A database as a way of managing and developing a business

Piranha Designs - Thursday, March 28, 2019

The use of a correctly structured database is essential for the survival and success of a business in the current market. Technological advances provide useful tools for the improvement of internal management, the optimisation of resources and the increase of sales. In addition, these databases are ever more accessible to the budgets of small and medium-sized businesses.

Customisation

Nowadays many companies operate in both local and international markets at the same time. Due mainly to the advances in the digital era, the rise in e-commerce and the disappearance of barriers towards international commerce, the expansion of markets out of the local environment has never been simpler. The search for standardisation in business processes whilst maintaining brand identity has been a constant concern for companies as they grow. That said, there is a rising trend toward the customisation of what’s on offer depending on the tastes and preferences of clients, because although the companies operate in open and globalised markets, they also compete in local markets.

The personalisation of products and services to the specific tastes of the clients is becoming a key factor for the success of a business in the 21st Century. A very good example of this movement is McDonalds restaurants. McDonalds is without doubt the global leader in the fast food restaurant sector. Its restaurants can be found in over 100 countries around the world, with their brandname and business model being well-known worldwide. Even though for many McDonalds is a clear example of the standardisation of processes, brand and product image, the company has learnt how to customise its offering during its global expansion in relation to its intended market. An example of this is the McCurry in India, McKebab in Israel, McBaguette in France or the Greek Mc etc., just a few among various dozens of recipes adapted to local tastes. The management of information, in this case of the flavours and textures preferred by McDonalds clients, is essential for the success of the fast food chain.

Databases as a solution

Technology giants such as Amazon, Facebook or Google are examples of companies that have succeeded through the collection, study and effective use of data that is shared with them by clients. These sorts of business practices have been called the analysis and use of 'Big Data'. A detailed database which is well-structured adds value to a company offering and increases the degree of sales conversion.

What does this mean to a small/medium sized business?

All written and archived documentation can and should be digitalised. Client contact data, budgets, sales, projects or tasks, dates and times, income, costs, etc is data that all companies handle but few are digitalising. If this data was compiled in one place, its analysis and use could add value to processes and services. Many companies are content with their corporate website or continue using Excel databases and obsolete desktop software without online access. The main reason for which companies like Amazon know perfectly when, how and to who they should show their products, is because they program their databases so that they can optimise the final result. The question that the business person is probably making at this point is if the technology is really accessible to a small and medium-sized business. The response is loud and clear – Yes! It all starts with a change in the way that business is conceived and information is managed.

You are still in time to transform and improve your business.

  1. Plan: Bring together all the written documentation from Excel, Word, PDF formats that you share with all your contacts in the company. This could be employees, providers, clients, etc.

  2. Look for help: Concentrate on what you know how to do, most probably in the business activity of your company. Look for a company with understanding and verifiable experience in web systems and database management. They can facilitate the resources and will help you to structure and make the most of the collected data.

  3. Create: Get that company to build you a customised database driven, web-based solution that does everything you need.

  4. Be disciplined: The process might take time to process internally. The team must become familiar with feeding the new internal system, which requires discipline.

  5. Be more effective: As the database grows, start to analyse and optimise internal processes. Let algorithms carry out repetitive tasks and concentrate your time and energy on improving your business.

By using the power of a good database and a custom built system you can really take your business to another level.

By Piranha

For over 18 years Piranha have been developing database driven web-based solutions for all types of businesses. Analysing the current setup and replacing excel, word and outlook with one integrated custom built system that optimises time and effort. Piranha have built custom solutions for the Port Authority, Government Departments, Hearts Football Club and many local and international businesses.

Content writing tips that will help to vault your site up the search engine rankings

Piranha Designs - Monday, March 25, 2019

Composing the most effective text on your website – think such things as your product descriptions, articles, blog posts and other written copy – is a task that you may find intimidating from time to time. After all, it’s an element of your online presence that needs to be carefully crafted to appeal to both human users and search engine spiders.

But that doesn’t mean you need to give in to the dreaded ‘writer’s block’ when you’re trying to rustle up some text for your site. Follow our advice below, and you can maximise your chances of writing content that engages your target audiences and bolsters natural search engine performance.

Come up with an outline before you start

Sometimes, simply doing what your English teacher would have told you to do at school can be a brilliant formula for generating high-quality written copy.

It can greatly help, for example, to first devise an outline of what you want to write about in a given piece of text on your site. What are the key features and benefits of a product for which you are writing a description, or what vital points must your next blog post address?

Don’t worry too much about saying everything in an ordered or organised way at this early stage – just get it all out on the page.

Follow the ‘expel, then excel’ principle...

In the same spirit as the previous tip, when you come to actually write down those first few sentences or paragraphs, just focus on writing. Throw all of your thoughts down on the page, no matter how ‘stream of consciousness’ it might be.

Once you’ve got a lot of material written down, you’ll be able to then edit and refine it, including in line with the keywords you intend to use, to rustle up something polished, pleasurable to read and effective in attracting high search engine rankings.

...as well as the ‘keep it simple, sweetie’ one

The KISS principle works so well in many areas of life, but especially when you’re writing. Don’t use overly complicated or specialised language, unless your brand voice requires this.

Make your written content readable and engaging for your target audience, and they’re more likely to stay around on your site, trust you and make use of your products or services.

Produce seasonally appropriate content

Those lulls of time during the year between the really big ‘flashpoint’ events – Christmas, Easter and so on – can really drag.

