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As a supplier of software for measuring the customer experience, I take heart from the plethora of commentators that stress the importance of delivering an improved customer experience as consumers tighten their belts.
Their actions, or lack of them, suggest that too many online companies do not believe this. Do you pass the test?
Despite the growth in the e-commerce channel, many retailers are still unable to make truly informed decisions regarding the strategic development of e-commerce in their business, as they are unable to effectively benchmark the performance of the channel.
This is the case for both retailers who think they're performing well and those who don't.
I wrote a post a few months ago that listed a few criticisms of the Boots website, which contained a number of usability and design flaws.
The website has been much improved recently and we're now singing from the same hymnbook, although one or two notes remain out of tune...
When going through the checkout process, customers in the process of paying for items are bound to make a few mistakes here and there.
The key here is to handle these problems smoothly, enabling customers to correct any errors they make without causing unnecessary frustration.
In 2009 many companies will struggle against a tide of negative consumer sentiment, driven by the economic downturn. It’s looking like the days of free and easy spending are over, for now.
In startupland the losers will most likely be those with low reserves of cash, but what about the established e-commerce heavyweights? Which e-commerce companies will fare better than others, and which ones will be hardest hit? And what can they do about it?
Online retail behemoth Amazon recently launched Windowshop.com, which offers a new way to browse through items from its main site.
Other than looking quite nice, does this new tool offer any extra value to Amazon's shoppers?
ITN.co.uk has started using Google Maps technology to pinpoint news stories for users based on their current location.
The mashup is the result of a partnership between ITN and Google, using Google's 'Gears Location API' which pinpoints a user's mobile or wi-fi access point and serves news based on that location.
A study of twenty top high street retailers shows some welcome improvements in usability standards.
There are clearly still a few issues to be addressed, but Webcredible's Online High Street report (email required) gives retailers an average score of 67.7%, up from a fairly miserable 57% last year.
Charity search engine Everyclick.com has become the latest victim of the dreaded Google penalty, having been relegated to number 60 in the search engine for its brand name.
Will Critchlow has covered this on the Distilled blog, seeing no particular reason for the penalty, and speculating that the fact that Everyclick is a search engine may have something to do with it.
I had my attention drawn recently to Jakob Nielsen’s latest post on Alertbox, entitled ‘Transactional Email and Confirmation Messages’.
In his article, Nielsen reports on his findings from a research study into the usability of confirmation and basic trigger emails.
His conclusion is that, from a usability perspective, they are, in general, shocking (my word, not his!).
Websites that have strongly invested in building traffic should be able to capture and focus people’s attention once they arrive.
However, eye-tracking analysis shows that this is not always the case.