Featured Shop: Order Flowers
4 CommentsWednesday, 5 March 2014 | Cate
What were your reasons for starting an online shop?
Having previously had a bricks & mortar florist shop and becoming disillusioned with the high commissions the likes of Interflora took from each order we placed (it was 27% at the time), it was nigh on impossible to turn a profit. We decided between the team that we could offer a fantastic value proposition on a national level by designing and creating our own bouquets centrally. This meant we could control the quality and stem counts of every bouquet and using tracked courier delivery with our specially designed flower boxes to ensure safe and on time delivery throughout England, Scotland & Wales.
What were your reasons for choosing Bluepark?
It's a long story, but one with a happy ending! We initially tried to design our own site. I mean, how hard could it be? Very, was the answer! After deciding to use a web platform, we went ahead with another UK based company which seemed to work fine at first. However, as we grew both as a business and as a website, the number of small niggles accumulated with us deciding that for the long term health of the company we needed to look at other options.
We must have looked in depth at 10 new platforms at this point and took advantage of the free trial Bluepark offered. We were impressed with the flexibility of the block system which offered new possibilities in terms of design and, more importantly, the ability to bring across our content and meta data from our old site, meaning the transfer was as simple as possible.
Did you design your site yourself or did you use an external designer?
We did the design ourselves. It is still ongoing and probably will continue to do so as Bluepark continue to provide innovative new features for us to take advantage of, making it a lot easier to operate as an online business on a daily basis.
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How did you find the process of setting up your site on Bluepark?
Fantastic, we did get a heap of help from James who was great answering any questions we had. Having been through the process earlier with our old platform, we had some knowledge of how we wanted the site to knit together and took the move as an opportunity to improve the way customer’s found and navigated through our products.
How have you seen your online business grow?
We continue to grow month on month. We have utilised voucher sites such as KGB & Wowcher to quickly gain customer base and we have an invested social following which is starting to yield excellent results. The biggest win for us on Bluepark has been the ability to customise the dispatch note, which now streamlines our whole process, saving us a great deal of time on each and every order.
Do you have any advice for anyone starting an online business?
Have a clear plan and stick to it. We’ve been guilty in the past of spreading ourselves too thin and trying to do too much too quickly, especially where Google is concerned. Concentrate on the basics, good design, usability and well written content, then worry about Google. Also, bear in mind that there are multiple free channels that just require time and effort that you can take advantage of.
If in doubt, ask. Try and find your way to the community forum, the information on there is incredible and if you’ve got a question that’s not been asked before there are a lot of people who can help.
We would love to feature your online shop next month. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.