Online shopping has seen a huge growth in recent years – up 16% on 2015 figures to £133bn in 2016*. And it is showing no signs of slowing down. The growth is largely due to more consumers than ever shopping on their smartphones – with sales via smartphone jumping by a massive 47% in December 2016.
Here at Cotswold Web, we can create a brilliant e-commerce website for your online sales. But these days, it’s about more than that. If you really want to benefit from the online sales boom, you’ve got to look to other channels to support your website.
You know your business, your products and your customers, you just need to find which online shopping channel or channels will work best for you.
So here’s our pros and cons of some of the main online shopping channels to help you make that decision.
The hairdressing industry is founded on the individuality of every salon, every hairdresser –it’s all about appearance and style. However, as well as doing great hair, the salon experience is what sets you apart from your competitors – after all, it’s no good being a great hairdresser if your salon is uninviting and your service sloppy.
Today, being attentive to your customers’ experience matters online just as much as it does in person. Your salon’s website should reflect your unique flair for creating wonderful hair as well as be easy to browse and have responsive features that will help generate more business.
At Cotswold Web, we create showcase websites that not only look gorgeous, they also work hard for you by guiding your customers to make that all-important booking.
Simple online tools make all the difference in ensuring customers can easily find you and your services, make online bookings, and benefit from special promotions.
Design with the wow factor – your job is to make people look better; we do the same, for businesses just like yours!
Appointment booking – your customers can browse and book an appointment most convenient to them with this simple pop-up booking function. Perfect for repeat business.
Special promotions – reward your customers or entice new clients through online promotions. Everyone loves a good deal!
Newsletter sign-up – a fantastic way to keep in touch with old and new customers, and promote new services or products, staff joiners or case studies.
Call to action
– our websites encourage engagement, which is key to
helping your customers enquire about a service or book their appointment.
We produce websites for companies of all sizes – from sole-ownership businesses to large franchises. Our approach is about understanding your business first, and reflecting who you are and what you do online.
All our websites are fully responsive too – as a hairdresser, many people will find you by doing a search on their phone or tablet, so you need to know that your website and booking system works perfectly across any screen.
If you’re looking for a responsive website for your hairdressing salon – no matter what size – contact us today and we’ll soon have you looking your best!
We’ve recently designed websites for three very diverse clients.
SDL Biomass are a Cotswold based company that specialize in the conversion of forestry products, to create the required graded wood fuels. Providing a nationwide solution to dealing with un-utilised arboricultural forestry products.
We've had a great start to 2016 with web designs or design updates for an exciting group of clients.
Cakesmiths (above) are an ever-expanding company producing traybakes for coffee shops up and down the country. Of course, Easter time is a great opportunity for new ideas and recipes – all handmade in their Bristol Bakery
Although web design and eCommerce is not the most hazardous of occupations you can never be too careful. We've ordered several first aid kits from Millies Trust to have around the office just incase (we do tend to get rather excited whenever we take on a new project so who knows what might happen)!
We are very privileged to do the website for Millies Trust. The charity has gone from strength to strength over the last few years, providing first aid training to 1000s of people around the UK. Only last week they won a Pride of Britain Award 2015, one of many awards over the years.
Check out the Millies Trust website for more information on all the fantastic work they do.
Selling jewellery online is an increasingly competitive environment. With sites such as Etsy, Folksy and eBay it means that there are many more channels available than the traditional ones and within those sites the range of style, quality and design is huge. So how do you stand out? How do you market yourself effectively when running a small business?
Keep Your Own Shop Online (with social media links)
Ideally, you will have your own bespoke website. Link it to as many other sites as you like (Pinterest, Etsy, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) but ultimately by having your own site – you own your own shop. It means you're not beholden to changing fashions or commissions. Play around with the latest social app, but always link it back to your online store.
Create A Bespoke Style For Your Webshop
At Cotswold Web Services we’re gaining a bit of a track record in this area. We started in April 2013 with Francesca Rossi Designs who produce a wide range of individually hand crafted jewellery for women and children. As well as supplying other store fronts on the high street and online, Francesca Rossi wanted to have their own ‘shop front’ and it was a good decision. Their business has taken off since the launching their webshop.
