Over the past ten years the Internet has evolved into a potent tool, one which has revolutionised communications, information management and now, the business world.
Dimasoft Limited, based at Amron House on Borough Road in North Shields, is a website and design consultancy. Jonjo McNeill, 30, is the company’s Lead Graphic Designer and as he explains, Dimasoft is witnessing an exponential growth in demand for its e-commerce websites.
“We’ve noticed a doubling of clients over the past year with new orders coming in almost every week. E-commerce is a young industry. The trends however are clear. Investment in a good e-commerce website enables you to sell worldwide.”
According to the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index, e-commerce sales in the UK grew by 14% during 2009, with Internet shoppers spending £200 billion online. During August 2010 alone, UK shoppers spent around £4.4 billion over the Internet. This approximates to £72 per person. Furthermore, Econsultancy reports in its Internet Statistics Compendium that online sales in the UK during 2010 are predicted to reach £56bn.
Jonjo of Dimasoft can only see this trend continuing into 2011 and beyond. As a professional working in the field, he has some top tips for businesses thinking about investing in an e-commerce website.
“Be clear about what you need. A brochure website is very different from an e-commerce driven on-line shop. This aspect of needs analysis in fact is very important. “We spend a lot of time working with clients on this. It enables us to produce flexible, highly secure, tailor made websites that are feature rich.
“Secondly, have a budget in mind. Generally speaking you would be looking to invest from about £500 upwards on a good website.
“Thirdly, take into account the need to invest in some form of Search Engine Marketing. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is a medium term strategy which helps to ensure your site can be found by potential customers; increasing online sales potential. Pay Per Click advertising (PPC) has a higher cost associated with it but can ensure that your site is visible on page one of Google from the outset. Dimasoft can provide help and advice in both of these areas.
Dimasoft offers a complete suite of web design and development services. These include: Website design; SEO; PPC advertising, site hosting; Internet connections; software development; server management; online security; e-mail and online marketing; data back-up services; e-commerce and graphic design.
“It’s an exciting time to be involved in the business,” says Jonjo. “The technology races on and I think we are still yet to fully realise the potential of the Internet.
“This is especially true for businesses. Ten years ago having a good brochure website was the expected and the norm. Now, e-commerce is coming more and more to the fore, especially as online security has been greatly improved. People are much more relaxed about buying over the Internet.
“Businesses that don’t, or aren’t able to ride the e-commerce wave may find themselves dead in the water.”
Perhaps the last word can be left to ex-US president, Bill Clinton.
“When I took office, only high energy physicists had ever heard of what is called the World Wide Web… Now even my cat has its own page.”