Grab a cup of tea and take a few minutes to read our thoughts on this month's news from the industry...
Ever since I went online to place an order for store collection only to cancel the order some days later (total time for both transactions of under five minutes) I’ve been a secret admirer of M&S and their online experience. So, when M&S announced earlier this month that it’s integrating third party personalisation technology to improve customer online experiences, I’m interested. In doing this, M&S are following a long line of etailers looking to replicate the Amazon proactive recommendation experience. Interesting to see how this performs for them in terms of encouraging further browsing and uplifts in average order values. Ultimately it comes down to how well the functionality is integrated into the overall user experience to ensure it doesn’t distract and prevent visitors in fulfilling their original core purchase intent (assuming they had one to start with).
So it’s back to the drawing board for both the SOPA and PIPA the online piracy bills effectively killed off by the wave of protest channel through the medium they were designed to control. In an increasingly virtual world, the question remains if governments will ever be to truly exercise legal controls, without inadvertently imposing restrictions on that most precious right of all, the right to free speech.
Rakuten group (heard of them?) are a top 3 etailer by turnover, and the owner of the likes of play.com. So, when they recently announced their top 6 retail predictions for 2012 you tend to stand up and take note. Increasing shares for tablet, increasing personalisation and decreasing costs of technology all make for an exciting 2012!
Many of Facebook’s 100 Soho-based staff are likely to become millionaires over night following plans announced for a $5 billion (£31.1 billion) stock market flotation. One person who saw the “writing on the wall” or rather put it there is the graffiti artist David Chao who opted to take Facebook shares as instead of cash for painting the walls of the network's first offices. That will keep him in spray cans for a long time to come.