Tag Archives: Design

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!

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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!

 

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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!

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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!

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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

 

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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.

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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

 

Store of the Month: April 2017

11 Apr

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Our store of the month for April is the fantastic ‘Childrens Outdoor Toys‘. Andrew had a dream to become his own boss. He didn’t let poor health stop him from realizing his dream and, using skills and contacts built up over time, has built up a successful business.

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

Well, I’m Andrew originally from Shropshire in England, now living with my partner Sarah on the Nottinghamshire & Derbyshire border with my 2 step son’s and our daughter who was 3 this week (the real cheeky monkey) and our little 11-month-old tea-cup chihuahua called Lucy.

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The real cheeky monkeys of the business!

I did spend 10 years in the army and after that, I worked in mental health. After 3 years I decided to be my own boss and started up a private medical company to cover children’s events and sporting events. Things went downhill with my health as I was treating a patient I could not get back up so I visited the doctors and was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and severe arthritis and back problems. I thought it time to give up but found doing nothing was too boring.

2. What made you get into this line of work?

With all the contacts I picked up over a few years I decided to sell sports equipment and children’s outdoor toys. We decided to go for active toys and sports to get children away from the T.V and Game Station and get out in the garden and be active!

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I have played lots of sports in my time so the choice selection had to be around something I knew a lot about to help in making sales. Also, I set up at home at first as I cannot get out much then we hired an office address.

I love selling active toys and sporting equipment knowing that I am helping another person’s life to be more active than my own right now.

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

At the minute we have an online store with a facebook store along with a pop-up store that my partner sets up either at fun days or a home shopping party. We are in talks to set up a retail unit but looking for the right location to be able to set up a good showroom.
At the minute I am enjoying taking the phone calls and processing the orders at home (if my partner is not in the office). I do a lot of blogging and Facebooking along with Twitter, just to help boost the sales.

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

It would be Alan Carr! He is soooo amazing, funny and he would be the best of people to jump around on our trampolines or play table tennis!
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Alan Carr would be Andrew’s perfect employee!

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

Never give up (as you have read above with my health). Giving up does cross your mind many times if you want something in life just grab it and be determined. If you fail, try again and again. I did…..

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

I did purchase from a supplier when I was selling on facebook and saw the platform they used, freewebstore. I looked into it but saw another platform I went with. It turned out not to be what we were looking for – 7th place on Google was NOT what we wanted. Now we’re with freewebstore and we are 3rd with our keyword children’s outdoor toys and we’re looking at increasing this.

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

I would like to have the power of healing – so I can see my daughters first day at nursery.

8. And finally, tell us your best joke!

I have given up on telling jokes! My little girl always says I am cheating when I tell her jokes. Oh and I won £2k for my last joke, would you believe it? Not really, I’m only joking… 😉

 

You can visit Sarah and Andrew’s shop just in time for summer by clicking here.

cheeky monkeys

New Design Launched – ToyStore

16 Nov

New Design Launched – Introducing ToyStore

Introducing our latest design, ToyStore; the key to unlocking your youthful imagination.

Using the mobile first technique, incorporating a slideshow display and supporting multiple language packs, ToyStore is sure to woo your customers, all over the globe.

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

Store of the Month: November 2016

7 Nov

A big congratulations (Herzlich glückwünsche) to our GREAT store of the month for November, tshirt4you.

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We spoke to the owner, Rebecca, to find out a bit more about the business.

1. Please tell us about your business and where it all started

I started my t-shirt business in Los Angeles 2007. I moved to Switzerland almost 7 years ago and started t-shirts4you online, with my partner Dustin Peter. We sell printed t-shirts for all occasions.

2. How did you get into it?

My mother owns a printing company and taught me how to print t-shirts, my graphic design college course revealed my creative side, so I combined it! 

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

Take high quality, appealing photos of your products. Find your niche product and make it your passion. Be patient!

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

It was completely free to test it out and I found it really easy to set up. I like the fact that freewebstore stays up to date with the latest trends and always launch new features.

5. Please, sum up your freewebstore experience

I started 3 websites; tshirt4you.ch, dress4you.ch, and einladungskarten4you.ch. We tested the market with different platforms. We now stick to the best running store tshirt4you.ch. I double my income each year.

6. Finally, tells us your best joke

What dress can’t be worn? Address (thankfully, your business acumen is better than your jokes 😉 )

Do you think you deserve to be our store of the month for December? Get in touch with us and tell us why

Introducing our side-by-side checkout

2 Nov

The day has arrived… The freewebstore team is proud to announce the launch of the FANTASTIC side-by-side checkout!

