In the early stages of Covid lockdowns in the UK during 2020, we felt like a business we should help other businesses who were struggling. One such business local to us was an awarding-winning bakery and bistro that relied solely on the brick and mortar store being open for people to access their products.
When restrictions hit, they had no way of serving their customers online as the website prior to this was a free Squarespace site which was not practically functional.
The owner didn’t have the time or the knowledge to implement an eCommerce solution of his own and resorted to doing a PDF menu download on social media for his customers to use, but which was cumbersome and restrictive.
We approached the business to ask if they had thought an online store would be of benefit and if they would be interested in us building a store for them.
As it was during lockdown restrictions, we had to make some compromises as far as things like product images for the store. We had to rely on the owner to do their own food photography by using their mobile phone, which wasn’t ideal, but we had to make it work, as the priority was to get the site live and to generate online sales.
We also wanted to see how we could benefit from the popularity of the brand locally and use the opportunity to build an email list so the owner could use it to communicate with customers without having to buy ads or rely wholly on social media.
Because of the structure, we applied in the site build, the result is of a website achieving a reasonable amount of traffic for a local business website and is being found on the search engines for some grand keywords and which are very targeted towards the products they sell.
The aim was to create an attractive website that would enhance the reputation the brand had gained locally and a project on a website, but with limited resources and during the first lockdown in 2020 which meant it was difficult to carry out the normal client activities face to face.
The stipulation was to have an online store that would be used to sell products online and then to expand to offer specialist niche products for customers. The site should also incorporate a menu that could be kept up to date by clients, so we provided that through custom fields in the admin area so that it could be updated as and when the client needed, but without having to worry about breaking the design of the site.
As the site was being built from scratch, we also built in an email marketing function so that we could run promotions and build up an email list which would reduce the future costs of advertising and therefore be more cost-effective and allowing the client to communicate with their audience more frequently and in a targeted way.
As there were no analytics data, we took the opportunity to incorporate analytics into the site also so we could monitor statistics which allow informed judgements to be made about product sales and also campaign success, which previously couldn’t be done as nothing was in place.
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