I’ve been developing eCommerce stores for quite a few years now. The reason for getting into eCommerce was to gain greater retail exposure and national coverage for my own businesses.
I spent hours buying from online stores to understand the finer details of what made me buy and what made me turn back in terms of UX and functionality.
So I set out to find web developers who could build me a store from scratch and circumvent the UX problems I had encountered, as well as add a few extra functionalities that made the buying process transparent and trustworthy. Besides being a very expensive process, they couldn’t quite meet my design expectations and with each change or adjustment I had to cough up more cash (software and web developers are not cheap). In the end I made do with what had been created and focused on excellent customer service to make up for what the site was lacking.
I decided to master the skills of graphic design and web development myself so that I could finally build my own vision, my own masterpiece. I found myself spending hours on graphic design programs sculpting the perfect designs as well as hours writing code to build the perfect website. Unfortunately, every hour spent writing code was an hour lost for generating business and this too turned out to be a very costly approach as my businesses weren’t getting the attention they needed.
My newly acquired graphic design and web development skills were not lost however, I just needed the right platform that provided a streamline eCommerce backbone so that I could focus only on the finer details of design and UX. I tried out many platforms and put them all to the test. Finally, I found Shopify and it was love at first site (excuse the pun). Not only because it’s beautiful, but it works and works well! My life was now simplified, convenient and mobile.
I rebuilt my first store on Shopify and it was perfect, apart from a few set backs. Being a Canadian platform the monthly hosting fee was in dollars, there was no local support and I needed to manage my stock for each of the stores. It was then that I found uAfrica.com, the newly appointed South African Shopify partner and they solved all my problems.
From there I added uAfrica’s Multichannel service and expanded my sales to bidorbuy which has resulted in a steady growth, my stock is managed centrally thanks to Multichannel, my monthly hosting fee remains constant and in Rands, and to top it off their support is world class.
I very quickly realised that a partnership with uAfrica would mean I could share my experience with other businesses, save them a life time of costly learning curves and get them trading online with a world class website in less than 2 weeks.
Most small startups can’t afford the R30 000 – R100 000 investment required to get themselves selling online with a fully featured website so I created an option for small businesses to get a website built and have their products and services online for FREE.
My team and I build the website to spec, manage any aspects of the store that the business doesn’t have the capacity to and in return we take a small percentage of sales. This means my customers only pay for our services when they make money. It means we share the risk and we have it in our best interest to constantly improve our clients’ websites in order to generate more sales at our own cost. The percentage we ask for depends on the extent of ongoing management and marketing required with a minimum of 5% up to 15%.
Together with Shopify and uAfrica we have everything any business would need to sell online, in store, and on the go.
If you’d like to get in touch with Dane and his team of online experts, you can reach him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Visit www.redoker.co.za and www.eco-earth-market.co.za for previews of his work.