Since Black Friday is American, let's have a “pop quiz”. What year did Black Friday begin in the US?
It's 2010, only five years ago, but in the last couple of years it has really taken off the UK and already the phrases Black Friday and Cyber Monday are part of our vernacular.
According to statisticians at Experian and IMRG, a record £1.1billion was spent online in the UK on Black Friday, with the sale weekend estimated to have drummed up £3.5b in total.
On Black Friday, online sales were up an estimated 36% compared to last year, with Cyber Monday up by 31%. Use of mobile phones to make an ecommerce purchase:
Our previous article on Black Friday mobile sales in the US showed this was a major growth area, with just over a third of sales taken via a mobile device (iOS proving more popular than Android, and smartphones winning over tablets).
Figures have not yet been released showing this breakdown, we will look at these once they are available. Knowing the popularity of shopping on smartphone, the blog at internetretailing. net did a snapshot of how mobile versions of website from the top 25 retailers were doing during the early stages of Black Friday. You can see the post here.
Shopping tracker company Springboard noted that retailers with reliable online shops would be the ones to benefit most from the sales. While we do not have the figures for mobile device sales, it is fair to say that shoppers will purchase through desktop, tablets and mobiles. Thinking about iOS and Android mobile development could help make sure you do not miss out on sales through these devices..
How did the websites and mobile apps cope with the traffic?
It seems mostly well, with a few of the large retailers leaving customers staring at a screen while it loaded, slowly and painfully.
According to consumers, Tesco's site was slow, although the company denied this was the case. John Lewis has a bit of a catastrophe ecommerce-wise, as their website was actually offline for an hour on Friday afternoon, although they said server capacity had been increased by a third in preparation.
Argos was also criticised. Consumers reported a slow website, with several crashes throughout the day. Argos also launched a new Fast Track delivery service prior to Black Friday, leaving them with a huge task, and some undelivered orders.
About Eastpoint Software:
We are a web and mobile development company based at the Hauser Forum, Cambridge. We also have an office in London. Our developers have decades of experience. We specialise in web and mobile apps, including iOS and Android mobile app development.
The year is nearly over, so let's look back at what Eastpoint's little developer elves got up to this year. What happened at Eastpoint Software in 2014?
Mobile and tablet apps:
More people are using mobiles and i Pads these days. We all know this because we all do it, it's simple, quick, and doesn't involve waiting for a PC to load up while staring existentially out of the window. Apps are a great way of presenting a product or service in a way that's easy for customers to use, which makes Web, Mobile and eCommerce App Development increasingly beneficial investment.
We are keen to continue building more mobile and ecommerce apps next year. Get in touch with us about your mobile app idea on firstname.lastname@example.org or, as Blondie would say, call me on 01223 690164.
Websites that were built to be viewed on a monitor do not always look so studly and buff on a little screen. Some need a helping hand and seem need to be built from scratch (a great opportunity to zhuzh up the website and maybe re brand like you always meant to).
Having a website that adapts to different monitors and devices is called responsive, and is a popular and wise investment. We've carried out several of these software development projects this year.
Websites are just like anything else – they get tired, things change around them, and they need a bit of fairy dust because they are sad. We've carried out many enhancements and additions this year.
Outsourcing App Development:
We often work with technology partners to deliver skills that they do not have in-house. This year we worked on several long-term web app development projects.
Our clever clogs developers are always learning new technologies and adapting how they work. This year, our favourite new technology was AngularJS, which we used on a cyber security app. Intriguing!
There's been more interest and understanding of agile working – which means completing a project in stages without having to decide on the entire project's timeline and spec at the outset. This allows you to change the spec or scope as the software product is built, so it can evolve during the build to the benefit of the final product.
Testing and QA:
We are Eastpoint Web , Mobile and eCommerce App Development Services Cambridge, London and UK. This year a full-time QA lead joined our team. Welcome! Now get back to work. Working with us in 2015 If you are looking for web, mobile and eCommerce app and software development or outsourcing in Cambridge, London or the UK, give us a call on 01223 690164, or email email@example.com. Let us know your requirements and we'll see what we can do!
If you're looking for an estimate for an app, let us know the details you have and we can provide a no-obligation quote. We specialized in ecommerce apps and software development.
Lean start-ups by nature want to minimize risk and maximize output from the off. Get going and get selling...
Ok, so it may not be a 'secret' as such, but we believe that small businesses and start-ups can get out of starting blocks and gain a competitive edge through flexibility. This article is about how agile software development works, and why it could give you the flexiblity you need to succeed.
Being flexible to consumer demand
The essence of a lean start-up is to avoid chasing large, up-front finance, and focusing instead on getting your product or idea to market, and then responding to demand. You don't necessarily have a crystal clear idea of what you will be doing a year later, so you need to have room to manoeuvre.
