Paul and Jeremy are joined by Steven Oddy, Founder and CEO of Sotechnology, an award-winning Design and Technology company. Steve shares his insight on the pros and cons of different E-Commerce platforms; which platforms are best suited to your enterprise, systems and processes, making use of free tools, the value of creating your own digital assets, systems and processes, structuring as you grow, when to upgrade and dealing with external agencies.
The Ecommerce Uncovered Podcast is a behind-the-scenes look at what makes ecommerce a success in today’s ever-growing and continually changing online world.
The podcasts look to uncover the secrets of ecommerce success, so you can learn and apply to your own online business.
Brought you by the Co-founders of Core Fulfilment, one of the UK’s leading ecommerce fulfilment service providers, Paul Burns and Jeremy Vernon.
Jeremy Vernon: Hi, It’s Jeremy Vernon here. Thank you for tuning into Ecommerce Uncovered. Today, I’d like to welcome Steven Oddy, Founder and CEO of SOtechnology, an award winner design and technology company.
Steven, thanks for joining us.
Steven Oddy: Thanking for having me.
Jeremy Vernon: In this episode, I’d like to ask you some questions about ecommerce platform if you don’t mind. Something we get, certainly, in our business, we get asked a lot about. There is a lot of choice out there, isn’t it, referred to the different types of platforms.
Steven Oddy: Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, a bit of a minefield I supposed.
Jeremy Vernon: A lot of people come to us and ask us, which is the better platforms to use. Typically, we always recommend the ones for integration respective, which is easier, which is where we come from. But obviously, that’s not necessarily the case for the retail and sales. So, if we can just talk a little bit about your experience with the platforms. We obviously can deep dive a little bit into how you do that, and what you’re doing in your business sort of thing.
Before we do that, we just like to spend a little bit how I come across your company, really, and how we’ve come across SOtechnology. We discovered you guys, through your work with Daniel Priestley. Now, Daniel is obviously, an entrepreneur and bestselling author of 4 major titles, which include his latest book 24 Assets. I think that’s the book, isn’t it, that he mentions you guys in.
Steven Oddy: Yeah. I think might be a couple. But definitely, how I know.
Jeremy Vernon: Excellent. So, that’s obviously why we’re talking so that’s how I know you guys. So, first of all, how did SOtechnology develop relationship with Daniel.
Steven Oddy: I mean SOtech has been around for 11 years now. I started business in 2007. We started with pretty much zero portfolio and zero at customers. So, one customer to be exact. We used Google Adverts a lot to attract customers. We ended up building a website called Meet the Giant, actually which is a membership site, and where people could become member and download audio interviews with big entrepreneurs. I believe, Dan was even one of the entrepreneurs or have been approached by the site. He loves the site. He was asked to be introduced the developers of the site. That was probably in around about 2009. So, I think 8 or 9 years ago, we met Dan. We started working with him on his sites he had that time. We just built that relationships since then. So, we’ve essentially been their only partner, their design partner for that whole time. Even the book covers, we’ve designed for him.
Jeremy Vernon: So, you were involved with the Dent, the rebrand.
Steven Oddy: Yep. So, we took care of the rebrand as well. So, it was in Trevor, we created that branding initially as well. Then we created the Dent brand in more recently with them. I was still in the process of actually rebranding all their digital assets with the Dent branding.
Jeremy Vernon: So, how was that relationship with Daniel changed your business?
Steven Oddy: Well, obviously, Dan is out there talking to hundreds, if not thousands of small businesses all the time. A good proportion of those businesses work really well with us and what we do. It’s essentially, just the perfect partner for us to find and help more people basically.
Jeremy Vernon: So, that brought you quite a bit of businesses as a result of that, out of that relationship.
Steven Oddy: Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, absolutely. There are probably times, where you come into our office and have a look on what’s everyone’s screens. They’re probably all, someone who’s gone through the Key Person of Influence Programme or going through 24 Assets Programme. Even actually, a lot of the mentors that are teaching Dan’s programmes and not using us to help them with the websites and technology.
