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Yearly Archives: 2013

Never Knowingly Over-Designed

When I first start working with a new client I always ask them to list two or three ecommerce sites they really like. This serves two functions: so I can get an idea of my client’s tastes, and also to give me something to fire my imagination when I’m coming up with design concepts. Interestingly I’ve noticed of late that there is one ecommerce site that gets cited more than any other as something businesses aspire to emulate – John Lewis (www.johnlewis.com).

What is it that makes this site so good? Why is this site held up more than the sites of the other high street brands as an example of how to do great ecommerce? Here are my thoughts on the matter.

Mega Useful

The most prominent feature on the site is the ‘mega-menu’ – the main … READ MORE

Shop Mobility – The Challenge of Mobile Ecommerce

Many of my customers are finding up to around 20% of their visitors are now using mobile devices to visit their online stores. However, the proportion of these mobile visitors that then go on and place an order is miniscule compared to people who visit using a standard computer.

Quick note: You can find out how many people visit your store using mobile devices by using Google Analytics. Check the ‘Operating System’ results – for example on my site I can see that 10% of my visitors use iOS (i.e. iPhones).

This is the challenge that is now facing all ecommerce sites: how do we encourage people using mobile devices to go on and place orders? For the last 10 years web designers like me have spent hours upon hours trying to create stores that just work correctly on all … READ MORE

RIP HMV – Will browsing soon be a thing of the past?

Being a child of the 80s, and a music fan, I spent a huge amount of my teens and twenties in Our Price (gone), Virgin Records (also gone) and HMV (you get the idea) leaving through the CD racks, sniffing out special offers and making new discoveries. There was no better way to kill an hour while waiting for friends then rummaging through the shelves, anticipating that moment where you’ll find the CD or movie that will change your life forever.

But with the announcement this month that HMV has entered the hands of the administrators, I do start to wonder whether that whole way of experiencing retail will soon be a thing of the past. These days you just go to Amazon or eBay, search for what you want, add it to your basket and you are done. In … READ MORE