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So what can you do to adapt to customer requirements? You want customers to find your website ‘sticky’ – in other words, when they land on your site, they don’t leave straight away or bounce out of your site – they continue to browse your interesting content, images, videos, news, latest updates and articles. Your fresh ideas and special offers, the human stories around your products and services, will help to reduce the ‘bounce rate’ of your website, meaning that people will want to stick around longer. Here’s how The Little Milk Company made a global impression with their web presence:

The Little Milk Company Set up in 2008, the Little Milk Company comprises 10 family run, organic, dairy farms in Munster and Leinster, Ireland. The company takes milk from their own farms to make award-winning artisan cheeses. The ethos of the company is local, cooperative, organic and family-orientated. The Little Milk Company redesigned their website in 2014. The redesign was based on a number of customer insights. The company sells cheeses to retailers and distributors, and most buyers like to look at a supplier’s website before doing business. As sales increased and their market expanded abroad, the team wanted a website that met the needs of their customers. The team began by identifying websites that they really liked. They attended a Google Analytics course run by Google for small businesses. They spent time thinking about the needs of their customers. Finally they selected Emagine, a website design company they felt could deliver the quality and image that they wanted for The Little Milk Company. The Little Milk Company team was aware that they had to explain who they were, up front. So the top banner of the website’s homepage simply describes The Little Milk Company, its cheeses and contains details about where they can be sampled and bought. According to the designers, Emagine: “On the previous website the story of the food was lost. It didn’t demonstrate

what makes The Little Milk Company unique. Information on available cheeses was nowhere in sight, their farmers and cheese makers weren’t represented at all. We implemented clear calls to action and removed any ambiguity. And we placed their products at centre stage.” The striking aspect of the website is the imagery. The cheeses are artfully presented and there are wonderfully natural portraits of the farmers themselves. In 2015, thelittlemilkcompany.ie won an award for the most beautiful website in Ireland. What can we learn from a website like this that is beautiful and sticky and delivers incisive customer-focused information? Here are three key points: 1. Imagery The Little Milk Company uses high quality photography to illustrate their brand and it works brilliantly. The old saying that ‘a picture tells a thousand words’ is especially true for websites. Spare the words and use high quality images to engage customers (check out noho.ie for expert use of stunning digital imagery). Your images should support your brand or the unique identity of your business. 2. Customer Value Your website has to immediately meet the needs and desires of the customer. The Little Milk Company achieves this by providing the most valuable information up front, because they know what their target audience needs: information about their range of cheeses, its provenance (farms and farmers) and where to buy the cheeses. They then follow up with more detailed information. The lesson is to understand customers using insights and to prioritise your website content so that customers can find what they need easily. 3. Personality The Little Milk Company shows how a website can be used to create a genuine personality for a business. While most websites will be neither radical nor ingenious, it is still important to convey

 Business Books

Rachel Killeen, Managing Director, Killeen Communications

a creative and energetic personality for your business online. Too many businesses are pedestrian. Do you want your business website to be pedestrian? The Little Milk Company has a brilliantly designed website, produced by a small artisan business with a focus on exactly who their customers are. What can you do to produce and maintain an excellent website? Your website should be a shop window to the world. This is an extract from Digital Marketing by Rachel Killeen, reprinted with permission from Chartered Accountants Ireland. It is available from bookstores nationwide or directly from Chartered Accountants Ireland at www.charteredaccountants.ie.

* Indecon International Economics Consultants report ‘Assessment of the Macro-Economic Impact of Internet/ Digital on the Irish Economy’ (March 2016) ** IEDR Dot.ie Digital Health Index researched by Ignite Research (Q4, 2017) *** Visa Europe Irish Consumer Spending Index (February 2018) SFA | BETTER BUSINESS 63

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Profile for Ashville Media Group

Better Business Q3 2018  

Official magazine of Small Firms Association

Better Business Q3 2018  

Official magazine of Small Firms Association