Week 10 Blog

Q.16. (A) Within this week’s blog we where continuing on from last week’s blog. We where again using http://www.google.com/analytics/.

Firstly we had to create a ‘Advanced Segments’.  I had to create my own segment and had to name it as mckeowna. The two main pieces of data that i had to enter within my segment was Town/City and then Internet Explorer. Below shows a screenshot of this information.

Below within my print-screen shows the results from my segments.

The printscreen below shows my new custom segment showing visitors from Belfast who use Internet Explorer. You will see the results within the printscreen.

(B) Within this part i get to create my own segment and find some interesting results by myself that i would find of value.

I then created my next segment to find out the amount of people who where in Belfast visiting the website using a mobile. The results where limited as only one visitor used their mobile to use the website. This shows that computers, laptops where more popular.

Below provides a screenshot showing me creating my segment named mckeowna2.

The screenshot below shows my results of my new segment.

Overall this practical was interesting and i found it enjoyable to complete.

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Week 9 Blog

Q.15.

a) How many visitors to the site in the last 5 months (assume 15 June 2010 – 15 November 2010)?
There was 929 visits.

b) Answer all three questions. What is meant by bounce rate? What is the bounce rate for the TRAIL site in the last 5 months? Should the website try to lower or raise the bounce rate?
Bounce Rate is the percentage of single-page visits meaning when the visitor enters and exits the same page without viewing and other pages within the website.

Bounce Rate of Trail (last 5 Months): 69.39%

They should try to lower bounce rate meaning that the visitors will view more than just one page within the website.

c) In the last 5 months, where are most visitors coming from: Direct Traffic, Referring Sites or Search Engines?

Most visitors are coming from Search Engines 131.00 (53.47%).

d) What was the most popular key word (or phrase) that visitors typed that brought them to the TRAIL web site in the last 5 months?

The most popular key word or phrase would be: “trail living lab”

e) A referring site is a site that brings visitors to the web site. In the last 5 months, which site (that is not a university of ulster web site) is the largest referrer?

The largest referer would be: brain-project.org.

f) What is the sixth most popular country of origin of visitors for the site in the last 5 months?

Belgium was the sixth most popular country which had 17 visits out of 929. 

g) How many mobile visits were there to the site in the last 5 months?

Within the last five months there were 11 visits from mobile devices to the website.  The most popular mobile being used was an iphone which was used 8times out of the 11. 

h) Examine the Visitor loyalty graph above. Interpret the graph and explain what it is showing.

A visitors loyalty graph shows how many times each visitor uses the website  but has returned to use it again. But within the loyalty graph it shows the visitors that have visited the website, but most of them have merely just used the website once and havn’t returned.  It also shows the visitors who have returned to the website.

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Week 8’s Blog

Randox Health Checks is a new testing facility that is unique in its own way.  Randox Health Checks involve you getting a blood sample took. The blood sample then gets processed in a state of the art biochip testing facility. The results are then provided for you in a written report which is explained to you by a medical team linked to Randox.

Some people may be put off going to Randox as they are located in Crumlin within County Antrim. This may be further than some people could travel due to having no transport and would find it easier just to go to their local GP.

The client could visit their GP and get a blood sample then send it to Randox by post, this in turn would mean them not having to go to Crumlin for the blood test there. But then again the person could just travel down to Randox and provide the blood test there and then as Randox have a fully experienced work team involved.

Having their business online can be beneficial and it means the client would only physically have to visit them to provide blood but would be able to get their results etc online.

Randox website is laid out in any easy to read and navigate around which in turn would mean that anyone could use their website without having loads of IT skills. This in turn would make some people want to use it more due to it being easy.

Also some people may find this too much hassle when they could just go to their local GP but some people such as athletes may be interested in it more as it is known to be more high quality and pin point precise. I would assume that Randox would work with a lot of athletes due to these acknowledgements.

So overall i feel that Randox sounds like an effective company and will do well the only disadvantage being that some people may get put off due to where they are located.

