Looking for constructive criticism

Discussion in 'Ecommerce Forum' started by Zodge302, Feb 23, 2019.

  1. Zodge302

    Zodge302 UKBF Newcomer Full Member

    21 2
    Hello everyone. I could explain in length my current situation, but that would go on for too long so I'll try and keep it short and bullet pointed.

    • I started my business at the beginning of January 2019.
    • I am an Artist who is trying to sell products with my watercolour design on them (currently using print on demand services for this as a low risk way to test the water).
    • I have a paid Wordpress site and I am using Woocommerce. I also sell on Etsy but I'm thinking of closing my account soon.
    • I have set up my own Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram & Twitter pages (most of my likes and follows coming from Instagram).
    • I have very recently sent a couple of products to 'influencers' with 4k followers who are in the middle of making a post so they are yet to show their worth.
    • I have ran a couple of targeted ads on Facebook linking to particular 'ranges'.
    • I am running a 10% off offer at the moment.

    I have only sold 4 products on Etsy and NO sales at all on my site.

    Using Google Analytics I see that most people go to my 'home' page, go to the 'shop' page and then leave.

    One thing I do want to mention before going any further is, I am aware that my items may seem a little pricey, unfortunately this is the absolute lowest I can go as the item as standard from the dropshippers is already quite high. I have set the retail price so that after fees etc I make about £1 per item! I would love to buy in bulk but without the funds and without proof that they are selling, I am unwilling to do that at the moment.

    I would like some constructive criticism of my website because as nice as it is to hear family and friends say "Oh aren't you clever?" "Oh your website looks amazing" I understand that this is a biased view and isn't helping me to move forward.

    IF there isn't much wrong with my site, then any insight into what I may be doing wrong is much appreciated.

    Also if I am simply being too impatient (highly likely) just tell me :D

    I haven't posted 30 posts yet so I am unable to post links but if you search for ,<removed>
    Thank you in advance.

    Zoe
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 23, 2019
    Posted: Feb 23, 2019 By: Zodge302 Member since: Sep 3, 2013
    #1
  2. Newchodge

    Newchodge UKBF Big Shot Free Member

    11,342 2,912
    Website reviews are only available to full members, I'm afraid.
     
    Posted: Feb 23, 2019 By: Newchodge Member since: Nov 8, 2012
    #2
  3. kulture

    kulture UKBF Legend Staff Member

    7,766 2,113
    Irrespective of what your site looks like, you are being far too impatient. It takes a lot longer than 6 weeks to get established.

    I am sorry, I have had to remove web site links and reviews. They are not permitted here.
     
    Posted: Feb 23, 2019 By: kulture Member since: Aug 11, 2007
    #3
  4. fisicx

    fisicx It's Major Clanger! Staff Member

    29,826 8,772
    So...

    What makes you any different to the thousands of other Artists also selling their products?
     
    Posted: Feb 23, 2019 By: fisicx Member since: Sep 12, 2006
    #4
  5. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

    12,557 1,342
    If you are selling stuff that flies out the door and doesn't take much time to put for sale and it costs you less than a pound to buy and do then a pound an item profit can work.
    Doing it for art? Not a great idea.

    You can be too cheap.

    Price well and you can then do a deal as necessary or for particular time of year / particular items.
    A café I occasionally use displays art on one of its walls by a local artist - £60 to £240 or so. I've no idea how quickly it sells, if I had the spare cash I'd buy some of what they have for sale.
     
    Posted: Feb 23, 2019 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
    #5
  6. fisicx

    fisicx It's Major Clanger! Staff Member

    29,826 8,772
    There are a few places round here do the same. I was taking to one of the artists and she said it's very lucrative - not so much the art on display but all the commissions she gets.

    PS @Zodge302 - I saw your site before the link was removed and your whole approach to marketing is wrong. Join UKBF as a full member to get the site reviewed.
     
    Posted: Feb 23, 2019 By: fisicx Member since: Sep 12, 2006
    #6
  7. Zodge302

    Zodge302 UKBF Newcomer Full Member

    21 2
    Hi everyone, I've now signed up as a full member.

    Still not letting me post a link until 30 posts :(

    Thank you for all your feedback so far.

    @fisicx please could you elaborate?
     
    Posted: Feb 23, 2019 By: Zodge302 Member since: Sep 3, 2013
    #7
  8. fisicx

    fisicx It's Major Clanger! Staff Member

    29,826 8,772
    People don't care about you. They don't want your artworks they want cushions, coasters and lifestyle items.

    They want to see a range of the cushions they can choose from. There are hundreds of websites where they can do this. Many of these offer next day delivery. This is where you need to get your products listed.

    A woo-commerce site for a limited range of products from an unknown artist is never going to work.
     
    Posted: Feb 23, 2019 By: fisicx Member since: Sep 12, 2006
    #8
  9. evhow90

    evhow90 UKBF Contributor Free Member

    27 3
    Hi Zoe, I can't see your business name as it was removed but I'd love to see your items, I am sure they are lovely, are you able to post the name yet?
     
    Posted: Mar 3, 2019 By: evhow90 Member since: Mar 3, 2019
    #9
  10. Darren_Ssc

    Darren_Ssc UKBF Contributor Free Member

    67 10
    Art isn't something people buy compulsively. Speaking from experience, I was looking at framed prints on the John Lewis site a couple of months ago - I have no intention of buying anything until I move again, which may be another year.

    It isn't an area where I have much expertise (no surprises there) but I'd be willing to bet that anybody who's selling such stuff online successfully has been around a long, long time?