Contemporary jewellery designer Corrine Hamak followed shortly afterwards in May 2014, Corrine has had an international upbringing and studied at St Martins School of Art before finally settling on jewellery design. Her items reflect her wide experience of different cultures and the website displays the stunning pieces. Bridget Wheatly is another designer we worked with earlier this year, Bridget has a love of nature and shiny things which lead to a thriving business in the jewellery industry. She is now based in Oxford and finds her website invaluable as her shop to the wider world.
Open Your Designs To An International (and Famous) Market
Last but by no means least, Mirabelle Jewellery went online with a website we designed for them in October 2014, their revenue shot up the minute the Duchess of Cambridge was spotted wearing a piece of their jewellery and of course, they trade on that patronage!
At Cotswold Web Services, we acknowledge it is a hugely difficult market to crack – but we hope we can help you make your way towards that by producing a stunning online shop. Please call us today if you’d like to get your jewellery business online.
It's not easy selling online. We understand this.
In the 10+ years we have been involved in eCommerce we have worked on many successful and inspiring projects, learning some invaluable lessons along the way.
Whilst setting up and managing a successful eCommerce website is seldom easy, there are a surprisingly large amount of websites that neglect even the quick, simple things that can make a huge difference to their success.
View our handy fact sheet of 10 tips that can really make a difference to your eCommerce site...
When David Wood, a local newspaper journalist came to us with his long-held dream of launching a website dedicated to the Cotswolds - we jumped at the chance. The area is such a rich resource of people, places food and beautiful spots that it presents such an exciting opportunity. We wanted to build the ultimate site appealing to residents, local businesses and of course the many thousands of tourists that visited the region each year.
We've spent the last year working on this production, creating the design, content and including features such as Cotswolds Claim To Fame, Filming in the Cotswolds and Wacky Side of The Cotswolds (which of course, there are many). Loving The Cotswolds finally launched early March 2015.
Underpinning the lighter stuff and at the heart of much of what goes on is the community - we've dedicated sections to this thriving element of the region such as Schools, Faith, Gardens, Walking and local Clubs and Organisations. We think this will become a valuable resource. Read more about how we reached this point and the team behind the website here .
Our flagship section is "101 Reasons To Love The Cotswolds" (not that many need convincing) - jam-packed with places, events and traditions that make this part of England such a unique spot.
David and the team at Loving the Cotswolds are including very reasonable packages for local business (subscription levels starting at just £10 a month) whilst ensuring that the success of the website goes on to help the region by donating 10% of all profits to local charities.
If you'd like to get your business or organisation on the site or just share some local news, please email firstname.lastname@example.org .
This time last year things in a small corner of the Cotswolds were heating up, or should we say - brewing up. Dan Szor was realising his dream of leaving his London city life and setting up a whisky distillery in his favourite part of England.
Cotswold Web Services Enlisted To Build Website
We had met New Yorker Dan a while before, he was keen to use local business partners in his new venture - so Cotswold Web Services seemed a good fit. Working alongside a designer already on board (in Scotland, where much of Dan's inspiration had begun) - we created their launch site that not only sells the merchandise but includes a built-in customer mailing system too.
And They're Off...
The first bottles of single malt whisky would not be ready until 2017, so the newly formed team of experts have introduced a number of other products to keep the excitement going. The Cotswolds Dry Gin launched (to much acclaim) towards the end of 2015 and just recently, the Cider Apple Brandy has hit the shelves in partnership with local cidermaker, Pearsons. The word is spreading too, not only have Majestic recently taken on products from the distillery - a first major order from Dan's home across the pond has come in. Great news that these craft distillers are getting international recognition already.
Watch This Space
This corner of the Cotswolds are constantly launching exciting things - keep your eye on them and join their mailing list (at the foot of their page) here. If you'd like to talk to us about your website or building in a customer mailing system, get in touch on 01242 807847 or email us here.
(Main image via Cotswolds Distillery featuring Dan Szor - left - and team in their distillery in the Cotswolds)