Monthly Archives: July 2013

e-commerce check list

I wanted to share my top 10 tips on e-commerce and some founding principles on this as I am writing a presentation that I am giving next Monday.

But while researching some aspects of Net Promoter Score (something I am a fan of) I found this excellent paper from Bessemer Venture Partners on the same subject.

I thought I would share the top 10 with you:

  1. You must build a brand, but not through brand advertising
  2. Customer Lifetime Contribution (CLTC)is your new pulse
  3. The 6 “Cs” are your vital signs: Ignore them at your peril!
  4. Your goal: cheap, fast and free
  5. It’s the service, stupid
  6. Only lemmings focus on last-click marketing
  7. Affiliates are risky. Don’t let them pick your pocket.
  8. WWAD (What Would Amazon Do)?
  9. Identify your best customers, encourage customer loyalty, and motivate the evangelicals
  10. Keep it social, but keep your data too

Here is the paper in full for you guys

Setting up e-commerce tracking

It is amazing how many e-commerce sites don’t set up Google Analytics properly to allow fantastic data driven insights.

Google Analytics is one of the most comprehensive products that is available for most sub £100m e-commerce companies. It allows you a huge amount of access to data and over the last 12 months has been improved massively – especially around mobile/tablet and PC separation.

So ensure that you have goals, e-commerce tracking and analytics properly configured and regularly check to ensure that any tracking data is properly being collected.

Just so everyone is aware there are also some downsides of GA, as they handle a massive amount of data they average visit data and don’t store absolutely everything, so if you are looking to track things like TV response, you can get an overview in GA but not the level of granularity most people need to attribute web visits to TV spots.

Real time visits can give you an overview of what is happening now, so keep this on your desktop as a shortcut!

Back to work

I had a great time in China this year and I am really looking forward to getting back to work today.

Lots going on now at Diet Chef including new products, new advert and great opportunities with some of our partners such as QVC.

Amazingly this is the time we think about 2014 and the January season, so lots of planning discussions to be had.

Holiday homes


When we built our holiday home in Nethybridge we didn’t realise the additional maintenance that would be set up to do for life. It is bad enough having a large house in Edinburgh with a big garden that constantly needs weeded without having the same 150 miles away.

Added to this putting in technology for me such as the Sonos, Nespresso machine and internet access – our guests are a little confused about how all this technology works! This means we get a few phone calls over the summer to explain how to get ITV2 or Radio 4 on the gadgets – or make a skinny latte!

So my advice to anyone who thinks that having a holiday home is a good investment – would be double the workload of your existing home and think how much time you would have left over..

Back to reality


We have just arrived back to the baking UK where summer is on us and its scorchio…

So just one last post to reflect and share some insight from China.

Just go!

It is an amazing place, not that difficult to get to and quite an easy 10 hour flight, the connections internally (either train or plane) are very reliable and pretty good value so no excuse not to visit more than 2 cities.

It’s changing

I have never been somewhere that is developing so quickly, even though it is steeped in history, things will change very rapidly in the metropolitan areas so visiting Shanghai or Beijing now will be very different to 10 years from now.

There is a lot of tourism

Chinese travel internally quite a lot so it is very well placed for tourism and most of the big sites although busy are easy enough to get to and visit.

Use a tour guide

I personally would use a tour guide and driver as although this adds to the expense a little you can get more done in a day and we still get treated as ‘foreigners’ so we need some help not being ripped off for most services.

The power of FREE GIFTS


We went shopping in a discount department store for some presents for the friends kids yesterday.

Generally there was a lot of gifts that were pretty ‘low cost’ but it was amazing what we bought for the price. Earlier that day our tour stopped in a factory shop that made traditional Copper Vases. Looked great but were well overpriced for what they were.

It slightly annoys me how the Chinese believe that because we have made it to China the Foreigners will buy anything. We did but a few enamelled fish and Claire was very pleased that she negotiated them down from 300 RMB (£30 for 2) to 180 RMB (£18 for 2). To our horror the discount shop in the middle of Beijing has them for 18 RMB (£1.80 each).

Moving swiftly on from this, the best thing about the discount shop was that it was on 3 floors. If you bought anything you could go to the 3rd floor and redeem your receipts for a free gift. A great way to get us further into the shop and upstairs where there were very few people and the more expensive items.

We got our FREE gift and it was 2 pairs of nail clippers (probably worth about 1 RMB – 10p), very handy, but really interesting was the psychology of this.

I feel fantastic about this shop that I spent all of about £10 in. While I will tell everyone never to buy anything in ‘Foreigner’ tour stop offs!

Holiday sunset

Well, thats it, as you are reading this we are heading to the airport to fly back to the sunny UK (weather may have been fantastic in the UK but think of all the experiences in China!). It has been a fantastic holiday if not a little tiring at times, we have seen a little snapshot of China in a few weeks, definitely wanting more.

There is some places I would recommend, Shanghai, Beijing and Xian personally being highlights for me. There is culture, city living and ease of access in all of these cities. The culture is very different, Shanghai as the upstart modern skyscraper city, Beijing as the cultural and political heart of China and Xian steeped in history with the Terracotta warriors and city wall.

Most of all I would say come here, experience it and you will be amazed…


Chinese smartphone usage

(Copyright China Daily)

China Daily, my Chinese breakfast read reported that smartphone usage is up massively in China at present.

In fact, 80% of Chinese access the internet on their smartphone. China added 44m mobile internet users in the first 6 months of 2013!!

A total internet population of over 590m makes it a huge market for e-commerce.

A couple of final observations – WeChat seems the major mobile communication network in China with over 300m users. I really like the feature that you can record and send a voice message to someone. Very handy.

Weibo also seems very popular.

It’s a pity that most of the internet service providers block Facebook and Twitter, some don’t though as the Chinese government lifted restrictions on these apps a few months ago.