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Small Internet Retail Companies

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Guest growl

I don't know whether there is anything in this or not. But I manage a few sites and the company I use for hosting will send out reminders every so often for people to renew their domain name and site, then an email telling you which sites have been deleted. Now what I've noticed recently is that the list of sites that need renewing seem to be more small business's than usual.

Mostly it is the type of sites that people just set up for fun or its their hobbie or blog. But a lot of them recently that are being reminded to renew(for sometimes the third time, then are deleted) are sites that sell things such as carpets and goods for the house.

Now it may be nothing, and I'm sure there is someone out there who knows more about this than me. But I'm wondering if this is going to become a trend.

Since, so far the retail sector have blamed much of their decline on people buying from the Internet, that's when they are not blaming the weather. :)

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I run a company that does web development, and recently we have had a massive increase in the number of people asking us to set up e-commerce sites. Most are smallish companies and would like us to do it for £500 or something. There are plenty of e-commerce products out there and setting up and supporting existing products is not something we do so we tend to turn them away. However I get the impression many are small shops that are trying to swap to online retailing to try and save money/ increase sales. Most seem pretty clueless. (and budgetless)

I don't know what this anecdote means, but I thought I'd share it with you

Edited by Bear Goggles

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I did mine myself, But I am a webdesigner,

it can be done cheap but you get what you pay for, nobody will buy from a store that looks like a 5 year old did the graphics,

I'll start trading soon jsut need to get some capital for Adverts in the music mags,

merchant accounts sting tho for new traders, 2.4% on credit cards is best I could negotiate, add the payment gate fees @ 1% soon eats in to profits, still cheaper than a shop on the high street

Digitalbeats

Edited by Kam

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My 2p:

I run a small Internet Retail Business selling 'luxury' ( :huh: ) goods (business part of a larger company), and sales have fallen off a cliff (down about 40-50%). I try to explain that people are 'cutting' back, but the directors just keep saying were not marketing it properly, it will pick up, we need to try new things etc etc.

The sales are thoughout the world (not in the UK), and the company is ran as a loss leader to generate business leads (where the business passes to the parent company).

Although one other thing I have noticed is the number of companies trying to sell services to us has increased dramatically. (The Telephone Preference Service is useless).

I won't mention the company (so don't ask) as you guys will spam it, and i'll end up working tomorrow trying to fix it! :o

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My take on this is that retailing is slowly but surely moving onto the internet. I have often wondered why high value (sorry, I mean price) items like perfume were not widely sold - I always assumed that the big houses like Chanel etc had an iron grip on their distribution network (i.e. did not allow price cutting).

But my wife told me the other day she read about a site selling all (or most? I don't really know) cosmetics at half the retail price.

This is going to require a change in mindset - and this takes time - maybe even generations - although I would estimate a generation (in retail terms) to be probably less than 10 years.

In 10 years I imagine Tesco will be selling everything you need on their web site.

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Guest growl

Well that is quite a mixed response. I must admit that although I had noticed that more retail sites were not renewing. I have actually had more interest recently from small business's.

So maybe. Some are cutting back, and getting rid of their sites as they don't do much and its an extra expense, while others are realising that the way forward for them to increase their business and stay ahead of their competitors is to have a site.

I suppose it depends on what type of business or retailer you are, and it also depend on who has designed the site and how much skill has gone into it. The retailers that have contacted me recently are not selling anything related to property. For example carpets. washing machines, furniture. The sites that are not renewing do seem to sell alot of this stuff. So I'm thinking there is a connection.

Two business's that approached me recently were involved in crafts. Either supplying the materials or the actual gift.

Thanks for the response all. As a webdesigner I do have my reasons for keeping track of this. :)

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Guest growl
LINKS?

Let's have links to some of the sites you are taling about.

Here are two of mine:

http://www.Goldstock.co.uk

http://www.DebtBubble.com

Do you mean the sites that aren't renewing. Since I've deleted the email about that. They were not my sites. The hosting company just sends an automated email to everyone. Although since I think it was the first reminder I may get another email in a week with the links.

