Labels4Kids Ltd is a family owned and operated business which was established by Ann-Maree Morrison in 2005. The company is based in Stirling, Scotland, and sells a wide choice of personalised name labels and stickers for children ‘because kids lose stuff’.
The business had done well and, by the end of 2011, was employing a couple of part-time staff. However, Ann-Maree recognised that there were significant opportunities for overseas development which were not being exploited. She knew that her website should be an important business driver, but the business had outgrown the existing website, and she wanted help to improve its structure and functionality.
Through searching on the Scottish Development International website, Ann-Maree noticed an interesting article about the Export Communications Review (ECR). The ECR provides practical, impartial and straightforward advice to help companies improve their communications to overseas markets; each review is conducted by a communications expert and is tailored to the company’s individual requirements.
Ann-Maree contacted Norma Foster, an ECR Consultant, and commissioned her to undertake a comprehensive review of Labels4Kids’ website. As Ann-Maree said, "The review covered a massive amount, including initial views of the website, the layout, the buttons and processing methods, the optimisation, images, differences in website layouts by country, as well as some training and analytics" After the meeting, Labels4Kids also received a very full and well-structured report containing ‘step-by-step’ action plans on how to develop their website, with detailed amendments to layout to improve the optimisation and rankings. 90% of European internet users visit websites in their own language (source: EU EuroBarometer) and Norma was also able to help with organising translations for the business’ chosen markets.
Subsequent to this first review, Ann-Maree has now commissioned a further ECR review taking the business to the next level, focusing on advanced techniques for improving search engine optimisation, and introducing a more sophisticated e-commerce platform, enabling Labels4Kids to develop their business in Sweden, Germany France, Spain and the USA.
As a consequence of the reviews, Labels4Kids has seen an increase in traffic and enquiries from target markets, with a positive improvement in turnover in each country. The business’ position in international search engines has improved, and they now have an international website strategy for targeting additional markets, with much improved online and offline multi-language approaches and resources. Labels4Kids now has 4 full time staff members and uses part time staff in Summer as required.
As Ann-Maree highlights, "Our website customer feedback has been great regarding the changes we made to the layout and we have definitely had a positive improvement in turnover and volume of people coming to our website in each country as a result. I would highly recommend the ECR"