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10 tips on improving online customer service

The Christmas season is well underway for retailers, which means customer service departments will be facing a battle to maintain standards.

With many customers shopping online for the first time, as well as those internet shopping veterans who will turn out in great numbers, etailers must ensure that they provide a positive experience to encourage repeat business.

So how can they do it? Some tips after the jump...


Sainsbury's increases online orders

Sainsbury's said it would continue scaling up its web operations after posting a 40% increase in internet sales during the six months to October.

The supermarket said it was taking around 80,000 online orders per week at the end of the period - more than the 60,000 it said it was at the same point last year, but far less less than rival Tesco, which at the last count was processing 250,000.


Deval in disguised attempt to ban internet gambling

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick is the latest person in US public office to take aim at online gambling, though his bill seems doomed to failure if you look at the numbers.

Patrick, who is essentially a leftist with an otherwise right-on record, has suggested that internet gamblers should be fined and jailed, marking a shift from the usual ‘prosecute the gambling companies, not the punters’ line.

Nothing unusual in that, you might think, but Patrick’s recommendation appears within a bill aimed at making room for three more casinos in the state that he currently oversees. A thoroughly bizarre move, if he is concerned about his reputation, and savagely hypocritical given the main thrust of the bill.


Google bids to tackle accidental Adsense clicks

Google has made some tweaks to its AdSense ads in a bid to reduce the number of unintentional clicks.

The clickable area of ads has been reduced to just the URL and ad title, rather then the entire box, following a similar adjustment to Google's paid search ads in April. 

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Murdoch to make WSJ content free

Rupert Murdoch has said he is planning to make the Wall Street Journal free to access on the web, following its recent purchase by News Corp. 

The paper, one of the few that still charges subscriptions, earns around $50m per year from 1m users but hopes to generate more cash by increasing its traffic.

Speaking in Australia, Murdoch said:

"We are studying it and we expect to make that free, and instead of having 1m (subscribers), having at least 10m to 15m in every corner of the earth."


Mindmeister makes mind-mapping easy

Mindmeister is an excellent online mind-mapping tool which allows users to brainstorm and organise plans and ideas.

Mindmeister homepage 


Seven in ten web projects miss deadlines - study

Almost 70% of online marketing campaigns don’t meet their launch deadlines, according to a survey of senior marketers.

The study, conducted by PK Data, found lengthy approval processes, IT department bottlenecks and problems with web content management systems (WCMSs) were the main causes behind delayed projects.

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Google Analytics celebrates second birthday

Google Analytics, Big G's highly popular free reporting software, is two years old tomorrow, but what impact has it had and what's in store for the future?

Arguably one of the biggest developments in the online marketing space in the past few years, Google Analytics is a fine tool for marketers, although it isn't without its issues.

We caught up with Google Analytics' Brian Clifton, as well as web analytics gurus Jim Sterne and Eric Peterson, to see how the software is shaping up, two years on... 


US online ad spending passes $5bn in Q3

Online ad revenues across the Atlantic  exceeded $5.2bn (£2.5bn) in Q3, making it another record quarter, according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau.  

Spending on online ads increased by $1.1bn (£532m) or 25.3% on the same period last year, and also rose by 3% compared to Q2. 


Xing to incorporate ads

B2B social network Xing is planning to introduce advertising for the first time before the end of the year, giving the company an extra revenue stream to add to subscriptions.

According to Xing, the targeted ads will only be introduced in certain sections and will "not compromise the usability of the website". But it says the volume of ads will increase over the next year.


Content optimisation - acquisitions a go-go

On-site content optimisation has hit the headlines a couple of times over the past weeks.

With two US competitors to our multivariate testing solution being acquired, the shape of this market has changed considerably.

Organisations from outside our space are taking a keen interest in optimisation and seeing us as a complementary value added solution.


Young people 'prefer internet to TV'

Young people are now spending 10% more time online than in front of the box, according to a survey of European internet usage.

The European Interactive Advertising Association's Mediascope survey also found growing web usage among silver surfers and women (12% and 8% respectively) compared to last year.