A new study shows that e-commerce platforms can always use more help when it comes to usability. In a test of 3,600 users given assigned tasks, only 52% reported success when using sites such as Amazon.com and Play.com.
Forrester Research indicates an increasing number of consumers are picking up goods they ordered online at brick-and-mortar stores. Forrester projected sales from Web sites will increase from $400 billion in the U.S. annually to $1 trillion in the next four years.
Although costs don't prohibit businesses from bombarding consumers with e-mails, other considerations should, according to the authors of the new book "Successful E-mail Marketing Strategies: From Hunting to Farming." The authors say companies should use e-mail to cultivate relationships with their best clients rather than sending out many e-mails in an attempt to hunt down new customers.
CEO Steve Ballmer has revealed that Microsoft will launch a service like Apple's popular App Store that will give Windows users easier access to add-ons for their smartphones. The App Store's success has inspired similar moves from Google and Research in Motion to cater to their own mobile platforms.