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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.
Ordering online from Dr Martens is enjoyable. There are lots of shoes and boots that I want in my life, such as the Pendleton pictured here.
But Dr Martens doesn’t accept in-store returns.
This is something that, with the advent of multichannel retail, consumers have come to expect. I wonder how this is affecting buyers and business?
Alternative payments only account for a small proportion of ecommerce transactions in the US and UK, however methods such as e-wallets, direct debits and cash on delivery continue to show strong growth in other regions.
Therefore it’s a feature that businesses can't ignore, particularly at a time when many e-tailers are seeking to expand into international markets.
A new report from WorldPay highlights the way in which the use of alternative payments (AP) differs across global markets, with PayPal shown to be the most popular AP method globally, though Chinese companies Alipay and Tenpay are also popular and growing at a faster rate.
It’s estimated that alternative payments accounted for 43% of all online transactions in 2012, a figure that is predicted to rise to 59% by 2017 (though predictions should always be treated with some scepticism).
Responsive design isn't just for the giants of ecommerce, your start-up business can also grab an off-the-shelf model for a reasonable price, or even for free.
Following on from David Moth's article 10 simple responsive Wordpress themes for small businesses and blogs I thought I would take a look at some of the best available templates for ecommerce sites.
If you run a small business, or are looking to make the leap from Etsy or eBay into your own domain, you could do a lot worse then looking at one of the following templates.
As a caveat, I haven't used any of these in their proper working forms, I've just played around with the demo versions, checking for customisability and whether the sites really do offer true responsiveness.
It would be worth doing your own investigation on each one before committing to buy. If you click on the images below, you will be taken through to the demo versions where you can check out the product, look at the custom options and of course the price of the product yourself.
Templates are available from many different vendors and the bulk of these are from independent designers, but first I'll take a look at the best designs available from Shopify.
With searchers choosing Amazon over Google for product searches and eBay resurgent, will Google have to launch its own marketplace to keep up?
Online retailers are a major source of advertising revenue for Google but shoppers are increasingly turning to Amazon as their shopping first port of call.
In 2010 24% of shoppers began researching on Google verses 18% on Amazon, however in 2012 this had almost completely reversed with 30% on Amazon and only 13% on Google.
Google is clearly aiming to be the destination for product searches with the launch of Product Listing Ads (PLA). However, some industry experts are wondering whether to win in this space Google will need to go beyond simply advertising products and launch a fully-fledged marketplace.
Sports Direct is brilliant. Ok, it had some problems last year as its reputation took a blow thanks to the retailer’s use of zero hour contracts, but on the sales front, it’s flying along.
New stores are opening, other sports retailers are being battered into submission and 2,000 staff members are to receive a cool £100k bonus after profits climbed by 40% to £200m last year.
With 12 languages and 10 currency options, the Sports Direct website should continue to aid the company's growing profits.
The website has been praised in many quarters. It’s certainly easy to use and strongly conveys the brand’s identity.
Visiting the site I was struck by just how good its calls to action are, and how easy it is to get around (unlike their stores). I thought I’d round up a few of the best bits.
Enjoy them in all their enormous garish glory. I think they’re part of a growing lust for simplicity that is driving web design forward.
Checkout abandonment continues to be a major topic in ecommerce, and one which retailers have plenty of options to deal with.
According to stats from Salecycle, checkout abandonment rates in Q2 2013 averaged 75.5% across all industry verticals.
One way to reduce abandonment rates is to enclose the checkout process, and remove distractions that may form a barrier to purchase. Here's why...
Morrisons has finally taken the plunge and unveiled its first ecommerce store.
The grocery retailer said that its failure to launch an ecommerce store was one of the main reasons behind its recent 5.6% slump in sales, which saw its share price fall by 7%.
Ecommerce still only represents about 5% of total grocery sales in the UK, but that's still a £7.5bn market that Morrisons wasn’t able to compete in.
In general I’m not that impressed with the UX offered by Morrisons’ rival stores, as the checkout process is generally overly long and badly designed on grocery sites.
But has Morrisons managed to buck the trend? Let’s find out...
Which ecommerce sites are setting a great example for others to follow?
I've been asking the Econsultancy blog team, as well as a few ecommerce experts, for their suggestions of great ecommerce sites.
I've picked the rest, some because they offer an excellent all round experience, others aren't perfect, but were chosen for specific aspects which others can copy/learn from....