Monday, September 15, 2014

Flybe location picker touches down too far

I'm an admirer of the online usability shown on's website (OK, they do have a few slightly sneaky techniques for increasing average order revenues - but you still have to take appreciate the way they do it).

So it came as a little surprise to see the site's location selection 'mega menu' partially disappear beneath the bottom of the page of my browser. This means that around half of the destinations the discount airline fly from (including Glasgow, my own local airport) aren't shown at full screen.

I know that Flybe do fly to and from a large number of destinations around Europe, but surely there must be a more economical way of showing as many locations on the screen at once.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Remember to spell your client's product correctly

Dear Jeep.

Can I please suggest you speak with your digital marketing agency pretty quickly and find out why they can't even spell the name of your flagship motor vehicle?

You would have hoped that the people creating the Facebook Adverts to entice people to view your large family 4x4 would be able to actually spell..... wouldn't you?



Monday, September 8, 2014

Build a Digital Platform not a website

I still hear a lot of businesses talk about “building a new website” or “creating an online presence”. Now by itself this is not a bad thing and these organisations will no doubt join the ranks of those that regularly move pixels about to create more impact or sell more.

But your web presence should be only one part of an entire toolbox that larger organisations should be using to influence more, engage more, sell more and retain more. But in my experience, a lot of them don’t understand that to have a joined up online customer experience and you need to have a joined up collection of tools that all work well together.

In other words you need a Digital Platform not a website.

So what can a Digital Platform do for you?

Provide ubiquitous online access
It should give as many users as possible easy access regardless of: device, connection speed and ability.

Improve the Customer Experience
It should create a relevant & consistent digital interface for each user segment, allowing all interactions to be as efficient & intuitive as possible, allowing your business to understand customers better.

Improve revenue
It should maximise any online revenue opportunities through better marketing campaigns, improved conversion and opportunities for additional revenue optimisation

Improve insight
It should allow you to understand digital visitor behaviour with the intention of informing and optimising future digital activity.

Provide consistent content
It should allow the central management of content (text, imagery, etc.) across all online devices and interfaces.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Brandjacking is getting tired

I'm a lover of a decent brandjacking, where a brand, campaign, hashtag, etc. gets hijacked by someone else.
However it needs to be done elegantly and with more style or impact than the brand being 'jacked'. If it isn't... then it falls on its face.
And in my opinion this is what Kia have done with their promoted tweets intended to leverage off the marketing mammoth that is XFactor.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Subaru mobile website is roofless

With mobile web usage rocketing and more and more potential customers looking to inform their purchase online... you'd think that Subaru would get their website working correctly.

However this landing page for the new Subaru Impreza not only gives a poor layout, but also manages to only partially display the actual vehicle. In fact, the top half of the car is completely hidden from view and gives an overall poor experience to users looking to find out more on their smartphones.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Commerce and Content – Still not fully integrated

The two disciplines of digital content management and eCommerce have been side-by-side for many years now, but why has the enterprise software / service market not yet managed to create a bunch of mature products that have both great content management systems (CMS’s) and great digital retailing service… and that are actually fully integrated into each other?

I believe the root of this problem lies in the origins and on-going management of these two inter-connected digital disciplines. Back in the dim and distant days you had two distinct silos for managing online: the digital marketing team who managed the content (text, images and increasingly rich assets such as video) and the eBusiness or eCommerce team who managed the product catalogue & payment side of things. In my opinion this has historically resulted in two different sets of people creating disparate experiences and leaving one crucially important person floundering in between… the customer.

The only thing is, the customers these days do actually notice when an online experience clashes. They quickly give up when they are struggling with a user interface that doesn't help them search, find and browse through the products they want. They try your competitor’s URL when your site doesn't connect product content with the ability to buy it in one simple action.

I therefore think the major vendors of Web Content Management (WCM) and eCommerce need to seriously take a look at their product stack. They then need to integrate & align these two areas into one compelling proposition. This shouldn't be done in half measures (E.g. by a large CMS vendor just buying up a small eCommerce product and offering it as a complex bolt-on  to their already weighty offering), in most cases this will need a complete re-think of both sides of the equation to create something that works for the customer (and the end user).

Until then, both in-house teams and the customer will continue to have a mixed experience. And quite frankly in this more mature digital age…. That’s bloody awful!

Friday, August 1, 2014

What factors affect your conversion?

Everyone who runs an eCommerce website is hooked on conversion as the vital key performance indicator to improve. And quite rightly…. It is the one metric that tells you how well your website it turning lookers into bookers (or browsers into buyers if you don’t like things rhyming and prefer alliteration instead.).
So what affects conversion? Well there are a number of factors that have an influence including:

  • Usability
    How easy your site is to navigate and transact with
  • Security
    How well your site conveys and actually take steps to ensure the safety of customer data
  • Content
    How well  the site text and imagery informs &  supports the sales process
  • Layout
    It’s not just how much you have on a page, it’s where you put it that counts
  • Speed
    How quickly your site appears & displays affects bounce & therefore conversion
  • Aesthetics
    How it looks also affects how it converts (try changing the colour of a few buttons if you don’t believe me)

All you have to do it find out what works for your customers.