Archive for the ‘ECommerce’ Category

E-Newsletter : Don’t leave your brand behind

June 17, 2021

I received an email newsletter from a really fantastic brand this week that featured special offers, new products, deal bundles and suggestions for Father’s Day gifts.

Visually it was executed well as I have come to expect from the brand, with superb photography that showcased the quality product range perfectly, clearly placing it the very “premium” category, which it most certainly is in.

However, there was one huge, but very simple thing missing from the e-newsletter.

They left a big part of their brand behind, and in the “click of an email campaign” they managed to relegate who they were to a lower league and they became another commodity retailer.

Even though they have my name there was no personalised “Hi Greg” and there was no attempt anywhere to start the communication with a friendly on brand message, nor any attempt to briefly update me on the recent exciting developments (things relevant to the reader) in their business.

The view might be that people have no time for any of that when they are online and it should be “BOOM” lets get straight down to business, but the crazy thing is that this company is the total opposite of this – they pride themselves on customer service and the relationship with their customers, and in person there is no one better but for some reason on this occasion they left so much of what makes them special outside the door!

The big lesson in this ….don’t leave who you are outside the door just because it is an online e-commerce transaction.

Greg

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion Communications, a full service PR and Marketing agency with offices in Dublin and Cork

The Importance of Staying Visible..

February 8, 2021

No matter what way you look at it, the Covid-19 pandemic has been a trying time for everyone. But as the saying goes, ‘with every cloud there is a silver lining’ – which in my view has been the drastic business transformation and surge of digitisation that we have experienced over the past year.

There has never been a time when staying visible online has been more important for business survival.

With doors closing around the country due to the on-going Covid-19 level 5 restrictions, many businesses have had no choice but to adapt ‘from bricks to clicks’ in order to remain viable.

At Fuzion, we work closely with the Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs), to help share the stories of the hundreds of micro-enterprises and SMEs around the country with media – in the hope that it will encourage and inspire others who may be looking to start or grow their business – or for those struggling, to contact their Local Enterprise Office for support.

Through this work, I have been fortunate enough to work with some amazing LEO client businesses from all over Ireland – helping to share their stories of how they have adapted / pivoted (…..even battled) through the pandemic and how they have come out the other side with the help and guidance of the LEOs.

The LEO Trading Online Voucher has had particular impact across the country – with over 13,000 TOV’s approved in 2020…… That’s a whopping 13,000 businesses supported with developing or enhancing their online presence!

From this work, my little nuggets of advice to any small business would be:

  • If you haven’t already, contact your nearest LEO – they provide so much support in terms of business advice, mentoring and grants such as the TOV mentioned above, Business Continuity Vouchers, Feasibility Grants and so much more
  • Again, if you haven’t already – get online! A website ideally or a social media channel where you can keep your customers updated, share new products, blogs etc.
  • Try to think outside the box – now is the time to create a new branch for your business or solution for your customers – take the chance it could pay off!
  • Work on your ‘story’ in three short paragraphs & engage with local media to share your story or share via short blogs / social posts
    • How/Why you started the business
    • How your business adapted / transformed – (including any relevant figures such as online sale growth Vs 2019)
    • Any future plans that you have for your business – ie. new employees, overseas expansion, new stockists etc.
  • Good quality, high resolution photography is a must if engaging in any PR / online activity
    • Know your angles
    • Use colourful props or something that explains your business in the shots
    • Images can be taken by a PR photographer or on your smartphone with a family member or friend if taken landscape
  • Create video content – whether it’s short 30’ second “Meet the Team” videos or a “Hero Video” explaining your business proposition – it is an engaging way to reach your audience
  • If you are a sole trader or very small business – it can be an isolating place – join a network or reach out to professionals (such as ourselves 😉) if you need a sounding board or business support
  • Be consistent and persistent
    • Stay visible & keep plugging and reminding people of why you are so great and why they need your products / services!
    • Use social media advertising and Google Ads to your advantage – with so much competition online – it pays off to pay a little!
    • Connect and talk to your audience online – ask them questions and engage – you might learn something new!

Much of this you may already know – but I hope it has helped just to be reminded or re-energised your motivation!

Most of all it is important to know that the opportunity is there for those who wish to dive head first into the challenges – the decision is ultimately yours whether to stay the way you are or take the plunge!

