Covid-19 has had a profound effect on the UK nation as a whole with many industries coming to a grinding halt. The garment decoration industry has not seen anything quite like it and yes it is difficult to see business picking back up, but inevitably it will.

While it is a great challenge for businesses trying to survive the pandemic it also presents a once in a lifetime opportunity to reset, re-charge and prepare for what awaits once this is all over.

From a Marketing perspective it firstly provides a chance to evaluate, analyse and review your existing strategy. Identify what is working and conversely what is not working, areas you would like to target, areas that are not being targeting effectively and work out how to get the maximum return on your Marketing budget. Your purse strings going to be tighter than ever before squeeze every bit of value out of your Marketing and plan accordingly.

With in-store promotions and local advertising grinding to a complete halt this frees up some budget to potentially look at your business’s online strategy

With website traffic being minimal it is the ideal chance to assess your businesses website, review it, work on any maintenance, updates and ensure it is full optimised and ready to go for a ‘re-launch’ when the time comes. 

Similar with other Online Marketing tools, look at things like Sponsored Ads on Social Media, Google Adwords and identify if there is opportunity for your business. Plan a strategy, budget and build all the key words ready to go live to your audience once business is fully operational.

You might think all this sounds a bit costly. Where will the budget come from with cashflow being tight, it is a great opportunity for a bit of Marketing DIY. Grow your knowledge, skills and carry out the review and analysis. Plus there is also a chance to broaden your skillset and carry out these ideas yourself learning on the go, familiarising yourself with Social Media channels, or testing our different pieces of software for CRM, Email Campaigns, Social Media scheduling and so on.

It is an unprecedented time that presents many challenges but the optimistic business owner the freed up time is a great opportunity to look at your business, think of where it was, where it is now and think of where you want it to be in a year’s time. Use the time to develop your skills and your business, time wasted is time lost.

Loading speed is how fast your website loads when a user search for it. Customers want their searches to load almost instantly and are not afraid to shop around online if your user experience is not quite up to scratch.

You might think to yourself - why is this important? How can this be helped? Why does it matter?

Well loading speed actually plays a part in Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and how Google views and ranks your website. Recent studies show that Google considers loading speed as an important ranking factor when considering where to index your businesses website.

Recent Google algorithms focus pre-dominantly on user experience, they consider loading speed an important thing for search users. Pages with a slower loading speed will often have much higher bounce rates plus lower average page view time and lower conversions.


Test your businesses website loading speed using Page Insights on Google. If your loading speed needs improving work alongside a quality reputable web design designer. They will be able to help improve your sites speed with some of the below suggestions:

  • Enabling compression: Use a programme (Gzip) to compress the size of your CSS, HTML & Javascript files on-site. For images compress the sizes using Photoshop or other design software.
  • Reduce page re-directs: Every time a page directs to another page, the wait to find a search and page result increases. Ensure minimal re-directs as these slow down your loading time.
  • Leverage browser caching: Browsers store information every time a user visits your website. Set your ‘expires’ header for a year, this reduces the loading speed over time as it loads saved information and doesn’t have to load the entire page.
  • Improve server response time: Server response time is affected by the number of traffic your site generates, the amount of information it has to load plus the software and hosting package you use. Ensure the server you use has adequate space, the most up-to date software and deals with issues like slow queries and performance.
  • Optimize images: A simple but effective tip for improving your businesses website. Ensure images are a relatively small file size and correct format for loading up in an adequate time.

It's not!

One of the common misconceptions I come across from garment decorators is that they class a 'website' order as an order if the customer pays for it online. This is perceived as somehow different to somebody who finds you online and picks up the phone or emails, or visits your store to give you an enquiry or place an order.

It's all about choice for customers. 

If you've got an 'all singing, all dancing' website where customers are comfortable placing an order for their embroidered or printed clothing online, then great. Lots of them will and you should definitely make that option available to them. 

But if they give you an enquiry and you win the order by any other means then put that in your 'website orders' folder as well. 

A commercial website (brochure or e-commerce) is a sales tool first and foremost.

Make sure it looks professional, promotes trust and reflects the brand and values of your business, and of course sells something. Your homepage especially needs to do this, but equally important, it must be flexible enough for you to easily update with your latest offers, promotions, best-selling products, content, social media campaigns and so on.

Try looking objectively at your homepage, if you're not happy with it then it's unlikely your potential customers will be. If you want an idea of just how critical this stuff is online, I found this article 'a real eye opener': http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/223150

Focus on marketing, your businesses biggest potential income generator. 

When all that hard work and effort you have put in to promoting your new or existing website starts to pay off and the orders, customers emails and phone-calls are coming in, whatever you do, don't send them back to the place they just came from (your website) to try again, 'cause they'll go somewhere else!

Making sure your website gives the best customer experience possible, and when you get to that dream position of how to handle all the orders then look at the rest of the stuff.

When is a Website Not a Website?

If you want a website that books the job in, does the proofing for you, creates the delivery note, sends the invoice, collects the payments and even makes the tea. That's not a 'website'! 

