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With the economy in a seemingly perpetual crisis, businesses are under ever more pressure from their finance and managing directors to ensure all business tools and investments are delivering the desired results.
This includes websites ranging from simple brochure websites to marketing campaign websites to multi-channel international e-commerce solutions with integrated supply chains.
The online travel market in the UK is valued at more than £17bn, and half of all customers book holidays on the web, yet there is much room for improving the user experience.
Travel customers are also a fickle bunch, with low brand loyalty, so brands that can offer a great customer experience can differentiate themselves.
With this in mind, QuBit has produced a benchmark study of five of the UK's airline brands and their online performance.
British Airways comes out of the study with flying colours while (surprise, surprise) Ryanair is bottom of the table...
Now and again you see a website so different to the norm that you can’t help but be intrigued. Lings Cars reverses perfectly in to that space.
The easy option here would be for me give the site a good going over with a usability stick, but I wouldn’t be the first to do that and quite frankly I don’t want to have Ling Valentine breathing now my neck and boxing me into submission....
Instead, what I want to hopefully do in this article is identify a wide range of persuasive, psychologically rooted design techniques that this website uses to a) build trust and then b) encourage you to hire.
Stay with me on this, I know when you first see the site you may well have a WTF moment and wonder how anyone would/could find their way around the site, but if you don’t know already Ling shifts quite a few cars over the course of the year: £35m in 2010 in fact.
The press release announcing Four Season’s new site states that it was "thoughtfully designed...to deliver an immersive and effortless experience tailored to every user".
But shouldn't that include disabled users?
The Four Seasons site review focusing on web usability highlighted some important shortcomings in terms of the booking process and other areas, and briefly mentioned some of the accessibility issues.
Here we take a closer look at some of these and the actions that should have been taken to truly make the site available and usable to every user.
The RNIB (Royal National Institute for the Blind) has decided to sue BMI Baby over its failure to deal with the poor accessibility of its website.
This is not the first time that accusations of poor web accessibility have been levelled at an airline, and it is no surprise that travel websites are an area of focus.
The e-commerce market continued to grow last year, with online sales expected to reach £81bn for 2011.
I've been asking some industry experts about significant trends from last year, and what they expect to see in 2012.
After so many 'this will be the year of mobile' predictions for previous years, 2011 can lay claim to that title, thanks to the growth of smartphone use and widespread adoption of mobile marketing.
I've compiled a selection of mobile related blog posts from this year, with a mix of stats, infographics, interviews, best practice tips and mobile site and app reviews.
As a follow-up to my earlier article, Shopping basket best practice from ASOS, I’ve taken a look at the updated ASOS checkout experience. It includes one change which has reduced their checkout abandonment rate by 50%.
The ASOS website delivers an excellent browsing and shopping experience, and I regularly feature examples from the retailer in my e-commerce best practice training courses.
The updated checkout continues this trend, as the earlier version certainly didn’t fit in well with their highly tuned shopping experience up to checkout.
This article will recap on what ASOS is doing well on its shopping basket, look at how it is handling new customer checkout, and the variety of persuasive checkout lessons we can take from them as well as identifying a few areas of improvement.
A third of smartphone owners have used their device to buy a product online, according to a new survey.
The study by EPiServer found that a further 26% had bought something online using an app.
The findings show that mobile commerce is becoming more important in the UK, with consumers increasingly using mobiles to engage with brands, find information and make purchases.
A majority of UK consumers (59%) now own a smartphone and 18% have a tablet device, so the market is too big to ignore for online retailers.
However, the results show that some retailers have to work on improving their mobile offering.
The majority of the UK's most popular online retailers have adopted mobile commerce, with just 12 of the top 50 having no mobile commerce presence at all.
These stats show how far mobile commerce has progressed over the past year in the UK, and that many retailers have seen the potential revenues to be had from mobile.
I've been looking at some great examples of retailers on mobile, which of the top 50 have sites and apps, and why some travel brands should consider their mobile strategies.
Despite the rapid growth in popularity of mobile internet use, two-thirds of companies have yet to optimise their websites for mobile.
It's a missed opportunity, especially for retailers, as there are enough success stories now to show that mobile can work.
Persuasive design is something that has been around for many many years, not least in the way high street stores and supermarkets lay out their stores to encourage and entice customers to buy as they arrive and walk around.
In the online world, PET (persuasion, emotion, trust) is an approach that was pioneered by Human Factors International, and alongside usability and user experience, designing with persuasion in mind is an extremely powerful approach to positively impact on conversion rates.
In my experience, one site which has persuasion rooted in its design, content and layout is Booking.com.
In this article I provide a breakdown of some of the key persuasive elements that booking.com deliver.