Jeremy Vernon: Excellent. Just before we sort of delve into the platform sites, one of the things that I’ve noticed on your sites. As you use slightly different language than some of the digital agencies, would you class yourself as a digital agency?
Steven Oddy: Yeah, I guess so. I mean, we call ourselves a designer technology company. We’re not a marketing company, but we build digital assets.
Jeremy Vernon: That’s my point, really, the word digital assests. Do you want to just sort of describe to listeners what you would class as a digital asset?
Steven Oddy: There are so many tools out there, that you can get up and running. They’re quick. They’re cheap. They’re free. I think, if you are just starting out then making use of those tools is great. You can grow your business. Maybe, just to pluck figure out of there, maybe half a million of revenue by using these tools. But they’re essentially not assets. They’re not things that are adding value to a business. You’re probably adding value to someone else’s business by using those tools. So, when you get to a certain size of business, it becomes sensible to start looking at ways to build your own assets and create your own assets. Dan is the expert on that with obviously, 24 Assets programme. But a good number of those 24, could be digital assets in some ways, whether it’s your client portal or whether it’s your ecomm site or whether it’s your own digital product, they are things that you own. You own the IP. They are genuinely adding value to your business.
Jeremy Vernon: Great, thank you. Okay, let’s move onto platforms. What platforms have you developed?
Steven Oddy: Funny enough. Actually, for a start, SOtech, i.e., my first business was one on retail business. As we were selling funny T-shirts online. I was 17 at the time. We were still at school. We started vlogging them on eBay. Then I kind of learn how to build a site. We did actually use a platform then called, Starting eCommerce Templates or something. I bet they don’t even exist anymore.
Jeremy Vernon: As you say, I’ve not heard of that.
Steven Oddy: No. But that got us up and running. That’s how I sort of cut my teeth. We grew that to a point, where we’re doing about 300 orders a day.
Jeremy Vernon: Wow, okay. that’s pretty decent.
Steven Oddy: Yep. We were shipping all over the world. We were actually, picking, printing and packing and shipping T-shirts all ourselves. So, we have kind of a warehouse on our friend’s farm. After a few years, we sold that. I started SOtech essentially, to…
Jeremy Vernon: So, at what age? Sorry, at what age were you when you sold your first business?
Steven Oddy: I was 19.
Jeremy Vernon: Wow, okay.
Steven Oddy: So, that was our first customer. So, we sold that. We started SOtech and a company called, CharGrilled. It’s still going now. It’s been sold again. But it is still going now. I believe it’s still set on the same systems that we created back then. Obviously, since then times have changed quite a lot. There are lots of new platforms that didn’t exist then and lots of new ways of doing things, that didn’t exist then. We feel like we have kind of ridden that wave as best as possible and kept up with the time as best as possible.
So, I remember even 8 or 9 years ago, we actually built a couple of fully, bespoke ecommerce sites, which kind of a bit unheard of now. You’ll be pretty crazy to start from scratch.
Jeremy Vernon: We still have a couple of customers that come to us with pretty bespoke set up. You do wonder why, when there’s so much good stuff out there that choose to do that.
Steven Oddy: Absolutely. I do think maybe 7 or 8 years ago, it might have seemed likely sensible thing to do. But I would find it hard to come up with a reason to start from a complete blank canvas now, when there are so many different frameworks and systems that you can use.
So, yes, we’ve kind of got over that phase. We don’t do that anymore. We love WordPress. We use WordPress a lot for B2B sites and for more of our sort of content websites.
Jeremy Vernon: So, is it from an ecommerce perspective? Is it the WooCommerce site or WordPress that you use?
Steven Oddy: Yeah, we have done. We have done in the past. We will still recommend that and set that up for people, if it’s right for them. WooCommerce, is, I still hear a lot of people talking about it. If it were anything, it’s getting better and better. but essentially, it’s a plug-in that’s extending WordPress to do something. It was never originally intended to do. WordPress, is, I would say, we love it. It’s amazing for building content led sites and for content management of images and text. WooCommerce does make that quite good, but then becoming at selling things, you have a shopping cart. You can find product. You can add to your cart. You can check out, which is all the stuff that WordPress doesn’t do, without the WooCommerce extension.
