Multiple ecommerce websites

It's easy to imagine the benefits of having multiple ecommerce websites - if one ecommerce website can drive a hundred sales a day, then a trio of ecommerce websites should theoretically be able to drive three hundred sales, right?

However, setting up a multi-site ecommerce solution is both expensive and time-consuming, so before you get started, you need to be absolutely sure that it's the right choice for you. Here are a few different ways in which multiple ecommerce websites can benefit a business - do they apply to yours?

1. Target multiple audiences

Some products are suitable for many different audiences. There are lots of disparate groups who might be interested in purchasing drinking accessories, for example; you've got university students, hen parties, stag parties, nightclub/bar owners, and goodness knows who else. This is great news if you specialise in drinking accessories, because it means you've got loads of potential customers to sell to!

However, this can pose a problem when it comes to your ecommerce website. If you're simultaneously trying to market your business to all of the groups listed above (and probably several others besides), you won't look like a particularly appealing choice to any of them - instead, the hen parties will probably go to a website that deals specifically in hen party accessories, the bar owners will go to a trade website for industry professionals, and so forth.

Setting up multiple ecommerce websites is a fantastic way to tackle this problem. If you've got three completely separate websites stocking the same products, this allows you to target three completely separate audiences. You can make one pink and glamorous to appeal to the hen night market; the second can look slick and professional, so as to rope in the nightclub owners; and the third could be used to highlight your biggest discounts, which is sure to please those thirsty students!

Of course, that's not the only benefit to a multi-pronged approach...

2. Compete for different keywords

Search engine bots are a lot like the customers mentioned above: they'll be more interested in your website if it's specifically targeted at the market you're aiming to conquer. For example, that generic drinking accessories website of yours will probably never rank for terms like 'hen party shot glasses' or 'wholesale pint glasses', because these things form only a small part of your overall offering. Unless you're Amazon or someone similarly huge, you'll generally find it very difficult to compete for keywords that are only tangentially related to your business.

You'll find it a lot easier to rank for those keywords if you've got an entire website dedicated to each set; just as the hen party planners of the world are more likely to click on a website that's specifically designed for them, Google are far more likely to show your website to those party planners if you look like a hen party specialist.

3. Focus your product ranges

If you're one of those companies that sells all sorts of different products, squeezing your entire range onto a single website can be a serious headache. If you've got the budget, it may be much easier to spread your stock over several ecommerce websites rather than trying to cram it all into one place.

As a bonus, this will make it much easier to label each website when it comes to marketing yourself. If everything's neatly divided up, you'll be able to say...

"This one's a flooring website, and this one's a wallpaper website, and this one sells furniture!"

...instead of...

"This is a website that sells...um...stuff for decorating your home with."

Fewer product ranges per site equals stronger overall focus, and focus is key if you want to make a big impression on potential customers.

4. Multiply your social media reach

If you have several different ecommerce websites then you also have the ability to create several different brands, and this in turn gives you the scope to set up several different accounts on Twitter, Facebook, and the other big social platforms. The benefits of this are reasonably obvious: you can accrue multiple sets of followers from multiple demographics and interact with them in multiple different ways!

One of the best ways to make the most of having multiple brands on social media is to establish a distinctive voice for each one. For example, if one of your ecommerce websites sells gadgets and techy stuff, you can adopt a 'geeky' persona for that brand, weighing in on the latest tech news and pop culture gossip on Twitter whilst also sharing your own products. Then, if you're selling those same tech products in a slightly more professional capacity (e.g. to businesses) on a second ecommerce website, you can set up another Twitter account for that site and use a more formal tone to speak with your customers in the industry.

5. Make money via an affiliate system

If you want to get really ambitious, there's another fantastic way to profit via multiple ecommerce websites that we haven't yet touched on. We at Designer Websites have helped several clients to set up 'affiliate' systems - this means that we create a white label ecommerce website for that customer, who then sells that website design to clients of their own. Each client (or 'affiliate') can brand and customise their own website in any way they please, but they're all selling the same products, and all of the affiliate sites are built upon the same original code.

