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Welcome back to the Real World

MORRISONS-owned Kiddicare.com is to grow its offline presence with the acquisition of 10 former Best Buy Stores – how refreshing! In todays’ digital age it’s not often that you see online retail businesses moving into the realms of bricks and mortar, however Morrison’s owned Kiddicare has just announced its acquisition of 10 new stores to grow its offline presence.

When the supermarket chain bought Kiddicare last year for a reported £70 million it was stated (or assumed) that the acquisition represented Morrison’s first step into major online retailing. The recent announcement that the supermarket giant plans to bring its Kiddicare brand out of cyber space and make it into a chain of real, proper shops (over and above its existing site at Peterborough),  is rather refreshing.

Ecommerce has become the mainstay for many companies around the world. With global economic gloom it has become the ‘no brainer’ for many – with minimal overheads and the ability to compete on price more effectively than high street retailers, there has been a collective dash for the apparent safe haven of ecommerce.

Ecommerce is indeed a brilliant, convenient and often cheaper option than high street shopping, but do companies always get it right?

In our business we build and design ecommerce sites regularly. When properly managed these well designed, optimised platforms with a full online marketing strategy in place, can work very well, generating sales and custom. However what doesn’t work is when a company simply decides to bolt on an ecommerce section or cut corners.

A bit of an afterthought for many or maybe it’s just following the clan, a band aid ecommerce solution isn’t going to do you or your business any favours.

We’ve all had virtual trolleys and baskets thrown in our faces; badly designed sites with unprofessional layouts that are annoying, tedious to navigate and poor checkout systems… do you want us to pay you!

This does nothing to warm you to a company let alone encourage you to part with your money; businesses would do well to remember competitors are only a click away.

Worse than the lack of sales is the potentially damaging effect poorly managed sites can have on reputation, something which can’t be so readily restored via clever SEO techniques or web content.

With this in mind its important companies think carefully before jumping into the arms of ecommerce. It’s also important that they work with an experienced ecommerce design agency who can transfer the objectives into a well-designed, functioning website. Back that up with a structured online marketing campaign and you’ll produce the right online traffic and sales.

If you’ve currently got an ecommerce website that’s not producing the results you expect then ask yourself some of the below questions:

  • Is your website really well designed or could it be better? Be critical. A lot of clients love their own websites like they love their own kids but could it be better? It’s important to keep improving your online offering.
  • Is traffic well directed and can visitors find what they need quickly?
  • Is the information accurate and up to date? There’s nothing worse than a stagnant website with no fresh content.
  • If you’re selling something don’t plaster AdSense adverts all over the website!
  • Finally and of crucial importance is that the website is built by a good quality developer and not someone fresh out of college. Make sure the code of the site is up to date and secure otherwise you run the risk of being hacked and having future issues with the website.

These are just a few simple questions you can ask yourself if you’ve currently got an ecommerce site to make sure it’s working for you and adding to your long term business growth.