But being a bit techie myself, I kind of understand the database structure. I understand the code. I understand the logic that sits behind that. I just know that it’s like, just trying to make you do something. It’s not originally intended to do. I just know that as you scale-up, as you grow, the database structure is behind that, it’s going to stop fall over. It’s going to start to struggle. What that then going to end up looking like it’s going to need lots of resources to keep it fast. Things like searching for products isn’t going to be sophisticated as like a platform that is dedicated to ecommerce. From a management perspective, if you’re the owner of this site, even just for you merchandising and somebody adding products to the site, dealing with the stock on the site, dealing with orders if you get a big flow of orders through, it’s all become a bit awkward. It’s just not made to purpose basically.
Jeremy Vernon: So, from a scaling perspective, what would you?
Steven Oddy: Yeah. So, I mean, when people come to me and say, we’ll think about WooCommerce, or some other platforms, if you’ve got say, 5 products that you sell, WordPress is probably right for that. You’ll probably don’t even need WooCommerce for that, because you could just… if you’ve got 5 products, probably live customise some things, where you want to build a bit of customising of the products and have a custom curtail a bit like you’ve got on your site. The check-out facilities can be plugged in to that quite easy without the need of the big WooCommerce extension.
If you’ve got maybe say, 50 products or 100 products then I think you could still get away with WooCommerce. That will probably serve your purpose pretty well. They are advantages that is quick and it’s easy and it’s cheap to get set up. then once, you go beyond that, you do need to start looking at purpose-built ecommerce platform. There are various options, I think. You’ve got your Shopify and your BigCommerce, which are sets products as we called them. So, their software as a service. You can sign up. It’s generally quite cheap monthly fee. You can get up and running pretty quickly. There are lots of templates. You could literally go and set up this afternoon. You could sell something tonight.
Jeremy Vernon: You don’t have to worry about the hosting and all that sort of stuff. You don’t need to worry about it.
Steven Oddy: Yeah, it’s actually a big worry off of your shoulders. They’re great. anyone who’s starting up and they’ve kind of identified that they want an ecommerce set up as opposed to, 5 sale pages on a WordPress, website then I would highly recommend Shopify and BigCommerce. If you’re trying it out perfect, you’re not losing too much investment if it doesn’t work. What you need, is, to stop and change.
Jeremy Vernon: So, what’s a typical investment, let’s say, someone comes to you that they want Shopify. You recommend Shopify. I know how long it’s a piece of string at times. But what’s a typical investment to get up and running for a reasonably decent transaction on site?
Steven Oddy: Well, I guess first thing to say, you could get away with probably, not spending anything with an agency like, as much I probably shouldn’t go mucking that. But, if you are at a real start-up phase, go and sign yourself up. Pick one of the great templates that’s already there. Put your content into it. That is going to be good base for you to actually, start selling. I think once you’ve got a flow of customers. You’ve perhaps taken a bit more seriously, then yeah, recruit an agency to customise a template for you so that it comes around your own design. Then it sets you outside differently from competition. I think, you could spend around about 10k to 20k doing that, maybe, top end, really. It does depend how heavily you could probably spend quit a lot more, if you really did want to go that complete bespoke design and have someone figure out how to build that into the Shopify template engine.
Jeremy Vernon: Okay. Shopify have sort of two main office now. They probably have a little bit more than that. But they have the Shopify and what they called, Shopify Plus. Could you just explain the difference between those two?
Steven Oddy: Yeah. So, I think they recognise that people get to a stage, where they feel like, Shopify, that they’re outgrowing Shopify, and they might need to move into something’s that they have more control over or more security worth. I think, that’s that Shopify Plus is their answer to that. I think, you can customise a bit more of the platform. You’ve got more control over, where it’s situated, where it’s hosted to your customer data and that kind of thing. As far as I’m aware like, it’s a very similar platform though to Shopify.
Jeremy Vernon: Okay. My understanding is certainly, if you go onto Shopify site, Shopify Plus absolutely mentions Magento and sort of the investment you need to make with Magento, which presumably is obviously, another option that we could talk about. How do you think Shopify Plus compares to something like Magento?
