Yellow Pages owner Hibu has launched a website builder for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), enabling them to create a mobile-optimised site or online shop and start selling and advertising on it in “just 10 minutes”.
According to research commissioned by Hibu, 37 percent of SMBs do not have a website, and only 35 percent of those that do are satisfied with it. Meanwhile, 67 percent of adults in Britain research and buy products and services online.
The Hibu business store aims to help SMBs take advantage of online growth in retail, and compete with large enterprises for mobile and online customers. It claims to be DIY-friendly and grounded in design, and nothing should take more than 10 minutes.
From today, Hibu is offering five products: domain registration (from £6.99 per year), website set-up (from £6.99 per month), online store set-up (from £8.99 per month), banner advertising, (starting at £150 and 25,846 impressions per month) and email marketing (from £6.99 per month). Free trials are available for 30 days.
Customers can choose from hundreds of templates and stock photos, or upload their own images, to create and publish a professional-looking website. They can also build an online shop by uploading details and pictures of their products and linking the website to a PayPal account for processing payments.
Everything is optimised for mobile, and customers can preview how their website or online store will look on multiple screen sizes. Hibu believes that this could enable SMBs to leapfrog larger competitors, many of whom do not have a 'mobile first' strategy.
“Small businesses are missing out on the mobile revolution. There is a big opportunity for small businesses to jump into the pocket of consumers,” said Richard Hanscott, Chief Executive Officer of Hibu in the UK.
“This is really advanced mobile web design – it's the kind of thing that only Amazon has at the moment – and small businesses can benefit from the expertise of one of the world's largest digital agencies,” added Matt Anderson, Chief Digital Officer of Hibu.
Anderson demonstrated how customers can auto-create a Facebook shop in minutes, using content from their Hibu website. Everything is search engine optimised, in order to improve SMBs' chance of exposure.
Hibu also offers a banner advertising tool that automatically assembles ads based on site content, and allows customers to target their campaigns. The ads are optimised across desktop and mobile, and customers can choose their desired monthly spend and number of impressions.
“We make that £150 work hard, so banner ads are displayed prominently on some of the web’s most popular sites, such as the BBC or MSN – that is prime online real estate,” said Anderson. “Clicking on an ad doesn't take you to the homepage, it takes you directly to the product page.”
All do-it-yourself products are hosted in Hibu's own data centres and backed by 24/7 phone and email support, as well as in-depth product tutorials and expert information from the Hibu Knowledge Centre. The company also offers “do-it-for-me” options, whereby customers can choose turnaround times from 24 hours to five days.
“We are providing the most comprehensive set of tools all in one place for SMEs to compete strongly in the online and mobile worlds,” concluded Hanscott.