Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Ayrshire based EGM launch new online store

Ayrshire based supplier of Environmental and Gas Monitoring products, EGM Ltd, has this week launched their new eCommerce website.

EGM operated their own website for a number of years which was successful at providing visitors with product information but the availability of new technology and a more demanding marketing strategy dictated that a new website was required.

Following meetings to discuss the overall business strategy and the part the website would play in this our proposals were accepted and timescales agreed.

The new website is fully eCommerce enabled allowing EGM to sell products to new and existing customers worldwide. The online store software allows visitors to change the currency display on the website and the advanced shipping system allows EGM to specify the shipping costs to any country.

One of EGM's new innovations is to make equipment available for hire and customers can arrange this with online payments.

As well as control of all products and descriptions on the website th online store software also gives EGM full control over the text and images of all the additional pages. This means they can react quickly to any situation ensuring the website is always up to date and new products and information is immediately available for customers.

Embracing Web 2.0 technology and some clever coding from The Edge allows EGM to run a Blog and Newsdesk simultaneously.

Finally, the icing on the cake was provided by giving the slightly dated looking EGM logo a new look.

Darkstar Scotland has the Edge

The Edge are pleased to announce the launch of the new website for their latest client Dark Star.

This dynamic, energetic and youthful pub, club & hotel group is based in Glasgow and is probably best known for it’s Budda bar's in the city centre of Glasgow. Since 2007 the group has been evolving by acquiring many new sites across Scotland, stretching from Ayr to Aberdeen.

This evolution has seen the creation of a powerful brand identity which Dark Star were very use to create an online space which their clientele would view as an extension of their customer experience.

To make this happen they needed to work with a web development company who would pick this concept up and run with it. This is where The Edge came in, using the latest social media tools to create picture sharing galleries, blogs, video channels and even online restaurant and hotel bookings.

The end result is a website which showcases all of the Dark Star properties and lets customers interact with the brand in a variety of ways, and by harnessing the power of Web 2.0, the customers can actually create content for the site itself.

In selecting The Edge, Sarah Mazzone, the On-line Marketing Manager said

"We know our customers enjoy the experience when they are in our pubs & clubs, and with the help of The Edge, we have created a unique online space where they can share their great times with their friends whenever they want"

Dark Star and The Edge will continue to push the boundaries to ensure that the online Dark Star experience is as exciting and fun as the real thing.

For more information on how to give your online strategy the Edge, contact James Kennedy on 01292-521-404, info@getheedgeonline.com.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Online Marketing IS Marketing..

So says, Proffessor John Lennon of the Moffat Centre for Travel & Tourism at Glasgow Caledonian University.

Professor Lennon was amongst a number of speakers at the recent Scottish Tourism Forum's networking event "Surviving the Crunch" at the Royal Hotel, Bridge of Allan.

The event was held to foster discussion and share thinking on the most effective ways for tourism businesses to operate during these difficult times. A number of key themes were constantly referenced by the presenters,

  1. "Online Marketing is Marketing"
  2. "Value and Quality will deliver growth"
    "Your website strategy needs to keep moving"
Both Prof John Lennon and Neil McLean from Smallmedialarge highlighted the need for tourism websites to embrace the latest developments in Social Networking, Photo & Video Sharing & Blogging in order to identify new customers segments and to help with ranking in search engines.

They also agreed that the weakness of the GBP against the Dollar and the Euro would see an influx of North American and European travellers in 2009 and that booking engines which easily allowed for currency conversion would be the main beneficiaries.

David Smith, owner of the Buccleuch Arms Hotel in Moffat and Debbie Taylor, General Manager of the Old Course Hotel & Spa in St Andrews both spoke of the need to stay true to the principles of quality and service and find innovative ways to use latent staff skills and enthusiasm to upsell.

Overall this was a really useful event, however one key question remains unanswered, so I ask it here and welcome your comments...

Who is going to support the already stressed out, time poor, small and medium accommodation providers in Scotland to take advantage of these new opportunities.?

Many of them already feel totally overwhelmed by the information overload from third party distribution websites and spend too much time constantly updating their rates and trying to gain a competitive advantage on their neighbours.

