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Scaling can be tricky for consumer internet startups, especially when it comes to hardware and infrastructure.
Many startups have failed in part because they couldn't successfully scale effectively and sensibly.
Shoppers using an e-commerce site have two main ways of finding the exact product or service they want – the navigation bar and the search box.
While many sites have great navigation, there are plenty whose search options return some pretty poor results.
Bloggers can increase conversion rates for affiliate sales by using simple ‘buy it now’ buttons to product-related posts.
Internet shoppers in the US are reported to have spent around $733m (£355m) on 'Cyber Monday' - the biggest day of the online retail year.
Figures from comScore suggest Amazon and Wal-Mart attracted the most custom, while the overall number of people shopping online was up 38%.
The mighty Economist has produced an editorial forecasting the death of the book following Amazon’s launch of its ebook reader, labelled Kindle.
It seems that Kindle Fever is in full swing, yet the mass consumer adoption of ebook readers seems thoroughly unfeasible in the short term, and I’m not convinced it is a likely scenario in the long term either.
Amazon has launched a beta version of its much-anticipated DRM-free music download store.
The etailing giant claims it will have the world's largest collection of DRM-free music downloads, with 2m songs available from over 180,000 artists.
However, it is not yet available in the UK.
Amazon has launched a range of widgets in a bid to boost the reach of its affiliate marketing programme.
The widgets can be used to display the etailer's products on blogs, social networks and other websites, earning members of the company's Associates programme up to 10% in referral fees.
Bob Chieffo published an excellent article last week on the importance of buttons on e-commerce sites in making it clear to the customer what they need to press next.
He points out, on Revenews, that many etailers allow too much room for confusion in the mind of the customer over what they need to do and press to make their purchase.
Multi-channel retailers are mounting a challenge to the online dominance of their pure-play rivals despite tending to offer a lower level of site functionality, according to research.
The study, by eDigitalResearch, which uses mystery shoppers to rate UK shopping websites, found Play.com and Amazon.com continued to generate the best overall response from consumers.
However, multi-channel players like Tesco, John Lewis and M&S were seen to have stronger customer service.
No surprises to see NBC heading over to Amazon’s Unbox online video service, following the content owner’s decision to ditch a deal with iTunes.
Amazon has catered for NBC’s variable pricing demands, with new shows likely to be priced more highly than older ones. Apple refused to budge on its fixed price policy, which appears to have been the dealbreaker.
Pure-play web retailers are ahead of their multi-channel competitors when it comes to customer satisfaction, according to a new study.
Etail solution provider Pangora surveyed hundreds of UK online customers about their experiences of delivery, site quality and customer service, and firms with no high street presence came top in most categories.
Is there any future for DVD rental companies? Yet another UK firm, ChoicesUK, is about to call in the administrators, having previously complained about the threat of piracy in the entertainment industry, along with ‘unseasonably hot weather’.
While piracy may have played a role in the company’s demise, it is more likely that it has been ground down by pureplay online DVD rental firms, including one operated by mighty Amazon, which launched its service in late-2004. For starters, online DVD rental pureplays have much lower overheads than ChoicesUK, which seems to have been strangled by the costs of maintaining 170 shops and 1,800 employees.
But hold on. I’m starting to wonder whether the pureplays themselves will last the distance, in the face of changing consumer behaviour.