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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.

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Drama 2.0's Web Week in Review

The headlines this past week were dominated by economic news - news that is having an impact on the technology markets. Here are the stories I found most interesting.

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69% of companies do not email checkout dropouts

Two-thirds of companies in the UK are failing to send emails to customers who have abandoned their shopping baskets.

This seems like a missed opportunity, and is one of the findings of the E-consultancy / Adestra Email Marketing Industry Census 2008, a survey of agency and company email marketers in the UK.

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Bebo snapped up by AOL for $850m

UK-based social network Bebo has been acquired by Time Warner's AOL for $850m (£418m) in cash.

Bebo, which is particularly popular in the UK with a teenage and young adult audience, has an estimated 40m members worldwide and around 80m unique users. 

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CNET: We Can't Find the Influentials Either

CNET has conducted a study of 'influencers' amongst users of the websites in its network.

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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?

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What Wikipedia can teach us about SEO

Wikipedia probably receives more traffic from Google than any other website. With over 2 million in depth articles the English version is most people's idea of a perfectly optimised site so what can we learn from it?

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The Link Buyer's Guide

Most webmasters should know by now that link buying is a "black hat" search engine optimisation tactic. High profile sites are being given penalties for buying their way to the top and Google is publicly making life very tough for link buyers and sellers alike.

So why am I writing a link buyer's guide?

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Is the search interface key to user experience?

Google has one of the most basic interfaces on the web. In fact, the simplest pages on Google are their most profitable with most of the revenue coming from search pages and comparatively little arriving from maps, video, Gmail etc

The new Search Me search engine promises to deliver a new kind of interface and the developers no doubt hope to gain market share as a result.

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Online advertisers! Stop shouting at me!

There are a number of very irritating advertising techniques still used on the web today. Pop-ups, overlays and site intros are all highly annoying, but for me the worst ads are the ones that play sound as soon as you visit a web page.

I seem to be noticing this a lot more recently, and it isn't limited to low rent websites or brands. A bunch of well-respected sites regularly allow this, despite the fact that it makes visitors aim for the Back button.

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UK retailers failing to follow email best practice

A new survey finds that retailers in the UK still have a lot to learn about email marketing, with 46% failing to comply with legal guidelines and many others not following best practice.

TopShop, STA Travel, ASDA and M&S came off best in dotMailer's benchmark study (pdf), scoring over 80%, while Office, Expedia and H&M scored less than 60%.

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What happens when you don't own your startup?

The perceived value of the most popular Web 2.0 startups lies in their large 'communities' and the content that those large communities contribute.

Without their communities, services such as Facebook and Digg would be of little value to advertisers, investors and potential acquirers.

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