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Retaining customers after the Christmas rush is the key to successful online retail

Recent research* by Sellerdeck ( found that the top reason given by customers for returning to an online store was a previous good experience, with the second most common reason being promotions, offers and loyalty schemes. These considerations were ranked well ahead of factors such as recommendations from friends and family and positive online reviews, Sellerdeck’s report found.

With this in mind, Sellerdeck advises online retailers to make sure not only that a new customer is impressed by the experience – with a site that is easy to navigate, offers plentiful product information and clear pricing – but to offer them carefully targeted deals after their purchase.

According to figures from the Interactive Media in Retail Group (IMRG), the estimated value of the UK online retail market in 2012 will be £77bn. In the peak Christmas shopping weeks (week commencing 3rd Dec and w/c 10th Dec) £4.6bn will be spent online in the UK.

This means many online retailers will be seeing an influx of brand new customers this festive season – in fact, most should already be seeing a growth in trade, with £6.7bn spent online during October 2012, which represents year-on-year growth of 14%, according to IMRG’s figures.

But for too many merchants, it’ll be the first and the last time that they see that individual customer. This doesn’t have to be the case, though, as every customer that buys something from a site leaves valuable information that a merchant can use to maximise the chances of repeat business.

“The email address that a first-time customer has provided in the run-up to Christmas is worth its weight in gold. A well-focused marketing campaign can work wonders, but don’t spam your customers to death. Keep these offers relevant and simple and don’t be tempted to take a one-size-fits-all approach,” said Phil Rothwell, sales and marketing director for Sellerdeck.

“A customer that has bought a kettle, for example, offer them toasters, food processors, juicers or descaling kits. If they purchased razors, send them a discount voucher on future purchases of blades. Try to get inside their heads and be careful – getting this tactic wrong could consign the marketing emails permanently to the junk folder, or lead to requests to unsubscribe.”

For more information about Sellerdeck, or to set up an interview with Phil Rothwell, please contact:

Ben Camm-Jones

+44(0) 20 7100 1333

+44(0) 7515 877 621

Sellerdeck 2013 goes into Beta ahead of the Christmas rush

Sellerdeck, formerly known as Sellerdeck, will be testing version 12 of its software within Sellerdeck’s own community of online vendors and plans to launch the full version of Sellerdeck 2013 later in the year.

While the previous two versions of Sellerdeck’s products focused on streamlining the checkout process, customer service and SEO performance, Sellerdeck 2013 adds a swathe of enhancements that are designed to turn browsers into happy customers.

Vendors will be able to offer visitors an improved product search function with merchant-defined filters, meaning customers can quickly narrow down their search to items in an appropriate size or colour, for example. Dynamic pricing and product option features mean that visitors won’t be shown items that are out of stock and will always be aware of the price they’re paying – not getting a surprise when they reach the checkout stage.

Sellerdeck 2013 also improves SEO performance with its automated pagination feature, with merchants able to specify the number of products appearing on a page. Though these pages are automatically generated, they are static HTML pages with a proper filename, allowing search engines to index the page.

“While driving traffic to a website is often touted as the be-all and end-all of online marketing, in reality the biggest challenge to E-Commerce vendors is actually converting a visitor to their website into a paying customer. Sellerdeck 2013 will help online vendors achieve with its improved product search function and dynamic pricing features,” said Ben Dyer, CEO of Sellerdeck.

“We’ve also made sure that Sellerdeck 2013 is true to the same core values previous versions, offering ease of use, flexible designs, easy integration of services such as hosting, customer feedback and fraud protection, and giving merchants total control of their online assets.”

“Implementing Sellerdeck 2013 is a smooth experience, with only setting changes required – merchants won’t have to overhaul their databases or front-end design. This means that deploying Sellerdeck 2013 in good time for the Christmas rush won’t be a problem at all,” Dyer added.

For more details about the Sellerdeck 2013 Beta, an interview with Ben Dyer or images please contact:

Ben Camm-Jones
t: +44(0) 20 7100 1333
m: +44(0) 7515 877 621

Easy navigation, rich product information and a great user experience

Easy navigation and detailed product information were found to be the most important aspects of an E-Commerce website from the customer’s point of view, according to Sellerdeck’s survey of 500 online shoppers.

The next most important factor affecting a consumer’s purchase is information about whether or not an item is out of stock, with a previous good experience with the retailer’s website in fourth place. Having a professional-looking website was ranked as the sixth most important factor in the customer’s buying decision, with positive feedback from other customers seventh.

Perhaps surprisingly, offering the cheapest prices is only the fifth most important consideration for an E-Commerce company, according to the survey, while having a fast-performing website is in ninth place. The ability to compare products side-by-side is rounds out Sellerdeck’s Top 10 Ecommerce Turn-Ons.

