A Scottish digital agency has helped companies from soap makers to rugby retailers generate more than £11 million in online revenue in just five years.
Multimedia firm Channel 6 is marking five years since the launch of its Ch-ching e-commerce system by revealing the impressive sales it has helped generate for clients.
Since it was launched, Ch-ching has been used by 50 online retailers to start from scratch and grow impressive internet sales.
Now one Ch-ching user has been shortlisted for a top award. Channel 6 used the bespoke software to create the Bohemia Design website – which has now made the final of the UK-wide Drapers online retail awards. The site has been shortlisted in the Best Independent Etailer category, with the overall winner to be announced in January.
Kate Little, Client Services Director, said: “We are delighted Bohemia has been nominated for this award. It just goes to show what a good website backed up with solid software like Ch-ching can do.
“We are constantly updating Ch-ching so it remains current as online business changes, and to deliver extra functions our customers ask for.
“Now that it’s five years old we decided to take a more in-depth look at how Ch-ching is performing. Clearly financial performance is the most important benchmark for our clients, and it is certainly standing the test of time.
“Our findings were even better than we could have hoped for. Not only is it still a really popular, adaptable and reliable tool for our clients, the £11 million figure tells us that it is really performing well.”
Channel 6 provides a web design, email and hosting service for businesses from one person online retailers to major nationwide names, while also linking customers around the world to secure online payment systems.
Ch-ching is aimed at businesses making a first serious foray into online retailing. It is simple to install and use, with extremely low running costs. Once a site is set up, Ch-ching can help it keep generating income for years to come with very low overheads.
Kate added: “The beauty of Ch-ching is that it offers real peace of mind, because this is a very stable, well-tested e-commerce platform – yet it is versatile and fully customisable.”
Shoppers can browse for and add items to their cart before placing orders on the individually designed online shopping sites, while retailers can log in to the Ch-ching.com admin area to manage orders, catalogue and company details.
Kate said clients also benefit from the customisable opportunities, which allows Ch-ching to be tailored to meet bespoke requirements. Many other web design companies use off-the-shelf e-commerce systems, but this software cannot be adapted as businesses change.
She added: “With Ch-ching we can easily write new code and customise a website, so our customers are not at the mercy of outdated functions they needed five years ago.”
Edinburgh’s First XV rugby shop was one of the first companies to adopt Ch-ching and has seen online sales quadruple while using it.
Partner Lee McDonald said: “Channel 6 created the Rugby Stuff site for us in 2004 and it has helped us reach a far wider market than we could from our store on Haymarket Terrace. We had tried a couple of very basic sites but they weren’t any good as we couldn’t change the content ourselves and it was hard for users to find products.
“With Ch-ching we can manage all the site’s features and content ourselves, we can have new stock featured on the website the same day it comes into the store.”
“Our online revenue has grown incredibly, a couple of years ago web-based sales only accounted for 5% of our business, now 20% comes from the internet. We quite regularly get orders from Germany, France, Ireland and America.
“Business has grown so much we are considering expanding our premises so we can hold more stock for the online market. Although speaking to customers about products in store will always be key, it is exciting to be expanding online too. We feel a lot of bigger retailers than us don’t necessarily have sites that show off their products as well as ours can.”
Chris Parton of family run business Highland Soap Company agreed, adding: “Ch-ching has been an outstanding investment for us. It has helped to communicate and develop our brand, and our on-line sales have consistently grown year on year.
“We get countless comments about how beautiful and professional the site is, and how easy it is to order securely on-line from us. We now have customers all over the world, and thanks to our site’s advanced shipping tools, we can control parcel delivery costs at checkout.”
Kate added: “Ch-ching is great because it is flexible enough to move with the times, so we can include advanced features like zoom images so shoppers can see the intricate details of items as our clients need them.
“Navigation is very important these days because people are not as patient as they used to be. They want to find a product right away so it is important they are just one click away from their goal when visiting a site.