website visitors but no sales, suggestions and feedback gratefully received.

(46 Posts)
osaraf Mon 24-Jun-13 16:26:08

I've (finally!) launched a website for a small business I've started and have been getting the word out. I've had quite a lot of unique visitors since it went live a week or so ago but no sales! I was hoping to get some unbiased views and suggestions from people who aren't family and friends being nice grin . I'd be really grateful if any of you lovely mumsnetters have the time to look. it's thanks in advance! not sure if I can post the link here but if I have to remove it I can pm anyone who can help.

I think you have a good website and some pretty items for sale. However, if I was going to pay for an engraved disc (at the prices you are charging) I would go the whole hog and have my daughter's artwork or babyfoot or whatever put on it. It may be that nowadays when you can do so much just having a name embossed, is not enough and there is now another tier of personalisation requested?? I hope you get custom as oyuhave nice things - perhaps satrt out at christmas school fairs etc and then build up? Good luck.

PeterParkerSays Mon 24-Jun-13 16:34:29

my first thought is that it takes a while to load, and one of the first words that loads is "Cart" which would make me think of an American site, even though it's Could Cart be less obtrusive / in a smaller font?

If you scroll to the bottom of the home page, you also get Oops in blue letters on the site - I'm guessing that's not meant to be there.

If your main USP is jewellry, I'd make that the main focus of your home page, not linked from one of 9 options across the top. Also, Parties is hidden in with "in the press" etc, when it needs to be alongside Shop. you could divide your home page into sections: Birthday, new baby, something special, then add in extra options for graduation, mothers day etc.

I'd have concerns about the strength of the website to be honest. I cliked on necklaces and again it took ages to load, that would make me wonder whether there'd be problems processing a card payment. Could your designer make the photos into smaller size files so they load quicker?

SimLondon Mon 24-Jun-13 16:46:19

I think your website looks pretty good, it perhaps should be easier for people to see prices/buy stuff, but a week really isnt long.

Your photos are great, are they professional?

osaraf Mon 24-Jun-13 16:48:14

thanks for your very quick replies and really useful comments. I've built the site myself using wix as I can't afford a designer at the moment! I'll have a look at doing the changes you suggested. I also do want to do the further personalisation with regards to hand and footprints etc so that's in the pipeline! I have lots of ideas but need the initial sales to fund them. thanks so much for your help! smile

osaraf Mon 24-Jun-13 16:50:16

thanks Sim, I did the photos myself by borrowing my dad's camera and making a light box with cardboard and tissue paper. perhaps I should just write an ebook about starting a business with no money, ha ha!!

Tee2072 Mon 24-Jun-13 16:53:05

Your home page should be the shop, not this quick moving gallery with all that text below. If people want to know about you they will go to that page.

Each product page should retain the other areas for sale, rather than making your customers go back.

Your pictures load strangely. They seem to load and then adjust themselves. It's a bit annoying.

I analyse websites for a living and help improve them. That's just a quick look, I imagine if I was working for you and taking my time I'd find a lot more.

flowery Mon 24-Jun-13 16:53:21

For your business you need to get very active on Facebook- have you got a good FB page?

How's your Google performance?

I think the text on your home page needs looking at. On my phone it looks long and bunched-together.

But a week is not long at all, not sure it's realistic to expect sales so quickly for a brand new business unless you already have a good reputation locally through shows/fairs etc

I went on to the site with my mobile.

The first two times it wouldnt load at all. Then it did a bit but theres a task bar at the bottom that makes it impossible to view.

Just thought I would point that out. I realise you dont intend it to be a mobile site, but even mobile friendly would help. There arent many sites that I have this difficulty with.

osaraf Mon 24-Jun-13 17:10:46

thanks. you are right tee, I do need to concentrate on the products and get rid of the text to another page but I was trying to boost seo with my keywords. I'm a real amateur at it so I mat be completely wrong!
my site is too 'young' to show up in google so no stats yet about that. Apparently it takes 1 to 3 months to get listed. I do have a fb page that I update regularly. the slow loading and weird phone view is frustrating but I can't do anything about it as I'm stuck with wix for now sad

sooperdooper Mon 24-Jun-13 17:20:42

I like it and I think you've got some nice products smile Well done on doing it yourself too, and the photography is great!

I agree with whoever said to list items across the top, necklaces, wedding etc. rather than having them under 'Shop'.

I think you need to move the birthstones section, and add some text to explain that by choosing the month it adds an additional personalisation to the jewellery, that isn't explained when you see an item with a stone - maybe a link to the birthstone chart on each shop page saying, add your birthstone?

sooperdooper Mon 24-Jun-13 17:22:29

Oh, also I found the pictures loaded absolutely fine, no problem at all

osaraf Mon 24-Jun-13 17:28:08

thanks souper, I will do your suggestions. I'm going to have a busy night but what you have all suggested will definitely change it for the better!! I do wish I could sort out the speed but I know there have been a few issues with wix that they are trying to remedy. I'm not sure there are any better providers out there, they all seem to have their limitations if you want to keep costs down and do ecommerce yourself.

