We Work in a Pragmatic Fashion
Working with SMBs has forged the way we deliver our services: cost-effectiveness, sustainability and user experience are the underlying principles of our web developing. By doing scalable development and utilising the abundant resources of open source, we can build highly intelligent websites that power your business forward. Our expertise in both web developing and digital marketing such as SEO and SEM means we have all the tools at your disposal to not just having an eye-catching web presence but also quality leads to fuel your business growth.
Being the no. 1 choice for CMS, WordPress is highly customisable and extendable. Initially designed as a blogging platform, WP is a great candidate for small business websites, either information or eCommerce. With the help of ‘drag & drop’ visual builders, WP is also considered as the most user-friendly CMS, making content updates effortless.
If you’re looking to build your business website with the ability to self-manage most content updates, WP is a great choice. For eCommerce startups, if your product range is uncomplicated, and there’s no need for sophisticated integrations, WordPress combined with WooCommerce can deliver just as much functionality and performance as any other eCommerce platform. Our preparation list and cost factors articles can help you get started.
Similar to WordPress, Magento is a dedicated CMS for eCommerce. With the release of Magento 2, there is finally a promising answer to a fast, admin friendly, scalable, responsive and conversion optimised eCommerce platform. Based on our experience in previous Magento 2 projects, we have to say the most exciting part of Magento 2 is the ability to integrate with other business software seamlessly. As a result, the improved efficiency allows a small team capable of handling a much higher business revenue than ever before.
Our Magento developing approach has a strong emphasis on understanding and utilising product attributes, which we believe is a key to excellent online shopping and eCommerce management experience. A comprehensive understanding of custom attributes can empower store owners and admins to input their creativities in terms of administration and marketing.
We also embrace third-party solutions to cut down development costs. Email marketing, hosted search, customer journey, personalised shopping, customisable shipping rates and flexible payment options are standard features we offer to our eCommerce clients.
With the ever-growing competition third-party DIY eCommerce solutions such as Shopify and Squarespace bring to the industry of eCommerce developing, system integration is one of the few niche services made us feel proud of our work. Since our first attempt on system integration, we have celebrated many “Hooray!” moments with our clients -when they appreciate we have automated all previous tedious and labour-intensive tasks, and the joy is enormous! It’s where satisfactions come from: the investment of eCommerce developing and the extensive efforts made to migrate age-old office technology to cloud-based solutions have finally paid off.
Unlike some of the efforts we put in advertising, the benefits of system integration are tangible, and it’s no surprise some of our eCommerce clients are now running bigger businesses with fewer staff members. Here is a list of our commonly used integrations:
- Email marketing. A dedicated email marketing tool such as MailChimp and Campaign Monitor is the right way to start your newsletter. The integration syncs customer data (include eCommerce data) across both platforms, so your email list is always up to date. Based on the eCommerce data, you can now create customer journey campaigns to retain and remarket your existing customers.
- eBay/Amazon integration. You can now manage eBay/Amazon account in eCommerce website: it automates bulk listing, order processing and shipping, so there’s no double handling.
- Inventory integration. When selling online, incorrect inventory can be disastrous, so we integrate inventory to manage the stock in dedicated third-party inventory software, then sync the data across all your sales channels.
- Order fulfilment integration. Web orders can be bulk processed with shipping updates synced back to the web store and eBay.
- Accounting integration. It enables real-time stock updates and automated invoicing, which makes taxing and restock a dream.
- POS integration. For businesses with both online and offline stores, POS integration is a must have as it keeps stock level in check.
Dedicated Cloud VPS Hosting
A dedicated Virtual Private Server (VPS) is a popular choice among SMBs because it offers a private hosting environment without the price tag of a dedicated server. Having a dedicated hosting for online stores is essential as when it comes to SEO audit such as page speed optimisation, developers cannot perform a lot of server-side optimisation tasks in a shared hosting environment.
