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Posts in Ecommerce

eCourier targets online retailers with API

eCourier, the start-up best known for its hi-tech assault on London’s delivery companies, is now targeting the online retail sector with an API it plans to launch later this year.

The firm, which cuts costs by managing its couriers through software rather than human controllers, hopes the API will encourage etailers to use its system for short notice deliveries to shoppers.


Interview: Tim Curtis, head of Mothercare Direct

Tim Curtis has been at Mothercare Direct for five years now, helping the company shift towards multichannel retail and more recently overseeing its switch to Amazon Services' e-commerce platform.

We asked him a few questions about the challenges of integrating different channels within Mothercare, and what opportunities there are for retailers within Web 2.0, mobile and digital TV.


Sports Direct to buy web retailer?

Sports retail giant Sports Direct is apparently set to buy online rival M and M Direct for around £75m, in its first acquisition since listing on the LSE.

The Telegraph reports that Sports Direct is leading negotations for the firm and that the deal could be completed within weeks.


M&S launches new Amazon-powered website

Marks and Spencer has revamped its online retail site with a little help from Amazon, hoping that its new multichannel approach to retailing will increase its online sales.

At the launch of its interim results for 2006/2007, M&S chief executive Stuart Rose said that the company intends to double its online sales from £100m in a short period of time.


Borders goes it alone on the web

Borders Group has announced plans to end its relationship with Amazon and reopen its own e-commerce website early next year.

The move follows a similar decision by rival bookseller Waterstone's in 2006, and came as Borders posted losses of $73.6m (£37.5m) for the fourth quarter of last year.


Firms could improve customer self-service

Some 57% of UK companies offer little or no web self-service for their customers, potentially resulting in loss of revenue for etailers, according to research.

eGain assessed the web self-service functions of 125 major companies in the UK across a range of sectors. Only 17% of companies were found to be offering acceptable customer service solutions.

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Paypal signs up 35m European accounts

eBay’s online payment outfit, Paypal has announced it has registered almost 35m accounts in Europe - a boost in its battle with rival providers.

It’s the first time the group has released specific numbers for Europe, where it says it processed $8.4bn (£4.3bn) in payments last year.


Interview with 'super-affiliate' Keith Budden

As well as being one of the UK's super-affiliates, Keith Budden is a partner in Affiliate Healthcheck, a consultancy offering affiliate programme performance reviews, training, recruitment and assistance with network selection.

We asked him for an affiliate's perspective on some of the main issues around affiliate marketing programmes.


DIY: How to marry your marketing and tech teams

How can you get the marketing team back in control of the business done on the website? And do marketing teams and tech teams have to act like its the battle of the sexes? Not if both sides can share the DIY...


A lesson from America

In last week's post, I misquoted Terry Duddy when he predicted (and this is the corrected version) that online retail sales wouldn't be much more than 10-15% of total UK retail sales by 2015 – my apologies Terry.

With my fingers somewhat burnt, I thought I’d play it safe this week and take a quick look at what’s being said in the US about online sales, now and in the future, to see if this helps inform the debate in the UK.


Why online PR and SEO go hand in hand

Once you’ve optimised your website copy, you’ll find that the most important part of optimisation happens off the page – where links from external sites back to yours play a vital role in telling Google and other search engines how important your site really is.


Interview: Persuasion guru BJ Fogg

BJ Fogg directs research and design at Stanford University's Persuasive Technology Lab , and is pretty much The Don of captology - the study of how computers can be used to influence people's behaviour.

We asked him a few questions about how internet marketers could be using persuasion techniques more effectively, as well as some of the more scary implications for individual web users.