Christmas 2014 will I think be remembered as the year the ecommerce/logistic experts got it wrong, and never shall that mistake be made again? Well that's a little bit of an exaggeration but many large companies were caught on the back foot, following what were spactatular BlackFriday and CyberMonday sales. For the first time we also saw online queues to access online sales (

Screenshot 2014-11-28 13.03.02 - currys.png

While having a website working is better than crashed; being able to sell via an ecommerce shop is kinda essential. Having to queue is just one more barrier to customers using your shop and will of lost curry's a large (aka. eye watering) amount of money. However, that still peferablel to an outage. Tesco was another ecommerce store that used the queueing system. Argos and JohnLewis both suffered and died on their feet during BlackFriday ... with Argos posting the following sad message: 

screenshot 2014-12-13 - argos.jpg

PostcodeAnywhere, the goto company which provides a postcode to address lookup for websites has though the use of their widget on ecommerce stores provided some great insight into what was happening. The following graph appeared on the and clearly shows the SPIKE in traffic.

screenshot 2014-12-13 - BlackFridayLookups.jpg

The shape of the above graphic is what i would expect to see on any give day, however the volume of activitiy isn't. To put this into context the next graphic from PostcodeAnywhere shows the traffic for the last 30 days ... i think you'll be able to guess what the two peaks are (BlackFriday/CyberMonday). 

Screenshot 2014-12-13 13.56.48 - GRAPH.png

On the left you can see just the traffic information; on the right you'll see the breakdown of traffic based on devices. While desktop windows remains the larges plaform, look at what's number two and three ... they are both mobile.

Online shopping is being done increasingly by iPhone and iPad. As far back as the mid 2000's the prediction for swap over to mobile for internet access was being made, indicating 2013/2014 as the cirtical point. Now i beleive that we can also see it being the year when mobile shopping became critical too.

With all the shopping demands made online ... the postal system was the next to be hit with all the additional traffic. The great news here for RoyalMail is they are used to seeing peak of traffic and seem to of been scales up to match the need. Howerver other providers were less fortunate.

Delivery ... Ho Ho Yodel ... with all those purchases they need to get to their customers and whlie RoyalMail/Amazon have been going great guns Yodel has been broken. As recently as in November Dick Stead, Executive Chairman of Yodel, said: "For our retail clients this vital season is known as the ‘golden quarter’ and we are fully prepared for parcel volumes to reach record levels." Their dedicated peak planning team had forcast and planned for a 15% increase in traffic, unfortunatly salea were up 50%. The result of this huge miss calculation was a letter from the chairman announcing a pause to it's service of two days in order to clear down the backlog. Marks and Spencers is another company with logistic problems, but this time due to operational issues at it's new state of the art distribution centre.

BlackFriday in numbers

  • 2010 the first Amazon BlackFriday sale in the UK
  • 1,340% increase in traffic to JohnLewis between 7h00-8h00am on BlackFriday lastyear compared with the same period in 2012
  • 481 Sainsbury's stores offer BlackFriday sales for the first time this year
  • 60% year-on-year online traffic increase according to data from Experian and IMRG
  • 3% fall in Marks and Spencers share price due to BlackFriday distribution problems
  • 4 days the actual time taken for next days delivery with Marks and Spencer!
  • 76.91% YoY Amazon 
  • 76.32% YoY Ebay
  • 40.32% YoY Paid Search
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Happy is the latest internet sensation ... it's gone viral and a couple of companies are making greate used of that.

Mastercard are performing little moments of magic to very deserving people, and the clips look great. It is nice to see Pharrell giving back to his fans. Mastercard has have Kylie Minogue on the books. Smaller companies are also doing this ... and why not afterall its great to be HAPPY!

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We love Skype and make extensive use of it to communicate with clients both in the UK and internationally. There are however a couple of frustrations with the service, especially when you compare what facilities are valiable via say Google Hangouts. However, last week we noticed that we could video chat and share screens, and this week the announcement from Skype that video calls won't require their premium subscription.

more -

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Anyone who uses a computer, or website has to navigate various naming conventions. These cover file name, folder name, website addresses and website page names. The way in which these are constructed can vary hugely between different people and different websites.


