The E-Commerce Column

Hotcakes Goes Global in Germany, Italy, Netherlands, and the UK

MA-Design: a UK-focused web design & ecommerce agency

It was always our desire to reach across from our own borders to help enterprising people in other countries as they build their businesses to branch into successful online stores.  A few months ago, we began to find out that we didn't need to do the reaching.  The word about Hotcakes Commerce had already gone global.  We have sites nearing launch in the UK, Germany, France, Italy, and the Netherlands!  

Among the reasons that we have already began growing in Europe is due to the passion put forth by some of our soon-to-be e-commerce partners.  In Italy we have OPSI, in Germany is Mintblau Media, and in Belgium we have Duotix.  We have two more emerging in UK and the first of which I am introducing in this article.


If you haven't already heard of them, MA-Design is a web development firm in south west England that has specialized in SEO and e-commerce since 2001.  What an excellent combination, right?!  

What makes MA Design different is that they are a results-driven organization that is a thought-leader and trainer in delivering effective websites, international websites, and retail to eTail.  They regularly train and mentor people in these areas and they consistently deliver when it comes to Google rankings, traffic, and conversions.

Results-Driven Approach

One of their showcase clients is Attwoolls where MA-Design was able to raise monthly visits from 4,000 CPM to 24,450 within only 2 months of the site's re-launch!  They would continue to grow this significantly over the following 10 months.  Attwoolls noticed a 110% increase in online sales and even had grown their in-store visits due to the online presence being improved, with customers noting things that they noticed on the website.  One of the more impressive statistics with this project in particular is that non-brand keyword searches resulted in an increase of 350% from year to year!

Standardization on Winning Technologies

You might be asking what makes MA-Design able to deliver such compelling results...  That was easy according to Jason Ayers, a self-described "nice chap," who chose to standardize their offerings on DNN and Hotcakes Commerce.  This combination made it increasingly simple for them to deliver a responsive website (RWD) to their clients.  Delivering a usable e-commerce site to customers has been a very difficult thing to do for most people and Hotcakes allows you to do it out of the box!  In the last year alone, e-commerce sites have seen an increase in visits from smartphones by 69.4% and tablets by 31.8% - and this stat just continues to skyrocket every year!

Client-Focused Approach

MA-Design isn't just churning out websites though.  They ensure an informed and collaborative approach with their clients to prevent mismanagement and ensure that their clients get exactly what they're looking for.  Some of the most common advice they give their clients include:

  • Pick a company that you can team up with, that have both solid business processes and individual/interpersonal cultures.
  • Make sure you spend wisely when it comes to finance and time.
  • Keep focused on priorities.
  • Have realistic goals and be patient.
  • Don't try and do everything right away.
  • Account for things that can go wrong, because they will.

Chris Davis and Jason are the co-founders of MA-Design and they pride themselves with providing this kind of advice, because your website is probably your most important and most strategic investment.

Long Term Strategy

In looking at the future, Chris cautions that social media and other social-based websites will be playing an ever increasing role in SEO and the overall success of your website.  He specifically notes, "I could go on about this for ages as it's a topic in its own right. SEO now relies heavily on SMO (social media optimization).  If you want to get anywhere online, get social and get people talking about you."  

Also, while this has already been a trend for some time, Chris notes that mobile and responsive web design will continue to be solid trends.  In the UK alone, only about 1/3 of the websites are responsive and over half of internet access in the world is happening on a mobile device, so there is a lot of opportunity for improvement to better serve your customers.

In closing, I hope you've enjoyed learning more about MA-Design.  I definitely have and please feel free to reach out to them.  They are always looking to help any UK-based business generate a stronger and more successful online proposition.  

About the Author

Will StrohlWill Strohl

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