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articles tagged with: e-commerce

Displaying articles 1 - 10 of 11 in total

New eCommerce store launched for Roadcraft

Amongst our summer of new web sites is an eCommerce store for Roadcraft - manufacturers of safety products, road marking and paints for over thirty years.

The new site concentrates on Roadcraft's industrial paint product range and allows distributors and the public to purchase online. The site includes lots of best practice eCommerce features such as an isolated checkout to increase conversion rates, an auto-completing product search, integration with SagePay for processing online payments and of course, a complete administration system for managing all aspects of the store.

Web site activity is tracked using Google Analytics, so we can keep an eye on user behaviour and ensure the site continues to meet it's objectives and KPI's. 

Have a look at the new site at:

Simon Newing

Created on Friday July 19 2013 02:49 PM

Tags: e-commerce new-web-site

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Abandon all hope that enter here....

Or rather less dramatically, why is online shopping littered with abandoned baskets and trolleys like a barren car park?

The answer, according to a survey from Liveperson, is chiefly:

  • unexpected delivery costs appearing from nowhere within the checkout, with 77% of shoppers saying that would cause them to run.
  • a lack of information about products, service or delivery caused 60% to leave their baskets behind.
  • 58% cited 'navigation difficulties' (which could be resolved with an isolated checkout).
  • 47% wanted to ask a question but couldn't find the answer.
  • and finally 33% wanted more help with their transaction.

Some food for thought over Easter for store owners....

Simon Newing

Created on Wednesday March 27 2013 02:46 PM

Tags: e-commerce

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eCommerce pointers for 2013

Retail analysis from Capgemini has revealed that online retail has got off to a fast start in 2013 - with 16% growth on the same period last year. This against a background of traditional retail and the high street continuing to struggle in tough economic times.

The same report is predicting overall growth in online sales of 12%.

So what are the big trends and changes that online shop owners should be keeping an eye on for the coming year, to ensure they take advantage of this growing sector?

1. Mobile / Responsive Design

2012 was the year of responsive web design - and the stats show that retailers need to stay on top of their mobile offering during 2013. The same Capgemini report states sales through mobile devices were up 193% in January 2013 compared to same period 2012. "Mobile commerce is here to stay", it states. "No longer are customers shopping from their sofas at home, but instead spotting products in store and choosing to purchase online instead on the grounds of cost or convenience."

The goal of responsive design is to give shoppers the same user experience independent on what device they are using to access online stores: a desktop, laptop, tablet, smartphone or 55 inch TV screen. A responsive eCommerce store adapts itself to be viewed in an ideal manner on any screen size. Combined with Google's new Enhanced AdWords, targeting users with specific devices with pay-per-click ads has never been easier.

There's so much that goes into mobile commerce (M-Commerce) that it deserves a blog post of it's own - so that'll be coming soon.

2. Product Images and Videos

Customers are faced with massive choice; a store that can show them clear, fast loading images of their desired products stands better chance of conversion than using small, ineffective product photographs that reveal no detail.

Videos are increasingly important in helping customers decide that a product and a shop are for them. This is especially relevant where complex products are being sold, or products where it's difficult for a customer to view it 'in situ'. A demonstration video of a product working can be very useful. Videos also lend themselves for use in social media campaigns and platforms such as YouTube and Twitter - helping drive more genuinely interested traffic to your store.

3. Content, Content, Content

Keep it short - attention spans seem to be getting less and less all the time. Content should be benefit led, highly readable, SEO friendly -  yet concise so that it appeals to visitors - tricky stuff!

But an effective content strategy that's followed throughout the entire store can really make the difference in conversion rates. Don't forgot to apply these principles to information pages - such as delivery details and how customers return items.

4. Personalisation

Collecting personal information has always been a sensitive topic - never more than during the rather strange implementation of new cookie laws in 2012 - but I'm not sure the average user is too worried about giving personal data in return for a more enjoyable and personalised online experience.

2013 will see agencies like Focus continue to see how personalised content can be implemented and presented - using the wealth of information gained from analytics, browsing and order history, user behavior and user preferences. Today, users have 'Amazon like' expectations from eCommerce stores, and advances in technology mean this functionality no longer out of reach for online retailers.

