Tag Archives: Design

eCommerce Marketing this Holiday Season

22 Nov

As eCommerce sales are set to rise by 25% this holiday season (source: PwC), business owners selling online are preparing for what is set to be their most lucrative time of year. Have you planned your marketing strategy to optimize sales over the Holiday Season? If not, now is the time to do it.

Traditionally the Christmas buying season starts the day after Thanksgiving, but so many people have done their Christmas shopping by then. A quick and easy way to start your Christmas campaign is to by blogging about it. eCommerce platforms like freewebstore offer blog Add Ons, like StoreBlog which allows you to build up vital content on your web site. Put teasers for your upcoming sales on your blog or Facebook store to create awareness and don’t forget to respond to feedback or comments that your customers leave.

If you’re looking to promote discounts for those shoppers looking for a bargain, start to plan what coupons and sales you’re going to offer on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Money can be tight at Christmas and customers will be looking for a great deal. For more tips on getting your store ready for the Black Friday Sales click here.

Try to use every avenue available to drive traffic to your store.  Get your advertising in the right place. Define your best customer and seek out the right way to reach them.

Don’t have a big marketing budget? Utilize social media. More than two-thirds of US respondents to a recent survey said social media influences their online shopping behavior.

Time to Get Festive

pexels-photo-247835.jpeg

Get to the Christmas Markets with a pop up store – this is the best way to raise your profile and connect with your customers. See face to face what your customers are interested in. Wrap up warm, grab a coffee and have fun. Pick their brains about what they bought last year. What items make good gifts? What price ranges are they looking for? What is their average Christmas budget?

Have a plan

Calculate your projected sales figures and work hard to stick to them. Visit our 6 essential tips to increasing sales.

Get your staff involved!

The holidays are a great time to have fun. Why not get your staff excited about Christmas and this will reflect in their attitudes. Organize a competition among your staff to create a Christmas card to send out with your customer orders. A personal touch will help your customers to feel valued and connected to your brand. Your staff can make a big difference to the success of our business over Christmas. Why not treat them to a Christmas lunch to say thank you for all their hard work, especially if you need them to work on days that most people usually have off like Boxing Day or New Year’s Day.

And finally…Don’t forget January!

No doubt if your Christmas campaign has gone well, you’ll be exhausted! Plan ahead and get your January sales with discount codes and coupons. Getting ready early will help you to jump on your competition and bring in the shoppers. Marketing plans take time to plan and work if they are to be successful. Bring it on!

Spread some festive cheer

Your average customer will recruit three other customers during the time they do business with you. What makes customers talk about you? Usually the way they were treated. Add a personal touch. Offer a helping hand. Give them personal attention. This could be a handwritten note in their parcel. Point out new items to customers on your blog. Sales and relationships go hand in hand.

Happy selling this holiday season!

Article originally published: 21/09/16, Modified and Updated: 21/11/17

 

50+ Free Black Friday & Cyber Monday Banners

24 Oct

Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend are one of the busiest times of year for online shopping. In 2016, Cyber Monday saw records being broken as the biggest day in history for U.S eCommerce with over $3.45 billion being spent online*.

The design team at freewebstore HQ thought we’d help you prepare for BFCM weekend by providing over 50 Black Friday and Cyber Monday banners – for free, of course.

Each download bundle comes with .ai and .png files so you can quickly add them to your freewebstore online store or edit them as you wish. Enjoy 🙂

Ribbon % Bundle x 54 (Landscape)

Ribbon-Example

Download Bundle

 

Circle Ribbon Bundle x 6 (Landscape)

RibbonCircle-Example

Download Bundle

 

Simple Bundle x 12 (Landscape & Square)

Simple-Example

Download Bundle
We hope that these banners will come in handy for the biggest sale of the year! From all at freewebstore – happy selling!

*http://fortune.com/2016/11/29/cyber-monday-2016-sales/

Store of the Month: October

4 Oct

Freewebstore’s Store of the month time 😁😁. This month’s accolade goes to KitUK – premier supplier of kits and equipment for sports clubs in the UK. Jason, the store owner, took time out of his very busy schedule to answer a few questions.

