Sunday, 2 February 2014

Setting up an online shop: Tips & Techniques

We always dreamed of setting up our own business and two years ago decided to go for it and launched our website www.lovefromrosie.co.uk

We were recently contacted by Spring Fair International who asked us to present our tips and techniques for setting up an online shop.
We were delighted by the number of people that attended the seminar this morning and as promised we include a copy of our presentation below:

Why do you need a website?

In today’s competitive market place having an online presence is more important than ever

A good website will give you the opportunity to:

  • Attract new customers
  • Increase sales
  • Nurture relationships with existing customers
  • Grow your business

A website allows you to be open for business any time, anywhere via multiple channels

How do you set-up a website?

The fundamentals of planning and building a website are:

  • Registering a domain name
  • Choosing a platform
  • Selecting the right payment options
  • Planning website content
  • Website design
  • Search Engine Optimisation
  • Attracting customers
  • Analytics

Registering a domain name
  • To set up a website you will need a domain name
     e.g. www.lovefromrosie.co.uk

  • It is relatively low cost to register a domain name .co.uk costs around £3.49 per year.com costs around £10.99 per year

Tip: Always renew domains promptly to avoid losing them!

Choosing a platform

Many companies offer ecommerce solutions with ready made templates, hosting and payment processing
  • Register for trials
  • Optimise for mobile

Tip: To keep costs to a minimum start with a low cost package which can be upgraded as your website and business grows

Selecting the right payment system

If you would like to accept card payments on your website you will need a payment gateway

  • A payment gateway allows you to securely process payments on your website
  • You can also choose to accept Paypal payments in addition or instead of a payment gateway
Tip: If you have a physical store and accept card payments speak to your provider about using the same service online

Planning your website Content

Understanding your target audience can help you decide what content to include on your website

Think about your ideal customer:
  • What are their needs?
  • What will they expect to see?
  • How will they get to it?
Your website must be easy to search and navigate 
  • Create a simple site plan
  • Organise your products into logical categories
  • Consider how the pages will link together

Considering your website design

Incorporate your brand identity through colour, fonts, writing style and images

  • What differentiates you from your competitors?
  • What impression do you want to create for your brand?

Does your website convey that impression?




Product Pages

A well-designed product page will increase your chances of converting visitors into buyers.

A good product page should include:
  • Good quality images
  • Concise product descriptions
  • Specifications (size, material, colour etc.)
  • Links to delivery charges and returns policy
  • A clear call to action button


Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

Nearly 80% of all internet traffic begins at a search engine!
  • Brain storm a list of keywords and phrases
  • Include your keywords in your content
  • Optimise internal links, categories, page names and headings


Good quality and relevant content is key to success!


Website Analytics

Analytics can tell you how well your site is performing

Google Analytics is free and easy to install and will allow you to:

  • Monitor website statistics
  • Plan future marketing activity
  • Identify problem areas on your website
  • Improve customer journey and conversion rate


Attracting customers

Social media is now widely used to attract customers

Do
  • Engage users with interesting content
  • Encourage feedback and respond quickly
  • Offer exclusive deals to fans and followers

Don’t 
  • Constantly broadcast sales messages
  • Ignore negative comments

If you have budget consider PPC, Google shopping feeds, retargeting and affiliate campaigns

PR

The key to our success has been brand building both online and offline
  • Identify key influencers within your sector
  • Contact relevant bloggers 
  • Introduce your brand to journalists
  • Issue press releases when appropriate

Don’t give up if your products are not featured straight away.

Our advice - Don’t reinvent the wheel

Build upon your existing plans, procedures and experience

We recommend:
  • Researching delivery methods as costs depend on the size of the parcel and delivery address
  • Have a plan in place to manage your stock
  • Be aware of distance selling regulations
  • Make use of new technologies to grow your business
  • Ask for advice
Finally - never assume your website is finished.  Keeping your website fresh is a key factor in attracting new customers – and encouraging your existing ones to return frequently.

We hope you found this presentation useful and wish you the very best of luck with your website.

Leanne & Deb
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Saturday, 1 February 2014

Introducing Lisbeth Dahl

Wow where has January gone! It’s been a bit quiet on the Love from Rosie blog this month as we have been busy behind the scenes preparing for our eCommerce seminar at Spring Fair International and finalising our Spring/Summer collection 2014.

This season along with our popular brands such as GreenGate, we are pleased to welcome boutique brand Lisbeth Dahl to the Love from Rosie range. 

Designed and developed by the Lisbeth Dahl design team in Denmark, the collection includes beautiful homeware and gift ideas with a creative approach to colour and shape.

We have recently introduced a quirky range of Lisbeth Dahl giftware that is suitable for the young and old alike.


We will also be adding these fabulous Lisbeth Dahl teacups to the website very soon.

Anyone for tea?

The new collection also includes adorable children’s gifts including wooden instruments, bead sets and pencils in decorative tins.

The bright and cheerful colours are a welcome contrast to the dark winter months and encourage us to look forward to the brighter Spring days ahead.

Lisbeth Dahl products offer something for those wanting something a little bit different.  As you can tell, we really love the products so expect to see more from this range throughout the year.

We hope you’re having a great start to 2014 and wish you a happy and prosperous year ahead!

Leanne & Deb
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Tuesday, 10 December 2013

A wonderful start to the festive season

This month we started the festive season with a family trip to choose our Christmas trees. It was wonderful to see the children deciding which trees will take pride of place at home and the smell of the trees throughout the house has certainly got us in a festive mood.