TheFallenNinja Mon 24-Jun-13 17:32:04

Just place marking.

MrsDeVere Mon 24-Jun-13 17:38:29

I am no expert in marketing at all but I do shop a LOT and I do it online.

I agree with the posters who don't like the fast moving gallery on your home page.

It is also quite hard to get an idea of the size of the pieces. Can you put measurements or photograph them next to something for perspective?
(I had a quick look so sorry if I have missed anything)

Your jewelry is really nice and reasonably priced.

It is the sort of thing that myself and other bereaved friends would buy in memory of our children. Perhaps you could think about that in your future marketing?

Done sensitively of course. smile

osaraf Mon 24-Jun-13 17:48:06

thanks mrs de vere. I think the gallery is for the chop! I do need to do some photos that show scale, I will rope some friends in for a neck photoshoot!
I would like to offer a service bereaved families eventually and perhaps link up with a local children's hospice which is very well known in this area but I would never want to make a profit from anyone's loss so want to earn enough from other sales to donate pieces. this is all conjecture though since I haven't sold anything grin .

osaraf Mon 24-Jun-13 17:50:36

ps, I read mumsnet a lot but never post so I feel honoured you have looked at my site and replied to me grin

MrsDeVere Mon 24-Jun-13 18:04:55

From a personal point of view I think it is fine to sell memorial pieces and make some money out of them!
As long as its not a rip off and it is done in a sensitive way (double checking any spelling etc).
A donation to the hospice would be a lovely idea (for example) but I don't think you need to feel guilty about charging full price for them. Your pieces are not extortionately priced.

I hope your business takes off soon and I will be watching with interest smile

osaraf Mon 24-Jun-13 18:13:55

thank you mrs de vere grin. You have all made lots of great suggestions. I know I'm impatient and can't expect sales immediately so I'll keep making changes and hopefully get things right.

SuperiorCat Mon 24-Jun-13 18:16:57

Agree with what has been said above.

And to add something really petty but a pet hate of mine and lots of others - the font on a lot of the engraved pieces is a bit Comic Sans which would put me off buying it - sorry.

TheFallenNinja Mon 24-Jun-13 18:34:19

What traffic data do you have?

osaraf Mon 24-Jun-13 19:02:31

superior, not petty at all, it's the reason I asked. I only have a couple of font sets at the moment as they are expensive but I plan to get more in the next couple of weeks and people can choose which one they want. What kind of font would you be looking for?
ninja, I just have Google analytics which shows the number of total visitors and unique visitors etc.

eurozammo Mon 24-Jun-13 19:09:36

It loads fine for me.

I agree that the shop needs to be what you hit on the homepage.

Personally (and sorry for being critical but you did ask!) I find the writing a bit amateurish and uneven, e.g. the "isla" name disc and all the different fonts on "you rock my world". That might be why you are getting visitors but not buyers?

osaraf Mon 24-Jun-13 19:23:40

thanks euro. the rock my world one is supposed to be like that, a bit retro and handmade looking. I always do my best to get the wording straight and even but with hand stamping it can vary! the isla piece was one of my first so I'll redo and replace it. I really appreciate all your help.

NatashaBee Mon 24-Jun-13 19:27:58

Have you thought about listing some items on Etsy/making a facebook page to drive traffic to the website?

nilbyname Mon 24-Jun-13 19:33:16

I have nothing to add re the website and its functionality, and hats off to you starting up a business, well done.

Here comes my bit....

I dislike your font, it is too heavy and black and looks a bit cheap. Sorry. I think for the pieces you have, the font has to be fainter and more subtle....
Notonthehighstreet has 28 pages of personalised silver feels like this type of thing may have had its moment, a bit like a cupcake or wooden blocks with words on them....

Just my (drangony) opinion, based on my tastes and experience. Please do not be offended or disheartened.

osaraf Mon 24-Jun-13 19:49:09

natasha, I do have a Facebook page and did think about etsy but it's very american and I doubt I'd be accepted for not on the high street.
I take on board the font suggestions, I'll get better ones asap and it's easy enough to make them not as black. I do realise there is a lot of the style about at the moment but there aren't that many UK sites selling hand stamped pieces. mostly I expect business to come from local fairs and word of mouth, I'm sensible enough to know that I won't be on the front page of google or making a fortune grin

AnneEyhtMeyer Mon 24-Jun-13 20:00:34

I would be concerned buying from a site which had just a gmail address and a mobile number.

osaraf Mon 24-Jun-13 20:49:23

good point anne. I work from home though so am reluctant to put my address details etc. I do need a more professional email address.

AnneEyhtMeyer Mon 24-Jun-13 20:55:17

Without a postal address, though, I would have no confidence that I would have any avenue for redress if the goods didn't arrive.

I'm not sure if others would feel that way, but I certainly wouldn't buy from a website without a proper address.

osaraf Mon 24-Jun-13 21:09:21

I'll sort that out then. Thanks very much, all the feedback is really helpful.