Here's the upshot of all this: you can drive more sales for your business by allowing others to market and sell your goods via ecommerce websites of their own. Your affiliates will be happy because they're getting a cut of the money you make, and you'll be happy because your sales are going through the roof and other people are doing all the legwork for you!

If you have a large product range, multiple target audiences, and/or the desire to set up an affiliate marketing system, then a multi-site ecommerce solution may well be a great choice for your business. Click here to get a quote for your project, or visit our Multi-Site Ecommerce page for more information and some examples of our previous work in this area.
We've already explained to you what PPC advertising is; now it's time to look at why you might want to do it. There are many benefits to pay-per-click advertising - here are a few of the big ones:
  • You can set your own budget depending on your advertising goals. If you own an ecommerce website, you will probably want to be a bit more aggressive with your ads; therefore, a larger daily budget would be more beneficial, as you will achieve more clicks and more potential sales. However, this does depend on your market; for example, if you are operating in a very niche market, you might not need a very big budget, whereas if you stock a more widely available product, the keywords will cost more as there will be a higher number of other companies aiming to attract the attention of potential customers.

  • If done correctly, PPC advertising will get you to the top of Google's results pages. Whenever we ask clients about their SEO goals, 95% of them say, "We want to be at the top of Google." Well, by using PPC, you can reach the 'top of Google' instantly - that is, if your AdWords account manager has done a good job and created a top-quality advert for your product. This means that you will get noticed, get clicks, and get sales. Even if you are already at the top of Google's organic results, PPC can still be used to support your current rankings. With your products at the top of the organic results, the PPC results AND Google's Shopping feed, customers would find it difficult NOT to click through to your site!

  • You can target specific demographics. Are you planning on expanding your business to another area of the country, or even to a different country altogether? Would you like to expand and test to see if there is a demand for your product/service elsewhere? Or perhaps you just have a bricks-and-mortar shop, and you only want to advertise to people in the immediate surrounding area? Whatever your target area is, search engine adverts can help you to reach it with ease.

  • You can track everything. Between AdWords and Analytics, you can see where your customers are coming from, what they are searching for, and the paths that they take through your website to come to a purchasing decision. For this, you can see if you are pointing your customers to the correct landing page, as well as if they are converting then and there or if they are just adding things to the basket and comparing prices with your competitors. You can also test the success of the keywords you're using - are people coming through to your site via a broad keyword search, then failing to convert? If so, why aren't they converting? Are they converting, but taking a long time to do so? What are they looking at on your website? AdWords and Analytics can answer all of these questions and more, providing a wealth of valuable information for you to analyse.

  • You can test quickly. Do you remember the good old days of direct marketing, when you'd step through your door to find piles of marketing communications lying on your doormat? Or the days of Web 1.0, when online advertising platforms were nowhere near as intricate as they are now, and you had to sort through hundreds of pages of data? Back then, the campaign results took ages to interpret, and you wouldn't know whether or not a campaign had succeeded until several months later. Nowadays, Google AdWords allows you to see data almost instantly, and meaningful data interpretation can be achieved in weeks instead of months. You can test all kinds of strategies and factors in a very short period of time.

  • You can compete with global companies. Whether you're a one-man band selling products out of your garage, a modest SME, or a multi-national company, you'll be in direct competition with everyone else when it comes to PPC advertising (something that was unheard of until quite recently). Don't let this put you off, though - sure, the big companies may have a slightly larger budget than you, but if you're clever with your advertising, you could well receive a better response than a large company that's been around for years.
If you would like to try PPC advertising for your company, we strongly recommend hiring an experienced PPC expert to handle your account for you. Click here to request a PPC management quote from Designer Websites, or give us a call on 01446 339050 to discuss your requirements and, if necessary, set up a meeting with our AdWords specialists.
New Broadleaf website

Broadleaf are among the UK's leading suppliers of real wood products. While they mainly specialise in wood flooring, they also manufacture wooden doors, worktops, beams and trusses; all of these things can be found in Broadleaf's many showrooms, which are dotted throughout Great Britain, Ireland, and France.

However, no number of bricks-and-mortar locations can ever compete with the reach and accessibility afforded by an ecommerce website, and Broadleaf came to us because they wanted a bespoke ecommerce solution that would allow them to market their gorgeous wooden wares to an even wider audience.

