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Black Friday is nearly upon us, and interest in the annual shopping splurge appears to be taking hold in the UK... sort of.
In the US it makes sense as Black Friday always coincides with the day after Thanksgiving, but on these shores it all feels a bit forced.
Why should we care about a shopping event that coincides with a public holiday that means nothing in the UK?
In which we take a look at the experience of using John Lewis from a customer point of view.
Meaning this won’t be a robust test of the ecommerce site’s search functionality, or the quality of its mega-navs, or the persuasiveness of its homepage.
Instead this will involve searching for an item on Google, clicking on the most attractive result, testing the relevancy and helpfulness of its landing page and seeing how quick and easy it is to make a purchase. The customer journey in a nutshell.
It occurred to me that amongst the Econsultancy blog team we certainly have our favourite companies as far as digital ambition and execution are concerned.
So I'm simply going to round up some companies that have done good things on this front and see if our readers get annoyed by any omissions or, indeed, inclusions.
So, here are 18 digital trailblazers. A lot of them are involved solely in ecommerce but not all of them.
N.B. I've deliberately excluded agencies and what I think of as tech companies, though that distinction is a little difficult to make in some areas.
Store locator tools are hugely important for multichannel retailers, with their importance increasing due to the consumer shift to mobile and our reliance on digital maps for directions.
This was a point hammered home to me over the weekend when I was hopelessly wandering the streets of Catford trying to find a Tesco Superstore.
Store locator tools seem a very basic part of modern web design, yet clearly not all sites manage to get it right.
The importance of giving people useful, local information is further underlined by data published by Google.
It shows that 40% of mobile searches have local intent, while three out of four mobile searches trigger follow-up actions, whether that be further research, a store visit, a phone call, a purchase or word-of-mouth sharing.
With this in mind I’ve taken a look to see which brands have great mobile store locator tools, but first here's a look at a few features that need to be included.
Back in the distant past of 2012, our illustrious editor shared his 14 best practice tips for how ecommerce sites should handle online returns.
Upon reading the above linked article you’ll notice that very little in terms of best practice has changed in the intervening years.
However in the intervening two years since the above publication, how well have some of the top UK ecommerce sites presented their returns information? Let’s take a look...
It’s awards season here at Econsultancy as the entries detailing inspirational case studies from a huge range of companies continue to roll in, and it's still not too late for your team to enter.
The Digitals 2014 are designed to showcase the finest work from the global digital and ecommerce community, but not just from individuals, we want to put the whole team centre stage in order to celebrate and truly reflect the collaborative culture of our industry.
You have till 24 September 2014 to enter, and in order to give you inspiration for your own entry we’ve rounded up some of the best retail case studies we received in 2013.
For more advice on how to write your entry, read David Moth’s 10 tips for writing a stand out awards entry for The Digitals.
I've been trawling through some mobile sites to find features I like.
Previously I published probably my favourite 15 mobile features but here's 30 more I like to see on the smaller screen.
As ever, check out the Econsultancy Mobile Web Design and Development Best Practice Guide for more guidance and come to the Festival of Marketing in London, November 12-13th, to learn more.
Right, let's get stuck in with the screenshots!
Well, this post does what it says on the tin.
Some sites are mobile sites (m dot) and some are responsive.
For more information on mobile design, check out the Econsultancy Mobile Web Design and Development Best Practice Guide.
And, of course, for more on multichannel marketing, come to the Festival of Marketing in London, November 12-13th.
Way, way back in 2011 we published an article looking at how 26 commerce sites presented their mega menus.
This refers to the drop-down menus that are generally situated within the horizontal navigation at the top of a webpage.
Web trends and UX design have changed in the intervening years, in large part due to increasing consumer adoption of mobile and new technologies such as responsive design, so I thought it would be interesting to revisit those same sites to see how they've evolved.
Here they are...
In the same way that exclusive offers and flash sales cause shoppers to throw rational thought out of the window, dwindling stock levels create a fear of loss and a sense of urgency that nudges consumers ever closer to making a purchase.
Ecommerce retailers are obviously wise to this as a sales tactic and it's common to see stock information displayed prominently on product pages.
With this in mind I’ve been scouring apparel ecommerce sites to see how different retailers present stock levels as part of their product page design.
Here’s a selection of what I found...
Why would a department store close its online store while building a new one?
And, having done that, what should the company do to make sure the relaunch maximises the opportunity?
Here are 10 suggestions for one particular retailer doing exactly that.
At the start of the year, retailer John Lewis announced some impressive year on year sales figures, along with the revelation that more than three quarters of its site traffic on Christmas Day came from mobile devices.
Its profits continue to look very healthy, and mobile is an ever growing proportion of its sales.
So what is it that John Lewis is getting right with its mobile strategy? And what lessons can we learn in order to apply to our own?
These are some of the elements that John Lewis delivered on.