SuperiorCat Mon 24-Jun-13 22:04:25

Yes Anne makes a good point, we have been ripped off by dodgy sites before (not suggesting that yours is osaraf) so not having a physical address or a proper domain e-mail address is off putting (says she who uses a gmail address for business)

SuperiorCat Mon 24-Jun-13 22:07:24

Sorry I didn't answer your font question as I'm not sure - something cleaner and more grown up I think - Verdana or similar I guess but not comic sans-y

CatsAndTheirPizza Tue 25-Jun-13 01:02:40

The gallery was very fast - I was feeling a bit dizzy after a while, though I did like the jewellery.

I wonder if you could offer the engravings in a child's handwriting rather than standard style? I would love something with my children's writing on (I did something for my husband on our wedding day on a piece of silver, so the technology is out there).

I think you can still use google analytics, even for a new site. Then you can see who is looking/what devices/location/duration etc.

On Facebook, maybe offer a prize for likes (you have to be careful with Facebook rules here, so speak to someone who knows) to get your name out there. Ditto Twitter (though it is a pita). Not used it, but consider Woobox.

Ask if you can use your accountant's address as your address for the site - mine let me.

The site loaded fine for me.

If you could organise some sort of promotion so that you got e-mail addresses of people visiting the site, you could survey them and find out why they weren't buying.

SimLondon Tue 25-Jun-13 14:20:10

I think legally there has to be t&c's which include an address? -
also I think there's a lot of competition - so perhaps you could look at offline sales as well, craft fairs / fates and perhaps local shops?

CatsAndTheirPizza Tue 25-Jun-13 14:27:58

Yes, you do have to have T&Cs if you can purchase on-line, and a privacy policy. You will need an address for T&C (mine cost a bit to draw up).

spiderlight Tue 25-Jun-13 14:34:30

Are you on ? It's sort of a British Etsy.

DIYapprentice Tue 25-Jun-13 14:36:36

Are you on Stallfinder? That's a good website, and I list our nursery's Christmas Fair on there, and look for stall holders that might be suitable for our area on there as well.

osaraf Tue 25-Jun-13 16:43:46

hi all, thanks for your comments. I have the basic t&c's but I think I will have to put my address to be legal. I'm also looking at etsy/facebook comps etc. I'm assuming most of my sales will be local and word of mouth so will be doing plenty of local advertising and fairs etc, stallfinder is great for that!
I've been doing the changes people have suggested and the gallery has gone! got myself a professional email address and put the secure paypal info on. I'll publish it all later so if anyone wants to re look!
I'm surprised to find I'm listed in google already, thought it took much longer. I'm on the first page for hand stamped bracelets uk and second for hand stamped jewellery and necklaces uk so I'm very excited by that!! grin

piprabbit Tue 25-Jun-13 16:49:15

You could do with adding links to the birthstone colour chart on pages where there is an option to add a crystal.

osaraf Tue 25-Jun-13 20:21:43

thanks pip, working on it!
ok, for anyone who is still reading and hasn't run away due to extreme boredom I have made some changes so if you visit the site again they will be there. mainly they are making the purchasing look more secure, a proper email address, shop items in menu and changed the gallery to static images. am sure there is lots more! I will get new fonts and take some more pics too. you have all been really helpful so thanks very much! xx

piprabbit Tue 25-Jun-13 20:28:05

That's so much better.

The only minor quibble is that I would like to click on the images on the home page and be taken to somewhere where I can start shopping immediately. Taking me to a bigger version of the image is wasting my time and I might not bother to work out how else to get to the actual shopping page for the item.

osaraf Tue 25-Jun-13 20:47:10

I can do that! thanks for saying it looks better, phew! smile

makeusawebsite Wed 26-Jun-13 10:05:17

You have already mentioned the tool which can solve this for you.... Google analytics.

You need to be looking at what people are doing once they get to your website. What pages are they viewing, what pages have a high bounce rate, and what keywords are bringing people to the site.

Lets say for example you have a product pages which is bringing 200 people per month, with a bounce rate of 100%, that would indicate that you have something very wrong. It could be the price, it could be a poor image, or it could even be a page load error.

Another major thing that analytics can do is show you if you are dropping customers during the checkout process. For example, how many people are adding to the cart, and not checking out....that could indicate an over complicated checkout process, or a fault.

These are the kinds of thing that Google analytics (if properly setup) can help you to get to the bottom of.

Hope that helps?


SimLondon Wed 26-Jun-13 11:14:11

Let us know when you get your first sale :-)

osaraf Wed 26-Jun-13 21:23:21

thanks adele! really nice of you to take time to explain.
my bounce rate is about 25%. I'm just getting to grips with what it all means! I have made quite a few changes so will see if that has an impact. I know the page loading can be slow which is frustrating as it's not something I can change.
Sim, I'll let you know! grin have a few orders from family and friends to keep me going!

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