Depends on your budget, we offer both local data centre hosted and cloud-based VPS. Cloud hosting is more scalable when it comes to upgrading your server specs while VPS provided by local data centre may have speed advantage as well as more cost-effective. As a general guide, we recommend small sized stores (less than 5k SKUs) use local VPS, and large scale eCommerce stores, especially with the need for selling internationally, should choose cloud hosting.
As part of our premium hosting services, we also offer speed optimisation to get most out of your current server specs. As your SKUs start to grow, a bigger server with more computer power is inevitable, however before that happen, we should tune up both eCommerce websites and server environment to ensure they are running as efficiently as possible. Blindly upgrading the server without speed optimisation is often a waste of money.
If you’re a power seller and serious about speed, then we can look into CDN (content delivery network) and load balancing because they are the solutions to take your store to the next level.
Search Engine Optimisation
We recommend you to have a good read of the fundamentals of eCommerce SEO before doing any eCommerce SEO audit. The goal of an SEO audit is to ensure:
- Your site is mobile friendly – not just in the eyes of humans, but also according to search engine crawlers.
- Your site speed is optimal – sub 3 second is a benchmark, sub 2 is more pleasing. Many SEO professionals agree page speed itself is almost a full-time job because it requires cross field knowledge.
- The search engine is indexing the right content – just as much as we crave about indexing, there are many website contents you may want the search engine to ignore. We look into indexing stats and ensure the site content is well structured for search engine bots, so the content we wish to be index is there.
- There are no technical errors – hidden bugs will compromise the performance of online stores, if you monitor your eCommerce data regularly, you will undoubtedly spot significant performance drops which is often related to hidden technical issues. It’s almost impossible to achieve in the context of open source, yet bug-free is a standard we strive for in our eCommerce development.
Paid Search Advertising
If you’re opening a new online store, the chances are you will unlikely get much visibility in search engine for the initial six months or even longer. During this starting period, your best bet of getting quality traffic is either through social media or paid search. Being our favourite for many years, Google AdWords is a well-developed product with highly targeted advertising methods. Combining with Google Analytics which gives you all the insights needed to diagnose your website traffic, every dollar you spend in AdWords can be traced to your sales funnel so you can make a very calculated advertising investment.
Our photographers have a solid understanding of web design, and they know precisely which composition, lens and aperture to choose from to take perfect photos for your website. For years we have been frustrated when we saw our clients wasting money in photography because of the lack of web design knowledge among ordinary photographers. As a result, so many photos look terrific, but we cannot use them for web images due to the wrong composition or busy background. The infusion of web design principles allows our photographers to photograph the best side of your business and captivate your online audiences.
Whether you’re building a new website, or in need of new photos to fresh up your business profile or social media, we have affordable business photography services that suit your work schedule. Our studio is based in Sydney’s Western Suburbs, and we offer onsite photography to clients located in the 80km radius.
If you look at the short history of the web industry, email marketing is one of the first adopters in online marketing, yet remains the bread and butter for many SMBs. The need for mobile optimisation and tackling the universally agreed email beast Microsoft Outlook has finally become a past thanks to IT advancements, the then highly skilled email marketing service now takes almost nothing to start. Once you understand email related KPIs, you will harness your first reliable online revenue source in no time. To take full advantage of email marketing, we should consider automation such as customer journey and personalised shopping where you can inject personalities to your online business and make it enjoyable.
At eHarvest, we specialise in WordPress and Magento development. Both platform can be used for eCommerce depends on the size and structure of your product catalog. In general, WordPress integrated with WooCommerce is perfect for a relatively simple product catalog such as restaurants and cafes, custom made products (i.e painting and jewellery), fitness and sports training, and especially popular for tradies business. On the other end of spectrum, Magento is best for large stores housing thousands of products with complicated categroies, product attributes and product types. WordPress is nimble and easy to turn around in terms of web development, whilst Magento is almost a designated eCommerce powerhouse for things like department stores, and supermarkets and is extremely popular for fashion and outdoor recreational businesses, therefore requires extensive planning, development and training. If you have a question about how to choose the right eCommerce platform for your business, contact us for a complimentary eCommerce consulting where we explain the pros and cons of each platform in greater detail.