This year we bought our trees locally at Aber Farm, Ogmore Vale. It is the farm's first year selling Christmas trees and we received a very warm welcome.  

There were plenty of trees to chose from and Iris also had lots of fun playing with the lovely farm dogs.


It felt great to support our local farm and we came home with perfect freshly cut trees.  


I'm sure we will be visiting them again next year!

This month we will also be enjoying the build up to Christmas with plenty of fun family activities such as crafting with our little ones, baking festive treats and choosing gifts for our loved ones.

We will keep you posted with our adventures over the next few weeks and also share with you a few of our recipes and decorating ideas.

Have you put up your tree yet?  

If not, happy decorating!

Leanne & Deb
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Thursday, 28 November 2013

The Magical Mysteries of Christmas

Once again the weeks have flown by in a whirlwind.  We have been so busy preparing for Christmas that Autumn seems to have come and gone in a flash!

The weather has turned frosty, the trees are almost bare and we are looking forward to opening the first door of our advent calendar.

There is something so magical about December, it really is our favourite time of year!

This weekend we will finally give in to the children's constant requests to get a Christmas tree.  On Sunday afternoon we will put on our Christmas music, pull out all our favourite decorations and get our houses ready for the festive season.

For us, the run up to Christmas is just as special as the big day itself.  We love listening to the little ones practicing songs for their Christmas concerts and helping them make a wish list for Santa.

No doubt, this year as the children are a little bit older, they will start to ask questions about Santa and how he manages to get around the world in just one night. 

Fortunately, we have just discovered the truth about the magical mysteries of Christmas in a fabulous new book called 'Santa Claus: The Book of Secrets'.


The book reveals ancient secrets about Santa Claus and answers popular questions such as 'Who is Santa Claus?', 'How did he first get his job?', 'What do the Elves do?' and 'How does Santa get inside each house on Christmas Eve?'.

So, this year, as well as putting out our special Santa key and leaving a plate of goodies for Santa and the reindeer, we will be starting a new family tradition by reading The Book of Secrets to our little ones on Christmas Eve.


For us, the most magical aspects of Christmas are the special memories we create with our family and friends during the festive season.

Let the festive fun begin!

Leanne & Deb
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Thursday, 24 October 2013

Autumn walks, foraging and conker tournaments

The past month has simply flown by and we can't quite believe that it's almost the end of October!

Over the past few weeks we've been busy sorting through deliveries of new stock, photographing our new products and making exciting plans for the months ahead.

Despite everything being quite hectic, we have also really enjoyed the changing seasons.  Our local countryside is breathtaking at this time of year and at the weekends we have been exploring nature with our little ones.


We have been for beautiful walks, picked blackberries (and had purple hands to prove it!) and collected lots of leaves and pine cones.

One of our favourite things to do at this time of year is playing conkers.  It is one of the simplest childhood games, and for us, it conjures up so many happy memories.

Last weekend we took our little ones to gather conkers from the Horse Chestnut trees we have been visiting each year since we were small.


Much to their delight, the ground was strewn with conkers and many of the shells had already opened revealing the smooth shiny conkers within.



We had great fun playing in the leaves and gathered a huge haul of conkers.




When we got home the children couldn't wait to get them on strings and it wasn't long before the conker tournament was in full swing.

Inevitably there were a few bruised knuckles (mainly the grown-up's who were far too competitive!) but it was a wonderful family day.  These are the days we will remember in years to come - memories that we will cherish forever.

This week we are planning Halloween costumes and preparing for the hectic festive season ahead. 

Hope your all having a great Autumn.

Leanne & Debra
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Friday, 20 September 2013

Autumn, harvest and interiors inspiration

With the official start of Autumn almost upon us it is time to pack away our summer wardrobes and enjoy the changing of the seasons.

Autumn is a great time of fruitfulness and harvest.  

The local shops will be full of seasonal produce and we will be retreating to our kitchens to try out homemade soups and have a go at baking an apple pie.

The highlights of our calendar this month will be watching our little ones perform at their harvest school concert and taking them to collect conkers (just as we did when we were small).

We are also looking forward to cosy nights by the fire, crisp Autumn mornings and watching the wonderful colours of the falling leaves.

If you are considering updating your home interior, the new season is a great source of inspiration. 

Autumn is synonymous with a rich color palette of orange, yellow, red, brown and purple.


Here are some fabulous Autumnal interiors we have found this week:

{image source: www.housetohome.co.uk}

{image source: www.homesandantiques.com}

{image source: www.pinterest.com}

{image source: Dear Lilly Blog}

{image source: www.andsotobed.co.uk}

Wishing you all a wonderful Autumn!

Leanne & Debra
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Wednesday, 18 September 2013

National Cupcake Week 2013

National Cupcake Week is a whole week devoted to one of the nations favourite sweet treats (sounds good to us!).  This year it runs from 16 - 22nd September.

National Cupcake Week was created in 2009 by British Baker magazine to celebrate the vibrancy and innovation of the British baking industry.  

Since it's launch there have been hundreds of cupcake bake offs, sales, theatrical cupcake installations and bids to bake the world's biggest and smallest cupcakes.

These adorable cupcakes were created for the National Cupcake Week 2012 bake off...they are almost too pretty to eat!

We can't think of a better reason to put on your favourite apron and do some baking (or if your short of time, pop to your local bakery and see what delights they have made).

These pretty pink ones (on our cute GreenGate June White Dish) look delicious and will certainly go well with a nice cup of tea!


Go on treat yourself!

Leanne & Debra
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