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Stefan's Naturally Aspirated Blog

The Evolving Global Roll-Out of Post-Thanksgiving Sales

Black FridayCyber MondayecommerceInventory ManagementRetailsales+-

Black Friday Sales started out as a uniquely American event - a sort of pre-Christmas sales event coming the first Friday after the National Thanksgiving Holiday - to commemorate the Plymoth Rock Pilgrims Landing. As it is now though, Black Friday is increasingly a global event - and has evolved in much the same way that Halloween has. Halloween never used to be celebrated in Iceland for instance, but you will find whole families involved in ’Trick and Treating’ and confectioners ...

Bathrooms and Showers Direct Refreshes and Reinvigorates its Digital Presence with Affino

Affino Unified Digital Business PlatformB2B RetailBathroom Fittings and FurtnishingsBathrooms and Showers DirectConsumer RetailecommerceFeaturedPPCresponsive designRetailseoSSL+-

We’ve been working with Bathrooms and Showers Direct (BASD) for nigh on a decade now and have had to handle a variety of challenges together over the years, in particular the complexities of the integration with Google Base / Google Merchant Centre which is an ongoing project with Google’s consistently evolving approach.


BASD is something of a special case in that it targets and serves both the trade, as well as domestic customers through the same ecommerce website, i.e. ...

12 Things To Be Aware of When Christmas Shopping Online

Christmas ShoppingChristmas Shopping PointersDigital Retailecommerceonline retailRetail Advice+-

Considering how much I buy online - pretty much every day - I think of myself as something of an online shopping expert. My mainstays are Amazon, Ebay and Ocado, but I frequently venture beyond these shores to buy goods - particularly out of Europe, North America, Hong Kong and Japan.

Over the years I must have encountered most of the odd shopping experience scenarios, and it has taught me to be ever so vigilant when buying - particularly when dealing with new / unknown-to-me vendors. Note ...

Affino Midyear Report

AffinoAffino Site LaunchAffino Unified Digital Business PlatformCRMdesign centreecommerceProductivityresponsive designSocial CRM+-

It’s been a heavy duty year on the development front, particularly as regards the CRM component of the platform. When the CRM was first introduced several years ago, it was mostly used as an adjunct to existing CRMs and ERPs, but as many Clients have moved away from systems like Salesforce, Affino’s CRM has had to take on an ever greater central role. To a point where it will very soon offer the complete Media Company CRM Solution - including print planning and management, order ...

Sizeable Issue for Online Fashion Retailers

ecommerceEcommerce FulfimentEcommerce LogisticsFashion Retailonline retailReturns+-

For anyone new to Fashion Retail, one of the factors that may catch you unawares is just how many returns you need to deal with. Many a new business has come a cropper because business owners forgot to factor in the significant cost of processing returns. Shopping online started off by replacing the catalogue / list shopping of old, and the mostly women who shopped in this manner, were already accustomed to buying multiple sizes of each item - just in case the item did not run true-to-size!


5 Ecommerce Post-purchase Irritants

deliveryDigital CommerceecommerceInvoicingonline retailPackagaingReceiptsReturns+-

You would have though that when you finally hit the ’Place Order’ button, most of your troubles would be over. Yet Ecommerce has a number of intangibles which can seriously impact on customer satisfaction if not handled properly. Most of these issues involve being one removed from the source of the service - such that you can’t always just pop into your nearest branch to solve the problem.


I order regularly from all the big players, including of course Amazon, Ebay ...

Black Friday is a great opportunity for retailers to shift old stock at appealing prices

Black FridayDigital Retailecommerceonline retailRetailRetail IndustrysalesSuper Sales+-

After Americans have gorged themselves on Turkey, many of them feel the need to gorge themselves on ’bargains’ which go on sale the day after Thanksgiving. The UK has always had the Boxing Day sales, but somehow we have become entangled in Black Friday now too . Many retailers, and particularly Amazon have made a significant feature of this for several years now - even offering daily bargains in the week leading up to the big day itself.


For Retail / Consumer Psychologists ...

The UK's 10 Best Online Shops according to Which?

Best Online ShopsBest UK EcommerceBest UK Online Shopsecommerceonline retailOnline StoresWhich?Which? Best Online Shops+-

In its latest magazine, Which? rates the UK’s online shops on 5 key criteria to ascertain which provide the best experience. It does not fully explain the mechanics of its weighting and what emphasis is placed on its own experts’ scores versus those returned in the customer survey. It also excludes the big grocery retailers from this survey for some reason.


My 3 preferred online go-to vendors have been Amazon, Ebay and Ocado for some time now - in that order of frequency. I...

The 10 Key Criteria for Best-in-Class Ecommerce

Best EcommerceecommerceEcommerce CriteriaEcommerce RecommendationsRetail Recommendations+-

I will start with a confession - I am not quite the uber shopper I used to be. Sure I still buy various items from around the world and do enjoy the occasional foray onto the High Street, it does not yield quite the same degree of satisfaction that it used to. I often do desk-research before I venture into town, only to find the stock in the High Street store quite different to what is on the website, and not available in my particular desired size / colour combination - often just not ...

The Mobile Imperative

Cookie ArmageddonCustomer Relationship ManagementecommerceMobile CommerceMobile Customer ContactMobile GrowthMobile ImperativeMobile OptimisationMobilegeddonResourceSmartphonesUnified Business Platform+-

It really does not matter what type of business you have, these days the most likely contact you will have with your customers is via their smartphones. People already order more pizza through their phone; movie, theatre and concert tickets; read news feeds, digests and updates; order a taxi, post a picture, rent a room, save their place in a queue, pre-order their sandwich, and conduct a hundred different services and purchases generally within a typical day.


Here are the key headline...

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2013 PPA Awards - Procurement Leaders awarded Business Media Brand of the Year
2013 PPA Digital Publishing Awards - Procurement Leaders awarded Business Media Digital Brand of the Year