Schuh

Local search experiences: The good, the bad and the ugly

We all know that Google Places listings are important because we use them in our everyday lives all the time.

50% of those using local search will visit the store within a day (and those are Google’s 2014 figures).

So what can businesses do, very simply, to improve local search?

Five best practice tips to boost mobile conversions

With mobile now accounting for the majority of visits to retail websites, it’s crucial that retailers deliver a mobile experience that drives conversions.

To help ecommerce professionals understand how to improve mobile UX we recently examined 15 leading retail sites from the point of view of smartphone shoppers. 

Eight useful UX tips from Christmas sales emails

It used to be called the January sales, but it seems like most retailers have had sales since at least the beginning of December. And they’re still going… 

This is apparent in the sheer number of emails I receive from retailers. However, rather than delete them, I’ve decided to study them in more detail to see which brands are doing this well.

Store locator tools: which retailers offer the best mobile UX?

Store locator tools are hugely important for multichannel retailers, with their importance increasing due to the consumer shift to mobile and our reliance on digital maps for directions.

This was a point hammered home to me over the weekend when I was hopelessly wandering the streets of Catford trying to find a Tesco Superstore.

Store locator tools seem a very basic part of modern web design, yet clearly not all sites manage to get it right.

The importance of giving people useful, local information is further underlined by data published by Google.

It shows that 40% of mobile searches have local intent, while three out of four mobile searches trigger follow-up actions, whether that be further research, a store visit, a phone call, a purchase or word-of-mouth sharing.

With this in mind I’ve taken a look to see which brands have great mobile store locator tools, but first here’s a look at a few features that need to be included.

18 companies with brilliant digital strategies

It occurred to me that amongst the Econsultancy blog team we certainly have our favourite companies as far as digital ambition and execution are concerned.

So I’m simply going to round up some companies that have done good things on this front and see if our readers get annoyed by any omissions or, indeed, inclusions.

So, here are 18 digital trailblazers. A lot of them are involved solely in ecommerce but not all of them.

N.B. I’ve deliberately excluded agencies and what I think of as tech companies, though that distinction is a little difficult to make in some areas.

Schuh’s adoption of responsive and the importance of a ‘mobile first’ approach

Footwear retailer Schuh has just launched a new responsive site, but previously used its outlet site, Branch309, as a pilot for this. 

The development of this site, and the lessons learned, have been applied to the main site, and highlight the advantages of ‘mobile-first’ thinking. 

In other words, designing for the simplicity of the mobile experience has benefits for desktop users too. 

Using extracts from our Mobile Web Design and Development Best Practice Guide, I’ll describe Shuh’s journey towards responsive design. 

Brand pages on online marketplaces: A good idea, badly executed

If you were wise enough to setup an online marketplace in the early days of the internet and also had great business chops, you might have been a very rich person by now.

Some of the world’s biggest ecommerce companies are those that don’t actually sell any of their own products, or rely to a large extent on third-party sellers.

Amazon is the most obvious example, while eBay has also taken great pains to rebrand as a marketplace rather than an auction site (try saying that eBay is an auction site in a blog post and see how long it takes for the PRs to knock on your door).

Similarly, in the UK Play.com shifted from being an ecommerce site to an “online trading platform” after being bought out by Rakuten, a Japanese tech company that is best known for its Rakuten Ichiba marketplace.

Which types of content are most important for ecommerce?

Content marketing has been a hot topic in digital for more than a year, but many brands still struggle with the challenge of how to integrate content seamlessly into the ecommerce experience.

One of our recent surveys found that only 38% of in-house marketers have a defined content marketing strategy, despite 76% saying they are producing significantly more content than they were 12 months ago.

To help brands overcome these challenges Econsultancy and EPiServer have published a new report entitled Where Content and Commerce Collide. 

It examines how digital content can be combined with ecommerce in order to create more engaging and successful websites.

One of the sections in the report, which is based on interviews with UK content and ecommerce professionals, investigates which types of content are most important for driving conversions.