    Since you say you have a few sales on etsy so far, this a start at least and maybe you should just try and grow organically for a while and, maybe, try a few other similar platforms?
     
    Posted: Mar 3, 2019 By: Darren_Ssc Member since: Mar 1, 2019
    #10
  11. MBE2017

    MBE2017 UKBF Enthusiast Free Member

    585 130
    I think one of your major problems is your own viewpoint of your arts value. You will never make a living making a £1 per item.

    I have bought art, limited prints etc, and the cost is not the major concern. A visitor was looking at a village cricket match warecolour I bought 30 years ago for £65, I never thought about the price since buying the picture. In today’s money it probably equates to approx £200.

    Art buyers will be put off if the cost is too low, research your market re price more.
     
    Posted: Mar 3, 2019 By: MBE2017 Member since: Feb 16, 2017
    #11
  12. Zodge302

    Zodge302 UKBF Newcomer Full Member

    21 2
    Hi, this has moved over to the members section since I joined. My business name is Carder & Mason
     
    Posted: Mar 3, 2019 By: Zodge302 Member since: Sep 3, 2013
    #12
  13. Inva

    Inva UKBF Regular Free Member

    289 42
    To expand on what MBE2017 said above, i don't think that a low price is necessarily a turnoff if the piece is good, but i think it's very hard to increase price, once a price has been established. If you are making £1 now, if you'd like to make £30 in the future, this might seem like a 500% price hike to your buyers and that could put off a lot more people.
     
    Posted: Mar 4, 2019 By: Inva Member since: Aug 10, 2018
    #13
  14. Inva

    Inva UKBF Regular Free Member

    289 42
    Don't you think that "in your face" popup first thing upon visit is a bit annoying?
     
    Posted: Mar 4, 2019 By: Inva Member since: Aug 10, 2018
    #14
  15. Newchodge

    Newchodge UKBF Big Shot Free Member

    11,342 2,912
    It is not annoying first thing upon visit. It is infuriating when it reappears EVERY time you change page.
     
    Posted: Mar 4, 2019 By: Newchodge Member since: Nov 8, 2012
    #15
  16. Paul Norman

    Paul Norman UKBF Ace Free Member

    2,386 728
    6 weeks in is, however, very early indeed.

    To get meaningful traffic volumes across a site like yours - even if everything is brilliant about it - is going to take a lot of effort, time, and money. If there is less money, it will require more time and effort.

    But that margin. £1 an item. That needs a serious health warning. A couple of credit card kick backs and a return and you are leaking cash, even once you get sales going.

    In the early days of our ecommerce business we were in the same situation. We worked really hard at local stuff initially, to build up at least some sales. And we found - as others are saying - that we had to rethink our range before we started to get traction. I had to increase the stock by 70 lines. I think that now, 12 years on, that would need to be doubled, at least.
     
    Posted: Mar 4, 2019 By: Paul Norman Member since: Apr 8, 2010
    #16
  17. DontAsk

    DontAsk UKBF Ace Free Member

    1,047 139
    Seems to be fixed now. Only the very first visit on Chrome.

    +1 for the responsiveness to criticism :)
     
    Posted: Mar 5, 2019 By: DontAsk Member since: Jan 7, 2015
    #17
  18. serendipitybusiness

    serendipitybusiness UKBF Enthusiast Free Member

    976 174
    As others have said this is a tiny amount of time to be down hearted because sales aren’t rolling in, you will need to adjust your expectations a lot, etsy like any other marketplace have an algorithm that doesn't help new sellers, nor does a website just jump to number one for your chosen phrases. You have to work at it and be patient.

    However, saying this, your margin is way, way too low to make this viable. Your repeat business will be low too. A few lost products or returns and you are in the red. You have no margin for customer acquisition or great customer service which puts you in a very difficult position with a VERY slow build that will in the end, not be worth it. You need to rethink your whole process.

    PS if you did have a pop up then that may well explain your bounce rate. Users don't like them, I am not seeing one now so I guess you have fixed it.
     
    Posted: Mar 6, 2019 By: serendipitybusiness Member since: Jun 27, 2008
    #18
  19. Zodge302

    Zodge302 UKBF Newcomer Full Member

    21 2
    Hi everyone, I've not been ignoring you I've just stopped getting notified of new replies for some reason! Yeah the pop up went before I even read that comment to be honest, it's now in the sidebar instead.

    I have ZERO start up funds at all, hence why I have to use print on demand companies (I don't buy the products at all, I just design the product, set the rrp and get the difference once one sells) and therefore have a very low profit margin because the inital cost of the product is so high to begin with. For example the print on demand company will take £6 of the sale of an £8 mug!

    I am willing to spend more money on this in the future, once it seems like a bit less of a risk. But as of now... I still haven't made a sale so not looking to buy a load of stock just yet! It's going to take a lot longer than once thought. I am a bit surprised I've not had a single sale yet though so still scratching my head.
     
    Posted: Mar 8, 2019 By: Zodge302 Member since: Sep 3, 2013
    #19
  20. Zodge302

    Zodge302 UKBF Newcomer Full Member

    21 2
    Just to add, I have been spending small amounts on social media promotional posts (I've spend £50 in the last month on targeted ads etc). I have been posting frequently on instagram, twitter and facebook and have been getting a lot of likes and follows on Instagram in particular, but none resulting in a sale.
     
    Posted: Mar 8, 2019 By: Zodge302 Member since: Sep 3, 2013
    #20