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The new Marks & Spencer website, two years in the making, is a feast for the eyes. As a replatform, it cost a lot of money and accompanies other changes such as an upgraded contact centre and new in-store tech and merchandising.
In this first look at the site, I'll be pointing out the most obvious changes and discussing why it's a step change and effectively gives the impression of 'luxe high street' online.
What stands out is the focus on visuals, a curated experience with magazine-style editorial, and a user experience that’s particularly impressive on tablet. This isn’t a surprising approach given that 44% of Christmas traffic to the website was from tablets and the brand is moving to a ‘lean back’ experience online for those that want it.
I’ll be following this post with more discussion of the new site and its various features that could be set to revitalise the brand across devices (the M&S mobile site and its apps have been updated, too).
Companies are reporting the underperformance of ecommerce solutions in critical areas of functionality such as site search, product management, SEO and mobile-supported commerce.
These deficiencies, coupled with difficulties with integration, have led many merchants to replatform, according to Econsultancy’s first survey-based Technology for Ecommerce Report.
The reports, carried out in association with Neoworks, shows that only a minority of respondents say their technology performs well across each of the key functionality requirements.
In this post I’ll look in more detail at some findings of this new report based on a survey of more than 500 client-side and agency respondents
Are you a brand struggling to build or evolve to a direct to consumer model? Are you trying, but failing? Are sales from the digital channel below expectation?
Or, are you a brand that has not yet made the move to a direct to consumer model, and still unsure if that is a move you should be making?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, this article is written for you.
Russia is currently in the spotlight, preparing to host the Winter Olympics, with all the associated negative press for its government.
But whatever the irregularities of Vladimir Putin, Russia has the third highest economic growth rate in the world.
Although online sales in Russia account for just 2% retail sales, this is estimated to rise to 5%, or $46bn, by 2015 according to Morgan Stanley.
And Russian internet users are in thrall to overseas brands. In 2013 the top 25 brands searched for on Yandex, the top Russian search engine with 61% share, were all overseas fashion brands.
So what are international ecommerce outlets waiting for? Shouldn’t everyone be importing into Russia?
One new hurdle to expansion into Russia is increased complexity in shipping since new import laws were implemented in December 2013.
What do you need to know about Russia, who’s already taking advantage and how can you follow suit? This post and our Russia Digital Market Landscape report can help.
In 2013, 30m people were shopping online in MENA according to PayPal. This was an increase of 65% from 2011.
Saudi Arabia was the top buying country in a region of high average income per capita (e.g. more than $100k in Qatar).
But what of the rest of the region? How does it compare with the rest of the world and what sort of numbers are we talking about?
In this post I’ve rounded up some stats shared by the COO of Aramex, Iyad Kamal, at MetaPack’s Delivery Conference this week.
House of Fraser launched a redesigned version of its site earlier this week, with a focus on catering for touch screen users.
I've been asking Executive Director for MultiChannel at House of Fraser Andy Harding about the thinking behind the relaunch...
If you’re not familiar with vente-privee, it’s a French pure play selling famous brands at 50% off retail price. And it does it on a big scale.
The company had €1.5bn turnover in 2013, an increase of 18% year on year.
120,000 parcels are shipped every day by vente-privee to eight EU countries and also to the US. It’s the number one fashion brand in France and the fourth biggest brand in all French B2C distribution.
I listened to Seb Bellone, Head of European Transport and Distribution at vente-privee, who gave me these stats at MetaPack’s Delivery Conference this week.
I thought I’d lay the stats out for you, so you can get an idea of the scale that vente-privee works on and how they deal with delivery.
There are many brands who have not considered selling on marketplaces like eBay and Amazon, let alone Ozon, Tmall and Allegro.
But it’s an opportunity only the foolish would dismiss out of hand. For many brands it can bring in another big chunk of revenue if done well and a customised page on eBay for example, doesn’t necessarily devalue a brand’s image.
BMW is one example of a company that successfully dipped its toe and then plunged into marketplaces. In fact, BMW used eBay before it had any of its own ecommerce functionality.
I attended the MetaPack Delivery Conference this week and heard from Al Gerrie of We Are Pentagon about the advantages of selling on marketplaces and what brands should look out for.
So what is there to know?
Money is changing, with a range of innovative new technologies looking to disrupt the established financial structures.
Chief among these are the crypto-currencies such as Bitcoin.
But what are they, where did they come from, and are they really a threat to the traditional monetary system?
With more than half of its traffic coming from mobile, House of Fraser has today launched a redesigned version of its site with the emphasis on the user experience for touch screen devices.
This marks a change in strategy for the company: designing for the mobile customer now comes before desktop or laptop.
I've been looking at the various sections of the new site...
Replatforming and deploying major updates are some of the most stressful moments for an ecommerce team.
These moments are vital for staying ahead of the competition, for introducing innovative new features or responding to user testing, but they’re also the point at which things can go most wrong.
Too often when you or your agency throw the hypothetical switch you end up with a site that’s got serious bugs or, even worse, no site at all.
What can you do to ensure that the deployment of your new platform, or of important revisions to your existing one, run seamlessly and effectively?
In 2013, 83% of retailers gave customers a choice of home delivery options, though less than half (47%) of retailers offered three or more services.
Micros has released its 2014 Multichannel Retail Delivery Report, in which 239 retail websites were tested for their delivery flexibility, customer service and delivery performance.
Here we’ll be taking a specific look at the range of delivery options available from retail websites and how they compare year-on-year.