Please tell us a bit about yourself and your background.

I’ve worked in marketing for over 25 years. I’ve also played football to a semi-

image005professional standard, I’m a level 2 football & goalkeeper coach, a voluntary football manager and I’ve been involved (and still am), in amateur football for nearly 40 years! I say I’ve got two full-time jobs – my marketing career and my website! I’m also a season ticket holder at a premier league club and lifelong supporter, though I won’t say who! My wife has pretty much given up now on trying to get me interested in anything other than football!

Where did you get the inspiration for KitUK?

Sounds a bit odd now but I used to spend my time as a kid re-painting Subbuteo players kits, organizing football leagues, in between playing and watching football! So I suppose I always had an eye for design and a bit of an odd interest in football kits, which to this day, my friends and family don’t quite understand! There were only 3 TV channels back when I was a kid and most of what was on was absolute rubbish or repeats, so I did my own thing – and that pretty much meant something related to football 24/7! Even now I hate sitting around watching TV.

image004

I’ve always had an eye for design – all my kits on my website I’ve designed myself from scratch and bring them to life in a 360 degree customized kit builder. And I do all the marketing stuff myself which helps keep costs down a bit. When I left university I got into marketing – it was the one thing I really enjoyed (apart from football!) and I was never going to be an accountant! I now sell football kit and equipment to clubs across the UK – everywhere from Cornwall to Aberdeen and also Ireland. I have basically made a business out of a passion. I’ve also worked in marketing football teamwear for PUMA for pro and amateur clubs.

As a football coach myself, I could see how difficult is can be sometimes to buy kit and equipment. It’s quite a complex purchase and can be frustrating and time consuming – so I’ve set up to make life easier and more fun for clubs / teams / coaches to purchase football kit. I’ve been there as a customer myself and I understand the football kit industry inside out, because I’ve been involved in it all my life! I’ve got a bit of a habit of thinking I can do things better, then give it a go. But I’ve lived and breathed what I do for most of my life, so my inspiration comes from doing what I enjoy to the best of my ability!

What is the best thing about owning your own business/online store?

You’re only as good as the effort you put into it. For me, it’s a passion – a hobby of mine. I’m part the way down the road now making this a viable business I can take a salary from and make a living, but I’ve a well paid, responsible full time marketing job that means I don’t have to rely on that while I build the business up and earn a living from.

I work really hard full time and I work as hard again on my website business! I like the fact that I’m in control and I don’t have to report to anyone and can make all my own decisions, right or wrong – and learn from them!

How do you market your product? Do you supply your kits to schools?

I’ve built up a marketing database, so most of my advertising is on email, Facebook and Google Adwords. I supply amateur football clubs and teams across the UK including schools, although I’m planning to do more with colleges and schools very soon! My biggest cost is marketing and you know what – I’ve had more business come from word of mouth and recommendations – but my business simply wouldn’t exist without marketing and lucky for me, I’m blessed with lots of experience there.

image006

If you could have a celebrity employee, who would it be and why?

Ha! I wouldn’t! Why? Because I know from experience they are expensive to hire and retain and can be high maintenance (not all of them I might add!) I’ve been involved in lots of photo shoots with pro footballers and with other celebrities outside of football and it’s a high cost / high risk strategy. Plus while I’m building up my business, there’s not enough budget. But you never know!

Your web store really does stand out. What tips would you give new store owners? Why do you feel good quality product images is key?

Thanks. I look back at what I’ve achieved and how much time I’ve put into building my website and I’m really pleased with it so far. But there’s so much more I want to do to develop it further. I wish there was more time in the day! The best advice I would give any new start-up / store owner is to do something you are really passionate about and enjoy. Keep negative people well out of your life and just go for it – life really is too short! It’s better to give it a go and it not work out than spend the rest of your life regretting not trying. The world is full of negative people who don’t / can’t / won’t make decisions – and not one of them are successful, at least I’ve never met anyone who is.

image007

I would also say be persistent and never give up – you need to be really resilient as it’s tough, especially in the first 12 months (I’m still not quite a full year into my website). Your website is your shop window – I spend more on imagery, photography, graphics and banners than anything else, so I’m a little unique from that point of view. I also think you need to be quite selfish and driven, but not stupid enough to recognize sound advice when you see it!

