Optimise Your Ecommerce Website This Christmas

Phew, Black Friday is finally over! So now it’s time to relax, right? WRONG. 

Do you run an ecommerce website? Well, you can sleep when you’re dead, my friend. Okay, perhaps we are being a little bit dramatic, but when you’re this close to Christmas it’s actually time to put more energy into your website, not less.

It’s the busiest time of the year for most retailers, and ecommerce has seen a huge increase in sales over the last few years. So if you are trying to make the most of your ecommerce website this Christmas, here are some tips.

Make it Mobile Friendly

These days it’s not uncommon for people to have multiple devices, and different people will favour each for different things. In fact, last year there was evidence to suggest that many people used their mobiles or tablets to browse and research products before making a final purchase using their desktops.

Whatever way someone chooses to access your website, you need it to perform perfectly - if your website doesn't work well on a platform it's not likely that someone will check if it does on another.

Be sure that your website is responsive across all devices, allowing everyone to have a good shopping experience whatever way they decide to buy. 

Deals on Delivery

We’ve all done it, one second you’re trying to get a new hoover and the next your shoulders deep in impulse buys including a TV you don’t need and gadgets that you won’t be able to work. But there they are, all ready for checkout… then suddenly, you’re struck by a delivery charge that snaps you out of your hypnotic-shopping-trance.

Willing to spend hundreds of pounds of stuff you don’t need? Perhaps… Willing to spend £5.99 on delivery for said stuff? I think not.

We aren’t saying delivery should always be free, but make sure you compare with your competitors. Up to 61% of people abandon during checkout because of extra costs. If they have seen your competitors offering better deals on delivery, it may be just the thing that gets them clicking away from your website.

Deals & Discount Codes

Similarly to delivery, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on what your competitors are doing here. Everyone loves a bargain, some people shop purely for the satisfaction of getting a good deal. 3 for 2 deals, discount codes, free next day delivery deals - all of these (and similar deals) give customers the impression that buying now is getting them the best value for money. Around Christmas this is particularly important, if you have a lot of people to buy presents for you'll feel particularly thankful for anywhere you can make a saving.

Another thing to remember is with SO many brands having deals on this time of year, you don't want to stand out for the wrong reasons. 

Email Marketing

T'is the time of year where your inbox is full of Christmas themed emails, but it really is a great way to remind customers that your website is worth visiting. Whether you're letting them know about a deal you're running, products coming back into stock, or sending a notification about an abandoned shopping basket (which have a 40% open rate), emails should attract attention and hopefully website traffic. 

It's important not to be too spammy, no one likes being bombarded with emails, but reminding customers your sale ends in a few days for example, is a great way to encourage them click directly through to your site. Make sure your emails are useful, engaging and to the point

Reward Loyal Customers

Everyone loves being rewarded, the satisfaction of a job well done! What did your customers do to deserve a treat? Well probably nothing in particular, but it's still nice, isn't it? Giving exclusive codes to those who have shopped with you before or perhaps those who follow you on social media reminds customers that it's worth being interested in your brand.

Ideally, you want to keep customers coming back and this is easy to do when they share good experiences with you. Peer to peer recommendations is also one of the best ways for your brand to gain trust, we appreciate our friends and family's opinions so it's always worth making sure every customer you have is happy with their service. 

If you need help creating an ecommerce website we are more than happy to help. Our team of specialists are experts in creating bespoke websites that best represent your brand and services. Request an ecommerce website design quote here.

New Sandison Easson Website

With offices in both Cheshire and London, Sandison Easson & Co. are among the UK's leading medical accounting firms. Catering exclusively to clients in the medical and dental fields, the Sandison Easson team provide a wide variety of specialist services, including:

  • Annual accounts
  • Tax declarations
  • Bookkeeping
  • Business structure advice

The firm's clients include GP practices, consultants, registrars, and dental clinics.

Why did Sandison Easson come to us?

