We’ve been nominated for the New Business of the Year award!

Great news! We are delighted to announce that Eastside Co. has been shortlisted in this year’s prestigious Birmingham Post Business Awards, one of the most important events in the area’s professional calendar.  With entries from over 100 businesses, it’s a celebration of the region’s best companies and we’re immensely happy to be part of that.

2016 has been a year of huge development for our company: with a name change, rapid growth through client acquisition and employee recruitment, the opening of our New York office, and most recently an office move and refurb at our Digbeth HQ to accommodate our growing team! We continue to go from strength to strength and the nomination for ‘New Business of the Year’ helps cement our reputation as the number one Shopify and e-commerce experts.

Eastside Co. New Business Award

What are the Birmingham Post Business Awards all about?

In the words of the event organisers, ‘The Birmingham Post Business Awards celebrate success, recognise achievement and highlight the innovative people and companies in Birmingham who are putting our region on the map by boosting the economy while making a positive contribution to the local community. We believe that the passion, determination, tireless energy and skill that goes into running a top-performing company deserves recognition and our 14 award categories are designed to celebrate businesses from across a range of sectors.’

The BPBA gala ceremony, where the overall winners will be announced, will be held at The ICC on Broad St in Birmingham on Wednesday, 26th October, and will be attended by hundreds representing Birmingham’s business elite.

Being shortlisted in the final 3 for the award is a tremendous achievement for Eastside Co., and the team here are really proud of how far we’ve come in such a short time. Every day we aim to deliver service excellence to our clients and love seeing one of our beautifully designed websites go live, or a client’s conversion rate rocketing thanks to our SEO support – there is a real satisfaction in these successes. Getting a nod of approval from our peers is extra special and makes all the hard work even more worthwhile!

If you’re a business in need of website or digital marketing support, why not drop us a line and see if we can help?

Eastside Co Partnership with NEW Shopify Plus

We’re proud to announce that due to our Shopify knowledge and status as being the best rated and most reviewed Shopify experts in the UK, we’ve been invited by Shopify to become one of the few official Shopify Plus partners in the world. Our track record of beautiful Shopify Plus sites such as our latest launch, Flatspot, has made us eligible for this prestigious partnership and we’re excited to get cracking on more Shopify Plus sites.

Continue reading “Eastside Co Partnership with NEW Shopify Plus”

Hindsight; it’s a Wonderful Thing!

New App Launch!

We’re absolutely thrilled to announce that we have launched a new app: Hindsight.

Ever wondered exactly what the visitors to your site do when they’re on your website? Where their cursor hangs around the longest, which pages they hop back and forth between, what the exact moment is when they decide to buy? All the things you simply can’t get from statistical and data analysis. Previously, this incredibly in-depth examination of user experience has been somewhat of a mystery for online store owners – until now!

We’ve created an app which works almost like CCTV for your website, recording every move from when a user clicks onto the landing page to when they leave the site.

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What’s the Theory Behind Hindsight?
We spotted a gap in the market for a new way to track users’ journeys through a Shopify website. There is already so much focus on analysis and statistics of user experience but this level of data scrutiny can only take you so far, so we thought we’d go a step further and create a new kind of heatmapping technology. What makes us different from other heatmapping apps is that Hindsight can record every user journey; that’s right – every single one.

How Does it Work?
With instant set up, this a no fuss app that gets straight down to the job. Once installed, you will have immediate access to a set of heatmaps for every page in your store.

– You are able to switch between viewing mapping clicks, mouse movements and scrolls as well as see total amounts of clicks and hover time.
– Along with this unique heatmapping process, Hindsight also offers you key statistics too
– You can record and play back users’ visits and set which part of a journey is recorded
– Visitor’s location and visit duration are easily accessible
– You can change playback speed
– Recordings can be kept up to a month
– There is intuitive dashboard which means that you don’t even have to leave your Shopify admin panel to see all the app’s statistics, latest recordings and update your plan

How Does this Help Shopify Store Owners?
The more information you have about your customers, the more you can improve your site and therefore, increase your conversions – it’s simple: better user experience = better conversions. By truly understanding your customer’s journey, you can see where you’re going wrong by deducing where customers are dropping off and why. This macro level of user experience analysis is something that has never been used on Shopify before and boasts the unique ability to help owners see exactly how users interact with every element of their site.

