Home – New Forums Selling online Great fun products, one slight problem.

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  • #987524
    Ken Lee
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    Good Morning,

    After lots of searching I finally decided on a niche that suited me. I started selling Pop Culture items and collectables, you can see my site here: http://goo.gl/HfH2RV

    I added it as a google shortened URL so this post does not show up in search :)

    I am really happy working in this space, it is a great fun space to be in. I am really working hard on building a facebook community which is going well but slowly. The thing here is that I only want people liking my FB page that are interested in what I do.

    Anyway, I have been going along ok, selling on Ebay and via Gumtree, I have had my site up for nearly 3 months with Shopify and have received only 1 sale, and that was from a colleague, who wanted something and I wanted to test the cart function.

    Now, I am starting to get traffic to the site and this is mostly from Facebook, hardly any useful traffic comes my way from Google or Bing although I have webmaster for both search engines and Google Analytics set.

    I also use Youtube to provide more visibility in search, this works well. I post a short video to all my products with a link back to it, they get views!

    My SEO checks in Shopify show things as perfect!

    I do understand that SEO takes time but I am starting to get a little frustrated and thinking of switching to Word Press where I had success with a blog previously.

    I guess my question is what do you guys and girls think of my predicament, should I stay my current course or jump ship.

    Is there anything else I can do to improve Organic traffic to my site?

    Thanks,

    Ken.

    #1163173
    Greg_M
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    I don’t see how a change of platform can fix/change anything.

    There’s nothing magic about WordPress, or Shopify. They both have proven track records, I’d be looking at the site itself.

    I did check the site out, and just a couple of observations (from a purely personal perspective) … your slider sucks, I find sliders pretty useless anyway, but the images in yours seem to be irregular sizes that cause the page to jump around as it loads, very distracting. The other one is that there’s almost no “indexable” content on your homepage, images rule.

    I’m sure there’ll be plenty of experts that’ll give you their input on conversions and traffic, so I’ll leave it to them.

    Liked your stuff by the way, and nice to see someone that enjoys their products and has some passion for it.

    Hope it continues to grow and succeed.

    Cheers

    #1163174
    Ken Lee
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    • Total posts: 28
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    Thanks for your feedback, appreciate that. I will look at getting rid of the sliders. I guess I really relied on them earlier before I had a lot of products to showcase, of course now I do have enough.

    When you talk about indexable content on the front page, I have all of my products listed there. Perhaps you lost sight of them because of the sliders so a fair point there. :)

    Anyway, will get rid of those sliders now.

    Now, how to get more organic search traffic.

    Ken.

    #1163175
    Greg_M
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    My observation on content was taken from viewing your source code.

    Search engines primarily index text when they crawl your site, your homepage is basically just images, links and titles.

    Fine visually, but no info for much in the way of indexing … once you get to the individual products, no problem, there seemed to be plenty of original copy to feed the site crawlers.

    This is part of my issue with sliders generally, they look cool and disseminate info well visually but you need a human to read them, Google can’t, or certainly not easily.

    My perspective tends to be technical, and perhaps a tad irrelevant from a conversion and sales perspective …

    Cheers

    #1163176
    Ken Lee
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    estim8, post: 188687 wrote:
    My observation on content was taken from viewing your source code.

    Search engines primarily index text when they crawl your site, your homepage is basically just images, links and titles.

    Fine visually, but no info for much in the way of indexing … once you get to the individual products, no problem, there seemed to be plenty of original copy to feed the site crawlers.

    This is part of my issue with sliders generally, they look cool and disseminate info well visually but you need a human to read them, Google can’t, or certainly not easily.

    My perspective tends to be technical, and perhaps a tad irrelevant from a conversion and sales perspective …

    Cheers
    Great point that you bring up. Google do say that you should design your site for humans and not SEO. But, this really does not work does it. Do not know how to change my front page really as this is hard wired through Shopify.

    Will check it out though.

    Thanks again for your responses estim8.

    #1163177
    Greg_M
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    I’d be inclined to explore the Shopify possibilities a little further, I’ve seen some fabulous sites done with it.

    I have checked out some of their developer API’s and doc’s but I haven’t used their admin/site builder interface, so can’t offer any tips there.

    I reckon any template/framework/platform is never as simple as filling in the default layouts.

    There’s some very experienced online sellers here that will hopefully offer better info … all the best help I’ve seen offered here, tends to be platform agnostic (apart from the basics) and more about the actual site content, layout and conversion tactics …

    Good luck with it.

    #1163178
    LucasArthur
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    Howdy Ken

    Hope you are well…

    May i just say that i think you have some great products, something that interests you and interests others.. They tend to have a low entry point (retail price makes for great gifts etc) and good quality products. I have worked within the collectable niche for some time (not my main business) and there are a few things that need to be raised re selling online of this type of product and directly through your own web site..

    1. eBay is the KEY market, unfortunately, for collectables of ALL SORTS including what you are doing and as a result most people rarely search outside of eBay for these sorts of goods (unless they have reason to such as previous client/relationships etc) and as a result it becomes an extremely competitive environment as you are competing on price (including freight) alongside other big sellers…

    2. to get a following with collectables takes time, more than 3 months, of repeat clients and new products coming out.. Reason this is, even though the price barrier is small to buy your goods most collectors spend their ‘spare’ money on these items as they can or as their partners permit :D

    3. What makes you different? or what is your story?

    The 3 things above can be worked with, such as:
    1 (possible response)… use ebay as a loss leader or a way to get your name out there.. Use your email address (as it has your domain) in EVERYTHING you send out to people so they know you have a web site and will naturally drop across if they like you.

