April, 2010 Archive

Is Bigot Such a Terrible Word?

So the word of the day is “bigot” but is it such a terrible term that everyone is making out today after Gordon Brown’s earlier gaffe when a TV microphone was left on him while he was having a private conversation to his aides in his private car. Oh yeah where are all the calls for the TV producer to get sacked or strung up for invading the Prime Minister’s privacy by leaving a live mic on the PM, probably knowing they would get some juicy inside gossip. And don’t get me started with the big £50k newspaper payout for exclusive rights to Mrs Duffy story… er what story?

Testing Web Forms

It’s one of the most important aspects of any website… how people can get in touch and make an enquiry. Often the form on a website is the main lead generation point and the main conversion point. We all know that it’s not about how much traffic that you can get to a website, even though some people think it’s still the most important metric, but we generally focus on the ranking for the right keywords or “money terms” as well as the conversions from those rankings.

If you have a website, no matter what size, when was the last time that you actually tested your own forms? I’ve just done a bit of form filling for a client to make sure that all is working properly. It’s an easy thing to do and can throw out some interesting conversion barriers.

Natwest Steal Money from a 9 Year Old

Ok so the headline is a bit like a tabloid newspaper, but it’s pretty close to the truth. It all started around mid March when we went to the Natwest branch to order $750 from the company account for the trip to New York for the SES conference. The transaction went as normal, popped my Bronco current account card in the machine, entered the card pin number, asked for $750, confirmed the exchange rate and agreed to be charged £591, was given a slip to confirm and went back a few days later to collect them. All very simple!

The Ecommerce Site of the Future

So today at Bronco we came up with an idea for an ecommerce site. I’m not sure if it’s a new concept (probably not) but I thought that it could be the future of ecommerce. It got us thinking when we had a request from a client today who wanted us to remove the Newsletter sign up feature from their site that has been there for 3 years.

On a side note…. Does anyone ever sign up to Newsletters on sites? Personally I never do as I really don’t have the time to be reading what is pretty much a sales letter from a company that I have bought from or used for a service. If I do sign up for a Newsletter it tends to be when you just have to tick a box in the checkout process. So why is it that people want to cram “functionality” into their site because everyone else has it? If you are not seriously going to have the time to write a regular newsletter and gain a good readership of your newsletter don’t bother wasting the space having a Sign up box, save it for the checkout page and have a tick box. This valuable space could be used for an entry point into a top level category, or to another conversion point.

The Winners and Losers of the Ash

Over the last few days we have seen an unprecedented event where the UK, and part of the European, airspace has been closed due to the massive cloud of volcanic ash that is high in the atmosphere. This all started on Thursday and even though it is looking likely that some flights will start tomorrow I reckon that there will be more disruption ahead. But who are the winners and losers of this phenomenon.

Obviously big losers are the passengers themselves who can’t get to their planned destination for business or pleasure, or more terrible, can’t get back from a trip. Passengers are being troubled by being stranded but the airlines and travel companies are losing serious amounts of money everyday which they can’t afford following a poor few years for the operators. It’s reported that British Airways is losing around £15m a day, and TUI who is Europe’s largest travel operator is losing up to £5m a day. The closure of the airports has a knock on effect to the airport transport companies and taxis that will have been booked for transfers, as well as the shops in the airport who are used to a constant stream of people. I wonder if the airport staff get paid even if the airport is closed in this situation?