Your businesses website is no different to your store appearance is everything. Customers will walk past a tired, messy and cluttered store with minimal or next to no interest. 

The same goes for your website!

Customers will click and shop around looking for the simplest user experience possible. They do not want to be confused, overloaded with information or be faced with a difficult to use website. In Lehman terms they want to go online, order their printed t-shirts for an event, work or whatever the occasion may be and checkout. They are not as excited as most garment decorators by set up costs, stitch counts and number of colours within a print.

Strive for simplicity and provide your customer base an easy to use experience, shopping basket and make sure they do not need to search around when it comes to buying branded clothing.

With that in mind, here are five tips to help declutter your businesses website:

  • Streamline Your Home/Navigation Bar: This is the spine of your site and holds it all together in terms of accessibility. Make the bar a simple to use, informative tool and do not overload it with options and information. Organise it and make it concise for your customer.
  • Less is More: Content is a main fundamental element of SEO, but sometimes less is more. Customers are after quality not quantity, do not bombard them huge chunks of content and information. Be clear, keep the readers attention and focus on what information is crucial to them when purchasing or enquiring through your website.
  • Continuously Remove Out of Date Items: Often one that is overlooked. Simply take a few moments to remove any out of date seasonal content and campaigns. Keep on top of your website and ensure that your site looks like it is both managed & professional.
  • Manage Loading Times: Customers are an impatient bunch and often happy to shop around over the littlest error. Ensure your website does not take forever to load, work with your developer or provider to make sure customers can navigate your website quickly.
  • Clear Call to Acton (CTA)/Contact Details: Ensure all action buttons and contact details are visually easy for customers to find. Even if they are struggling a tiny bit to navigate your website or are stuck for choice on what to order these will improve your chances of winning the order and not frustrating a potential customer.
We do all this for our customers, we make owning a website simple. With clear to use prompts, up to date product information and a clear precise shopping experience an eTrader Website is the only solution for print & embroidery businesses.

To find out more view the rest of our website or alternatively book an online demo by getting in touch on 029 2074 1663 or email info@etraderwebsites.co.uk.


In March Instagram introduced a brand-new checkout to their app. Consumers can now buy their favourite products without ever leaving the app, but what does this mean for the Social Media platform? And how could it possibly affect garment decorators?

But there is a catch, for now anyway…

Instragram checkout is only available for several leading global brands such as H&M, Mac, Nike and a few others. But this is seen as the next step in the Instagram strategy, turning influencers and social engagement into sales.

It works by simply attaching a checkout button to posts where customers click and simply fill in their details once and they will be saved for future purchases. This will likely be a popular tool with customers as its an all in one checkout, where your customer information remains secure and purchases can be completed without going to an external site. 


Of course, there are limitations. This feature requires heavy investment and is only currently available to some of the worlds leading brands at a substantial cost.

The biggest drawback however is the customers effectively become Instagram’s as consumers are using their checkout and not the brands checkout. Problematic for businesses looking to manage their sales funnel and manage their conversions the brands currently using the checkout will not be able to identify users, their behaviours or any complex information, they will only receive the basic order details.

While this is only at very early development stages working with big brands, who is to say it won’t be introduced to businesses using Instagram for their Marketing & Advertising?

The garment decoration industry is a highly visual one, companies using Social Media to sell their print and embroidery rely on imagery of previous work and case studies to push their business and their quality. The checkout itself if introduced for small businesses would be an ideal fit for the industry.

With UK businesses already spending millions of pounds on engaging with influencers and Sponsored Online Advertising on Instagram there will be some that will see this as a step in the right direction where you can measure Return On Investment (ROI) can be measured in a more quantifiable way. 

Collaboration tools are used by Marketing departments to manage both the businesses workload and its time. 

These tools allow you to share projects, ideas, news and communicate with other members of your team all within one common space.


In this blog we will look at some of the best collaboration tools available and how they can help your print & embroidery business. Here are some of the best examples:

Trello

This allows users to organise work as well as generate ideas. Simple to use, visually pleasing and ideal for growing ideas Trello is an easy to manage and maintain project management tool for SMEs.

Slack

One of the most recognised communication programmes Slack makes communicating to your team simple. Slack integrates with Dropbox, Salesforce and many more pieces of software and allows users to share files, ideas and conversations all in one place.

Join.me

Like GoToMeeting this allows users to set up meetings remotely wherever they are working and on any device. But Join.me also allows users to collaborate and share ideas with a whiteboard feature which can be used communally.

Asana

An all in one project management tool Asana is ideal tool to streamline your business. The software allows users to track, organise and manage work in one place. Focusing on productivity, Asana also can set up to do lists, targets, summaries and set reminders for any ongoing projects plus offering handy integrations with the previously mentioned Slack, Dropbox and many other integrations.

Ryver

This web-based app is identical to Slack in that it provides an easy way for your team to communicate and share files. Different teams with different viewing permissions can also be set up so users only see what is relevant to their project or role but what makes it stand out is it is in fact FREE of charge to sign up and use. Of course, it’s a Lite version and has it limitations but offers customers a cos- effective way to increase productivity.

ProWorkflow

Available both on the web and through a smartphone/tablet ProWorkflow offers flexibility and versatility in its software which makes it popular across many industries. Task management, time sheets, alerts are available alongside sharing and communicating tools for colleagues. What separates this from others is the interface is that it offers resource management as well as managing the workflows users plus it offers a GANT chart type display looking at project progress to ensure users hit any deadlines.

In Summary...

