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 in ecommerce?
Well, I suppose we are bound to say yes to that question. But actually the answer really is that retailers now need as good an online offering as they do offline in order to thrive and grow. In turn, retailers expect to be able to view and purchase from their suppliers’ websites and receive the same prices and quantity 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 – for example they expect to see something on Instagram, view it online and then maybe visit a store to buy. Or, any combination of those. Successful traders are the ones that are making it easy for their customers to engage with them in the ways that they want, and when they want. That might well be a Friday evening, sitting on the sofa with an iPad.
Why should our members be talking to Liquidshop 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 the norm for wholesale traders to have a business to customer website to add another revenue stream to their business to business website. The key is to ensure that you are selling your products online at the same price as your retailers.
Our team has over 20 years’ experience of building websites, and during that time have seen ecommerce grow from a nice-to-have addition, to becoming central to almost all retail and wholesale business.
Liquidshop ecommerce websites are based on the modern Magento v2 platform and our support team works hard for you, keeping everything up-to-date with the latest security patches and version releases. Our ongoing support also includes training for you and your staff and we are always there to answer questions and help you to make your website work harder for your business.
Where are you located?
We’re based in Somerset, 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 excellent customer service 24hrs a day, all year round.
What is involved in building a website with Liquidshop?
We offer a full service to our clients. From the initial fact finding and consultancy, through to delivery and ongoing support, we ensure that our clients have all of the tools, resources and support needed to trade successfully online.
We don’t expect our clients to be IT specialists, or to become experts in the technologies that we deploy on their behalf. We want our clients to concentrate on running their business, while we manage the technical aspects of trading online.
For some of our Liquidshop users the website is very simple and we offer a well-featured Liquidshop website that costs just £10 per day, with no additional costs. Others have more complex needs, perhaps requiring extensive product catalogues with complex search and filtering. Links to EPOS and other external feeds are common and we liaise with third parties to ensure that the links are effective and reliable.
Larger businesses sometimes require multiple website frontends all to be powered from the same website backoffice, whether that’s a retail site to add to their trade site or vice versa.
Once we have established our client’s requirements, we agree budgets and start with the design of the website. Our experienced designers are adept at transferring a company’s image to a functional and appealing ecommerce website. Alongside this work we assemble the website functionality and provide training to our clients so that they can manage their website on a day-to-day basis.
Once the website is complete we deploy a suitable hosting solution, launch and then monitor 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 and assistance as the business develops and grows. We have many clients who have been using Liquidshop for over 10 years, and we have helped to keep them at the forefront of ecommerce with a well designed and effective online stores.
One last question, who draws all your cool 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.