Steven Oddy: Ultimately, if you want to be in ultimate control of your site and your system then Magento is going to be that choice. I think Shopify Plus probably does tick some of boxes for people that are processing more money through Shopify. It gives you some more peace of mind, that you’re in control of things. But essentially, you’re still on their platform, and they’re in control. If Shopify was to go bust or disappear, your site’s gone as well.
So, it’s not a concern, if you’re starting out. But actually, you’ve grown your business and you’re doing a few million plus revenue, and you’re on someone else platform, you’re completely depending on them. So, that’s where something like Magento comes into it. Magento, yep, higher set up cost undoubtedly. It needs to be done properly. All the of the things, that Shopify can do it, they take off of your plate or off of your shoulders like, the hosting and the security of that side of things. It suddenly becomes your problem. But you have the advantage, that you’re in overall control basically.
Jeremy Vernon: Magento have released relatively recent Magento 2.
Steven Oddy: Yep.
Jeremy Vernon: What’s the difference between Magento and Magento 2?
Steven Oddy: Magento 2 is actually, basically a full rebuilt, if taken at the one platform and just over a long period of time like rewritten the whole thing. So, it’s using more modern framework. It’s using better data structure. The search is better. It’s faster. It’s just been built in a more modern way. So, moving forward, it’s going to give you much more longevity. You can be able to host it on modern servers and modern infrastructure, and to know, that it’s going to sit on there quite happily as well as they brought a lot more features into it.
Jeremy Vernon: Okay. If you would let out currently on a Magento site, maybe they’re green and they need to look at sort of developing that, is there an easy migration from Magento 1 to Magento 2 considering what you’ve just said?
Steven Oddy: Yeah, no, not really. It’s almost like a re-platform. That’s though I’m really want to admit that, or like accept that, there’s a lot of brands. There’s a lot of companies out there that have invested a lot of money into their Magento 1 platform and they’re faced with the prospect of sort of moved to Magento 2. Now, Magento 1 that they have got, could probably last them for a much longer period of time. Like you said, at my original business that’s set up in 2005/2006, is still running on some very old tech. It probably needs a bit of TLC every now and then, to keep it going. But it is still there. It’s still doable. So, it’s not like it’s got a gun in head, having to move.
Jeremy Vernon: They’re not going to switch Magento off.
Steven Oddy: No, it does, well, that’s kind of those core benefits of Magento. You’re in control, if it’s you bought that software from Magento. You’ve put it on your servers. You can run it as long as you possibly would like. But maybe 10 years from now, it’s going to become so costly to have that old unsupported tech up and running that it becomes sensible to move those to Magento 2.
But if you’ve done any customisations in Magento 1, there probably need to be rewritten to work into Magento 2 framework. All the stuff you’ve done with the template and the design, it would need to be rewritten in terms of two platforms. So, it’s not going to sugarcoat it and said, it’s a small, it would be a small project. Magento don’t either. So, they know they’re asking a lot of their merchants to make that move. They did originally say, we’re cutting off support for Magento 1. I think, they might have even passed than they’ve originally said. but they suddenly realised that. That wasn’t going to be possible. I think they have set it back to maybe, end of next year or a year after. So, they’re going to continue to support Magento 1 platform for a while. So, no one is going to get too worried about it. but it definitely, needs to be on people’s minds. It’s going to come to a point, where it’s going to be actually most sensible option to re-platform.
Jeremy Vernon: Okay. Have you got any sort of case studies or examples of a Magento 2 site that you developed?
Steven Oddy: Yeah. Well, the first Magento 2 site that we’ve developed, was, for Tom Dixon. He’s in the sort of interior design world, furniture design world. He’s super famous. He’s a British designer. He creates some really beautiful lighting and furniture. They were on Magento 1. But the project wasn’t for then just to re-platform to Magento 2. They felt they had to… They weren’t happy with the performance of their Magento 1 site. It wasn’t doing what they wanted to do as a brand. In fact, I remember going through process with them initially, that they were looking around at what different platforms to use.