That’s why it may greatly help to put together a ‘content calendar’ that will provide a template for what kind of content you will be writing and uploading to your site at certain times of year. For example, you may time some of your content to coincide with birthdays, anniversaries or events that are important to your sector, or provide general advice that makes sense in the given season.

Did you know that your site can benefit from such services as keyword research, on-page optimisation and blog content writing when you take advantage of one of our SEO marketing packages? When you contact the Piranha Designs team, we’ll talk to you about how we can best address the needs you have for your firm’s online presence.

You don’t necessarily need to discount your store’s products to sell more

Piranha Designs - Thursday, March 21, 2019

A lot of small businesses like those that we serve with our ecommerce website design services here at Piranha Designs can understandably become so worked up about bolstering their conversions of traffic into sales, that they might not pay enough attention to the overall impact this has on profit.

Yes, offering money-off vouchers, limited-time-only discounts and simply undercutting your competitors with the standard prices that you set could all help to boost sales.

However, you might have overlooked that doing so will also mean a lot more work for your company, in terms of the work needed to fulfil the heightened number of orders you receive.

You may therefore be especially interested in the ways you can drive sales from your ecommerce store without having to cut prices at all. Here are just a few proven suggestions.

Set out the unique selling points of your brand and products

If you spend any amount of time browsing the sites of luxury brands, you may have noticed that they don’t tend to offer discounts very often, or even necessarily a coupon code box on the checkout page.

You might imagine that the sheer pull of a prestigious brand means it doesn’t exactly have to put on special offers very often. However, another way to see it is that customers are prepared to spend more if they see a certain unique or added value in what a firm offers.

You should therefore ask yourself what especially high-quality materials or ingredients given products of yours consist of, and that customers may be willing to pay a premium for. Or perhaps your product solves problems in a way that not many alternatives do? Maybe the breadth and depth of your customer support is especially great compared to rivals, too?

Instil urgency in the customer

Incorporating simple, non-invasive messages that also have a sense of urgency into your product marketing can further encourage customers to fork out for the full price of something. This is especially applicable to trendy and limited-edition products that have a relatively committed target audience, who won’t wish to miss out on the latest ‘hot’ release.

Streamline the buying process

Everything that you can do to speed up and remove bumps from the online purchasing process is vital if you are to keep a buyer’s interest for long enough to see them through to the final checkout stage. Finding, adding and ordering products should be a cinch – otherwise, you are heightening the risk of cart abandonment.

Keep delivery charges as low as possible

Fair enough – when you’re a small company, you don’t necessarily have the luxury of reducing shipping fees to nothing. However, a flat-rate method could still be greatly useful for leaving your customers in no doubt about how much they will be required to pay at the checkout. It’s worth bearing in mind, though, that free delivery is especially frequently offered on higher-priced products – so a ‘free delivery on orders over £50’ or similar policy could help you to compete.

You can’t, of course, expect to attract every possible buyer of your products if they are focused on price above all else. Nonetheless, the above tips and other measures for better presenting your store’s offerings could be invaluable for raising profits, irrespective of whether you also engage Piranha Designs to handle the design of your ecommerce website.

5 micro conversions that will help to cultivate customer loyalty and trust

Piranha Designs - Thursday, March 07, 2019

The statistics on the typical British customer’s relationship with offline and online shopping makes increasingly ominous reading for the high street. Whereas in 2013, only about one pound in every 10 was spent in online rather than offline stores, this has since risen to about one in five pounds. 

With the news headlines indicating that even many of the UK’s biggest high-street names are still struggling to keep afloat, it seems the aforementioned proportion of online expenditure could be on the up for many more years yet. 

This also presents a real opportunity to ecommerce website owners – not least given that it isn’t only the ‘big’ conversions of actual sales that matter. Even all manner of smaller conversions can count, given their role in the lead-up to bigger ones. 

So, it’s well worth investing the time and effort to boost ‘micro conversions’ such as the below. 

Signing up for emails 

Email may be one of the oldest means of making contact with others online, but it’s far from archaic or irrelevant in 2019. Indeed, you probably check your own emails several times a day, and the average customer does so, too. 

Registering for rewards 

Even the most rudimentary rewards, loyalty or VIP scheme can make a big difference to an ecommerce site. After all, it’s just one more way to encourage larger conversions and make the customer more likely to choose you as their go-to store for certain staple products. 

Saving for later purchase 

The customer may not have the most pressing need for your product right now, or they may be waiting to get paid before they will be in a position to do so. A ‘save for later’ function on your site, though, can be another effective way of capturing customers and heightening the likelihood of repeat visits. 

Following, liking or sharing on social media 

Embedding social media into your ecommerce site – including through the incorporation of actionable ‘share’ buttons on your product pages and even blog posts – can go a long way to deepening the relationships you enjoy with current customers and connecting to new ones. 

Using online contact forms 

If your customer has gone as far as manually getting in touch with you via the contact form you have provided for them on your site, you can be confident that they are very receptive to making a purchase from you – even if there are certain matters they need to resolve before doing so. 

The accumulative effect of micro conversions like the above across your target customer base can be extremely powerful as you look to maximise your brand’s prospects online, including by encouraging repeat purchases. As online spending continues to account for an ever-greater proportion of the UK’s retail spending, you could be sitting pretty if you take the right steps to optimise your site. 

Enquire to the Piranha Designs team today about ecommerce web design to place yourself advantageously to make big strides with your business’s online presence throughout 2019.


Recent Posts


Tags


Archive

Follow Us

We’d love to hear from you and answer any questions you may have.
Send us an email, stay in touch and follow us on facebook/twitter/linkedin.