We’ve been working a lot recently on more projects using the ecommerce software package Magento. We’ve been using Magento since we started in business 2 years ago and our developers had been using it for quite a few years before that so we have a fair amount of experience working with it.
Traditionally getting a Magento site for your business has been an expensive exercise but with a few tweaks and tricks we’re able to get you up and running for very affordable prices.
If you’re looking to get a Magento site, or you have one already and you’re just looking for somebody to update it for you then come and talk to us. We can show you some demos of sites we’re currently working on and the sorts of things that Magento can do for you.
Well, it’s taken us a while but we finally got around to launching a new revised website. Our last theme was a year old so we thought it was about time we came up with something a bit fresher.
With over 600 pages now indexed on Google we had to make sure we made all the pages accessible so we’ve tinkered around with the menus to try and get everything in easy reach.
We’ve grouped everything together in a bit more of a simple way, and hopefully the clean white design will go some way to improving on what we had before.
Zonkey are proud to announce a new working partnership with Bath based Moles live music venue. Well known as it’s live music and club nights, Moles also offers a fully equipped onsite recording studio.
Zonkey have been brought in to work on developing the website platform that they use to better the different aspects of the business and provide additional functionality.
We’ll be sure to keep you all posted with progress over the coming months.
Over the last couple of weeks we’ve had a couple of our eCommerce customers ask us about abandoned shopping baskets and whether it’s a common occurrence. Well, it most certainly is, so I thought I’d write a blog post about it from some research we’ve done.
From some online sources we’ve found, the percentage of abandoned shopping baskets can be as high as 65%. This is where a customer comes to your site, browses your products, adds something to their shopping basket and then for whatever reason doesn’t complete the order. Depending on the average cost of each transaction on your site, this 65% of lost business could result in a massive potential amount of business that you’re losing out on. And think about, the customer has found your site, your marketing and SEO have worked, now it’s down to you to convert that customer into a sale.
So, here are some ideas as to why your customer might not be completing the checkout process:
This is something we come across time and time again, but it doesn’t always have an easy solution! If the average cost of a product on your site is £10, then a customer won’t be too happy about paying a standard courier charge of £7 or £8. Whilst we’re in a situation these days where everyone wants their delivery to be guaranteed next day, there are some options as to what you could do. If it’s not too bulky, how about looking to ship by standard Royal Mail 1st or 2nd class postage? You can print your postage labels online, and unless you’re sending via Recorded Delivery or similar, you don’t even need to queue in the post office. If your local post office isn’t too easy to get to then how about saying on your site that you only post items on a Tuesday or a Thursday? This means you go to the post office twice a week and send then. If a customer then has a choice of £2.95 for Royal Mail 1st Class or £7.95 for a next day courier delivery, it’s their decision. If they only have a choice of £7.95 and the product they’ve chosen is £10 then it might well put them off.
Nowadays, the most common and often the cheapest method of taking payment on your website is via Paypal. Their standard option is free to setup and then you just pay a transaction charge each time someone pays. Most eCommerce software providers build in the necessary code to link to Paypal so it’s very easy to integrate. An awful lot of people use Paypal, but there are always people that don’t so if Paypal is your only payment option, you may well lose some people. If you are trading as a business make sure you have a Paypal business account as you can then allow the customer to just enter their credit card details without them needing to have a Paypal account and without them needing to login. If you are after other payment methods, then the Paypal Payments Pro system is very good and integrates with the site so as far as the user is concerned, they don’t leave your site. Everything is done within your site but the processing is done via Paypal. Other providers include Nochex (much like paypal) and SagePay.
Just Shopping Around
In much the same way as you might pop in and out of a handful of shops when you’re looking for a particular item, people will do the same online. They’ll visit your site and may add the products to the basket just to keep a running total of what they’re spending or just to keep track of the item once they’ve found it.
Don’t Have The Money
Think of it as window shopping. They want your product, they really do, they just don’t have the money. Adding the product to their shopping basket may be as close as they’ll get, but keep in contact with them if you’ve captured their details until such time as they can afford it!
Using Your Catalogue
Unless you produce a printed catalogue of your products, your online shop is essentially your catalogue. People may well just be browsing your products but may prefer to phone you to place the order that. If you take phone orders then always ask how they found you. They may well mention if they’ve found your products online. There are still a lot of people wary of online security who prefer to speak to someone in person.
Something Was Broken
Because your customer base can be very varied, there may be some people who don’t shop online very often who just simply get confused. You may have run through the site yourself before it launched, got family and friends to test it for you, but if the only people testing the site are people confident in shopping online, you may be missing something. Maybe some wording is a bit ambiguous, maybe a link isnt as obvious to some people. They may have got to the checkout or payment page and just simply didnt know what to do next. Having your phone number and an email address on show at all times on your site may help this. Give them a sales or customer service number so if they get stuck then they can call for assistance. You can also try a Live Chat facility. If you get reports that they got an error message or something failed to load then obviously get in touch with your web developers for them to hunt around for the problem.
If you’re trading online and people are entering their personal data, you should get an SSL certificate on your site. This gives you https at the start of your web address and puts a padlock on your browser to show the user that information they enter in their browser is encrypted on its way to you. This gives them peace of mind and confidence that your site is genuine. They arent expensive and your hosting company or web developer can sort this for you.
What Can You Do?
So you’ve read the possible reasons above, what can you do to ensure your customer has the best possible experience? Here is a short list of some simple ideas you could try:
- Contact Details. Ensure you have your phone number and email address on view on your site so people can easily contact you
- Look at your pricing, both for products and delivery. Are you competitive? See what other sites of your type and size are doing and ensure you have as many delivery options available as you can manage.
