Tag Archives: Freewebstore

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

 

Store of the Month: November

10 Nov

Freewebstore are delighted to award the very hip ‘Team Dogz‘ store of the month for November. 👏

store of the month blue

Team Dogz live and breathe scooters and they’ve built up a solid following. We managed to speak to Steven from Team Dogz HQ, who took a break from the busy Christmas preparation to talk to us about the business.

Please tell us a bit about your business and where it all started

My scooter business, Team Dogz, started in a little alcove under my parents’ stairs in the 1990s after I returned from university. I had a dedicated phone line put in, bought some stock, and started programming my website. I was selling different products then but the internet was very early days so you had to find your niche and then grow our product base as new opportunities arose. My parents were wondering for a while when I was going to take my education and get a proper job, but they stuck by me and in the end, both came to work for me!

What made you get into this line of work?

I have always wanted to work for myself, and after my Bachelor’s degree I went straight on and did an MSc in Entrepreneurship at Stirling University in the 1990’s. This was as much about not knowing what I wanted to ‘do-for-myself’ as it was in wanting to learn more about business. While I was there, however, I started learning HTML on-the-side and this gave me an insight into a new industry. I started my business in December 1997 so am celebrating 20 years! (woop, congrats!)

What do you see as the most important marketing tool for your business?

I sell products which children and early teens are interested in, so PPC doesn’t work for me because all the Children can click away but not purchase. However social media works well and YouTube videos of products are essentially free marketing once the video is created.

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

I mentioned earlier that both my parents came to work for Team Dogz, my mum for 4 years and my dad for 6. As you spend most your living life at work, it was great to spend this time with those you love the most. Unfortunately, in the past 20 years, both have died but I would dearly love to have either of them back.

Do you have any advice for new store owners?

Be prepared for hard work. You don’t need A grades from school but you do need commitment and a big work ethic. Some of us might make it look easy but I was often putting in 12-16 hour days in the early years and re-investing everything I could back into the business.

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

I started off hand coding my website, however technology got ahead of my skillset and I could not learn all there is to know in the world of programming as well as running a business. I have since used several shopping cart solutions but freewebstore is easy enough for any staff member to update these days and gives a lot of the flexibility we wanted. Freewebstore has also made behind the scenes tweaks for us so we have stuck with them for a number of years now.

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

To know which product is going to be most in demand. It takes several months for Team Dogz scooters to be made in factories far away and every Christmas I seem to sell out of something way too early!

Speaking of Christmas, how’s the preparation going? 🎅

We start planning for Christmas in July at the latest, our products are then manufactured in August and spend September on a boat arriving with us early October. Only a few people purchase this early but it is certainly when the kids start putting their Christmas lists together so we need to have our products advertised for sale to get their attention at this point. If we have got it wrong, which we always do with the quantities on various colors, it is too late come mid-October to get anything more manufactured and delivered in time.

Why is eCommerce important for your business?

A national or global reach from a single outlet, what more could someone want. We don’t have the financial capital to put stock into shops all over the country and their margins would make us more expensive. eCommerce offers us national reach and the ability to offer the customer a more competitive price, it’s a win-win.

And finally, do you have any celebrity customers or famous skaters buying from your store?

We have come across a few famous customers over the years. Data Protection and our own concern for our customer’s privacy would stop us from naming them. However, our scooter wheels were glimpsed on BBCs One Show the other week. Unusually they were being used as part of a walking frame for a dachshund with poorly back legs but it’s great to know they helped and a sale is a sale.

team dogz
Would you like to be considered for the Store of the Month series? Email the freewebstore customer success team at successteam@freewebstore.com.

 

 

 

Freewebstore Halloween Social

31 Oct

A few brave members of the freewebstore team took part in the annual Halloween social. They all looked scarier the day after, to be honest! 🎃💀

Here are a few snaps from the day/night!

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Feel free to share your spooky snaps in the comments below! Happy Halloween!

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/

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.

Happy Customers = Profitable Customers

14 Sep

There is no denying that customer service is a huge part of daily life in the eCommerce world; it’s what makes your customers happy and what makes your customers keep returning to your webstore.

Here are 5 quick tips on how to improve customer service on your webstore:

1.  Easy Navigation

If your customer has a problem or wants to return an item, then having “Contact” and “Returns” links in your main navigation helps your customer quickly find what they are looking for. In both cases your customer may already be quite irritated and making it easy for them to find these pages will increase usability and overall happiness.

2. Your Email Address

Some customers may want to contact you directly. It’s worth investing in your own domain email address such as support@yourdomain.com or info@yourdomain.com. Your customers may find  these more professional than a gmail, outlook or yahoo email address.

3. Email Correspondence

Keep your emails friendly and professional, it’s that simple:

  • Use customers names if available (Mr Smith, Miss Doe, etc).
  • Use your manners (Thank you, Please etc).
  • Check your spelling and grammar.
  • Do not use slang or text-speak.
  • Do not use profanity.