While there are lots of pieces of software out there, the majority offer free trials and live demonstrations which outline how they can be used alongside your business. 

Before you make any decisions, do your research, take your time and arrange for some of these to see which collaboration programme works best for your budget, its requirement and its specification.

Following on from our last blog article looking at maximising customer data, in this article we will look at data capture and highlight how to populate your customer database.

Data capture is an important part of a businesses Online Marketing efforts. It forms an integral part of the mix when targeting new customers, its where many new customers journey begins with your business.

Love it or loathe it…

Data capture stokes debate amongst Marketing practitioners, they are either loved or loathed but timing is everything. Make them time sensitive, not obtrusive to your customers online experience and inkeeping with your businesses brand.

Target your customers more than ever before

Capturing data allows your business to target your customers specifically on their interests, behaviours and tailor email campaigns to what product or service of yours they are interested in. It also allows you to build loyalty, reward someone for being a ‘member’ of your list with exclusive deals, discounts plus whatever other offer you may come up with.


How to capture an email address?

There are a few basic methods to grow your businesses mailing list and capture your businesses data. 

Data capture bars

Data capture bars are simple to place on your businesses site, it requires a single snippet of HTML to be embedded in the page source.

There are 100s of data capture providers out there with the main one being Hellobar, which is free of charge. These can also be created within CRM packages (Salesforce, Zoho, Hubspot etc) to grow your data list and help your leads/sales. Within Hellobar, whatever CRM package plus whatever email campaign software you use you can monitor, manage and maintain your businesses mailing list accordingly with each one offering differing levels of detail.

A data capture bar feeds contacts straight in to your mailing list. Different pieces of software will be able to feed the data into different programmes, but the popular email software like Mailchimp, Zoho etc are available on most capture bar providers.

The bars in several forms – fixed bars (a static or moving bar that appears at the top of the page), pop ups (a sign-up forming appearing after a few seconds on-site often found in the centre of the page) or page takeovers (a sign-up form that appears after a few seconds taking over the full screen itself).

The most common method is a simple static bar at the top as this is not obstructing customers trying to navigate the website whereas pop-ups and takeovers appear after a certain amount of time and be deemed annoying by a website visitor.

Visually the pop-up and takeover creating more of a lasting impact, but users have a love-hate relationship with these whereas the simple static bar lacks the striking impact. However, it proves more successful as customers are happier, more trusting and comfortable with a simple less obtrusive method.

Landing pages

A landing page is a standalone web page created specifically for Marketing a certain product or service. Landing pages are specifically designed to generate interest and have a CTA (call to action on-site).

Incentivise your customers

You may have customer who visit in-store or follow you on Social Media, but you do not have their physical information to target them. Run competitions & offers in-store and on Social Media channels incentivising existing customers to sign up to your mailing list in exchange for a reward or discount.

On-site architecture

You can build opt in options into your business’s website seamlessly. Wherever you capture any customer information on-site (contact us forms, checkout etc) ask customers to tick the box if they would like to sign up and opt in to your businesses mailing list.

Lastly & IMPORTANTLY, GDPR

The four letters everyone loves to hate. New regulations that came into play last year to look at how your business uses customer information. Ensure any method you use is GDPR friendly and any customer that signs up gives you their full consent. 

Data is all around us, there is no hiding from it. From the basics such as customer information, names, addresses and contact details to the more complex monthly accounts, customer orders and website data, it can all be used to shape your business by identifying the best avenues to explore – ones that you might not previously have considered before analysing your business data.

Measuring the data that your business has access to can also help to streamline your business, its production and how every department operates. In production departments, items such as machine time versus output, machine downtime versus costs etcetera can be monitored, with the resulting data giving you a real understanding as to whether your business is operating efficiently.

Data doesn’t necessarily have to be raw numbers either: it can be qualitative, which can add just as much value to your business. Opinions and attitudes can be analysed not only to develop your business internally, but also to provide great insight into what your customers think of your services and products, which you can then use to help train your staff and review your business’s various operations.

There are several software packages designed for garment decorators that allow you to measure not only the basics, such as names and addresses, but also what customers have bought, what items they’ve clicked, where they saw your business advertised and so on.

The obvious way to use this data is to keep in touch with your customers through marketing campaigns. By having extra data at your fingertips about their clicks and buying habits, you’ll be able to further tailor your campaigns, which should improve engagement rates (again, data collection here is invaluable – want to know which one of two email subject lines will lead to a higher open rate? Test one subject line on 20 customers then the other subject line on another 20 customers. Whichever one scores the highest open rate can then be used for the remaining mail out. Simple).

Check how your website is functioning by looking beyond the visitor numbers: when are customers visiting, what pages are they looking at, what ones are they ignoring, where are they coming from, how long are they staying? All this can be used to check your site is working for your business.

You can also take a close look at what’s happening on the purchasing side: when are customers are ordering, what they are ordering and how frequently they are ordering? Use the information to work out when best to hold promotions that will get people visiting during the quiet times – plug the gaps and maximise your sales.

Remember, however, to play by the rules. There is a whole host of data guidelines and regulations out there, with the obvious one being the data protection act.

You must give your customers all the options available for opting in/opting out/unsubscribing, along with mentioning they may be contacted in the future for marketing purposes. Most customers won’t mind you using their data to contact them to promote your business or products, but playing by the rules will protect your business.

One last thought

Managing your data is vital. First and foremost, make sure all the data you’ve collected is secure. It also has to be accurate, relevant and up to date to be of any significant value to your business – ongoing data collection is an essential part of any business strategy.