Most of mine are still under development. So they will not be on my site portfollio. Although one that is coming to the end of the project will be online next week hopefully. I'm working on it as we speak. Its a business that deals with educational and leadership courses. So its not retail.

My own business website is in my signature, with another one I just use for fun and to try things out on.

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Guest growl
As a matter of interest  what is the average  cost of designing a good small business website ?

Depends what you mean by small. The site I am designing at the moment will probably work out less than £400. We are on about 20 pages at the moment. There alot of PDF downloads. It is not a retail site. That includes me setting up hosting for him. Which I don't do myself, I just arrange it. He'll get 12megs of space. The thing is he's on old prices as we did the deal before April. So untill I've billed him for extra pages and some other stuff I'm not sure yet.

I haven't been doing this for long. Nearly a year. So I am pretty cheap compared to most. But everyone has to start somewhere. Thankfully I make money doing other stuff aswell. But I just love webdesigning and since my degree was more to do with software engineering. I'm hoping to move more towards web development.

Anyway if you are interested goto http://www.ellieswebdesign.com

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Guest growl
To be brutally honest (Simon Cowell style) It is probably one of the worst sites I have ever seen from a web designer.

I have just watched the X factor and this site definately has not got it.

GOODBYE

I am still designing it. But thanks for your constructive analysis. :rolleyes:

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Guest growl
I have to agree.

If this is the best an IT graduate can do it really does show how meaningless british qualifications have become.

http://www.webpagesthatsuck.com/dailysucker/

As I said 'I haven't been doing this for long... But everyone has to start somewhere.'

Besides I did not do webdesign as part of my degree. I actually did software development. Web design is something I have moved into because it is fun. My customers don't have a problem, and when I have the time I will most certainly sort out my site. But again thanks for the constructive analysis. Its good to know how supportive people on this forum can be. :)

I actually started this topic to see what the Internet retail sector was getting like. I've had the address to both of my sites in my signature since I signed up. So anyone could have looked. :rolleyes:

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I am still designing it. But thanks for your constructive analysis.

What exactly does that mean.

This site is not even to primary school standard. Its rather worrying the amount of graduates that say they design websites when in reality they can put them together.

It is people designing sites like this that has been the downfall of the internet designers workload.

Too many graduates are trying to earn extra cash by designing sites making the price of web design drop.

There is a real difference between web design and the dross being put together in the name of design. I have nothing against graduates designing sites as long as they are good sites. That is complete rubbish and cannot form any basis of a good site.

Companies would not have a graduate design the front of their shop so why have one design their worldwide shop window.

Everyone and their dog goes to art school. Most because they cannot do any other course. It seems you now need no talent whatsoever to study art and its rather worrying.

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growl,

I have just had a look at some of your examples, e.g. http://www.nodebt4me.co.uk/. And althougth this website is basic, it serve its purpose (The pictures as far too big, they take too long to download). So, any criticism should be on the completed work.

I have done lots of web development, and I very good at the technical parts of it, but i'm carp at the design part. I have only ever worked on website where the 'appearance' is already designed - I just tell them that they can't do it that way! Since, I have left this tecky sector!

Anyway, I can't remember what my point was because i'm drunk!

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Guest growl
growl,

I have just had a look at some of your examples, e.g. http://www.nodebt4me.co.uk/.  And althougth this website is basic, it serve its purpose (The pictures as far too big, they take too long to download). So, any criticism should be on the completed work.

I have done lots of web development, and I very good at the technical parts of it, but i'm carp at the design part.  I have only ever worked on website where the 'appearance' is already designed - I just tell them that they can't do it that way!  Since, I have left this tecky sector!

Anyway, I can't remember what my point was because i'm drunk!