The ultimate aim of Hindsight is to infuse our customers with the idea of constantly improving their sites through this constant, incredibly genuine and unique customer response tracker.

What Benefit Does it Give to Us?
Not only did we create this app exclusively for Shopify owners, but for ourselves too. By giving our clients the chance to use Hindsight, we are able to work with them to identify where any issues are and then get on to fixing them. Every recording we view at this incredibly intricate level of analysis, helps us learn; each time our understanding of user experience becomes deeper.

Where Can I Get it?
Head to the Shopify App Store to get your hands on our pretty impressive (if we do say so ourselves) Hindsight app which offers unlimited possibilities to improving your user experience and conversion rates.

If you would like any changes made to your site as a result of using Hindsight, we would love to hear from you! Please drop our small changes man, Ian an email at: [email protected]

The Pros and Cons of Pay-Per-Click Marketing

At Shopify Builder, one of the key digital marketing services that we offer to all of our e-commerce clients is Pay-Per-Click (also referred to as PPC or Paid Search) Marketing.

Living in a digital age where for e-commerce store owners, your online presence is your sole income, general marketing techniques such as direct marketing, press releases and social media marketing may sometimes not be quite enough for your store to gain the exposure it needs to rake in all those online sales. As a result, other marketing techniques might need to be explored and we just have one answer for you: Pay-Per-Click Marketing.

There are many digital marketing techniques out there for your store to trial and error (which we highly recommend you do). From Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) to email marketing, as an e-commerce store owner, you have a variety options available to you. However, as with all other forms of marketing, using just one solution is not going to achieve the ultimate results that you want, so you need to try out a few techniques to see what combination works best for your store; which brings us to Pay-Per-Click Marketing.

Pay-Per-Click Marketing is a digital marketing technique that allows business and e-commerce store owners to place their ads on a website or search engine in exchange for a certain fee each time a user clicks on an add – these are the ads that you would normally find at the top of a Google search with the little yellow icon next to them. Pay-Per-Click Marketing is considered as the first step to be taken in testing out the profitability and ROI of using certain keywords before being used in Search Engine Optimisation.

I know what you’re thinking: ‘Wow this sounds amazing I’m going to get in on the Pay-Per-Click Marketing game right now!’ However, before you take the plunge into Pay-Per-Click Marketing it’s a good idea for you to get a true understanding of every aspect of Pay-Per-Click Marketing or more importantly, its pros and cons.

Pros of Pay-Per-Click Marketing

  • Can Generate Traffic Quickly – As soon as your Pay-Per-Click ad goes live you can expect to see immediate traffic. Not only will you just be seeing more traffic driven to your store, this traffic will be targeted and highly motivated as people will have been searching for exactly what you sell Unsurprisingly, this means that there is a higher chance of conversions.
  • Targeted Website Traffic – Pay-Per-Click campaigns allow you to target specific searches. With Ad Retargeting, your ad is shown to people who have recently visited your store in order to encourage them to come back.
  • Niche Market Strategy – With Pay-Per-Click ad campaigns, you have the ability to target your ad to specific niche markets, days of the week, times of the day and target specific cities or specific countries to gain traffic from your ideal target audience.
  • Seasonal Marketing Strategies – Probably one of the best advantages of Pay-Per-Click Marketing is that you can choose when to run your campaigns by the season. During slower seasons when you may not be receiving much traffic, you can turn your ad campaign off or ‘pause’ it. You can also increase your pay per click advertising during a busy holiday season.
  • Double Branding Exposure – Larger brands who have achieved a spot on the first page of Google organically will also create Pay-Per-Click ad campaigns to appear twice on a search for ultimate exposure.
  • Measurable ROI – It is very easy to measure results with Pay-Per-Click Marketing. There are many metrics out there waiting to be seen such as those on Pay-Per-Click analytics that you can use to measure the effectiveness of your campaign in terms of return on investment. You will also be able to find out the number of viewers who saw the ad, number of clicks and if viewers reacted to the ad as you expect them to.
  • Full Control – You have full control of all aspects of your Pay-Per-Click management campaign such as how much you bid, how long the campaigns run for, what keywords to target and the overall cost of the campaign.
  • Perfect for e-commerce – One form of Pay-Per-Click that is perfect for e-commerce store owners is Google Shopping. With Pay-Per-Click Marketing, you can integrate your products into Google Shopping so when someone is searching for something such as “women’s pink jeans”, if you sell this then your product will likely show up as long as you are bidding for that keyword.

