Advice needed to convert more sales.

Discussion in 'Ecommerce Forum' started by jellybabys, Oct 25, 2008.

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  1. jellybabys

    jellybabys UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    59 1
    Hello All,

    I would love some advice on what you would do to make a better conversion rate, my site has been going for about three years ( two proper trading), we started with only a few products and have built it up to about 600 over the past couple of years, we get about 2500 unique visitors per day and anything from 5-15 sales but I know this is still a very low conversion.

    I do not think I have a problem with product range nor prices as I do check up on my competitors to see what they are selling at, I have tried PPC on google, yahoo and MSN and also been listed in ppc directories, but I have found all to be costly and the clicks cost outweigh the sales.

    The site was build and designed by myself and I don't think Ive done a bad job for a novice, but I am starting think it could be a lot better, the major players in my field have very professional and well designed websites, The budgets they have is massive and I can not compete with them that way, but i can afford to pay to make a site like theirs but on a lower budget and do a lot of the work myself, but would this increase sales?

    My products are not cheap and we are more into the gift market and do not what to sell cheap imported products and keep to a niche market.

    Any advice would be great and the more honest the better, as I'm tough skinned.

    Thanks
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 6, 2009
    Posted: Oct 25, 2008 By: jellybabys Member since: Sep 2, 2007
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  2. quikshop

    quikshop UKBF Big Shot Free Member

    3,705 720
    Hi,

    Just a couple of points:

    1. Your home page is very busy, I'd remove some of the text and look to display larger featured product images. Ideally you want a visitors eye to be drawn almost immediately to the featured products and then for them to look around at the navigation and informative text. At the moment I find myself looking at the header area because its the only bit that uses white space to draw attention to its content.

    2. Why force your customers to create an account during checkout? Its obstructive and unnecessary, it forces your customers stop in their tracks and feel obligated to choose between being told to create an account before buying what they want, or go somewhere else which is typically my response.

    Amazon and the likes can get away with it because of the weight of their brand, but its so unnecessary for smaller websites and leaving rather than doing what your told is a more common response than you might think.

    This is the default behaviour with open source software, but there should be an option to allow your customers to purchase as a guest without creating an account.

    3. Drop the Google adwords ads, I see these on an online shop and it tells me a) the owner doesn't have confidence in their business and needs the extra adsense revenue, and b) why on Earth would you advertise competitors on your home page :eek:

    4. I would be tempted to make the writing slightly larger across your shop to cater for people with less than 20:20 vision.


    Having said that there are a lot of really good points about your shop. The freephone number on every page, the GeoTrust accreditation, excellent product images (if a bit too small), good written content and plenty of nice features like product reviews - the fundamentals of your shop are sound.

    One thing it does lack are any reasons to buy from you rather than from your competitors. We have an article here about how to convert eCommerce shop visitors into customers which runs through ways of hooking visitors, hope it helps!
     
    Posted: Oct 25, 2008 By: quikshop Member since: Oct 11, 2006
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  3. mikelaluz

    mikelaluz UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    212 56
    Hi

    Assuming that your landing page is your home page you need to radically alter your copy. Talking about what we do or we are is not what a potential buyer needs to know. The first thing you offer your would be customer is to get their baby to sleep.
    You need a dedicated landing page with plenty of customer benefits and lots of you's, an irresistable offer and call to action

    Also split test landing pages constantly to test the most productive - you will see sales rise.

    Are you investing marketing effort in your customer base? Make sure you keep regular contact with plenty of offers and/or useful related information

    Trust this helps

    Regards

    Mike
     
    Posted: Oct 25, 2008 By: mikelaluz Member since: May 28, 2008
    #3
  4. jellybabys

    jellybabys UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    59 1
    Thank you for you comment, I agree that we should drop the google ads, it was just nice to get the extra pocket money and its become a habit.

    The content on the main page is a problem, I removed it before and was dropped from google, when i replaced it i was listed high again, google likes content on pages, but i could move it lower down the page.

    Im thinking about using magento for the site, they have some great modules, like checkout without account, also i could lose the columns so have the images larger.

    Thank you for your advice, I will take it on board.
     
    Posted: Oct 25, 2008 By: jellybabys Member since: Sep 2, 2007
    #4
  5. jellybabys

    jellybabys UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    59 1
    Thanks Mike,

    We do send out newsletter monthly to every 6 weeks and see a increase in sales, but i hate bombarding them with newsletter so don't do it often.

    "Also split test landing pages constantly to test the most productive - you will see sales rise"

    Im not that good at marketing and so on but I have heard that split test landing pages work, but not sure if I can do that with the shopping cart software I use now, but again with magento I can set as many landing pages as I like.
     
    Posted: Oct 25, 2008 By: jellybabys Member since: Sep 2, 2007
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  6. sysops

    sysops UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    2,923 887
    First, well done on the 2500 uniques a day, that's quite respectable.

    Now for the bad stuff. Your site is weak. Design is poor, the products aren't well presented, and it just isn't designed to sell.

    Being frank, I think the conversion rate you're achieving isn't bad given how poor the site is.