The Sandison Easson team got in touch with Designer Websites because their website was old, dated, and not particularly representative of the highly professional service they provide. We were asked to design and develop a responsive brochure website that would meet the following criteria:

  • Design tailored to Sandison Easson's target audience (doctors, dentists, practice managers, etc.)
  • Information about the firm's services presented in a clear, easy-to-digest format
  • Emphasis on Sandison Easson's status as highly knowledgeable and experienced specialists

In addition to the mobile-friendly design and easy-to-use enquiry form, the new Sandison Easson website features a professional-looking 'Meet the Team' page, a client login function, and a blog where the firm will be able to share all their latest updates and insights. See the site for yourself at www.sandisoneasson.co.uk.

If you need a professional-looking website for your business, please don't hesitate to get in touch with the team here at Designer Websites. Request a free, no-obligation quote for your project here.

One Wales Energy website

The people of Wales spend approximately £1.4 billion on electricity and gas every year. Very little of that money stays in Wales, with most of it going into the coffers of large energy suppliers based in other parts of the UK.

But a new Welsh energy company called One Wales Energy / Un Ynni Cymru are looking to change that. All of the company's operations (including their contact centre) are based right here in Wales, meaning that their customers' energy fees will be going back into the Welsh economy instead of leaving the country. One Wales Energy / Un Ynni Cymru have also pledged to improve the wellbeing of Welsh communities via a Charitable Foundation and a Community Affiliate Scheme that allows local groups to raise funds by recommending One Wales to their members.

As a proudly Welsh company, we at Designer Websites were very happy when One Wales Energy asked us to create a new website for them. Their goal was to drive pre-registrations from people who are interested in changing energy suppliers (the company are planning launch their service in early 2018), so we knew that the site would need to communicate the company's key selling points - competitive rates, simple tariffs, a commitment to working towards sustainability, and of course the benefits for Wales and its communities - in a clear, appealing fashion.

The new One Wales Energy / Un Ynni Cymru website is now live - click here to view it. The site features:

  • Responsive, mobile-friendly design
  • Bilingual content (site can be viewed in English or Welsh)
  • Blog engine for sharing news and updates
  • Search engine optimisation to improve the site's online visibility
  • User-friendly enquiry form for those interested in changing suppliers or becoming an affiliate

Does your business need a new website? Contact Designer Websites today to request a quotation.

In this modern day and age, we are all very much accustomed to using apps on a daily basis.

We use native apps on our phones for waking us up, planning appointments, tracking our fitness, speaking with our friends, checking public transport times, the weather, the news… the list is endless! It is for this reason that companies are often drawn to developing Apps for their customers, because it allows for better interaction with those customers, or at least that is the theory.

One of the problems with Apps is that they are very expensive to develop and maintain, especially as they have to be developed for multiple platforms i.e. Android and iOS. Another significant drawback is that it is often impossible to gauge how useful the intended audience will find the App, or whether it will be used at all. On top of this they are not indexed in the major search engines, so you have to do some level of marketing to create awareness of the App, which again is another cost.

Progressive Web Apps are significantly cheaper to develop, are very easy and cost-effective to scale, are directly integrated by default with your website, and can be indexed by the likes of Google. This makes having an App considerably more cost effective for your business.

If you’re up to date with the latest development technologies then you may have heard about Progressive Web Apps before now, but if not, and you are considering having an App developed for your business then read on.

What Are Progressive Web Apps?

Progressive Web Apps are fundamentally web pages that can look and feel like a native app on your phone. They combine the best functions of mobile apps (offline functionality, background updating, push notifications, shortcut icon) with the accessibility and shareable nature of web pages.

Not only is a Progressive Web App highly functional, it is also at the forefront of modern web page design, utilising the very latest technologies and coding practises. Another significant benefit is that through the use of something called ‘Service Workers’ these Apps can be used both offline and online, making them incredibly accessible. In fact, Google themselves vouch for Progressive Web Apps, stating that they are reliable, fast and engaging!

By combining the best parts of the web and mobile apps, Progressive Web Apps provide a seamless and immersive experience for the user.

What Are the Benefits of Progressive Web Apps?

