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Many online purchases disappoint shoppers - survey

Nearly half of online shoppers in the UK have apparently purchased an item online but faced disappointment once it has been delivered.

The figure comes from a survey of over 2,000 consumers by vzaar.com, which provides video technology to sellers on eBay.

It, not surprisingly, says the research highlights the role good quality videos and images can play in boosting online sales.

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Financial sites accused of misleading customers

Twenty five per cent of financial firms' websites present product information in an unclear or misleading way, according to a review by the Financial Services Authority (FSA).

The study found that several sites were difficult to navigate and often failed to display key information.

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Etailers struggle to cope with Cyber Monday traffic

Internet shoppers in the US are reported to have spent around $733m (£355m) on 'Cyber Monday' - the biggest day of the online retail year.

Figures from comScore suggest Amazon and Wal-Mart attracted the most custom, while the overall number of people shopping online was up 38%.

However, the traffic also caused issues - some sites were operating up to 400% slower than usual while Yahoo's Merchant Solutions service buckled under the strain.

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Targeted email marketing doesn’t need to be complex

Being part of the IAB email council, I get to be involved in some interesting discussions about the future of the industry, the impact of social media on email and the next big thing.

However many companies are still to exploit the full benefits of email marketing, especially when it comes to database segmentation and targeting.

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BBC Worldwide wants bigger slice of web pie

BBC Worldwide chief exec John Smith has admitted that the company “under-egged” the proportion of revenues it could gain from the internet.

Quoted by Reuters, Smith said it was looking for new ways to capitalise on the BBC’s online audience, including acquisitions, social networking applications and the joint on-demand video venture it announced yesterday with Channel 4 and ITV.

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Email marketing: Keep it simple...

How did a reputable family of brands (whose products I enjoy a little too much) annoy me into hitting the SPAM button?

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Yahoo! retail partners miss out on Cyber Monday

Yahoo!'s Merchant Solutions service was hit by a series of outages yesterday, costing many small business customers dearly on what is thought to have been the busiest day of the year.

Partners of the hosted e-commerce service complained that shoppers were receiving "system unavailable" messages when trying to complete transactions.

And all on a day in which online sales were predicted to reach $700m in the US. 

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INTERVIEW: Eric T. Peterson on Web Analytics 2.0

Eric T. Peterson, author of Web Analytics Demystified and general sage on all things to do with web measurement, speaks to us about the benefits of ‘Web Analytics 2.0’ – the insights to be gained by integrating site data with other sources of online intelligence, such as online surveys, customer experience management, and email marketing stats.

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Broadcasters confirm joint video plans

The BBC, Channel 4 and ITV have confirmed that their long rumoured joint video on demand (VOD) service will go live next year.

The venture, dubbed 'Project Kangaroo', will operate independently of the three broadcasters and offer video content from a range of providers.

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Microsoft 'does a Facebook' with new-look Xbox Live

Xbox Live logo Microsoft plans to add a new social networking option to its Xbox Live platform, by allowing users of the service to connect with friends of friends.

The Dashboard Update will be introduced on December 4, to allow gamers to find friends, send messages and invites, and to compare games.

All of which prompts the question: Is Microsoft trying to become 'the new Facebook'?

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Is the blog sidebar dead?

Thord Daniel Hedengren has written a series of posts that argue blog sidebars are being rendered useless by widget clutter.

He takes a look at things bloggers should and should not be doing with this valuable but often "wasted" inventory.

Here are Thord's tips...

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Online spending to pass £15bn in Q4, says IMRG

Online retail spending is set to pass £15bn in the last quarter of the year, according to stats from the IMRG.

The group says that higher interest rates and the credit crunch have slowed e-commerce growth slightly, but online shopping is still growing twenty times faster than offline.

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