Gsm World

March 27, 2009

78 per cent of online shoppers value Green-powered websites

Filed under: News — Tags: — karol @ 7:30 pm

78 per cent of online shoppers value Green-powered websites

- Today’s websites can benefit from environmental practices - Most online shoppers believe ecommerce companies should look to green service providers

Web hosting company 1&1 Internet Ltd, (http://www.1and1.co.uk), today released research conducted in association with the USA’s Wired Magazine which identifies the latest ‘green expectation’ from consumers - that virtual shops should now run more green operations. The results show that the requirement for all companies to go green is growing, as the traditional methods of using less energy are only a start in the eyes of most consumers today.

1&1’s ‘SMB Green Study ,’ conducted by Wired Magazine and Vision Critical of some 543 US adults found that a green-powered website may be a deciding factor when selecting which retailer to purchase from. Over 60 per cent of people admit to being swayed to purchase from an online shop if the website identifies itself as using green energy. Some 78 per cent of consumers say that the environmental practices of even a virtual shop are important to them, and most consumers believe that all businesses should be environmentally responsible.

The research clearly reflects a push from consumers to urge companies to take their green efforts further and use greener service providers. One way for ecommerce websites to achieve this is powering their websites from a green data centre or servers using renewable energy. Over 70 per cent of consumers surveyed believed that using a green service provider is an acceptable way to present a ‘green’ image.

Oliver Mauss, CEO of 1&1 Internet Inc., said, “Committing to minimizing their impact on the environment has a clear commercial advantage for all types of retailer. By offering green web hosting at no extra cost, 1&1 offers an easy way for any website to run on green power”.

The research also showed that two-thirds (67 per cent) of American consumers are frequent online shoppers, making web purchases more than twice a month. The amount of people shopping online has been growing exponentially, which presents a lucrative opportunity for many people setting up shop on the Internet. The data suggests that choosing a green web host could potentially be a selling point that convinces online browsers to become buyers.

1&1 is the one-stop-shop for web solutions, providing a high quality service with the security of state-of-the-art green data centres and 24/7 technical support. 1&1’s green efforts will save carbon emissions of over 30,000 tons of CO2 per year.

For more information on 1&1 Internet Ltd visit the website at www.1and1.co.uk

47 per cent of online shoppers wish to resolve complaints online

Filed under: News — Tags: — karol @ 7:30 pm

47 per cent of online shoppers wish to resolve complaints online

- Consumers keen to maintain online connection with retailers - 1 in 4 have a negative experience buying from an SME website

Nearly half of UK consumers (47 per cent) wish to handle complaints to a retailer directly through its website, according to 1&1 Internet Ltd, the world’s largest web host by active websites. The representative survey of 1600 UK consumers, commissioned by 1&1, concluded that consumers who opt for ecommerce are nowadays keen to sort after-sales issues online. This is in stark contrast to a further survey of 405 British companies that finds that only 17 per cent of businesses recognise the need for such facilities. The study also finds that 45 per cent of Britons actively seek retailers with online feedback facilities on their website as part of their buying decision. It would appear that UK businesses today are undervaluing the demand for online customer care.

Whilst it is widely reported that increasing numbers of Britons are choosing ecommerce over high street stores, 1&1’s ‘Customer Care For Online Business Survey’ reveals that a surprising proportion of consumers (47 per cent) now seek to use online communication to resolve their after sales issues, such as complaints. These consumers indicated that given the option, they would choose to utilise online tools on a retailer’s website for communicating with the retailer about a complaint. Interestingly, the desire to resolve complaints online increases with age, with 52 per cent of over 55 year olds wishing to leverage this as compared to only 42 per cent of 16-24 year olds. The preference to communicate with businesses online also varies with gender. Over half of men (52 per cent) are keen on the using online methods to resolve a complaint compared to only 43 per cent of women.

Oliver Mauss, CEO 1&1 Internet Ltd. said, “As more of us choose to make purchases online, there will be increased demand for online based after-sales functions such as complaints handling. Britons clearly value the speed and convenience of Internet-based options”.

Furthermore, the survey underlines how British consumers place a high importance on online communication. Some 45 per cent of those surveyed actively seek retailers with online dialogue or feedback facilities on their website when deciding which retailers to use.

These figures are in worrying contrast to a further survey of 405 UK companies that finds widespread apathy on the issue of online customer care and complaints handling. The vast majority of businesses (83 per cent) believe there to be no demand for a facility to submit a complaint directly from their website. Significantly, 1 in 3 businesses (36 per cent) believe there could be no benefit at all from adding facilities for web-based communication such as customer live-chat, feedback forms or customer rating tools onto their website. The research suggests that a large number of British firms under-value the importance that consumers now place upon online communication.

The need for Britain’s smaller online retailers to improve customer service levels can also be deduced. 1&1’s research shows that from the 82 per cent of consumers that have made a purchase from a small or medium sized business website, 1 in 4 (24 per cent) suffered at least one ‘negative’ overall experience. Some 64 per cent of shoppers have experienced negative emotions such as ’stress’ or ‘concern’ at least once as a result of an online purchase. Consumers’ experiences of complaints to online SME retailers appear to vary with age. 28 per cent of online shoppers in the 16-24 age group reported having their complaint poorly handled, as compared to only 10 per cent of over 55 year olds.