When it comes to the Top 10 Ecommerce Turn-Offs, though, having a site that looks insecure is the most likely thing to put off potential buyers. Bugs and technical issues with the site are the second biggest turn-off, while insufficient product information and product images come in third place.

Difficult shopping carts, long checkout forms and poorly-designed, slow websites also feature on the list of Top 10 Ecommerce Turn-Offs, with a lack of customer feedback and reviews, non UK-based retailers and poor choice of delivery options bring up the rear.

When it comes to retaining customers, though, providing promotions, offers and loyalty schemes was ranked as the second-most important factor behind a customer having had a previous good experience on the site, Sellerdeck’s survey showed.

“Ecommerce sites that get the basics of navigation and providing plenty of product information are best placed to succeed, while factors such as providing the lowest prices aren’t necessarily as important as some may think,” said Phil Rothwell, sales and marketing director of Sellerdeck.

“Although retailers may feel a lot of price pressure, providing it at the cost of customer service is likely to be a false economy. It’s much more important to make sure the site looks professional and feels secure, while offering customers a smooth experience from the minute they enter the site to the point at which they receive the goods. This not only means happy customers, but increases the likelihood of them returning again and again.”

For more information about the survey or to arrange an interview with Phil Rothwell, sales and marketing director of Sellerdeck, please contact:

Ben Camm-Jones

+44 (0)20 7100 1333

+44 (0)7515 877 621

UK’s E-Commerce industry in the spotlight at Sellerdeck’s October conference

Speakers include E-Commerce and social media guru Thomas Power, the Chairman of business network Ecademy, who’ll be looking at the future of social media technologies in E-Commerce and their relevance to small and medium sized businesses.

A keynote speaker from PayPal UK will be talking about the future of payment processing and its implications for online merchants and their customers. Other themes for discussion at the Sellerdeck Ecommerce Horizons Conference will include pay-per-click advertising, successful web design and consumers’ online purchasing behaviours.

Sellerdeck will also reveal the results of its annual Ecommerce Survey on the day, and there will be an opportunity to get an introduction to Sellerdeck 2013 – formerly known as Sellerdeck v12 – which is due to be released later this year.

“Sellerdeck’s Ecommerce Horizons Conference will once again provide Sellerdeck partners with valuable insights into the latest developments in online and multichannel retail, helping them become more successful,” said Ben Dyer, CEO of Sellerdeck.

“We want the event to be a dialogue between Sellerdeck and our customers so there will be plenty of opportunities to ask questions to speakers, breakout sessions and workshops – as well as the chance to see our new platform, Sellerdeck 2013. Attendees can also book one-on-one support sessions as well, making it a truly hands-on event,” Dyer continued.

The Sellerdeck Ecommerce Horizons Conference will take place on Wednesday 17 October 2012 at PayPal’s prestigious Richmond offices.

Tickets cost £100 plus VAT and are limited to two per company. Discounted tickets costing £75 plus VAT are available to Sellerdeck Cover/Developer subscribers. Spaces are limited so those wishing to attend should get their application in as early as possible.

For more information, images, or to organise an interview, please contact:

Ben Camm-Jones
t: +44(0) 20 7100 1333
m: +44(0) 7515 877 621

Sellerdeck offers SMEs an alternative to the cloud with localized E-Commerce suite

Sellerdeck, formerly known as Sellerdeck Desktop, has a range of products that will suit online merchants wanting a greater deal of control over hosting, payments, fraud detection and customer feedback.

The cloud is often cited as a low-cost, low-maintenance solution for small companies that want to get online, but in reality, it has several drawbacks too. Issues of data privacy and legal compliance must be considered when choosing a cloud provider, while businesses also need to consider what happens if their website is knocked offline.

Sellerdeck’s product portfolio – Sellerdeck Catalog, Sellerdeck Business, Sellerdeck Business Plus, Sellerdeck Enterprise, Sellerdeck Designer and Sellerdeck EPOS – will help businesses that want to keep their online activities under their own control.

With 16 years of experience in the E-Commerce space, Sellerdeck has processed more than £10bn in transactions and a new version of the platform, version 12 – to be known as Sellerdeck 2013 – is due to launch later this year.

“If a cloud provider suffers a major outage, as we saw with AWS just last month, a business can be knocked offline for hours with no indication about when it might be back online. And while this can mean thousands of pounds worth of lost sales, how high up the provider’s list of priorities will it be to get the site back online? And what if the site is lost forever?” said Ben Dyer, CEO of Sellerdeck.

“Any company that wants to be certain that issues of downtime, data safety and security and legal compliance are all under its own control would be well advised to think about alternatives to cloud providers. If they have the resources to manage them effectively, these businesses can be better off taking full control over key components such as hosting, payments, fraud detection and customer feedback and not relying on third-party, cloud-based solutions.”

