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How online sales can help you grow

Online sales are increasing – do you know how to harness them?

Published on April 13th 2011.


How online sales can help you grow

With high-street sales falling and online sales growing, businesses are increasingly using the internet as their main income generator. Online sales stand at around eight per cent of total UK retail sales, one of the highest percentages in the developed retail world, and this is predicted to increase to more than ten per cent by 2014.

“There are a lot of search engine gurus out there who probably shouldn't be calling themselves gurus. This is our life, our passion; we're very comfortable doing it. I don't mind describing myself as a geek.”

Theo Paphitis, who has just launched a chain of lingerie stores called Boux Avenue, told Confidential recently that he sees the physical stores as secondary to his online store. It seems that success nowadays means online success, whether you sell business-to-business or business-to-consumer.

To Manchester specialist search agency theEword, this doesn't come as a surprise. Managing director Al Mackin and creative director Tom Glass formed the agency in 2006 and it has been helping businesses boost their online revenues ever since.

They launched theEword because they felt that there was a Gap in the market for an agency that combined a commercially minded approach with transparency and a forward-thinking outlook.

Says Al, “Before setting up theEword, we'd both worked on the other side of the client-agency relationship. When we were the 'client', we found that some agencies didn't grasp the importance of hitting sales targets. We wanted to set up an agency that worked alongside clients and was just as concerned about hitting targets.

“I think that's one of the big things that set us apart. We're also very good on providing the statistics that show that what we're doing is working. We can send stats and figures on a daily basis if that's what a client wants.”

This results-focussed approach has paid off – the business has grown rapidly in the last five years and counts multinational companies such as IGT amongst their clients, as well as local success stories such as the law firm Pannone.

They now employ a team of nineteen marketing experts, designers, content writers and developers. And Al has a string of industry accolades to his name, such as being included in Crain's 40 Under 40 list and North West Business Insider's 42 Under 42.

Al says most of theEword's online work is in SEO (search engine optimisation) and PPC advertising (pay per click). These two acronyms make the difference between a successful business, and one struggling to get noticed by Google.

Al admits that digital marketing has become a buzz term recently, with more and more people claiming to have mastered this all-important business skill.

“There are a lot of search engine gurus out there, who probably shouldn't be calling themselves gurus. This is our life, our passion; we're very comfortable doing it. I don't mind describing myself as a geek.”

The commitment (and the geek factor) might play a part in theEword's success, but it's not what keeps their customers coming back. Results speak volumes, and theEword has helped clients achieve striking results such as 'Google page one positions up by 328 per cent' and 'cost per sale down by 60%.

As online sales continue to climb in 2011, those are figures that few businesses can afford to ignore.

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