- Make your navigation obvious. If the customer is checking out, make sure the process is straightforward. Make it clear which route they must take and give accurate information about where they are in the process and what it is they need to do.
- Keep an eye on your abandoned baskets. If you use something like Magento, you may well have a report telling you which baskets have been abandoned. If customers have to register you may well have their details so you can email them or call them to see what the problem was and whether there is anything you can do. Other eCommerce packages will capture the users details before they pay so check your sales lists to ensure you keep on top of people who don’t pay. Even if you just convert 20% of those failed orders it’s more business for you with very little effort
- Adhere to Distance Selling Regulations. If you’re trading online you need abide by certain guidelines. Make sure your company name and address is on the site. Offer clear refund and return policies. Give customers a method of contacting you. The more confidence your customer has in you and your business the more likely they are to buy and then come back and buy again.
- Maintain Contact. Contact your customers regularly. Whether it’s via Facebook, Twitter or a periodic email, make your customers feel valued and they’ll come back
- Get some live chat software. We wrote about this recently here. It’s software you install on your PC to interact with your customers live through an online chat box.
- Search. Put a search facility on your site so customers can easily find the product they’re after
- Usage Statistics. Monitor your usage statistics through something like Google Analytics to see what products and pages people are looking at. You can also view entry and exit pages and that may give you an insight into why people are abandoning baskets. If everybody leaves on the Delivery Charges part of the checkout then you know there is an issue. You can set Goals in Google Analytics to help you understand how people checkout
Hopefully this has given you some ideas but feel free to contact us to chat about things in more detail.
We’ve put together a package today for people who have a website already, but maybe need to give it an update. If you’ve spent money on a nicely designed static website but now feel as though you want to be able to update the site yourself, then we have a solution for you.
We’ll take your current site, keep the content and the general design, but build it using our content management system. This means, for a fraction of the cost of a brand new site, you can breathe life into your web presence. Our content management system allows you to update content whenever you want through a secure administration area. You can add new pages, add news stories, or even add additional functionality to the site.
Prices for a website rebuild start at only £395. Get in touch with us and we’ll be happy to demonstrate what we can do and what benefits you’ll get. If you catch us on a good day we may even knock up a sample of your site for you to see how it works, without any obligation to use it or commit to anything.
We’re really very nice people, you should let us show you how much better your website could be with a touch of Zonkey care and attention!
We’ve had a long standing relationship with the Forever Friends Appeal charity in Bath and last week we launched the new website for their annual fundraising extravaganza, Ted’s Big Day Out.
Taking a design from their promotional posters, we built a fully content managed site that they’re able to update and manage themselves. The event is in October so the site will run in the build up to the day including the latest information about registering and getting involved.
The site can be found at http://www.tedsbigdayout.co.uk/ and a screen capture is shown below.
Lots going on over the past few weeks here at Zonkey HQ. We’re on the hunt for a new, bigger office which is taking up a lot of time. Quite exciting though and we’re looking forward to finding a new home to boost our creativity and passion for web design.
We’ve picked up a few new clients as well this month and we’ve got some really exciting projects to be working on over the next few weeks so look out in our portfolio for new site launches. We’re working on an ecommerce solution for a shop with around 200 products and we’ve put together a fantastic package to boost their wholesale business.
We work a lot with WordPress and Magento and we’ve been discovering some really cool extensions and plugins. I’m pondering putting together a separate blog category to start sharing these finds with other WordPress developers and enthusiasts so watch this space. Sometimes you just come across something which can completely change the way you build or site, or offers something that can really change the way a user interacts with a site.
Our search engine optimisation packages are selling well and we’re still getting some really good rankings across the board. It’s all about perseverance and hard work but the results are all worth the effort.
Must be home time but i’m sure we’ll be back to blogging more next week!
Do you automatically renew your domain name? Some providers still don’t do this for you by default, they wait for you to confirm it. As a general rule, if we can (and payment is forthcoming) we renew all our domains automatically. Yes, we may renew a few every year that the customer doesn’t but this is definitely preferred to leaving a name to expire.
This is why we were interested to read today about the domain halfords.com, yes that’s right, the huge brand name Halfords. They forgot to renew their domain, due an “administrative error”. When you’re a small business it can be pretty inconvenient, but a household name like that? I’m sure with a website that size being down for a considerable amount of time must cost them a fair bit in lost sales.
So, the moral of the story.. make sure your domains are renewed! With com, net and org domains (and some others) you can renew them for up to 10 years, just to be on the safe side!
We found the story here if you want to read it in full: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/01/20/halfords_domain_fail/
So here we are at the start of a new decade!
And to celebrate we are running a special New Year offer here at Zonkey, sign up to for a new site or SEO package before the end of January 2011 and you will get a smashing £50 credit towards it!
That makes our web design packages even more cost effective now, and you could get your first months SEO for a little over £50! That’s a reason for celebrating the New Year if ever I heard one.
So, if you’re on the brink of signing up to get a new site, or you are pondering how to move your business forward this new year, get in touch and sign up to one of our search engine optimisation packages.
Full details can be found by clicking the banner on the left of the site, or just get in touch with us.
Happy New Year!
Over the years, members of our Zonkey team have worked with many charities so we thought we’d offer one lucky charity a month the chance to get a fully functional content managed website for just £95 + vat. There are no other hidden costs, we’ll even host the site for you for a year as part of that cost.
If you’re a charity, or you know someone who runs or works for a charity who you think could benefit from a very cost effective website, then get in touch with our team and we’ll see what we can do.