DeckPlus ecommerce website

We recently upgraded and revamped two websites for Greensquares, one of our longest-standing clients. Founded in 2004, Greensquares is a family-owned business that specialises in creating low-maintenance outdoor living spaces. Over almost two decades, the business has steadily grown to encompass several popular brands, including DeckPlus composite decking and PrimaPorcelain paving.

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pk safety banner

Since 1983, PK Safety has supplied a wide range of workwear, PPE and safety clothing to businesses across the UK. What's unique about PK Safety's workwear is that it can be customised with a logo or design, meaning companies can purchase branded uniforms that will keep their employee's safe while at work.

PK Safety reached out to us to see if we could help them build a brand new ecommerce website that would integrate with their custom ERP system. We were more than happy to take on the challenge! Their new website is now live - take a look here: www.pksafetyuk.com

Here are some of the key features of the new PK Safety website:

1) Landing page functionality

We integrated landing page functionality into PK Safety so that they could create custom landing pages for use in marketing campaigns (e.g. Google Ads).

2) Customer shop pages

One of the features PK Safety wanted to include was customer shop pages. These have both private and public login functionality, making them easily accessible to repeat customers.

3) Order reporting

An ecommerce site wouldn't be complete without an order report! We added a user-friendly order report to the back end of the PK Safety website so that all of their staff can keep on top of online orders.

4) Comprehensive promotions structure

We knew that PK Safety wanted to be able to run promotions on certain products throughout the year, so we provided a comprehensive promotions structure that allows them to create discount codes and track results.

These are just a handful of the features we incorporated into PK Safety's new ecommerce website. Their new website makes it incredibly easy for customers to choose and personalise their PPE and workwear. Be sure to take a look at their new website here.

Here's what the PK Safety team had to say about the project:

"Designer Websites have been fantastic in their approach to helping us build a new and modern looking website with all the functions we required to help us connect with our customers and current system, they have been easy to work with and the communication was spot on. We have seen our sales grow dramatically online since the launch of the new site and continue on new developments to improve the functionality and integration into our current ERP system on a regular basis.

Our goal was to deliver to an industry leading website that offers our customers a first-hand professional and hassle-free experience which Designer Websites has certainly delivered, we are looking forward to working with Jason and the team in the future."

If your business could benefit from a bespoke ecommerce website, be sure to get in touch!

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Rock 'N' Critters website

Rock 'N' Critters are among the UK's leading marine aquarium specialists. Their showroom is located here in South Wales, and it has to be seen to be believed - watch this video for a guided tour:

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bounce back after covid header

Since the UK went into lockdown on 23 March, the ecommerce landscape has changed rapidly. All of a sudden, 'non-essential' brick and mortar stores were closed down and customers were forced to fulfil their shopping needs online. If you run an ecommerce store, this is music to your ears, right?

Well, with a massive surge in digital shoppers and increased pressure on supply chains, some ecommerce stores have struggled to keep up with demand while others, like luxury brands, are seeing a significant drop in sales as fewer people have excess cash to splash.

So, while some ecommerce stores are seeing a huge spike in orders, others are falling behind. Wherever your ecommerce business falls on the spectrum, we're sure you're starting to think about your post-lockdown strategy. Here are a few tips to help make sure that your business bounces back after COVID-19.

Think about the context of searches

The way that people search - and the context behind certain queries - has changed over the last few months. It's important that your ecommerce store responds to this shift in intent appropriately to ensure a steady flow of sales. But what do we mean by a change in context?

Let's take, for example, a popular beauty brand like Boots. This time last year, it's likely that Boots had a high volume of traffic from users searching for face masks.

Of course, in this context, people were mostly looking for face masks of the cosmetic variety. With hundreds of skincare brands on offer, Boots was well equipped to give these users what they wanted.

Now, of course, users searching for face masks are probably looking for something completely different: a face covering to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. Although the keyword face masks is the same, the intent behind this search has changed.

So how have Boots responded to this? They've added a section to their website that focuses predominantly on face masks and face coverings. This category features prominently on their homepage and ranks highly for the term face mask (as shown below).

Boots search result for face masks

We recommend looking at the keywords and queries that are most valuable to your business in relation to COVID-19. Do these terms still hold the same meaning that they held 6 months ago? If not, it might be time to reconsider your product line and optimise your website accordingly.

Adapting your website to meet demand

As someone who runs an ecommerce business, you already know how important it is to make sure users can find what they're looking for quickly. With competition for certain products at an all-time high, optimising the user experience can make the difference between a sale and fail in the post-lockdown market.

Moz's Luke Carthy pointed out in a recent article that searching for coronavirus on Holland and Barrett's website previously showed no results, which is hard to believe when products like hand sanitisers, paracetamol and other medications that they offer were highly sought after.

Holland and Barrett website

Image taken from Moz.com

What went wrong here? It's possible that the health and wellbeing giant didn't look at their on-site search box to see how customers were searching at the time. Therefore, they didn't have a page set up to show relevant products when a search for coronavirus was made. Without a dedicated page for coronavirus-related products, it's likely that Holland and Barrett missed out on sales!

