Problems with current websites

If you buy the wrong website you will struggle to be found in Google for very important search terms, having trouble updating products and some people that buy the wrong websites shoot blind, unable to see the website analytical data needed to make informed, well-judged decisions.

Can you list your products properly?

A number of websites used by clothing companies don’t allow them to upload their catalogue effectively. If someone is searching for a certain T shirt or particular item of corporate workwear , then a site that doesn’t show them these products straight away is highly unlikely to convert that visitor into an enquiry

Internet users are used to getting what they want immediately and making rapid decisions. If a site is little more than a corporate brochure then those users will click the ‘back’ button and seek out an alternate supplier.

Your site should have one page for each product and give all the necessary information on prices, sizes, colours and customisation options. Don’t give users the excuse to click over to one of your competitors just because they show more information than you do..

Are you able to sell your products online?

Another consideration is your ability to sell products online. The world of customisable clothing is notoriously difficult from an ecommerce point of view, because the number of personalisation options make creating a great selling platform very difficult for web developers.

Technology has leapt forwards recently and there are now web companies out there who can offer you a full ecommerce platform. These platforms will allow users to view, customise and pay for their clothing online, quickly and easily.

Think about how much simpler your life would be if you could sell clothing at any time of the day or night, without ever having to speak to anyone. It is important to tread carefully here. A number of companies I spoke to at the event had spent 1000’s of pounds on websites that lacked important functionality, such as the ability to upload artwork or buy multiple sizes of the same item, which isn’t helpful at all. Make sure your web developer has experience with customised ecommerce sites before forging ahead.

Can you add your own, unique content?

When it comes to content, there are two main areas that you should be concerned with, product descriptions and blog/ news articles. 

Why is the content so important? It allows your website to stand out from the crowd , to both users and the search engines. Google hates duplicate content and if your site has the exact same product descriptions as everyone else you wont be looked upon favourably which is bad news for your rankings.

Conversely, Google loves fresh, unique content, which is easily provided by a regular blog or news section.

Taking the time to create your own product descriptions and to write advice articles or news pieces for your blog each week will do wonders for your website’s search engine ranking. At the same time it will show the personality of your brand to users, making them far more likely to remember you and recommend you to their contacts.

Does your website integrate with Google?

If your ecommerce site has the ability to integrate with Google Products Seach, your items will be displayed in the “shopping results” section of Google.

This section is displayed on page one of Google and shows an image of the product. This can bring in a lot of traffic and can often be automated, costing you very little in time and money.

Another Google tool well worth having is Google Analytics. This free software provides you with data about what’s happening on your website

This vital information includes the keywords that people used to find you, the other sites sending you traffic, how long visitors spend on your site and which pages they look at. This sort of information is exactly what you need when figuring out what works and where to take things in the future.

 

Have you bought the wrong website?

Etrader websites are the only solutions in the market that understand what you need as a garment decorator. We understand because we have decades of experience in the print and embroidery market.

Is your current website out of date?

Our solutions are the ultimate modern tool for presenting your business online; both from an aesthetic and a functional point of view. Our elite team of industry topping web developers will improve the design and marketability of your current site. As well as giving you the tools you need to generate more enquiries and orders

Are you sick of wasting time and money trying to update your site?

With ease of use being at the fore front of our thinking, we have developed our solutions with ‘2 sides’, from both the customer and owners perspectives. The customer can checkout in seconds, with our easy to use customisation process and secure online payment service, whilst the owner can change the content of their site in real time. From text and images to brands and entire clothing lines. It can all be changed in seconds!

Is your current website underperforming and you don’t know why?

At e-trader we have great expertise in internet marketing and search engine optimisation. The architecture of your new website will be constructed in a search engine friendly way. Accompany this with our easy to use SEO section on the’ owners side’ of the platform with the weekly marketing hints and tips from the e-trader team and you will be climbing up the Google ranks in no time.

