Shopify logo

5 reasons we love Shopify for ecommerce

If you’ve been researching ecommerce platforms for your business recently, you will almost certainly have come across Shopify.

As an established ecommerce agency, Peacock Carter love Shopify, and here’s why!

One of the world’s leading ecommerce systems, Shopify provides

1. Hassle free software updates

One of Shopify’s major benefits is that it is a hosted solution. This means you don’t need to worry about keeping your website’s software up to date, and you can focus on selling!

If you’re used to costly and disruptive software updates in other ecommerce software, this may well be a breath of fresh air for your business and worth the investment in Shopify alone.

2. Integrate your business in to Shopify

As a well-established ecommerce platform, Shopify can integrate with other aspects of your business. From accountancy packages to CRMs, Shopify is designed to help you run your business smoothly.

This means you have more time to run your business, and less time worrying about transferring your data between your ecommerce website and other tools in your business.

3. Easy Point of Sale

All of Shopify’s plans come with the ability to use their “card machine” feature which runs from an app on your smartphone. This is really handy if you also have a physical store location, or attend trade fairs or other events where you make sales.

4. Easily customisable emails

Shopify comes with a number of email templates your store can use out of the box, so you can easily customise what your customers see when they order from your store.

5. Shopify is easy-to-use

Yes, really! Merchants seem to love Shopify’s easy-to-use admin panel to manage their product catalogue and process customer orders.

So, is Shopify for you? Talk to us to find out how Peacock Carter can help with your next Shopify ecommerce project.

WordPress logo

Improve your WordPress website today

Having a website is just one step is a long journey for many businesses, and yours is likely no different. You’ve had your WordPress website designed and developed by a WordPress agency (just like us!), but having a website alone isn’t enough.

Here are three tips from the WordPress at Peacock Carter – we’ve been working with WordPress for 10 years+ now and have been designing websites for 11 years – and help clients make the most of their websites. These are just three small tips to help you give your website a quick push in the right direction again – important if you’ve been neglecting your website recently!

1. Speed your website up

When was the last time you checked the speed of your WordPress website? You can use tools such as GtMetrix and Pingdom’s Full Page Test to get an idea of how long it takes for your website to load.

In an age of busy customers, if your website is slower than a competitors’, you may lose out on that new customers. There are a few quick tasks you can do to help improve the speed of your website:

  1. Remove unnecessary images from your content
  2. Resize unnecessarily large images to a more suitable size
  3. Check your web hosting – cheap hosting can cause your website to be slow to load as it’s shared with many other websites. Paying a little more can make a big difference!

2. Review your WordPress website’s content

When was the last time you updated your website’s content, and checked it for accuracy? Over time, businesses change the services they offer, and pricing structures – is your website’s content up to date? Log in to your website and review your key pages. Here are a few tips for content we see in need of updating on our own client’s WordPress websites:

  1. Contact details – does the phone number on your website work? Is it your current number, and not redirected to a new one?
  2. Email address – does the email address on your website come through to you? Do you use a different email address?
  3. Contact form – does this still work? Do messages still go to an email address you check regularly?
  4. Pricing – are any prices on your website up to date?
  5. Services and products – do you still offer all of the services or products on your website?

3. Refresh your website’s design

Does your website look a little tired? Have you changed your logo in the last year, and not updated it on your own website? It may be worth considering a design refresh for your website. This doesn’t have to be a huge change – just.

A good guide is to compare your website to your competitors’, and ask yourself what your website looks like in comparison. Is your website a step above your competitors’? If not, you may be missing out on business. Think about what your customers will be looking for – is your website’s design giving a potential customer enough confidence to pick up the phone and ring you?

There are plenty of other points for improvement for your website you can consider; if you want your website to drive more sales for your business, you could consider a WordPress SEO audit. And, of course, if you’d like any help getting your WordPress website up to scratch, we’d be more than happy to help!

4 ideas to increase customer spend on ecommerce websites

You have an ecommerce website, and it’s generating a comfortable number of orders, but you’d like to increase your website’s turnover.

You have a few options open to you – sending more potential customers to your website via digital marketing such as search engine optimisation and pay-per-click advertising, or increasing spend from your existing customers.

Here North East ecommerce agency Peacock Carter provide ideas to help you increase your existing customers’ spend with you.

This article was originally posted on bDaily.

1. Set your free delivery threshold carefully

Do you offer free delivery on orders over a certain amount? It may be wise to review this. If you set your free delivery threshold to just above the average order value, you may be able to entice customers to add another item to their order and increase your turnover – just beware of raising this too high and putting customers off entirely!

2. Introduce a loyalty points system

If increasing your average order value isn’t working, you could try starting a loyalty points reward scheme for your store. These can work by simply allowing customers to accrue a certain percentage of their purchase (say, 5%) in points which can be redeemed on your store; the extra incentive to gain enough points for an additional “free” order can become a powerful driver for increasing your store’s turnover.

Leading ecommerce platforms such as Magento and Shopify have the ability to launch these systems relatively easily, and the rewards can be huge.

3. Offer a free sample

There’s something humans like about receiving a free sample without asking – it appeals to our curiosity, especially if it’s from a brand or company they’re already familiar with. Sending customers a free sample may tempt them to buy an additional product line, or even help upsell them to a superior brand of the same product from you with a better margin, whilst providing a more personal touch for your customers.

Just be sure to target the free samples carefully, ensuring the product offered will appeal to the customer!