Today, businesses have a number of options for using the Internet to enhance how they handle customer complaints. There is a variety of web-based tools available that can help facilitate online customer care and complaints resolution. The cost for a tool such as RatePoint (available with 1&1 web hosting) is remarkably low. For £6.99 a month+VAT, the tool helps a website owner strengthen customer support by providing the opportunity to engage in a meaningful dialogue with customers. Resolving complaints and receiving valuable customer feedback via RatePoint can not only improve customer service efficiency, but also lead to positive online ratings that will enhance a company’s online image.

Mauss added, “Having leveraged the Internet to win a customer, businesses have much to gain from taking simple steps to maintain that connection. In a challenging economy, enterprises that can resolve customer care issues swiftly online are likely to receive increased customer loyalty and spend”.

1&1 Internet, the world’s largest web host by known servers, is well placed to provide a high quality service, offering industry-leading connectivity via its own pan-European backbone. 1&1 currently holds over 7.8 million customer contracts worldwide and manages over 10 million domain names.

For more information on 1&1 Internet Ltd visit the website at www.1and1.co.uk

(1) 1,636 UK adults interviewed by Tickbox.Net via electronic feedback form
(2) 405 UK businesses with a website interviewed via electronic feedback form

1&1 Launches Affiliate Portal

Filed under: News — Tags: — karol @ 7:29 pm

1&1 Launches Affiliate Portal

- Centralized place for advice, tips and link-building tools

1&1 Internet Ltd., the world’s largest web host by known servers, today launched a web portal for its Affiliate Sales Program - www.1and1Affiliate.co.uk. The website integrates more resources, raising the standard above what most affiliate programs offer their members. The portal includes innovative tools, which no other web hosting affiliate program currently offers, that deliver everything an affiliate could need to achieve great success with the program. The portal is also a recruitment tool offering many ways to join, information and communication directly with the 1&1 Affiliate team.

Furthermore, www.1and1Affiliate.co.uk offers a centralized place for advice on starting as an affiliate, tips on how to make high commissions and link-building tools to achieve success. The website offers affiliates several ways to build and promote their affiliate links with both offline and online tools such as SMS texting, a personalized PDF Poster Creator and a Dynamic Product Page Creator to display 1&1 products on affiliates’ websites. Current affiliates benefit from advice articles and can also access affiliate newsletters and other tips from this new site. The portal also offers dedicated support from experienced affiliate professionals via phone, live-chat and an email contact form.

1&1 is a top online retailer in the global affiliate network Commission Junction, and has over 15,000 affiliates in the US. 1&1 offers sales commissions to affiliates using a variety of methods to track banners and links. The 1&1 Affiliate Program has no limit on potential earnings, and will distribute over £20 million to its global affiliates during 2008.

1&1 Internet, the world’s largest web host by known servers, is well placed to provide a high quality service, offering industry-leading connectivity via its own pan-European backbone. 1&1 currently holds 7.8 million customer contracts worldwide and manages over 10 million domain names. For more information on 1&1 Internet Ltd visit the website at www.1and1.co.uk

For more information about the 1&1 Affiliate Program, please visit www.1and1Affiliate.co.uk

1&1 Partners with SEDO to offer pre-owned domains

Filed under: News — Tags: — karol @ 7:29 pm

1&1 Partners with SEDO to offer pre-owned domains

Search for new and pre-registered domains for sale simultaneously - Premium domains can enhance web identity for businesses

1&1 Internet Ltd., the world’s largest web host by known servers, today launched a new facility on www.1and1.co.uk for finding pre-owned ‘premium’ domain name registrations up for sale alongside regular unregistered names. Powered by Sedo, the world’s leading marketplace for buying and selling domain names, the service delivers more options to clinch the perfect web identity. 1&1’s participation will bring pre-registered domains to a wide range of consumer and business user groups and enables them to make a more informed choice from the very start of an online project. For businesses operating in a highly competitive Internet environment, investing in a memorable web address can often help drive traffic to a website or e-commerce venture.

1&1’s newly launched ‘Domain Marketplace’ allows the user to browse an expanded selection of domain possibilities from regular unregistered names, domains for sale with a set price, and domains being sold via auction. The ‘for-sale’ domains are listed in addition to the unregistered domain suggestions, which are offered via DomainsBot technology. One can purchase or bid for pre-owned domains with Sedo by clicking-through directly from their 1&1 shopping basket.

Oliver Mauss, CEO 1&1 Internet Ltd, said “Our new Domain Marketplace feature provides an enhanced overview of available domain options. As the Internet further matures, there has never been a more relevant time to consider leveraging a pre-registered domain”.

Sedo, a sister company to 1&1, is the world leader in brokering pre-registered domains. Trading domains in more than 21 languages globally, the company is uniquely positioned to provide 1&1 customers access to the fixed-price domains listed within Sedo’s marketplace of 14 million domains and can deliver a seamless service for purchasing and transferring your new domain name to your web host.

