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The GA talked to Nick Donovan, Head of Business Development at Liquidshop Ecommerce, to discover how they can help our members to grow their businesses online.
Is now the right time to invest inecommerce?
Well, Isuppose we are bound to say yes to that question. But actually the answerreally is that retailers now need as good an online offering as they do offlinein order to thrive and grow. In turn, retailers expect to be able to view andpurchase from their suppliers’ websites and receive the same prices andquantity discount breaks that they receive when they order offline. Customers,whether retail or trade, don’t really now consider there to be a boundary between online and offline - forexample they expect to see something on Instagram, view it online and thenmaybe visit a store to buy. Or, any combination of those. Successful tradersare the ones that are making it easy for their customers to engage with them inthe ways that they want, and when they want. That might well be a Fridayevening, sitting on the sofa with an iPad.
Why should our members be talking toLiquidshop about ecommerce?
The Liquidshop team has built successful ecommerce websites for hundreds of retail and wholesale businesses, many of them small independents who see online as a great way to gain market share and compete successfully with larger rivals, and without a huge investment in physical stores. Others already have stores, and want to enhance the offering to their customers by offering online sales and broadening marketing opportunities.
It is also thenorm for wholesale traders to have a business to customer website to addanother revenue stream to their business to business website. The key is toensure that you are selling your products online at the same price as yourretailers.
Our team hasover 20 years’ experience of building websites, and during that time have seenecommerce grow from a nice-to-have addition, to becoming central to almost allretail and wholesale business.
Liquidshopecommerce websites are based on the modern Magento v2 platform and our supportteam works hard for you, keeping everything up-to-date with the latest securitypatches and version releases. Our ongoing support also includes training foryou and your staff and we are always there to answer questions and help you tomake your website work harder for your business.
Where are you located?
We’re based inSomerset, in the South West of England. It’s a great place to live and work,and yes, we do like cider! However, our clients are located throughout the UK,and the nature of our business means that we are able to offer excellentcustomer service 24hrs a day, all year round.
What is involved in building a websitewith Liquidshop?
We offer afull service to our clients. From the initial fact finding and consultancy,through to delivery and ongoing support, we ensure that our clients have all ofthe tools, resources and support needed to trade successfully online.
We don’texpect our clients to be IT specialists, or to become experts in thetechnologies that we deploy on their behalf. We want our clients to concentrateon running their business, while we manage the technical aspects of tradingonline.
For some ofour Liquidshop users the website is very simple and we offer a well-featuredLiquidshop website that costs just £10 per day, with no additional costs.Others have more complex needs, perhaps requiring extensive product catalogueswith complex search and filtering. Links to EPOS and other external feeds arecommon and we liaise with third parties to ensure that the links are effectiveand reliable.
Largerbusinesses sometimes require multiple website frontends all to be powered fromthe same website backoffice, whether that’s a retail site to add to their tradesite or vice versa.
Once we haveestablished our client’s requirements, we agree budgets and start with thedesign of the website. Our experienced designers are adept at transferring a company’simage to a functional and appealing ecommerce website. Alongside this work weassemble the website functionality and provide training to our clients so thatthey can manage their website on a day-to-day basis.
Once thewebsite is complete we deploy a suitable hosting solution, launch and thenmonitor and support the website to ensure that it is performing as expected.Training and support are ongoing and we are always on hand to offer support andassistance as the business develops and grows. We have many clients who havebeen using Liquidshop for over 10 years, and we have helped to keep them at theforefront of ecommerce with a well designed and effective online stores.
One last question, who draws all yourcool graphics?
We get asked that a lot. They’re actually drawn by a member of the Liquidshop design team, they’re a creative bunch. This style really works for us and yes, we could create some great graphics for you... in the right style for your website.