Now you know what a Progressive Web App is, you may be wondering how it could benefit you. Here are a few reasons why you should consider using a Progressive Web App for your business.

  • Progressive

They are named Progressive Web Apps because they are built with progressive enhancement as their main goal. By nature, they must work on all devices and take advantage of the user’s device and browser which is what makes them progressive.

  • Offline Functionality

As mentioned above, the addition of a Service Worker means that Progressive Web Apps will work on low-quality networks and even offline. The Service Worker essentially allows your device to cache pages and functionality, meaning that they can work without an internet connection, as long as they have been visited/loaded at least once with a connection. The Service Worker also allows the App to take advantage of native device functions, send push notifications and allow background synchronising. These features help to keep your customers engaged.

  • Responsive

Progressive Web Apps are built to fit on all devices, meaning they are completely responsive from the very beginning. This extends the reach of your Progressive Web App and will provide a great user experience wherever a customer accesses it.

  • App-like Feel

Through the use of an Application Shell, Progressive Web Apps can feel very much like using a native app. An App Shell separates the functionality and the content, meaning the ‘shell’ of the Progressive Web App loads before the content. This is then cached, so it instantly loads on repeat visits. This ensures a great performance for the user each time.

To add to the app-like feel, a shortcut to the Progressive Web App can be added onto any device. This provides easy access and background caching, just like a native app. 

  • Easy to share/discover

The main benefit of being a web page that looks like an app is that it can be easily shared and discovered. Progressive Web Apps can be shared through its URL, extending its reach significantly. These Apps can also be indexed by the likes of Google, meaning that you can simply optimise them for additional traffic.

  • No Installation

Users also do not need to download Progressive Web Apps in the app store. This is a considerable benefit, because it has been found that on average an app loses 20% of its users for every step between the first contact and beginning to use the app. Progressive Web Apps limit the number of obstacles between your business and the consumer.

Case Studies

Alongside the many impressive benefits, case studies have also proven that Progressive Web Apps are delivering on their promise. Many popular brands have noted the benefits of Progressive Web Apps and have decided to make the change. It has been found that Progressive Web Apps provide higher user engagement, increased time on page and increased conversions.

For example, India’s biggest e-commerce website watched their conversions increase by 70% when they made the change to a Progressive Web App. User time spent on-site also tripled, and their re-engagement rate increased by 40%.

With stats like that, it’s hard to not be convinced by the allure of Progressive Web Apps.

A few more familiar faces such as Whatsapp, Airbnb and Trivago have also developed Progressive Web Apps for their businesses. Just head to any of these websites to get a feel for how seamless and immersive Progressive Web Apps can be for the user.

Airbnb Progressive Web App

We have recently delivered a Progressive Web App to a Property Maintenance company, who use complex site audit forms to provide engineer assessments. Their engineers visit sites all over the country and often end up in basements, or in areas with little or no signal, so this App allows them to complete the complex forms on their device and submit them quickly and easily on site.

If the engineer has no signal at the time of submission, the App will save the data and submit it once they do have a signal. This Progressive Web App is a massive time-saving tool, which also saves considerably on printing and hand-completing forms. It is one example of how a Progressive Web App can deliver superb functionality in a very practical solution.

To see more case studies of Progressive Web Apps which have provided great benefits for the businesses, you can just head to Google’s case studies section.

So, are Progressive Web Apps for you?

Progressive Web Apps are redefining the way we look at native apps, and even websites. Since 2015 when the term ‘Progressive Web Apps’ was coined by designer Frances Berriman and Google Chrome Engineer Alex Russell, this new web technology has been on the rise. We think the technology is fantastic for businesses that want to take advantage of an App, whilst keeping costs down, and maintaining use of the very latest in scalable technology.

So, if your business is looking to develop time-saving functionality, or a highly interactive customer App, or even a series of forms that can be submitted offline, then we recommend that you take a close look at Progressive Web Apps, as they bring undisputable benefits to many business processes and client interactions.

If you would like to talk to one of our expert developers about a Progressive Web App project then please give us a call anytime, or drop us an email with your project brief and we’ll get back to you as quickly as we can.