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Rail Europe, a subsidiary of French rail operator SNCF, officially relaunched its website this week, though it soft launched a few weeks ago, just in time for the volcanic ash crisis.
The website aggregates tickets from rail operators across Europe, and aims to make it easy for UK customers to book rail journeys across the continent.
I found plenty of usability issues with the Eurostar website recently, so perhaps Rail Europe offers a better alternative...
Checkout optimization expert Dr Mike Baxter has produced his fourth stunning piece of e-commerce research for Econsultancy. The Checkout Optimization Guide is a must-read for all companies that accept payments online. We're absolutely sure that it will increase your conversion rates.
In the report Mike suggested 70 ways to improve performance, and I caught up with him to talk more about the latest trends in e-commerce checkout design.
Econsultancy's Checkout Optimization Guide, which contains 70 ways to increase conversion rates, was released this week.
One less obvious aspect of the checkout process which the new guide looks at is stock management, i.e. making sure that the items customers are about to buy are available and 'reserved' for them, and when to release them if customers leave
However, retailers cannot hold the contents of customers' baskets indefinitely, as other customers may want these items, so when should stock be released for other customers to buy?
The BOOKSetc brand name, as well as the database of customers from Borders UK, have been purchased by Capital Ideas Retail Ltd, which already has two other e-commerce sites.
I have been reviewing the site, but it has crashed this morning under the weight of what it calls 'overwhelming traffic', which suggests that the site wasn't fully prepared for the launch. Here's my review so far...
I wrote about the GoDaddy checkout process about a year ago, and it was one of the longest and most annoying checkouts I have seen on any e-commerce site.
There were up to ten separate steps in the process, depending on the options you select along the way, and so much cross-selling that finding a path through to the end was a real challenge. It was the very opposite of checkout best practice.
Since I last looked, GoDaddy has made a few changes to the process, so I've been seeing if it is an improvement on the previous version...
Yesterday I recommended Virgin Media's broadband services to a colleague, who is moving flat and said he might leave Sky after a decade or so. He checked out Virgin Media's combined broadband / TV / phone packages on offer and built a bundle worth more than £800 a year. Or so he thought.
The bundle page suggested that he'd be paying £70 a month, but the following page reduced this to £31 a month. So which was it to be? In seek of an answer he continued along the purchase path, only to be blocked by a form and no indication / confirmation of fees. Perplexed and frustrated, he swiftly dropped out and insisted that I try it for myself. And sure enough, I can see why potential customers would be confused by the way that one-off costs and monthly charges are communicated.
So here I'll detail the various areas that are ripe for optimisation, to help Virgin Media improve the most important pages on its website.
In the same week that Amazon launched its standalone footwear site, Tesco launched its clothing range online on a separate website, Clothing at Tesco.
The site showcases the clothing range that shoppers will find in its Extra stores, as well as exclusive online items. I've been trying the new site out...
Baby products retailer Kiddicare.com has just relaunched its e-commerce site, with an emphasis on improving the site's merchandising tools and product images.
Kiddicare is a retailer that does a lot of things well online, such as offering as many payment options as possible, and organising product reviews effectively, so I've been seeing how well the new version of the website shapes up...
Sainsbury's launched its latest online offering over the weekend, adding 4,500 products, including electricals, furniture and toys.
While rival supermarket retailer Tesco has been selling a wide range of products online for three years, Sainsbury's has been slow to get more of its product range online. I've been looking at the new range on the website...
The Littlewoods Direct website has relaunched this week with a new name in an effort to appeal to younger customers, and billing itself an an 'online, social department store'.
The site has been rebranded as Very, and contains a social network element with contributions from celebrities such as Fearne Cotton, as well as as the usual e-commerce stuff. I've been trying it out...
Coupons and voucher codes can be an effective acquisition and marketing tool, especially in the current economic climate, but are there drawbacks for retailers in terms of abandonment rates?
In a recent US cart abandonment survey, 27% of consumers said they had left the purchase process to look for coupons elsewhere. The survey did not make this point clear, but it's likely that many were prompted to search for discounts after seeing the promotional code box during the checkout process.