Does your current website ecommerce or shop system restrict what products you can sell or how you sell them?
Do you have to access multiple admin systems to manage all your orders?
Do you find your current ecommerce management system is forcing you to manage orders and products in a way that doesn't really work for your business?
If these questions or similar seem to apply to your business, then it may well be that you have outgrown your existing shop software or that you are evolving to a situation where efficiency of operations and streamlined management systems can really make a difference to your business. Either way, we will be able to help you.
Freetimers is an expert developer of ecommerce websites, having been designing and developing ecommerce now since 1998. Today we still undertake and manage a good number of ecommerce sites, including some sector leaders, and if you look at our website portfolio you will see we have many more of these in our portfolio than any of our regional competitors. Over the years many of our ecommerce clients have had their websites reach the top of their sectors and in that journey we have continuously developed and adapted them, both to better deliver customer functionality, products, supporting info, pictures and conversions, but also to provide continuously improving supporting administration systems.
Some clients we have been working with now for up to 15 years, and during this time we have learned a great deal, and incorporated much of what we have learned into our own system capabilities. The result has been that we have created a niche for ourselves undertaking major ecommerce sites and websites where the ecommerce requirements are well beyond that delivered by 'off the shelf' shop systems.
Because of this background, our own systems have evolved to better support complex workings than any others we know of. We have also come to view our administration systems as not just webshops, but as business management systems which have at their core the ability to manage important business processes all at a fully integrated level. Our systems are also architected to be easily amended and customised, and for active businesses, this is being undertaken on a continuous basis.
We also can deal better with complex products better than most, and our systems can cope with multiple levels of options, contingent options based on customer preferences, multi-dimensional cost and price matrices, the list goes on and on. If you feel your site is limiting how you sell and how products can be presented to customers to maximise choice, then we should be talking about how we can make it better for you.
Ecommerce is not limited to selling product online. As the competition on the internet progressively forces consolidation, competition becomes more and more fierce, and products become increasingly commoditised with profit potential being increasingly squeezed. This process necessarily shifts the arena of competition to user experience (UX) and value-added products (using design and personalisation) on the one hand, and ever-slicker operations on the other, and both of these are steadily increasing in importance.
At Freetimers we are fully engaged in helping our clients negotiate this process. Slick operational procedures and the inclusion of personal preferences in the selection of products does not happen automatically--they are programmed into the mix. Seemingly small improvements in these areas now can have big effects on sales, and after accumulating such improvements over many years of continuously improving has put some of our clients at the very top of their games, and into almost unassailable positions.
One of the reasons we can be particularly and perhaps uniquely helpful is that our senior management have significant business operations experience and know-how business systems work together seamlessly to provide a true competitive advantage. Having an off-the-shelf system may be a starting point for some, however, if retained this choice will only serve to influence the business to do things the same way that everyone else does it, potentially losing or delaying the ability to create competitive advantage. It should be noted that this, in turn, is exactly the opposite of what is needed operationally in being slicker than the next guy (so then you can reap the competitive advantage of greater profitability).
Another area of expansion for businesses is by increasing the business' presence over an increasing number of channels, ultimately to make sure their products and brands are omnipresent online, always there, always in the running. This is an important strategy but it comes potentially with massive operational cost increases associated with managing the orders, products, pricing, inventories and logistics for each channel. We have had clients who have expanded into eBay or Amazon, or from eBay to have a website, only to find that the administration requirement was so heavy they were unable to fully take advantage of the opportunity each channel was providing.
Because of this some years ago we developed our own multi-channel management system, which links multiple websites and other sales channels such as Google Shopping, eBay or Amazon into a single administration panel where all quotes, orders, sales and shipments can be managed, as well as all payments and debtors, customer accounts, mass emailings, products, inventories, and shipping, to name a few.
Pricing, product categorisation and related descriptions and supporting information can also be managed and differentiated for each channel so the presentation can be channel-specific to related customer types and Google won't penalise you for duplicate content. Our clients who have our multi-channel facility swear by it, and it has simultaneously saved them many £thousands in administrative costs whilst also increasing sales. To find out more about our multi-channel ecommerce systems, click here.
Otherwise, if you are an evolving business seeking to grow and to maximise competitive advantage, and looking for a development partner who understands what is needed and is engaged in the process, contact us for an initial discussion or meeting to find out more how we can help you.