Eventually, they signed at the Magento 2 as the right platform. That was probably 18 months ago maybe 2 years ago. 18 months ago. Magento 2 was still very new then. I would say, it’s like more mature now. It’s working a lot better. But back then, there weren’t many extensions that you could go and use on the marketplace. There were still issues with it. So, we have a lot of work to do on that. But actually, we ended up with a really great result for them on Magento 2. We submitted it to Magento for their awards that they hold in Vegas every year. It actually, won the best Magento 2 website there. So, that was April last year. I’ve got to go to Vegas and pick up that award. So, it’s really…
Jeremy Vernon: Congratulations.
Steven Oddy: Thank you.
Jeremy Vernon: A great result.
Steven Oddy: Yeah.
Jeremy Vernon: So, just in terms of the benefits of Tom Dixon brand, I’ve actually got some stats here, that you quote. What sort of benefits did he see as a result of Magento 2 development?
Steven Oddy: Yeah. Undoubtedly, they’ve got sort of they just inherited benefits from the Magento 2 platform. I think, a big part of the uplift they’ve got in conversion rent sales came from the redesign that we did. So, partly the platform, partly what we did with the platform. We went through a fairly length of process with them, helping them figure out how to structure their content, and how to… one of their biggest parts they brief us how to integrate their brand stories and their brand content into the shopping experience. I think that is actually a big challenge for brands, because big brands have generally got lots of content and lots of things that they want to say and share with their customers. Weaving that into the ecommerce experience, isn’t something any platform does particularly well.
So, that’s something we spend a lot of time with Tom Dixon working on. We figured out really nice structure for them to get their stories about the product families that are into the product pages in a way, where there was like this kind of like, close loop where, if you run a product page and you click on to say family stories, you quite quickly got back to the product once you’ve absorbed that content. You didn’t get lost in there. You didn’t get taken away from the ecomm platform over to this content platform, and then get stuck and not find your way back. So, that was a big part of the design and the strategy, that we helped them with. As a result, they’ve got a great uplifting conversion rate very quickly.
I think, we’ve got to 3:00 am or something to launch the site for them. Literally, by the end of that day, you could see an immediate increase in their conversion rate.
Jeremy Vernon: Yeah. I mean, you still have got some stats from your site on that particular case, that you just go through this. This obviously, from the period of November 2016 to February 2017.
Steven Oddy: Yep.
Jeremy Vernon: Conversion up by 84 percent.
Steven Oddy: Yeah.
Jeremy Vernon: About, it’s sort of about 10 percent. Time on site of by 8 percent. Revenue across the site by 115 percent.
Steven Oddy: Yeah, it’s crazy.
Jeremy Vernon: That’s quite a return on investment you’ve got there then.
Steven Oddy: Definitely, yeah. Definitely. I think, that’s just when you do put the time and the thought into how you put something together like that, I think they are the genuine benefits you can get. Some of the stuff, which is simple like, they all type slow. It was Magento 1. It wasn’t Magento 1’s fault, it was the way it’s kind of set up and the way it’s been configured. But…
Jeremy Vernon: Lots of plug-ins and things like that, was it, or…?
Steven Oddy: Exactly, yeah. The cashing hadn’t been configured properly. It’s funny, because it was a big agency that set that up. A big Magento agency. So, I’m not quite sure how it ended up to what it was. But it was a bit of a mess then. It was just slow. So, even just fixing that one issue like, with day one, Magento 2, it was set up and page loads were half a second or whatever. I imagine, a big uplift in the conversion rate as it’s attributed to just that one- simple thing.
Jeremy Vernon: I presumed you’ve got recommendations from anyone so that’s an easy thing to look at straightaway of any site, isn’t it?
Steven Oddy: Yeah.
Jeremy Vernon: There are Google tools in that 3-page load times and things like that.
Steven Oddy: Yeah, yeah, definitely. Site speed, I mean, it’s probably, everyone’s probably heard about it. It’s kind of an obvious one. Yeah. So many people still have struggle with it and don’t take it seriously enough. Actually, if you’re going with Shopify, it’s one of those things, it’s their problem. They absolutely nailed it, in my opinion. I can tell as soon as, if I’m on their site, it’s a Shopify site. It’s fast and that is one of the big advantages of doing that. Magento is a big, big kid. If you’re taking that Magento platform and setting it up yourself. It needs to be set up properly. It needs to be set up on proper hosting. I would recommend going to hosting company that specialises in hosting Magento as opposed to generic hosting company that hosts anything. Because they will help set it up in a specific way, that will be fast basically. That makes a big, big difference.