Is there a specific reason you chose to use freewebstore as your eCommerce platform?

I prefer to work with local partners and suppliers and most are. Ones that aren’t I think it’s important there is a good relationship and honesty. That said, I chose freewebstore because customer service is something I value very highly in my life and freewebstore have been really good from day one. My site has quite a lot of technical add-ons and I’ve found the support ticket system really helpful. I like the layout and options freewebstore offers but my site feels like my own, not an off the shelf template. The other thing I would say the freewebstore platform is easy to manage and good value. I also like the fact that the people you speak to via the support tickets are based in the UK and not some overseas call centre who you can never get through to then wish you hadn’t when you eventually do!

If you could choose one magic power, what would you go for?

Easy one that! I’d slow time down so we could all do more every day!

Why is eCommerce important for your business?

ALL my sales are via e-commerce. It gets me in front of customers I would never otherwise reach or speak with. Many of my customers are like me – they work full time and buy football kit in their spare time! I wouldn’t have a business if it wasn’t for online. The Internet is the best invention of the 20th Century as far as I’m concerned.

Tell us your best joke.

Sorry to disappoint. I don’t know any jokes and tend to forget them anyway, good or bad! I find the most funny things are the stuff you see and hear in everyday life. Good comedians don’t tell jokes, they tell a great story we can all relate to!

And finally, do you have any celebrity customers using the products you sell?

Actually, I do! I’ve had a few ex-footballers who are now coaching and have bought kit or football equipment off me. They tend to be quite modest, but I’ve checked them out quietly and were definitely who they said they were! I won’t say who though and to be fair, they aren’t household names – but if you know your football, you’d know them! Do they count as celebrities? Otherwise, no I haven’t!

Jason is using the boundless design and he’s done a fantastic job, the customizable kit section definitely adds a real cutting edge to his web store. If you would like to be considered for the freewebstore store of the month get in touch with our success team at successteam@freewebstore.com.

On set with Sonja Elisa

29 Sep

A brief insight into our day with the impressive freewebstore eCommerce store owner, Sonja Elisa, for an upcoming video feature. 

I had the opportunity to visit Sonja’s creative studio, in the heart of the Gothic Quarter, Barcelona.  Observing Sonja’s passion for her work, her creative flair and determination it’s clear to see why she is the premier supplier of boutique silk accessories in Barcelona.

sonja

Sonja showcasing one of her products

I had the opportunity to learn more about Sonja and her story of becoming a successful business owner. Having been in the corporate world for a number of years, traveling all over the world and dealing with all that corporate life threw her way, the lifestyle was having an impact on her work/life balance. With Sonja’s creativity, passion for fashion and determination to ‘go it alone’ – it was always in the plan to own her own fashion line. However, it was one opportunistic moment built the foundations for her business – deciding on a present for her brother’s wedding! Wanting to give her brother a unique gift for his wedding, Sonja designed a silk bow-ties gift set.

After receiving raving reviews Sonja started to design a range of products and research ways to enter the market and she hasn’t looked back since! Sonja’s bespoke silk products now reside in numerous boutiques across Barcelona, fashion markets and, most importantly, her very own freewebstore eCommerce store 😉

Once Sonja told us her story (which will be available to view soon) it didn’t take long before the enthusiasm for creating bespoke designs and products kicked in, and I got to watch the process of creating a silk scarf. Each of the scarves she has designed has a unique story behind it and the process from start to finish was (surprising to me) very therapeutic. This particular design was inspired by a recent music video Sonja had seen and the end product was fantastic.

It was great to meet Sonja, who risked the security and relative comfort of ‘corporate life’, to follow her dream of starting her own fashion brand. I hope Sonja’s success inspires many more entrepreneurs in the future.

Matt.

Sonja’s video feature will be released soon. Please follow our YouTube, Facebook and Twitter channels.

New Designs Launched – Milan, Audio & Spoke

25 Sep

Our Design Team have recently launched a number of fantastic designs that are now available for you to select for your store.  Let’s have a look at what each of the designs offer….

