An in-house developer provided Simulaids Ltd with all the control needed to grow the business online, or so Managing Director, Chris Aller thought. However after a great start, the businesses’ online presence started to lag behind the competition.
Chris Aller explains the issues Simulaids faced and how he resolved them.
Simulaids Ltd is an approved distributor for Nasco
We sell and support a wide range of specialist first aid and medical training products. This ranges from basic and advanced life support training equipment to patient and casualty simulation and much more besides. The products are for medical professionals, first responders and specialist rescue teams. They’re designed to make the training as realistic as possible.
We needed an edge, so we stock most items
The internet means almost any person can buy a product from anywhere in the world. As we are not the exclusive distributor for many of the ranges, we needed an edge. Which is why I took the decision to have a purpose built warehouse and stock many of the wide and varied items we distribute. We’re based in Coalville, Leicestershire, which is centrally located in the UK making it an excellent location for fast distribution to our clients.
Holding stock is expensive, so we need a constant flow of sales
Our online presence needed to work hard because we had so much invested in the stock. We needed to shout about being able to supply products next day. I decided to employ a web designer/programmer who could design, develop and manage the website. Having selected the ACTINIC® platform for ecommerce, my web designer built the site. In the beginning this worked really well for us and the business went from strength to strength.
As the internet developed at an increasing speed, we started to fall behind
The major issue I identified was the over dependence upon one individual. Although my web developer had done a great job for us, just keeping up with the technology, online trends and search engine optimisation was proving too much for one person. However, I felt it was difficult to do anything about the situation I found myself in. Where would I start? The longer I procrastinated the greater the distance we were falling behind. I couldn’t even assign help to the web designer, as the programming was something so complex that anything that needed changing could only be done by them.
One day my hand was forced
My web developer gave me notice they were relocating and the distance would be too great to commute. Having experienced firsthand how difficult changing products on the site was, even sat with the web designer in the same room, my gut told me this wouldn’t be feasible working remotely. Which meant I now had to do something about it. I’d already looked and researched alternative solutions since my first inkling of the issues, and there were a few names in the frame. I started the process of looking for a new supplier.
Quiet Storm were recommended to me
One of the companies was Quiet Storm, they were local but more important than that, I’d heard about the results they’d achieved for other companies. Having visited other website companies, Quiet Storm came across more business focused and professional. They understood my issues and could show me solutions they had developed which achieved what I was looking for.
Key concerns were control of content, ease of use and search engine optimisation
Quiet Storm were able to satisfy all my concerns very quickly. They demonstrated their content management system, called ‘Easy Edit.’ They explained that their support team were on hand for telephone support and one-on-one training, plus they offered additional training workshops free, all within the package. Best of all they offered a free one day ‘search engine optimisation and digital content management workshop.’ This runs monthly and would help anyone from novice to highly competent understand the latest trends and keep up with best practice. None of the training is limited, so I can send people on more than once or send multiple people on the workshops and for training.
An extensive online portal with tools, videos and much more helps maximise ROI
Return on investment is about understanding what’s going on and being able to take action to continuously improve the results. The ‘Knowledge Bank’ is the online portal we get from Quiet Storm to help us optimise the site and access all manner of support information. It provides us with quick statistical overviews of traffic sources and visits. But essentially it presents everything to do with our website in one place. We also have a more detailed view highlighting which search terms are working for us. Which means the search engine optimisation workshop helps us define our dynamic content management strategy. The Knowledge Bank enables us to measure the results and do more of what is working and change or adapt what isn’t.
Results are what I’m looking for and we’ve already seen a difference
Now I have an ecommerce website on which my team, no matter what their skill set, can quickly be trained to manage content, so adding new products, creating articles and editing the website is quick and simple and fully within our control. We’re kept up to date with the trends and online marketing tactics, plus we have expert help we can call on at anytime.
Our customer feedback on the new site is that it looks great, it’s easier to find products and more importantly understand the differences between the various options. All in all the new site is much better, but the real proof is in the sales and since the websites launch we’ve seen a 20% uplift.Back