Suzanne Meade, Fuzion CommunicationsSuzanne

Suzanne Meade is an Account Manager with  Fuzion Communications, who offer Marketing, PR, Graphic Design and Digital Marketing services from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

 

2020 – Time to get Experiential !

January 16, 2020

Ardsallagh Cheese

When it comes to trends in Marketing to look out for in 2020 and beyond I think it will be all about ‘Experiential’ getting closer to the customer allowing them to touch and feel the products and services and to meet the people behind them.

We see ourselves that the noisy, over crowded, algorithm choked social media space, which not so long ago provided a fantastic opportunity to “get close” to customers is proving very challenging without substantial advertising budgets.

The social media “influencers” in the main who had a short moment in the sun, over cooked the magic by quickly switching from being genuinely passionate about their sectors to being “show me the money” merchants.

The cynical and very savvy consumer is seeing through all of this “BS” and is slowing returning to more trusted and reliable traditional media, which is really interesting as they are craving something authentic, something that does not leave them cold.

An interesting medium that we see doing well is podcasts, which if executed carefully is a very special way for your customer to get to know you better while they are commuting or in the gym.

I was judging the podcast category again this year for the Digital Marketing Awards and I could see some really great examples of companies using the medium to great effect.

I noticed with interest last November, Amazon the leaders in online retail, promoting their ‘Black Friday‘ sale with full page adverts in the national newspapers, billboards around the city and even customer events.

For the third year running in London they had a free four day “pop-up” event, ‘The Home of Black Friday‘ whereby customers were treated to all sorts of entertainment and demonstrations as well as being able to ‘touch and feel’ some of the special Black Friday deals.

As well as checking out the huge range of epic deals on offer throughout Black Friday and Cyber Monday, visitors to the Home of Black Friday had the chance to try out the latest must-have products from beauty to tech and preview the latest screenings from Prime Video.

They ticked the boxes on all of the customer demographics with complimentary workshops and experiences including, DJs, Rappers, yoga, cocktail masterclasses, beauty makeovers and Christmas workshops.

It turns out that clicking on images of items on our screens isn’t the “be-all and end-all” after all!

We witnessed it ourselves before Christmas with the weekend events that we ran for Dunnes Stores in some of their leading stores in Cork, Dublin, Galway and Limerick, whereby customers could meet the food producers, taste the food, meet the designers and see the fashion on models and watch some demonstrations by experts.

Dunnes Stores

I am now buying the Ardsallagh Cranberry Roulade Goat Cheese and Himalayan Salt Aged Beef on a regular basis after chatting with the cheese maker and the butcher from James Whelan Butchers, I’m wearing SPF skin cream protection for the first time after meeting Darren Kennedy and I am wearing a cashmere jumper from Paul Costelloe!

I also, as well as having more belief in the wine selection at Dunnes Stores, I have some new favourite wine brands after listening to the wine buyer talking about his favourite wines and the vineyards they come from.

In truth, no advert or social media posts would have had the same habit changing effect on me and there is a lot of money in our habits!

So for 2020 and beyond, I can see us all working really hard to create those new opportunities to get closer to the customer through real life experiences.

Greg

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion Communications, a full service Marketing, PR, Graphic Design and Digital Marketing agency with offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

Show your brands personality just like ASOS did!

May 13, 2019

Recently, online shopping giant ASOS received a lot of applause for backing one of their customers who had been disrespected online by a stranger.

The lady, who was wearing a dress from ASOS, was told by the male who she was messaging that the dress was awful and that she should shop somewhere decent!!

He then told her to grow up before politely signing off, “Thanks. Hope this helps.

 

Girl in ASOS dress on Twitter

 

Following this unpleasant remark, she decided to upload the conversation along with the picture of her wearing the so called “awful dress” to Twitter.

The Tweet, which has racked up over 100k likes and 9k RT’s, caught the attention of ASOS who decided to do something really great.

ASOS uploaded the photo of the lady wearing their dress to their website and in my opinion, she showcased the dress even better.

ASOS received a great deal of applause for uploading the photo to their website, showing their support for a more than likely loyal customer, who I can only imagine got a great boost from seeing her image featured on their website.

 

 

ASOS featuring customer pic

The situation, which was turned from a negative into a positive by ASOS, is a great example of a brand showcasing their personality and engaging with its customers.

In doing this, ASOS demonstrated their loyalty for their customers, while showing a caring but also fun side to the brand. With online trolling at an all-time high, along with the pressures of looking perfect on social media, ASOS really did a great job with this personal touch.

