Home Forums Tell me straight… Feedback on New eCommerce Service

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    • Total posts: 5

    Hi all,

    This is my first post, though I’ve been visiting the forum for years.

    I’m looking to launch a new ecommerce service to help store owners with their product description writing and photo editing. My target market is small to medium sized ecommerce store owners who understand the importance of a good product listing, but don’t have time to do it themselves.

    Here is the current website: http://www.ecomchief.com

    I’d really appreciate any feedback you may have on the following:

    1. Is this service useful and of value to you as an online store owner?
    2. Are the packages priced appropriately?

    Thanks in advance!

    • Total posts: 3,184


    Really interesting idea.

    Having built a lot of eCom sites, this is needed.

    i need to question the pricing. I cannot see being able to suggest your service when it costs $899 for 20 products. For 200 product? $8,999? Most of our clients have a min of 500 products.

    Apart from that, the site is solid. I would really look at getting some case studies, as it’s a service that many people will poo poo until you can prove you can get results.

    Well done though, it’s a really interesting idea and I hope it takes off!

    • Total posts: 5

    [USER=3997]@MatthewKeath[/USER] – Thanks heaps for your feedback and encouragement.

    Based on your experience with the eCom sites you’ve built, what do you think would be a more ‘realistic’ pricing structure for this service?

    Obviously, I’d need to look at my costs, but it’d be great to have some baselines on what the market could bear.

    And I definitely agree with needing to add some testimonials and case studies for social proof.

    • Total posts: 4,485

    Just to pickup on Mathews comments, I currently have 95 products listed, so I think that works out to roughly $40.00 per item for the description, each product has a minimum of 2 photo’s ($8 each), so approximately $56.00 per product, so well over $5000.00 (all rough calculations). That is a lot of widgets I need to sell, just to pay for your services.

    I think the idea is very good, because I for one am shocking at getting those things looking good. But I wonder if the market can handle the price, and if you were to make it much cheaper if you could make a profit.

    • Total posts: 842

    I actually don’t think the price is too bad. I have a few clients who’ll concentrate on 30-50 products out of 1,000’s, which are products they know have high returns.
    They might spend several hours on each of those products to make them ‘just right’, so $45 per product is actually much cheaper. Especially if it means original copy, images and a good looking product page.

    My concern would be how different those 30-50 products would look from the rest of the site if they used your service on just those high-return products.

    I think your issue is going to be the gut reaction to the price, it initially looks expensive if you multiple the price by the number of products in a typical store.

    • Total posts: 5

    Thanks heaps for your comments [USER=53375]@bb1[/USER] and [USER=20554]@JohnTranter[/USER]

    Bert – I agree that when you do the math to work out the total cost, it can be a pretty big number. And as John mentioned, my ‘assumption’ was that you wouldn’t necessarily do it for all your products, but rather the biggest traffic or ones you see that you think will give you the best ROI.

    Looks like I need to review my pricing (and costs) to see if I can make it look ‘less scary’ to a store owner with hundreds of products.

    • Total posts: 4,485

    I was thinking I could just do a subset of products, but than I started thinking which ones, which ok I know which are my best sellers, so tackle them first, because I know they are going to remain on my inventory, so worth spending the money. But I suppose where my concern than comes, is someone looking at my whole suite of products see’s some with high quality, and some with my own dodgy description, etc.

    Don’t get me wrong I think it is a great idea, and would consider using it, but just thinking out aloud for a lot of small business’s, it is a hit, when you consider all the other expenses. But I would put this requirement ahead of some of the other options put forward.

    • Total posts: 414

    I love the idea, product photography is one of those things that most startup businesses just don’t get..

    You’ve said ‘small to medium ecommerce businesses’. How are you categorising that?

    Because I work in the industry and see all the terrible things that businesses go through from outsourcing I started my own business consulting to startups and building websites etc, that can include product photography.

    The thing is, these businesses that need the services can’t afford it so I almost give away my time and services (the warm fuzzies I get make up for it and most of the work I do sitting on the couch with the TV on in the background)

    As an example, I helped a business get started from the very start (to the point where I even helped them register their business name, we’re talking that granular!), built their website, photographed over 100 products. The product photography included 2-4 photos of each item, cropped, colour balanced, transparent background and we only charged $400 for that component because they literally couldn’t afford anything else.

