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You may all be thinking about going on your hollibobs, but there's never a dull week in digital.
This week's news is a rattlebag of Facebook updates, ecommerce buyouts, ad spend revelations, and....cats.
The logic behind retailers' aversion to collecting sales tax wasn't hard to understand: if given a choice between two retailers, one charging sales tax and one not, many consumers would probably choose the former.
Walmart's popular app is set to include payment functionality (much like the Starbucks app).
Trials begin in selected stores this month, but what are the implications of Walmart Pay for mobile and retail?
In June, it was revealed that Safari in iOS9 would support ad blocking. Last week, ad blocking on iOS became a reality.
This week, the iOS ad blocking apocalypse is in full swing and the victims aren't just companies that rely on digital advertising to generate revenue.
I’m jumping the gun slightly this month, but as it’s almost the end of July I’m going to go ahead and roundup the best digital marketing stats we’ve seen in the past 30 days or so.
This time it includes the tablet market in Vietnam, Amazon’s investment in India, CX in Australia, Walmart’s ecommerce plans in China, and a whole lot more.
Using a selection of specific criteria I’ll be gauging how some of the top US retailers handle on-site search.
The search tool is perhaps the most common way for shoppers to navigate an ecommerce site, so therefore its effectiveness is paramount in directing highly motivated visitors, who know exactly what they’re looking for, around your site.
It occurred to me that amongst the Econsultancy blog team we certainly have our favourite companies as far as digital ambition and execution are concerned.
So I'm simply going to round up some companies that have done good things on this front and see if our readers get annoyed by any omissions or, indeed, inclusions.
So, here are 18 digital trailblazers. A lot of them are involved solely in ecommerce but not all of them.
N.B. I've deliberately excluded agencies and what I think of as tech companies, though that distinction is a little difficult to make in some areas.
We've previously highlighted 11 great ecommerce checkouts, and now it's time to see which brands have managed to create top notch, user-friendly mobile checkouts.
Given the disparity between conversion rates on desktop compared to mobile, it's perhaps understandable that retailers might put more effort into optimising their desktop checkout.
However as mobile conversions are so hard to come by, you really need to make their purchase journey as comfortable as possible.
These are by no means the very finest mobile checkouts in the world, and I'd actually be interested to read your nominations should you wish to add them in the comments section.
But these retailers have proved to be better than most when it comes to mobile checkout design.
Firstly, here the criteria I look for...
One of the biggest barriers for customers about to use a checkout is forcing them to register their details first.
Presenting them with page after page of forms in which they need to fill out the most unnecessary of personal details is a quick way to send your customers to the exit, leaving many abandoned baskets and lowering your conversion.
Earlier today I looked at 30 UK retailers and which ones force their customers to register, now it's time to turn our attention to the USA.
New research from Econsultancy shows that a fifth (20%) of companies now use mobile push notifications.
The findings, which are included in the Cross-Channel Marketing Report 2014, struck me as quite surprising given that it has the potential to be a very effective marketing channel.
I’ve previously written of my love for push notifications as I think they’re a very effective way for brands to engage with consumers.
For example, if I get a message from my Rolling Stones app then I’ll almost definitely open it up and see what Mick wants to tell me.
Similarly if I get a notification that H&M has a sale on then I’ll probably see what’s up for grabs.
Data from Urban Airship shows that push messages increase both engagement and retention by as much as 40% and 116% respectively (though it’s worth noting that the company makes money by selling its mobile marketing services).
Similarly, data gathered by Localytics from 28,000 apps found that users who enable push notifications have a nearly 3x higher retention rate compared to those who disable them.
I've rounded up what I think are the most intriguing examples of geofencing.
The list includes retailers but also other sectors such as leisure and education.
Take a look, because this is an area that almost any company could surely find a compelling use case for.
Pinterest is used by more than 21% of all American adults. This is up from 15% on the previous year.
This figure comes from the last study by Pew Research, which also states the even more incredible fact that one-third of all women in the USA use Pinterest.
Pinterest drove an unprecedented amount of traffic to retail sites in Q4 2013 achieving a 50% quarter-over-quarter increase in revenue-per-visit (RPV). In fact, Pinterest has overtaken Facebook for UK referral revenue and is expected to do the same in the USA this year.
Also, with the amount of Pinterest Pin it buttons overtaking the amount of Facebook Likes on product pages, retailers are realising that Pinterest is a key way to drive sales.
Let’s take a look at how the top 10 US retailers (in terms of 2013 sales) use Pinterest.