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Digital is no longer just a channel, but instead is becoming the center point for customer behavior both on and offline.
According to a recent report three quarters of the worlds top brands have Google+ pages, with a combined following of more than 20 million fans.
This is a massive 9,400% increase since December 2011 when only 222,000 people followed them collectively.
But while writing a recent series of posts looking at how some of the world’s top brands use social I noticed that the amount of effort put into their G+ pages massively varies, while user interaction with content and posts is almost non-existent.
So to find out whether this is a common theme, I thought it would be interesting to take a look at how the UK’s top 20 online retailers use G+ and the levels of engagement that they achieve.
Just to clarify, this post isn’t about the SEO benefits of G+ or the potential for +1s to become more important in future, it’s an evaluation of how brands use G+ and how their fans respond...
Shop Direct and Tesco have the fastest websites among Europe’s top retailers, according to a new report from Radware and Level 3.
According to data included in the white paper, 57% of online shoppers will abandon a site if it hasn’t loaded after three seconds.
So Radware conducted a survey of the IR400 European ecommerce sites to see if they met this expectation.
Each site was tested using a range of browsers but the findings in the report are for Google Chrome, which is the most widely adopted browser in the EU.
Overall, the median web page load time was 7.04 seconds, which is double the time it would take for a majority of consumers to abandon their purchase.
As mentioned the research found that UK retailers Shop Direct and Tesco had the fastest load times at 1.69 seconds and 1.72 seconds respectively.
In 2012 some of the world’s biggest brands treated us to some truly spectacular blunders on social media.
My personal favourite was KitchenAid’s attack on President Obama’s dead grandmother, though the Swedish Tourist Board also deserves an honourable mention for its potty-mouthed, anti-Semitic tweets.
Thankfully brands haven’t learned from other’s mistakes so the social fails have continued apace in 2013.
Obviously it’s wrong to make fun of people’s mistakes and revel in their failures, but it’s also important to document social fails as a warning to others (sort of)...
To celebrate the launch of our new digital marketing and ecommerce awards, #TheDigitals, I've rounded up five examples of effective email marketing campaigns.
It follows a recent post that flagged up six great examples of mobile marketing excellence.
To avoid any accusations of bias, these are all examples that fall outside the eligibility period for the current awards, but should give an idea of the type of campaigns and projects we are looking for.
#TheDigitals are the new awards that recognise the best in digital marketing and ecommerce. Award entries must be submitted online before the deadline March 13, 2013.
New data shows that the use of commerce and banking apps is growing faster among UK Android users than the use of gaming apps, however Google and Facebook still dominate the market.
According to stats from Nielsen, seven of the 15 major apps experiencing the fastest growing usage among Android users are commerce apps from the likes of Tesco, Amazon and Quidco.
But Nielsen’s definition includes apps used to buy digital products, general retail products, and experiences through social commerce.
If you look at shopping apps from retailers, only Tesco and Asda are represented in this list.
We've previously looked at whether retail apps deliver a decent user experience on Android by investigating store finder functions and Debenhams' use of push alerts to notify users of sale and discounts.
A recent survey into the functions that consumers most want to see in smartphone apps found that, aside from money saving offers, people value the ability to locate physical stores and to purchase items directly from the app.
Though the research, commissioned by Adobe, was a closed question so respondents were restricted in what they could answer, it highlights the local intent associated with activities on a smartphone.
To find out whether the UK’s top retailers are catering to this need, I tried out four shopping apps on Android to see how easy it is to find store location and contact details...
Responsive design is a hot topic in web design at the moment, as it allows site owners to tailor content to any sized screen from a single set of code - which is obviously very useful as the mobile web continues to grow in popularity.
Yet it’s still quite difficult to find examples of retailers that have embraced the technology.
This is particularly true among the top retailers that tend cling to their existing mobile sites and apps rather than going responsive.
Though responsive design is an all-encompassing way of building your site rather than a mobile strategy per se, for the purposes of this post I thought it would be interesting to look at which of the top 20 UK retailers use responsive design compared to those who have a separate mobile site.
Here’s what I found out...
Earlier this month I analysed the way that Walmart uses social media to engage with its customers, finding that it has built up a large following on each of the major social networks with the exception of Google+.
By way of comparison, I thought it would be interesting to take a look at Tesco’s social strategy to see if there are any major differences in its approach.
As with Walmart, Tesco also publishes its social media guidelines online. It asks staff to ‘live the values’, ‘be authentic’ and respect other people’s copyright, as well as warning that the media and competitors are always watching.
Ecommerce is still a relatively small part of the overall grocery industry, making up just 3.4% of sales.
However it’s growing rapidly, and in October it was estimated that Tesco received almost 10m visits to its site while Asda received around 5m.
With this in mind, QuBit has published a new usability benchmark that compares the onsite performance and user experience of the top five UK online supermarkets: Tesco, Asda, Ocado, Waitrose and Sainsbury’s.
Tesco’s magazine has overtaken The Sun as the most read print title in the UK, proving that retail brands can become publishers in their own right.
The bi-monthly publication has grown its readership to 7.2m, according to the NRS. By contrast The Sun has a readership of 7.1m.
The retailer’s investment in content is a smart move, and it isn’t alone. Asda’s magazine has 6m readers. The M&S magazine has 3.7m readers. Sainsbury’s has 3.4m readers.
By contrast, the biggest newsstand print magazine is What’s On TV, with 2.2m readers.
This tells us what we already know: original, quality content is king. I’m sure you’ve heard that a million times, but try to avoid growing tired of it.
A number of well-known retailers are making basic mistakes with postcode validation which could be increasing their checkout abandonment rates.
Users are prone to make errors when completing web forms, and anticipating and dealing with common errors can minimise the risk that user frustration will lead to them abandoning the checkout.
I'll look at one common error, which many sites fail to account for. An oversight which may be increasing their checkout abandonment rates...