Posts in Customer Experience

What you can learn about a company on April Fool's Day

Yesterday was, of course, April Fool's Day and the internet has created a rich environment for all sorts of April Fool's pranks.

After all, there are limitless ways you can trick, deceive and amuse online, making internet users a juicy target for April Fool's Day.

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20 things to think about when choosing an agency

Supplier selection is a key determining factor as to whether or not your e-commerce or web project will ultimately prove to be successful or not. While you may not be hugely knowledgeable in this space, you still need to adopt the same level of due diligence you would were you appointing a supplier to help with any other part of your business.

We recently published a guide for internet professionals called 'Delivering Successful E-commerce Projects', authored by Martin Newman, and he listed 20 recommendations to help choose an agency or technology vendor.

Many of these tips are relevant for all kinds of internet projects, and not just e-commerce sites, and they're well worth a read whether you work on the client-side or agency-side, to figure out what to look for. Try asking yourself these questions next time you're hunting around for a new supplier...

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Time Inc. breathes new life into the Life brand online

Is the internet going to be a godsend for traditional publishers or will it turn out to be a cruel hoax?

The answer to that depends on a lot of things, some of which are out of the control of publishers, such as the state of the economy and ad market.

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Travelodge launches iPhone booking service

Budget hotel chain Travelodge has just released a handy iPhone app that locates nearby hotels, allowing users to make a reservation. 

The iBooker app can be downloaded free of charge from the app store, and makes good use of the phone's GPS functions.

I've been trying it out...

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Mobile site review: Betfair

Betfair has had a mobile version of its website since 2006, and according to its Twitter account, has taken over 6m bets from mobile users.

With the popularity of online betting, it seems especially well suited for people out at sports events who want to place bets.

Betfair launched an iPhone optimised version of its site in December, and has recently updated it. I've been seeing how well it works...

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Charity websites losing donations thanks to poor usability - Nielsen

Charities and other non-profit organisations are missing out on online donations because they are not explaining clearly enough to visitors their aims and how they intend to use the money when they receive it.

Nielsen has been carrying out user testing of 23 non-profit websites in the US, giving users the task of choosing recipients by comparing a couple of sites in similar categories e.g. American Red Cross and Habitat for Humanity, and actually making a donation.

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Sears introduces multi-search function

Sears, one of the largest e-tailers in the US, has just relaunched the websites for two of its online brands, Kmart.com and Sears.com, and has introduced an interesting new multi-search feature.

This means that shoppers at either of the relaunched websites can search on one site and receive product results across both of them. Sears has also added tabs at the top of each page that allow users to quickly access any of the company's six e-commerce sites.

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Mobile site review: Interflora

Flower retailer Interflora has just launched a transactional mobile site, offering a limited range of the flowers and gifts that are available on the desktop website.

It's a product which should be well suited to mobile, as it offers shoppers a chance to but last minute gifts when they cannot get to either a shop or a computer. 

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Yahoo loves multivariate testing

It's one of the most powerful tools in an online publisher's arsenal but it's one that few make effective use of. I'm talking about multivariate testing.

As part of its effort to turn its business around, Yahoo is using multivariate testing extensively on its homepage to figure out which combinations of content and features produce the best results.

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What’s your favourite Wordpress plugin?

People love Wordpress because it is so extensible and can be used to power a wide range of websites.

It can be customised with relative ease, and there are more than 4,000 plugins available to enhance the back and front end of Wordpress, adding functionality for administrators and visitors.

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Q&A: Kieron Smith of the Book Depository

The Book Depository is a fast growing business which sells books internationally from its UK base. Last year, its sales grew by 160% to £40m, enough to take the number five slot in The Sunday Times' Fast Track 100 list.

I've been talking to MD Kieron Smith about the site, the reasons for its success, and the challenges of running an international e-commerce operation.

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Which UK e-tailers are still making users register?

Making people register before they can make a purchase is a needless obstacle to put in front of customers, and has been shown in various surveys to be something that web shoppers dislike, and cite as a reason for checkout abandonment.

Plenty of retailers are still insisting on customer registration though, despite the potential for reducing abandonment rates and increasing profits by removing this step.

I've been having a look at some of the top e-commerce sites in the UK to see how many are still insisting on making shoppers register...

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