For more details about Sellerdeck and its range of E-Commerce and EPOS solutions, please contact:

Ben Camm-Jones


t: +44(0) 20 7100 1333

m: +44(0) 75 1587 7621

Sellerdeck Desktop rebrands as Sellerdeck and refocuses on SMEs

Sellerdeck was the UK’s first E-Commerce solution provider and after a brief floatation on the stock market underwent a successful management buyout in 2002, turning it back into a privately-owned company.

In 2011, it partnered with European E-Commerce market leader Oxatis as part of a plan to spin off the cloud-based Sellerdeck Online product to fully concentrate on the Sellerdeck desktop application.

Sellerdeck will continue to offer its E-Commerce and EPOS desktop applications, which lets merchants have full control and ownership of their online business without having to rely on cloud services.

Existing Sellerdeck Desktop customers will not be affected by the new name, with the company planning to continue to provide flexible and innovative major new releases on an annual basis under the new brand.

Sellerdeck will also continue to use its 16 years of experience in the E-Commerce space as well as the wealth of input provided by its community to develop products, with version 12 – to be known as Sellerdeck 2013 – planned for release later this year.

“With the E-Commerce market continuing to grow in the UK, we decided that the time was right to completely focus on the Sellerdeck product set,” said Sellerdeck’s CEO Ben Dyer.

“The E-Commerce market in the UK is the most advanced in the world, with some of the most demanding merchants; these merchants want to retain as much control as possible over their products. With insecurities and vulnerabilities in cloud technology becoming a larger problem, Sellerdeck puts the control back in the hands of the merchant. We are looking forward to focusing all our efforts on honing our desktop E-Commerce product in the years to come.”

The team behind Sellerdeck will remain the same, with Sellerdeck’s original founders, Chris Barling and Kevin Grumball, along with the original finance director David Dawson, still the shareholders. Benjamin Dyer remains the CEO while former MD Phil Rothwell has rejoined the company to run the sales and marketing team.

If you would like more information on the rebrand or would like to discuss any aspect of Sellerdeck’s proposition, please contact:

Will Moore
t: +44 20 7100 1333
m: +44 78 7269 1202

Sellerdeck Q4 2011 Survey Shows Marginal Uplift in Sales for UK SME Online Retailers

The average order value has remained virtually unchanged at £76.30 for Q4 2011 compared to £76.38 for Q4 2010.

Simon Armstrong, marketing manager at Sellerdeck Online comments, “These figures show a turbulent time for SME online store owners with many needing special offers even before Christmas to tempt customers to place an order, thus hitting the gross profit margins for many e-tailers. However, in comparison to the high street, with frequent announcements of chains of stores in difficulty, online is still faring well in very uncertain times.”

January sales start early

This year saw a new trend in which retailers brought sales forward with many offering discounts to entice shoppers to spend in the last few days before Christmas. Many online sellers started their sales on Christmas Day with Experian reporting 86 million hits to British shopping websites on Boxing Day. This was borne out by Sellerdeck merchants like Nick Powell of Trout Catchers:

“It was noticeable that shoppers were delaying placing orders before Christmas. In fact, many waited until after Christmas Day, and we saw a definite increase in orders from 26th through to New Year’s Eve, which hasn’t happened before.”

This is backed up by Paul Nicolson, designer for TerraTag: “We are always trying different styles of promotions, but a percentage discount invariably works the best. Christmas 2011 was no exception; to get the orders we had to offer better prices than our competitors, but also ensure deliveries arrived promptly. That way customers are more likely to return.”

Turning browsers into buyers – Sellerdeck announces the launch of Sellerdeck 2013

Sellerdeck 2013 is the first new version of the E-Commerce platform to launch under the company’s new name and adds a swathe of enhancements that are designed to turn visitors who were just browsing into happy customers. Sellerdeck changed its name from Sellerdeck Desktop in June 2012.

While the previous two versions of Sellerdeck’s product – Sellerdeck Desktop v10 and Sellerdeck Desktop v11 – focused on streamlining the checkout process and customer service features, Sellerdeck 2013 offers merchants the chance to make it even easier for customers to find the products they are looking for with improved search functions.

New merchant-defined filters mean customers can quickly narrow down their search to items in a particular size, colour, brand or price range, for example. Dynamic pricing and product option features mean that visitors won’t be shown items that are out of stock and will always be aware of the price they’re paying.

Sellerdeck 2013 also brings additional enhancements to SEO. The new automated pagination feature lets merchants specify the number of products appearing on a page. And though these pages are automatically generated, they are static HTML pages with a fixed filename, which lets search engines index them easily.

