UK Fast eCommerce Live event

by David Mannheim

posted on: November 1st 2015

We meandered through the waterfalls and egg chairs that the awesome offices the UK FAST have to offer to attend the eCommerce Live UK event by UK Fast.

Laurence Jones, owner of UK Fast of 16 years came to the stage to introduce the event. Mostly talking about how the speed of your website ultimately affects the user’s perception of you. And they should know - with an initial dispute with Google about their research and the fact that they host over half a billion websites - they are clearly aware of how to influence the speed, and therefore sales, of your site. There was an element of promoting UK FASTs services also (which no one can dispute) specifically the difference between a dedicated and shared server (and hence impact on speed) and also the Webcelerator product - where in one scenario a retailer received 9,000 more transactions when they plugged into this piece of technology. Pretty impressive.

The stories shared and statistics delivered clearly demonstrated how important speed is to the performance of, not just your website, but business.

Did you know?

Online UK spend in 2014 in the festive period get to £17.37bn.


A huge part of conversion rate optimisation, personalisation is all about being relevant and tailoring the customer journey within your site for every single individual. And Nosto know a thing or two about it; helping over 10,000 retailers. He continued to provide a list of 8 tips for the upcoming festive period and how personalisation can affect this.

  • Leverage the data that you already have to convert hesitant buyers (quite a generic title). Did you know that only 15% of users buy on their first visit? User’s shopping cycles are now much longer and those users who are displayed personalisation recommendations now convert 65% better on Amazon.
  • Increase ROI of PPC campaigns with landing page recommendations. For example, what did other users who clicked on the same campaign view? Was it the same products? This type of approach can influence an increase of 5% in conversions
  • Enhance search capabilities. When users search on the site, they tend to convert 3 x more likely than those that don't.
  • Send personalised trigger emails. Did you know that the average click through rate of such emails are 10x higher than the industry standard?

We often work with Nosto in some of our ecommerce sites dependant on where the client is in their journey. Often personalisation, whilst incredibly important, can be a de-prioritised improvement trumped by the likes of usability and navigation, for example.

Did you know?

Amazons conversion rate is 18%

Space 48

The (quite frankly awesome) guys at Space 48 came from Warrington to discuss about a few brands and their challenges and how Space 48 solved these challenges within a Magento solution.

In the respect of Better Bathrooms, the need was the right platform to support the growth, especially with the TV ads that Better Bathrooms have. The new site created resulted in a 5% increase in AOV, 9% increase in conversion and, the figure that most care about, a 31% increase in transactions. Specifically, the perils of Google Shopping were discussed - and generally these pages have a bounce rate of 70%. Understanding data helped provide the user with relevant options and thus created their own personalised page for Google Shopping offering relevant product alternatives. This reduced the bounce rate to c.30%) just by taking that channel, understanding the issues and personalising it by splitting out pages from Google shopping.

Silent Night was another company that the guys at Space 48 discussed which was heavily reliant on it's retail side of the business. A redesign resulted in 21% increase in transactions and an 8% increase in conversions where creating that in store experience was key (how can you bounce on a bed online?).

Dan spoke about his penchant for marketing, writing software for phones about 20 years ago moving into being a market trader. Merging these skills, forged a niche; "market trader marketing" what Dan Cluderay calls it - and he segments his niche into 3 areas:

  • Goods at the right price
  • Customer willing to buy that
  • The trigger in the middle

Putting that into an online world, Dan continues to talk about the most interesting of these areas: the trigger. He compares the broadcast sell to the close up sell. In this respect, mimicking that personalised close up sell such as live chat is the best way to sell; allowing you to filter out the relevant traffic with the non-relevant using intent. For example, once you've signed in you're in a bucket of intent and you are therefore immediately you have a higher propensity to purchase. Teasing them and helping them to convert is about priority; the relevant is a higher priority than the non-relevant - the main question is, what is the relevant?

I think this is a good point because most people do ask "what is the average conversion rate". Stay with me here, it's relevant. Taking Dan's principles into practice; is there such a thing as an average? What about that non-relevant traffic and how does it impact your "true" conversion rate? In reality you probably have various conversion rates - those that are new users to returning, or mobile users to tablet or 4th visits from a PPC campaign in comparison to a direct first visit. When we talk about this is a metric, what is and what isn't relevant. That's another story and discussion though...

Dan also says that people push through for value. He's right. Anyone can increase their conversion rate by having a sale but he specifically referenced the product and proposition being right.

Really inspiring chat, enjoyed this one. I now have more intent to visit myself. I'd be one of 500 people on the site at any given time though...

Did you know?

Approved foods picks 600 items per hour per person? 9.4m shipped last year with one person on customer service. That's lean!

Security threats

Andy Hague discussed how important security threats and cyber attacks are despite not getting that level of importance it requires within the industry. Your biggest threat is actually your employees, whether this being malicious or unintentional via social engineering.

Let's give an example. A USB stick was sent to all the CFOs of the top FTSE 500 companies embossed with "party of a lifetime". He is then asked to insert it into his laptop. 376 out of 500 inserted it into their computer within the first 3 hours. Wow.

There are 2 different threats Andy discusses - social engineering (that which will steal) and the hacker mind set (that which will steal) and discussed the recent Ashley Madison hack (read about it, it's interesting). Andy even showed us the "dark net" where you can buy a credit card with existing details on it for a whopping $33...


Did you know?

Data breaches to cost global economy $2 trillion by 2019


We spoke a lot today about increasing sales within an ecommerce sense and whilst the term "conversion rate optimisation" was indeed used, it had little focus. It is the most efficient way to grow your online business because it's measurable, focused and to some extent, scientific. This is why we offer those services and why we believe in them. If you would like to speak to us about our conversion rate optimisation services please feel free to get in touch.

(PS. And a big thank you to UK Fast for not only hosting the event but also offering to polish and wax my car. Very kind of you!

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David Mannheim

David is an experienced conversion optimiser and has worked across a series of core optimisation disciplines including web analytics, user experience and AB & MVT testing.

UK Fast eCommerce Live event

by David Mannheim Time to read: 5 min