Does your current site have a low conversion rate?

Our websites give you the potential will to generate more traffic towards the site and rank well both locally and nationally for related keyword searches. But the platform gives the customer the ability, to pick a garment, customise it and checkout in seconds. This gives you site a better chance of converting more site traffic into sales.

Are you fed up with managing all the data from your site?

We do all that for you! We can plug your new site into any of your wholesaler’s catalogues that you buy from.  We will also update them for you; too save you the hassle of doing it manually. This gives you the potential to have unlimited brands on your website.

Has your business taken over your life?

If you want to go on holiday we will take the orders while you’re away and fulfil them, leaving your some care free time away from the world of business. You will also find yourself with a more efficient production process as there is minimal communication between buyer and seller other than a simple order form. So you don’t have to wait around and you can improve your order turnaround time.

Are you confusing your online customers with costs?

In our market research we found that many print and embroiders confuse customers with costs. Our platform allows to you to build the costs on the ‘owners side’. Here you can set delivery charges, digitizing fees and other costs such as V.A.T with ease and simplicity. This way the customer is not left bewildered and wondering what stitch counts and set up costs mean. The costs are spread over the order with the same design, as a customer you can see the cost coming down as you buy more.

Are you losing customers to the rapid change in technology?

Our solution allows your website to be accessible on all devices. With tablets currently outselling laptops for the first time ever and technology becoming more mobile we decided to build a solution for the future. Many of the alternatives to our solution use flash; therefore they are not accessible on Apple products- such as the iPhone, iPad , iPod and iMac’s.

 Do you want to make it easier for repeat customers to place orders?

The e-trader+ option will give you a ‘Pre-branded products’ section on the ‘Owners Side’ of the website. Here you can in effect set up your own ‘mini-shop’. Upload pictures, write descriptions and set prices of your own products. This works particularly well if you supply local schools, sports teams or clubs, you can give them their own section of your website to show how much you value their custom.

Internet leads can be a fertile ground for new business. But are you making the best use of all those potential leads?

The online business resource, Forbes, posted a worrying article last month, entitled: “Why Companies Waste 71% of Internet Leads”. The article looked at more than 10,000 businesses over 5 weeks and uncovered the following statistics:

·         Average lead response time is 46 hours and 53 minutes

·         Sales rep give up after 1.3 call attempts to leads

·         A mere 27% of leads are ever contacted

These figures show that the average business is throwing money at leads they never properly chase up. The article examines how to boost conversions by 341% and maximise your investment in lead generation. It is well worth reading. Here are some ideas how to help you improve sales……….

1.       Auto respond

Think about setting up an auto-responder. This will send an email to individuals who have completed an online enquiry form, helping to keep your prospects warm. The message can also include latest offers, company news, a link to your FAQ page, etc. It can also better inform the individual about your service or product and prompt them to take certain actions. Auto-responders can also be set up which send information more regularly, weekly bulletins or a monthly newsletter for example, until the prospect is ready to buy.

2.       Use your analytics data to make better sales calls

In Google Analytics (and many other website data systems) you can track enquiries by setting up Goals, and if you are a PPC advertiser then you can put Conversion Code in place. This data can tell you which keywords and adverts lead to a sale and which pages an enquirer visited on your website. If you look in the Network sub-section within the Technology section of the Audience tab, you can see the IP addresses of visitors. Combining all of this data will let you know what information your enquirer was searching form and the page that prompted the enquiry, allowing you to make a more informed sales call.

3.       Nurture your leads

If you provide professional services or sell to businesses, it is highly likely that enquirers will not be ready to buy straight away. It is important that a system is put in place to keep these parties interested while they consider their purchase. Develop some ‘keep in touch’ campaigns that allow you to communicate regularly with enquirers and help you direct them further down the sales path. Such campaigns could include emails, telephone calls and physical items like newsletters, postcards, letters and brochures, with a mix of sales offers, industry news and company information.