 

Milan

As fashionable as the city itself, our Milan design allows full-width images and has an elegant fixed navigation bar. You’ll take advantage of space on your web store and provide a shopping experience your customers will adore, both on a desktop and mobile device.

Showcase your products on the e-catwalk in the best way possible with Milan.

Key Features

  • Mobile Optimized
  • Social Media Icons Supported
  • Multiple Language Packs
  • Graphical Logo
  • Soft Add To Cart
  • Advanced Search
  • Featured Products
  • Offers & Promotions

Check out the design

Audio

Make some noise for the latest design in the freewebstore collection, Audio.

Audio’s full-width product views, animated features and minimalistic design work in perfect harmony, creating an easy and alluring online shopping experience

Key Features

  • Mobile Optimized
  • Social Media Icons Supported
  • Multiple Language Packs
  • Graphical Logo
  • Soft Add To Cart
  • Full Width Slideshow
  • Advanced Search
  • Featured Products
  • Offers & Promotions

Check out the design

Spoke

Steer your eCommerce store in the right direction with our latest design, Spoke.

Spoke’s clean and responsive design, created with artisans and entrepreneurs in mind, will provide your customer with a shopping experience they will not forget in a hurry.

Key Features

  • Mobile Optimized
  • Social Media Icons Supported
  • Multiple Language Packs
  • Graphical Logo
  • Soft Add To Cart
  • Popular Products Widget
  • Advanced Search
  • Featured Products
  • Offers & Promotions

Check out the design

You can switch your store to one of these designs via the DESIGN > SWITCH DESIGN section of your freewebstore Control Panel.

Store of the Month: September

1 Sep

The freewebstore Store of the month for September (September already!?!) is the creative, Barcelona based store SonjaElisa 🏆 You know the score, we caught up with Sonja for a chat about her business and how things are going so far 🙂

store-of-the-month-Sept-Pink

1. Please tell us a bit about yourself, your business, and where it all started

I’m a Finnish fashion designer living in Barcelona. I have been making things since I can remember, cutting, gluing and hand sewing before my mum let me use her sewing machine at the age of 8. After working for corporate for many years, I ventured into freelancing and started feeling the need to create again. I wanted to go back to making something handmade, where I could truly express myself, something I felt passionate about and that related to slow fashion. So I launched my own line, Sonja Elisa silk accessories, which I make in my Barcelona workshop. 

I make silk accessories for women, men, and kids. Products include scarves, shawls (silk paired with a warmer double layer), bow ties and pocket squares. They are all hand painted and hand sewn, each one unique in its kind, as no pattern turns out the same way. I love silk painting as it is flowing, organic and unpredictable, and each piece has its own magic!

2. What is the best thing about owning your own business/online store? 

The best thing is the freedom. I can manage the store easily on my own and in my own time, and it’s a great window into the global marketplace, through which I can connect with customers all over the world.

3. How do you market your product?

I mostly use social media (Instagram and Facebook), to showcase my work. I also attend occasional markets and makers fairs, and a few retail stores feature exclusive collections. My silk scarves and bowties are very unique in style so I try to find the best channels to reach customers that relate to the aesthetics and values of my brand.

 

janne bannerlow

One of Sonja’s fantastic products: Men’s bow-tie

 

4. If you could have ANYONE to come and work for you, who would it be and why?

 Sophia Amoruso, she has passion, drive, and edge. I find her story very inspiring.

sophia amarouso

Sonja finds Sophia Amoruso’s story inspiring

5. Do you have any advice for new store owners?

Don’t try to get it perfect on the first go, it is only natural to evolve your store. If you don’t start you won’t know what you want to improve! Ask for help from the guys at freewebstore if you get stuck, freewebstore have a great customer support team. Also, BELIEVE in your idea and don’t give up or get discouraged, try to learn from critique and improve your products and branding.

6. Is there a specific reason you chose to use freewebstore as your eCommerce platform? 

Freewebstore offers a great combination of functionality, design, technical support and price plans. It’s super easy, fast and simple to manage, and contains all the tools I need in an online store platform.

