Entering the world of 4G

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This week saw the rollout of 4G by EE (AKA Everything, Everywhere) in eleven cities in the UK, there are more cities due to join before Christmas too! But, what is it all about?

What is 4G?

4G is the next generation to 3G or the 4th Generation in mobile communication standards – a faster more effective internet connection.

With promises of it being five times faster than 3G it should mean easier access to the internet, being able to watch videos without it freezing, downloading webpages quickly and having smooth video calls with no problems.


What could it mean for your business?

An ability to have business meetings whilst out of the office, receive your emails on the go and be available on your social networking accounts even when not at your desktop – all very inviting!

But primarily, the main advantage could be an increase of online shopping by your customers.

Your customers want to be able to get on your site quickly, they want to navigate easily and buy in a short space of time.  Especially this time of year, they want to be sure their Christmas shopping can be done during a tea break, on a bus or even walking in between high street shops.

What they need from you is attractive looking sites which are easy to use and an all round good quality shopping experience.

Most of all they want speed, 4G speed.  Can you keep up?

Check your website, app or mobile site, ensure it works for you and your customers.  Let’s make certain your ecommerce is a pleasant experience for those who want to use it!

The Internet, The Web and E Commerce

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The Internet

The internet is a massive collection of networks and it plays such a large part of life, you can do so much on it. You are going on a journey – quick use the internet for directions! You need the phone number for the local takeaway – quick use the internet to get it!

It is where we get our information from, we shop on it, play on it and can even socialise through it!

We access the internet using the World Wide Web (www), which is basically a whole load of documents connected to each other around the world. It is almost like a jar of sweets, the internet is the jar itself, and the WWW is the tasty sweetie goodness that we are all there for!

 

So who invented the World Wide Web?

Photo Credit: W3

Tim Berners-Lee is the man we can thank!

Tim was born in London and graduated from Oxford university he became a computer scientist.  In 1989 whilst working at CERN (the European Organisation for Nuclear Research), Tim Berners-Lee proposed a global hypertext project (which would later be know as the World Wide Web).

In 1990 with the help of a student Robert Cailliau he produced a revision and he went on to implement the first successful communication between a HTTP Client and a server via the internet.

The very first website was put up online on 6 August 1991 telling the world what the World Wide Web was and how to use it and the rest, as they say, is history!!

The whole idea of sharing information in this way was once one man’s dream, a picture on a piece of paper – now it is available worldwide to anyone with a computer, internet connection and a browser and in March 2009 the world celebrated 20 years of ‘The Web’.


What is E-Commerce?

Real name Electronic Commerce is what we now know as ‘online shopping’, it was actually invented in 1979 by Michael Aldrich and in 1982 Mrs Snowball (72 years old) became the very first online home shopper!  But no-one could of imagined the development from there and when ‘The Web’ opened for commercial business in 1991 online shopping really found its momentum!

You can now buy just about anything online and consumers expect your business to be online too!

They want your information, your contact details, your history and your news, and if they can buy from you online – even better – they can shop from the warmth of their home, anytime!

Need an online shop or to make your current one even better, well that’s what we are here for!

Going Mobile With Your eCommerce Site – Part 2 of 2

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In our last post, we covered some tips for well designed mobile sites. We conclude this two part series with some additional tips for mobile eCommerce sites.

1. Design for hands, not a trackpad or mouse – People are going to be turned off very quickly when they are clicking buttons and links unintentionally because the design is not conducive to browsing with the thumbs.

2. Make sure it is fast – Load times are the most critical factor in determining whether or not a user sticks around. Google places a lot of emphasis on load times for search engine results. If your main site has large graphics, video, flash — make sure it is not part of the mobile experience. In addition, test load times on different mobile devices with different browsers.

3. Provide an easy check-out process – Just as with your main site, the check-out process on your mobile site must be fast and easy to get through. If customers have difficulty, they can easily leave before they commit to making the purchase. Progress indicators, guest checkout functionality and zip code lookup tools all enhance the mobile checkout process.

4. Check your analytics – People may not think this is related to design but it is. How is the user interaction? What are the exit pages? What is the bounce rate? This data can be very helpful in helping you to determine where there are issues and what needs to be done to change them.

5. Make sure your best stands out – You don’t want users to just have a good browsing experience. You want them to have a transactional experience. Visits are great, but closing the deal is what you want. Be sure to highlight the best of what you have to offer your customers in order to turn visitors into customers.

The mobile web has become nearly as important as the traditional. It is not longer enough just to have a “mobile site.” You need to build a mobile experience for your customers. Allocate resources and time to your mobile site just as you would your regular site.

Going Mobile With Your eCommerce Site – Part 1 of 2

Posted by | eCommerce Tips | 5 Comments

With more and more people owning smartphones and tablets, it is critical for those in eCommerce to have websites that are mobile friendly. More and more people will shop with their phones and if their experience on your site is poor, they will look elsewhere.

So what will you need to do to make sure you have a great functioning mobile website? Here are five critical factors:

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Top 5 eCommerce Customer Complaints

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Nobody likes it when a customer is not happy. But it will happen. The only question is, where does it happen and how do you prepare so that you limit the chances of it happening to you?

It is always better to be proactive than to be reactive. So if you’re getting ready to launch and eCommerce site or have just recently launched one, take a look at the following complaints and be sure to address them before you have to deal with them.

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How To Make Your Listings Stand Out

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Differentiation with your eCommerce site can make the difference between you getting that business or a person going somewhere else.

Often however, that differentiation doesn’t necessarily have to be something that is very obvious. The brain often picks up on subtle additions, differences and innovations that aren’t obvious at first glance. It’s only upon closer inspection that we see the subtlety.

An example of this from one of the big players is Amazon’s ‘One Click’ purchasing button. Some might say this is not a subtle addition to their eCommerce strategy but if you ask around, many people don’t even remember they have it. It’s become burned into the shopping experience that it’s not something people discuss when recommending Amazon to a friend. That being said, it provides return shoppers with the convenience of not having to go through a checkout process when making a purchase.

Here are some subtle ways you can add to your product descriptions to make them stand out.

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4 eCommerce Sales Tips

Posted by | eCommerce Tips | 2 Comments

Starting that new eCommerce site is exciting, fun and terrifying all at the same time. Are people going to buy? Are we going to make enough money to cover our overhead and expenses? Will people like the site enough to tell friends?

It is always a challenge.

We’ve already covered areas of design, site construction and the all important aspect of customer service. But what can be done to help drive sales?

Here are 4 tips that will be assist in getting those sales up:

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Lessons In eCommerce SEO Failures

Posted by | eCommerce Tips, SEO | No Comments

One of the keys to success for an eCommerce site is good Search Engine Optimization. Gone are the days when somebody could put hundreds of key words in white text on search crawlers would push them to the top of search engine results. SEO has to be carefully measured.

Here are several ways to make sure that happens:

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