Use your social assets

Get closer to your prospects by following them on social sites like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Here you can learn about their interests and the way they like to work, helping you to develop your relationship. Be careful not to overdo it though, as there can be a fine line between helpful supporter and relentless internet stalker.

5.       Use a sales database

CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software allows you to keep on top of enquiries. Building up a database of all sales leads, grouping them up by industry or interest, assigning tasks to each one, tracking progress and much more can be easily achieved in one of the many CRM packages available. With CRM systems available for free and even those that are very popular costing just a few pounds a month, you have no excuse to continue organising your sales activity on Post-It notes and print-outs!

The world of retail is in its biggest transition since the adopting of the barcode scanner over hand-held pricing guns. Even small corner shops are now more likely to use the former, although there will always be a handful of retailers who hold on firmly to tradition. The current transition, the consumer move from physical shopping to virtual shopping, has been underway for a few years now but the mass-growth is now well and truly upon us. E-commerce is no longer a word used by only certain demographics, it is a term understood by 99% of the population. Yet, where e-commerce goes next, is the question thousands of retailers are asking, here are some of our predictions:

1. E-commerce dependence will continue to rise

The mass-market for e-commerce is already here, but the economic climate and reluctance for businesses to invest in expensive overheads such as retail space and customer-facing staff, means e-commerce will continue to grow and be more attractive to businesses both new and old. That’s not to say E-commerce should be seen as just a cheap option. Investing in back-end infrastructure and a pleasing customer journey is essential and cutting corners and costs on that invariably also means cutting customers.

2. Seasonal trends will still be applicable

While leaving your Christmas shopping until Christmas Eve is probably soon to be assigned to history (although we know there are some online retailers that offer this and the printable / emailable voucher has never been as popular), shopping at Christmas is still going to present a potential bumper windfall for online retailers. In addition, the tradition of the January sale lives on long and strong online so if you are running an ecommerce site, consider December and January a pretty much no go area for personal holiday.

3. Buying social will increase

The recommendation of a friend or trusted colleague can have a massive impact on whether you buy or don’t buy. The big retailers have long known this and the push post checkout of many retailers to “share your purchase” via your social networks is almost second nature to most of us buying online nowadays. That will only increase as will the number using the high street more as as browsing tool than a shop. Think Argos catalogue of the past, that could soon become the way we treat the physical shopping world, perhaps not even ever buying presents either, but sharing them over the internet (see Web 3.0)

4. The development of personal verification

With social networking sites now dominating the way we login to control panels and accounts across the web, the single login system while secure in principle is potentially open to abuse if you stay logged in for example on a publicly located computer. Many systems with automated payment logins and processes would therefore allow a ‘hacked’ account to be used to rack up £s of orders without extra security checks. Already to market Jumio’s Netwipe hasn’t quite captured the imagination as many had expected, but we think it won’t be too long before banks – and consumers – are insisting on this or similar technology to combat web fraud.

5. Flash sales will drive traffic

In the real world retailers call these “fire sales” and you see the High Streets littered with ‘Closing Down’ and ‘ All stock must go’ almost everywhere you go nowadays. That trend is set to move onto the internet. Already, the growth of social shopping sites like GroupOn and Living Social have relied heavily on the same mentality to drop prices to all-time lows and drive sales and hopefully traffic back to the retailer sites. Now as brands become more powerful and influential themselves via social media, so they will be looking to use similar tactics to drive traffic to their site alone.

6. Online loyalty programs kick in

The success of large scale affiliates offering money-back to customers for click-through purchases such as QuidCo and TopCashBack makes it clear that loyalty to brands extends online – especially if there is a financial incentive. Expect this to be become more polished and more targeted by the big names in the next few months. Already the big high street names such as Nectar are evident if not overtly active online, but brands are aware of the importance of customer loyalty and will be exploiting that more and more in tighter economic times.