Online sales and e-commerce

Three recent news reports provide insights into what’s happening to businesses during lockdown.

First, #Asda have announced major changes to their supermarket operation indicating an even greater shift towards online sales. They announced that they hadn’t expected to reach their present level of online sales for another nine, yes nine years.

Then chocolate maker #Thorntons announced they would be closing all their retails shops and shifting to online sales with some sales via supermarkets.

Finally an industry review of what will happen to online sales after the boost they have seen as a consequence of the pandemic lockdowns suggest that they may drop as people return to shops when they re-open but they will then continue to rise again.

So if you haven’t started selling online yet and think you won’t bother now that lockdown will be eased, think again. First there is no guarantee that lockdown will be eased if a new wave of Covid spreads and online sales are going to continue to grow anyway.

Making that transition is not as difficult as you might think. With a combination of #WordPress and #Woocommerce I can offer you a seamless switch to e-commerce and set up a payment gateway with the likes of Paypal.

Get in touch and I can answer any questions or deal with any doubts you may have.

Shock, horror – international corporation warns your website viewers that you are untrustworthy even if you have a WordPress site

Yes, Google are at it again. They have offered the carrot but are now threatening you with the stick.

One of a number of Internet related companies, Google is part of the consortium offering free website encryption via `Let’s encrypt’. Encryption of your website means that you have obtained an SSL certificate from a recognised authority and have converted your website from http to https. This means that all data between your website and a viewer browsing your site is encrypted instead of being transmitted as [vulnerable] plain text under the http protocol. It means that a padlock icon will appear in your browser denoting that it is secure and that you can safely enter email addresses, passwords and make online payments on your website.

That`s the carrot.

The stick is that, with the issue of the latest version of their Chrome browser, Google now identify that your site is not secure with the little i icon at the beginning of the url field if your site only uses the http protocol.

Future plans are that the security status of your website will affect your ranking in Google`s SERPs, while they have written that they may explicitly comment on the security of your site in their search engine results – a bit of stick and a bit of carrot

WordPress websites will always be reviewed critically because you have to log into your website to manage it.

So, get in touch with your designer, your hosting provider or your ISP and arrange for your website to be upgraded from http to https, whether it is a WordPress site or not.

An occasional rant

I generally select software for a particular purpose and am satisfied if it serves that purpose satisfactorily. Unfortunately I recently purchased an update of software which has always done what it said on the tin. It’s called Winzip and it zips and compresses files so that they take up less space. This means that you can store them, email them and uncompress them again reliably time after time. Indeed WordPress plugins and themes can be uploaded as zip files and WordPress will uncompress them and install them reliably.

The suppliers of Winzip seem to be suffering some kind of crisis of confidence. Compressing and uncompressing files is suddenly not enough. Every so often (too often!) a message pops up telling how many megabytes of files are located in the Trash or Temp folder or how many megabytes of files haven’t been touched in a while and offering to delete them.

Wizip! Stop it! Just stick to compressing and uncompressing stuff. Leave the rest of running my computer to me. I don’t need a file nanny.

End of rant