The following quote may be taken from a Wikipedia article on Eric Ries and the lean start-up, but the sentiment stands:
'Ries claims that despite the many proximate causes for failure, the most important mistake was that the company's "vision was almost too concrete," making it impossible to see that their product did not accurately represent consumer demand.'
Your product may need to evolve, respond to the market, and grow as your customer base grows. So how can we help? We think agile development works well for lean start-ups...
Being flexible to software demands with agile development
At Eastpoint Software , we work with customers to discuss both the long term vision but also what needs to be done in the short term to achieve goals.
We are fond of the agile process, which involves working in 'sprints' to complete work in stages, rather than committing to an entire project outright and then building it. This means you can adapt the overall plan as you go, rather than sticking rigidly to a theoretical idea that might not pan out or might need changes along the way.
This agile process can work very well for start-ups and small businesses, because you work towards a long-term vision, but only focus on what is important for that stage of the project.
Working with you
Our team will work with the software product owner to understand long term aims and help identify shorter term objectives, to enable clients to take a product to market rapidly, test user feedback and evolve into later versions.
We are fully on-board with the the lean start-up philosophy and we have processes and methods to support that.
Working with us
We want your start-up to succeed and think it is important to maintain frequent, transparent communication, combined with technical expertise, including project management, programming, user interface design, testing and all our knowledge to give you the best possible start.
Smaller companies, and companies just starting out, often have different priorities and needs compared to established or larger companies. It is important to work with a software development company who understand this – and we do.
We apply the same high standards to all our work and have plenty of software solutions for small businesses and lean start-ups, whatever the budget.
Give us a call on 01223 690164 to discuss agile software development.
Software development and software engineering are blanket terms often used to describe a service offered by tech companies. They will often have software developers who are skilled in a variety of areas – be it apps, ecommerce, content management, websites, bespoke systems... the list is endless. And with so many frameworks and languages available with plenty of similarities among them, it can be overwhelming knowing exactly what you need from a software developer.
But that's how a project usually starts – if you have an idea or a set of requirements, a UK software development company (such as ourselves) can talk you through it all and provide a solution tailored to you, with no stress and no worry.
Software development services – what are they?
Software developers work on a variety of projects. There are apps (including desktop apps, tablet apps, mobile apps and even games console apps), websites (including desktop, responsive, tablet and mobile), then there are online stores, management systems, basically anything that can be dreamt up and realised.
Some software companies may specialise in just one of those, but often a software development company will have skills in all areas due to skills cross-over within the disciplines. We've worked for lots of different clients in various industries.
Picking the best software development option
You may know exactly what you want, but often clients know how they want the end-product to function, and perhaps look like, but appreciate guidance on how best to get there.
At Eastpoint, our experienced software developers (I won't call them old) keep on top of all software development best practices and advancements. They are always interested to learn about new platforms or languages that will improve the service we offer to customers.
If you are a fellow techie, we are happy to discuss the ins and outs. If not, we pride ourselves on honest advice and can handle that side of things for you.
Essentially, what every client is looking for is great work, with attention to detail and a high quality finish that helps you achieve your business goals. That's always what we aim for.
Software Development Outsourcing:
We've worked for lots of different clients in various industries and have experience working with other agencies on outsourced development work. We treat the project just as if it was our own, maintaining our high standards and working with partners to achieve the best outcome.
It is known for its picturesque river and historic university colleges, but Cambridge is also a world-class technology hub.
If you are looking for software development services in Cambridge, here is a brief example of how the city became central to the UK's technology industry, and how that benefits you.
A history of technology and software:
The Cambridge area is often referred to as the 'Silicon Fen', due to its high number of tech companies and start-ups. With a famous university that attracts the world's brightest students, perhaps it's not surprising that it would become home to innovators, inventors, and ground-breaking technology.
The first companies took root in the 1970s and Cambridge gradually grew as a hub for technology, attracting start-ups and providing a pool of collaboration and advice.
In the 90s, Cambridge software and technology companies were experiencing investment, growth and success. Despite being a relatively small town outside of London, Cambridge had become world-renowned.
Business hubs and premises that were created and expanded over the years include Cambridge Science Park, St John's Innovation Centre and recently the Hauser Forum.
Notable software businessmen and companies past and present in Cambridge include Clive Sinclair, Acorn Computers, Hermann Hauser, ARM, Microsoft, Red gate and games design company Jagex.
Community, Events and Talks:
Being a web developer in Cambridge means you stay up to date with new products, trends and ideas, making sure you can offer your clients the most beneficial route to realizing their brief.
At Eastpoint Software, we specialize in agile development. Here in Cambridge there is an annual event called Agile Cambridge, a software development conference with workshops and networking.
Eastpoint Software hosts the monthly MongoDB event, where users of the programme meet-up with a MongoDB employee to discuss ideas and uses of the platform.
The Cambridge Network promotes networking, collaboration and growth between businesses in the area.