Author: Christopher Ratcliff

Christopher Ratcliff

Christopher was the Deputy Editor at Econsultancy. He runs pop culture site Methods Unsound and you can hound him on Twitter @Christophe_Rock.

What is tag management and why do you need it?

Tags on your website help measure traffic and can assist in optimising your online marketing. 

Tags are integral to most modern marketing tools, from web analytics to retargeting to ad serving to CRM.

Here we’ll be taking a beginner’s look at what tags are, what they do and how you can use tag management to make online marketing less arduous.

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How effective is Zara’s unique on-site search tool?

Zara is a Spanish fashion retailer with more than 2,000 stores worldwide, 66 of which are based in the UK. 

Zara’s website also has one of the most idiosyncratic search tools I’ve ever come across on an ecommerce site.


One of the more sarcastic Apple Watch articles you’ll read today

I’m stuck in a mild quandary about whether to bother writing about the Apple Watch or not…

If you care enough about Apple’s entry into the world of wearable technology then you would’ve surely been glued to your MacBook or iPad Mini last night. Poring over the details delivered via keynote speech and already fully sated with every possible specification of the Apple Watch (emphatically no longer referred to as the ‘iWatch’).

Or if you’re everyone else in the world, your reaction is probably more along the lines of this…


Why I love the new Geico ‘Unskippable’ ad campaign

We don’t talk an awful lot about ad campaigns on the blog. We’re more about the delivery of them.

Where they work? What formats work best? What the heck does programmatic mean? It’s mostly ‘measurable ROI’ rather than the actual content of the ad itself.

However, just like when the excellent BLAH Airlines campaign from Virgin came along, every so often you have to take advantage of your blogging power, sit back and share something you love purely because it’s really clever.  

So here’s the new campaign from Geico, which gloriously subverts everything you thought you knew about YouTube pre-roll ads. 


35 examples of ecommerce best practice from Hobbycraft

Hobbycraft is not a website we’ve covered on the blog before. It’s not the showiest website, it doesn’t feature the most technically dazzling array of tools and features, nor is it currently in the news for any particular reason.

So why cover it now? Because Hobbycraft gets the basics of ecommerce just right.

Out of all the sites I’ve researched so far, this one manages to include almost every ecommerce best practice feature that we’re constantly banging on about on the blog.


Three key takeaways from our new ROI of Tag Management report

It’s extraordinary how much of an important role website tags play in the efficiency and success of digital marketing.

A digital marketer’s first responsibility is to understand their customers’ experience so that they can improve upon it. Therefore it’s vital that detailed information on behaviours, platforms, channels and technologies are captured.


How insurance companies handle social customer service

The most successful brands utilising social customer service are the ones that are not only quick to respond, but also genuinely helpful and clearly written by a human.

This is relatively easy in retail, where it’s more acceptable to adopt a relaxed, fun tone of voice, but how difficult is it for a financial services brand to not only maintain an efficient customer service channel that fully complies with banking regulations but is also human?

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14 astounding stats from around the digital world

Stats and deliver!

Your money or your life! Yes it’s the weekly stats round-up that spends its cash on looking flash and grabbing your attention with all the finest digital marketing stats the online world has to offer. “Fa diddly qua qua!"


14 best things on the internet: business high-five edition

Okay good hustle this week guys. Some real blue-sky thinking.

Now it’s the close of play we can get all our ducks in a row and drill down to why this paradigm shift is so integral to leveraging the core competency of each vertical, whilst actioning key learnings.

Just circling back on this with a heads-up, have we run this all the way up the flag-pole yet? Going forward it would be to wise to pivot towards eating the elephant one bite at a time.

It’s a game-changer, I feel it in my very marrow. Great. As I said before, pre-revenue is looking baked-in so let’s not marinate too long, so why don't we take a break by looking at some stupid crap on the internet for 10 minutes? Great.


Three brand case studies on creating a single customer view

Even in the UK where online shopping is at its highest (compared to offline), the percentage of transactions that happen online is around 13%. 

Which basically means that 87% of purchases happen offline and therefore 87% of purchase data potentially goes uncaptured.


How Boots can improve its customer journey from search to checkout

In which we take a look at the experience of searching for a product, clicking-through to an ecommerce store and purchasing the item, all from a customer’s point of view.

Much like previous investigations on UK retailers John Lewis and Halfords this explores the customer journey in a nutshell, looking at visibility, relevancy, ease-of-use and speed of experience.

Here we'll be taking a look at Boots, and making suggestions on how it can improve the customer experience and perhaps increase conversion.

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How do 10 top UK retailers present returns information?

According to a survey by CollectPlus, 27% of consumers are put off ordering something online in the first place because they do not want the hassle of returning it if it isn’t right.

Therefore the need for online retailers to provide clear and easy to find information on its returns policy as well as making it as hassle-free as possible is integral to customer experience.