Contact: Paul Ballard
Telephone: 01491 699822
12 Volt Planet supplies components, parts and accessories for low voltage vehicle wiring applications in the auto, marine and leisure after-markets. This includes areas such as kit car builds, classic car & motorbike restorations, in-car-entertainment wiring, campervan fit-outs, race and rally car installations, upgrades for off-road vehicles and towing, to name but a few. Our continually expanding product range comprises of around 900 lines including such items as cable, fuses, terminals, switches, connectors, bulbs, relays, cable management/protection parts, tools and consumables.
What were your reasons for starting an online shop?
The business was started from a completely blank sheet of paper at the end of 2012 aided by some experience in, and a passion for, vehicle electrics and a long-simmering desire to work for myself. I wanted to create a site that was clean, smart and attractive with strong branding and that was clutter-free and easy to navigate. As well as the products themselves, I was also keen that the site provide customers with a technical reference by having a series of Ďhow-toí articles or guides to accompany the products, which is why I created the 12 Volt Planet ĎKnowledge Centreí. Iíve got some big plans for this aspect of the site but one step at a timeÖ
Did you design your site yourself or did you use an external designer?
I used ZigZag Design in Brighton for the aesthetic design of the site and some of the configuration and I then took over to build in all of the content. ZigZag have been excellent to work with and I would highly recommend them. The design I ended up with is the first one they proposed so itís really been a very pain-free process. Adding content and taking photos for 900+ products, however, was not so pain-free!
There are some areas where I would like to see additional functionality in the future and Bluepark seem to have a programme of on-going improvements to address user feedback, such as the recently introduced ability to de-activate certain variants; a feature which has helped me.
Do you have any advice for anyone starting an online business?
Iíve thoroughly enjoyed the process to date so I would say go for it, but donít underestimate the time it takes from having a business idea to launching your site. For me it took nine months and a lot of coffee!
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