Posts in Ecommerce

The last mile - a rant about delivery

Call me old fashioned if you will, but I still believe in the premise that when a customer places an order online, they should receive their goods within the timeframe highlighted by the retailer. Or better still, they should actually receive their order at all!

How about really stretching it and offering the customer the opportunity to choose a convenient delivery method and time?


Site review:

Halfords recently launched a reserve online, collect in-store service so we had a look its website from a user experience perspective.

Halfords homepage

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Just how much of the customer journey will Google own?

Google's stated mission is to "organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful".

The genius of this statement is that it sounds quite innocuous, indeed philanthropic, despite its obvious grand ambition, but actually allows pretty much anything within its scope.

It is interesting to see just how much of the online customer journey (from search, to research, to purchase) Google is taking hold of. Will we all end up as "wholesalers" to Google's customers?


10 things Tesco can do better online receives more than 300,000 orders a week and its online sales for the first half of 2007 reached £748m, so it is hard to pick any flaws with it's business. But could it be doing even better? We think so.

Tesco is in a similar situation to Amazon (which we looked at last week) and may not want to mess around with a site that is clearly working in terms of revenue.

Nevertheless, we've identified 10 areas that could be tweaked to generate even more of the green stuff for the retailer...


Breathing customer oxygen: How to build a customer-centric retail organisation

Everyday work life is filled with profit and losses, initiatives, metrics, administration, logistics and politics. All of this – along with the operational aspects of running your retail establishment – is vital to your business.

However, the most important aspect of your business, and one that must be measured on an ongoing basis, is the opinions and perspectives of your customers.


Eye-tracking 2.0: it's about users, not science

Eye-tracking has been used in web design for many years. However, the widespread preconception is that it takes PhD skilled technicians - plus long consulting hours - to make any sense or use of people’s eye gaze data.

The value from eye-tracking has been directly related to consultancy skills, but shouldn’t it be more about real users?


Arena Flowers’ Sam Barton on web design and development

Online florist Arena Flowers has had quite a lucrative time since its launch in late 2006.

The site says it generated £2m in revenues in its first year, helped by a strong focus on SEO, a bespoke e-commerce platform and a Facebook app that provides 15% of its traffic (albeit at lower conversion rates).

Here, head of design and development Sam Barton talks about its web strategy and plans for the future.

Arena Flowers homepage


Do you make these user experience mistakes?

Online retailers and other website owners still have plenty of room for improvement, as some are still guilty of some avoidable usability problems.

Jakob Nielsen recently said that terrible websites are less common now, but an investment in improving user experience can still pay off, with average ROI around 83%.

We list ten common usability problems found on all kinds of websites...

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Travel: TV and Web work hand in hand

January and February are always busy months for the travel industry.

With post-Christmas blues and cold winter days, it is the time of year when a large number of consumers plan their summer holiday for the year ahead.

We take a look at how the travel industry is using TV and web to drive sales.

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Ten company blogging tips

Blogs can give companies an easy way to publish the latest news and press releases, as well as providing a way to attract customer feedback and respond to positive and negative press.

Blogs can be an effective marketing tool as well. South African winery Stormhoek managed to increase sales from 40,000 crates a year to 40,000 a week after it started blogging.


Ten things Amazon can do better online

Amazon is one of the great e-commerce success stories, and we often use the site as an example of best practice. But what can it improve?

The site's usability isn't perfect but users have become familiar with the way it works, and Amazon won't want to mess with a winning formula. It's the same story with eBay. Change isn't so easy once you achieve scale at a global level.

Nevertheless we've spotted some areas that could be improved upon...


Q&A: icrossing's Nilhan Jayasinghe on Google penalties

A number of well known UK brands have been penalised recently by Google for boosting their rankings through paid links and reviews.

This happened to last year, more recently to Gocompare, and just last week Kwik-Fit's car insurance offering was relegated from page 2 to the relative obscurity of page 5 of the search engine.