January is often the time for New Year’s resolutions and for businesses this should include taking a hard look at your website and considering how it could perform better for you. That’s why today we sat down with Laura Palmer, Business Development Director at PHL Digital, to talk websites, what’s needed for a fully ecommerce enabled website in 2022 and how PHL Digital could help you:
Who are PHL Digital, and why has a fulfilment company launched web development?
We are a digital team skilled in building affordable Shopify ecommerce websites. PHL Digital use technical know-how to provide modern and innovative solutions to businesses and retailers. We have gained a wealth of real-world ecommerce experience from our parent company, PHL Group. A logistics business with over 20 years in retail fulfilment.
PHL Digital is uniquely different because we offer an end-to-end ecommerce solution. This model means we can build, launch, maintain and update your website. We can also hold stock, pick, pack and ship orders, manage returns and handle all your customer service. You don’t have to use our fulfilment services to become a customer of PHL Digital, but working with us, you will benefit from our deep understanding of how ecommerce works.
We offer exceptional value and service by combining industry knowledge with technical expertise. Building fully customised websites that don’t cost the earth whilst providing all the functionality and support your online business needs to grow and flourish.
January is a great time for retailers to think about refreshing their websites. Fresh from experiencing all the gains and pains of peak season, with some breathing space to translate that learning into an objective-driven plan for improvement. At PHL Digital, we don’t advise customers to just look at the past. Consideration should also focus on the future, for example, Covid, Brexit and changing consumer trends. Retail has never evolved so fast as in the past two years, and pro-actively keeping ahead of change should be a top priority.
From January onwards, most retailers have about eight to nine months until the next peak season. Although a Shopify website build takes only 2 to 8 weeks, it’s never a bad idea to give yourself time to do some robust market research and planning. Also, allowing time for your website to “bed-in” for a month or two before it’s really put to the test is a great way to resolve unexpected user issues. Feedback from customers is invaluable to any online retailer wanting to maximise sales opportunities. So my advice is to get ahead now and kick off your discovery process.
What do PHL Digital do?
We have already mentioned our Shopify ecommerce capabilities. I think it’s essential to add that with our experience in multichannel logistics, we are exceptionally skilled at building sites for marketplace sellers. Again, this is expertise learned from a real-world application. We know what works and how other retailers have successfully expanded their business and improved efficiency through web solutions.
PHL Digital also develops business websites and promotional microsites for brands and marketing agencies. We offer a wide range of technical services to a diverse customer base, from start-ups to big-name brands. One of our most exciting areas of service is building custom web applications. Apps are very much about providing a unique solution to a specific challenge, and it puts our problem-solving skills and innovation to the test. We relish the challenge of designing a simple and elegant digital solution.
We work with other platforms, such as WooCommerce, but usually recommend Shopify as the preferred option. For us, it comes down to Shopify’s three key benefits;
Shopify is a highly secure and robust platform, which is hugely important for today’s retailers. Shopify handles all higher security functions, leaving developers to focus on meeting the rest of the client’s needs. In terms of efficiency, Shopify provides developers with all the tools needed out-of-the-box to do their job quickly and effectively. This efficiency translates to lower costs and quicker turnaround times. Critically, the flexibility of Shopify allows retailers to have a fully customised design without busting the budget. Shopify can be extended, by skilled developers, to go beyond its original intent. New trends like headless commerce can open Shopify to an almost limitless design scope.
For marketplace sellers and SME’s, if you take the above benefits with the fact that Shopify connects to all the major marketplaces and has almost limitless integrations, it’s a clear winner for any multichannel retailer!
Can’t I just do a Shopify site myself?
If you’re a small business with a small product catalogue and marketing isn’t vital, then yes. Shopify provides the tools to build a passable ecommerce website yourself. However, building a website in-house to save money might be a false economy. When you add up the internal costs, the potential loss in sales and the time that could have been used to drive your business forward, it might not be as price-effective as hiring a value-driven agency like PHL Digital.
If having an extensive product catalogue, strong SEO, and memorable branding is critical to your business, you will probably need a customised theme. Rarely do pre-made themes completely fit your business and industry sector.
Professionally customising a theme takes specialist know-how that you will need to recruit in-house or through an Agency. However, a skilled designer will deliver a better-performing website with excellent SEO, faster site speed, and higher ranking. Shopify developers will also be able to take a pre-made theme and fit it around your brand to get the exact look and feel you need.
Case Study – Organix Online Shop
How do I get started?
Finding the right digital partner can be a challenge; you need an agency that truly understands your vision and goals. We are always happy to have an initial exploratory email or chat about a potential project to see if we are the right fit for you.