Brit start-up Moonfruit helps small businesses and amateurs build websites. They updated their site yesterday and we interviewed their founder – Wendy Tan. What she told us about Moonfruit is interesting for anyone wanting to set up their own small website, but her observations about Moonfruit’s customers paint an interesting picture of e-business in 2011.
I’ll review the service in a separate post (link to come) – but here are just a few of Wendy’s observations about what website makers want:
>> More people want to build websites for small businesses. Whether it’s the recession pushing people to find new ways of improving business, or the success stories already on there: more small business are going online. That looks set to continue – Wendy only had figures for America, but there the vast majority of small businesses are small businesses and only 90% of them have an online presence. There’s a lot of room for growth.
>> Small business want to build their websites themselves: they don’t want to pay someone else to do it, and they don’t want to have to pay someone else to update it.
>> People want a high level of customisation over those websites – businesses are less content to use off-the-peg templates and stock photos.
>> The Mummy Blogger effect on business: A lot of those new e-business are started up by women: Wendy put that down to lots of bright women at the peak of careers suddenly having to spend time at home on maternity leave, or looking after kids. Wendy: “female entrepreneurship is our fastest growth area, women are interested in stuff they can do from home.” It’s happened with bloggers, it’s clearly happening with entrepreneurs too… there are several high profile success stories too: net-a-porter for example. Watch this space.
>> The Apple effect: people are used to better design, thanks to the boom in Mac products so they expect to be able to do more and make their sites look better. Wendy described this as the “Apple Effect”.
>> The Facebook effect: Blogs are more in demand – Wendy put this down to our increased comfort with publishing online on social networks.
>> Mobile sites are vital – Without needing to be apps – sites need to be optimised
>> Tactile, easy: call this the iPhone effect as well – but people are used to very simple and intuitive interfaces for doing things online. Looking at screeds of html is no longer an option..
Review of Moonfruit site coming soon
Moonfruit works on a Freemium model: the basic deal is free, then there’s a 3GBP a month deal, and a 15GBP and 20 deal for more professional users.