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Archive for March, 2010

Website Users Stay ‘Above the Fold’

Monday, March 29th, 2010

OK so the title of this post might be a bit exaggerated, however a website usability industry expert (Jakob Nielsen) has published a recent report stating that 80% of a user’s time is spent ‘above the fold’. Whilst each user will obviously have a different level of attention span, users are without doubt averse to too much scrolling, and they are likely to pay most attention to the top-most web page content.

What does this mean for website owners and ecommerce sites?

  • Firstly the top of the page is the most important part and any calls to action / important information should be located near the top.
  • Don’t put important information near the bottom of a long web page, users are a lot less likely to scroll to the bottom.
  • Consider your website’s target audience demographics – certain types of users, perhaps based on age groups or computer familiarity, are less likely to scroll than other groups. It may be necessary to indicate to users that more information can be found by scrolling.
  • To maximise sales, ecommerce sites should avoid displaying too many products on one web page, and product pages should contain all the relevant information ‘above the fold’.

E-Retail Online Sales Increase

Friday, March 26th, 2010

The industry body for global e-retailing has produced their latest report which reveals that ecommerce spending continues to increase. The IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index figure shows that there has been a 13% increase in online consumer spending in February 2010 compared to February 2009. To put this into actual figures, it is estimated that £4.1 billion was spent online this February, compared to the previous year.

Ecommerce website owners should continue to market their website and their products to tap into the increasing market. Although the actual numbers of online shoppers is increasing, it is also reported that they are becoming increasingly sophisticated in their shopping habits. Some consumers go straight to a particular website to make a purchase, whereas other shoppers will use increasingly complex search engine queries to find the best products at the best prices.

What does this mean for ecommerce site owners? I would suggest that website owners continue to look for new and emerging methods of promoting their online stores. Some methods have been around for a few years now, but here are some to provide food for thought:

  • Google Base – upload your products so they are searchable in Google product listings
  • Twitter – Increasingly useful to connect to your target market, and also indirectly advertise your products
  • Search marketing / SEO – Continue to analyse your search marketing strategy to make sure your site isn’t slipping. Search marketing and optimisation should ideally be part of an ongoing campaign to ensure you maximise your exposure.
  • Facebook / Linked In / My Space etc.. – depends on your target market as to what may be relevant.

Online Communities & Networking On the Up!

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

From internet forums to blogs to Twitter the range of online communication methods has never been greater. The Oxford Internet Survey (OxIs) Report 2009 found that 33% of UK Internet users now take part in online communities or post on discussion forums. This has increased from 16% in 2007, and is bound to continue increasing in the near future. Consequently business and website owners should look to embrace the possibilities that these new communication mediums provide.

Specialist discussion forums can not only provide a wealth of information and advice from a variety of viewpoints, but can also be a medium-term online marketing strategy. By responding to questions you can demonstrate your expertise in your field of business, and as you become part of the community you may start to receive requests for business and referrals. Most forums also allow you to add a ‘signature’ to your posts, which in some cases can benefit your search engine marketing strategy.

Participating in forums should be both ‘give’ and ‘take’ – you put effort into helping others, and hopefully in the process you will also be promoting your website and business.