Neo Computers: How to Turn Your Local Computer Store into a Profitable Ecommerce Business

Anastasiya Kupriyanova
By Anastasiya Kupriyanova
Jun 8 2022
Time to read
4 min to read
"Last year we could barely cover the costs of running an online store. Today we are averaging $10,000 a month with Searchanise."

Paul Branighan,
Owner, NeoComputers

About Neo Computers

Neo Computers is a UK-based computer shop that repairs electronics and sells hardware and software. The company has expanded from a brick-and-mortar store into a fully-blown ecommerce business.
Sennheiser headphones

Paul, tell me more about your business. How did it all start?

Paul: Neo Computers is a computer shop where you can fix anything that can be fixed electronic-wise: consoles, phones, tablets. Apart from repairs we also sell hardware and software.

The company has been running for almost three years. Back when we started I used to do everything from home. But we've been growing and last year we decided to break into the ecommerce market to sell hardware, software, accessories, and peripherals.

What were the main challenges you faced while launching the e-store?

Paul: At first, we built the website on a platform called Ecwid. It didn't go great, we only made enough to cover the cost of running the platform.

One of the core problems was that all the Ecwid sites look identical, as everybody is sort of stuck to one theme. We wanted something more unique for our website. Not fully customized, because it increases the cost drastically, but something that looks different from other sites. That's when we found BigCommerce.

So, at the start of this year, we've moved to the BigCommerce platform and now we're doing on average 10 000 $ sales a month. I feel like we're finally on the right track.

Of course, it is hard to compete with Amazon and other big companies in the UK who've been around since the 90s. It's difficult to break into the market and there's not a lot of profit in it, as everybody is in a race to the bottom of pricing. But we try our best. We have a loyalty scheme that Amazon doesn't have. Every delivery that we make is free and it's the next working day delivery for England, Whales, and Scotland. So, hopefully, over time, we will get where we want.

Why did you install Searchanise? Which problems did Searchanise help you solve?

Paul: There were bits and pieces which I didn't like about BigCommerce and some of them were the search and product filtering. At BigCommerce you get product filtering only if you upgrade from the $80 plan to the Pro plan which is $299,95.

Meanwhile, their default search is absolutely terrible, you could type in SKU or an exact product name and it would just bring up random rubbish. It was very frustrating! That's why we started to look for a solution and came across Searchanise.

So, initially, we just wanted to get a proper product search. And then we found out that you also have filters for categories pages, which doubled the value of your app for our store.
Searchanise filters
Filters on the category page powered by Searchanise

What makes for a good search, in your opinion?

Paul: If a customer has a manufacturer's part number or an SKU that they've found on another website, I want the site search to return relevant results when the customer puts that in the search bar.

Also, a good search should understand customers' search inputs even if they type in the rough product name.

Lastly, quality search should provide relevant search suggestions. For example, if I type in "cable" the search displays popular suggestions:
Instant Search Widget
Search suggestions
And Searchanise is doing everything that I wanted to have.

Paul, tell me please, has Searchanise helped you improve user experience on your website?

Paul: Searchanise has helped me a lot. Now the customers easily find what they need. Before Searchanise it was a big problem. When customers tried to search for something on the website, let's say a certain fan case, the BigCommerce search would throw up things like processors, graphic cards, cables, and other things that were completely unrelated. And even if you put the manufacturer's part number the default search didn't have a clue what it was and returned the "no results" page.

Your app does a really great job in terms of helping customers navigate through the website and find what they want. And it also makes the website look and feel much more professional.

On top of it, Searchanise has also helped in terms of generating revenue. But unfortunately, I cannot provide you with certain figures here.

What is your overall experience with Searchanise?

Paul: We like Searchanise. It does everything that we need to do that Bigcommerce for some reason doesn't provide. It's very easy to set up and it's a very good cost for what the product does. And the customer service was absolutely spot on. They helped us with all the questions we had.

I'm getting very positive feedback after I moved the website to the BigCommerce platform and installed Searchanise, compared to the store I had on Ecwid. Let alone the fact that we've boosted our revenue after moving.

Thank you for your feedback! I'm very happy you like our app. Would you recommend Searchanise to your friends?

Paul: I would recommend it to anybody on Shopify or BigCommerce. Especially for those who are on the BigCommerce platform, because of the limitations of the default search.

In fact, I did recommend your app in the Facebook group of BigCommerce users to somebody who was facing the same issues as me with the default search being absolutely terrible. And that was before we even knew about the tools you offer on your Pro plan, like product filters on categories pages.

The interview recap

✔️ Enhanced search and navigation help customers easily find what they want
✔️ Website looks and feels more professional
✔️ The e-store increased revenue
✔️ Paul received positive feedback on the website's performance

If you, too, are looking to overcome the limitations of the default search, install Searchanise!
Pick your platform and watch your e‑store shoot to the top with Searchanise
“Rock solid performance! I wish we knew about this app a year ago! The intuitive nature of the searches and speed of information make this a perfect app for our web store.”
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Pick your platform and watch your e‑store shoot to the top with Searchanise
"The app really adds value to our shop. The search works 100X better than the default Shopify search and puts us in the same league as the big players. Awesome app!!"
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Pick your platform and watch your e‑store shoot to the top with Searchanise
"Works great for our needs!
The Searchanise plugin/service excels where other leading (and much more expensive) search providers have fallen short on our site. We have over 17,000 products and this plugin indexes them flawlessly and creates a top-notch search experience for our customers. Really pleased that we found this one."
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Pick your platform and watch your e‑store shoot to the top with Searchanise
"The results are fantastic.
We use it on many customers and they are all satisfied. It greatly enhances Magento's search."
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My last hope was to try Searchanise. I was, and I am still amazed! The search results are PERFECT! The sync speed is AMAZING without bags or delays. And I have never seen such great support. The Searchanise App is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, and I really hope someday to find again such a nice team and support."
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Pick your platform and watch your e‑store shoot to the top with Searchanise
"Searching for a Search app? Try Searchanise. We are totally impressed, works great, it's faster than the default BC search and looks gorgeous in our shop - it's form and function! Supported by wonderful people. Many thanks to Alexey and the team! Excellent app and awesome team"
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"I could say a lot of great things about this add-on, but I think this one line suffices; adding the Searchanise feature to your store is one of the most important and rewarding decisions you will make for your business and customers. Not to mention, the team is an absolute delight to work with, namely Angelina Morozova!"
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Anastasiya Kupriyanova - Content creator
Anastasiya Kupriyanova
Anastasiya is a content creator at Searchanise. Her professional areas of interest are SaaS solutions and ecommerce. Anastasiya believes that quality content must be valuable for readers and achieve business goals. When she is not busy writing, which does not happen often, she reads passionately, both fiction and non-fiction literature.

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