Author: Greg Randall

Greg Randall

Greg Randall owns Comma Consulting a digital agency focussed on assisting retailers to realise their full online potential.  You can follow him on Twitter or connect via LinkedIn.     

Ecommerce main category page layout: Where to place key elements and why

Due to the popularity of the article titled, 'Ecommerce product pages:  where to place 30 elements and why', a sequel has (finally) been written.

The focus now turns to the main category page, which is used in ecommerce to give shoppers access to a range of products such as 'menswear' before they drill further down to find specific items (e.g. socks, jeans).

This article will add value if you:

  • Have little confidence in your current main category page layout. 
  • Are in the process of redesigning your website and need guidance on the main category page.
  • Are bombarded with differing opinions on how the main category page should be laid out by stakeholders, vendors (designs, UX teams) and would like an unbiased opinion.

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Why are retailers' Facebook news feed posts reaching fewer fans?

In February of this year Facebook turned 10, and what a wild ride it has taken all of us on.  

Retailers, brands and celebrities (for the sake of this article these three groups will be referred to as 'retailers') quickly realised Facebook was the go to social media channel, stimulating brand buzz and developing direct consumer relationships. Facebook was the social golden child. 

Now, these very same Retailers are accusing Facebook of intentionally reducing 'organic reach' purely for commercial gain. 

While the retailers' accusation of Facebook is convenient, there are two sides to this story.

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Why brands need to move to a direct to consumer model

Are you a brand struggling to build or evolve to a direct to consumer model? Are you trying, but failing? Are sales from the digital channel below expectation?  

Or, are you a brand that has not yet made the move to a direct to consumer model, and still unsure if that is a move you should be making?  

If you answered yes to any of these questions, this article is written for you.

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Instead of moaning about taxes, Australasian retailers need a multichannel approach

An article published last week in the New Zealand Herald (New Zealand’s largest news publication) was quoting some of the top retailers in Australasia who spoke out about their concerns over competition coming from international retailers.   

What struck me was the blame put on the tax system. These retailers are putting pressure on the Government to fix the inability of country borders to apply a tax on all international purchases made by Australian and New Zealand consumers.  

There was no discussion or comment about how these retailers need to improve their standard of multichannel conduct in order to combat the international threats.   

Due to the one sided discussion presented I could not help but reply to the editor.  

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The power of wireframes and five ways they help digital strategy

When conducting the design phase of any new website build (or redesign) the fundamental pillars of ecommerce simultaneously collide: digital and business strategy, user experience, usability, creative, branding, marketing, IT (infrastructure), and data/insights.  

This collision is made difficult when contending with the varying opinions and views of multiple stakeholders. They all want to have a say on what is to be presented to consumers.  

Normally the influence during design stage reverts to positional power within the organisation, with business goals overriding all others including the needs and goals of the consumer. Not anymore. 

The purpose of this article is to shed light on how to properly utilise wireframes, how this tool maintains the integrity of the strategic plan and how it can simplify the implementation of the project, shorten timeline and reduce costs.  

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Slow page speed: what to measure, how to measure, and how it’s affecting your ecommerce channel

A recent article on the Econsultancy blog discussed the issue of page load times getting slower with some helpful tips on what can be done to help speed things up.  

The article stimulates other questions that I thought it would be interesting to tackle in more depth. 

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Three steps to building a customer-centric navigation structure

Building an ecommerce product database to satisfy your target consumer requires three disciplines in order to get it right: usability, the use of filters and naming convention.  

In this context to 'satisfy' is to display navigation in an intuitive manner, to use navigation techniques to compliment the buying process, and to name category titles your consumers recognise and understand.  

This topic normally falls into the 'too hard' category, and is driven by legacy product database systems with little or no flexibility. If you have the time, and the infrastructure to manage the database from the perspective of the consumer experience, then work to these disciplines.

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12 common mistakes to avoid for offline retailers moving into ecommerce

Retail and e-tail collide creating internal chaos for bricks and mortar retailers. The result is a non-performing channel.

Ecommerce is a long term strategic play, and must be thought of as a business channel not to be rushed.

Bricks and mortar retailers venturing into ecommerce find themselves stuck in this chaotic period characterised by poor profitable performance, marred with consumer complaints, operational inefficiency, and no proactive management.  

The entire business is reactive to the problems it creates.

Sound familiar??

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What insights can you gain from branded and unbranded keyword traffic?

My last article detailed the benefits of focusing on website analytics specifically around site search data.  

This article continues with the same theme of valuing website analytics, but the focus turns to unbranded keyword traffic. 

In the context of reviewing analytics, “unbranded keywords” are those words/phrases not containing the retailer’s name.  

People who type “Apple iPod Nano” into Google and land on the JB Hifi website is an unbranded keyword phrase from the perspective of JB Hifi. The keyword phrase “JB Hifi” is a branded term for this retailer. 

Understanding the dichotomy between branded and unbranded keyword phrases is necessary in order to effectively assess site performance and build a focused plan for growth. 

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Analysing data: the power of site search

Though the introduction of new engagement metrics is exciting, focusing on foundation metrics (available to retailers for years) still make big a impact on conversion rates.  

One such series of foundation metrics is the analysis of site search, understanding what people are typing into your websites search box and their behaviour afterwards. 

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Best practice: applying science to digital conduct

How many times have you heard of or have been a part of a failed digital project? Why do you think it failed?  

Was it the people? The technology? Strategy? Unrealistic expectations of senior management or client?

It could be all of the above or none of the above. However, across the majority of digital project failures there is one common denominator… a scientific best practice methodology was not followed.   

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The power of phone numbers: eight benefits to Australian retailers

How many times have you been into a physical retail store wanting to purchase a product, but needed a question answered first?  

As soon as you begin looking for help, you find an employee who provides a response giving you the confidence to purchase. This is usually a great experience. 

But, what about the same scenario, only this time there are no employees around to help? 

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