As usual, the Designer Websites team rose to the occasion, creating a stunning, user-friendly website that's almost as beautiful as the products it was designed to showcase. Each site visitor can now browse high-res images of Broadleaf's range, add items to their own personal 'Favourites' list, and even purchase real wood products online via the secure checkout system (powered by Sage Pay).  The website also has a number of additional features, such as a 'Floor Maintenance' section and 'Project Spotlight' blog that allows the Broadleaf team to show off their latest work.

If this sounds good to you, we strongly recommend that you visit www.broadleaftimber.com to see the new website for yourself. Alternatively, click here to get a quote for your own ecommerce website design project.
Designing a Good Email Campaign

We handle email marketing for quite a few clients here at Designer Websites - this involves designing each individual campaign and, once the client has signed off on our design, converting and sending the mailer to that client's customer base.

Having done this every week for several years, we now have a pretty good idea of what works and what doesn't when it comes to email marketing campaigns. Here are some top tips from our professional web design team:
  • Keep your prime content above the fold. People get a lot of emails nowadays, and if your customers have to scroll down to find out why you're emailing them...well, they won't. They'll delete your message and move on to the next one. That doesn't mean you can't put anything under the fold, but you should definitely put the 'meat' of your mailer right at the top if possible.

  • Brand strongly and consistently. You want to make sure that the recipients of your email know who it's coming from. You also want to make sure that, if they click through to your site, the transition from email to web page is as smooth as possible. Consistent branding is essential for both of these goals - make sure your company name and logo are exactly the same in your mailers as on your website, and make sure that they're prominently displayed in both places too.

  • Use your best images. If you're promoting products in your mailer, make sure you've got decent photos of them. Images are what make people click, and the better your images are, the better your CTR (click-through rate) will be.

  • Don't go overboard. There's always the temptation to cram as many different products and offers into a mailer as possible, but with this sort of thing, less is almost always more. A single clearly-stated, well-presented promotion will elicit a better response from your customers than a confusing, overcrowded jumble.

  • Check your landing pages. What page(s) are you linking to from your mailer? Is the content of your email campaign an accurate reflection of the corresponding content on your website? If not, you'll probably see a lot of people clicking through to your site and then leaving right away because they couldn't find what the email promised them.

  • Put some thought into your subject line. The subject line is the single most important element of any email marketing campaign - after all, if nobody's interested in your subject line, they won't even bother to open your email and see what you've sent them. Do your best to write something that will grab the attention of your customers without looking too much like spam. Oh, and be sure to triple-check your spelling - nothing will kill the recipient's trust more quickly than a typo in the subject line!
Would you like our professional web design team to handle your email campaigns for you? Click here to request a quote, or give us a call on 01446 339050!
Rio Surgery responsive website

With highly skilled staff and a state-of-the-art clinic in one of Portugal's top tourist destinations, Rio Surgery are among the world's top providers of cosmetic surgery treatments. From breast augmentation and facelifts to liposuction and tummy tucks, they offer a very wide range of procedures, all of which are performed by experienced plastic surgeons with superb track records.

More and more Britons have been opting to go abroad for plastic surgery of late, and Rio Surgery's bosses were keen to capitalise on this increase in so-called 'cosmetic tourism' by promoting their services to the UK market. To do this, they needed an English-language website on a .co.uk domain, and that's where Designer Websites entered the fray - we designed and developed Rio Surgery's entire website from scratch, creaing a professional-looking online presence that the company can now use to reach a whole new market.

In addition to the sleek, responsive design and the user-friendly enquiry system, the Designer Websites team also supplied much of the copy for this website, ensuring that English speakers would find it easy to navigate the website. While Rio Surgery are based in Portugal, everyone at the clinic speaks fluent English, and it was important for us to make sure that potential clients weren't worried about language barriers getting in the way of their treatments.

So, if you want to combine your plastic surgery procedure with a luxurious holiday in Portugal, visit www.riosurgery.co.uk now. We can't recommend them highly enough; they've been a joy to deal with, and we hope that they're as proud of their new website as we are!

