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FACT-Finder Blog Posts

Market Watch: eCommerce Japan

Almost a year after the earthquake and its following disasters in Japan, the country is slowly picking up speed again. We are as well witnessing a recovering eCommerce market, which experienced a decline in revenue in the aftermath; however there are still uncertainties in the forecasts.

Nevertheless, Japan is still the world’s top digital society. Internet World Stats, an online research institute points out that approximately 100 million people, which corresponds to 80% of the population, use the internet in Japan. Although the major Japanese B2C e-commerce players like Rakuten experienced a decline in revenue, people are starting to buy again. Most popular items of Japanese online customers are books, followed by fashion, music and travel (source: ystats.com).

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Semantic Travel Search. Comparative study of OTA’s search technology.

Semantic travel search comparative study
Semantic travel search comparative study

How can semantic search improve the usability of online travel agencies? Our comparative study of the usability of online travel agencies was performed on 42 test persons in August 2011 (you can download the comparative study on the FACT-Finder Travel website). To study the behaviour when using online travel agencies, the test persons were first presented with a representation of five top-performing online travel agencies and next presented with the semantic travel search of FACT-Finder Travel. The results of the study were based on in-depth interviews as well as eye tracking performed on 70% of the test persons.

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Semantic Search – The Buzz at World Travel Market in London

This year’s World Travel Market in London provided a packed full four days of networking, presentations and business opportunities. To get a feel of what is next and where the travel industry is heading, this proved to be the must-attend event of the year. With almost 48,000 senior travel industry professionals, government ministers and international press attending, the WTM leads the way for loads of partnering possibilities – and this year was no exception.

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eCommerce Turkey – Webrazzi Conference in Istanbul

The yearly Webrazzi conference in Istanbul (Turkey) is a vital Internet event for the industry. With around 750 business insiders visiting and 4 parallel conference-tracks; the event acts as a magnet for IT industry news and has the indirect effect of attracting the interest of investors looking for new businesses and ideas to develop.
The Turkish market has with great success adapted ideas from some of the more developed markets of the IT industry, such as dating sites, private sales platforms (such as eBay) and even a Turkish spinoff of Spreadshirt is present as a “.tr”.

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Poland eCommerce: Market on the Rise 2011

Just four years after the first significant Internet portal saw the light of day, has Poland risen to become the fifth largest eCommerce market in Europe. The dynamic development of the Polish market accounts for a rapid 35% expansion in e-shops each year, and research points toward a net worth of the Polish online shopping market of € 5.9 billion by 2015. (Source: EU Online Retailing: Sizes & Forecasts)

The market shows a lot of potential, with only 23% of Polish people purchasing items online (the rate for Germany and Holland is 50%, while almost 70% of Danes and Norwegians made such purchase). Knowing the Polish market we believe that this gap will be decreased over the course of the next years.

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Tricks of the Trade: Long Tail 101

Popular search terms account only for 30% of the overall searches performed on the web. The remaining 70% of search queries occur within the so-called Long-Tail. The Long-Tail is an increasingly important strategy for the future business of online retailing and is all about selling less of more.

Today the Long Tail term does not only account for these niche products, but also to search requests with deviations from regular spelling. So if your search ecommerce engine is incapable of understanding typographical errors, singular or plural terms etc. you have got great news coming.

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Open Source – When Your Free Ride Is Charging You

When listening to a presentation of a partner at this week’s ecommerce conference in Paris, this sentence fell: “If someone does not want to pay for a professional solution for conversion, we implement open source.” So I thought to myself: Is this really just about money? And yes, if it is an issue of money, one could say easily that open source is for free, and costs nothing.

When looking at ecommerce platforms on the market, if someone does not want to invest in their shop would they simply use open source and then get what they want? A costless solution. Would this choice then really mean never to pay anything? When considering Magento for example, who would say every retailer that chose Magento as a platform for their webshop, did not pay anything for it?

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How to turn visitors into shoppers

In my speech at Internet Retailing, I concentrated on translating real world scenarios into the online virtual world (your shops). Generally, if we have a job to do, we’re going to look for the right tool to do it with. Take mowing the lawn for example. If I’m in the market for an English Garden, I’m not going to run it over with a BMW M5. I’m going to grab my John Deere two-cylinder and with it, I’m going to create paradise.

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Internet Retailing, Birmingham 2011

The last two days at Internet Retailing were both energising and inspiring. Like a child trapped in cotton candy, or a fanatic entranced by Apple’s mystical glow, we are hungry for more. The eCommerce world is pulsating with invention, insight and a more polished professionalism than ever before. It was a pleasure to stand amidst my fellow eCommerce brethren and brethrettes, to push and redefine the possible. Yes… spring has sprung even over the otherwise rather gloomy Birmingham. It’s safe to say: Internet Retailing has successfully put Birmingham on the eCommerce map. This will be a show to follow closely in the future.

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