There are also improvements to the Design Wizard, which now comes with a set of eight different page layouts and 11 different themes. The Design Wizard automatically adjusts the page and sidebar widths, repositioning key elements such as the search bar and cart summary and modifying their styles as required according to the layout and theme selected.

“One of the biggest problems online merchants have is people coming to their site but leaving without buying anything. With our new platform, we’re aiming to help merchants make the whole experience so seamless for visitors that they have every reason to make a purchase – and come back again and again,” said Ben Dyer, CEO of Sellerdeck.

“Our research has shown that well-designed, secure websites with plenty of product information – as well as large, detailed images of products – are in the best position to win over a potential customer, and Sellerdeck 2013 will help merchants tick these boxes so they can increase conversion rates,” Dyer continued.

While configuring and applying the new features is a simple – and fast – process, upgrading to Sellerdeck 2013 is also designed to be as hassle-free as possible, with no in-depth technical expertise required.

Sellerdeck 2013 comes in four different versions – Catalog, Business, Business Plus and Enterprise – to suit all sizes of organisation. Prices begin at £515 excluding VAT, or £340 ex VAT for customers upgrading from older versions of Sellerdeck Desktop.

For more details about Sellerdeck 2013, to obtain review copies, images or to arrange an interview with Ben Dyer please contact:

Ben Camm-Jones
t: +44(0) 20 7100 1333
m: +44(0) 7515 877 621

Sellerdeck Online Enables SMEs To Create Mobile-Optimised Ecommerce Sites

    The Mobile Store is compatible with any mobile device and is available for all Sellerdeck Online subscription packages at no extra charge. It lets Sellerdeck Online merchants create a mobile-optimised version of their E-Commerce stores automatically, in just one click. To see what visitors would get if they visited an Sellerdeck Online site from a desktop or a mobile device, try from each platform.

    “As the number of consumers using smartphones and tablets to research and purchase products and services on the move is on the increase, the Mobile Store offers a new revenue opportunity that’s not to be missed,” says Simon Armstrong, marketing manager for Sellerdeck.

    The Mobile Store benefits Sellerdeck Online merchants by:

  • Encouraging impulse purchases as buyers can now easily browse the catalogue (categories, product pages) and continue through to checkout in an optimised environment right from their mobile phone or tablet.
  • Making order tracking easy for customers, as they can see the status of their orders at any time via a mobile device.

The mobile commerce (m-commerce) development complements the existing Mobile Assistant app which enables Sellerdeck Online merchants to process their E-Commerce orders on the go via an iPhone or iPad. This is the latest in a line of innovative features announced by Sellerdeck Online, such as SmartFeeds allowing the products to be shown on price comparison sites, MarketPlace Manager for direct integration and synchronisation with Amazon and eBay, and the My Social Store Facebook app.

*Barclays spending on mobile devices, Oct 2011

**Econsultancy and RedEye research Nov 2011

Independent customer feedback is increasing trust and converting sales

Sellerdeck’s Feefo service provides a full management system for feedback, giving customers and merchants the chance to communicate effectively and increasing the chances of leaving the customer satisfied. Sellerdeck customers integrating Feefo into their sites typically see a 10% lift in total orders.

Feefo ( has fast become the leading supplier of customer service ratings in the UK and is used by high-profile companies such as Fat Face, Lands’ End and Charles Tyrwhitt. Customer feedback provided by the Feefo tool can not only help merchants hone their levels of customer service but get a better idea of exactly what their customers are looking for, too.

The system is particularly useful to specialist retailers such as online garden machinery supplier and Sellerdeck customer Mower Magic ( Jez Hall, Director of Mower Magic, decided to integrate Feefo after hearing about it in Sellerdeck’s online forums. However, he was unsure of how he could garner enough feedback to create an instant impact.

“Sellerdeck advised us to approach all customers who’d purchased from us over the last three months. The Sellerdeck software automates the process, so we contacted more than 1000 customers, asking them to comment on their experience. The response was amazing and in a few days we had feedback across much of the site,” Jez said.

Ben Dyer, CEO of Sellerdeck, commented: “Having feedback published alongside product information can make a massive difference to conversion rates on a merchant’s website. Even if the feedback is negative, merchants can quickly act on it to improve their levels of customer service, increasing their chances of success over the longer term.

“And while merchants can approach Feefo directly in order to integrate the feedback system into their sites, they’ll find Sellerdeck’s prices – a result of our bulk purchasing power – very competitive.”

Information about pricing and integrating Sellerdeck’s Feefo service into websites is available to Sellerdeck customers on 0845 189 1859 (calls cost 3p per minute plus your phone company’s access charge) and at

For more details about Sellerdeck, further case studies, an interview with Ben Dyer or images please contact:

Ben Camm-Jones


t: +44(0) 20 7100 1333

m: +44(0) 7515 877 621