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Archive for the ‘e-commerce’ Category

Finding an Ecommerce Web Designer

Tuesday, April 5th, 2011

If you have recently set out to find an ecommerce web designer, you might have struggled with not the choice on offer – there are hundreds out there – but exactly how to pinpoint the best company for your business.

Whats on Offer?
If you are setting up a stall, a shopping website that you will use as a brand then your site will need alternative solutions to that of an informational site.  You may be a retailer or wholesaler, whichever category your business fits into you need to research just to find a specialized ecommerce web designer.

A good all rounder will be able to provide you with not just web design they will have experience with content management, ecommerce and other software that makes it easier for a website owner.  They will also offer search engine marketing solutions and going a step up they may offer you offline marketing and branding services too.

Let’s focus on the design.  Services and benefits you should see offered on any good designers list are:

  • Cutting edge graphics design software and/or digital photography solutions
  • Creative design, start to finish (and in-between!) plus marketing assistance
  • Ecommerce systems
  • Payment processing
  • Stock control systems / warehouse management
  • Mail order
  • Marketing ability (campaigns, software, social media)

With the experience of website ecommerce, your selected web design team can create or transform your website into one which enables business growth, has an online presence to envy your competitors, and can enhance your business brand.

Choosing a design and additional features can ensure that your website can be well managed, easy to maintain and can maximise revenues through its improved efficiency.  The after sales service and support is important too, not forgetting the price is within your business budget.

In summary, finding ecommerce web designers takes time and can be costly, however making the right choices at the start can help your business increase revenues with an on-trend functional website which manages transactions and can provide shopper enjoyment.

Get in touch via our contact us page to find out more information abotu how we can help you with your online website shop project.

Which page loses most visitors? Website Analytics.

Sunday, June 6th, 2010

Website analytics So you’ve got your website and with all the confidence that it will be a great success you’re sat there waiting for the phone to ring red hot, or for the email orders to pile in and…… nothing!

When you open a new shop on the high street you have the benefit of being able to see who browses in the window, see if them come in, what they look at, what they spend time on and what they say even but with a website you can’t get all this vital feedback. You don’t know if they move past the home page or what page it is that brings them to your website in the first place.

Well fortunately you don’t have to be left in the dark. There is a way to get this vital info and to analyse it and get that feedback you need. Of course you can’t see the visitors’ faces nor gauge their body language and what they say but you can see how they get to your website and what they do when they get there.

Google analytics is a fantastic tool that allows you to see important and informative statistical data about the people that come to your website. Features include (but not limited to):

  • Track how people found you including keywords and referring websites
  • See which pages are attracting visitors (landing pages) and which are turning them away (exit pages)
  • See information about the visitors themselves like geographical location, browser info, screen resolution and more
  • See visitor loyalty, returning visitors, how long they spend on each page
  • Make reports, set date ranges, set up goals

Here’s the great thing about it, it’s 100% free. You just have to add some code to every page of your website and Google Analytics does the rest. Of course this is maybe easier said than done but your website developer should be able to do this for you for a small charge.

So here’s what you need to do to start seeing where problems may lie:

  1. Get a Google Analytics account
  2. Get the code installed on your website
  3. Learn to read the data and understand where problems may lie (a subject on its own)
  4. Most importantly – act upon your findings!

More information about Google Analytics can be found here on the Google Analytics website

What are your thoughts on this? We love to interact with our readers so please leave a comment.

How much does a website cost?

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

howmuchWell this is a difficult question to answer and to coin a well-known phrase it’s very much ‘how long is a piece of string?’  Rather than start with ‘how much’ we need to identify things such as what is the the website for? Who will use it? What are the goals and objectives of the site? And lots of other questions so that we have a firm platform to start the quotation process.

Websites can be as simple or as complicated as you like and that goes for design as well but when it comes to business you only get one chance to make the first impression and a naff website will blow that for you.

So pricing, what to expect?
Lets look at a marketing brochure website that displays info about a business and invites a person to make contact. Well a good graphic designer will charge £300-£400 for a layout and ancillaries such as extra buttons etc. Then to turn that into a website that is coded to standards and looks the same in all browsers and is search engine ready (ie it’s been specially optimised to maximise its effect in search engines when people are searching for a service or product that you offer) then you’re looking at around £500 upwards depending on many variances. So for the website itself then budget for something in the region of £800-£1000.

Wait, it doesn’t end there…
Don’t forget you need great copy for your website that engages people and calls them to do something and makes them want to get in touch. There’s no point having a great looking website if the text on it lets it down, and it’s not the job of the web designer to write this! Hiring a professional copywriter might cost you around £100-£300 depending on how much text is required for the full website. And last but by no means least, what about a logo? You need great looking branding that will make you stand out from your competitors, a logo will cost from £150 up to say £400 to design, however a logo designer will supply with all the files you need for a website or printing of business cards and other marketing materials in the future.

If you’re needing something more complicated such as E-commerce or a database driven website then this will cost more and can go up into the thousands depending on your exact requirements

The DIY Route
OK so building a website is something that can be done yourself but when it comes to presenting your business is the DIY route really going to save money in the long run? I mean would you pull your own teeth out to save a bill from the expert dentist? How much damage would pulling your own teeth out do without the proper tools and expertise? The same goes for web design. Not using professionals will save you money but at what price?