Does this really help ? No, all it does is help to keep the third party distribution websites content nice and fresh, with their customers coming back time and again to make a booking..... and, here's the crunch, the small and medium operators are paying upwards of 15% per booking for this. Who is really winning here ?

What if they spend as much time updating their own website's booking engine and investing time in learning about how to take advantage of Web 2.0? I know that once a small business starts to see a volume of bookings coming from third party websites, it can be difficult to give it up, but in the long run it is truly a false economy, but the tools are out there if only someone can lead the way....

And here at The Edge, we are doing just that, we already have many customers whom we have created online strategies for, built around Web 2.0 best in breed applications such as Picasa, Flicker, Youtube, Facebook and Blogger. Contact us today on info@gettheedgeonline.com to find out how to give your business the Edge.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Truck Hoodz Website Launched

Truck Hoodz, the UK importer of a unique folding rear hood for pickup trucks, launched their new website this week. The Edge developed a small website driven by our Claymore Project Content Management System. This allows Truck Hoodz to update text, images and downloads on demand. It also allows Keywords and other important meta data to be managed and comes with Google Analytics built in.

The website features the company branding also developed by The Edge and matches their other marketing materials including leaflets and magazine adverts.

The website also provides video examples of the Truck Hood in action via YouTube.

You can visit the Truck Hoodz website at www.truckhoodz.co.uk.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Great Scot Tours Website Refresh

The team at The Edge have refreshed the design layout of greatscot-tours.com to improve useability and to highlight a new side to Gordon Ross's Personal Tour Guide business - Whisky Talks.

Useability has been improved by increasing the size of navigation links and improving the contrast between link colours and their backgrounds and an additional section Whisky Talks promotes Gordon's whisky tasting tours and seminars throughout Scotland.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

We Have A Dream En Route To Stores

Less than a week until the release of the Tartan Army's second single and the CD's are winding their way as we speak to ASDAs, Tescos, Sainsburys, Woolies and some other stores around the country.

So as of Monday you can drop one or five in your shopping basket...

The Edge designed not only the CD artwork but also the posters and Counter Display Units for the stores. So watch out for the displays next week when you're doing the shopping and remember to buy one for Children in Need!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Reviewing October

Sometimes months just vanish...October was one of them!

From start to finish it has been non stop for all of the team at The Edge. From design and print jobs, new website developments and some interesting project management; so with apologies for the retropsective nature but we thought it worthwhile giving a brief overview of the past few weeks - and where better to start with our now annual Children in Need project!

Last year we had the idea with The Tartan Army to record a single for Children in Need - with only six weeks to plan it we ended up with an unbelieveably succesful result, culminating in a Top Ten UK chart hit and almost 50,000 single sales of Loch Lomond with Runrig.

So having done it once we thought we'd try it again!

This year we approached BA Robertson and the BBC to come up with a re-recording of We Have a Dream - the famous 1982 World Cup song.

The track will be released just before Children in Need but the work leading up to perhaps showcases many of our strengths - Project management in pulling the whole thing together; website redevelopment; Web 2.0 tools in the form of a dedicated blog; big screen graphics for half time at Hampden for the Scotland vs Norway game; design of the CD cover and original artwork; production of Point of Sale materials for supermarkets and stores; copy writing, press and PR campaign for a plethora of related Tartan Army stories; TV and Radio interviews, design and production of t-shirts; database development and emarketing campaign and even dressing up as Pudsey on one or two occasions.

We Have A Dream... could The Edge help you with yours?

Sunnybrae Website Goes Live

It's always nice when you get an enquiry based on a recommendation so we were delighted to receive a call from Nairn hotelier Ian Bochel who was looking to update his website. He'd heard about The Edge from a fellow Nairn hotelier and after a in depth introductory discussion about our ethos we agreed a way forward.

The result is a brand new website with a fresh feel that reflects the hotel's dynamism, incorporates Bookassist online reservations and is built around the Sitebuilder Standard web package.
Sitebuilder allows hotels the opportunity to manage their own content and, when ready, upgrade further to the Pro version with its additional Web 2.0 tools.

Ian knew he needed an online booking engine but was confused by the plethora of options available to him. We discussed his requirements fully with him and once the key benefits of Bookassist were outlined he was confident that he had a fully integrated and future proof online package.

