Do you want to give your customers the best online shopping experience? A good ecommerce store can help build your brand, grow your business and reduce boring admin. Connecting existing and new customers with your product or service can be a challenge. But a great online store can change everything.
As an online retailer, ecommerce (electronic commerce) is without doubt your most valuable touchpoint and most important investment. We’ve helped companies sell products, hit their turnover goals, grow their audiences, build their brands and reduce their admin pains. As a certified Big Commerce partner, we can help with ecommerce solutions of all scales.
Our successes in helping organisations thrive lie in the fact that we are a full service creative agency. By looking deeper into your audiences, developing your brand and communication we create not just technically brilliant ecommerce but a website that works for your whole tribe - even the often overlooked marketing managers, warehouse team or recruitment experts in your business.
Ecommerce is the future of sales. And because it's the future, it's always on the cutting edge. Ecommerce technology is constantly evolving, and we're riding the wave of change.
In order to keep up with the expectations of your audience and stay a step ahead of your competitors, you can't get left behind. Online shoppers are a growing, and increasingly sophisticated and demanding, audience. They want what you're selling, but they won't put up with a sub-par shopping experience. If you offer them that, they will shop elsewhere.
An amazing ecommerce store can be the difference between failure and success for an online business. Look at the brands that do it well and those that don't. If you want to be in the big league, you need to play with big balls.
Ultimately, shopping should be more than a transaction. It should be an experience. Something that's easy, fun and rewarding. Something that's trustworthy, reassuring and secure. Build this, and your customers will keep coming back to you, again and again.
We always start with the audience and users. In fact we have a workshop designed to draw out all of the key information that we need to start building a great user experience (UX). Whether we are migrating your existing ecommerce or building something from scratch, our approach is to work in close partnership to deliver everything from scope to design, and from development to the all important SEO and online marketing.
We can handle the whole ecommerce build or complement your team. We work best when we create meaningful, fun and active partnerships. Knowing what skills your team has means that we can fit in to provide technical or creative expertise where you need it.
We can help with everything - your brand and communication, technical scoping, complex automation (you need that stock level updating from some weird archaic ERP? No problem), multi-channel marketing, design, animation and user experience. We can even write your copy, photograph your products and film your ads.
He / him. Tom is a pioneer of technical solutions and unrivalled "edge case thinker". If you have a problem, chances are he saw it coming, and can write some code to fix it. As Technical Director, he oversees all the nerdy work we do, as well as getting beard-deep in the coding of advanced web and app development projects. Powered by the Raspberry Pi in his pocket and genetically descended from a cat, Tom is a 3D printing, statistic loving, real ale drinking, blimp drawing legend.
He / him. Paul is a tech lover. One of Rusty Monkey’s developers, he spends a lot of time playing with gadgets, and loves trying to fix broken tech. He’s an eco nut. Loves nature. Amateur triathlete, and an even more amateur musician. Plays too many computer games. He dreams of living in a futuristic utopia where we all get on and have a lovely time. Be excellent to each other.
He / him. A dev guru, Russ has been playing with tech and building websites for longer than most of us can remember. He loves to weave together intricate systems in the background that create a seamless and beautifully functioning user experience. As our Financial Director, Russ is also in charge of important things like sending out invoices and buying selotape. A fan of real ales, three-course lunches, and networking events in exotic locations, you are just as likely to find him listening to heavy metal in a muddy field as you are hobnobbing with ecommerce execs in Singapore.
He / him; yellow. Creative jack-of-all-trades, Matt is "dangerously knowledgeable" in almost every facet of marketing. His favourite field is branding, and he loves developing inspiring, daring brand identities for organisations who are ready to do something different. But he's equally talented at front end web development and developing digital strategies. He's also the front man and guitarist in local parody heavy metal outfit Evil Scarecrow, plus a huge fan of music, eating in nice restaurants, and going on holiday.
She / her. Sylvia is our SEO expert and resident vampire. By optimising content for search results, she can help bring more quality traffic to your site. From her darkened lair, Sylvia also dabbles in web design and front end development, and she combines her talents to produce high-performance websites. She also loves heavy metal, the arts, comedy and vegan cooking.
You need more information about the options available to you, and want a partner who is prepared to delve deep and really understand what you need, and what your audience needs, from your ecommerce site.
Spending some time scoping your project and understanding your business can be essential. Rather than jumping feet first into a giant project, why not invest in a discovery project?
Most organisations allocate about 10% to 20% of their budget towards this and it can sometimes even reduce the overall spend as we help narrow down the scope.
This is great for helping to refine a budget and a scope if you don’t already have one.
The type of things we do are:
Audience and user workshops
MoSCoW analysis on use cases
Website brief creation
ecommerce platform reviews
You have a small catalogue and only need simple functionality to provide the best shopping experience for your customers. Ideal for start-ups and B2C businesses.
There is often nothing ‘simple’ about ecommerce - and there are many types of ecommerce - but start-ups and B2Cs with small catalogues can really benefit from our expertise across a variety of platforms.
