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2020: A Year in Review

A screenshot of the BaseKit Team virtual Christmas Party
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The festive period is upon us, the new year is in sight, and we’ve nearly made it through a year none of us will forget in a hurry. BaseKit is incredibly proud that in spite of the twists and turns 2020 delivered, we’ve achieved many things to celebrate this year.
From our dedicated people to our new partnerships, there’s plenty of good news to toast. Here’s our round-up of the last twelve months: we hope it demonstrates the resiliency and determination of BaseKit and every single member of our team.

So, pour yourself a hot drink, sit back, and enjoy the highlights…

Business

A pandemic hasn’t stopped business here at BaseKit. Here’s an overview of what we’ve been up to since January:

A fresh new office

The new year brought with it a fresh start for BaseKit in the form of a new home. On the 13th February, we said goodbye to our old digs on the fifth floor of One Castle Park, Bristol. After several years it was time for fresh surroundings.

Luckily, we didn’t have to go far! Our new office was located on the ground floor of the same building. It gave us an inviting workspace and an exciting environment to work on BaseKit’s future plans.

COVID 19: remote working for all

Little did we know that only a month later, we’d be in a national lockdown, the likes of which we have never seen before. BaseKit decided to act early, putting the health of our employees and their loved ones first. On the 16th March, the entire BaseKit team decamped to their homes, ready to continue serving our partners and customers from a safe social distance.

Although BaseKit has had a home-working policy in place for a long time, everybody working from home at the same time was new for us. Like millions of people around the world, we had to adapt quickly.

Thanks to the hard work and dedication of our people, and the decisive action by the leadership team, we were able to continue to deliver with next to no disruption. We kept our partners up to date and emphasised our commitment as well as providing helpful content during a difficult time.

Product

Despite the unexpected direction that 2020 took us in, BaseKit stayed true to our mission: helping small businesses to thrive online. Here’s an overview of some of the things we’ve been working on in 2020. We’ve been busy, as you can see!

Here are a few of the ways we’ve made it easier for small businesses to take their stores online. We’ve:

  • Made slideshow and gallery improvements
  • Introduced password-protected folders
  • Enabled multiple tax rates, making it easier for sellers who trade across regional or international borders
  • Made Facebook store integration possible
  • Improved the ability to add products, set shipping rates, adjust settings, and amend other commerce UI
  • Improved store onboarding
  • Launched section animations, allowing users to highlight content and create engaging pages with animated sections
  • Unveiled section scroll effects, meaning customers can now use parallax, zoom and fixed scrolling effects to create attractive, memorable website pages

These are only the highlights! There are many more features we’ve been working on behind the scenes. If you’re a BaseKit partner, reach out to your account manager for a full list of new features and functionality.

Go Connect

If you’re a BaseKit partner already, you’ll no doubt have heard us mention Go Connect this year. It’s something we’ve been working on behind the scenes… until now!

So, what is it?

Go Connect is a new application that allows businesses to take and manage online bookings. More than that, it’s designed so that payments can be taken at the point of booking, making life easier for busy small business owners.

Service businesses have had a tough year. We’re so excited that as well as helping eCommerce businesses to thrive, we can now look forward to supporting the people who offer services and experiences. As the good news of a vaccine slowly becomes a reality and we start to look forward to the experiences we’ve missed, BaseKit will be ready to support those people. Whether it’s a haircut or a restaurant meal, Go Connect will make life a little easier for business owners, so they can focus on their customers.

Like all of our products, it will be mobile-first so that the customer experience is seamless, no matter what device they use. This new white-labelled product will connect with users’ existing calendar, meaning that new businesses and side hustles can fit around family commitments and the day job. Keep your eyes open in early summer 2021 for launch news!

People

We’re super proud of the work we’ve done this year. Though in all honesty, none of it would be possible without our amazing team. We’re thrilled that despite the challenges of 2020, we’ve onboarded four new BaseKiteers and are recruiting for two more.

New starters…

At the height of the UK lockdown, we welcomed Emma to our marketing team and Paul in operations. Though the onboarding process was a little different to usual, both have made a great impact and have settled into life at BaseKit – both winning awards at this years Christmas party!

Recently, Lily joined BaseKit as a Support Agent and Akeam became the latest member of the BaseKit family, joining us as our latest Front-End Developer. We’re delighted to have added to our team and look forward to sharing their profiles with you as we get to know them both.

…and ongoing recruitment

Looking beyond 2020, our recruitment doesn’t stop there! We’re recruiting for two new team members. Our plans for the next year and the future are ambitious and we’re excited to meet the next generation of BaseKit’s team. Keep an eye on our careers page and BaseKit Life Twitter account for more recruitment announcements coming throughout 2021!

Partnerships

Relationships are key to BaseKit’s success and none more so than those we have with our partners. We’ve strengthened key affiliations this year and secured those relationships with exciting new business deals.

New relationships

The Coronavirus pandemic has accelerated the need for small businesses to have a reliable web presence, including a domain name, email addresses, and website or online store. As lockdowns took hold around the world, small businesses had no choice but to take their stores online, proving the need for service providers to support their small business customers with the right products to succeed.

We’re delighted that both Etisalat and Liquid Telecom share our vision and we’re happy to announce they both join us as BaseKit partners this year. Among others, we’re looking forward to forging productive relations with both Telecoms giants and we’re excited to support their small business customers and help them thrive.

You can read the full press releases and see what BaseKit CEO, Simon Best, and the respective partners had to say below:

BaseKit partners with Etisalat

BaseKit launches partnership with Liquid Telecom

Looking ahead to 2021

What a year it’s been! Though businesses, families and individuals have faced many challenges, the new year is within reach. As we look back on a year we never imagined twelve months ago, we’re proud to have reached this point.

So, let our final words of 2020 be words of gratitude: thank you for your hard work, for walking with us on the path, and for putting your faith in us. We are so excited to continue the journey with you in a happy, healthy new year. 

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