7. If you could choose one magic power, what would you go for?

Mind reading! And teleportation. And telekinesis. Oh wait, did you say only one??

8. Why is eCommerce important for your business?

I think eCommerce is essential for my business, it’s the best way to be able to reach my niche customers around the globe, and not be limited locally.

9. And finally, do you have any celebrity customers?

I do have a few celeb artsy bow tie customers. For example Matthew Waldman, American designer, and artist; Janne Kyttänen, 3D artist and designer and Jari Karttunen, Finnish dance artist.

 

alg-matthew-waldman-jpg

Matthew Waldman is a customer of Sonja’s

 

Sonja is using the crystal clear design for her store and we definitely think she’s done a great job. If you would like to be considered for the freewebstore store of the month series then get in touch with our success team at successteam@freewebstore.com 

Store of the Month: July

10 Jul

Our store of the month for July is Rainbows and Sprinkles. Lucy took a few minutes out of her busy schedule to answer a few of our questions – take a look!

july-store-of-the-month

1. Please tell us a bit about yourself, your business and where it all started

I am full-time Mum to my son Oliver who will be 2 in September, it was during the first 6 months of his life that I was spending a lot of time at home during the cold winter months and was looking for something that I could start doing at home to make myself a bit of pocket money. I experimented with various different baby products until I decided to develop a handmade children’s clothing range from newborn – 4-5years. I found a lovely lady in Exmouth to work with me to develop these products and we started working together very quickly after that!

 

IMG_2263

Lucy and her family

 

2. Do you make the clothes yourself or do you have a team to produce these?

We all have our own part to play in making every garment. I now have a team of 4 ladies who all work extremely hard to make each piece. Everything is cut out, sewn and assembled by hand all in sunny Devon.

 

3. Do you have a physical store as well as an online store? How do you market your product?

We advertise through Facebook and then customers order through my freewebstore. I’ve done a few stalls in the past when the business was very young however, I can reach so many more customers via Facebook and my website that it’s not worth selling at stalls. However, I would love to have a physical flagship store one day.

4. If you could have ANYONE to come and work for you, who would it be and why?

I would love Jo Malone to come and work with us! I love her work ethic and the reason so started her business is quite similar to mine. My aim is to be as successful as her – you’ve got to aim high!

jo malone

Jo Malone would be Lucy’s ideal celebrity employee!

 

5. Do you have any advice for new store owners?

If you have an idea just go for it! I thought about launching Rainbows & Sprinkles one evening and was so driven to make it work even though I had no background in textiles or clothing. It’s very cliche but you have to believe you will succeed. I was absolutely determined that Rainbows & Sprinkles was going to work, there was no other option.

6. Is there a specific reason you chose to use freewebstore as your eCommerce platform?

I think freewebstore is a fantastic platform. Almost all of my sales are placed on smartphones and my website adapts to smartphones so well and makes it so simple to use and navigate. I love the way my orders are set out and it makes them so simple to manage which is a massive bonus for me and If I ever have a concern or question, my emails are answered almost immediately which I think is just fantastic.

7. If you could choose one magic power, what would you go for?

I would love to teleport! I adore traveling and would love to see as much of the world as possible so definitely teleportation!

8. And finally, where do you see rainbows and sprinkles in 5 years time?

I have so many plans for Rainbows & Sprinkles in the next 5 years. We are always developing new products and introducing new prints – we are launching dresses in July and are discussing developing an older children’s range from 6-12y. I am also talking to a number of wholesalers at the moment to discuss various shops stocking out products and we are also working on moving from a made to order basis to an ‘in stock’ system to dramatically reduce lead times – we all know how fast babies and toddlers grow!

Rainbows and Sprinkles (1)
Check out Rainbows and Sprinkles here. Interested in making a fantastic store like Rainbows and Sprinkles? Learn more here.

Store of the Month: May 2017

18 May

moblene

 

store-of-the-month-blue-may

A big ‘gratulerer’ to our store of the month for May, Norwegian furniture company Møblene!

Møblene is built up of a group of people who are dedicated to providing the best furniture at the best price in Norway.We caught up with Idar, Jan and the team at Møblene HQ to find out a bit more about the fantastic business!