5. Conversion Rate Optimisation

CRO is nothing new - but in 2013 with competition never more intense, it's crucial that store owners don't waste traffic once it's arrived.

Made up of trends already mentioned - such as content strategy, mobile and personalisation - CRO adds the need to stay on top of technical developments and user expectations. For example: isolated checkouts have shown to have beneficial effects on conversion rate. Simple changes can make dramatic differences.

A/B testing and external user testing are more accessible as ever - store owners need to make an ongoing commitment to CRO, too much money is spent on acquiring new customers, only to lose them when they arrive at a store that doesn't work for them.

Simon Newing

Created on Monday February 25 2013 11:13 AM

Tags: e-commerce shopping web-development

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Ticketing Systems

Ticketing Systems

We've recently launched a new ticketing system for our friends at Barriers Direct (, and it contains some interesting features, and some close integration with the rest of the back office systems, that I'll briefly outline here.

For those that don't know, a ticketing system is a little like a to-do list that can be shared amongst people, and records status as things change. For instance, if a client enquiry comes in, we can assign it to the most relevant person to deal with it. Perhaps they have to query something with accounts before responding to the client, so they can assign the query there. Accounts respond, and assign it back again -- and so on until the ticket is finally completed and marked as closed.

Every action is time stamped with who said what and when. Unlike email, the entire thread of activity is available to all relevant people at all times - it's not hidden away in people's Inboxes and Sent Items. For instance, there's no more thinking that you sent this task to Bob yesterday, but he's off today, and wondering if he did anything with it - you can check the ticket, and see that Bob forwarded it to accounts. Now, someone else can follow up in his absence.

As people do tend to check email very regularly, however, the ticketing system sends various emails to let them know there are things waiting for them - it emails people when tickets are assigned to them, and emails daily summaries of outstanding tickets, for instance.

The team at Barriers Direct use extensive reporting facilities within Quantum to keep track of their business, and tickets mean they can produce reports of how many requests come in, what the different types of requests are, and how long it takes to respond to them -- and how that all changes over time.

The ticket system is integrated right into Focus's Quantum website administration system, which manages the order system too, and that allows us some tight integration that wouldn't be possible with a 3rd party ticketing solution; lists of orders highlight those with tickets associated with them, for instance, and vice versa, from the ticket you can get to the full details of the order in just one click.

If you're interested in knowing more about a ticketing system, either for an existing or new website - please do give us a ring, or drop us an email and we'd be very happy to talk to you!

Photo copyright Andres Rueda, used under a Creative Commons Attribution license.

Neil Smith

Created on Thursday January 31 2013 10:18 AM

Tags: website e-commerce web-development

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107m go online shopping on Christmas Day

Experian Hitwise have released some eye watering statistics about eCommerce traffic in the UK for Boxing Day 2012, which broke all previous records - and by some distance.

The Christmas period just passed was the busiest for online retailers - with 84m visits to retail sites on Christmas Eve, 107m on Christmas Day itself and 113m on Boxing Day - increases of 86%, 71% and 17% respectively.

Also up was the share of people using mobile devices to do their shopping - more than 28% of clicks on retail ads came from smartphones and tablets, and overall traffic from these devices accounted for 30.7% of visits, up from 19.8% for the same period in 2011. Data from IBM shows 24.73% of consumers used their mobile device to make a purchase - up 15.93% from 2011. With the number of iPads and other tablets sold over Christmas, these stats are no surprise.

From a search engine viewpoint, interestingly one in every 125 keyword searches included the word 'sale' - with 'Next sale' leading all queries followed by 'Debenhams sale' and 'Marks and Spencer sale'.

Conclusions? Owners of online stores need to review the impact that mobile-based shopping is having on their sites and also need to invest in CRO - conversion rate optimisation - to ensure they take full advantage of the increasing numbers of people shopping online, and to ensure that once once shoppers arrive at their site, there's no barriers to purchase.