Jeremy Vernon: Great, great. You’re sort of developing ecommerce sites. Are you using sort of new emerging trends that you think will have an effect on how future sort of conversions for ecommerce sites? Are you using anything that’s changing?
Steven Oddy: One thing I mentioned about integrating content into experience, I think that is something that is still a challenge. People still figuring out how to do. I think that makes a big difference. So, that would be one thing. In terms of kind of technology obviously, mobile experience can still be a bit awkward. I still don’t enjoy buying stuff on my phone, on most people’s sites. It’s still all a bit awkward. So, advancement in that side of things, Magento actually are putting in a lot of effort into what we called that, PWA, Progressive Web Apps. This is where essentially, the mobile version of your website can essentially, be almost like an app that you install on your phone. So, you can actually add the icon onto your home screen like it’s app. It can work in offline mode almost as well as online mode. That is very new technology.
Google are leading the development of that. Magento and Google put quite a lot of event on together to kind of show you how that technology can be used in Magento, and how’s that developing. So, that’s definitely something to keep an eye on, I think. I can quite work out in my mind, whether everything is going to become Apple, whether everything is just going to become a website and PWA or WIN. But definitely, some big companies and big tech companies investing time and energy into the PWA group. So, that could be really interesting.
Jeremy Vernon: Okay. what would you say then to sort of wrap up on the platform side of things? What would you say the good ingredients of our high performing and converting ecommerce site?
Steven Oddy: Obviously, we’re talking about platform. It’s really important to get the right platform. A lot of the platforms can be customised in any way you want. But having said that, the platform itself will dictate what the end result looks like and how it works and how it’s formed. So, finding the right one for your size business and your product, is probably, the first place to start.
Second thing, I probably say, is, content structure. I mean, it seems like probably not such an obvious thing or seemingly an important thing. I think, that was one of the big things we fixed with Tom Dixon, was, just the way we organised the content and structured the content so that those important user journeys, which is nice and simple. People could find their way around and get to what they needed to get to. I think, it’s an ecommerce business, something you have to kind of decide on. It’s how you categorise all your stuff. If you’ve only got a handful of products, probably not so much of a problem, but since you’ve got 100 products to say, you’ve got to figure out how to structure your sites so that people can find their way around it in a sensible way. So, I think that’s quite a big one.
I think having the right budget, and this probably goes back to platform as well, choosing the right platform for your budget. If you’ve not got much budget, but you try and use Magento and you’re trying to start with a complete bespoke design, you’ll probably not going to get where you want to be, I think. If you’ve got a low budget, start with a platform like Shopify. Actually, probably don’t spend too much time customise it and spend the money on marketing and driving traffic to it.
Jeremy Vernon: Great, thank you. Just a few sort of random quick questions at the end, if you don’t mind.
Steven Oddy: Sure.
Jeremy Vernon: I see, we’ve covered quite a bit on platform. So, thank you for that. Just on the sort of ecommerce website, platform side of things. If you can design it and you obviously haven’t, but is there a website ecommerce platform, some are platforms itself, but in an ecommerce business, that you wish you design that website.
Steven Oddy: There’s a couple. One almost kind of, I hate to say, because it’s the one that’s taking over, but Amazon, from a technology perspective, I love. You can think of something you want, and 30 seconds later, you’ve bought it.
Jeremy Vernon: Or else, you might talk about sit at home and the next minute, they’re asking you, whether you want to order it?