Learn from this and apply the same logic to your ecommerce website. Take a look at the things people are searching for on your site. Do you see many searches for coronavirus or other related terms? If so, what results are your users seeing? Make sure relevant products appear - it could boost conversions and win sales over competitor sites.

Improve filters

As well as adding new landing pages, sections, and products to fill gaps in the market, you should also consider making it easier for users to tell what you do and don't have in stock.

With online shopping booming and supply chains under immense pressure right now, your users might be looking for things that seem to be out of stock everywhere! Reduce hassle and keep your customers happy by:

  • Adding a filter to your site so users can quickly see what's in stock and what isn't
  • Creating a form that allows users to sign up for an email notification when a certain product is back in stock

The filter might help you secure a sale there and then, while the email notifications can help make sure customers return to your site rather than going with one of your competitors.

Offer alternative products

Even if you make all the changes that we've suggested so far, there may still be times when you just can't fulfil the exact needs of your customers. However, there are still things you can do to boost your post-COVID sales.

Let's say, for example, that you've seen a huge influx in orders for your bird feeders during lockdown because people are spending more time in their gardens. That's great, but you had no way of predicting this unusual spike in sales and now all of your bird feeders are out of stock!

What can you do to combat this? We recommend adding a section to the bottom of your product pages to show your customers other relevant items that are currently in stock (e.g. a bird bath or bird house). Although this isn't exactly what the user was looking for, it might capture their imagination enough for them to place an order.

Adjusting your prices

As lockdown restrictions are eased, social distancing measures need to be implemented in all work environments.

As an ecommerce business, it's likely that you have a warehouse or depot where your products are kept. Just like pubs, hairdressers, and offices up and down the country, you'll need to put some new measures in place to keep the working environment safe and hygienic.

Whether you're providing sick pay for unwell employees, ordering PPE, or making physical modifications in the workplace, everything comes at a price. Your customers shouldn't be too surprised about a justifiable price increase to help cover these unavoidable costs, but be mindful of the way you go about it. After all, you don't want your customers to feel like they're being ripped off!

An incentive to buy

While you might need to increase the price of some items, there's nothing stopping you from giving people an extra reason to buy from your brand. As we move into the transitional post-lockdown period, people are returning to work and might be looking for a bit of a pick-me-up.

Whether you contact loyal customers and offer them an exclusive discount code, or you offer a multi-buy discount on your best sellers, people are more likely to make an order if they feel they're getting a good deal.

Hopefully, this gives you a good idea of how your ecommerce business can respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and prepare for the months ahead. If you're interested in an ecommerce website makeover to make your brand stand out, you can get a free, no-obligation quote here.

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How to Promote Ecommerce Website

So you've got yourself a modern, professional-looking ecommerce website and you're ready to start selling your products online. There's just one problem - you don't have any customers yet!

There are numerous different ways to promote an ecommerce website and grow your online customer base. Here are just a few options for you to consider...

Promotions

Promotions - such as a seasonal sale or site-wide price reduction - can be a quick and easy way to generate interest in your brand and products. If users get a good deal, they will be more likely to tell their friends about it, and and if the product exceeds expectations then the customer may even return and purchase something else after the promotion has ended.

Blogs

Blogging can be a very cost-effective way to drive more traffic to your website. Not only can blog posts be used to highlight new products and special offers, they can also rank for popular search terms and hugely increase your brand's visibility in the Google results. Try to identify common questions within your industry, then write blog posts that answer them - you'll be amazed at how much organic search traffic a well-written, informative blog post can generate.

Social Media

Platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and Twitter offer businesses a near-limitless amount of opportunities to reach new customers. You can start a simple social media campaign by posting appealing content and linking it back to your ecommerce website - this method of promotion is completely free, and can draw in a lot of potential customers if you take the time to build your audience and consistently publish engaging, relevant content.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

An SEO strategy is an important consideration for any website, but ecommerce websites especially - every category page and every product on your website is another chance to get seen in the Google search results. Ideally, each page on your website should target a different keyword (or set of keywords) that is specifically relevant to that page and that page alone. This will help Google and other search engines to work out which page to show for any given search term.

You can read our SEO tips for ecommerce websites here!

Pay-Per-Click Advertising

Some ecommerce websites do reasonably well without spending a penny on paid advertising, but platforms like Google Ads and Bing Ads can make a huge difference if you're looking to get your brand in front of a wider audience. PPC (pay-per-click) advertising only costs money when people actually click through to your website, meaning that you won't be charged unless your adverts are generating traffic. Of course, you'll have to work hard to make sure that your website is converting as much of that traffic as possible into actual custom for your business!

Product Reviews & Working With Influencers

Reaching out to bloggers and other influential people within your market is a great way to spread the word about your business quickly! The best approach will depend on the nature of the products/services you offer, but you might consider sending out some products for people to review, or inviting a popular vlogger to visit your premises for a video. Try to choose personalities who already have a large online following, and bear in mind that some may charge a fee for promoting your brand.

Here at Designer Websites, we specialise in ecommerce website design as well as search engine optimisation, PPC advertising, blog writing, and a variety of other techniques that can help you to grow your customer base. Use the links below to find out more about our services.

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