Archive for the ‘Articles’ Category

Few Convert at Retail E-Commerce Sites

Friday, April 20th, 2007

APRIL 9, 2007

Many shop. Few buy.
Online merchants convert an average of 2%-3% of their site visitors into buyers, according to the e-tailing group‘s “Sixth Annual Merchant Survey.”

That’s about the same as last year. And the year before that.

The group says that driving the right customers to sites and increasing sales and retention all require more targeted tactics every year. It points to analytics and data mining as the way to make this happen.

Shop.org conducts a similar annual survey with Forrester Research called “The State of Retailing Online.” Conversion rates in that study also average about 2%-3%.

These are averages. What about those who do better?

A Nielsen//NetRatings report called “MegaView Online Retail” cited in Internet Retailer listed the top 10 US retail e-commerce sites in terms of conversion. Every site had a greater than 15% conversion rate, and nearly 25% of visitors to top site Proflowers.com bought something.

eMarketer Senior Analyst Jeffrey Grau says that retailers with industry-leading conversion rates are doing more than just looking at numbers.

“Online retailers who go beyond using traditional Web analytics data to truly understand their customers’ intentions, perceptions and concerns will be rewarded with higher conversion rates,” he says.

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Improving Your Process: Site Planning Guides

Thursday, April 19th, 2007

Sometimes improving your process not only helps yourself, it can benefit your clients as well. Using your time more effectively allows a client to receive more time and effort from you focused on enhancing the project as opposed to spending time resolving miscommunication.

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Firefox 2.0 and Access Keys

Thursday, April 19th, 2007

Author: Gez Lemon: 

Update: Numeric access keys now work in Firefox 2.0.0.1, which is available through auto-update.

Firefox 2.0 uses Shift+Alt as the keystroke combination to invoke access keys. On the surface, this appears to be a great idea, as it avoids clashing with the shortcut keys used for the browser. Unfortunately, the new behaviour has been poorly implemented and breaks all websites that have implemented access keys using numeric values, as access keys specified with numeric values cannot be accessed in Firefox 2.0.

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Avoid 404

Thursday, April 19th, 2007

Another appropriate title for this post could be “fix it before you break it”. Although a proper written 404 page can help you out it is better if you redirect a user to a new location (301) or return him a page that says that the page did exist, but will never return (410). The problem is that a lot of web companies start completely over when building a new web site and do not really look at the existing site. The result is that once a new site has been released, the old links are rendered outdated and now return a 404.

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Web 2.0 wonders: Yelp

Monday, April 9th, 2007
By Darren Waters
Technology editor, BBC News website
The web has evolved into an indispensable tool for our daily lives. But who are the people driving this growth? All this week the BBC News website is speaking to young, talented web pioneers working in Silicon Valley and beyond.

When Jeremy Stoppelman was 14 years old he had a subscription to Forbes magazine and dabbled in the stock market.

His ambition was to one day run his own company and be featured in his magazine of choice. Fifteen years later and both goals have been accomplished.

Mr Stoppelman is the co-founder and chief executive of Yelp.com, easily the internet’s most sophisticated solution to finding local information and reliable reviews of services.

“I was a computer nerd but also investing in stocks in high school,” he says.

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Web 2.0 wonders: Meebo

Monday, April 9th, 2007
By Darren Waters
Technology editor, BBC News website
The web has evolved into an indispensable tool for our daily lives. But who are the people driving this growth? All this week the BBC News website is speaking to young, talented web pioneers working in Silicon Valley and beyond.
“When we put it out we did not know if anyone would like it; we just knew that it solved our problem,” explains Seth Sternberg, 28, chief executive and co-founder of Meebo.com.

The “it” in question is Meebo, a web-based instant messaging (IM) system which lets users send and receive messages from a number of different IM services, such as AOL, MSN, Yahoo and Jabber.

It is an elegant solution to the problem of having multiple accounts – many of which are not interoperable – and requiring different software downloads.

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Web 2.0 wonders: StumbleUpon

Monday, April 9th, 2007
By Darren Waters
Technology editor, BBC News website
The web has evolved into an indispensable tool for our daily lives. But who are the people driving this growth? All this week the BBC News website is speaking to young, talented web pioneers working in Silicon Valley and beyond.
Garrett Camp is a veteran of the web industry. The net discovery service StumbleUpon he and two friends founded in 2001 has more than two million registered users and his investors include some of the biggest names in Silicon Valley.

But Camp is still only 28-years-old, and could easily pass as a fresh-faced young engineer at Yahoo or Google.

He runs a team of developers and engineers and oversees one of the most popular social networking tools on the web.

The idea behind StumbleUpon is simple.

“Click a button, find something cool was the very basic premise,” he says.

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Web 2.0 wonders: Zooomr’s Kris Tate

Monday, April 9th, 2007
By Darren Waters
Technology editor, BBC News website
The web has evolved into an indispensable tool for our daily lives. But who are the people driving this growth? All this week the BBC News website is speaking to young, talented web pioneers working in Silicon Valley and beyond.
What do you do if you are a 17-year-old programming genius living in Seattle, in the US? Do you work for Microsoft, the largest software company in the world with billions of dollars in resources and a clear career path?

Or do you move away from your family, 800 miles south to San Francisco and single-handedly build a photo-sharing website that will eventually have 100,000 users around the world?

Kris Tate, a softly-spoken and impossibly polite teenager, did the latter.

Now 18 years old, Tate is the coding expert responsible for Zooomr, one of the most popular photo websites on the net.

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What is this thing called Web 2.0?

Monday, April 9th, 2007
By Mark Ward
Technology Correspondent, BBC News website
It has often been said by industry watchers that time flows faster when it comes to the development of the internet.
Despite this relentless pace of change, few can have forgotten the madness of the dotcom boom times in 2000.

Back then crazy prices were paid for small companies and extravagant claims were made for the way they were about to re-write the rules of so many markets.

In 2006 and 2007 similar amounts of hyperbole and cash are being lavished on innovative net start-ups playing around with Web 2.0 technology, the name given to the second coming of the web.

But has anything changed or are we about to see another crash?

“No,” said Klaus Hommels, a venture partner at Benchmark Capital and one of the first investors in Skype. “Now is completely different to 2000.”

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‘Cheating’ the search engines

Monday, April 9th, 2007
By Spencer Kelly
BBC Click
We have come to expect a lot from search engines.
Type in a phrase, and we not only expect it to find millions of relevant websites, but we also expect it to list the best or most important sites first.

Woe betide a search engine that requires me to click to page two of the results before I find the site I am looking for.

 

Generally they do a decent job but, up until very recently, if you were to search on the term “miserable failure”, top of the Google search results was the official George Bush page on the official White House site.

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