Thanks. I'm getting there myself mate(drunk I mean). But seriously that was contructive criticism which I don't mind. You are right about the download time of nodebt4me. They were pictures he had given me and I have been working on them to speed up the time. Of course he's happy with it. But I do see things like this and sometimes my customers cannot understand why I am being fussy. However I know that other designers will spot stuff. To be honest I'm that busy at the moment that I just have'nt the time to sort out my site for a few weeks.

Most of my customers come to me through recomendation. They are local people who have small business's and can't afford to have other companies in the area design a site that would cost thousands. I've never pretended on this forum to be an experienced or amazing designer. If people have read my posts before they will see that I often say that others probably know more than me.

Its a big world out there especially on the Internet. So if people pay me for giving them low budget sites that do the job, and in the mean time I am constantly learning and developing new skills. Then what is the problem. :)All of my customers know I am new at this. I live in a small community where everyone helps each other out by supporting each others business's.

Anyway this has gone a bit off topic. :rolleyes: I only put my link on because someone was asking about price. I started with the question as to how the Internet retail sector was doing. Obviously I'm interested in that, and the effects it will have on the economy in the future.

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dont know how relevant this un' is, but theres a lot of companies going for all out last ditch advertising to shift over stock. not known for ads they are all trying to 'blowout' the ballast.

look out for em'

on telly.

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To be brutally honest (Simon Cowell style) It is probably one of the worst sites I have ever seen from a web designer.

I have just watched the X factor and this site definately has not got it.

GOODBYE

To be brutally honest I have looked at it and found it very easy to navigate compared to some of the "profeesional" sites that draw oohs and aaahs from "cognisceti"

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To be brutally honest (Simon Cowell style) It is probably one of the worst sites I have ever seen from a web designer.

I have just watched the X factor and this site definately has not got it.

GOODBYE

yeah.. um, I don't want to be mean or anything but that was like a journey back to 1995...

i'm also a software developer with a background in computer science working on the web... and i'm afraid most professional commercial websites do need professional design. here's one of my favourites..

http://www.havaianas.com/

inspiration:-

http://www.favouritewebsiteawards.com/

http://wellvetted.com/

http://www.linkdup.com/

anyway... good luck with it all

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To be brutally honest I have looked at it and found it very easy to navigate compared to some of the "profeesional" sites that draw oohs and aaahs from "cognisceti"

It should be easy to navigate. But if it was your business it was promoting what would it say to you.

I know what it would say to me - I don't care

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Guest growl
To be brutally honest I have looked at it and found it very easy to navigate compared to some of the "profeesional" sites that draw oohs and aaahs from "cognisceti"

Thanks for that Gundog. :) but seriously I shall make it more visually appealing over the coming months when I have the time.

BUT before this thread gets completely off topic regarding my skills or lack of them.

What about the impact of RETAIL INTERNET COMPANIES.

Question will small Internet companies be the cottage industry of the future? Would this same industry in time take us out of recession in the future.

Supposedly ebay has spawned a multitude of small business's and although many will crash and burn in the next few years, will they ultimately change the face of the Retail sector completely.

If my history serves me right. Before the industrial revolution most industry in this country was agriculture and cottage. We now have big multi-nationals who own most of the retail sector.

But could the Internet change this?

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Depends what you mean by small. The site I am designing at the moment will probably work out less than £400. We are on about 20 pages at the moment. There alot of PDF downloads. It is not a retail site. That includes me setting up hosting for him. Which I don't do myself, I just arrange it. He'll get 12megs of space. The thing is he's on old prices as we did the deal before April. So untill I've billed him for extra pages and some other stuff I'm not sure yet.

I haven't been doing this for long. Nearly a year. So I am pretty cheap compared to most. But everyone has to start somewhere. Thankfully I make money doing other stuff aswell. But I just love webdesigning and since my degree was more to do with software engineering. I'm hoping to move more towards web development.

Anyway if you are interested goto http://www.ellieswebdesign.com

hehe CIW associate I am CIW Master Designer :P

gopeds-online.co.uk

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