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Offline browsing can drive online sales

Posted by Monica Tailor, 12 April 2011

If you have an iPhone or an Android you may already have an app called Redlaser. If you haven't seen it yet it's worth taking a look. Redlaser allows you scan a standard barcode to identify the product and then goes online to find prices for that product.

Great, but so what?

For potential customers it means they can price compare online while standing in a shop. If you're a retailer with a bricks and mortar shop you could use it to make the sale. By scanning and showing customers the price comparison there and then you could stop them walking out of the door to price check by reassuring them that they are getting a good deal.

If you're an online only retailer then taking advantage of shoppers browsing in the shops is a good idea, if you're listed on a Redlaser search then you could make that sale either then or later.

So hopefully I've convinced you that you should be appearing for a Redlaser search. So how do you make sure you appear? Well you need to be appearing in Google Shopping to start with ... it's free, all you need to do is send Google a feed of your products formatted correctly. If you don't list there already you really should.

Google Shopping is able to price compare (1) if you give it a manufacturer and manufacturers part number (aka sku) but that's not enough to get your products listed in Redlaser. Redlaser needs the feed to include the EAN number (Google can match on just EAN or Manufacturer and MPN). In my experience not all retailers provide Google with an EAN, especially smaller ecommerce retailers who are largely missing in all the Redlaser searches I've done. This is disappointing because the smaller ecommerce retailers are often competitively priced.

So firstly make sure you've got your Google Shopping feed set up and secondly include an EAN number. The EAN number can be taken from barcodes on products or you can check Google Shopping, the EAN is usually listed at the bottom of the page.

With Android and iPhone making up 59.4% (2) of the UK mobile phone market there are a potential 47.5 million (3) handsets able to run Redlaser. There's no doubt that mobile use is growing and apps like Redlaser (which currently estimates 9 million users worldwide) will help that to grow.

(1) If the products you sell aren't price compared they might soon be with Google forcing all Google Shopping feeds to include unique identifiers (manufacturer and mpn at minimum) from 3rd May.

(2) Android rules the UK with a market share streets ahead of BlackBerry and Apple http://www.wirefresh.com/android-rules...

(3) There are over 80million active mobile's in the UK, that's over 1.2 phones per person. Calculated from two Wikipedia articles:
List of mobile operators
Population of the UK


Go-Electrical Relaunch

Posted by Matt Seward, 16 March 2011

We have recently overhauled the ecommerce website of one of our longest standing clients Go-Electrical, refreshing the web design and porting the entire site to the Magento ecommerce platform.

Go-Electrical Home Page Screen Shot (small)

Regular Go-Electrical customers will have noticed a number of new features, many of which pretty much come as standard with Magento. Including:

  • Filtering products by attributes (price bands, brand, colour, dimensions, power, etc)
  • Side-by-side product comparision
  • 1 page checkout (via SagePay Direct Payment Gateway)
  • Product suggestions (Cross-selling) from within the basket
  • Redeamable Promotion codes

We also had to flex our web developer muscles to produce some bespoke Magento tools and provide the following:

  • Rich Configurable Products*
  • Sage Integration (Accounting Software)
  • Price Comparison Engine Product Information (feed) Management
  • Migration of legacy data (incl. URL mapping to ensure no search traffic was disrupted)
  • Wordpress Integration

*Configurable products within Magento allow customers to choose alternative product options from within a single product page, (for example for a fridge providing a choice of colour and whether the door has a left or right hinge). Normally the product photo and information remains the same when alternative choices are made, however, using AJAX (Javascript) technology Go-Electrical.co.uk customers see the product page refresh with photos and info that corresponds to the choices they have made.

A major challenge in this project was migrating this large ecommerce site (3000+ products) with a minimum amount of disruption to customers and marketing programmes. To this end we performed the migration in the early hours of December 23rd as the period following the last Christmas delivery slot is relatively quiet.

Working with the team at Go-Electrical was a real pleasure (as always) and together we managed to deliver a new incarnation of the site with a mimum of disruption and maximum benefit to their customers.