Cons of Pay-Per-Click Marketing

  • Search Engine Optimisation vs. Pay Per Click Marketing – Organic searches will always gain top spot in search listings and will bask in the beautiful advantage of longevity. We always recommend Search Engine Optimisation as a primary marketing strategy and Pay-Per-Click as a more short-term solution as it will work better at improving your Search Engine Optimisation.
  • Temporary Listing Results – One big disadvantage with Pay-Per-Click Marketing is that as soon as your budget runs out, your listings will disappear.
  • Increasing Pay-Per-Click Marketing Costs – Pay-Per-Click Marketing can sometimes be costly. When bidding for keywords, even though you are only placing bid for sometimes less than £1, eventually these 80ps or so can start to mount up especially if you get caught up in a bidding war with a competitor.
  • Fewer Clicks than Organic – Around 85% of online searchers are known to click organic listings first and only 10-15% will click on a Pay-Per-Click sponsored ad.

All in all, doing Pay-Per-Click Marketing for your business has its pros and cons although we’ve found that the pros heavily outweigh the cons. From living and breathing the industry, we have found that offering advice on both the good and bad points of PPC is vital before taking a PPC client on board

If you are interested in learning more about Pay-Per-Click Marketing and all its wonders, or if you would like a quote, check out our Marketing page.

Selling your Brand on Amazon – Will it Help or Hinder your Shopify Sales?

Building an e-commerce store and growing your brand’s momentum online is the culmination of many months of blood, sweat, and tears. Store owners wrangle with budgets and fulfillment providers, pitting technology platforms and apps against each other in the ultimate quest for ROI.

So when considering other avenues of growth, online store owners understandably don’t just want to capitalise on new revenue streams, but protect their existing revenue-generating asset.

Amazon has taken full hold of the ecommerce world, and some even herald it as the next online gold rush.

But brand owners with online stores are suitably concerned about the cannibalisation that may occur with having their brand sold on Amazon. That is, will consumers switch to purchasing their products on Amazon the minute they are uploaded?

First, let’s address the reasons why cannibalisation may be a concern for store owners, and if those assumptions always hold true:

  1. The margin of selling on marketplaces like Amazon is worse than my own e-commerce store.

Not necessarily. Growing and maintaining an online store takes its fair share of margin, especially for smaller stores with smaller order volumes. Qualified traffic, order processing & fulfillment, and customer service are three major cost factors that Amazon takes care of for you through their Fulfilled By Amazon (FBA) program. Amazon generally takes a 15% cut of sales (plus fulfillment fees if using FBA), which may seem steep.

Sit down and factor in all the marketing and operational costs that you usually incur and which would be taken care of by Amazon. You may find that the difference is negligible or even better, especially when considering all the additional attention your products could get, and the fact that shoppers often have a lot more trust in buying from Amazon than a lesser-known site.

  1. Amazon shoppers are just after a bargain.

Categorically false. The perception that Amazon is a coupon-clipper’s paradise or somewhere to buy cheap used books is out of date. 70% of upper-income US households have Amazon Prime memberships, and Prime members spend more than 2X as much as non-Prime members. Amazon may not be the best choice for exclusive luxury brands, it is an excellent venue for the vast majority of consumer products and even business-to-business products.

  1. We’ll lose control over our brand and the customer experience.

The concern here is that Amazon will misrepresent your brand or create poor experiences for your hard-won customers. The cold hard fact is that Amazon is probably better at converting customers than you, and statistically is also probably better at customer service than you…Sorry!

