How ultrafast broadband can drive more business: the shift to e-commerce

According to Nasdaq research, by 2040 95% of purchases will be online. This may be a shock to small businesses. Luckily, we have about 18 years to adjust!

Now we can probably say we saw this coming, most of us can see the slow but sure shift to e-commerce where convenience and speed is a priority. This has only been catalysed by the pandemic where customers boosted amazon’s profits by 220%.

So, going digital now might just give you the edge you need against your competitors – don’t wait till 2040. The internet is inevitably going to open your business up to more customers and make your product/service accessible to all.

So how can my SME make the jump to digital?

Finding a platform

In a world so dominated by e-commerce, there’s going to be competition, but there will also be a larger customer base. You can choose to build this customer base through selling platforms such as Amazon, eBay or Etsy or you can create this customer base yourself by building your own selling platform and attracting audience through digital marketing. 

Eventually, businesses making enough sales tend to migrate to their own site rather than using a selling platform anyway – this way they can cut out the high charges that these platforms tend to add so consider this when choosing your platform.

Examples of great platforms to create your own store include sites such as WixShopify and Squarespacewhere you can build your store, add plugins and track progress.

Once you’ve found your preferred platform you can begin to build your store. 

To maintain this store, you should of course consider the business connection you’re using – downtime can be bad for business and somebody needs to be available as much as possible to answer potential customer queries and track orders as 82% of consumers expect a response within 5 minutes via live online chats.

GigaFast Business Fibre is the perfect product for e-commerce – we can ensure your store stays online with our 99.95% SLA and next business day fix. The ROI (return on investment) is massive at just £99 per month for 1Gbps symmetrical speeds.

Digital Marketing

Now you have your platform and a reliable connection to keep it running you need to consider digital marketing if you haven’t already. 

If you’re not in a position to employ a digital marketer to help you out, consider taking a free digital marketing course – like this one from Hubspot – to help you learn how to get your product/service out to the right people. You could also cut costs by finding a freelance marketer on sites such as Fiverr.

If you employ the right marketing strategy alongside a few well thought out ads, you will start to see revenue in no time.

So how does all of this relate to superfast broadband?

To make things easier to understand, imagine your (potential) e-commerce business is a plant. Broadband is like water. Ultrafast broadband, however, is like water infused with fertiliser and nutrients.

Ultrafast broadband, like GigaFast Business Fibre, is going to have everything you need to facilitate the growth of this e-commerce business, your options will be limitless and you won’t be held back by what you can get away with on a tiny bandwidth.

A fast and reliable service will inevitably feed straight into customer experience as well. If your customer service staff are struggling to respond to customer queries due to long loading times or your connection cutting out altogether, customers may not return.

Innovation opportunities are also limitless. Live streaming is a relatively new avenue in digital marketing which engages customers and communicates the value of products. Customers won’t get a good impression if the live stream is constantly buffering. 

So, stay ahead of the times, don’t get left behind. 

Make the shift to e-commerce today and switch to a Gigabit Business Fibre connection – we won’t let you down.

How your SME can harness the power of the cloud – 3 important tools

In 2022 your small business must be digitally optimised, so if you aren’t already utilising the Cloud then why haven’t you caught up?

Getting used to new tech can be daunting at first, but the advantages the Cloud can have for your businesses are endless, and so many cloud-based tools are free. All you need is a good internet connection – but we’ve got you sorted there.

What is the Cloud?

In the digital space when we talk about the Cloud, we don’t mean the ones in the sky! 

The tech industry tends to make the Cloud sound like some ominous out-of-reach being that is far beyond anyone’s understanding – certainly not something to be used by a small business such as yours.

Realistically the Cloud is much less daunting than it seems. It is essentially a term for services and software run on the internet rather than being run on your computer, however most cloud services can be accessed through your computer aswell.

It’s likely you’re already using some Cloud services without knowing it. Tools such as Dropbox and Google Drive are well-known cloud services that many people and businesses use. 

Well, what can the Cloud do for my business?

Whether you’re an e-commerce business or you have a physical shop – there’s something the cloud can do for all of us. It could be organisation, back-ups or implementing a hybrid working model – the Cloud can help you do it all.

From accessing programmes to storing data, the uses of the Cloud are endless and can be very overwhelming. 

We have decided to handpick our top 3 Cloud tools that will help your small business get started. Couple these tools with a GigaFast connection and you’ll have everything you need to digitally optimise your small business.