    And what on earth are you doing running adsense on your site?? This says "I'm desperate for the extra few £ a day that the adsense makes me". When was the last time you walked into Mothercare and saw big banners advertising a different shop?? Crazy! You work hard to bring people to your site, then send them away to buy elsewhere!

    Here's what I'd do with the site:

    1. Get rid of the adsense now.

    2. Complete redesign, with a lot of attention to the whole ordering process to make it SELL.
     
    Posted: Oct 25, 2008 By: sysops Member since: Feb 1, 2007
    #6
  7. mikelaluz

    mikelaluz UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    212 56
    Hi
    The important thing about a news letter or any communication is to give quality information / offers. Assuming people are opting in then they always have the option to opt out. If you run a promotion/offer that works on the site it needs communicating to the customer base as they will want to see the offer.

    Split testing you landing page is critical as is testing your adwords ads, get the combinations correct and you will reduce costs (of cpc) and increase traffic and sales.

    If you are not confident with the marketing employ a specialist - they will pay for themselves if they do as I suggest

    Regards

    Mike
     
    Posted: Oct 25, 2008 By: mikelaluz Member since: May 28, 2008
    #7
  8. jellybabys

    jellybabys UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    59 1
    Thank you both.

    The google ads will go.

    Complete redesign is what i was thinking, As i said before I'm going to use magento as they have a great layout and amazing modules, the only problem i have is find a good and reasonable graphic design that can do my images, as I'm rubbish with that side of things.

    I don't do AdWords ads as I'm lucky to be at number one for most of my main keywords in google.co.uk, like baby clothes, baby shoes and so on, so split testing would have to be done daily or weekly to see what page does best.

    "marketing employ a specialist" if anyone could recommend one that can set up split testing that would be great.

    Thanks again :)
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2008
    Posted: Oct 25, 2008 By: jellybabys Member since: Sep 2, 2007
    #8
  9. oldeagleeye

    oldeagleeye UKBF Newcomer Free Member

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    I am going to have to disagree with everyone here where the advice all seems to be about SEO. This is not a question of SEO. 2,500 unique visits a day is great and while the products could be better presented I think all this comes down to price.

    £195 for a canvas wendy house seems way over the top. You can get a more solid plastic all weather activity centre from John Lewis for that and probably Harrods too as these are well know brand names.

    The bottom line is that people will pay for quality but not over the top and not from an unkown web site when they can buy cheaper from a prestigious Knghtsbridge store and get the carrier bag too. Guaranteed next day delivery and if something should go wrong the service is unbeatable.

    Sorry OP - but even at the quality end of the market you still have to be competitive. Rob
     
    Posted: Oct 25, 2008 By: oldeagleeye Member since: Jul 16, 2008
    #9
  10. directmarketingadvice

    directmarketingadvice UKBF Legend Free Member

    10,945 3,530
    I wouldn't be so hasty.

    Unless you've got evidence to the contrary, I think the basic design might be fine.

    (look at your analytics, how are your bounce rates? That will give an indication of how people respond to your site)

    Looking at the homepage, the text is too small and just rambles without really selling the site. Also, "Baby Products with a Difference" doesn't really mean anything.

    You probably need to have some sort of statement that positions the site, but it needs to get the message over succinctly.

    I think the picture of the girl and the radio probably doesn't work.

    If you're going to have a picture of anyone, have a spokesperson for the site.

    (a woman who looks like a mother, modestly attractive, but not a model type)

    And, give that person a name and use the name on the caption.

    Put the photo on the left of the text and put the text in quotes.

    (and make sure the text is how a person would speak, not SEO stuff)

    I think there are some other things that would make a significant difference to conversion.

    e.g. look at the page

    http://www.jellybabys.co.uk/baby-pink-bibs-cup-cake-p-250.html

    The "add to basket" button is camouflaged. Change the look of it and put it next to the products and more people will click on it.

    Once people put things in their baskets, what percentage turn into sales? Of those that drop out, at which stage do they drop out.

    I'd suggest you run a split-test of the page https://www.jellybabys.co.uk/login.php, with the "new customer" section alongside the "registered customer" section.

    (i.e. one on the left, one on the right)

    Also, having reviews of other products on the checkout page is the same as distracting someone as they're trying to give you money.

    It's worth testing to see if the additional product sales you get from that really outweigh the loss of orders.

    Finally, if you're looking to "keep to a niche market", are you actually able to target that market?

    If not, you've got a problem.

    (and that lack of targeting may be a large part of why your conversion rate is so low)

    Hope this helps,

    Steve
     
    Posted: Oct 25, 2008 By: directmarketingadvice Member since: Aug 2, 2005
    #10
  11. sysops

    sysops UKBF Newcomer Free Member

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    I can never understand why people do this. You have a good amount of traffic, yet you will happily waste it by using poor out of the box solutions. You should be looking at building a bespoke solution (or having one built), to allow you to take this business where it should be.

    Each website visitor is worth a certain amount of turnover. In the gift sector, this is around 30p-100p. This means your site should be generating £750 - £2500 of turnover per day. You will only ever achieve this by spending a significant amount of time and money on your site.
     