There's plenty of software out there that'll handle all that (maybe not the tea) and will serve you well. You can get it built specifically or integrate it with your website. We meet lots of people in our industry who tell us about how much time they spend on this kind of stuff, trying to do it themselves, trying to figure out how these systems work, attempting to upload a zillion products, worrying about whether they need to add more widgets or features to make it better for them. 

What about the customer? 

Excercise caution if you find something that promises to do it all in one, that's a tall order to be all things to all 'platforms'. 

What if you want to change your website? 

You shouldn't have to change your order processing system. What if you want to update your brand and improve your marketing or get a swanky new responsive website, you shouldn't have to change your proofing system or accounts package.

Don't get me wrong, it's not that this stuff isn't important, it is! But they are not the same and none of it will win you any business...

One last thought... 

Try setting up a new site from a website design company online, fully branded for your business to sell your embroidered or printed clothing. It will cost £10k+ and take months of planning and consideration.

For a sensible solution that helps businesses actually generates income get in touch on info@etraderwebsites.co.uk or call 029 2074 1663

We will happily chat to you and see if we can possibly help grow your business and its online presence.

Your businesses website is no different to your store appearance is everything. Customers will walk past a tired, messy and cluttered store with minimal or next to no interest. 

The same goes for your website!

Customers will click and shop around looking for the simplest user experience possible. They do not want to be confused, overloaded with information or be faced with a difficult to use website. In Lehman terms they want to go online, order their printed t-shirts for an event, work or whatever the occasion may be and checkout. They are not as excited as most garment decorators by set up costs, stitch counts and number of colours within a print.

Strive for simplicity and provide your customer base an easy to use experience, shopping basket and make sure they do not need to search around when it comes to buying branded clothing.

With that in mind, here are five tips to help declutter your businesses website:

  • Streamline Your Home/Navigation Bar: This is the spine of your site and holds it all together in terms of accessibility. Make the bar a simple to use, informative tool and do not overload it with options and information. Organise it and make it concise for your customer.
  • Less is More: Content is a main fundamental element of SEO, but sometimes less is more. Customers are after quality not quantity, do not bombard them huge chunks of content and information. Be clear, keep the readers attention and focus on what information is crucial to them when purchasing or enquiring through your website.
  • Continuously Remove Out of Date Items: Often one that is overlooked. Simply take a few moments to remove any out of date seasonal content and campaigns. Keep on top of your website and ensure that your site looks like it is both managed & professional.
  • Manage Loading Times: Customers are an impatient bunch and often happy to shop around over the littlest error. Ensure your website does not take forever to load, work with your developer or provider to make sure customers can navigate your website quickly.
  • Clear Call to Acton (CTA)/Contact Details: Ensure all action buttons and contact details are visually easy for customers to find. Even if they are struggling a tiny bit to navigate your website or are stuck for choice on what to order these will improve your chances of winning the order and not frustrating a potential customer.
We do all this for our customers, we make owning a website simple. With clear to use prompts, up to date product information and a clear precise shopping experience an eTrader Website is the only solution for print & embroidery businesses.

To find out more view the rest of our website or alternatively book an online demo by getting in touch on 029 2074 1663 or email info@etraderwebsites.co.uk.


In the last few years the UK has begun adopting a few online trends from the US, namely Cyber Monday and Black Friday.

Love it or loathe it they are the biggest online shopping days of the year and offers online consumers the chance to make huge savings in the build up to the festive period.

With more and more small businesses jumping on board and offering flash sales, bargains and discounts as part of their Marketing for these events ensure your business has the tool to run a flash sale smoothly.

To get the most from these promotions here are a few simple pointers to get you started:

Start planning now: Plan your promotions in advance, build up suspense with your customer base and let them know of any upcoming offers and savings in advance whether its in-store, on Social Media or via an Email Campaign.

Create specific page copy: Plan the products or services you are going to offer savings on. Ensure your website is optimised with product pages for these specific items. Point customers in the right direction and ensure your user experience is customer focused, they are not afraid to shop around when it comes to huge savings!

Create eye catching content: Whether it is for your businesses website, Social Media or to be distributed to your list of customer contacts creating eye catching content significantly increases click through rates.

Plan for an upsurge: Ensure your website can deal with increased volumes of traffic, too many page requests can slow the site down or crash the site itself. Test your website using tools like Loadimpact.com to ensure the server that your hosts your businesses website can take the strain.

Test, test, test: Before any of your promotions, artwork and copy goes live test your processes and ensure your site is fully prepared, functioning and operating as you would expect with the new pages, copy etc. Get another set of eyes from a team member and gain feedback.

Some businesses go as far as offering loyal customers a first glance ‘Exclusive’ access to a flash sale. This is used to gain customer feedback, fine tune and tweak their offering to make sure everything runs as smoothly as possible in time for the main event.

Whether you love it or hate it, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are here to stay for the foreseeable future. The chances are if you are not taking part, your competitors are. If you think it would be something that would add value to your business dip your toes in, start planning and prepare a campaign using these few simple pointers.