Despite what some would call a rather ugly interface (especially compared with the gorgeous shopping experiences that we serve up!), Amazon has devoted countless hours and millions of dollars into creating the best environment for sales and conversions, perhaps in the history of the internet.

While most aspects of the product page are pre-set, there are still core elements that the brand can control. 7 product images, generous character limitations for title, bullet points and product description, usually provide plenty of room to convey your product’s USP.

Now, there is one major drawback to selling on Amazon from a brand’s perspective: customer ownership. Amazon’s customers are Amazon’s customers, and brands have no right or ability to re-market to them. This means no email addresses, no tracking pixels, and no way to engage customers off the Amazon platform. This is the deal that you make with Amazon in exchange for accessing “their” customers.

This is a downside, but it’s not restricted only to Amazon – most marketplaces have the same restriction, and there is also no way to track and engage with end customers when selling in retail stores. Also, because some shoppers are just so loyal to Amazon, it could be argued that those are customers that you might never have reached anyway.

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How brands can maximise the upside and minimise downsides of selling on Amazon

  1. Test. There are companies such as Bobsled Marketing, who help brands to launch their products on Amazon. They also help to advise Shopify store owners that are concerned about a negative effect on sales through their online store. In these instances, the smartest thing to do is to properly validate this assumption through testing. One way to do this is through selling only specific products in your assortment on Amazon, and consistently measuring the effect of sales of products on Amazon versus your assortment that is not on Amazon.
  1. Engage (within the rules). Amazon has strict rules about “diverting” their customers from the Amazon platform, so you should never link to other websites in your product listings or communications with Amazon. However, there is a place for engaging with customers and staying in line with Amazon’s Terms of Service, such as allowing customers to register product warranties, or encouraging sharing on social media with hashtags and mentions.
  1. Diversify. While Amazon offers significant opportunity to access new customers and quickly build revenue, being shackled to a single horse is not usually the best way to win. Leverage Amazon as a platform to scale fast, test ideas, and capture customers who might not have otherwise discovered a brand; but be sure to also maintain your own customer acquisition and marketing platforms to preserve control.


There are challenges involved with growing a physical product business through any channel, be that an e-commerce store, marketplaces like Amazon, or in brick & mortar retail stores. No one venue will be free of challenges or hard work.

One major concern that brand owners often have is that they don’t have the time or expertise to properly execute an Amazon launch strategy. If you would like help with launching your brand and optimising your products on Amazon with brand support, there are companies that take ownership of generating revenue for your brand through the Amazon channel. Email an expert to email an expert and find out more.


New Feature Launch: Ultimate Phone Case Customisation

In 2015 we built a customiser app for our client Quick Mobile Fix, who repair and refurbish mobile phones. This bespoke customiser allows users to choose different coloured parts for their phones online and then post their phone off for its make-over and QMF send it back fully customised.

We’ve just launched a second customiser for them which allows customers to make their own phone case.

This feature offers a variety of templates to choose from that can then be infinitely customised from adding, cropping, moving and resizing a number of images. Images can be uploaded from desktop, Google Drive or any social media platform for optimum ease. Similarly, this customiser allows users to add, move around and resize numerous bits of text in a variety of different fonts, sizes and colours.

This new feature works much like Vistaprint and Photobox but with even more flexibility. The ease of Vistaprint was the benchmark which we wanted to achieve without compromising on how intuitive it is which is what we believe makes it so user friendly and fun to use.

The result of aiming for this target was that rather just uploading images into slots, users are able to do whatever they want with a template to the point where they can move and change images as they like. This mobility coupled with QMF’s ability to set some parameters and boundaries has created a best of both worlds feature: template and flexibility.



And the Winner is…

As promised, today is the day we announce the winner of our incredibly exciting Website Giveaway competition!

With over 3,000 entries all hoping to win £10,000 worth of new website development, design and marketing, we have our winner…

We are thrilled to announce that our winner is t-shirt seller and charity supporter, ‘For Better, Not Worse’. Founded by Patricc Reed, the e-commerce store has an inspiring story and ethical business process whereby every t-shirt sold gives a bag of groceries to a child in need. With a host of wonderful images showing the children that ‘For Better, Not Worse’ are helping, we can’t wait to get cracking.

