The Weekly Shop (3rd – 7th March)

In the Weekly Shop this week…a possible overhaul of the current business rates system, the changing face of retail, and a study which has revealed a major increase in online shopping.

Business rates ‘not fit for purpose’ as retail goes digital: MP

Good news for independent high street retailers this week as the Business, Innovation and Skills Committee (BISC) called for a major overhaul of the business rates system. The BISC commented that business rates system is no longer fit for purchase in a multichannel world where retail sales are moving online and rates should be based on turnover rather than property value. We’re interested to see how this develops.

Brands, technology and the changing face of retail

Earlier in the week, The Guardian ran a roundtable discussion for senior retailers to debate the pressing issue of how retailers can offer shoppers a seamless experience as technology transforms shopping habits. The discussion was held under the Chatham House rule which allows comments to be reported without attribution and revealed some interesting insights.

A third of online sales now made via a mobile device, suggests IMRG study

One in three of all UK online sales are now made on a mobile device, according to a new study from the IMRG Capgemini Quarterly Benchmarking (Q4 2013/4). Significantly, online clothing and fashion retailers have a higher mobile commerce penetration rate, with 36% of sales completed via smartphones and tablets in the fourth quarter. More on this study over on Internet Retailing.

The Best and Worst Thing to Ever Happen to SEO

Next up is the first in two articles looking how SEO has changed as a discipline. This first article from Wired looks at how Google encrypting searches and withholding search referral data has been the best and also the worst thing to happen to SEO.

How Fast Is SEO Really Changing? A Look Back At Search Ranking Factors

This last article looks at the Search Ranking Factors studies by well-known SEO Rand Fishkin who has been churning out perceptive SEO insights every two years since 2005. Search Engine Land have put together a summary of highlights from the reports which shows how the findings have changed throughout the eight years which have revealed some interesting trends. Useful if you’re struggling to justify SEO investments.

See you next week!

The Weekly Shop (2nd – 6th December)

In The Weekly Shop this week…we look at the launch of the first railway station parcel collection point, a new nation of ‘smart shoppers’, how understanding the traits of online shoppers can drive conversions and 10 tips for planning your New Year sales customer journey.

Network Rail launches the first railway station parcel collection point that’s open to all retailers and carriers

Following on from the news last week that Asda are launching click and collect services at six London Underground car parks, Network Rail is following suit and will be trialling ecommerce parcel shops at unused space at mainline stations. The first collection point opened on Tuesday at Milton Keynes Central with more sites to follow at UK railway stations throughout 2014.

Smart shoppers combine high tech with high street to beat Christmas rush – saving a seven mile walk

New research from O2 has revealed that we are turning into a nation of ‘smart shoppers’, using technology to shop on our own terms this Christmas. The research has found that the average Brit visits 21 retail websites each week on their hunt for presents, notching up a staggering 425 minutes online – the equivalent of walking over 7 miles to browse the same range of products. The research also highlights the growing trend for consumers to blend offline and online services to meet their needs. More over on Internet Retailing.

Understanding the traits of online shoppers to drive conversions

Now onto another study which has identified that just over 1% of an ecommerce site’s users contribute 40% of its revenue. By analysing 950m page views from more than 123m website visits, the research found that whilst this 1.06% of total visitors generates four tenths of a site’s income, there are a further 20% of site visitors who will visit regularly, but never make a purchase. With this research in mind, this article from Econsultancy looks at the traits of these very different consumers and how can you use this information to convince them to shop more, not less.

10 tips for planning your New Year sales customer journey

Here’s a timely article from our Managing Director, Rosie Freshwater, on planning for your New Year sales customer journey. In her blog, Rosie provides us with her top 10 tips to using the busy sales period to increase retention, loyalty and revenue by placing the customer at the heart of the buying experience.

SEO Changed Forever In 2013. How To Adjust And Thrive In 2014

It’s clear that the changes we’ve seen in search throughout 2013 have been aimed at creating a better experience for the searcher. In this article from Search Engine Land, Jim Lui looks back at the key innovations search has seen in 2013 and how you can stay ahead of the game as a SEO Marketer in 2014 by putting the user first.

Three key steps towards a customer focused digital transformation

Last but not least, some food for thought from Econsultancy. This article looks at how brands must digitally transform to meet the evolving needs and expectations of their customers. With 2014 being a time to make new resolutions, Glen Hartman looks at the three main areas businesses should focus on to start their journey to achieving a successful customer-centric transformation to reap the resulting benefits long after we ring in the New Year. A recommended read.

That’s it for this week. Happy reading!