Want our professional web design team to create a website for your business? No matter where you're based, we'd love to hear from you! Click here to request a quote.
Do I need an ecommerce website?
 
We specialise in ecommerce websites here at Designer Websites, and so we often receive enquiries from business owners who are wondering whether or not ecommerce is the right choice for their company.
 
More often than not, the answer is a resounding 'yes' - ecommerce is a fantastic way to grow your business, reach new customers, and increase your profits. However, we do occasionally come across clients for whom an ecommerce website simply wouldn't make sense; sometimes, it's better to have a simple brochure website that drives lots of enquiries than to have an awkward ecommerce website that makes life difficult for potential customers.
 
So which side of that line does your business fall on? Read on to find out whether or not an ecommerce website is the right choice for you...

An ecommerce website is ideal if:

  • You sell a wide range of products. Websites are capable of showcasing far more products than a bricks-and-mortar shop, and if you have a lot of different items on offer, an ecommerce site will probably be the single most efficient way for you to sell.

  • You wish to market to a wider audience. If you're only selling from a physical location at present, you're only reaching a tiny percentage of the market (i.e. those within travelling distance of your shop). Even if you have multiple locations, that's still nothing compared to the reach of an ecommerce website - imagine what could happen if you made your products available to the entire country, or even the entire world!

  • You already have a non-ecommerce website that gets a lot of traffic. If you have a website that doesn't allow people to buy your products, chances are you're missing out on a lot of sales. Many internet users now expect the option to purchase online, and if your website doesn't offer this, you'll lose your customers to a website that does. The solution, of course, is to upgrade your site with ecommerce functionality - you'll be improving user experience, and since your website already has some history with the search engines, it will likely rank much higher than a brand new website would.

An ecommerce website probably isn't right for you if:

  • You aren't equipped to deal with a large volume of orders. Opening up your business to the whole country (and possibly beyond) will almost certainly result in a lot more orders. This is great news if you can handle the demand, but if you can't, things will very quickly turn sour, especially if customers aren't receiving the goods they've paid for. In the age of the internet, disgruntled consumers can ruin a company's reputation astonishingly quickly!

  • You only want to target a small area. Want to keep your business local? If so, ecommerce may be the wrong choice for you, particularly if you don't have the means to fulfil orders from outside your chosen territory. That said, we have produced ecommerce websites for a few region-specific businesses, and they've done very well indeed - just make sure that visitors know right from the outset that your site only caters to one location!

  • Your products are too complicated for ecommerce. Some things simply can't be sold directly over the internet. This is often the case for companies who specialise in bespoke items; it is possible to integrate some customisable features into an ecommerce website (for example, we have built sites that sell things like personalised clothing and customised labels), but after a certain point, it just becomes too complicated for the end user. Alternatively, perhaps you'd rather get people on the telephone instead of selling to them online - giving your customers a phone number instead of an online checkout allows you to speak to them personally, provide a better solution for their requirements, and perhaps even upsell your products and make more money!
Click here to get a quote for your own ecommerce website, or - if you're still not sure - feel free to email info@designer-websites.co.uk for more information.
First Encounters logo

First Encounters Ultrasound is a company that provides private pregnancy scans for expectant parents. They have state-of-the-art clinics in Bristol, Cardiff, and Swindon, and are among the UK's leading experts on 3D/4D ultrasound technology.

While First Encounters offer a variety of different scan packages, the company specialise in 4D ultrasound scans, which allow you to get a detailed look at your unborn baby:


We recently designed a new website for First Encounters Ultrasound, and since then, they've seen a major boost in traffic and enquiries. The new and improved version of their website (www.firstencounters.co.uk) went live on the 2nd of June 2015; the following thirty-day period saw an 18.79% increase in organic Google traffic. That's almost 800 extra visitors over the course of just one month!

Traffic stats from Google Analytics.

This additional traffic comes thanks to some superb organic rankings. At the time of writing this post, the website now appears on the first page* of Google results for a number of relevant keywords, including 4d scan, 4d pregnancy scan, and gender scan (*please note that Google results may vary based on your location).