Tim Schumacher, CEO of Sedo, said, “Sedo is pleased to extend our domain marketplace offers to 1&1 customers. This gives 1&1 customers a greater selection of domains to choose from, and expands the audience of potential buyers for all sellers on Sedo.”

A recent survey of UK small businesses found that they most often choose their primary domain name in haste, and believed that their choice of domain name could have been better. 1 in 4 businesses (26 per cent) surveyed admitted to wanting improvements in either their domain name wording or suffix (e.g. .co.uk). Furthermore, a significant one third (33 per cent) believe that their sales revenue would improve as a direct result of a change in web address. An attractive pre-owned domain name can often help accelerate traffic to a website and enhance a company’s online sales and image.

Mauss added, “Businesses often choose their primary domain names in haste at the start of an online project. Businesses today should review all the available domain options periodically and consider the business case for investments in this area”.

1&1 Internet, the world’s largest web host by known servers, is well placed to provide a high quality web hosting service to online businesses. 1&1 currently holds over 7.8 million customer contracts worldwide and manages over 10 million domain names. For more information on 1&1 Internet Ltd visit the website at www.1and1.co.uk

Two thirds of online shoppers judge online reputation of retailers before making a purchase

Filed under: News — Tags: — karol @ 7:28 pm

Two thirds of online shoppers judge online reputation of retailers before making a purchase

- Consumers now confident about using small online retailers - Britons keen to share shopping experiences with others via the Internet

Online reputation matters for the majority of British consumers, according to research released today by 1&1 Internet Ltd., the world’s largest web host by known servers. A survey of 1600 UK consumers(1) found that almost two thirds (65 per cent) of Britons regularly check the Internet for material about an online retailer before committing to a purchase. It appears that consumer-created content, such as online reviews or blog posts, has never been so highly valued, with 46 per cent of Britons wishing to read online reviews or recommendations on a specific product before buying it. The research also found that today British consumers are likely to share their online shopping experiences on the Internet, with 1 in 3 (32 per cent) of us willing and able to publish a review online.

In today’s economic climate, it is perhaps unsurprising that shoppers are seeking more reliable and value-conscious experiences from online retailers.
However, it appears that the average UK consumer has now become acutely sensitive to the online image of the online retailers available to them. The survey shows that 65 per cent of online shoppers admit to searching the Internet for material relating to an online retailer in order to judge their ‘online reputation’ or reputability before they click ‘Order’. Significantly, the issue increases in importance with age, with 70 per cent of over 55 year olds regularly researching in this way, as compared to only 53 per cent of 16-24 year olds.

Customer review material is seen as the most important component of online credibility for consumers. Some 44 per cent of men and 34 per cent of women routinely rely upon independent star ratings and rankings, and 1 in 4 (27 per cent) actively seek customer service commitments on retailers’ websites. The study suggests that UK consumers source and critique a range of online material before making many of their online purchases.

Oliver Mauss, CEO 1&1 Internet Ltd, said “Britons have clearly learned to do their homework before they buy online. It is significant that the average online shopper will now invest time in appraising a retailer’s online reputation as an integral part of their buying decision”.

Interestingly, British shoppers appear to be just as keen to collaborate and share their shopping experiences as they are to leverage those of others’. The proliferation of social networking and growth of consumer review and advice websites, has perhaps given consumers greater confidence to share their knowledge. For example, the survey found that 1 in 3 British consumers (32 per cent) are willing to publish an online review or opinion of an online retailer, whilst only 19 per cent would consider writing a letter to the retailer in question. In 2008, the most popular method of sharing online shopping experiences remains word-of-mouth with over half of consumers (52 per cent) regularly sharing experiences with friends and family.

1&1’s survey also reveals that Britons are confident in opting for the web for their Christmas shopping. Some two thirds (68 per cent) are confident that they receive the same standard of service online as they do ‘over the counter’. This trust in online shopping does vary across geographical region, with 80 per cent of respondents from Belfast as confident, compared to only 59 per cent in Sheffield. Interestingly, Londoners expressed the second least level of confidence in online shopping (60 per cent) as compared with regular offline shops.

Consumers are also surprisingly open-minded these days about traditional retail aspects such as the size of the retailer, with only 13 per cent influenced by this, or its location, with 21 per cent giving this consideration. It may be that tougher economic conditions are leading Britons to become increasingly receptive to offerings from lesser-known, smaller online retailers.

Mauss added, “At a time of advertising-overload, consumers clearly see great value in sharing their knowledge. This is perhaps contributing to their growing confidence to experiment with smaller online retailers. It is impressive that Britons are as keen to contribute as they are to consume market intelligence”.

1&1 Internet, the world’s largest web host by known servers, is well placed to provide a high quality web hosting service to online businesses. 1&1 currently holds over 7.7 million customer contracts worldwide and manages over 10 million domain names. For more information on 1&1 Internet Ltd visit the website at www.1and1.co.uk

(1) 1,636 UK adults interviewed by Tickbox.Net in November 2008 via electronic feedback form

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