So from introduction to new website was less than six weeks and we've looked after not only design and content management but online reservations, search engine optimisation, domain transfers and training.

Ian can head off on his own holiday confident that his web presence is in safe hands.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Music Kitchen Website Launch

Having been introduced to The Edge by The MacDonald Bros of X Factor fame, The Music Kitchen had no hesitation asking us to develop an online store integrated with our Claymore Content Management system when it became time redevelop their website.

These facilities along with a redesign of the website layout addressed the areas in which the old website was lacking and ensure the website can be maintained in house well into the future.

Our Online Store software allows The Music Kitchen to sell their artist's abums world wide and have card payments authorised in real time. Claymore integration means all important content can be updated on demand with our easy to use Content Management system. Also integrated with the website is a YouTube Channel allowing music videos, sample tracks and TV adverts to be uploaded.

Visit The Music Kitchen Website at www.themusickitchen.co.uk

Monday, October 20, 2008

Open Rooms Website Updates - new templates and keyword control

Open Rooms website customers can now take advantage of new search engine features and a choice of three different template designs.

Open Rooms offers small hotel and bed and breakfast owners full control over their website with our extensive content management system, The Claymore Project, which offers an RSS enabled news system, gallery, room rates and this integrates fully with our online booking engine Bookassist.

Control over Search Engine Optimisation has been advanced and full control over your Meta Tags is offered viayour control panel.

You can see an example Sitebuilder Hotel Website by The Edge at www.golfviewhotelnairn.co.uk.

Online Store and New Content Management for Pebbles Spa and Leisure

Pebbles Spa near Girvan, Ayrshire have just updated their website to reflect a new range of treatments and to expand their market by offering products for sale online.

Following an in depth consultation Pebbles accepted our proposal to install our online store software which offers full management of the system via an easy to use control panel as well as:
  • Unlimited category levels
  • Multiple display layouts
  • Cross selling and other promotion tools
  • Voucher and multi buy discounts
  • Fully customisable shipping zones and pricing
  • Search Engine Optimisation and Integration with Google Base
Pebbles chose to go live with their range of spa breaks and vouchers with a view to adding their full range of beauty and relaxation products at a later date.

The existing Pebbles website was seamlessly integrated with our Claymore Content Management System which allows easy update of text, images and search engine keywords on the website. This allows the company to take control of their website and ensure it is up to date with weekly changes.

In support of the website updates The Edge produced a number of updated brochure inserts allowing Pebbles to provide detailed and up to date information about the main products and services they wish to promote to enquiring customers.

Other supporting work was carried out including the creation and management of Google Sitemaps which are submitted to Google for inclusion in their index.

You can visit the Pebbles Spa and Leisure website at www.pebblesspa.com.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Allstons BC Online Catalogue Website

Alstons BC of Cumnock approached Ayrshire based website developers The Edge to redevelop their existing website. The original had been written in house and whilst it was functional and kept up to date it was time to introduce some new features and redesign the layout to give a professional feel without being overly comple

Alstons are the main Valtra Tractor dealer for Ayrshire and Lanarkshire and their agicultural engineering business also provides maintenance and repair, used equipment sales and stores.

We advised installing our online store software and enabling the special catalogue mode which turns off the shopping cart and online purchase features. This solution allows Alstons to use the software's extensive content management capabilities and search engine promotion features and in the future simply enable the built in shopping cart to take orders with live online payments.

The news system is powered by Google Blogger which as well as integrating seamlessly into the website provides significant search engine benefits. Other Web 2.0 website features include submission to Google Base and Google Local.

You can visit the Alstons BC website at www.alstonsbc.co.uk.