The Weekly Shop (11th – 15th November)

In The Weekly Shop this week…we have some Christmas ecommerce tips, a study into customer service expectations on Twitter and the ten most common mistakes of blogger outreach.

Seven out of ten would spend more online this Christmas if websites were ‘better’

A study by PEER 1 Hosting has found that seven out of ten online shoppers in the UK will be put off spending online this Christmas because of the quality of the websites they are browsing. They questioned over 1,000 British adults and found that nearly 70% would do more of their seasonal spending on the Internet if websites were better.

20+ Christmas ecommerce tips from the experts

Following on from the above, it’s probably too late to be making any substantial changes to your website before Christmas, but there is still time to make a few tweaks for improvement. Our friends over at Econsultancy have put together the views on the best Christmas strategies from a number of ecommerce and UX experts. Topics include last minute changes that could aid conversions, the importance of mobile, and how retailers can sell right up to Christmas. Our commercial director also put together a similar post with his top tips for Christmas for the Froggblog last week. Read it here.

72% of customers expect complaints on Twitter to be answered in one hour

Nowadays, disgruntled customers are more likely to flock to Twitter to voice their queries and complaints rather than write letters or make expensive calls, which if not dealt with correctly can easily spiral out of control. A new study from Lithium has found that 53% of customers who ask a brand a question on Twitter expect a response within the hour. If a customer makes a complaint then that figure goes up to 72%. They also found that 38% of people feel more negatively towards a brand if they don’t get a response within that time frame. Definitely something to bare in mind with the busy Christmas season just around the corner.

The 10 most common mistakes of blogger outreach

The practice of blogging or influencer ‘engagement’ is one of the most widely-used tactics in marketing these days, yet as relatively new industry, people are still getting to grips with it. This article from Henry Ellis at Econsultancy hits the nail on the head with his round-up of examples of painful blogger engagement.

So that’s it for this week! Remember that we will soon be sending out The Weekly Shop every week by email. If you’d like to receive it then please do pop your email in the footer below.

The Weekly Shop (4th – 8th November)

It has been a slightly quiet week on the digital marketing front, but nonetheless, we’ve found some really interesting articles to share. This week we take a look at how you can increase the Domain Authority of your website, Google’s new Certified Shops scheme which has just launched in the UK and three surveys around the behaviour of online shoppers.

How to Increase the Domain Authority of Your Site

To start us off this week, here’s an infographic from TechTage about how to boost the Domain Authority of your website. Domian Authority is a comparative metric and it basically means how much your site is likely to rank higher in search engines compared to other competitor sites. So, increasing your Domain Authority loosely means increasing your chances of ranking higher in search engines.

Google introduces ‘Certified Shops’ scheme for UK ecommerce sites

Earlier in the week Google launched ‘Certified Shops’ in the UK, which provides shoppers with information about the customer service standards they can expect from retailers. Participating retailers will display the Google Certified Shops badge on their website which when a shopper hovers over it, will display helpful performance metrics such as the number of transactions, their success rate, the number of deliveries that arrive on time and information about Google’s free purchase protection.. It’s all about adding customer confidence to online shopping and convincing shoppers to make that final step and click the ‘purchase’ button.

Online took its largest share of the retail market to date in October: BRC

Now onto the first of three surveys which have yielded some interesting and useful stats around the online retail industry. According to the British Retail Consortium’s latest Retail Sales Monitor, 18.3% of overall retail sales took place online during October – a record penetration rate. Yet more figures that emphasise just how vitally important online is to a retailers overall performance.

Monday December 2 set to be busiest online shopping day in £10bn ecommerce month

Analysis of the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index has predicted that the first Monday in December will be the busiest online shopping day in the run up to Christmas 2013. This will then kickstart two weeks of high sales in the run up to Christmas that will help take online sales in the month of December to £10.8bn – which will be the first time UK sales have passed the £10bn mark in December.

Why do shoppers abandon at the checkout?

And to finish off this week, here’s another study from our friends at eDigital research and IMRG who have surveyed over 2,000 online shopping consumers and found that 77% of shoppers have got as far as the checkout of a retail website only to leave the site before completing their purchase. They discovered that the main reason shoppers abandone their purchase is becuase of high delivery costs showing that issues surrounding delivery are still a massive barrier to a massive chunk of online shoppers.

 

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The Weekly Shop (30th Sept – 4th Sept)

Welcome to The Weekly Shop, Leapfrogg’s weekly round-up of digital marketing and retail news. This week we take a look at ecommerce product pages, Google’s new Hummingbird algorithm and ways to get organic search data in light of Google’s recent move to secure search. Plus, an interesting study from Adobe which explains why marketers might be feeling a little overwhelmed!