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Patricc started his company with a simple but challenging goal – to spread happiness. He chose to do this by helping and having a positive impact of the lives of disadvantaged children through giving free food to the children who don’t have access to enough food on a day to day basis. Once he had established how he wanted to make a difference and spread happiness through his business, along came his fantastic and innovative products: slogan t-shirts, tanks and long sleeved tops.


Patricc’s products are all unique and appeal to a wide demographic, boasting the idea that there is something for everyone. ‘For Better, Not Worse’ have certainly proved themselves right when it comes to the popularity of their stylish tops; they have an impressive social media following and have had their t-shirts worn by many a celebrity, accumulating tens of thousands of likes across Instagram.

We have big, big plans for ‘For Better, Not Worse’ and we can’t wait to share their moving story and impressive business ethic around the world whilst also increasing conversions and sales for their awesome range of products. One of our Directors, Jason has said that “We’re incredibly excited to be working with Patricc and his team over at ‘For Better, Not Worse’, and to produce something truly magical for a truly inspiring brand.” Patricc is equally as enthusiastic as we are about teaming up, telling us that he is “EXTREMELY excited about winning this competition. I can’t wait to get started on the new FBNW site!”

We would just like to say a huge thank you to everyone who entered, we’ve been overwhelmed by the response we’ve had (and at the amount of people who need a new website!) If you would still like a new website and marketing package despite not being our competition winner, we would love to hear from you. Please drop an email to our Sales Manager, Dan on: [email protected]


Shopify’s Move To SSL Is A Step In The Right Direction

Last week, Shopify announced that it will be rolling out free SSL certificates for all 200,000+ of its online stores. This is truly a revolutionary play by Shopify and sets a precedent for website owners all over the world.

What is SSL Encryption?

SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer. In layman’s terms, SSL takes your data (such as credit card information and passwords) and turns it into data that only you and the intended recipient can decrypt. SSL certificates can also provide you information about the authenticity regarding the identity of a person, business or website. You can view this information by clicking on the browser’s padlock symbol.

Is SSL Good for SEO and How Will It Effect My Store?

Yes, Google loves SSL! Google understands that security is important to its users and on August 6th 2014 Google announced that HTTPS will become a ranking signal. This means that if your website is SSL encrypted, you have a chance to rank higher than websites that aren’t.

How do I know That a Website is SSL Secure?

  1. The URL will display https://’ instead of ‘http://’:sb 1
  2. You’ll notice a padlock symbol in the URL:sb 2
    (The padlock may look different depending on what browser you’re using)
  3. Check that the certificate is valid. Even if the website is displaying “https://” and a padlock symbol, the certificate may still have expired. If you are using Google Chrome you can check the expiration date by:
    1. Clicking the padlock
    2. Clicking details
    3. Clicking view certificatesb 3

How Do I Encrypt my Shopify Store?

Shopify is rolling out the certificates gradually so they may not be available to you right away. Once your website is eligible, you’ll receive a notification in your Shopify dashboard:

sb 4

To activate your certificates:

  1. Login to your Shopify admin panel
  2. Click ‘Online Store’ and then ‘Domains’
  3. Click ‘Activate SSL certificates’


If your activation is successful, you’ll see a confirmation on the Domains page in your Shopify admin:


Shopify will automatically redirect all of your old URLs to the HTTPS version so you don’t have to.


Update your Sitemap

Once your activation is successful, you will want to update your sitemap as soon as possible. If you’re using Google Search Console to manage your website, you can follow the below steps:

  1. Login to Webmaster Tools
  2. Click on the domain you want to update
  3. Click Crawl, and then click Sitemaps
  5. Enter your domain’s new HTTPS sitemap (for example: https://www.your-shopify-domain.com/sitemap.xml)
  6. Remove your domain’s HTTP sitemap from its profile

By updating your sitemap, you’re alerting search engines to your change which means that they will reindex your new URLs even quicker.


To conclude, SSL encryption protects your customers, helps build trust and improves your website’s SEO.

So, what are you waiting for?

If you would like some help with SSL encryption or would like some more information, please contact our SEO specialist, Luke on: [email protected]