Please tell us a bit about the business 

Behind Møblene.no you will find a group of dedicated people, who have been working with ‘value for money furniture’ for a long time.It all started with practical and affordable bunk beds for Norwegian homes. We have evolved as a team to deliver high-quality furniture at the right price. We value good design and this is reflected in our products and on our website.

We predominately work with our product development and design in Norway, but we also use global sub-suppliers in Europe and Asia.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

How did you get into this line of work?

For the industry itself, we had a wood processing factory which gradually grew into the furniture business, based on market requests. We progressed online with the help of our web designer who is the creative sort, with a broad range of skills, tools, and frameworks available.

In Norway, we call these people “Potatoes” because you can use them for anything!

 

Do you have a physical store as well as an online store? How do you market your product?

We do have a showroom close to the factory and also have partners or resellers who sell our products.

Outside

Outside of the Møblene office

We mainly resell a few models via retail chains, but more and more is sold via the internet. We truly believe that we have to “go digital or die”

How do you market your product?

Our marketing is mostly done through digital mediums; ads, banners, and campaigns. We use social media like Facebook ads, Online Newspaper banners, digital ads sites and the odd furniture convention.

On the digital side, we use banners and graphics to catch the attention of sleepy customers. It is a fluid way of working; you have both the need and ability to adapt and work fast. When we do conventions and reach out to customers in the physical realm, we need artifacts. Here we have large posters and banner, we print out newsletters and product booklets. Just as with online advertising, it is always a challenge to stick out from the crowd.

Learning to adapt to new media and tools is both interesting and necessary.

If you could have ANYONE to come and work for you, who would it be and why?

We would love to have a world class furniture designer working with our Smart Furniture team. This is one for the future!

Do you have any advice for new store owners?

Start creating your ‘brand identity’ as soon as you can. Having a brand framework available will give you guidelines which you will need to keep your brand consistent. This will be the foundations for so much more, and it will reduce a lot of cognitive loads later on.

Also, take advantage of all the functionality in freewebstore, but do not underestimate the design you can add yourself!

Is there a specific reason you chose to use freewebstore as your eCommerce platform?

Freewebstore offers a soft start option and has a lot of functionality and designs that we find very useful.

FWS workflow template

The framework is very well balanced for both designers/coders and for those less savvy IT users. One of the main strengths of freewebstore is definitively how easy it is for anyone here at the office to add and edit products on the fly. With some decent coding skills, you can circumnavigate and complement the framework where needed. (freewebstore store builder)

Where you need help you simply ask, and will always get informative support, regarding code editing and any other questions. Seriously give your support staff a pat on the back, they are both friendly AND competent. (thank you very much!)

When we also have our payment gateway ready, the solution will be complete. Freewebstore is the way to go for us.

If you could choose one magic power, what would you go for?

Be able to read people’s mind! We always strive to understand our customers better! (Also, teleportation would be pretty cool).

And finally, tell us your best joke!

With our flip up Smart Furniture, dust is history in children’s room, so here it goes:

A little boy came downstairs crying late one night. “What’s wrong?” asked his mother. “Do people really come from dust, like they said in church?” he sobbed. “In a way they do,” said his mother. “And when they die so they turn back to dust?” “Yes, they do.” The little boy began to cry again. “Well, under my bed there’s someone either coming or going.”

Many thanks for your time guys!

If you would like to learn more about Møblene and check out their fantastically crafted furniture head over to their website: www.møblene.no

 

moblene

New Design Launched – Mammoth

3 May

New Design Launched – Introducing Mammoth

Introducing our latest design, Mammoth. Built using the latest coding technologies, and optimized for ultimate mobile performance, Mammoth is perfect for store owners who have a vast array of products and content.

Evolve your business now with Mammoth.

Key Features

  • Mobile Optimized
  • Social Media Icons Supported
  • Multiple Language Packs
  • Graphical Logo
  • Soft Add To Cart
  • Popular Products Widget
  • New Products Promo
  • Advanced Search
  • Featured Products
  • Offers & Promotions

Check out the design