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Checkout abandonment is inevitable on ecommerce sites as the plain truth is that some people simply aren’t ready to make a purchase.
However there are certain steps that sites can implement to limit the number of customers that dropout during the checkout phase.
The basic aim is to make it as simple as possible for your customers to hand over their cash, which means limiting the amount of form filling and offering shortcuts wherever possible.
We’ve been keen exponents of Google Hangouts for some time here at Econsultancy as they’re a great way of sharing content and promoting our brand.
Our head of social Matt Owen has become something of an expert on Hangouts as a result and yesterday blogged his tips for hosting a successful event.
Currently I feel that Hangouts are one of the few reasons for bothering with G+ as user interaction with brand updates is generally extremely low.
And on the same theme, here are six examples of other brands that have been experimenting with Google Hangouts...
Video sharing app Vine turned 100 days old last week and according to new research it has proved to be quite the success.
Data from Unruly shows that five Vine clips are shared every second on Twitter and branded Vines are four times more likely to be shared than branded online videos.
It’s also interesting to note that weekends are the most popular time to share Vines and in most cases they are more popular than all the previous weekdays combined.
Product returns are a major problem for online retailers as each unwanted order obviously incurs a cost, which then raises the dilemma of who is to pay for postage.
Passing the cost onto customers is certain to put people off ordering again in future, but absorbing the cost might not be feasible for all businesses.
Ideally retailers should try and reduce the need to return items in the first place, and we’ve previously written about a shoe fitting app that reduced fit-related returns by 23%.
Now ASOS has launched a new tool, Virtusize, that has the potential to achieve an even greater rate of success, as it has already proven to reduce fit-related returns by up to 50% on other ecommerce sites.
Twitter is a brilliant tool for communicating with consumers and when used effectively can be a great way of building customer loyalty.
In recent weeks I’ve come across a number of brands that have excellent Twitter strategies and several that I thought were less impressive.
This could be because they were dull, unimaginative or simply weren’t living up to their potential.
So to shine some light on the differences between those brands getting it right and those that perhaps aren’t, here are five good and four bad examples of brands using Twitter...
The value of online transactions in China reached $190 billion in 2012 and the country is predicted to overtake the US as the world’s largest ecommerce market at some point this year.
So it’s no surprise that European businesses are eager to try and break into the marketplace.
As with any ecommerce market, search is a vital source of building brand awareness and attracting traffic in China. This means you have to optimise your site for Baidu which has around 83% market share.
Baidu recently signed a deal with CharmClick that gives the company exclusive rights as a resale agent in Europe, which subsequently partnered with Net Media Planet for Baidu ad sales in the UK and Ireland.
New mobile sites are normally a big deal for ecommerce retailers, but ASOS recently updated its m-commerce store without the need for any fanfare.
I can’t find any official announcements about the redesign other than a tweet from director James Hart.
ASOS has been one of the major success stories in ecommerce and we frequently highlight its services and innovations as examples of industry best practice.
And as we previously reviewed the company’s first mobile site back in 2010 it seems a good time to revisit the site and see how it’s changed, so I took it for a test run using my Samsung Galaxy S2...
Successful email marketing relies on a large customer database, so attracting new signups should be a high priority for most businesses.
Research shows that around half (49%) of consumers are signed up to receive emails from between one and 10 brands, while 8% don’t receive any at all, so one of the main challenges for email marketers is getting into the inbox in the first place.
There are several tactics that brands can use to encourage consumers to signup to email newsletters, including explicitly highlighting the value of the emails through testimonials or a clear statement of subscription benefits, and using a clear signup process.
We’ve previously looked at best practices for improving email deliverability, as well as highlighting seven tips for managing email marketing campaigns.
And here are 10 tips and examples of how to improve your email signups...
When Vine appeared in the App Store last month opinion was somewhat divided – some thought it was a great new tool for communicating with consumers, while some thought Twitter had just reinvented the Gif.
Even so, it was no surprise that brands were quick to start experimenting with the new app to see how consumers would react.
We’ve already looked at seven Premier League clubs that are using Vine to gives fans a look behind the scenes, and here are six retailers that have jumped onboard with Twitter’s new platform.
The images below are Gifs so may take a second to load, but you can click on them to link to the original Vine...
ASOS is streets ahead of the competition in many aspects of ecommerce, so it’s no surprise that it was quick to see the potential in social media marketing.
It has won numerous awards for its social strategy and clocked up millions of fans and followers in the process.
So here is a quick look at how ASOS uses Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+...
You need only take a look at Amazon’s homepage to understand the importance of product recommendations to ecommerce.
One report suggests that 70% of Amazon.com is devoted to recommendations, so it’s obvious that they play a vital role in exposing customers to new products and increasing sales.
In fact, according to an infographic from Monetate recommendations can increase revenue by up to 300%, improve conversions by 150% and help boost the average order value by 50%.
Obviously these figures will vary wildly depending on initial benchmarks and how extensively recommendations are used across the site, but the evidence is still too compelling to be ignored.
Twitter is a fantastic way for brands to communicate with their customers, though all too often they overlook the social element of social media.
We’ve all seen companies that just use Twitter and Facebook to churn out marketing messages, but generally they are short lived experiments that fail to deliver any real value to the business.
But rather than dwell on the failures, I thought it would be interesting to investigate the social strategies of some of the most successful retailers on Twitter.
According to eDigitalResearch, Topshop, ASOS, Net-A-Porter, Harrods and Selfridges have the highest number of followers among UK retailers, so here’s a look at what makes them so damn popular.