I've been working with Ken Holmes at Public IT / Certikit since 2014 and we've seen the business evolve greatly over that time. Ken always monitors sales well and comes to our meetings with charts and analysis showing exactly what he's selling and where.
His business is an internet business with customers downloading document template sets as zip files, so he can sell anywhere and has customers in over 60 countries. We've noticed that as the business has grown, it's mainly grown overseas and 40% of his customers now pay in dollars. In the past, his internet shop has always been priced in pounds, and if someone is in America, then the site did an on-the-spot conversion to get them a dollar price. However, that meant the price changed every day, making it really difficult for people in corporates to know what to specify on a Purchase Order and led to some weird pricing with his products being $1192.50 one day, $1208 the next, but then $1232 a week later. In the UK, it is a constant £795. It also gave the game away that it wasn't an American product, and it should be a consideration that we all like to buy from our own.
I suggested we make it easy for everybody by pricing things in terms we all understand; we expect to pay £795, or £799, for example, it's everyday pricing, it stays the same and in terms we all understand. Similarly, in the States, $1149 or $1195 would be a price they would expect to see for all manner of goods. We set fixed dollar and euro prices, high enough to not worry too much about the exchange rate, and changed the website to have a default currency of dollars, given that it's 40% of the business.
60% would still need to change the currency setting, but that's at least better than the previous 80%. Now it's easy for anyone to know the price, it doesn't change, so the purchase order is easy, and the price is in terms that we all see every day and understand.
Not surprisingly, we've seen an upturn in business from America, and had really good months in July and August.
As a result, we're taking it a stage further. America is a massive market, and even though it's currently twice that of the UK in terms of sales, if it was in line with population it would be six times larger and the business would be revolutionised. So, we've decided to create a US landing page for people browsing in the USA, have taken the Derby phone number off the top of the site, and have recorded a new explanatory animation video with an American voiceover.
The site now appears to be an American site, making it much easier for them to buy and pandering to a certain extent to the habit that we all like to buy from our own. Hopefully, the changes will make a further positive impact to sales and profitability; we've already doubled them both in the last eighteen months, but if we can crack America, we can easily double them again.