Simon Newing

Created on Wednesday January 02 2013 03:03 PM

Tags: website e-commerce smartphones

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Up Up and Away..with the new Bristol Balloons web site

Up Up and Away..with the new Bristol Balloons web site

Last week we had the pleasure of launching (no pun intended) a new web site for our friends at Bristol Balloons. We manage 3 sites for the Balloons team and this year we were approached about providing an updated and refreshed design to the flagship of these 3 sites, Bristol Balloons.

It wasn't just the front end that required an update; we have to undertake a complete bespoke development upgrade of the entire back-end system as well.

We've been working long and hard over the last couple of months on developing a back-end system which will prove to be much more flexible and productive for the team at Bristol Balloons

Design wise we've used the space available in terms of the width and also made key elements available 'above the fold'. The design is centred around striking images that really sell the experience of a balloon flight to users. The new clearer language, navigation and 'call to actions' will have a real positive effect on the conversion rates of the site. 

We've also ensured that the new checkout process follows best practice techniques in order to reduce the number of drop-offs and ensure purchases are completed both quickly and easily. 

In the limited time that the site has been live we've seen a reduction in both Exit and Bounce rates, which is extremely encouraging. Over the next few months we'll be monitoring the key analytics of the site with a view to updating the other two sites; Bath Balloons and Ballooning Network.

So if you're looking for a special treat, that once in a life time experience or just want to see our handy work, why not take a look at what Bristol Balloons has to offer....

Created on Wednesday June 20 2012 03:30 PM

Tags: website e-commerce web-development bristol balloons

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Up, Up and Away....

Up, Up and Away....

We’ve been working with Bristol Balloons for five years now, and designed and built their three websites Bristol Balloons, Bath Balloons and Ballooning Network. You could say it’s a close relationship - fortunate, as our offices are up the stairs from theirs!

We revamped the design of all three sites last year, updating the look and feel of each, assigning each site its own identity within an overarching brand umbrella. We helped the team there to develop their online booking system, enabling people to check availability and book flights online as well as being able to being able to book flights as gifts for others.

We’ve yet to check out the flights themselves (I don’t have a head for heights!) but from what we’ve heard, the weekday dawn ones are pretty impressive!

Created on Tuesday January 26 2010 10:39 AM

Tags: new-web-site bristol focus balloons bath e-commerce onlinebooking

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eCommerce Expo

I went along to the eCommerce Expo at London's Earls Court, to have a little sneaky peak at what's going on in the industry. I found the seminars interesting but always find it a little uncomfortable walking around and being 'pitched' at from every angle!

I went to the Google University Analytics Master Class where they took it back to basics and highlighted the main principles of getting the most out of your analytics including:

  • Set clear goals - understand what your website is for
  • Use the reports from your Google Analytics to drive the website forward - don't just use them to show your boss a nice report.
  • Ensure that many people in the organisation are aware of the analytics, what they show and what the objectives for the site are.

But over all make sure that you have a great web development team who can work with you, using the results from the analytics to put in changes for driving the site and retaining customers!

If you're interested you can view the seminars from the expo online at Seminar Stream


Created on Thursday October 22 2009 10:23 AM

Tags: google web-development e-commerce conference

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the mobile web - that €57 Billion untapped market

Making money from the webThe Mobile Internet World Europe Summit convened a few days ago to discuss ways to "capitalize on the fastest growing marketplace in the converging media, entertainment and telecommunications industries."

The blogosphere seems to be rather tight-lipped on the findings or perceptions of this conference, leading me to believe that either the conference bombed or the participants are keeping very quiet about their conclusions.

With such high sums at stake wouldn't you?!

Spammers beware!

I - like 99.9999% of the worlds population - hate spam.  This blog seems to receive more than its fair share of the stuff, despite the CAPTCHA filter we included as standard - human spammers making easy work of the bot-proof challenges.

I'm therefore rather pleased to hear two of the 90's most active spammers have been fined $234M for their relentless spamming assault on MySpace.

Having contravened the 2003 federal law known as CAN-SPAM, Sanford Wallace and Walter Rines were awarded this judgement after they failed to turn up to their court hearing last week. 

Source: Information Week

Created on Monday May 19 2008 05:42 PM

Tags: spam e-commerce mobile-internet technology web-development online-law

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