    Posted: Oct 25, 2008 By: sysops Member since: Feb 1, 2007
    #11
  12. jellybabys

    jellybabys UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    59 1
    Hi Oldeagleeye

    We sell the wendy houses for £165 small and £195 the large, and most if not all shops and online stores that sell them doe so for £195 the small and large £219.00 they are made from one of if not the biggest makers of cloth wendy houses and sellers in the UK and they are our one of our best sellers, mostly we send them to Knghtsbridge, chelsea, and many rich areas, and every christmas the makers sell out and we get a waiting list for them till FEB...

    So to say that the plastic ones are better than the cloth ones I beg to differ.

    We also guaranteed next day delivery by recorded delivery and that's free and if something should go wrong the service is unbeatable as we always get a courier to pick up and replace at the same time the house.

    So the bottom line is I beleive we are competitive in our market..
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2008
    Posted: Oct 25, 2008 By: jellybabys Member since: Sep 2, 2007
    #12
  13. jellybabys

    jellybabys UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    59 1
    Hi

    What you and steve said is a little over my head, Im ok at SEO thats why i get so many visitors but IM pretty useless at marketing, imagine and design IE layout and so on.

    I like the idea of "bespoke solution (or having one built)" but this sounds really expensive.

    You also have to take into account that i still have to work full time to pay the mortgage and bills and till the site really takes off I have very little time.

    Thanks you are both for helping me, I am amazed how much help and how quick it is offered here at uk business forums, much better than most forums that ive used in the past.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2008
    Posted: Oct 25, 2008 By: jellybabys Member since: Sep 2, 2007
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  14. sysops

    sysops UKBF Newcomer Free Member

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    If you tell me which bit, I'd be happy to clarify.


    I think this is the problem. It isn't possible to run this successfully in your spare time. You end up concentrating on just one aspect (the SEO), but leaving the rest of it alone, thereby achieving very poor conversion.

    The way I see this is that either it's a business, and you treat it as such (invest time and money into making it work), or it isn't. If it isn't, you'd be better off selling it to someone who will treat it in that way - this should make you significantly more money than your current sales.
     
    Posted: Oct 25, 2008 By: sysops Member since: Feb 1, 2007
    #14
  15. oldeagleeye

    oldeagleeye UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    3,987 1,220
    Jellybabys.

    You missed the point. You can't compete with Harrods or John Lewis on reputation or a trendy place to shop. Your level pegging on quality so you can't compete there. It has to be on price then.

    That dosen't mean that you have to lower standards by discounting but you know what kids are like. Little Sarah may want a wendy house for her birthday but the parents will buy little Tommy something too. Throwing in a freebie or 10% off a 2nd purchase could work wonders - expecially with Christmas coming up and families hard pushed. Rob
     
    Posted: Oct 25, 2008 By: oldeagleeye Member since: Jul 16, 2008
    #15
  16. jellybabys

    jellybabys UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    59 1
    I am serious about getting the site up and running and Im also prepared to spend (If I will see a return) what is needed, but I have not got buckets off money :(

    We was offered £135k for the site about 18mts ago we also had many others intrested in buying the business but was advised by a business man and an accountant to keep the business going as it could be worth a lot more than that in the future and we needed to get our account upto date and running longer, but now I'm struggling to find time but I'm also prepared to do what is necessary to make it work.

    Thanks again
     
    Posted: Oct 25, 2008 By: jellybabys Member since: Sep 2, 2007
    #16
  17. jellybabys

    jellybabys UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    59 1
    Thanks Rob,

    Good advice... :)
     
    Posted: Oct 25, 2008 By: jellybabys Member since: Sep 2, 2007
    #17
  18. sysops

    sysops UKBF Newcomer Free Member

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    Works both ways. Yes, you could make it worth more by growing it, but only by putting in a lot of work and money.

    £135k for a 12-18 month old site (as it would have been back then) generating so few sales is frankly silly. Either it wasn't a serious offer, or it was made by someone with little understanding of online retail.
     
    Posted: Oct 25, 2008 By: sysops Member since: Feb 1, 2007
    #18
  19. jellybabys

    jellybabys UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    59 1
    I guess the selling point was we took 125k in our first year of trading and being at number one for so many keywords and getting 70-80k visitors a month make the site worth a lot more, what we have been told is a lot of companies pay a lot to google and so on to get there.

    We had 7 people that was interested in buying the site and when we took it off the market they all asked us to email them if it ever came back on.

    When you say a lot what would that be?
     
    Posted: Oct 25, 2008 By: jellybabys Member since: Sep 2, 2007
    #19
  20. sysops

    sysops UKBF Newcomer Free Member

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    There's no doubt that a site with a reasonable level of traffic is worth something, I was only really questioning the valuation.


    It's difficult for me to give an accurate figure because we do our development in-house, but perhaps £10-£20k for a new, well designed site?
     
    Posted: Oct 25, 2008 By: sysops Member since: Feb 1, 2007
    #20
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