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Lucy Hurst, MD at Sherbet Donkey Media, Talks About Ecommerce for SMBs

Updated on October 20, 2022

4 Min Read

Lucy Hurst is a managing director at Sherbet Donkey Media. The agency helps SMBs and enterprises achieve visibility over the internet.

She’s worked on several e-commerce projects and is here to share her precious experiences with us. In this interview, she shares some valuable insights for e-commerce businesses and also provides some actionable strategies that can help them scale faster.

Q. Let’s begin with some details about you first. Tell us about yourself and your past experiences.

A. So, I have a degree in Photography. I’ve always had a creative flair. As for the agency, I absolutely love seeing how Sherbet Donkey Media has grown over the past 15 months. And this is just the beginning, according to me. I see it as a long-term project that’s just catching momentum right now.

Q. Tell us about Sherbet Donkey Media. What are your business’s core offerings? What are some of your proud accomplishments as the Managing Director of Sherbet Donkey Media?

A. We have a fantastic team who all buzz off seeing clients get results. There’s one particular ecommerce project which made us really proud. We helped them with the SEO, and the results were amazing. We successfully increased their website sales 10x over just a 12-month period.
We’re now also starting to work with some bigger and more noteworthy clients too.

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Q. You’ve worked extensively with ecommerce businesses. Do you think SMBs still operating offline are leaving money on the table?

A. Absolutely. We live in a digital era now. More and more businesses are realising this, but if you’re the last one to the party, you’re going to miss out.

Q. Holiday season is the time for ecommerce businesses to ramp up operations and aim for maximum impact. What do you think are the 3 things which can help them the most this holiday season?

A. I believe that the three most helpful things for the holiday season are:

  • Make people aware of your online presence.
  • Try to make those people your relevant audience.
  • Make sure you can get orders out efficiently.

Q. Ecommerce businesses often try to cut corners on their hosting services. Would you advise that? What do you think is the role of a premium hosting provider in the growth of an ecommerce business?

A. At the end of the day, you get what you pay for. If you buy cheap hosting services, then you’ll be making sacrifices.
And when it comes to hosting, this can impact your SEO.
If you’re looking to make money from your e-commerce business, you should be looking at the best hosting for ecommerce.

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Ecommerce is a highly competitive domain. What are the three strategies that can help SMBs and ecommerce businesses scale faster?

A. In my view, the three strategies that can help ecommerce businesses scale faster are:

  • Make sure your online shop is appealing and appropriate to you and your audience. Have the relevant customizations to make the store aligned with your business’s brand. Optimize your ecommerce store for more traffic.
  • Be prepared to invest money in SEO.
  • For short-term traction, you can also look into a PPC campaign. However, you should work with someone who can advise you when to scale this back so that you’re not wasting money.

Q. Agencies have tons of routine problems. What are the three most common problems you face at your agency, and what’s your strategy to tackle them?

A. The main problems we experience are the flip side of the same coin. We’ve taken on so many staff that we’ve had to move the entire office around every other month. On the other hand, recruitment for decent talent is hard at the moment, and we’re still looking to take more people on. Talent scarcity has been a real challenge for our agency.

Q. You’ve played key roles in taking several businesses online. How crucial do you think it is to choose the right ecommerce CMS? What are some key elements that an ecommerce CMS must have?

A. It really varies from business to business. However, most want an ecommerce CMS that will integrate with their stock keeping/accounting software so that product quantities and invoices are all auto-updated/ generated.

Q. People feel that the tech industry isn’t very welcoming for females. How has been your experience in the tech industry? How do you feel about so many women now entering the tech industry?

A. Honestly? It doesn’t really bother me.

I’ve worked in other industries where women weren’t supposed to know anything and still ended up learning the business.
The tech industry has actually been a dream in comparison.

I’d encourage women to join in.

Q. Google frequently updates its algorithm to offer a better user experience. How do you think that impacts ecommerce businesses? And what is some advice that can help ecommerce businesses win over search engines?

A. Google updates can affect any website, ecommerce or not.

However, if the website is thoroughly optimized for Search Engines, then it’ll bounce back even stronger. Our way of working is different, and that’s why we win at Google always.

We look at a website from a UX point of view and collaborate with the SEO department from the point that it’s designed.
As you say, Google is looking to offer better UX. By focusing heavily on the UX, we try to stay ahead of (Google algorithm update) time.

Q. Digital marketing is the buzzword these days. Do you have any advice for new digital marketing freelancers or agencies?

A. Just be honest with your clients; they appreciate the transparency. Don’t overpromise things that you can’t deliver on.

Q. We’d like to conclude this interview with a personal question. You’ve got quite an experience as a photographer. Can you tell us something about that? And do you still follow that passion of yours?

A. Honestly? I think that my photography degree taught me that I was better at bringing a plan together and made me realise that my childhood dream of being a wildlife photographer wasn’t feasible.

I still do bits here and there, but it’s also great to see others who did get the training I did, learn some of the things I was taught.

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Mansoor Ahmed Khan

Been in content marketing since 2014, and I still get a kick out of creating stories that resonate with the target audience and drive results. At Cloudways by DigitalOcean (a leading cloud hosting company, btw!), I lead a dream team of content creators. Together, we brainstorm, write, and churn out awesome content across all the channels: blogs, social media, emails, you name it! You can reach out to me at [email protected].


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