Cloud storage – Google Drive

Cloud storage is where data and applications are stored on separate servers and accessed via the internet. 

This means you no longer have to worry about your computer or phone having enough storage, or a certain document only being on one device, the Cloud has that handled for you!

Having a Cloud storage solution also means you don’t ever have to worry about losing data or information, everything is stored away in the cloud where you can access it 24/7. 

You also won’t have to worry about massive filing cabinets or extra office space just for information, digital storage is the future.

Our favourite cloud storage tool is Google Drive. It is free to use and allows you to store files across all your devices in a simple and easy-to-use interface. These files can also be shared with team members or kept private if needed. A much easier alternative to passing papers around in meetings.

SaaS – Google Workspace

SaaS means software-as-a-service and is the future of working in the post-covid world. 

SaaS platforms will enable your business to function from your business site, from home or from anywhere in the world (as long as you have a device and a stable internet connection). 

Our favourite SaaS tool is the Google Workspace, you’re probably already aware of a few aspects of this suite of tools. It includes popular apps such as Gmail and Google Calendar. Google drive is also a part of Google Workspace – it’s amazing how much everything in the Cloud links together!

Google Workspace also includes other applications such as google docs, google sheets, google slides, google forms, google meets and more.

All of your work within these applications can sync up in your google drive and you can collaborate with other members of your team at any time. It is essentially a virtual workspace, making home and hybrid working so much easier – and best of all, it’s free!

Cloud hosting

Now, this tool may not be 100% relevant to every small business but if your website is giving you trouble, or if you find yourself with larger spikes of visitors, cloud website hosting might be the solution for you. 

This also might be a solution to think about for the future. As your small business grows, you’re going to need to eventually have a website with a larger capacity.

With shared website hosting, (what most people use) your server may be slow as it is shared with others. 

With dedicated hosting, you get an entire server to yourself, but as you can imagine, the costs aren’t very small business-friendly.

With cloud hosting, your website is hosted in the cloud – with virtual server space. This means bandwidth is spread across multiple servers essentially ruling out many issues that you may find with other web hosting alternatives. This solution is especially great if you use e-commerce.

Our favourite cloud hosting tool is Hostinger. At just £7.99 a month on a 48-month plan, their prices are extremely small business-friendly and they offer unlimited bandwidth, fast server speeds and an excess of other features.

Gigabit Networks to join CityFibre’s Revolutionary Full Fibre Network in Coventry

Gigabit Networks is proud to announce it is to offer ultrafast, reliable, full fibre, gigabit-speed broadband to 131,500 premises in Coventry, including schools and the NHS, starting this month.

Services will be available over the CityFibre network, which is investing an additional £12.5million to boost its original £60million investment in rolling out full fibre across the city.

Gigabit Networks joins a growing list of consumer internet service providers (ISPs) to offer full fibre services to consumers over CityFibre’s national open access networks.

CityFibre is currently engaged in an up to £4billion gigabit city investment programme and we will be the latest consumer ISP to become a partner.

Speaking of the agreement, Leigh Hunt, city manager at CityFibre, said: “Working with Gigabit Networks, we will help support Coventry’s diverse communities by giving them access to the fastest and most reliable broadband speeds in the UK. This partnership will further broaden the choice of ISPs available on the CityFibre network

“We look forward to seeing even more homes and businesses take advantage of this state-of-the-art connectivity and what it can enable in the future.”

David Yates, co-founder of Gigabit Networks, which is based in the Midlands, added: “Our partnering with CityFibre means we are capable of truly bridging the digital divide across the Midlands. Coventry is a city with deep history, culture and industry-leading innovation. Joining the CItyFibre ultrafast network means greater prospects for people across the city.”

For more information about CityFibre’s investment in Coventry visit cityfibre.com/gigabit-cities.

To register your interest, visit gigabitnetworks.co.uk/coventry

Child Safety Week 2021

Child Safety Week is an annual campaign run by the Child Accident Prevention Trust (CAPT) to raise awareness for children accidents and how they can be prevented.

The week – that runs between 7th and 13th June this year – acts as a catalyst for conversations and activities about child safety amongst communities all around the UK.

These days, it is well documented that one of the most dangerous places a child can be is surfing the Internet, especially without the appropriate assurances in place.

And if there is one thing we do know – it’s that the Internet is here to stay.