Responsive Design & Mobile Traffic

One of the biggest driving factors behind the decision to redesign the First Encounters website was the continuing swing away from desktop computers and towards mobile browsing. The First Encounters team wanted a site that would look good and function well on smartphones and tablets (as well as on larger devices), and our web design specialists rose to the challenge as usual, creating a responsive, user-friendly website that adapts to any screen size:


We are very proud of the website that we created for First Encounters, and sure enough, our efforts to make the site 'mobile-friendly' yielded great results. After the new site went live, First Encounters saw a 66% increase in mobile traffic, and a 27% increase in traffic from tablets:

Stats from Google Analytics.

PPC Advertising: Google AdWords

Once we had completed the new First Encounters website, our PPC specialists were asked to take over the company's Google AdWords account. Within thirty days, we had increased the site's AdWords traffic by a spectacular 90% (roughly 1,160 extra visitors) - and all without any change to the company's AdWords budget!


First Encounters received a total of 315 bookings in June 2015 - their highest monthly total to date! Here's what Warren Boulton, the company's Commercial Director, had to say about this outcome:

"As a company targeting a particular audience within a specific demographic, our website is the foundation of our marketing strategy. However, in recent times, it had become increasingly evident that our continued growth and development in both existing and new territories would require an online presence that reflected the changes in SEO criteria, combined with compatibility across the multitude of devices from which our site is accessed.

"In response to these demands, Designer Websites have developed a fully responsible website that provides clear functionality across all platforms, particularly the mobile and tablet devices that our clients commonly use. The search engine optimisation used in conjunction with this design has enabled us to achieve the #1 in many Google organic listings within one month, and their continued support with social media and news blogging further assists with this cause.

"The Designer Websites team are friendly, professional, and extremely knowledgeable, delivering results in a timely manner and providing a highly commendable service from an extremely trustworthy organisation."

Can we help your company to succeed online? Would you like us to create a mobile-friendly website for you, or manage your AdWords accounts? Whatever you need, you can get a quote here.
HenStuff's new website

HenStuff.co.uk is an ecommerce website that sells a huge variety of hen party accessories and novelty gifts. The site attracts a colossal number of visitors - especially at this time of year - and desktop users only account for around 50% of this traffic. The others are using smartphones, tablets, and other portable devices to shop for their hen party supplies.

In light of this fact, the HenStuff team decided that it was time to go responsive. They contacted Designer Websites and asked us to come up with a responsive design that would give mobile users a better experience on the HenStuff website. They also requested an updated payment system that would make it easier for their customers to complete online purchases.

Responsive Design

HenStuff's old website was good-looking and reasonably user-friendly, but it had been designed with desktop computers in mind, and didn't cater to mobile users very well. We addressed this by creating a brand new responsive design that adapts to the screen on which it is viewed, meaning that all visitors now get an equally excellent browsing experience, regardless of what kind of device they're using.

The HenStuff brand has been around for quite a few years now, and it was important for the new website to retain the image and personality that the company has established for itself over time. As we reimagined and restructured the HenStuff site, our design team kept a close eye on all branding elements (including logos, site copy, and images used) to ensure that everything remained consistent - after all, we wanted to make sure that HenStuff's customers still recognised their favourite party store!

Improved Payment System

The new HenStuff site uses Sage Pay Version 3, the latest version of Sage Pay's much-lauded payment gateway, to process customer payments. Simple, user-friendly, and exceptionally secure, we feel that Sage Pay is a superb choice for any ecommerce website, and HenStuff have already been reaping the benefits of this improved system (as have their customers!)

Tokenisation is a major feature of Sage Pay's latest version, and we incorporated this functionality into the new HenStuff website to make life easier for loyal shoppers. Customers can now make use of a Fast Pay option, which uses Sage Pay's fast and hyper-secure token system to store customer details, allowing near-instant checkout on future purchases.

This is a particularly great feature for HenStuff, a company that gets a lot of business from repeat customers who organise/attend a lot of hen parties. HenStuff.co.uk is one of the first websites in the hen party industry to utilise a tokenisation option like this, and this - together with the new, mobile-friendly design - will really help to give the company an edge over its competitors.

Visit www.henstuff.co.uk now to see our latest work for yourself!