Author: James Gurd

James Gurd

Background in marketing & business development, working in both IT services & consumer retail. Expertise is in developing & implementing eCommerce strategies for SME's within retail - Robert Dyas & Betterware.

Following nearly 2 years as an Ecommerce Consultant at EIBDigital, a UK ecommerce agency, I now run Digital Juggler, an ecommerce and digital marketing consultancy. I specialise in planning, implementing and managing commercially sustainable ecommerce programmes. I am also experienced in people management, both teams I have directly managed and business partners/agencies. 

I am a guest blogger for Econsultancy and Postcode Anywhere and Expert Editor for Smart Insights. I'm also the co-host of #ecomchat - a weekly industry Twitter chat for ecommerce professionals that takes place every Monday.

Ecommerce information architecture: the devil in the detail (part three)

This blog is the third and final part of my ecommerce information architecture mini-series and takes a look at some of the key components and guidelines for what ecommerce teams need to think about.

Today I’m going to send you to sleep talking about SEO and integration of non-product content.

I’d welcome comments to add to my views and share advice/experience of what works, what mistakes to avoid and useful resources. Hope you find it useful reading.


Ecommerce information architecture: the devil in the detail (part two)

This blog is part two of my ecommerce IA mini-series and takes a look at some of the key components and guidelines for what ecommerce teams need to think about.

Today I’m going to send you to sleep talking about URL structure & data formats (yawn…).

For those of you who missed it, part one is on site & catalogue structure.

I’d welcome comments to add to my views and share advice/experience of what works, what mistakes to avoid and useful resources to use. Hope you find it useful reading.

1 comment

Ecommerce information architecture: the devil in the detail

I’ve worked with many clients (and on my own sites) where avoidable structural/data problems add unnecessary complexity to website management.

I say avoidable because they’re usually a result of not asking the right questions upfront before the site is built. It’s a tough task to cover all bases for an ecommerce platform because there are so many factors in play that can affect elements like on-site UX, business reporting, data flows and SEO.

In my experience, it’s a continuous learning curve, picking up insight from specialists along the way to build a (hopefully) thorough knowledge base of what information you need to effectively build a website, what format the data needs to be in and what it needs to do e.g. data field X in the CMS drives site search results

Google local pack

10 essentials for local SEO success

In this blog I explain 10 recommendations for your local SEO program, based on research and my own experience of planning and implementing local SEO strategies for B2B and B2C retailers.


Seven important UX requirements for online postcode validation

When I started looking at user journeys for and the tools we’d need to deliver a good quality UX, one of the first areas I looked at was forms.

Form abandonment is a headache for all ecommerce sites but there is a lot of learning out there regarding how to minimise the risk of alienating users.

This blog looks at some of the core UX requirements that I think people selecting a postcode lookup and validation tool should take into consideration, as well as explaining which solution we chose and why.


A guide to structuring your email marketing program

I’ve spent a lot of time since 2009 advising clients on email strategy and implementation, but less on actual implementation.

I was starting to miss the fun of creating campaigns, hitting the send button and watching the results. That changed when I decided to launch a new UK crowdfunding startup, with some close friends.

As Head of Digital, I’ve had to get back into the detail of email marketing and think beyond the strategy. This blog shares my experience on what makes for good email marketing in terms of process and strategy components.

I hope you find it useful reading.


Five ways crowdfunding will help retail ecommerce in 2014

The UK’s innovation agency, NESTA, predicts the UK crowdfunding industry to raise £14bn in 2016. That’s a big number considering the global market was expected to reach $6bn in 2013, up from $2.7bn in 2012.

The growth is being driven by an increase in platforms, rapid adoption of crowdfunding as a finance source by businesses and growing consumer awareness.

Ecommerce Personalisation Evolution

A five-step roadmap for using personalisation in ecommerce

A key theme at the recent Econsultancy Digital Cream roundtable on Personalisation was paralysis: being unsure how to prove the business case to justify investment and start the personalisation journey.

This uncertainty is leading to inertia as digital teams invest in what they know works, such as paid search, rather than take the leap of faith and pursue what they believe will work but don’t have a robust model to validate.

However, there are some simple steps that people can take to test the impact of personalisation before worrying about sophisticated options like using predictive modelling to drive on-site merchandising and geo-personalisation of online advertising.

This blog is a walk-through of what I think is a realistic roadmap for personalisation, starting with the absolute basics (hey basics often work really well so don’t think you’ve got to go all weird science straight away!) and gradually progressing to the sexy wizardry of advanced targeting.


Page load speed: 14 valuable tips for ecommerce managers

It’s widely accepted that minimising page load speed is good practice for ecommerce, to ensure visitors get a fast service and search engines don’t mark the webpages down for usability.

But what does this mean? What are the techniques you need to use to achieve this? And if you’re not technical, how can you make sense of the jargon to make sensible decisions?

In this blog, I look at the most common causes of slow page loads speeds, which will hopefully give ecommerce managers a useful starting place.

When I started out in ecommerce, I didn't get this at all but i've spent time learning over the years to ensure that I know what questions to ask and what to look for.

You don't have to grasp the detail of the technical implications to understand the essentials and that for me is something all ecommerce managers must master.

Attribution analysis

Understanding the business questions that attribution analysis can help answer

From the list of 2012 shameless buzzwords, attribution analysis is the one that really interests me and is a hot topic amongst most senior ecommerce professionals I know.


Because there isn’t a right answer for how use attribution analysis. During the attribution modelling sessions I moderated on for Econsultancy’s Digital Cream event, a constant theme was uncertainty about how to start using attribution and how to apply it to the business.

For many there was scepticism about the reliability and validity of the data.

I'm hoping this blog kick starts a discussion......


Six key issues from the attribution analysis & modelling table at Digital Cream 2013

I had the pleasure (or dubious honour?) of moderating on Econsultancy’s attribution analysis and modelling table at this year’s Digital Cream event at the Emirates stadium in London. 

It was an intriguing insight in to what ecommerce teams are doing and what is holding them back. The common theme was a slight unease about how best to use attribution modelling to help the business grow.

There was variety in the type of company represented, from membership organisations to high street retailers, as well as the job roles of the people attending, from ecommerce managers to business analysts.

Here’s a summary of the six key issues that were discussed and the challenges that businesses are facing.


10 lessons learned from launching a Twitter Chat

Back in September 2012, myself and fellow Ecommerce Consultant Dan Barker decided that there was a gap in the market for an ecommerce centric industry chat.

Why? You may ask.

Well, we both regularly get asked ecommerce questions via social media channels (Twitter, Google+ & LinkedIn being the most common) and we also tap into the fountain of knowledge that is our followers.  

There is a constant flow of, and demand for, knowledge sharing. This blog takes a look at what we have learned launching a Twitter chat and the mistakes we've made along the way.