You’ve tried a few 'Do-it-Yourself' (DIY) eCommerce website solutions, the site looks OK and it’s been relatively easy to add your products and/or services - but you’ve been online for a while now and feel like you could be doing better.
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A natural progression.
It makes sense to create your own eCommerce website to get your new business off the ground. You had products and/or services to advertise, you didn’t have a lot of capital and you wanted to get up and running as quickly as possible. DIY solutions cover a very good space in the online market, but there comes a time when your business is no longer just a hobby and you're ready to take your eCommerce website to the next level.
The main difference between DIY and a professionally designed eCommerce solution is experience. A professional website design & development company that has built hundreds of eCommerce websites may know more than you do on how to grow your customers and online sales, and can do it faster.
Usually companies that have been in business a few years have matured to the point where they have either outgrown their current DIY solution, are frustrated they don’t know how to progress sales from where they are currently, or find they simply don’t have the time to spend constantly developing their own website whilst trying to run and grow a business.
The real cost of DIY eCommerce.
You don’t know what you don’t know. Usability Experience (UX), Web Standards, Google page-speed, keyword placement, page redirects, Customer Experience (CX), loyalty, brand engagement, and the vast world of ‘SEO’ - this is just the tip of the iceberg. You may think you’re saving money not having to pay a professional Web partner, but your sales could be booming and you could be spending more time working on your business - rather than working in it!
The main costs of DIY eCommerce website solutions can be…
- Downtime whilst learning to design + build the website. The time you could be growing your business and doing what you are good at.
- The cost of lost sales. If you had a website that had better engagement and usability, is easily found in Google, is easy to check-out, and created repeat and loyal customers - what could your online sales look like?
- Are you being found? Search Engine Optimisation and Search Engine Marketing is a real skill. We often see small businesses spending way too much on the wrong Keywords, with the unoptimised landing pages, and the organic SEO can often be non-existent or hindered by bad back-links and bad code.
- You need to be the best you can online. If you don’t have competition now, then you will have - you need to be better than them now or they will be enjoying your sales, and may already be.
If you spent very little and have 100 sales per month online, compared to a professional website with a marketing campaign that creates 500 sales per month from a six-month investment - and you had more time to work on your business, a better ROI and therefore more profit to grow your business - would that help grow your company faster?
More than just eCommerce.
We see so many DIY eCommerce platforms that boast easy to use eCommerce functionality, and that’s great for a certain market as mentioned. But what people quickly begin to see is that they eventually need more than that. A great eCommerce website also reflects the brand and personality of the company, engages customers with interesting articles (with targeted keywords) that position themselves as thought leaders in their industry, creates a professional edge that creates trust in their products & services, and has many other ‘website’ pages that are not directly part of the eCommerce sale.
An excellent eCommerce website has the above, plus the ability to nurture customers, hear the 'voice of the customer' (e.g. polls, sentiment feedback etc), send targeted campaigns for specific products (e.g. did this customer purchase the widget that goes with the product they purchased three weeks prior), and create powerful Customer Journeys and other Marketing Automation.
What you see is also not always what Google (and other search engines) see. You may think your site looks fine, but Google can see things quite differently, and so may your customers. Google will be looking very closely at your customer's mobile experience and engagement time, page load speed, content and code, image and video content, and even hosting technology used on the website - plus many other things.
From a code perspective, and from our experience, DIY eCommerce solutions look very different from expertly hand coded eCommerce website solutions in both cleanliness and speed, and usually Usability Experience (UX). If your eCommerce Website code is not clean, keywords and important content can be ‘diluted’ by nasty code that simply doesn’t need to be there. We often rebuild sites with our eCommercePro solution with 5-10 times less code than the original DIY eCommerce Solutions, and often increase the website load speed by 25-75%.
The importance of good Search Engine Optimisation as a part of the initial website build.
A profitable eCommerce Website takes more than creating an easy to use and visually appealing website, you need good Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) on-build. Deploying a well planned and professionally developed website from the day you re-launch your eCommerce website will set you on a path that will be very advantages for your businesses now and in the future.
A site can always have additional monthly optimisation after the site is live, and we highly suggest some targeted Search Engine Marketing (SEM) especially if your site is still relatively new or you have picked up some bad ‘back-links’ along the way (usually from those offering for you to be on page one in Google - but that’s another blog!).
Good ‘on-build’ SEO is extremely important and can be expensive to try and fix retrospectively, and if you don’t at least have this, your SEO can become much more expensive to get the same results as a well-optimised site. Think of it like aerodynamics in a race car, the less resistance you have, the less it costs and the better you will perform.
A Partner to help you grow online.
Experience is everything. We can help design & develop an eCommerce website that can make you more profit than you may be able to build yourself, pure and simple. A well coded and clean website with the most modern functionality is very important, and so is experience. Your time is valuable you need to be doing what you are best at!
We work with companies every day coming from DIY (or very simple eCommerce websites) that have never performed the way in which the client had hoped, and have had amazing results with our custom eCommerce website solutions.
A good e-Commerce website is a 24/7 salesperson, that advertises your products & services, showcases your USPs, your team, your culture - creates sales, and then helps to create repeat sales!
You don’t have to start from the beginning, the hard work has probably already been done.
You’ve done the hard part. You’ve created your products, product images and descriptions. You will probably find you can export your products & Catalogues very easily into an Excel Spreadsheet (usually a .CSV file), and with a bit of a massage, these can be added very easily into a new Content Management System - often you’ll find this will get you at least 80% there.
It’s important to ensure any search engine ranking’s you have already attained come with you, we help you through this too.
With existing text content, sometimes it’s a good idea to bring over the same content and then massage this once the site has gone live - google can be finicky when it comes to big changes, and although it’s clever enough to know that you have a new website, this can easily be changed once the website is live and is sometimes best reviewed by an expert website copywriter with good SEO knowledge or by yourself when you have the time.
We have the people to help you. We have created the ‘Digital Directive’, a group of experts who are the best in their industry. We don’t mark them up, they are not a part of the Fuel agency, they are their own specialist businesses. We work with these parties constantly and know what they can do for you, how they prefer to work together, and how we can streamline their services together. We have made a conscious decision to work with specialists rather than become ‘Jack of all trades - master of none’, and to never clip-the-ticket to ensure you get the fairest price and value for money. It’s a new paradigm we think you’ll love.
Interested to find out more about Fuel’s eCommerce + website Solutions and they can help your business grow?
We can arrange a meeting to fully understand your requirements. Just call us on 0800 FUELME (09-4283047) option 1, or fill in the simple Contact Form.
It's rare to find a combination of a website/brand focused company that can deliver results, this is where the team at Fuel thrives. Coupled up with service, makes them valuable asset to any growing business wanting to expand online.Rise Advisory