 

Ecommerce product pages: where to place 30 elements and why

Kicking us off this week is another insightful article from Econsultancy which looks at the 30 ‘must-have’ page elements on an ecommerce page and recommendations on where they should appear. The article uses examples from successful retailers including Amazon, John Lewis and ASOS and provides a solid starting point when thinking about the design of product pages.

FAQ: All About The New Google “Hummingbird” Algorithm

In search news this week, Google has just announced a new algorithm called “Hummingbird,’ which focuses on longer-tail, more conversational queries which should return better results according to Google. The update was actually implemented a month ago, so any traffic changes should have already been apparent by now. Hummingbird is rather significant as it is not a new filter within an existing algorithm but actually new algorithm altogether. In light of this, Search Engine Land has put together a handy FAQ article about this big change.

Google ‘(Not Provided)’ Keywords: 10 Ways to Get Organic Search Data

Last month, Google ‘flipped a switch’ and made all Google searches secure, meaning that organic analytical data is now non-existent for Google traffic with a huge chunk of keywords now being reported as “(not provided).” However, there are some workarounds and resources you can use in order to capture the data that Google is no longer providing over on Search Engine Watch.

5 Things We’ve Learned From Google’s New War on Links

With Google’s recent attack on unnatural links, there are a lot of lessons to be learnt when cleaning up and dealing with penalties. This article from Search Engine Watch takes a step back and highlights their findings and top takeaways.

In Marketing, Overwhelmed is the New Normal

And to finish off, a study from Adobe has shown that overall Marketers are feeling overwhelmed and reveals a picture of marketers with little confidence in their own or their organization’s ability to address the unique challenges of digital marketing. More over on Clickz and you can read the full study at Digital Distress: What Keeps Marketers Up at Night?

The Weekly Shop (23rd – 27th September)

In The Weekly Shop this week there is a big focus on mobile and how it’s fast becoming the dominant device for consumers. We also look at the latest news from Google as they quietly make changes to encrypt all search activity – what does this mean for your SEO strategy? In more SEO news, we also look at how SEO and social can work together and reasons you should be looking to increase your SEO budget in 2014.

Ecommerce evolution at a tipping point, with mobile now behind all online growth: new analysis

Analysis from etail trade associations IMRG and Capgemini has shown that ecommerce appears to have reached a tipping point, as new figures suggest that mobile devices are now primarily responsible for driving online sales growth. The two partners, who produce the monthly IMRG-Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index, have for the first time stripped out all the mobile data from its overall online sales data and found that ecommerce growth, excluding transactions made via mobile, has been steadily declining for the last two years. In the second quarter of 2013 it flat lined altogether, and by that point, mobile devices accounted for 23% of all online retail sales.

From analysing our clients’ transactional data, we’d back up this study’s findings!

Shopping experience improves online at Christmas and deteriorates in-store, while the importance of mobile continues to rise

A new study from eDigitalResearch and IMRG has found that a majority of shoppers feel that the online shopping experience improves at Christmas, while the in-store experience deteriorates. I couldn’t agree more! A whopping 96% of the shoppers surveyed said that they plan to shop online this Christmas with 64% saying they plan to spend more on their mobile this Christmas than the last.
We’ll be writing more on preparing for Christmas on the Frogblogg shortly, so watch this space.

10 inspiring uses of mobile in retail

So with mobile presenting the greatest opportunity for retailers to drive growth, Econsultancy has rounded up ten great examples of mobile use in retail, which makes for some inspiring reading. I particularly like the idea from Meatjack which certainly must have annoyed their competitors!

eBay offers high street in-store collection through Argos trial

eBay has just announced that for a trail period, customers will be able to pick up purchases from selected merchants from branches of Argos. The move gives eBay merchants access to Argos’ wide-ranging store network and means Argos will potentially share the bricks and mortar advantage with online traders of all sizes. This news comes at a time when Click + Collect services are booming in popularity, with retailers seeing up to 60% of their online sales collected in store.

Top 3 Ways SEO and Social Can Work Together to Make Each Other Insanely Successful

There are huge profits to be made when you strategically align your SEO and social media strategies. A successfully executed venture can see both areas benefitting in areas such as outreach and promotion, content creation, brand management and goal tracking. Here at Leapfrogg, we’ve seen great success from structuring our teams in this way so all our disciplines work harmoniously together yielding better results for our clients. This article from Search Engine Watch highlights the top three ways to set up and benefit from this powerful combination.

