Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Ecommerce Growth Predicted for 2017

In 2016, the UK ecommerce market was worth 133 billion pounds, that's a colossal figure.  IMRG predicted a growth of 11 percent during 2016, the actual figure was 16 percent.

This growth is expected to continue in 2017 by a predicted 14%. Will the market out perform expectations again? This kind of growth opportunity is difficult to ignore.

At Swimming Hippo we have been helping companies to set up ecommerce sites for over 10 years using bespoke software. However over the last few months, we have changed direction and selected Shopify as our preferred platform.

Shopify provides many key features in it's most basic form such as:
  • Bespoke design templates accepted (key for design freedom)
  • Easy editing facility for products and content
  • Stock management
  • Postage management
  • Seamless cart experience 
  • Multiple gateway payment systems
  • 24/7 support
  • Full order management
  • Detailed reporting
In addition, Shopify fully integrates with MailChimp, the email marketing tool Swimming Hippo have been using when creating and broadcast promotional emails for over 2 years.

This means that powerful smart email facilities can be set up to enhance your clients shopping experience. If you have purchased online no doubt you will have experienced some of these enhancements. For example if a purchase is made, an email can be automatically sent a few days later asking the purchaser if they would like to leave a review or quietly nudge a client that has abandoned a product in their cart, maybe emailing them a discount incentive if their purchase is completed.

Combining these platforms will provide you with expanded facilities for you ecommerce site or future site.

Swimming Hippo produced the new Cadventure Vectorworks ecommerce site using Shopify, take a look here at the end result:

'Swimming Hippo recently delivered the second of Cadventure's online stores. Our new Vectorworks software store has a complex structure and they worked hard to create an attractive and functional consumer site. We are very pleased with the end result as Swimming Hippo went the extra mile to help us achieve our goals.'

Elaine Lewis, Managing Director

If you are interested in developing a new or existing ecommerce website or reviewing your digital marketing to promote the site, don't hesitate to call Joseph on 01386 764747 or email

FaceBook: @SwimmingHippo
Twitter: @swimming_hippo

Friday, 6 January 2017

Art Shape Charity programme

The Art Shape Charity programme runs arts courses and projects with a specific focus on disability issues and social inclusion. Using the Shopify platform, Swimming Hippo are converting Art Shape's current website to an eCommerce website allowing for online purchases. 

Are you considering a new website or eCommerce project in 2017?

Why not give us a call on 01386 764747 or use our contact form.

Care Check Email Marketing

Care Check provide fast and quality DBS and DS criminal record checks to employers in all industries and charities. Care Check hope to achieve more enquires through their online application with a new website design.

'From first meeting with Swimming Hippo to discuss requirements for our new website they stood out from the crowd, friendly, professional and most importantly fantastic design skills!' 

- Charles Eason, Managing Director of Care Check

Care Check service multiple markets with DBS checks. Swimming Hippo have increased enquires from these market sectors using data and visual segmentation techniques as part of an email marketing campaign. 

'Swimming Hippo have helped us enormously with our email marketing needs and taken the hassle out of creating campaigns ourselves and the worry out of using mailer companies who’s data we cannot necessarily trust!' 

- Charles Eason, Managing Director of Care Check

Are you considering a new website project or email marketing campaign in 2017?

Why not give us a call on 01386 764747 or use our contact form.

PVCR New Website Design

PVCR has an aim to recycle and manufacture new PVC products derived from materials destined for landfills and process them to a quality fit for reuse into manufacturing. 

Creating a second website with Swimming Hippo was an easy decision, guided by the excellent design and technical support provided during the build of the first website. The web analytics depict such a good performance for the first website, why would I change a winning formula?’ 

- Kate Wheatstone, Digital Marketing Manager, REHAU Ltd

Are you considering a new website project in 2017?

Why not give us a call on 01386 764747 or use our contact form.

Vector Works E-Commerce

Vectorworks is a line of 2D/3D design and BIM software solutions that allow designers to take their ideas from concept to completion. Using the Shopify platform Swimming Hippo have added a second shop to the Cadventure website enabling customers to buy Vectorworks products online.

'Swimming Hippo recently delivered the second of Cadventure’s online stores. Our new Vectorworks software store has a complex structure and they worked hard to create an attractive and functional consumer site. We are very pleased with the end result as Swimming Hippo went the extra mile to help us achieve our goals.’

- Elaine Lewis, Managing Director

View the finished website here

Are you considering a new website or eCommerce project in 2017?

Why not give us a call on 01386 764747 or use our contact form.

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Swimming Hippo welcome Mia Sutton

Our newest Swimming Hippo team member, Mia Sutton, joined us on the 1st of December. Mia will be completing an apprenticeship in Web Development in her first year with us and will be working as a Junior Digital Developer.

Initially Mia will be assigned to supporting you with email marketing, editing graphics and updating website content. She will also help with our own Swimming Hippo marketing, ensuring all of our clients receive regular updates and information about how Swimming Hippo can help improve your digital marketing.

Mia has previous experience in digital marketing, including management of company social media accounts and designing monthly email campaigns.

Mia also has a passion for photography, loves to travel and keep fit at the gym.

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Local Business Google Search Marketing Frustrations!

A local business owner came into our studio last week frustrated by the cost and level of support being provided by two mass market companies who were contracted to manage his website, Google Adwords (Paid listings) and Google MyBusiness (Local listings) account. 

After a little digging around, I found that his AdWords account was showing adverts with wording not relevant to his business plus they were not covering the full area he covered. Additionally his Google MyBusiness was set up under a service that he actually offered, but it was not the primary term the business should have been listed under. 

In his frustration, the owner had set up his own AdWords account and MyBusiness account resulting in having duplicate accounts! 

This got me thinking... how many other local businesses are being 'supported' in such a way?

One way I have been able to help is by explaining the Google search results page landscape, what each section is and how it is managed (See screen grab)

1) Google AdWords (Paid Listings) 

I'm sure you haven't failed to notice that a little while back Google changed the layout of its search results page so that the paid adverts no longer sit on the right hand side of your browser. Basically Google have tried to make their paid results look more 'native' by showing up to four adverts above merit listings and three below. This section is managed through Google AdWords or AdWords Express found in your MyBusiness account. Here you can select terms used that your advert will appear under when they are searched for, the wording of your advert and how much you are willing to pay to get higher in the list. 

2) Google MyBusiness (Local Listings) 

These adverts appear when terms are searched for that Google has registered as category's a local businesses fits into. So for example, when looking at the term "roofing repair evesham" the results page shows MyBusiness listings, the terms "roof maintenance" does not. At least three listings are shown here until that category is expanded, so you can see how important it is to set this up correctly. Google MyBusiness information can be edited in your Google + account. 

3) Merit Listings (Search Engine Optimisation) 

On some search result pages you have to scroll down past four AdWord listings, then three MyBusiness listings before you even get to a merit listing! A merit listing, as suggested by the name, is how Google reviews the merit of showing your website page above a competitors in the page results. This is commonly called search engine optimization and is managed through the content and structure of your website and using a technique called back link generation.  

Our aim is to reduce the monthly cost of local business online marketing spend whilst improving their results.  

We can help you fully understand how to achieve this and importantly exactly where and how effective your spend is. 

Call 01386 764747 or email if you are frustrated with your Google Search Marketing!