Monday, September 15, 2008

New Sales Manager for Bookassist Scotland

Bookassist Scotland are delighted to announce that James Kennedy has joined their team as Business Develpoment Manager for Scotland.
James who is well known across the Scottish Tourism industry has been performing a similar role over the past four and a half years for VisitScotland.com and it is anticipated that he will bring both a wealth of knowledge and natural enthusiasm to the Bookassist role.
Ian McCaig, in charge of operations for Bookassist in Scotland, was delighted to have James on board. "We've been expanding very rapidly over the past twelve months with Bookassist performing exceptionally well across all accommodation sectors but we recognised that we needed to increase the reach as we go into a challenging period for Scottish tourism. James' understanding of the market place and most importantly the people in that market place made him easily the the number one person for this position."
James will now be reponsible for a raft of new marketing opportunities for Scottish tourism businesses including the rolling out of Bookassist's Web 2.0 tools, a new and exciting Sitebuilder product and the continuing growth of the Bookassist Trafficbuilder programmes.
Bookassist continues to offer accommodation providers and their customers unrivalled booking engine technology - multiple languages, multiple currency, SMS Text confirmations, detailed reporting, complete integration and - but this is now being supplemented by a marketing support pacakge which assists in bringing together all the elements of the accommodation providers online marketing to maximise site visits and conversion to booking.
James Kennedy was excited at the new challenges ahead, "I'm delighted to be joining the Bookassist team and look forward to working with clients old and new over the coming months and years. The Bookassist suite of products offers real and affordable solutions for all sizes of operators throughout Scotland and will be able to help many hotels, guest houses and self catering businesses get their product to the market more directly."
James will be based out of the Ayrshire offices of Bookassist Scotland but will be making it a priority to be on the road across the length and breadth of the country. To arrange an appointment or just to discuss the Bookassist product you can contact James by email on james.kennedy@bookassistscotland.com or call the office on 01292 521404.

Friday, July 11, 2008

It's Christmas...

Well okay it's not but that's our first Festive job of the year now signed off. A couple of years ago we had the idea to create a separate and unique website for Fairfield House Hotel in Ayr promoting nothing but their Christmas programme and promotions. Hotel websites, we thought have enough to do year round without being taken over by the Festive programme. And we thought, have the site up all year round and it's going to be more relevant to the search engines and true to our plan it's now found readily and when seen alongside the complementary brochure design it becomes a mini marketing campaign all of its own.

So if you're already thinking of your Festive Break, Christmas Party Night or Hogmanay Celebration then stop it! But of course if you can't help being organised you can always have a look at Christmas at Fairfield.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Tourism Matters - Doesn't It?

A lot of the work we do is for tourism related businesses - we have the web design side working with golf courses, hotels and guest houses, attractions and organisations such as Ayrshire Food Network - and like most industries there are challenges ahead for many of these sometimes small and often independent businesses.
We manage and administer the day to day operations of Golf Tourism Scotland from the Ayr office and this week has been fairly hectic pulling together the arrangements for a national workshop at Ayr Racecourse for up to 75 delegates from across the country and all aspects of the industry.
The word crisis is not being bandied about without caution but there is increasing concern and growing frustration from the industry that it's knowledge, experience and potential input is simply being ignored by the public sector bodies.
How will this frustration express itself? Time will tell but it seems a strange strategy for the tourism marketing bodies and government departments to ignore the free and motivated talent that is available in this country. Having worked with many of these individuals in projects spanning more than a decade their passion, understanding and creativity cannot be understated. To not utilise this skillset really is nothing short of criminal.

Young Killie Goes Live

Just over a year ago we started working on the development of a dedicated site for Young Killie. The group is the official young supporters club of Kilmarnock Football Club and is manned wholly on a voluntary basis by a group of dedicated guys and girls. During the season they operate a training session every Saturday at Powerleague in Kilmarnock - initial membership and then just £3 per head for a couple of hours of coaching and football. Great value and the youngsters love it.
They also arrange trips to away matches, invite away supporters along to Rugby Park and raise chunks of cash in a number of ways.
Anyway, we designed their site the season before last - just shortly before being gubbed by Hibs in the CIS Cup Final as I recall - and it seems to have worked quite well for them. So after the disaster that was 2007/08 season we thought it time for a refresh of the design and structure using our upgraded Claymore Project database and a new look. Jill had a wee go at the layout with Steven overseeing and after a bit of cleaning old stuff out it now features just what it needs to.
Home page with forthcoming events for parents and kids to keep an eye on; news items and a newsflash section and clear navigation. We've incorporated some relevant football related RSS News Feeds into the site and have integrated Google's Picasa to drive the gallery section. It's wholly updateable by the organisers of Young Killie.
We're delighted to provide the design and support completely free to the guys in thanks fopr the work that they do. Good luck for the new season!