Our team has been working day and night, gathering feedback from our users and engaging with experts in the field. We believe we’ve developed a checkout that we’re sure will improve YOUR sales.

 

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Our new streamlined side-by-side checkout

 

I’ll be discussing the reason as to why we’ve created it and talking about the fantastic benefits.

So, why have we created it?

Simply put, to improve YOUR conversion rates and reduce YOUR abandoned carts. Our shared values mean that if you’re happy, we’re happy. Increasing your sales and conversions will go a long way to achieving our shared goal.

Ok, what are the key benefits?

After many months of rigorous planning, development, and testing – we believe we’ve developed a checkout that is not only visually pleasing but will result in an increase in conversions.

Mobile First

Mobile shopping has increased year-on-year – over 62% of smartphone owners have made a purchase using their smartphone in the past 6 months (Justin Smith, 2016).

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Mobile view of the new side-by-side checkout.

  • The new side-by-side checkout has been designed using the ‘mobile first’ technique – resulting in a solid and fully responsive checkout, the pinnacle of mobile perfection.
  • Shopper’s payment and shipping input fields have been optimized for use on a mobile – using touch not click.
  • Buttons are reachable by thumb. We’ve kept the number of fields to an absolute minimum too and have reduced the length to 16 pixels wide on so that the page fits beautifully on a mobile.
  • We’ve used HTML 5 set correct input tries, which means that whether a text, number or email is required, the correct keyboard appears on mobiles.
  • Autocomplete tags for inputs have been introduced, meaning that shoppers can use autocomplete if they have typed their address in previously – saving time.

Security

The new side-by-side checkout is secured using 256-bit SSL encryption. This is clearly displayed with the aim of improving shopper confidence and reducing anxiety, with the aim of getting you that all important sale!  

Slick & streamlined design

The new checkout looks equally as good on the desktop as it does on mobiles!

27% of people abandoned their cart if the checkout was too long/complicated. The free flowing and smooth design will make sure even the laziest customer won’t have any complaints – increasing the chance of a sale!

  • Tab index on all HTML elements that the user can easily tab through the input fields
  • One colored button per section on the most important action means the user can easily identify what is next.
  • Customizable color and skins – to help fit in your with corporate colors and encourage creative freedom!
  • Displaying the costing at each stage of the checkout process – so to avoid the unwanted surprise at the end. 

 

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Cost breakdown, to avoid the unwanted surprises!

 

  • Additional Instructions (optional feature). Store owners can enable this input field to allow customers to input additional instructions and comments.
  • The ‘Add Coupon’ section is collapsed to prevent coupon harvesting. Thus increasing your profit margin.
  • Registered companies based in the EU can now provide their VAT number at checkout to remove the VAT from their order. VAT numbers are validated in real time and are made available to the store owner for accounting purposes, once the transaction is completed. 

Works great with Stripe

The new checkout is the perfect chance to make the most of the payment merchant Stripe.

Stripe allows for card payments to be made directly on your storefront, without the need to be transferred to a third party site. Embedding the Stripe platform into the new checkout adds to the fast and smooth checkout experience that will leave your customers wanting to order more and more!

 

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Stripe has been built into the checkout for even more convenience

 

Best of all – it’s completely FREE!

Yes, really! Our fantastic new side-by-side checkout is available to ALL of our freewebstore store owners at no additional cost!

How do I activate?

The freewebstore developers have done a fantastic job creating it – now they want you using it, we don’t want to upset them, do we?!

You can enable the fast, reliable and secure checkout in one click, by visiting your freewebstore control panel here.

Happy selling! 

How to get your online store ready for Christmas

21 Sep

With Christmas just around the corner it’s important to start thinking about getting your online store ready for the holiday rush.

Internet shopping continues to rise year on year, so here are my top tips for getting your store ready for what could be your most lucrative quarter.Retro tin toy santa robot holding christmas present

Is your store ready?

Start by looking at the products on your store. Optimize images and give your site a festive feel. Images will play a big part in capturing the attention and hearts of shoppers. If your product photos are low resolution or have poor lighting, maybe it’s time to re-shoot them ready for the holidays. You might not want to upload them yet, but careful planning will take the stress out of what is going to be a busy time.

Check your site. Does it load well? Is your web address memorable? Are all the links working? Does your site work on all devices? Are your stock levels right?  Make sure there isn’t any ‘out of stock’ products appearing on your store. Show that your site is secure with an SSL certificate.

Are your product descriptions accurate and of a good length? If they aren’t, online shoppers may be wary of buying from you. All of this careful planning helps build up your SEO which will boost your Google rankings making it easier for shoppers to find you.