For all businesses, it’s good to show the personality behind your brand. Whether it’s supporting your customers like ASOS did, or showing the team behind the brand online, you increase trust with your customers leading to much better engagement.

Well done ASOS!

Saidhbh

Saidhbh Sweeney is a PR Account Manager with Fuzion Communications: PR, Marketing and Graphic Design, with offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

Snapchat and Amazon connect for “snap” online shopping

October 1, 2018

Snapchat and Amazon

We all love to shop!!

It’s an industry that has grown online and is only getting bigger.

Now social media platforms are getting in on the action; Facebook were one of the first platforms to encourage shopping from the platform linking up with Shopify, Pinterest were next capitalising on the fact that their site inspired people to shop and introduced shopping ads and this year even Instagram introduced shoppable tags.

It’s the next frontier for social media sites and is a clever way to stay relevant when their audience’s attention spans are so short lived.

Imagine my surprise when Snapchat, the platform we all thought was on the way out, released an update saying they are now working with Amazon testing a new way to search for products using the Snapchat camera. This could really change how people shop online!

Snapchat Shopping

All you will have to do is point your camera at the product as if you’re taking a picture and then press & hold on the screen like you do when you use Snapchat filters. Once the product has been recognised by the app, a pop-up card with a link to the product page on Amazon will appear and then you follow that to purchase the item on Amazon.

So simple and a genius move by the two companies!!

Many people have said Snapchat is in decline but they’ve managed to hold on to their younger user base quite well. There may not be growth but they’re not losing users. If you look at the Ipsos MRBI Social Media Messaging Report from March 2018, you can see that even though only 31% of the Irish audience have Snapchat, 64% use it daily.

IPsos March 2018

Snapchat knowing that their demographic want everything instantaneously and by creating this link with Amazon who are king of snap purchasing decisions (anyone else bought something random from Amazon at 3am?!!), they could very well be guaranteeing their survival.

Looking forward to seeing how Facebook react to this!

Alma Brosnan - Fuzion CommunicationsAlma

Alma Brosnan is part of the Social Media Consultancy team at Fuzion Communications who have offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

From a rugby career ending injury at 28 to a global successful software business with Conor O’Loughlin, CEO of Glofox

September 25, 2018

Conor O'Loughlin, IBYE Winner 208

In this episode of the Fuzion Win Happy podcast, Greg chats with Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur 2018, Conor O’Loughlin, CEO and Founder of Glofox, who shares his story of huge disappointment with an injury, which finished his rugby career with Connacht at the age of 28 to a new career in computer software.

Realising that his rugby career and dream was over, he started a web development company where through his client work he discovered an untapped niche in bespoke software solutions for the gym and fitness sector.

With the help of a Competitive Startup Fund from Enterprise Ireland he managed to start developing a bespoke solution and later accessed further funding as part of the High Potential Startup Fund.

Fuzion Win Happy podcast thumbnail

This business has expanded globally from Ireland thanks to the hard work and focus of Conor and his team and the careful navigation of the complex world of funding with Enterprise Ireland, Angel Investors and VCs.

Despite the huge demand for IT talent in Ireland and in Dublin, Glofox have managed to continue to attract great people to their team who are enjoying the excitement of being part of a place where they can make a real difference.

You can listen to the episode by clicking the link below:

From a rugby career ending injury at 28 to a global successful software business with Conor O’Loughlin, CEO of Glofox

We hope you enjoy Conor’s and the Glofox fascinating story!

The Fuzion Win Happy Podcast is produced by Greg Canty

 

The Value of a Well Designed Website

November 11, 2014

Old shop

We’ve all experienced it at one point or another: you go to a website and find it lets down the organisation – dated design, chaotic structure and last updated over 5 years ago are typical issues, You dig around but can’t find the information you need, the home page keeps crashing, the links don’t work, etc., so you leave frustrated and with a poor opinion formed about the organisation to which the site belongs to.

And you most probably will never come back…

A bad or outdated website can make you look unprofessional and will cost you potential clients. A well-designed one, however, can impress quickly and will add credibility to your organisation and make you look instantly more progressive and professional. Internet users are much more sophisticated than they used to be and their expectations are a lot higher – they decide quickly if the website is relevant for their needs.

Capturing your story

When you are looking to design/redesign you must realise that your website is one of the most visible representations of  your organisation or business. What story is it telling the viewer and how will this affect the way people view your business? Is it professional looking, does it capture what you are all about? Does it capture the personality and ethos?