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Week 7 Blog

Q.13. Within this question we’ve been asked to review how easy it is to find our websites from just using a search engine. I will complete this task by using www.Google.com search engine.

By using different key terms you can tend to get your website to appear such as when I type “Bikes” into Google, Halfords appears with other different websites. So this in turn shows me that other websites have key terms to help their websites appear up against Halfords.

From putting different terms into Google Halfords seems to appear each time which is a brilliant advantage to them as they are always competing with other websites to make sure that the customers go onto their website over everyone else’s.  

Other terms that I tested to see if Halfords appear where:

  • GPS
  • Sat NAVS
  • Tents
  • Cheap Bikes etc.

All of these bring up Halfords which again is a big bonus to the website. Other competitors are appearing too which in turn is giving the customers a chance to see where they can get the best prices or best equipment. But Halfords have done an extremely smart move by putting key words into the sentence that appears on Google before the customer even clicks onto the website such as ‘cheap’ which can immediately catch the customers attention and make them want to go look at these cheap bikes etc.

 

 Overall Halfords have been very wise on the way they have set up the way their customers can find them quick and easily. Even once the customer types in Halfords it will immediately appear without them having to know the whole website address which would be a major benefit to the customers who didn’t remember the address.

I don’t really have any recommendations for Halfords as I have been able to find them every time I have tested out a different word term which in a lot of people’s eyes would be a major advantage.

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Week 6 Blog

Q.11.

  Online tools and techniques (if any) Recommendations for improvement (if any)
Operational Due to sharing information about their products and business with customers on the website Halfords need to always keep in mind that their customers are their main focus. From reviewing Halfords they have made sure to direct all the correct information towards the customers in an easy to read and easy to understand manner. This would be a major advantage to the website. This in turn helps to make sure no time is wasted for the customers. Which the customers themselves would find a major benefit.  Some ways that Halfords could improve their sharing of information could maybe be the layout in which the represent their information. Such as the actually menu layout make it easier to navigate around the website.
Analytical Analysing all the different parts of Halfords website weekly or even more often can help them to make sure all their customers are happy with the service they are being provided with. This in turn could then help them to develop a long term relationship with the customers. Halfords do make sure to keep their website updated and relevant to all the customer needs. This in turn helps provide the best service for the customers. Halfords could create a feedback page on their website for their customers to share any ideas or thoughts that they think may help to improve Halfords website.
Collaborative Due to improved communication technology, different departments in companies can work with business partners more effectively by sharing information. This in turn can help make information, problems and updates get around the company faster which in turn can help them to improve or fix the problem. All this put together can then make a better service being provided for the customer. If Halfords where to create a feedback form for their employers to fill out every week to help improve their website by sharing different ideas.

 

Q.12.

Halfords.com has provided an extremely effective online technique that being Star Ratings. This provides the customers with a service that shows them the most popular and best sold items as they have provided a rating service for other customers to use once they have purchased an item.

This most people would find effective because it shows them what other people would recommend and could help them make the wisest choice.

They also have provided an Advice Centre which provides the customers with advice on different items throughout the whole website which in turn provides each customer with the information that they need.

So all of these added together can help Halfords.com keep their long term customers as they are always providing the best possible service to help keep their customers happy at all times.

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Week 5 Blog

Q.10. For this question I am going to discuss Michael E. Porter five forces and apply them to Halfords.com.

The five forces are:

1. The Threat of substitute products

2. The Threat of the entry of new competitors

3. The intensity of competitive rivalry

4. The bargaining power of customers

5. The bargaining power of suppliers

I will now go threw each force and apply them to Halfords.com.

1. The Threat of substitute products

Now this would be a major point for Halfords. If they where to create new items such as a new bike they would have to make sure that no other businesses where able to copy their idea and promote it before Halfords themselves could share it with their customers. Internet can play a big part in this force as it can enable fast introduction of new products. This in turn would then help Halfords customers recognise more new items all the time.

