Keep it simple and think like a customer if you want to succeed in eCommerce.

That was the advice of Deirdre McGettrick, co-founder and CEO of, who was talking on a panel hosted by BusinessCloud at Manchester Digital’s eCommerce Conference on Thursday. is the UK’s No 1 search and discovery platform for home furniture and furnishings and recently announced £3.4m in seed funding as it looks to scale.

McGettrick, a former investment banker, was joined on the panel – entitled ‘The platforms optimising online retail’ – by Rebecca Worsley, founder and CEO of Rainy City Agency and Adam Pritchard, founder and CEO of Shopit. has been described as the ‘Skyscanner for furniture’ and brings more than 110 furniture retailers across the market onto one website to make furniture search easy for consumers.

Asked for her secrets for a successful eCommerce business, McGettrick said: “Number one is keep it simple. So many people complicate it. You should be able to break it down so that a five-year-old can really understand it.

eCommerce Conference 2023 – The platforms optimising online retail

“Number two is think about everything from the consumer’s point of view. Who is your customer and is your product solving that first?

“Whoever your customer is you should be skewing your website towards them. If it’s 18-25 year-olds you should be skewing it towards how they shop, if it’s 35+ it should be skewed in a different way.

“It could be skewed towards gender, age  or interests etc. Whatever it is, you need to make it as optimised as possible.”

She said in the case of, 85 per cent of the purchasing decisions for furniture are made by women so the website reflects that.

“It’s primarily females who would like to see all the options in market before actually making a decision,” she said.

“The vision for is to be the UK’s first choice search and discovery platform for home furniture and furnishings.

“We want to own the category of search for furniture in the UK, akin to how Auto Trader and Rightmove manage it for their respective sectors.”

Rebecca Worsley, founder and CEO of Rainy City Agency, said the best looking websites aren’t always the most successful.

“As an agency the first thing that we look to do is an audit of someone’s website,” she said. “That will be from a user experience (UX) point of view but also from a conversion point of view.

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“The work that we do isn’t just about making people’s websites look pretty, it’s about how we can optimise it for increasing conversion rate, average order value and look at the customer lifetime value as well.”

Adam Pritchard is the founder and CEO of pay-as-you-grow eCommerce platform Shopit and is on a mission to make technology accessible from as little as £10 a month.

“The idea is that businesses sign up to the platform and it’s for them to manage themselves,” he explained. “It’s a shared success model so it doesn’t cost us anything if they don’t use the system and it stays at £10-a-month.

“We know that merchants want to grow to do £500k, £3m and £10m and as they do that our bills go up.

“There’s loads of conversations about augmented reality and AI, which is very exciting but I don’t think it’s accessible from a cost point of view.

“eCommerce is all for the rich people at the moment. That’s fine but they stay as the big brands. We’re there for the masses. They might not have the budgets but still have the  talent, hard work and energy to want to do it.”

The panel was hosted by BusinessCloud executive editor Chris Maguire.