Make checking out easy

Your customers are going to be busy leading up to Christmas. According to a recent survey conducted by PwC, when it comes to online shopping, Americans value convenience above all else: 58% of survey respondents say convenience is the main reason they shop online, with price being a distant second at 32%. Don’t have your customers abandoning the checkout process out of frustration. After succeeding in the hard work of getting them there, losing conversions due to a complicated or lengthy form is far from ideal. Use a checkout that allows you to take payments directly on your store.

Have a plan

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

Build the hype. ..slowly!

Plan your marketing campaign but start subtle. Traditionally the Christmas buying season starts the day after Thanksgiving, but so many people have done their Christmas shopping by then. I’m not suggesting that you start customizing your store with Christmas trees and tinsel just yet! A great way to start your Christmas campaign is to start blogging about it. If you have enabled StoreBlog, you can blog about what you’re planning in the run up to the Holiday Season. Put teasers for your upcoming sales on your blog or Facebook store to create awareness. According to a recent report by Deloitte more so than ever, consumers plan to use the Internet to research holiday buys and 50% will use social media during their shopping process when it comes to holiday spending. Get your customers to leave feedback and reviews on your StoreBlog and Facebook store.

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.  

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. During October and the early part of November, these won’t be Christmas related ads. You are planting shopping ideas and hints that will be harvested down the road.

Don’t have a big marketing budget? Utilize social media. A recent survey found that consumers have an appetite for social commerce, that fusion of online social communities with seamless purchasing capability. More than two-thirds of US respondents said social media influences their online shopping behavior.

Time to Get Festive

When you start to celebrate Christmas on your store is up to you but it’s essential that you aren’t the last store out there to start celebrating. Customize your store with some festive features to entice your customers. Winter Morning is a festive design for your store.  You can easily switch between your Christmas design and your January Sale design at the click of a button using the Saved Designs Feature. A word of warning though – if you have a high customer base, don’t make drastic changes to the navigation or layout right now. This can cause disruption to customers’ shopping flow. If the site has drastically changes from what customers are used to, it could cause confusion, frustration and lead to abandonment.

Get to the Christmas Markets – 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?

Monitor your stock carefully

Choosing the amount of stock you need over Christmas can often be difficult, especially if you are investing in seasonal products. On the one hand, you don’t want to miss out on a share of the market, but on the other you don’t want to be left with surplus stock in January that you can’t sell.  Look at what sold well last year. Finding a pattern could make ordering your stock each year much easier, so make sure you keep a note of everything.

Reach out to your customers about your most popular products – nervous customers will want reassuring that products will arrive on time.

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.

Get your staff involved!

The holidays are a great time to have fun and a season of goodwill. 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!

Get started with freewebstore.com

New Feature – Share This Icons

18 Apr

Our latest feature adds share options for your shoppers to use if they wish to share your product with the world, giving your product maximum exposure!  The product could be shared on Facebook, Google, Twitter or Pinterest.

Jump on over to the Marketing > Social Media > Share This Icons section of your Freewebstore Control Panel  to enable or disable social media share icons on your store product details page.

The share icons will look something like below when enabled on your store. Though they may change slightly depending on the design.

Remember this ONLY appears on your product details page. Some retired or custom made designs may not support this feature. Please contact support if you need any help with this feature.

 

Black Friday

16 Nov

Black Friday is coming fast, the day where bargain hunters across the world try and grab themselves a great deal heading into the festive period.

What is Black Friday?

Black Friday was originally an American only tradition, dropping on the day after Thanksgiving each year. Retailers offer massive discounts on products in an attempt to persuade you to spend your money in the run-up to the festive period.  Recently the rest of the world has also adopted this as a day to offer discounts on their product range.

When is Black Friday?

This year Black Friday will happen on Friday 27th November. However, some retailers will start their week of deals on Monday 23rd November.

How can I promote my special offers?

Coupons & Vouchers

Create a coupon code via the Marketing > Coupons & Vouchers section of your Freewebstore Control Panel and promote it on your social media channels.  Time specific offers usually have the biggest impact !

Email your Newsletter list

Send an email out to your newsletter mailing list to promote your special offers .

Social Media

Use your Facebook pages and Twitter feed to promote your special offers leading up to Black Friday.

Mobile Optimized

22% of total online sales on Black Friday were purchased on mobiles – that’s an increase of nearly 43% from last year (source: TechCrunch)

Take advantage of your potential customers shopping on their mobile devices by ensuring your store design is optimized for mobile devices.  Check out our fantastic designs here.