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Home Decorating Company has been named one of four finalists in the Best Small Business Website category.
Home Decorating Company has been nominated for the prestigious 2017 Blades Award for Best Small Business Website. Home Decorating Company’s ecommerce store, which was completely redesigned by Fan and Fuel in 2016, received one of four finalist nominations. The winner will be announced on March 9, 2017 during MivaCon 2017, an annual conference hosted by the Miva Merchant ecommerce platform.
Home Decorating Company offers a huge range of luxury bedding collections and home décor. They first approached Fan and Fuel in January 2016 for a full ecommerce redesign and custom coding of their new Miva 9 store. Working closely with Home Decorating Company to understand their unique market niche, Fan and Fuel’s creative team transformed the website into a visually stunning, easy-to-navigate site that maximizes the user experience and seamlessly boosts conversions. After the initial re-design was complete, the project was expanded to include the complete rebranding of the company and the introduction of a new Home Decorating Company logo. The award-nominated website, inspired by Home Decorating Company’s vision and driven by Fan and Fuel’s design direction and final production, was launched in August 2016.
“Yankee Retail Company is thrilled to share the Blade’s Award Nomination with Fan & Fuel,” says Wendy Potts, CEO of Yankee Retail Company – Home Decorating Company. “Fan & Fuel has been vital in transforming HomeDecoratingCompany.com into a sleek and clean website with great graphic style and user-friendly functionality for its shoppers.”
“Our goal at Fan and Fuel is to make web design and digital marketing less intimidating and more enjoyable,” says Matt Harding, founder and Creative Director of Fan and Fuel. “The owners at the Home Decorating Company provided us with feedback regarding their existing online retail and from there, we created a new framework that supports all of their product and gives a refreshed user experience. We gave each page layout individual attention to create brand story lines, and we streamlined the user flow so that all of Home Decorating Company’s product is highlighted and promoted. The new site gives customers the ability to view multiple product options and quickly add product to their cart as they become more educated on all of the bedding options.”
Based out of San Diego, CA, Miva Merchant provides total ecommerce solutions for businesses of all sizes and focuses on store security, flexible custom architecture, and sustainable business growth. Since its launch in 1997, Miva Merchant has grown to become one of the leading ecommerce solutions around, used by 1 million online businesses.
For 17 years, Miva Merchant has also held MivaCon, an annual ecommerce conference dedicated to community-building and knowledge-sharing among industry experts, B2B and B2C storeowners, and web designers and developers. The Blades Awards form a central part of the conference each year, highlighting outstanding ecommerce sites that use the Miva Merchant ecommerce platform. The Blades Best Small Business Website Award recognizes sites that offer high-end shopping experiences and custom site design that can handle large volume business. MivaCon 2017 will be held on March 8 – 10, 2017 at the Hyatt Regency La Jolla in San Diego, California.
View Home Decorating Company ‘s Blades Award-nominated site at: http://www.HomeDecoratingCompany.com
- 92% of consumers hesitate to make a purchase if there are no customer reviews
- 97% say customer reviews factor into their buying decisions
- 32% say written reviews are the one element that makes them believe a site’s reviews are relevant/useful
- 73% say written reviews make more of an impression on them than star/number ratings
- 94% typically read written reviews
- 35% say one negative review can make them decide not to buy
The data from our December 2016 survey reveals that consumers want to see customer reviews for your products and services AND they look for the nitty-gritty details in customers’ written reviews—experiences and problems they’ve had, how you’ve responded to complaints, consensus on whether or not the product/service lives up to your claims and so on. Online customer reviews tell a story that consumers trust.
No Reviews, BIG Problem
If you have no reviews, 8% of people don’t care. The other 92% care very, very much.
The 32% who leave your site to do more research, they’re probably not coming back. And, when you have no customer reviews, you’ve created a barrier between customer and conversion. That is one barrier you can, and should, remove. Customers who have had bad experiences are more likely to leave reviews than those who have had a positive experience. So, you have to ask happy customers to leave reviews, which, admittedly, is not easy. Brian Patterson of Go Fish Digital offers ideas on how to ask for and get customer reviews because he says that, “Outside of the food and hospitality industry, it can be a real struggle for businesses to get positive reviews.”
It’s All in the Details
Not only are written reviews the most important element of customer reviews:
94% of consumers typically read the written reviews and 73% say written reviews make more of an impression on them than the star/number ratings.
Additionally, 34% say they like to see a mix of positive and negative written reviews. You’d expect some people to be happy and some, not so much. And that’s what people prefer to see—reviews that feel authentic.
When consumers read written reviews, 37% say they’re primarily looking for details on reviewers experiences because those details help them decide if the product/service is going to suit their needs. 31% scan the reviews to look for descriptions of problems with the product/service.
The Trusted Source
Research shows that 88% of consumers trust reviews they find online just as much as personal recommendations. Most consumers do factor customer reviews into their buying decisions.
And, 35% say one bad negative review is enough to make them decide not to buy.
You can do something about that. And according to Blake Morgan, thought leader on customer experience, you should, because, “If you try and publicly fix the customer’s problem, others are watching and applauding you for your attitude.” Read The Ultimate Guide to Handling Negative Reviews.
If You Sell Products:
64% of consumers say that Amazon is the best site for product reviews.
Reportedly, Amazon has about 185,000 active marketplace sellers in the US. Most likely, you prefer to sell your products on your own website. It’s easier, cheaper (Amazon does take a cut) and when people are on your website, you have no competitors vying for attention. But as our survey data shows, product reviews help consumers and you might see some benefit from selling your products on Amazon.
