alphaspirit - Fotolia

Nominet offers bacon sarnies to get UK tradespeople online

UK domain name registrar Nominet launches a campaign, and opens its own greasy spoon café, to try to get more of the UK’s tradespeople online

Nominet, the UK’s domain name registrar, is launching a .uk domain campaign to encourage uptake of Britain’s tradespeople to get themselves a website, after finding that over a third had no online presence.

Research commissioned by Nominet suggests tradespeople can increase their top line by as much as £16,500 per annum if they have their own website.

However, based on statistics from the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), 35% of them – approximately 335,000 – have failed to make the leap online.

The problem was found to be most acute among painters and decorators, of whom 51% had no website; gardeners, 49% of whom were not online; and cleaners, 48% of whom were getting by without a presence on the web.

Aerial and network fitters, somewhat predictably, were the most tech-savvy tradespeople, 81% of whom have their own website, said Nominet, along with bathroom fitters and security and alarm specialists.

A quarter of respondents to Nominet’s poll said they would set up a website, but had no idea how or where to get started, while 10% feared the process was too expensive.

Nominet warned that Google searches and comparison sites, such as Checkatrade, replaced word of mouth among homeowners, meaning those without a website would struggle.

It said that those who had gone online picked up an additional 21 jobs a year on average, and were more likely to attract customers willing to spend more on their projects.

Read more about digital skills and inclusion

“Moving from on site to website is giving a financial boost to tradespeople and up and down the country,” said Nominet CEO Russell Haworth.

“With more of us going online to look for trade services, many plumbers and painters might find themselves losing out on business when consumers need expert help in a hurry.

“From displaying pictures of past jobs, to customer testimonials and accreditation badges, a website isn’t just your online CV, it’s your chance to make a great first impression,” he added.

In an attempt to get itself in front of more tradespeople, Nominet has roped in a number of greasy spoons around the UK to set up Bacon and Web Cafés, where tradespeople can get tips and advice and get their first website built for free over tea and bacon butties.

The first café is currently open in Old Street in London’s Tech City, and more will open in Birmingham, Glasgow and Manchester later in 2016. ... .... ... ...

Read more on E-commerce technology