Tag Archives: Amazon.com

Yahoo, Baidu need to join the IE6 must die movement

It seems that every day that goes by, another one of the user interface developers that I work with talks about how Internet Explorer 6 must die. Granted, they have plenty of justification for why this browser should go away. For example, Internet Explorer (aka, IE6) is “ancient” — it was released in late 2001 (source). It has serious security flaws (source) and Microsoft has moved on to release IE7 and IE8. But there’s a problem that non-developers seem to be ignoring.

While IE6 usage dropped significantly in early 2008/2009, the downward pressure has softened quite a bit this year. And a recent survey revealed that IE6 is used primarily at work and the majority of people unfortunately can’t upgrade/replace IE6 because they have insufficient privileges on their machines/their company won’t let them upgrade (source). So without significant force now, it may take another two years before IE drops to a level where enough developers stop coding UI tweaks for IE6. Since coding for IE6 takes significantly more time, marketers are unnecessarily spending money on outdated technology (like paying for a telephone land line or dial-up internet service).

Internet Explorer Must Die

Last week, six solid punches in one swing were taken at IE6. I am speaking about the announcement that Google is planning to phase out support for IE6 (source). The announcement indicated that key functionality in Google Docs and [international] Google Sites will be disrupted starting on March 1, 2010. Since no other popular web destination is stepping up to the plate, we’ve got to applaud Google which owns 6 of the top 20 destination on the web (source) for their efforts. So what we really need to do is convince several US-based companies, such as Microsoft (thank you @cubanx!), Yahoo! and Amazon, and Chinese companies, including Baidu, QQ.com and Sina.com.cn, to jumped on board. While it may feel like we’ve made progress, the short list below demonstrates that we still have a long road ahead of us.

Top 20 Companies that don’t support the IE must die movement:

  1. Google (starting 1-Mar-2010)
  2. Facebook (as of 24-Jul-2008)
  3. YouTube (starting 1-Mar-2010)
  4. Yahoo!
  5. Windows Live
  6. Wikipedia
  7. Blogger.com (starting 1-Mar-2010)
  8. Baidu.com
  9. MSN.com
  10. QQ.com
  11. Yahoo! Japan
  12. Twitter
  13. Google India (starting 1-Mar-2010)
  14. Google China (starting 1-Mar-2010)
  15. Sina.com.cn
  16. MySpace
  17. Google Germany (starting 1-Mar-2010)
  18. WordPress.com
  19. Microsoft
  20. Amazon.com

Amazon focuses on customer experience, sees improving sales

Online retailer Amazon.com recently blew out revenue estimates by posting a 28% rise in quarterly revenue to $5.45 B for Q3 2009. According to the conference call transcript (source), the improvements were due to a few factors, including:

  • Continued focus on Amazon’s value proposition: low prices, expansion of selection, convenience, and good in-stock levels.
  • Availability of Amazon Prime program, which allows customer to enjoy “all-you-can-eat” fast shipping on eligible purchases for an annual membership fee of $79.

Amazon Logo (small)Amazon has leveraged their low prices to attract buyers. While pricing is important to these visitors, the online customer experience helps convinces them to complete the purchase vs. going to a rival retailer. For example, Amazon monitors when a customer drills down on to a specific product and uses email to send them special pricing for that item if they don’t purchase it. Amazon has been able to expand their selection of products by offering better tools to sellers, which is another area that Amazon invests heavily to keep their brick-and-mortar competition in check. In addition to these, there are many other feature that Amazon has refined over the years to improve the online experience (view analysis of Amazon’s online experience).

According to a 2008 study by ServiceXRG (source), customers are 3X more likely to to buy a product or service and 4X times more likely to recommend the company or renew the relationship if they have a positive experience. The recent quarter at Amazon is a testament that you can own the market place by implementing only a few simple, fundamental changes.