If You Sell Services
42% say that Google is the best source of customer reviews for services. 34% prefer Yelp.
Google encourages businesses to ask their customers for reviews. Besides helping your customers with their buying decisions, reviews are also important for local SEO.
And then there’s Yelp. Yelp’s support center for businesses says: “Don’t Ask for Reviews. Don’t ask anyone to review your business on Yelp. It’s that simple.” Yelp wants you to believe that if you provide great customer service, people will be be inspired to write great Yelp reviews for you. (Kinda like Google’s mantra: if you build great content, links will just come—which pretty much happens NEVER!) Yelp reviews don’t just happen and even when you manage to get a legit review, Yelp’s “helpful” algorithm can filter them out. This article, 5 Yelp Facts Business Owners Should Know, decodes the nuances of Yelp’s policies.
An Added Bonus
Not only do customer reviews have tremendous influence on people who are researching products and services, they can also have an impact on your rankings—that according to Jayson DeMers of Audience Bloom. In a Forbes.com post, he writes,“The number of positive reviews you have on external websites might actually have a bigger impact on your rankings than the reviews on your own site. This is because Google’s local search algorithm incorporates data from a number of third-party directories and review sites.”
Consumers are skeptical about buying a product based solely on the seller’s information. Online customer reviews are often as important as photos and product descriptions. Start by asking your best customers to write reviews for you on Google and Facebook and encourage them to provide detail in their written reviews. Tackle bad reviews immediately—always respond and convey your eagerness to help the unhappy customer. Read this article for examples how real business owners have effectively responded to negative reviews.
David Sawyer of ZudePR asserts that “Google Reviews, especially in B2B/service sector industries, are criminally underused.” There’s an opportunity—especially for small businesses! Persuade your customers to write Google reviews and not only will you help your customers with their buying decisions, you’re likely to see better local SEO results too. Put these strategies into play and you can edge out competitors that put no effort into getting customer reviews.
When launching a startup, most entrepreneurs have to do everything single handed. But as you start to grow, it’s usually wise to turn over digital marketing to the experts. And when you don’t want to hire a full-time marketing team, that means outsourcing to an experienced digital marketing strategist.
The best digital marketing specialists can not only improve every aspect of your online presence, but actually grow your brand’s visibility, get you more clients, and earn you more money. What’s better than that?
Here are some of the focus areas a digital marketing strategist will improve for your business.
High Quality Website
If your website is working slow, you are doomed. Wholly 40% of people will leave your website, and most likely never return, if a page doesn’t load within three seconds. That’s all it takes to essentially make or break a company in 2016: three seconds. On top of that, most websites begin to look horribly dated after just two years.
By working with the professionals, however, you will always be the proud owner of a high quality website that not only looks amazing, but also functions great and loads quickly.
Search Engine Optimization
You can’t go too far in the online world if people can’t easily find your website. Just because you have a great product and a professionally designed website doesn’t mean people will automatically flock to it. You have to have some sort of SEO strategy to get your website to the top of a search result for your particular industry. Unless you have several years to spare to become an SEO expert, you’ll have better luck finding your own personal digital marketing strategist.
Social Media Marketing
There’s a reason your local plumbing company has a Facebook and Twitter page. Social media is an essential tool for any business looking to thrive on the web. Yes, a veterinarian or web design company might be better placed to stand out on social media, but every company should be optimizing their social media presence.
These social media platforms give you the opportunity to speak directly to your customers, and potentially find new ones.
Online Advertising and Remarketing Campaigns
Many business owners don’t realize just how many types of online advertising there are to choose from, or how these platforms differ from search engine optimization or social media marketing. But even if you understand the difference between online display advertising, remarketing campaigns, pay-per-click ads on Google AdWords, and “Boosted” Facebook posts, successfully running one of these ad campaigns is another story.
If you want to see fast results from your digital efforts, then online advertising is an ideal solution.
Looking for a digital marketing strategist to help improve your company’s online presence? Contact Fan and Fuel today!
It’s no secret that the future of advertising is all about digital marketing. From web design to SEO strategies, it’s standard procedure these days for business large and small to carefully monitor their online presence and to use the Internet to attract business.
But that’s just it: As more and more brands flock to the web, it’s become increasingly difficult to stand out from the pack. That’s why top-notch digital marketing services will be more important than ever throughout the months and years to come.
A Growing User Base
Estimates suggest that by 2019, over half of the world’s population will be on the web — 3.9 billion people. E-commerce today generates some $1.2 million USD every 30 seconds, but as more consumers begin to rely on the Internet, sales — and competition — are bound to increase.
At the same time, the Internet is also getting smarter. Google’s algorithms have become increasingly sophisticated in their efforts to weed out the spam from the steak, so to speak. Digital marketing services that can provide you with real, human content that connects with other real humans will be key in taking your search rankings to page one.
Social media outreach is nothing new in digital marketing, but the ways that users engage with the dozens of apps and sites they may use on a daily basis is always changing. From quizzes and streaming to Snapchat filters and dating apps, the opportunities are ripe for clever social campaigns that utilize all of the latest cutting edge features.
Security will also be an important issue in the coming years of web design, mobile outreach, and digital marketing. You want to not only make sure that your company is safe from data breaches or hacks, but that your consumers feel safe and confident when conducting business through your site or app.
Ready to Launch
As 2016 slowly draws to a close, we can learn a lot from the year behind us. Anyone who works with the web knows the power it has to spread content, engage audiences, and drum up new business. The key for the future will be to keep that momentum going.