Stefan's Naturally Aspirated Blog

12 Things To Be Aware of When Christmas Shopping Online

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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 ...

Sizeable Issue for Online Fashion Retailers

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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

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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

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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?

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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...

Why Click-and-Collect is essential for High Street Stores

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Throughout this year I’ve been talking about the key challenges High Street Retailers face with trying to consolidate their online / offline inventories - so that shoppers can be sure of the likelihood of their obtaining what they seek when they venture into town. In numerous posts over the years I have highlighted my disappointment about making the usual weekend pilgrimage into town - only to find that most of what I was after is either not stocked by the particular branch I happen to ...

Customisation is the future of Retail!

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For hundreds of years everything was individual and bespoke, and made-to-order. Then came mass-manufacturing and off-the-peg retail (prêt-à-porter) - which allowed more consumers to buy reasonable quality products, and moreover take their wares home with them on the same day. For the wealthiest echelons of society, made-to-order is still used regularly to deliver unique and individual products, but the majority of consumers want lower cost products which are available sooner.


The Ideal Fashion Ecommerce Template

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Retail is increasingly moving online, although there will always be some forms of shopping more suitable for a personal hands-on experience. When I buy clothing, I always try to bear in mind the following five criteria (The 5 F’s):

  • Fabric - What is the garment made of? Is it machine-washable? How does the fabric drape? Is the fabric water resistant and breathable? How will it stand the crumple test?
  • Fit - Exactly what size and shape is the garment? How well will it fit me - is it slim

10 Top Tips for Ecommerce

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Not only am I an Ecommerce Specialist for Affino, I am also an avid International Internet shopper. I buy goods from pretty much every part of the civilised world - from USA to Hong Kong and Japan and all the major states of Europe in between (20+ countries). I have bought all manner of goods at all manner of prices / currencies and dealt with various returns processes, goods forwarding services and general customer services - including advanced goods and customs / imports handling. My day-to-...

10 Reasons why you may need to switch Platform to grow your business in 2014

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Over the last 12 months, we have heard a lot about the need for replatforming, owing to game changers and paradigm shifts in the online retail industry. The chiefest of these is the increasing consumer shift to mobile devices and the need to provide a seamless high-level customer experience across all channels of involvement. Responsive Design will of course be essential, but there are several other key criteria which will need to be seriously considered too.


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