Purpose Your purpose?

It is important to keep in mind that your website also has to be well designed in order to get your visitors to do what you want them to do. When you build a website it is usually with a specific purpose in mind: be it to make direct sales through it, to have people sign up for your mailing list, direct them to your social media accounts or simply to provide them with useful information.

Mr.Google

Beautiful looking websites can be fantastic to make a great impression but they also need to be designed in such a way that there is sufficient opportunity to carry word content as this is essential for SEO purposes. Mr. Google loves words and you need to be sure that your site carries enough of them and in the right places so that people can easily find your site. Getting the balance right between imagery and words is important.

Responsive 

In recent years it is also vital to design sites that are responsive – this means that if a user is viewing your website from a smartphone or a tablet that it functions best for that device allowing easy navigation via touch-screen buttons, and only displaying relevant information and content for the users’ needs.

The 24/7 Salesman

Today it is quite possible that more people will potentially see your website than actually come to your physical location. It is accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to potential customers from all around the world. Your website is your most powerful marketing tool as no printed brochure or advert reaches more potential clients or offers the flexibility to easily update content as your business grows and develops.

However, you don’t have a well trained person greeting them and explaining what is great about your products and services and dealing with any queries and nor do you have a person gauging their reaction – this hard working website has a big job to do!

Getting it right ..

Don’t take shortcuts with your public online face, make sure it is easily found, looks great, that it tells the right story, that it functions well, clearly communicating your key messages and it does what it is supposed to do.

The design of your website may be the one thing that tips the scale between a potential customer doing business with you or going elsewhere… make sure it tips your way!

Basia Kozlik - Fuzion Graphic DesignBasia

Basia Kozlik is a Graphic Designer with Fuzion

Fuzion offer a full range of  Web Design and Digital services from our Cork and Dublin offices in Ireland

 

eCommerce – ‘Take Off’ with Online Trading Vouchers

June 22, 2014

Take Off

Fuzion are delighted to be working on two great initiatives that have been introduced by the Government and are being operated by the Local Enterprise Boards.

One of these is the Online Trading Vouchers initiative, which is designed to encourage and assist Irish businesses with eCommerce potential to get trading online and not miss the opportunity to expand their business. Vouchers of up to €2,500 are available to qualifying businesses.

This is a huge opportunity for the right business to literally ‘Take Off‘ by reaching new online customers for their products and services.

With the trend ever increasing towards online spending it is estimated that only 23% of small Irish businesses are engaged in any meaningful way in eCommerce sales.

For businesses employing less than ten people this percentage could be even lower. It is now believed that of online purchases made in Ireland that 70% of these are done in overseas markets. This is a huge lost opportunity for Irish businesses.

There is now an urgency to ensure that businesses recognise that this is happening and that they are encouraged and supported to respond to this digital reality in a meaningful way.

In order to support this goal, the National Digital Strategy aims to get a further 2,000 businesses trading online by the end of 2015.

The Online Trading Voucher scheme has been introduced to support those who wish to grasp this opportunity to expand their business.

Applications are now being accepted in the Pilot Regions of: Dublin City & County, Cork City & County, Kerry, Louth, Sligo and Waterford.

The €2,500 match funded Online Trading Vouchers are targeted at:

  • Small businesses that have a limited online trading presence
  • Less than 10 employees
  • Turnover less than €2million
  • Registered and trading for a minimum of 12 months
  • Located in one of the pilot areas under this phase of the scheme

The Online Trading Vouchers can be used for the development or upgrade of an e-commerce website such as implementing online payments or booking systems.

Other usage includes the purchase of internet related software, online advertising, development of an APP, implementation of a digital marketing strategy, consultation with ICT experts for early stage adopters of online strategy and training/skills development specifically to establish and manage an online trading activity.

In order to make an application those interested must attend one of the information seminars which will provide all the details as to how to apply but also how to best use and gain value from the voucher to support the business online trading proposition.

This is an opportunity not to be missed by anyone who has a small business with products or services suited to eCommerce sales.

Please spread the word and advise anyone who is interested that they must attend the seminars – Attendance is FREE and pre-registration is essential.

Are you ready for Take Off?

The Fuzion Crew..

Check out the other terrific initiative, Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur, which is a new competition to find Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur, with a total fund of €2 million available to invest in winning businesses and entrepreneurs in every county in the country.

 


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