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The world is constantly changing and evolving. People, technology and business models never stay the same (and nor should they). Keep up with those changes and stay ahead of competition with a website that grows.
Picture who you were ten or twenty years ago – would you want people seeing the haircut you thought was cool or your embarrassing email address and thinking that’s the person you are now? The answer is most likely no. You’ve evolved as a person, and your online presence reflects that.
The same logic applies to your business website: It’s often a customer’s first point of contact with your brand. It’s an opportunity to build trust and create a memorable first impression – sort of like a virtual handshake.
From our collective experience over recent years, it’s clear that things can change drastically. To succeed as a business, you need to be able to adapt to changes to your market, the wider commercial landscape or customer behaviour.
Crucially, the same logic that applies how you and your business change over time also applies to the changing needs and expectations of your customers.
Adapting to changes in the market can be challenging, but it’s also a great opportunity for growth. Choosing a website platform that will evolve with your business and finding the right people to help you do it are the important first steps.
We often get approached by clients who think they need a new website, when in reality they need a better version of their existing one.
A mistake that we see regularly is that people launch their website and then leave it without attention, which can cause problems, for instance:
The website was fit for purpose when it launched, but later down the line, they’re trying to fit new things into the old design, or the functionality isn’t there to support their ambitions.
We’ll find the right formula for website improvements.
There have been a lot of changes to the way consumers interact with businesses over the years. A website was once seen as a secondary channel for customers to find out information about a business before ultimately making their purchases at a physical location.
Although the shift towards online sales had begun long before the pandemic, the trend was accelerated by the UK’s lockdown restrictions, which saw over 750,000 businesses shut their physical locations in 2020. Today, eCommerce sales make up over 27% of all retail sales in the UK.
Many of Atomic Smash’s clients are businesses that want to launch online stores, adding them to their existing websites, or improve online stores that are already up and running. This reflects a wider appetite; during the pandemic, more than 85,000 businesses launched new online stores or joined online marketplaces.
The businesses that survive dramatic shifts that are out of their control tend to be the ones that are able to adapt their business models accordingly.
There are many other scenarios in which a business would need its website to reflect a change in its business model. A few examples are:
Other changes may be driven by a sense of global social responsibility. In early April 2020, Sony established Sony Music Gives (SMG), a global social justice fund with a broad mission to affect change in communities that need it most, inside and outside the music industry.
SMG started by providing support to alleviate pandemic-related challenges and hardships but has since evolved into a wider philanthropic mission, most recently:
Businesses invest heavily in websites that reflect who they are as a brand and meet their customers’ needs. Naturally, later changes to business models need to be reflected on these websites.
However, some sites use technology that doesn’t easily allow minor tweaks and updates, creating a disconnect between their digital presence and their real-life business model.
Using a platform that can be customised according to your needs and updated without coding, such as WordPress, is a better solution. WordPress is the world’s most popular CMS, powering over 40% of all websites on the Internet. Notable sites platformed on WordPress include Disney, TechCrunch and Facebook’s newsroom blog.
When WordPress was first launched in 2003, people were still accessing the internet through dial-up connections. Since then, the web has become much faster and more interactive.
Part of WordPress’s appeal lies in the fact that it’s easy to add new features to an existing site in the form of plugins. The capabilities of WordPress are continuously evolving because its open-source structure allows its developer community to build new plugins and improve on existing ones to create better digital experiences.
We’re able to leverage these improvements and build sophisticated, bespoke websites for our clients, armed with knowledge and experience that is retained and shared within our team.
Talk to Piers about how your WordPress or WooCommerce platform could grow. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Unlike other agencies, Atomic Smash keeps client design and development work in-house, rather than relying on freelancers who take their expertise with them when they finish an assignment. This means that every time we do a piece of work, all that knowledge stays with us and can be shared with the rest of the team.
Our ability to retain skills and knowledge around WordPress and WooCommerce makes us a strong partner for businesses that rely on these platforms to run their sites.
Think about how often you’ve visited a website and been put off by how hard it is to find the information you need. Or maybe you keep receiving email advertising with offers that are clearly aimed at a different demographic to you. As the end user, you expect better.
When technology changes, so do consumers’ expectations of what functionalities a business website should have. Customers expect sites to load faster and be more customised to their needs because they know that this is possible with technology today.
One way of achieving this is by utilising user data to give web visitors a better, more personalised experience across multiple channels. These could include websites, mobile apps, email marketing or physical locations.
Not only does personalisation lead to a better customer experience, it also leads to a noticeable increase in conversions. When users find your site’s content useful and relevant, they’re 15 times more likely to accomplish their goal, such as to make a purchase or find out particular information.
It’s also important for businesses that operate across multiple channels to make sure these channels talk to each other effectively and deliver unified brand messaging. Nearly three-quarters of customers jump between channels when making purchases, and customers that use multiple channels often end up spending more.
However, it only takes one bad experience to turn a previously loyal customer off your brand. According to PriceWaterhouseCoopers, 32% of consumers will turn their backs on a brand they love after a negative experience.
Atomic Smash is built on the idea that life is a work in progress, we’re always learning and developing – and your website should be as well.
Our Always Evolving service model means the work doesn’t stop when a client’s website is live. We dedicate monthly UX, design and development time to keep websites working as hard as possible and check in regularly to make sure these sites still reflect business needs.
This approach allows our clients to adapt to changes rapidly and easily refocus their websites towards their current commercial goals.
This way of working grew organically from client requests; they often needed minor but regular changes made post-launch. We started booking in time with those clients every month, and out of this, the Always Evolving model was born.
Always Evolving complements our long-term relationships with clients and facilitates their growth, but it’s not limited to client sites we’ve built. We also take on existing WordPress sites built by other agencies, one of the unique aspects of how we work at Atomic Smash.
Discover how the Always Evolving model can accelerate your business growth by evolving your website.
One example of a site that needed new functionalities for different business goals is Positive News, a news source dedicated to uplifting journalism.
Positive News wanted a WooCommerce shop to sell printed magazines and manage subscriptions as an extension of the editorial content being published on the site daily.
We built Positive News a bespoke WooCommerce shop for customers to sign up for magazine subscriptions or purchase single issues, and the site also allows users to donate to Positive News and get digital downloads.
With clever integrations to key business services, the site was also set up to streamline processes and deliveries, for example by interacting with the magazine’s fulfilment house when orders are made.
Whatever your business needs are right now, they will inevitably change to reflect the market you operate in, the world around you and the behaviour of your customers. Using a platform like WordPress allows you to stay on top of these changes and stay ahead of your competitors.
Atomic Smash can help you get the most out of WordPress at every stage of your business’s life cycle, whether you’re a brand new startup or an established business moving in a new direction.
Whether you need a new website or a better website, Atomic Smash can help you deliver better experiences for your audience. Contact Piers on 0117 933 8513 or email email@example.com
Writer & Creative
Wednesday 9th March 2022