Steven Oddy: Yeah, exactly. That’s a little bit weird. But yeah, from a tech perspective, it’s amazing. In terms of just kind of like, a design and more of a retail experience, because let’s face, the Amazon site doesn’t look very great. Actually, we’ve all just got used to it. It’s easy to use. But it’s not something very nicely put together looking site. But I like to shop for clothes regularly online, but ASOS, I think, is, absolutely nailing it as well. when I do shop online, I’m kind of like analysing the experience, because I’m kind of in that industry and that sort of thing, I look out for. Yeah, the experience on ASOS, is sleek. They seem to be ticking a lot of right boxes, I can tell. Even just simple things like, if the last thing you’ve ordered was a load of men’s clothes, if you got to asos.com, you go straight to the men’s category. They don’t ask you to choose. You know simple things like that. I’m sure they have much more complex things and that going on in the background to help recommend products and choices to you. So, you can just tell they’re on it.
Jeremy Vernon: Okay. you’ve mentioned Amazon.
Steven Oddy: Yep.
Jeremy Vernon: Which obviously, is everywhere.
Steven Oddy: Has to be mentioned.
Jeremy Vernon: Yep, yep. I just recently read a book, The Four by Scott Galloway, which is talking about e big sort of tech companies over the last decade or so. Obviously, Amazon, Facebook, Google and Apple. Obviously, there’s sort of a big perception on there about Amazon sort of big plan pretty much to take over the world. How do you think, or how do you see the sort of independent ecommerce retailers and Amazon in the future? Is Amazon going to get rid of everything and everyone will buy everything from Amazon? Or would you think there’s a happy medium somewhere?
Steven Oddy: I think there is a happy medium. I think there is still a place for independent retailers to operate outside of Amazon. From what I can see now, the biggest way to do that, is, still convenience factor, but obviously not necessarily convenient around shipping or checking out, that kind of thing. But maybe just on choice side. Like, we’re actually with a customer earlier this week who in interior design, another interior designer. They’re putting together an online retail store to sell some of the products that he uses in his designs. Amazon is never going to be in that place like, you’re never going to go to Amazon and find out about interior design and what product work well together. For me, I know that’s one example. But it’s just glaringly obvious example, where if you’re looking for some products put in your home, or if you’re looking for advice, you want some help from a professional to help you choose what’s right, you’re not going to get that from Amazon. You go to the interior design site. You see the products he uses. You trust that person. It’s convenient, because it’s all there together. You add it to your cart. You buy there. Yeah, I just don’t see Amazon ever fulfilling that need.
Jeremy Vernon: I think it certainly, in my opinion, sometimes if you don’t know what you’re buying, Amazon can be quite confusing.
Steven Oddy: Yeah, that’s exactly it.
Jeremy Vernon: If you do know what you’re buying, very simple, very convenient.
Steven Oddy: Yeah, yeah. You just summed up what I was trying to get to in a few words. So, yeah, perfect.
Jeremy Vernon: Great. A couple of things, I know obviously sort of looking at your business. You won quite a few awards. You mentioned obviously, the award that Tom Dixon and site, which obviously is fantastic. As sort so business owner, which do you get the biggest kick out of, happy customers or the recognition that the awards bring to you?
Steven Oddy: Happy customers, definitely. Definitely. The awards, they’re great. But take it or leave it, honestly, like they’re nice just to show that we are a serious company. I think, that we’re a small company. Sometimes, we go in and pitch the clients whether they’ve had 200 people, agencies or thousand people at the agencies, and it is hard to throw away about in a nice situation. So, the awards do help with that. No doubt about it. But it’s all about a happy customer for sure. The award is just like a side effect.
Jeremy Vernon: Okay. That’s nice one to have.
Steven Oddy: Yeah, definitely.
Jeremy Vernon: Okay. Great. well, thank you very much for joining us today. Obviously, if anyone sort of wants to get in contact with you guys and SOtechnology, how is the best way for them to do that?
Steven Oddy: Yeah, jump on the site. Fill in the form on the site. Our telephone number is on the site as well. We’re here waiting to help people.
Jeremy Vernon: Just to remind us of the site address.
Steven Oddy: Yeah. It’s sotechnology.co.uk.
Jeremy Vernon: Okay.
Steven Oddy: SOtechnology, yeah, my initials.
Jeremy Vernon: Brilliant. Okay. again, thank you very Mark for joining us today. We wish you all the very best.
Steven Oddy: Thank you.