Prior to the infamous press conference on November 7, 2020; Four Seasons Total Landscaping had a Web site with a small following and a very basic Web page describing their services. It was around 11pm that night that the owner decided they needed to do something because of all the press coverage (both very positive and very negative) the company was receiving. They next morning (Sunday, November 8) they posted a message on their Facebook page and by that afternoon they were making plans to sell t-shirts. Twitter and Instagram accounts were also created.
Here we are less than a month later and they have more than 33,000 fans on Facebook, 27,000 followers on Instagram and 18,000 followers on Twitter. Their Web site did not have e-commerce and it was quickly added. They’ve already received more than 35,000 orders for t-shirts, ugly Christmas sweaters and face masks. In total, it brought it more than $1.3 million in sales!
The demand for merchandise and the social media followings will undoubtedly wane in the coming months as the time since the press conference is longer. In the long term, their focus will be back on landscaping and there is no doubt the extra exposure will allow them to build their business.
What would you do if your business had such an opportunity? Is your Web site ready for the world to visit? I have to admit the Four Seasons Total Landscaping site could use a lot of improvements. Yet I will give them kudos for adding e-commerce almost overnight.
Back in July, Web Design Solutions Unleashed was nominated to be considered one of Arizona’s Local Favorites in the Business Services category. When nominations were closed, there were about 20 companies listed in the Business Services category.
At that point visitors to the site could vote for their choice in each of the categories. Yes, we were encouraged to ask our fans to vote for us. After two months of voting, Web Design Solutions Unleashed was the winner for Business Services. If you were one of the hundreds who voted for us, thank you for your support. We are thrilled to have all of our fans.
Should you have a need for a new Web site or your current Web site is in need of a makeover, please reach out and let us give you an estimate. We’d love to add your project to our portfolio!
The folks at GoDaddy and CLARAfi put together a LinkedIn group entitled OpenWeStand as a way to help small businesses navigate the crazy times caused by COVID-19. Recently I was a guest on their weekly show and had the opportunity to share my perspectives. If you missed the live show, you can watch it on YouTube. Should you have any questions, feel free to reach out and I’ll do my best to answer.
Recently I sat down for an interview with the Ben Ari at Thrive Global. I was asked a range of questions about how I got started, some of my best tips and even ways to avoid burnout.
For those who have followed me for a very long time, you’ll learn how I got into writing books on CorelDRAW. I also talk about the change to Web design and the moves I’ve made in life. Hopefully you can all learn something that helps you in business while also learning a bit more about me.
Back in May 2018, we gave the site for Cave Creek Olive Oil a tasty makeover. Exactly two years ago I wrote Giving Olive Oil Site a Tasty Makeover about the process. Now that two years have passed, we’re going to revisit the site to measure the sales improvement. Go ahead and check out Cave Creek Olive Oil.
At the end of the makeover post, I wrote the following:
Early in the project I was asked by the owner if I felt this would increase their sales by 10%. I smiled and said I would be very disappointed if we only saw a 10% increase. I’m fully expecting their online sales to double with the new site.
As we didn’t have access to their previous site’s sales data, we don’t know the exact dollar amount of sales. We can only go by what the owner said in a testimonial posted on Google in July 2019 (after just over a year of the new site).
We MUST MENTION and HIGHLIGHT that our sales have dramatically increased, in fact they’ve tripled on the new site Foster has created for us. We are truly amazed by the results.
We’ll take the owner’s word that sales on the new site were much higher than on the previous site. By their quote, sales had tripled. Now we have real data where we can compare the first year of the new site to the second year of the new site. Ideally we want to see even more sales growth over time. For the store’ privacy, I’m not going to share dollar amounts. Instead we’ll compare the same months a year later. Let’s look at the chart first and then I’ll discuss a few of the most important numbers and how this was achieved.
May 2018 was the first month of sales on the new site so it isn’t a huge shock to see sales more than tripled in May 2019. The more important number is seeing a 150% increase in June sales. Why is this so important? In June the store celebrates their anniversary and promotes it heavily via social media. That increase alone paid for the makeover!
November and December are always big months due to holiday shopping. November 2019 only increased slightly over November 2018. But we saw December sales nearly double. Keep in mind these increases can mean more because those are months with higher sales overall.
There was one month over month drop and that was in February 2020. But it was followed by the biggest gain in March 2020. March was also the month when COVID-19 kept many people at home. The retail store remained open, but the retail store traffic was down considerably. April 2020 didn’t show as large of a percentage increase, but it was the third highest dollar amount of the two years tracked.
Overall, the second year more than doubled over the first year. Due to COVID-19, this online growth was a big help to the store as they could more easily shift some of their sales online. Now that we’ve gone over the numbers, let’s talk about some of the reasons.
While the site does include a dedicated store section, a goal was to also integrate the products into all parts of the site. Looking at popular search topics, we knew integrating the products into recipes would be a great way to bring in visitors and to promote products. First, links to specific products is included in the recipe’s ingredient list as you can see in the example at right. Below the recipe (see below), each of the products is listed so it can easily be added to the shopping cart.
Since the online store was re-launched in May 2018, quite a few products have been added. As of this writing, they have a total of 217 products in the store. A very small number may not always be active as they are seasonal oils only available for part of the year. Online gift cards were a major category added to the store in fall 2019. Add in spices, sauces and gourmet food and you’ve got a wide range of culinary treats from which to select.
Will sales double again in the third year of the online store? It is possible, but I don’t think it will double. At this point we are only half of a month into that third year and the early returns are very positive. May 2020 already has more than double the sales of May 2019.