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Online sales figures from November and December 2014 show that Black Friday has finally taken hold in the UK.
Data taken from the IMRG’s E-Retail Sales Index shows that overall online Christmas sales (defined as 02/11/14 to 21/12/14) were up 13% year-on-year.
A new month, a new checkout abandonment survey hits the inbox. Here’s the number one cause of checkout abandonment: unacceptable delivery costs. What is this madness?
The study, by eDigitalResearch and IMRG, found that 77% of online shoppers have abandoned their basket in the past year, with 53% citing unacceptably high delivery costs as the main reason for bailing out.
Already, alarm bells are ringing. Many years ago we published some best practice research on conversion rate optimisation, and one of our key recommendations was to avoid sending people into the checkout area too early. Before they enter, they should have all of the key facts. That means delivery information, among other things.
Yet this latest checkout abandonment study found that 26% of shoppers placed an item in their basket just ‘to check delivery costs’.
Mobile devices now account for all online sales growth as the amount of sales through desktop computers has plateaued, according to a new report.
Though total online retail has averaged around 15% growth since Q1 2011 figures excluding mobile have actually seen a steady decline before flat-lining in Q2 2013.
This is the first time that IMRG and Capgemini have reported separate statistics for mobile sales, with the data also showing that 23% of all online retail sales in Q2 2013 came from mobile devices.
2011 was yet another growth year for e-commerce in the UK, with the nation's shoppers spending a record £68bn.
According to IMRG's e-Retail Index, this represents an increase of 16% over the previous year.
There was also a strong finish to the year, with £7.9bn spent online in December.
The Interactive Media in Retail Group (IMRG) predicts that consumers will spend a massive £186.4m online on Christmas Day this coming Sunday.
Boxing Day spend is expected to almost double that at £367.8m, with these estimates representing a 12% increase on the total spends last year.
Clarks has become the latest in a run of retailers to launch a transactional mobile strategy, announcing today that it has created its first ever m-commerce site.
With the company's full product range available to buy, people can shop directly from their mobile or locate their nearest store.
The latest stats from IMRG suggest that the postal strike in October cost £53m in lost sales online, as growth dipped during the month.
Total online retail sales for October were £4.2bn, up both on last year's and September's figures. However, growth dipped in the last two weeks of the month, as the strikes affected consumer confidence.
According to a new survey, 93% of consumers are planning to do at least some of their shopping online this Christmas, with 71% planning to buy more than half of their gifts on the web.
The survey by eDigitalResearch and IMRG reveals that more people are planning to shop online this year, and now that the threat of Royal Mail strike action has receded, there is some cause for optimism for online retailers.
With a two-day strike scheduled for Thursday and Friday this week, and the possibility of further industrial action in the run up to Christmas, online retailers are justifiably concerned about the possible effects on their business.
I've outlined a few of the potential problems for online retailers below...
Though online retail sales are still on the up, new figures from IMRG suggest that this growth may be slowing, as sales in March grew by 19%, less than the same month in 2008.
These are still encouraging figures in a recession though, and it shows the strength of the online retail sector; e-commerce offerings have improved in the last few years, while more shoppers recognise that the internet is the place to find value for money.