2. The Threat of the entry of new competitors

The threat of new competitors is always a major problem. So Halfords.com always need to be on top of their game and making sure that they are promoting and keeping their business up to date and interesting at all times. Halfords would always have to make sure that they monitor their business at all times to avoid market share. If market share did occur it could lead to Halfords losing out on customers as other businesses could share the same idea or enhance it in a better way or even make the prices different.

But new competitors are arriving into the business world all the time so Halfords do need to ensure that they are always creating new ideas and keeping their customers interested at all times.

3. The intensity of competitive rivalry

The intensity of competitive rivalry is always a very important point as competitors will always try to get more customers which in turn should make Halfords try to work even harder to keep their company more interesting for their customers.

Halfords do always up date their internet website to make sure that all their new items are always being provided visually for their customers.

4. The bargaining power of customers

The bargaining power of online customers has increased since they be provided wit more options and prices can be reduced due to increased customer knowledge. This in turn could mean that Halfords could reduce or rise prices from keeping an eye on how what products sell more or even what products be researched on their internet.

5. The bargaining power of suppliers

Bargaining power of suppliers can be very serious as if you don’t bargain or work with your suppliers in a successful and appropriate manner it could work out extremely bad for the business. So Halfords need to be able to have the power to bargain with their suppliers in an effective manner. 

This force has been “reduced since there is wider choice and increased commoditization due to e-procurement and e-marketplaces”. This Halfords would need to keep in mind at all times. This in turn could lead to Halfords business being successful and more productive when it comes to buying and selling stock.

But overall if Halfords.com where to keep to these five forces their business would be effective and successful.

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Week 4 Blog

Q.7. Halfords has made sure to include all the appropriate information to make sure that their customers are aware of their terms and conditions when it comes to purchasing items off their website. This is extremely important as it lets the customers be aware of what they will expect whilst purchasing items. One term that i found interesting was that Halfords website stock and deals and actually store stock and deals can be two different prices for the exact product. I found this strange to see as most stores would make sure to keep the prices and deals the same to make sure there would be no confusion. But they have made sure to point this out and that they are allowed to do so.

If a customer wasn’t happy with their purchase they are given the option of exchanging or returning the item within 28days of delivery. This i felt was very reasonable and most customers would think the same. Plus when it comes down to other businesses competition, some businesses don’t provide the option of returning goods which in turn makes Halfords look more reasonable which could mean more customers going to them to buy certain objects.

“we are happy to offer you an exchange or refund within 28 days of delivery, provided that it is returned to us in its original and unused condition”. This is a fair statement which i got off Halfords.com website. This states the fact that they allow returns as long as they are getting them back in the same condition they sent the item out in.

Q.8. Internet Tv.

I feel Internet Tv could be a great bonus for Halfords.com because they could provide the customers with a visual presentation of some of their goods. For example they could show a range of their bikes being used by day to day people which in turn could provide the customer with a better knowledge of the item that they are about to purchase. They could also create a video of an employee telling the customer information about the best for e.g. bikes to purchase etc. In turn it could help make the customers think that Halfords are out to help them make the right choice on what items they purchase instead of just trying to make money out of them.

Q.9. A cookie is a piece of text kept by a user’s web browser. Cookies can be used for many different reasons such as shopping cart contents holder, storing site preferences etc. Halfords use cookies for several reasons, one being:

“To allow you to carry information across pages of our website and avoid having to re-enter information when you return to the site. This will help simplify the logging on procedure for previously registered users.”

www.halfords.com

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Week 3 Blog

Q.4. From studying further information about my website Halfords, i have come to realise more interesting and important information. Such as Halfords.com has been online for an estimated seven years. This then means that since they have been online for so long many people would know the address and use it alot to shop for different items within the website. Using the website www.alexa.com i found out that Halfords has a three month global Alexa Traffic rank of 1,543,908.

By using www.statsaholic.com i was able to get a visual diagram of a traffic graph for Halfords.

