A tale of three websites
2017 has been a challenge so far!! I hope when I look back at the end of the year I will be able to say it was all worth it. I am really excited about Christmas this year, as it will be the first one in the new physical shop, plus we have a new website which I am hoping will really help drive sales.
We are on website number 3 this year – I am hoping this is the one we will keep for the foreseeable. It all started in January – I decided this was the year I wanted to push the website more and so I decided to upgrade from my existing e-commerce shop, so I would be able to have functionality to do discount codes, more delivery options and currencies.
It was doomed from the start – I was told my existing shop was on an old platform and I would move to the new shiny one to upgrade. I couldn’t transfer my sales, products or customers directly to the new site – I had to download it all to make sure I didn’t lose the data, but no big deal. Then I found I couldn’t add new customers, so I couldn’t import any of the existing ones! Sales dried up to almost nothing – I invested in a SEO monthly report which then started pointing out the flaws of this new system. I had lost the “padlock” when people checked out (SSL). Every page title was the same which I couldn’t edit (Google hates that). The website was pitifully slow – 9 seconds on a mobile phone is basically a lifetime to a person on the move. After tearing my hair out, many calls and emails to the e-commerce company, I made a formal complaint. The complaint handler tried to help – he really did – but everything he tried made it worse (it was down for an entire weekend at one point). We got a full refund but were able to keep the site whilst we shopped around (which was nice of them but as we had no customers it was kind of a moot point). So we made the move.
This meant starting again with someone new – this is a daunting prospect for someone like me who is fairly computer literate but had always been with the same company for my internet “stuff”. We found a firm that we hope will be the one we will stick with – we have an account manager for the first 6 months, who has called me every week to see how I am getting on. He’s made suggestions to help with SEO, helped to change things I didn’t like about the template, and we’ve had a laugh occasionally too. Its been a slog as I have had to load all the products afresh, but its been a useful exercise to give it an overhaul. The company has a tiered pricing system, so when we hit a certain number of sales our monthly fee goes up. I am quite happy with that! It means they have an incentive to get us to the next level, and if they can do that I will be happy to pay it.
We had our first sale last night through the new website – I feel a lot more optimistic about the rest of 2017!!
New website features:
- Click & collect
- Free local delivery (WN1 / WN6)
- Offer codes