4. Email your customers if they don’t check out

This is an often-missed trick for smaller ecommerce businesses, and can yield great results. If your ecommerce software is worth its salt, it will likely have the ability to see abandoned carts – that is, customers who have added products to the cart without completing checkout. You can wait a set period of time (say, a few days), and then email the customer to check if they have any queries, and remind them they have products left in their shopping cart. Sometimes, all you have to do for more sales is to ask!

As with any email communication, be careful with how frequently you contact customers – some can find it intrusive and that may cost you future sales.

This is just a small sample of what is available to ecommerce merchants to help them to sell more, and it’s worth measuring and refining your processes as with anything in your business; if you’d like to discuss your ecommerce project further with us, please get in touch.

Newcastle web design agency Peacock Carter

Our new Magento developer

We’re pleased to welcome a new Magento developer, Tony, to Peacock Carter, to our team this month.

With a background in ecommerce website development in both Magento 1 and Magento 2, Tony brings a wealth of experience to our ecommerce and web design clients.

As an established ecommerce agency in the North of England, Peacock Carter look for developers enthusiastic and knowledgeable about the Magento platform, and Tony certainly fits the bill. You can expect to work with Tony on new website design and development projects, Magento website code audits and performance reviews, and bespoke integrations for the Magento platform, too.

Alongside his Magento experience, Tony has experience building websites on the WordPress and Drupal content management systems, too.

Sunderland Digital: Next Generation of Ecommerce

Sunderland Digital – The Next Generation of Ecommerce

I’m looking forward to speaking tonight at Sunderland Digital tonight on the theme of the “next generation of ecommerce”.

Sunderland Digital is a relatively new monthly meeting for those working in – or interested in – the creative, digital and technology sector in Sunderland. Held at Sunderland’s Software Centre, the evening has speakers from Moltin, the ecommerce API, and Salesforce, too. It’s great to be invited and to share knowledge in our field with others in the region – something Peacock Carter is very passionate about, alongside promoting ecommerce web development as an interesting industry to work in.

For those unable to attend the event tonight, I’ll be posting my slides online later this week.

Magento and the next generation of ecommerce

As ever, our favourite ecommerce platform at Peacock Carter is Magento, and my talk will provide attendees tonight with an introductory-level flavour of what Magento is, who uses it, and the future of ecommerce for the platform with Magento 2. Key topics include:

  • A brief history of Magento
  • Magento Community Edition vs Magento Enterprise Edition
  • A showcase of big-name brands around the world on the Magento ecommerce platform
  • Magento’s features, from catalogue management to promotional rules and built-in SEO settings
  • Magento Enterprise’s additional feature set
  • Changes in Magento 2
  • Magento 2 highlights for web developers

As ever, I’m sure there will be time for a few questions after my talk – just keep them easy, as it’s been a long week so far! I look forward to seeing you all in Sunderland tonight.

Social media tips from WordPress North East

Facebook Social Media Tips from WordPress North East

Last night’s WordPress North East was one of my favourites, with a great turnout with people of all experiences and uses for WordPress.

Amanda Dixon of North East Social Media kindly donated her time to provide the latest advice on using social media for businesses with WordPress website; I’ve captured a small selection of some of the key topics and techniques she covered below.

Tips for improving your business Facebook page

Most people are familiar with Facebook, but mastering your Facebook business page can be a trickier task: how do you attract more likes, and gain a better reach for your posts?

  • Brand your page. Ensure your Facebook business page uses your logo or a photo of yourself (which is most appropriate to your business). Upload a background image too.
  • Keep your posts sales-talk free. Facebook has recently started reducing visibility on obviously sales-orientated posts with obvious – probably because it would rather you sold on Facebook with paid adverts! Facebook wants businesses to build a community around your business. Having said that, it’s still OK to post the odd link to your website or a specific page or blog post.
  • Engagement is king. Create content which will engage your page’s followers – content they will like, love or comment on. The more engagement your post has, the more visibility it will receive. As a rough guide, expect a post to be shown to around 2% of your page’s followers initially. Based on the engagement of this initial 2%, your post will then be shown to around 8% of your pages followers. After that, your post will be more widely shown in your followers’ Facebook timelines.
  • You’ll get a better reach on your posts if you don’t use an app to schedule or post on your behalf. So, it’s better to post content directly to Facebook (but you can still use Facebook’s post-scheduling tools).
  • Videos are great for engagement, but for best reach ensure they are uploaded directly to Facebook. Links to YouTube videos tend to have less reach, because Facebook wants to keep users on its own site.
  • Feed your Instagram account in to your Facebook feed: Facebook are keen to encourage users on Instagram now that they own the photo-sharing app, and you can expect more reach if you link your Instagram account to Facebook.
  • Livestream! Facebook’s relatively new live-streaming feature allows you to broadcast video to your followers, allowing them to comment and react as you’re broadcast. Livestreams on Facebook alert your followers whilst you’re live, and can encourage higher levels of interaction – which is what Facebook wants!
  • Set your preferred Facebook page audience. Don’t forget to set your preferred page audience in your page’s settings. This relatively new feature allows better targeting of your posts on Facebook, and can also help with paid advertising.
  • Use hashtags. Yes, you can use hashtags on Facebook! Hashtags essentially provide a way to find posts on similar topics; try adding two relevant hashtags for each post and see if your post reach improves. If your post is about WordPress North East, for example, you could add #wordpressnortheast as a hashtag.

So, now you know how to use a Facebook page like a pro, what about integration with WordPress? There are many tools and plugins available, some of which are limited by the WordPress theme you’re using. We’ve found AddThis is a great social sharing tool and makes embedding share buttons very easy, and also provides analytics on your shares.