ECOMMERCE

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.

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

  • Use cases

  • MoSCoW analysis on use cases

  • Technical scoping

  • 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

  • Smaller catalogues

  • 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

  • Restricted log-ins

  • Invoice portals

  • Sales representative masquerade

  • Sales representative quoting

  • Shared shopping lists

  • Buy again

  • 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

Which ecommerce platform is best for me?

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.

How much does ecommerce cost?

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.”

I have an existing Magento / WooCommerce / Shopify / [insert platform] shop that I would like to rebuild. Can you help?

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.

What’s the best ecommerce solution to get my small business started?

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.

What's the best ecommerce platform for B2B?

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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