Top myths about ecommerce websites

As an established ecommerce web design agency, Peacock Carter spend a lot of time talking to ecommerce retailers and businesses looking to start their own online store.

From those conversations, we hear a lot of myths and misconceptions about ecommerce: so, what are the top myths about ecommerce?

1. Ecommerce enables instant, global sales

Ecommerce does allow greater reach to global consumers, but having an ecommerce website doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll instantly start selling to every country on the planet. Barriers to sale in other regions can include:

  • Government-imposed bans on selling products to certain countries
  • Excessive courier/delivery charges
  • Additional insurance costs for packages sent abroad
  • High levels of payment fraud
  • Lack of localised content in the local language
  • Lack of local knowledge/use of popular regional social media platforms

As you can see, there’s a long list of areas to consider when selling internationally, and a carefully considered – and localised – approach is required.

2. Build it, and they will come

Any website, whether ecommerce or not, needs a strategy to become – and remain – successful. Whether that is search engine optimisation or paid advertising (PPC), social media, or offline marketing, websites need some form of strategy behind them to succeed.

3. Ecommerce customers want lowest cost; I can’t compete

There are certainly many online retailers who do well from selling items in bulk at very low prices (think Amazon, etc), but not all ecommerce businesses have to compete on price. Many well known brands such as Nike and Christian Louboutin sell goods online without needing to offer a discount to customers, and your business can too.

Our ecommerce clients include retailers large and small, and they retail products such as food, jewellery, who all operate without discounting online sales. This works particularly well with niche or luxury products, but can work just as well for other products if your business is able to offer additional benefits, such as quicker delivery or better customer service.

4. Our IT department can build an ecommerce website

Your IT department are almost certainly very highly skilled, but web development and IT are two separate skill areas. And even if your IT department can build a suitable ecommerce website for you, you’re missing out on the valuable insight and knowledge an ecommerce agency can provide, to help your ecommerce website succeed online.

A good ecommerce agency should be able to advise on digital marketing, tax rules, shipping costs as well as conversation rate optimisation best practice, to ensure your website is actively working for your business and generating a return on your investment.

5. We can just sell on eBay/Amazon

Many sellers do sell solely on other market places, but there are many reasons not to rely only on platforms such as eBay and Amazon to sell your products:

  • Marketplaces such as eBay and Amazon take commission from your sales (though this is in return for access to their members)
  • Marketplaces don’t allow you to develop a direct relationship with a customer effectively: next time a customer wants your product, they’re not guaranteed to use your store on the marketplace
  • Marketplaces tend to emphasise the lowest cost, so smaller retailers can find it hard to compete

Ecommerce that works?

Building a truly great ecommerce business takes time. Once your website has launched, your work doesn’t end: it will need constant attention, measuring and adapting to ensure you’re making the most of your position in the market.

Good ecommerce businesses are always aiming to be ahead of the curve and trends, so why not read our 2016 ecommerce predictions, too?


Magento North East event in Newcastle upon Tyne

Speaking on Magento 2 at Magento York event

We’re pleased to be speaking at the Magento York event this month!

March 2016’s Magento York sees our Magento experts talk on what’s new in Magento 2, and best practice for developing in Magento 2.

Introduction to Magento 2 event in York

We’ll be running our popular Magento 2 introduction session for the Magento developers and store owners on Wednesday, 23rd March 2016 at the Cross Keys in Goodramgate in the beautiful city of York (see the Magento York page for the event here).

Our director and leading Magento consultant Richard Carter will be running a session on Magento 2’s new features and what to expect, including:

  • An overview of what’s changed in Magento 2
  • What the Magento 2 administration panel looks like
  • Benefits of upgrading to Magento 2
  • When you should consider upgrading your store to Magento 2

Our lead Magento developer, Richie McFarlane, will be providing a brief demonstration of Magento 2, as well as a introduction to Aspect Orientated Programming in Magento, which will be greatly useful for Magento developers wanting to update their web development knowledge in time for Magento 2 projects.

As a leading Magento agency in the North of England (and the UK!), Peacock Carter are pleased to be involved with this Magento Community event.

Magento North East event in Newcastle upon Tyne

Top North East Magento Developer joins Peacock Carter

We’re really excited to announce the appointment of Richie McFarlane as our lead Magento developer.

Richie will be leading our Magento development projects on both Magento Community and Magento Enterprise Editions, as well as supporting clients on WordPress and Drupal.

As a top 10 influential digital agency on Lissted’s recent list of North East agencies, Peacock Carter are pleased to welcome Richie to our team – and you’ll no doubt see him at future events we are involved with such as Magento North East.

North East’s top Magento developer?

Richie joins us with over 8 years of commercial web development experience, with a focus of Magento in the last 3 years of his career, and we rate him as one of the best Magento developers in the region. Richie’s past experience has included:

  • Auditing Magento stores for security
  • Consulting on Magento store performance – ie, reducing ecommerce store’s loading times to increase customer conversion rates
  • Designing and building ecommerce and brochure websites for clients large and small
  • Building APIs to integrate Magento with third party systems for suppliers
  • Building bespoke web applications for membership organisations

So, if you’d like to work with the North East’s leading Magento agency, please do get in touch!