    You just couldn’t charge that and still make a main salary though (unless you were doing it automatically using something like – http://orbitvu.com/alphashot-micro)

    I guess what I was trying to get to was that maybe you need to rethink your target market from small-medium ecommerce… I just don’t see how a small ecom business turning over less than say $300,000 or so could afford you.


    Edit: I just read your “About Us” section… No offence but you’re not really selling your expertise in the area to me, the whole thing reads like “We really struggle to edit photos and write descriptions, if you do to outsource it to us”. I think a little poetic license could be used here… Don’t talk about your struggle, talk about the struggle in general.

    • Total posts: 5
    bb1, post: 221169, member: 53375 wrote:
    But I would put this requirement ahead of some of the other options put forward.
    [USER=53375]@bb1[/USER] – When you say “put this requirement ahead of some of the other options put forward”, do you mean improving your product page is a higher priority than some of the other activities you could do for your online store?

    Hatching_It, post: 221176, member: 53049 wrote:
    You’ve said ‘small to medium ecommerce businesses’. How are you categorising that?
    Thanks for your feedback Maclean!

    I was categorising small to medium as store owners with 50 to a few hundred products. I didn’t want the really small guys who are new and I’m assuming the larger stores would have their own staff to do this type of work.

    Thanks also for your suggestion on the About Us page. That Alphashot Micro looks really cool though I’m sure it’d set you back a bit.

    • Total posts: 2,642

    Hi Andy,
    Folk have already commented on the cost of this service when applied to large numbers of products.

    I wonder whether your service could be modified to address different copywriting issues needed by small businesses?

    I’m a great admirer of good web wordsmiths as it is a unique craft with few skilled artisans, it seems to me.

    Two possible problems for you to consider:

    • Business owners do not recognise the value of web page copy
    • You may be targeting the wrong page types

    1. Business owners do not recognise the value of web page copy
    It seems everyone thinks they can write copy. Or, so many e-com site owners think so little of the product page words that they simply copy/paste them from a manufacturer’s site.

    How can you side-step this objection?

    You could target a different type of web page whose content can’t be copy/pasted.

    The problem with a product page is that it rarely generates many SE referrals. The reason is that few people search for a specific product name and if they do, a small business web site page can rarely rank well in the results when all it has going for it is the page copy.

    2. You may be targeting the wrong page types
    It is not individual product pages that typically show up in these search results it is “index” pages that list a swag of relevant products offered by the e-com site. Try some searches along these lines and you should be hard pressed to find individual product pages ranking top 10.

    It is not always a simple product category/sub-category search that may result in optimal orders for clients, sometimes it is targeting even more specific search terms.

    Eg. The inclusion of:

    • Location words
    • Incentive words like: “free shipping”
    • Purchase intent words like: “best”, “cheapest”, “reviews”, “suplier”, etc

    Another important group of pages may be product applications and user types.

    I just reviewed a client’s site that nearly tripled its traffic and enquiries in one year based on implementing an “applications” and “user industry” content strategy. He only wrote around 6 pages of copy to achieve these results.

    If I can suggest:

    • it is a tightly focussed audience you need to target with your copy
    • avoid the mass audiences targeted by the 450kg competing gorillas for your small business clients
    • consider the types of search results pages you need to target

    You should end up with a much smaller number of pages with a higher conversion value that you write but which generate a lot more referrals than simply writing copy for individual product page copy.

    Delighted to chat with you if you want to explore these issues.

    • Total posts: 5

    Thanks [USER=6375]@JohnW[/USER] for your detailed reply.

    I’m currently re-evaluating the service offering based on the feedback received in this thread and from other people I have spoken to. I appreciate you taking the time to provide your feedback.

    • Total posts: 259

    I read this thread the other day, and just stumbled upon it again and thought of a solution to your pricing issues.

    The problem isn’t with your prices, it’s with how you present your services.

    You should market your service as a kind of special attention a store owner might give to their most important products. As opposed to every product.

    “Give your top products the tools to go the distance” that kind of thing

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