Using cheap professionals
WARNING: There’s plenty of folk out there who are offering websites for £100 or less even but if you are serious about your business is a £100 primary marketing tool really going to make you the next big thing and a success? People are fickle, you get just a few seconds to capture them and keep them on your website rather than them clicking away and spending their money elsewhere.

So, if you buy cheap then you will pay dearly; that’s the best advice you can get. If you pay too much for something then all you loose is that extra you’ve paid, if you pay too less than you risk loosing the lot and your reputation at the same time!

Business Branding for New Ecommerce Businesses

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

marketwebsiteseriesWe all remember when Marks and Spencer rebranded after its terrible announcements of losses some years ago and plenty of companies have done this over the years (Aviva, Abbey, Midland Bank) but more recently the brands have been pinning their luck on advertising their brand as a heritage – perfect for those that have been around all that time but how to carry out business branding if you have a new business?

We’ve added some pointers below that are not aimed at providing a fail-safe for branding your new business but hopefully will give you some idea of how to take your company to the next level and start making your own history:

Firstly its important that any business carries a strong brand and a good image as it helps its reputation and trustworthiness from clients. New ecommerce businesses need to focus on business branding and from selecting a good company name; domain name and designing an image – a logo – of your company will build a good strong resilient company that can survive the recession.

Existing Business Stepping into Ecommerce
If you have an existing brand and are simply new to ecommerce, business branding can be used from your company and be translated in a more modern way solely for the internet. Becoming involved in ecommerce means that you are taking your business forward and promoting it for web customers though it should also provide those customers with a strong image – focusing on your company’s history could be key here regardless of whether you choose to redesign your logo and message or if you have chosen to retain the branding you have already worked with. However, rebranding as you step into ecommerce would be a good choice if your brand is not already successful or does not have a strong reputation.

New Ecommerce Business
For new ecommerce business that is being launched from scratch this is a fantastic time to create your image, make it strong and give your new ecommerce business a short name that will become easy to remember. Have a good logo designed for you that not only delivers your message but screams quality, and don’t forget to choose something that translates well in different languages if you intend to conduct business internationally. Your company message needs to be short and should be memorable. Use it everywhere and try co-branding too…

Co-Branding
When you are later established or already have a good relationship with another business you can co-brand. This is a popular way to build up brand recognition on the internet and a great way to split advertising costs two or three ways and giving a good overall image of your companies.

Our next article highlights How to Begin E-marketing Business which should help you start promoting your brand and push your new ecommerce business to reach the relevant people.

A Busy Website Design Company is a Company in Demand

Wednesday, September 30th, 2009

choosingdesignerWhether your website designer is a local developer or part of a big national company, one of the important factors that you should take into consideration in your search for the right website design company is how busy they are; the size of their order book. This can actually be a double edged sword because on the one hand a busy website design company may have to quote longer lead-in times, but the activity does of course indicate that their services are in demand. If their services are in demand, the logic is that their product must be good. Based in Norfolk we know there are lots of super companies around but it should be easy to find the best developer for your site?

There are certain cases where a big order book or the long lead-time a busy website designer quotes can be misleading. If this apparently busy website design company is a relatively new start up for example, the clientele may not yet have had the time to evaluate the designer’s performance, so look out to make sure that there is a client list that you can follow up to interrogate. Any local developer, Norfolk or beyond should be happy to assist as they want your business.

A short order book, and a therefore rapid response time could be a sign that nobody wants to use them, or it could simply mean that they are very fast and efficient in keeping up with things, either way the presence of testimonials and following them up is again an invaluable process and one that perhaps should not be rushed but done methodically if you have the time.

Any local developer or designer would tell you that design is not something that should be hurried and a busy website design company will not only know this, but will stick firmly to their guns and refuse to be hurried. This is actually good brand marketing in progress and whilst at times this sort of attitude can be very frustrating, it speaks volumes for their integrity, and if they won’t allow other projects to get rushed along they will not permit yours to be rushed either.

A busy website design company that holds to this principle is worth their weight in gold. It should however be made very clear through the tendering process just exactly what their lead times are, and at that early stage you have the opportunity to question this and to perhaps seek permission to even talk to some of their current project owners for real-time feedback – see our testimonials article for assistance with this part.

Any sort of design work is a process where there will be discoveries along the way: new suggestions about the best way to lay a site out, or how to arrange the navigation etc. which is all part of developing the best product for your business. A busy website designer may even adopt a new technology in the process of fulfilling your design, to stay at the forefront of website design and to ensure that they offer state of the art product. It would actually be very annoying if your website were to just miss out on a new innovation simply because your chosen local developer couldn’t make time to incorporate it.

They do say that patience is a virtue, and in the case of good website design this is very true. Don’t lose sight of the fact that your website is your shop-front. Once it’s out there in cyberspace you need it to do an effective job for you. The “window dressing” is key and fashions change, as do new technologies, and in order to stay at the cutting edge you will want to incorporate these changes in your website. A busy website design company will be busy partly because clients return to them again and again for these state of art or fashion updates; another thing you can check out amongst their client list be it Norfolk, London or anywhere else.

In the majority of instances, a busy website design company is a good design company; it’s a local web design or graphic design company with integrity, with flair, and with dedication. If and when you find one, stick with them for the best site that works for your business.