  1. NEVER USE UPPERCASE - only use lowercase letters (a - z )
  2. NEVER USE SPACES - if you must space words out then-use-a-hyphen
  3. You can use numbers in file names 0 - 9
  4. Keep the total lenght of the name to under 60 character, and far less if possible
  5. Only use one fullstop 
  6. NEVER USE ANY SPECIAL CHARACTERS, only use the base ones: a-z, 0-9, a hyphen and a fullstop.

Good Examples

  • this-is-my-word-document.docx
  • another-file-123.txt
  • cv-paul-o-conner.docx
  • /foulder-name-123/

Bad Examples

  • This is my bad word document its got spaces and it far far too long in character lenght.docx
  • @another document.txt
  • cv paul o'conner.docx
  • /folder XYZ/
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We offer a range of training courses, here's a sample of the Social Media course on offer. All of these course are hands on ... we hope your not afraid to get stuck in and get your hands dirty.

Topics covered

  • Social Media Marketing Strategy - fitting Social Media into your larger marketing strategy
  • Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn - the Big Three Social Media Sites, and how to use them 
  • Twitter - should you Tweet? How does Twitter fit into your organisation and Social Media strategy?
  • Local Search - Google Local / Google Places and how local search intertwines with Social Media
  • Youtube - Youtube's special relationship with Google, and how Youtube can be leveraged to be a true Social Media marketing tool
  • Blogging - how to leverage blogs, its not just news

Level 1 Courses – beginner

The beginner course is suited for  business owners and managers who are new to social media and are unsure where to start . The course is designed to demystify social media marketing for those unsure and uncomfortable about it! After attending either course, you’ll feel confident enough to develop an actionable social media strategy. More importantly, you’ll know how this translates to real results for your business or organisation, be that a growth in sales or increased brand awareness.

Level 2 Course – intermediate

The level 2 course is for those who want to devoting a little more time to promoting an organisation and engaging with new and existing customers via Social Media (eg. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) but have little experience of the key platforms. This is very much a hands on course, ‘bring-your-own-laptop’ and we'll show you how to use the main social networking platforms to grow and market your business.

The aims of this couse is to provide you with the key skills to work with the social media platforms. We will encourage you to continue developing these skills by showing you just what is possible. 

Level 3 Course – advanced

This course is for experienced social media practitioners who have mastered the tools of the trade: blogs, Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook but now need to monitor the results of their social media activity in a more manageable manner. We show you how to monitor social media for mentions of your brand or brand keywords and how to use customer intelligence gleaned in this way to grow and market your business or organisation.



Want to know more?

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With the advent of the latest Apple MacBook Pro with Retina dispalay all of a suden the use of pixel measurments for design are made redundent. You can't measure in pizels any more, now you've got to measure in inches/mm as it's a more meaningful value.

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This is the simple five steps you can follow to get to Twitter heaven:

  1. Get an account - a simple first step
  2. Observe - Watch what is happening, spend time looking at different profiles. 
  3. Follow people - Actively connect to people/organisations you find interesting. Then look at who they are following and also look at who is following them ... connect to those you think interesting. If necessary you can always unfollow them later. There is a lot of following and unfollowing in the twitter-universe.
  4. Engage - When you find a post which is interesting retweet it (RT). This is a first tentitive step to engage with your audience.
  5. Engaging - Create new a post on a topic your interested in.

There are a number of tools you can employ to make you life easier

  1. Get a twitter client for your mobile phone http://twitter.comhttps://seesmic.com
  2. Schedule your posts, so that they go out when your not even online:
  3. Identify when it's best to post, to get the most people to read

If you've got any other ideas or comments please get in touch.

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Cobblers Shoes - The saying is that a Cobbler never has time to make his own children shoes because he's too busy working on shoes for his clients. We know the phrase and are familiar with the situation. However, after many other client projects we've finally be able to make the time to create a new site.

Let us know what you think, drop us a note.

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