Magento ecommerce training in Glasgow

Our predictions for ecommerce in 2016

The web has come a long way since its inception, and the exciting fact is that it continues to develop at an astounding pace. As we’re now in to 2016, let’s take a look at our predictions for ecommerce in 2016!

More mobile ecommerce sales

Traffic from mobile and tablet devices is still growing, and will continue to grow. What we think will change for ecommerce store owners in 2016 is mobile ecommerce will grow: that is, customers will order through their smartphone or tablet device. Data from emarketer for 2015 for the retailer sector shows that there’s a fairly even split between traffic from desktop and mobile devices:

Ecommerce predictions 2016: web traffic

Meanwhile, sales volumes between desktop and mobile have a 75%:25% split.Simply, people are browsing on mobile, but not buying as much…for now:

Ecommerce predictions 2016: web sales

This trend will need to be supported by adaptations and improvements to payment gateways by the payment providers themselves: many providers currently still offer a very poor mobile experience. This is jarring if a customer is taken from a mobile-friendly checkout to a payment screen designed for desktop, and can reduce the conversion rates for sales heavily.

Faster delivery

Shutl: faster ecommerce deliveries

Our next ecommerce prediction for 2016 is quicker delivery times. Alongside more well-publicised routes such as Amazon’s delivery drones, services such as will allow faster delivery (as quick as 90 minutes) in some cities both in the UK and abroad: a huge advantage over competitors, and a potentially big draw for consumers.

Smarter marketing

Another 2016 ecommerce prediction is for smarter marketing and targeting of customers. Again, services outside traditional ecommerce platforms such as Magento and WordPress’ WooCommerce lead the field here. The services to watch in 2016 include, who deliver awesome, smarter product suggestions based on other customers’ purchases, and MageMail (specifically for Magento), which allows smarter emails to reduce abandoned shopping carts.

The future of ecommerce in 2016

And, of course, as a Magento-loving agency, we can’t miss out on Magento 2’s growth as it matures as an ecommerce platform: we can’t wait to see our first Magento 2 ecommerce websites built and live for clients!

Magento North East event in Newcastle upon Tyne

Speaking: Magento 2, the Future of Ecommerce

We’re pleased to be speaking in our native North East soon on the topic of Magento 2, the Future of Ecommerce.

As an established Magento agency, we can’t wait to share our thoughts on where we think ecommerce – and Magento – are going!

The future of ecommerce

The talk will be given by our director, Richard Carter, an established Magento consultant, and will share insight on the current ecommerce landscape worldwide, touching on Magento’s market share and how it compares with other ecommerce systems such as WordPress’ WooCommerce and Drupal Commerce.

Our 2016 ecommerce trends, in brief

The talk will then showcase Magento 2’s new features (as highlighted in-depth in this recent blog post), as well as detailing our expected trends for ecommerce in 2016:

  • More mobile sales (and not just traffic)
  • Better mobile-integrated payment gateways, to make online payments on mobile and tablet devices easier
  • More multichannel retailers selling on platforms such as eBay and Amazon, too
  • Faster delivery times, with services such as (eBay-owned) Shutl
  • Smarter marketing with services such as (for better related and upsell product matching) and MageMail (for email marketing)
  • Adoption of more localised payment gateways such as Klarna (for invoicing) and Sofort (for bank transfers; popular in Central Europe)

Design Network North is a collective of professionals from a wide spectrum of design sectors, from architecture to web design, ecommerce and software development, who meet regularly to share knowledge. Join us at February’s Design Network North Event (handily held downstairs from our studio in the Northern Design Centre!).

We look forward to seeing you on Friday 12th February at the Northern Design Centre!

Magento North East event in Newcastle upon Tyne

Optimising your Magento website for search engines

After a great Magento 2 demonstration at this month’s Magento North East event, the next event in our calendar is the upcoming session on optimising your Magento store for search engines.

The event will comprise talks from two search engine experts from Glass Digital at brilliant Campus North UK venue in Newcastle city centre on Monday 15th February from 6pm.

Optimising your Magento website sessions

The event will see two talks around the theme of optimising your Magento Commerce store after a brief introduction by Richard Carter, our founding director and long-term Magento consultant:

  • SEO basics: how to improve rankings safely and how content marketing should be deployed in SEO today. A look at the basics of optimising your Magento website for search engines such as Google and Bing.
  • 18:50 – Common Magento SEO flaws and search friendly facet navigation. A more detailed look at SEO for Magento, including how to improve the search engine friendliness of facet navigation (known as layered navigation in Magento).

Magento SEO Q&A session

Following the talks, a question and answer session will take place, allowing attendees to ask the speakers and other members of the Magento North East community their opinions and advice on the latest search engine issues and Magento.

The sessions are designed to be valuable to store owners and merchants using – or considering using – Magento as their ecommerce platform, as well as web developers and web designers. You can RSVP for the event free of charge at