Staples

Guest checkout test: which of these 25 US retailers force users to register?

One of the biggest barriers for customers about to use a checkout is forcing them to register their details first.

Presenting them with page after page of forms in which they need to fill out the most unnecessary of personal details is a quick way to send your customers to the exit, leaving many abandoned baskets and lowering your conversion.

Earlier today I looked at 30 UK retailers and which ones force their customers to register, now it’s time to turn our attention to the USA.

Staples US and UK sites: an SEO and ecommerce review

Staples has recently (well, around six months ago) announced plans to increase its focus on online channels. 

Chief executive Ron Sargent said that nearly half the company’s sales were now generated online and that there was a plan to reinvent the company by “taking aggressive action to reduce costs and improve efficiency”.

To this end, it has closed 225 North American stores and launched a new website. Here, with the help of Ruth Attwood, Advanced Search Consultant at 4Ps Marketing, I’ve been looking at Staple’s US and UK sites from an SEO and ecommerce perspective. 

10 excellent ecommerce product pages

In the varied world of ecommerce no two product pages are exactly the same, though there are a number of features that many sites have in common.

We previously looked in detail at the kind of tools retailers should consider including to help boost their conversion rates, including product videos, large images and user reviews.

And in this post I’ve tracked down 10 retailers that have excellent product pages for one reason or another. None of them is perfect, however each has several features that make them examples you can learn from.

Congress subpoenas web loyalty firm

How much disclosure is enough online? Congress has issued a subpoena to online marketer Vertrue for making unauthorized credit card charges online, and regardless of how it turns out, the increased exposure should prove bad for the business of blind credit card transactions.

The request by the Senate marks the Commerce Committee’s first major subpeona to get documents from a private company since the 2002 Enron scandal.

Committee Chairman John
Rockefeller wrote in a July 28 letter to Vertrue Chief Executive
Gary Johnson that consumers are struggling to get by during the recession, and “allegations that your company is making this situation
worse by charging consumers for services they do not want or
use are extremely troubling.”

Vertrue maintains that it has not done anything unlawful. And said that it requested the subpoena because the Senate was
asking for information that could “include personally identifiable
information about the consumer.” Meanwhile, Vertrue has failed to disclose email, financial documents and other internal communications and has been accused of “slow walking” the investigation.