Friday, November 29, 2013

Ecommerce maturity is an opportunity

The UK leads the way in eCommerce and we are one of the most mature markets for online retailing.

Therefore, as the whole world shifts more and more towards the use of digital channels for marketing,  engagement and buying, we have an opportunity to lead the way and make the most of this opportunity.

In short, the tools, technologies and communications we use to trade online are not going away any time soon. We therefore need to embrace this chance, utilise the online skills & experience we have, share best practice, build up more talent & skills and then sell to the world.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The seven key areas of an eCommerce evaluation

I get asked to evaluate online retailing proposition a fair bit. So I thought I would share the key areas that I typically look at and report on.

User experience:
Quickly assess a site’s reaction from target site users (ideally using video & audio remote assessment tools such as

Conversion rate optimisation:
Carry out an analysis of the potential use of conversion rate optimisation (CRO) tools & techniques, including possible AB & MVT processes and products

Retailing, merchandising & site operations:
Review of Inventory, pricing & fulfilment processes & systems. Then review the current processes for photograph & video asset production, merchandising, content management and offer promotion, as well as any sale, distressed inventory, affiliates, syndication, etc.)

Review of current Google e current digital analytics set-up, including: campaign tracking, eCommerce (e.g. funnel & conversion) metrics, integration with other services (e.g. digital marketing, product recommendations, etc.)

Site health:
Review the code, page loading time, internal linking, redirects and 404 (not-found) pages (note: this could cross over into search engine optimisation territory, so can in theory be done at the same time)

Volume & Performance (V&P):
Carry out an assessment of any projected volume and/or performance figures and (hopefully) a check of an previous testing done. This then leads into a validation of these figures and the subsequent planning of future V&P testing.

Have I missed anything?

Monday, November 18, 2013

Customer Services on Twitter need what?

In a recent rant on Twitter about my mobile phone broadband, I got a response from EE the mobile phone & data network provider. However the response I got wasn't what I expected and this raised a couple of questions in my mind:
  1. Why do I need to contact them directly and provide my full name, in order for a company to investigate what was a technical or process issue?
  2. Surely by looking at my Twitter account they can see what my name is (and a quick look at my profile will validate this)?

I'm sure EE has it's own reasons for this Twitter Customer Services policy. But I did find it slightly strange that EE want that level of contact and can't be bothered to look up basic publicly-facing information on people.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Multi-screen shopping - useful infographics

I've used a new Google service to produce an infographic (actually 4 separate ones) that outline how the multi-channel shopping experience has changed.

Content Marketing : owned, paid & earned doesn't work

As the subject of content marketing grows into more of a discipline, I've been looking at ways to categorise the different types of CM activity you can engage in.  I therefore wanted to see if these categories mapped to the three classifications of marketing originally developed by Forrester Research. Those of Paid, Owned and Earned.

Note: For those of you that want a better perspective of this general topic of Paid, Owned and; Earned, I produced a blog post on the merging between these 3 area a few months back.

However, I have to be honest on this occasion and say "no, I don't think that Content Marketing and the Paid, Owned & Earned classification work in this context"

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Stand up for Google Analytics

I’ve recently been giving a series of presentations with ScotlandIS to the Tourism and Food & Drink sectors. This has been as part of a wider series to improve the overall level of Internet Retailing skills and experience across Scotland, with my particular topic on the opportunities for eCommerce.
During this 25 minute set I take a break from providing statistics, advice and examples, to do something a little more interactive.
In one slide I build the following set of bullet points:

  • Stand up please
  • Stay standing if you currently have an eCommerce site
  • Stay standing if you are using web analytics
  • Stay standing if you use it to get regular KPI’s (visits)
  • Stay standing if you have ‘goals’ set up on your site
  • Stay standing if you are measuring eCommerce values for these 'goals'

Although quite a few people initially stand, it is surprising to see nearly every person sit down as each point appears. And in all three cases where I've given this presentation so far… only one company or site is left standing.

Although this exercise is there to provide a break from ‘death by PowerPoint’ and to show the simple path to analytics maturity, it has been a bit of a revelation to myself and the other eCommerce consultants in the room to see just how many people are not using even some of the more simple digital analytics functions.

What’s more shocking is my final point.
All of this is free!

Yes, with Google Analytics, all the points I have highlighted are freely available to any internet retailing site. Or as I more succinctly put it… “GA should be the eCommerce practitioner’s best friend”.

Hopefully I have not only communicated how simple and cost effective this tool it, I have also helped some Food & Drink and Travel & Tourism businesses.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Understanding the eCommerce Opportunity

I've been asked to give presentations to different companies & organisations around Scotland on the 'Opportunities for eCommerce'.

The following is therefore my generic set of slides that I have already started to deliver in various locations. The presentation is meant to cover the key industries of Travel & Tourism and Food & Drink.