4. Social Media
Social media is fantastic for connecting with your target audience. Use it! It’s a great way to promote new products, special offers and events. It’s also a great way to keep in contact with your customers and sometimes the easiest way a customer can get in contact with you. Again, be friendly and professional.

5. Frequently Asked Questions

Sometimes a customer may have a quick question and having a Frequently Asked Questions page on your store can help a customer find that all important answer quickly. Having this page can also reduce the number of emails you get so why not create one?

For a more in-depth look at customer service read our walkthrough.

Do you have any great tips on customer service to share? Comment below 🙂

New Website 🎉

25 Aug

We’re delighted to be able to roll out our sparkling new website! The team has been working hard designing a new website that not only promotes our new store owners but showcases what a fantastic platform freewebstore is. We hope you like it…

screenshotwebsite43

The aim for the new website is to:

1. Promote our fantastic store owners

It’s a given that if it wasn’t for our fantastic store owners, there would be no freewebstore. Our new website promotes and celebrates a selection of our successful store owners, with an aim of including a load more in the future! With a full video feature, testimonial and website link, it’s a great way to promote our freewebstore family.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

If you believe your online business deserves a video feature and promoted on our homepage, send an email to our customer success team at successteam@freewebstore.com.

2. A simple, clear message to show exactly what freewebstore is all about.

We have reduced the number of slides on our website to promote a clear message for everyone to understand – after all, we live with the mantra of eCommerce for everyone! The website is our opportunity to tell the world who we are, what we do and most importantly what you can achieve using freewebstore.

Screen Shot 2017-08-24 at 12.07.59

3. Promote our fantastic free features

We’re sure you know all about the fantastic free features that freewebstore has on offer. If not, well, the new website is certainly the place to learn about our fantastic FREE features, clearly displaying all of our features available for free users and being transparent when it comes to what’s available for the premium users.

Screen Shot 2017-08-24 at 12.09.10

Big thanks to the team who have helped with design and launch our new website, which you can check out here. There are a few hidden ‘easter eggs’ on the website – comment below if you can spot them 😉 

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.

Feature Update: New Invoice Templates

6 Jul

Hello, store owners 👋 Some good news coming out of freewebstore HQ: We’ve added three new invoice designs for you all to use, no additional cost of course!

invoice

Do you want to give your invoices a new look, freshen things up? Go take a look, they’re living in your control panel right now! Head over to Settings > ECommerce Settings > Invoice Settings and check them out.

P.S We’ve got some exciting things brewing so watch this space 😉

 
Log in to your control panel here or pop over to our website here.

Let’s Talk Security!

16 May
With the recent cyber attack that has hit numerous organizations in the UK, most noticeable the NHS, cyber security is on everyone’s lips. We briefly caught up with Simon, our security chief, to get some words of reassurance!

1. What kind of security measures do freewebstore take?

We monitor our systems, logs and firewalls constantly, scanning for malicious activity.  Automated systems are in place to block any bad actors, and do so regularly.  Keeping our store owners and their customers safe is the Security Team’s top priority.

 

2. Will the latest cyber attack impact our store owners?

Not at all.  Our servers use the latest operating systems and are kept fully patched.  We remain on High Alert for the time being though, just in case.

3. What can I, as a store owner, do to minimize an attack?

 As far as your store is concerned, you don’t need to do anything, that’s the beauty of freewebstore!  Leave the technical stuff to us, so you can focus on running your business. For the computers you use daily, I’d recommend that you keep them up to date with the latest patches (Windows Update, etc) and try to run the latest version of your operating System where possible – especially if it was released more than 5 years ago. You should also run a modern browser, such as Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox, which automatically keep themselves up to date.

Phew! Thank’s, Simon…

A little bit more information on our store security can be seen below!

Are freewebstore PCI compliant?

 Yes. Security is of paramount importance to us and we take PCI compliance very seriously. Freewebstore undergoes annual assessments to validate our compliance. Continuous evaluation and risk assessment ensures that PCI compliance is at the heart of what we do.

We’ve partnered up with Braintree to provide a secure environment that goes above and beyond industry standards and guidelines:

Braintree – https://www.braintreepayments.com/developers/security

Prohibited Data Storage

We never store raw magnetic stripe, card validation code (CAV2, CID, CVC2, CVV2), or PIN block data.

Data Encryption

Cardholder data is stored using one of the most advanced encryption methods available. Multiple encryption keys are stored on different physical servers. A data thief would not be able to make use of information stolen from a database without also having the key. The data store where cardholder data is kept cannot be connected to via the internet.

Authentication and Session Management

All users have to authenticate each time they use the application and inactive sessions time out after 2 hours. Passwords are never stored directly in the database. In addition, all communication between merchants and us is conducted in a secure fashion using TLS (Transport Layer Security).

Penetration Testing

At least quarterly, automated vulnerability scans are conducted on our Card Data Environment. In addition, at least once a year we have extended external penetration testing conducted by outside sources.

Securing Access

Our network has been set up in a secure fashion with minimal access to outside networks. Only VPN access is allowed to our servers from whitelisted IPS.

If you want any more information on this please contact our team at support@freewebstore.com.