Category Archives: E-commerce

Do you really think you’re prepared for Black Friday and Cyber Monday?

ShoppingArcadeIt’s that time of year again, when retailers are turning their full attention to Black Friday (28 November) and Cyber Monday (1 December) in the hope of cashing in.

Last year’s Cyber Monday saw retailers managing up to 120 million visits to their websites; this year it is predicted that consumers will spend £281m, on average £4.39 per person. Read More »

How to beat the hackers this season

Lock by xserve, FlickrEbay, Reuters, The Racing Post, JPMorgan Chase, and Target – what do all these companies have in common? Each has been the recent victim of security breaches and made the headlines as a result.

A recent survey by PwC shows that while UK security breaches are slightly down this year, the cost per breach is skyrocketing, costing companies millions in clean-up and causing lasting damage to the brand. Let’s face it, the last thing a company needs during the holidays is a security breach. Read More »

As Lowe’s trials in-store robots, are brands ready for the new retail environment?

Loew's retail robotThe news last week that US supply hardware store Lowe’s is piloting robotic shopping assistants is yet another example of a retailer which is taking steps to align digital with the in-store shopping experience.

Retailers are working to maintain their share of the market by taking the ease and quality of information provided in an e-commerce setting, right back into the store. But, are brands ready for a new environment that merges the online and offline world? Read More »

Know, speak, and challenge for mobile success

Location-based mobile ads: how do you get it right?It’s seven weeks until the big day and the mobile Grinch is in town. Research this week showed that 91% of people will switch to a competitor’s website if they receive a poor mobile experience (Netbiscuits People’s Web Report).

As if that’s not enough to focus the mind, mobile is projected to drive 36% of all e-commerce sales in 2014, compared to 16% in 2013. In the UK, it is estimated that mobile influenced £15bn of in-store sales in 2012, double the value of goods actually sold over mobile in that year.

This trend presents two major challenges to brands and retailers, this season and beyond. Firstly, mobile experience is now as important, if not more, than the desktop experience, so it needs to be super slick. Responsively designed websites are now an absolute bare minimum.

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China’s Singles Day: E-commerce retailers must take note

Heart by Darte:FlickrHalf-price boots. A bargain anorak. Discounted bed linen. Not your average rush to buy hearts, flowers and anything pink or red. China’s Singles Day is a modern twist on Valentine’s Day with lucrative results for China’s biggest e-commerce companies. So called because the date consists of four ‘ones’, Singles Day is an occasion for single people to celebrate single life that has now evolved into one of China’s biggest online shopping events.

Every 11 November in China, e-commerce retailers incentivise singletons to spoil themselves with heavily discounted online purchases (those who aren’t single also take the opportunity to grab a bargain). Sales on last year’s Singles Day exceeded the two biggest shopping days in the US, Black Friday and Cyber Monday, combined with $8bn sales. Retailers with e-commerce operations in China must build Singles Day into their marketing plan.

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For banks, going digital isn’t enough

lloydsThis week Lloyds announced that it would be cutting 9,000 jobs and closing 200 branches after predicting that visits to its branches will halve over the next three years. Instead of investing in bricks and mortar stores the bank promises that its customers will benefit from an increase in digital services – but what does this mean in terms of consumer experience?

By closing so many branches Lloyds will be taking away the local experience for many of its customers. Although this local aspect may not be as important to the modern, digital consumer, it is important to think about the benefits it afforded. It gave the bank an opportunity to have a very simple and effective one-to-one relationship with their customers.

For customers this also meant a place to go for bespoke advice, to rectify complaints and find solutions to their financial problems – so how do banks maintain this relationship in a digital world? Read More »

What metrics really matter in e-commerce?

ecommerceIt’s well known that e-commerce is a fiercely competitive marketplace and as preparations for the busy Christmas trading period are in full-swing, online retailers and e-commerce consultants are looking at any way they can get ahead of their competitors.

The race to outdo the competition means that many are looking at the minutiae as a way to beat the competition.

Consultants often talk about “the aggregation of marginal gains” as a way to improve their performance. They obsess about improving page load speeds by milliseconds, undertake endless user experience tests and modifications, or chase ‘big data’ insights as a ways to achieve their goals. Read More »

OOH is a new point-of-sale for online retail brands

trains by svenwerk:FlickrSecond screen purchasing is gaining serious traction. As social media rolls out user friendly shopping tools such as Facebook’s Buy Button and Twitter’s Product Card, consumers have never had it easier when it comes to mobile shopping.

According to the Centre For Retail Research, online retail sales made via mobile devices will grow by 62% this year, to a total of £7.92 billion. This is equivalent to 17.6% of UK online retail sales. Sales using tablets will grow by 100%, to £3.10bn, while smartphone retailing is expected to grow by 44.3% to £4.82. Smartphones will provide 60.8% of UK mobile shopping.

Mobile shopping is serious business and out-of-home is primed to become the key medium to deliver second screen sales. The likes of traincards, billboards and bus shelters, combined with changing consumer behaviour and growing wifi and 4G connectivity, are swiftly becoming an effective point-of-sale medium for online-only retailers and ‘clicks and mortar’ companies to drive search and purchase from their screen-based ‘shop windows’. Read More »

Twitter trials ‘Buy’ button

Twitter Buy buttonTwitter is finally taking its first crack at e-commerce by testing a “Buy” button in the US that lets shoppers buy directly from a Tweet.

According to Twitter’s blog, the button is just the first step in the social network’s plan to build more functionality into the site and transform the way we shop with our mobile devices.

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How apps like Spring are changing consumer behaviour

Spring appThe world of e-commerce is buzzing at the moment; Ebay is celebrating its 15th anniversary since the first UK sale and new apps and services are being launched every day, ready to crack mobile commerce.

There’s no doubt that Ebay transformed the way people shop and sell, despite starting off as an online auction business. The website crashed offline last week for the 10th time this year and suffered a major cyber-attack in May that might have compromised the details of 145 million users, but the pioneer is still going strong with just over 19 million Britons visiting the site every month.

The challenge Ebay faces lies in new single purpose apps – such as Spring and Depop, which illustrate the change in consumer purchasing behaviours. Read More »