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Startup runs towards a virtual business world

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“If we believe what we’ve been told about the growth of e-commerce and the potential in our marketplace, the only way we’re likely to grow significantly is online,” he says.

During the past 12 months, Robinson has had to develop two websites for the shop: “We grew out of the first one pretty quickly. It was smart but, from a back-end point of view, it wasn’t sophisticated enough. We recently launched a new website after four months of hard work.”

Robinson used a local design agency, based two doors down the road from the shop. He admits: “We saw a lot of them. One of the problems with the previous web designer is that they were based in Wimbledon but we never saw them. Having someone close by was very important for us.”

The agency is also working with Robinson on pay per click [PPC] campaigns. “They believe there’s potential for us to be spending £10,000 a month on Google, SEO and PPC,” he says.

It sounds like a lot of money for a company that’s expected to turn over at least £300,000 this year but Robinson says it’s achievable. “You  get your money back because that will generate a phenomenal number of clicks to the website provided you’ve got competitive pries, good products and a really nice website that’s easy to use and is easy to buy from," he says.

"We’d have to be generating £100,000 per month; when we look at those figures, we realise the future is online, not in store. The cost of expanding like that, with real shops, would be too high.

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