Depending on your needs, we will recommend the best platform. The key is to understand the business, the goals and the budgets.
‘Simple’ ecommerce is great for:
Start ups with a fixed budget
Existing B2C sites that need re-platforming
Companies looking to turnover less than £500k per year
You have a more complex catalogue and need some additional functionality to create a great shopping experience for your customers. Ideal for B2C.
This solution is suited to an already established brand or business that is looking to grow, improve, connect, market and thrive. It could be large-scale B2C or simple B2B.
We won’t just import your catalogue into a new platform and hand it over with a guide. We’re looking to create a longer term partnership where we help you build an ecommerce store that is designed to achieve your goals. We can even lean on our brand and marketing expertise to help you establish those goals.
Grown-up eCommerce is great for:
Well funded start-ups with ambitious goals
Exsiting to B2C sites who are looking for growth
Large, complex catalogues
Companies looking to transact more than £500k / year
More complex integrations with CRMs, ERPs and other fun initialisms!
You sell exclusively B2B and need an ecommerce platform that will make your customers' day-to-day easier, faster and more secure. You may need functionality like scalable trade discounts, ex VAT pricing and invoicing.
We have a lot of experience working with B2B businesses and building sites that can manage multi group discounts, simple ordering and a wider system of support for the businesses that are served, and always with an eye on the end customer.
B2B eCommerce is great for companies looking for:
Price lists and customer groups
Corporate account management
Sales representative masquerade
Sales representative quoting
Shared shopping lists
Payment method visibility control
You need a more bespoke solution that's designed specifically for you and your customers. You need to connect to multiple service providers and offer a seamless, secure and customisable shopping experience.
Whatever the shape of your business, one of the most exciting things for us to help develop is a ‘decoupled’ front end to our ecommerce platform of choice. We build this using a headless CMS to drive the marketing content of your site, an ecommerce system to drive your catalogue and transaction, a separate events microservice to manage event booking and, I dunno, some other specialist funky thing that we could connect to.
The power of this means that you are not under the risk of a crumbling monolith. Do you have a WordPress build with WooCommerce and 500 conflicting third party plug-ins? We feel your pain. Maybe decoupling is the answer!
JAMStack ecommerce is great for:
Builds that require connection to other established systems
Organisations that are frustrated with their existing (monolithic) site
Companies that want to embrace automation and free-up admin pain
High growth businesses that need flexible continuous improvement
Audience and users workshop
Use cases and user flows
UX and UI design
Front end development
Coding (the nerdy part)
SEO (search engine optimisation)
Testing, testing and more testing!
Well there are a lot of options and it all depends on your budget, scope and growth. As a Big Commerce partner we can offer a range of excellent solutions to fit most budgets and goals with them.
But we also have experience with Shopify, WooCommerce and Magento (although we loved Magento 1, Magento 2 is, in our opinion, awful); and have even built bespoke solutions.
We will always give the best advice to suit your business and what you’re trying to do and will never try and ‘sell’ you something that is unfit for your goals.
You can start with a features list. But, in our experience, a much better approach is to do some audience and user workshops, along with surveying everyone inside your business.
Bzzzzzzz. Wrong question.
You can get selling online for free. eBay. It’s been about for a while. Or you could build a huge sprawling bespoke multilanguage catalogue site for £100k.
The best way to approach ecommerce is to determine the value of it as a touchpoint. The simple way is to start is with your projected annual turnover. Determine the life of the website (maybe 3 to 5 years before it will need re-investment). Then work out what is that worth to you and your business.
That’s the simple version. It will at least get you some turnover goals and a rough budget. We can help you put together a more detailed scope through a discovery project.
So the right question is “What is the best solution for me to help grow my business from £300k to £3m within 5 years? We have a budget of £80k.”
Yes. Chances are we can help rebuild for you.
But even if we don't, let’s have a chat and work out what could work for you or perhaps just have a therapy session. You may even be better off where you are.
We are always happy to give an hour or two of our time for free to help you find the right direction. In return, we learn about the pains businesses face and expand our knowledge even further, so it's a win-win.
The SaaS providers - especially Big Commerce and Shopify - are a really great place to start as you can get selling relatively quickly and grow inside that platform. They are well supported and can reduce initial development fees.
Getting decent reporting and analytics and the ease of setting up multi-channel marketing is made simpler and is often better supported than the more off-the-shelf self hosted solutions.
Partnering with a good agency will help you get the best out of these platforms.
Sometimes small businesses have small budgets. So understanding how the business will grow and building a strategy can be the most impactful thing to do. Maybe you need to start a great Kickstarter campaign, build a small WooCommerce store in year 2 and then head for Big Commerce in year 4.
Most B2B businesses succeed online when they have a clear focus on the service they need to provide their customers. So investing in a good SaaS platform such as Big Commerce or Shopify will help guarantee continuity of service alongside well built and well maintained B2B services.
They generally come with higher monthly fees than something like WooCommerce, but, in our opinion, you gain better support, scalability and security, which is essential for your brand reputation.
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