purchased by informed customers and part of the in-store experience is about providing the customer with information via digital devices.
Of course, many of the products in these sectors are digital themselves and are on display for use in store.
80% of the home electrical/technology retailers on Oxford and Regent Streets had interactive devices for customers to use, versus just 16% of fashion, shoe and accessories retailers.
But let’s look at some specific retailers for best practice or otherwise. Again, this information comes from eccomplished's latest research.
How is the world’s shopping capital using mobile and digital experiences to engage customers in-store?
I’ve previously written about window displays on Regent Street, but that was a scanty survey. Eccomplished has released some more in-depth research into select stores on Oxford Street and Regent Street in London.
Factors such as signage, interactive media, WiFi, mobile interaction and store layout were surveyed in 40 leading retail outlets by a team of researchers.
Shoppers were also canvassed with the aim of ascertaining whether or not digital in-store offers brands the opportunity to stand out. So, how well are stores implementing technology and is there a gap between best practice and reality?
TV advertising budgets are slowly moving online. Even so, online video advertising represents about 3% of TV budgets.
In 10 years the figures will look different. Perhaps 25% or 30%. Or perhaps TV will change significantly.
Recent developments in online video advertising include richer formats, such as interactive ecommerce catalogues, games, dynamic location-based ads, social integration.
With change occurring in the market, it feels like a good time to re-assess online video advertising. Aside from recommending our formidable Online Video Best Practice Guide, I thought I’d write some rules for online video ads of the future.
Major tip of the hat here, as these ideas are partly taken from Pierre Chappaz, Founder and CEO of Ebuzzing, and a talk he gave at December 2013’s Le Web.
Freelancing. Early 19th century in origin, as two words, denoting a mercenary.
In the US, gigging (freelancing) is a well-established phenomenon. An estimated 20–33% of the workforce consists of independent workers (Accenture).
The top 10 skills supplied by UK freelancers (listed below) are pretty much exclusively utilised in the service industries involved with the web and marketing.
Surprisingly, a fifth of UK grads with a first class degree have already freelanced. With flexibility and earning potential, not to mention the lack of a ‘real’ boss, being major attractions for some of the best and brightest, how can you work well with freelancers?
In this post I’m revealing findings from a new report from elance looking at trends in freelancing in the UK.