Its usage has only intensified over the past year or so of the pandemic – in fact, almost half of children aged 3-5 is now using the Internet at home raising to 71% in 12-17 year olds.

Introducing cyber safety into your household is a necessary step to keeping your child safe online.

As an Internet provider company, we know a few tech-savvy ways to keep you at peace of mind whilst they’re streaming on the PS5.

Lets start with the basics – setting up parental controls.

Parental controls within the operating system are a way to give you constant monitoring of your child’s online activities.

On iPhone’s and iPad’s for example, you can personally select certain online searching restrictions and block specific applications and websites you know are unsuitable for your child.

You can also set up parental controls for every web browser, mobile network, social media or console that your child may use.

To take a look at a guide for how to use each one optimally, click here.

Parental controls have proven to be really effective in protecting children online, but they are not 100%.

It is more critical than ever to create a dialogue with your child about the importance of their online safety.

Asking your child about the sites they visit or friends that they talk to online is a great opportunity to teach them skills in critical thinking and online awareness.

A lot of children will not comprehend that the Internet isn’t private – so informing them of this foundational knowledge is a good start in prioritising their online safety.

Additionally, it is a chance to show them good etiquette with things like how to communicate politely and how to avoid harmful advertisements or pop ups.

Finally, it is always a good idea to keep track of overall online time.

It is recommended that children between the ages of 5 and 17 should have no more than two hours of screen time per day.

This ensures less chance of children developing bad online habits and means they don’t come dependent on the Internet outside of school hours.

It has to be said – switching off the home Wi-Fi before bedtime is not a bad non-negotiable tactic to get the heads down on a school night.

All in all, it is wonderful there are so many organisations working together to keep families safe.

To keep constantly informed, follow some of these household safety blogs that provide plenty of useful resources:

The Need for Productivity-Boosting, Gigabit Internet Speeds in the UK

With internet usage more than doubling in 2020, it has come to light how impactful the pandemic was on our independent internet activity.  

“Stay Home, Protect the NHS, Save Lives”. The message was clear, and we have worked together to save as many as we could at the expense of our freedom.  

Yet almost a year after the UK’s first lockdown, the country has now entered its third. 

Having spent months and months stuck inside their homes, the internet has become a channel to regains some of the freedoms people were missing. 

Shopping, socialising, entertaining, teaching, working. The essential day-to-day activities that required people to be out and about all became digital in 2020.  

Has the pandemic changed how we fundamentally complete these tasks?  

With many curious what will happen after the pandemic, it has become obvious that the nations usage of the internet won’t slow down. But why should it?  

On one hand, the internet has helped to provide comfort in a time of crisis; it has improved communications in health care settings when it was needed the most; and it shown many that they can work from home just as effectively as they could in the office. 

On the other, it has shown us that a slow or unreliable internet connection can lead to frustration, isolation and lack of productivity in the virtual workplace.    

In fact, a recent study by OnePoll showed that slow or unreliable internet connectivity resulted in an average loss of 1 week of productivity per employee per year. 

Our Commitment to Productivity, Reliability and Speed 

As we are transitioning into this new, digital era, it will be essential to ensure that everybody has access to internet that is productive, reliable, and speedy – what we pride ourselves for at Gigabit Networks.  

Our PureFibre services will enable you and other workers to be as efficient and productive as possible in completing all tasks, big and small that require an internet connection.  

Our modern, ultrafast, ultra-reliable connections mean online applications just work better and support many more concurrent users than standard broadband connections.  

And it’s not just our prices that are fantastic – all of our services come with 24/7 support, guaranteed uptime SLA and a 6-hour guaranteed fix, so the reliability is amazing too. 

The growth and expansion of internet usage in the UK is on a huge upward trajectory, showing no signs of slowing down – and with new COVID work restrictions in place, is there a better time to get ahead of the game and upgrade your internet? 

Enquire with us today and have your chosen Ethernet internet package installed and ready to use when your staff are back in the office. Don’t fall victim to time-wasting internet – prepare for the post-COVID world and supercharge your employees’ productivity with superfast, reliable internet. 

Check your availability for Gigabit speed internet and get in Contact with us today for more information – can you afford not to?  

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Our mission is to bridge the digital divide for Midlands Residents and Businesses by delivering the fastest, most reliable internet connectivity available in the UK

CONTACT US

3rd Floor, St. George’s House, 6 St George’s Way, Leicester, LE1 1QZ