Post-PRISM, Google Confirms Quietly Moving To Make All Searches Secure, Except For Ad Clicks

Google has recently made a change aimed at encrypting all search activity – except for clicks on adverts. In short, this means that in Google Analytics you will not be able to see the keywords that have driven organic traffic to your site. Google has stated that this has been done to provide ‘extra protection’ for searchers but there is speculation that this move may be to increase ad sales. The resonating behind this move is not clear, and this article from Search Engine Land looks at the implications of this change and the possible reasons behind it.

Google’s keyword data apocalypse: the experts’ view

More on this with a number of search marketing experts offering their view. Ben Potter, our Commercial Director, agrees with the view that this has been on the horizon for a while; ‘we’ve been seeing the amount of ‘not provided’ data steadily increase over the last year or two. I don’t think it has come as too much of a surprise that 100% of the keyword data would be wiped out in Analytics’. We’ve been working on various ways around this, which our clients are already benefiting from’.

5 Reasons You’ll Need to Increase Your SEO Budget in 2014

This article from Search Engine Journal outlines five reasons why it is in your best interests to increase your SEO budget next year. This includes outsourcing social media, SEO and having a strategic content marketing strategy.

How Search Engines Rank Web Pages

Last week, we shared an article on how search engines work, outlining the difference between crawling and indexing. To extend this further, this useful article from Search Engine Watch looks at the various ranking factors at play. It is a great good starting point to better understand the complex search landscape and therefore what is involved in executing a modern natural search strategy.

 

The Weekly Shop (2nd Sept – 6th Sept)

The Weekly Shop is our regular blog series that endeavours to keep you fully stocked up every week with interesting news and developments from the digital marketing and online retail realms.

This week, we look at Google Trends for SEO and how Google has killed PageRank in the Google Toolbar as well as some common link building techniques, in addition to some more positive news for online retailers.

5 Link Building Techniques Google (Supposedly) Killed in 2013

As of late, Google has been telling webmasters to nofollow different types of links pointing to their sites and has recently updated their Webmaster Guidelines with examples of link building practices that they now consider manipulative. These examples refer to extreme ‘spammy’ methods but some of the advice is a little ambiguous and therefore open to (mis)interpretation. In light of this, this article from Search Engine People explains how you can still employ methods, such as Press Releases, Guest Blogging, Infographics, Advertorials and Comment Links but with the primary objective of attracting attention and traffic, which in turn can attract backlinks. In other words, link are the by-product of good marketing, not the primary objective.

How to use Google Trends for SEO

GoogleTrends is a tool that shows how often a particular search term is entered relative to the total search volume across various regions of the world. It is one of the best and most versatile tools available for natural search. This article from Search Engine Watch is a great overview of how to use the tool to develop content ideas to generate traffic and great links. Definitely check it out!

Is PageRank Finally Dead? It Seems To Be, At Least In The Google Toolbar

Previously, if you wanted to know how much Google trusted a webpage, you could use the PageRank value in the Google Toolbar. However, over the years, Google’s support for PageRank has declined drastically with that little green bar now only being available in Internet Explorer (after they dropped it from Chrome and Firebox). Now, the latest blow is that the data that flows into the display hasn’t been updated for over six months. Despite Google saying PageRank wouldn’t be going away, we’re left wondering if the lack of updates means exactly the opposite.

In any case, its true value is questionable at best. In our experience, too many website owners obsess over their PageRank when, frankly, there are bigger fish to fry!

Don’t Believe a Word – Debunking the Lies That SEO Agencies Tell

This article from Clickz focuses on some of the lies that the worst SEO agencies often tell, from ranking guarantees to long term contracts and selling unnecessary website design. We’re always shocked to about these kind of scams, which sadly gives SEO agencies a bad reputation.

Consumer confidence rises to the highest level since 2009

Some good news for retailers this week, official figures released by GfK have shown that consumer confidence has risen to its highest level since October 2009 this month.  The research firm’s headline index increased by three points in August to -13. This means that the index has risen by 14 points in the last four months to mark the first time since 1982 that it has increased so substantially in a four month period.  GfK put this growth down to a steady flow of economic good news during the last few months showing the economy growing, despite recent official figures revealing a fall in UK living standards.

Survey: one in five UK consumers buys more online than in-store

Figures from the latest E-commerce index from online marketplace Rakuten (owners of Play.com) have shown that precisely a fifth (20%) of Brits now spend more on items purchased online then they do in store, while for a further 18% say their online/in-store spending is in perfect balance. Clothing and accessories are now the most commonly purchased items online worldwide (I can definitely vouch for this!) followed by books and magazines, and consumer electronics.  The research highlights how the fashion industry is successfully engaging the online shopping community despite for importance of ‘fit’ being a natural obstacle. We’re currently working with some really exciting fashion brands, so watch this space for project updates.