Halfords has had competition for years but they still come out on top as they make sure to keep all their customers happy and make sure to keep their standard of products up top.

Q.5. Buying different products of Halfords.com has been made user friendly in such a manner that anyone could navigate around the website and have no problem being able to purchase different products. Some users would find this a great advantage as not everyone has alot of experience with using computers.

When purchasing a product you get took threw different stages. Such as once you have selected the item you wish to buy you then be bought onto another page showing what you have in your basket which gives you the chance to make sure that you have the correct items. Once you’ve done this you can then go on to choose whether you collect or get it delivered. You then have to find your store closest to you. You then type in all your personal details plus Card details and so on. All the steps are easy to go threw and you are given step by step guides which is a great advantage.

Q.6. There are many new markets to channel e-businesses one of which could be linked to Halfords could be digital television. This could work effectively for Halfords because the customers could see an advert on the television for Halfords then all they would have to do would be to click a button and would be provided with options to purchase different items instead of having to go onto the internet or into a store. So i feel Halfords could benefit to start using such new markets to help increase their business.

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Week 2 – Blog

Q.1. Halfords has 469 stores across the UK and Republic of Ireland, which makes it one of the largest non-food retailers in the country. Halfords business is made up of three categories, these being:

 – Car Maintenance

 – Car Enhancement and Leisure

 – Overseen and Managed by Category Teams

Q.2. Halfords is growing larger every year as it grows more popular and useful to the public. Halfords have hired numerous amounts of employees throughout each store to help them provide the best quality of services to their customers. Below i have provided a link going to a page within www.halfords.com to provide financial details belonging to halfords.

http://www.halfordscompany.com/hal/ir/fininfo/estimates/

I also found more financial information that states certain numbers more clearly and straight to the point. So from studying the information provided on this website i can see that for 2009 the operating income that Halfords achieved was £104.00 million. And their revenue profit was £809.5 million. Then the profit that they gathered from this was £55.8 million. I have provided this link below:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halfords

Q.3. Halfords was founded by Frederick Rushbrooke in Birimingham in 1892. From then Halfords has been growing and becoming more popular in many different places throughout the whole world such as Poland, Belgium etc. Halfords use may different forms of advertisements such as:

– Radio

– Internet

– Television

– Magazines

Each method is very affective and can help provide both more recognisation and knowledge about the business. From Halfords having their own website it leads to customers being able to purchase different items from the store easy and quickly with no bother. Most customers would find this a brilliant advantage as they don’t have to walk around the store but can physically see the products on the screen before them. So overall Halfords ideas of advertisement are effective and a great advantage for them.

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Week 1 Blog

The internet is a global interest as you can use it in most areas of your life. From researching different information for work, school, to using it for social networking. Internet usage is increasing dramatically every year, which in some people’s eyes is a great benefit while other people suggest that most people are using it to socialise instead of normal face to face conversations. But the internet can be very useful for many different things such as for school children researching for homework or for work employees researching various pieces of data to complete work.

From researching different websites and gathering different statistics i was amazed to see how many people actually use the internet in their daily routines. I have provided a website link to show some of the statistics that i found interesting.

http://www.statistics.gov.uk/cci/nugget.asp?id=8

Within this website it proves that the number of adults that where using the internet within 2006 had nearly doubled in 2009. This was surpising as you never really realise how many people actually use the internet as a great source of data. I myself would use the internet daily from social networking websites such as Facebook to researching different pieces of data and information for homework.

Due to looking threw different websites i have found that most people would use the internet to search for clothes and for online food shopping. The internet is growing more and more useful in everyones day to day life for example, you now don’t have to leave your house to do your grocery shopping as most big shopping stores such as sainsburys and marks and spencers all have online shopping options now.

So in the future i can see the internet growing even more popular and even getting more useful in everyone’s life. But my main views on the growing interest and usage of the internet would be that its extremely useful and can only get better.

 

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