    2 (possible response): when they buy something, send them a loyalty (especially ebay buyers) card with say 5% discount if buy directly (dont word like that though).. and market on FB, YouTUbe, Your web Site, Twitter, Newsletters to past clients, and so forth..

    3. Why buy from you… you have not given much of a blurb, get personal on your web site as collectors LOVE TO KNOW you collect and that this is your passion.. Maybe you can offer a sourcing service (dont see what you want, let us know we may have it hidden cos we dont really want to sell it.. but…. )

    Personally, the years i have done collectables (some 20+ now) my best customers online come from people i met offline at trade fairs, swaps and interest groups who have not only become awesome clients but great friends and contacts… Do you attend fairs? swap meets and the likes? what do you do to market your online presence when there?

    Really though, 3 months isnt long to get history and traffic flow to your site.. What is your sales like on eBay? can you convert them to direct? not sure about gumtree, i am overly cautious on this front… But i honestly feel eBay will be your main point of sale in this type of business and a few come through the rear with your shopify solution… :( sorry to say…

    My suggestion would be to investigate the best ways to keep your ebay fees down with opening a store and the likes that give you better final fees on sales etc in order to reduce this aspect of the business..

    I know i have not really answered your question, although i think you need to flip this around a little and work on the strengths of the business model you have entered and understand where most sales would potentially come from and THEN work on a strategy to try and convert some of those sales to your web site – rather than asking, why isnt my site selling etc etc.

    Good luck mate..

    Jason

    ps.. also, i would try and have your contact number up the top of the web site BOLD and PROUD.. would also have on your site somewhere a PO BOX in QLD so people know you are local Aussie rather than a suburbless web site as you are at the moment :)

    Jason Ramage | Lucas Arthur Pty Ltd | E: [email protected]   P: 61 3 8324 0344    M: 61 412 244 888
    #1163179
    Ken Lee
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    • Total posts: 28
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    Thanks for the post Jason.

    I agree, ebay is the big saviour for me. I made the decision before I started that I would use ebay to support my business until the site could support itself.

    I seem to go ok on ebay, I am very fast with my shipping, I think my products are well priced and I try to use product titles and descriptions that find the right people. The big lift I get is from including my youtube links for each product so people can actually see them in video. I think that makes a difference.

    My sales from ebay can be 5 in 10 minutes through to 2 in 4 days. There is no rhyme or reason to it so I just keep plugging away and work hard to get 100% positive feedback which I have so far.

    What makes me different, my customer service. I respond to people immediately and try to do the best for each customer. For example, I sold some yo-yo strings to two different customers, accidently had them down for $7 shipping when all I needed to do was ship via envelope.

    Mind you the customers purchased the strings knowing that they were paying for shipping but I did not feel right about it.

    Once I realised the mistake, I refunded each customer $5. I will most likely never bump into these customers again, but I want to do right be each and every one of them. These little 1%’ers will make a difference if I continue to do them over and over again.

    I do tend to send out a thankyou letter to each ebayer that purchases from me thanking them, telling them about my site and FB page. Good idea regarding the 5% discount, will add that too.

    I have started attending fairs, my first was the SuperNova no the GC. I have also joined a forum where a lot of the guys and girls hang out and are heavily involved in the comic world and SuperNova and Comicon so I hope to make some pals there. I do not want to remain hidden behind my web identity.

    Perhaps when I get bigger I may open a small physical store, obviously that will come when the business can support me not the other way around.

    I have had some sales from GumTree, have met a few customers face to face which has been great. It has taught me that my customers come from demographics that you would not normally associate with this sort of stuff. A big eye opener and it is always good to see their faces when they pick up their purchase. They all light up.

    I really appreciate your comments Jason, they have helped me. Perhaps they have made me think I am on the right course and to continue on with what I am doing.

    I am always looking at different angles on how to build, gain attention and visitors which I think is the way to go.

    For instance, I have just realised that you can good traffic by using hash tags in FB at the right time. For instance, jumping on the back of Game of Thrones got my posts 1000’s of views and also decent traffic to my site. The only down side, no sales and a lot of visitors were not Australian.

    Anyway, I am rambling now 

    Ken.

    #1163180
    KidsActivitiesDelivered
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    • Total posts: 50
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    I’ve actually got nothing to add except that I love your products and have bookmarked for future gift ideas :)

    Edited to add: If you get any Wonder Woman stuff especially for kids (clothing etc) let me know, they are hard to get here and my girl loves superhero stuff…hard to find anything but darn princesses nowadays!

    #1163181
    Ken Lee
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    KidsActivitiesDelivered, post: 188707 wrote:
    I’ve actually got nothing to add except that I love your products and have bookmarked for future gift ideas :)

    Edited to add: If you get any Wonder Woman stuff especially for kids (clothing etc) let me know, they are hard to get here and my girl loves superhero stuff…hard to find anything but darn princesses nowadays!

    Hey Sarah,

    Thanks for your kind words, was that you commenting on my FB page? :)

    I do like to post the odd picture/art of WonderWoman on there, she is my favorite female SuperHero.

    I will like to get some costumes etc, will certainly start looking at sourcing them. After all, not every girl wants to be a princess!

    Ken.

    #1163182
    Ken Lee
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    • Total posts: 28
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    One more thing I will start doing ASAP is getting my G+ page going. Check out this link http://moz.com/blog/google-plus-correlations

    Interesting.

    #1163183
    Ben_Oz
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    • Total posts: 24
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    On the topic of Shopify, you can actually do a lot with it with very little coding/design experience. We’ve been using it for a year now and are very happy. Apart from the logo, I’ve done the site myself from just purchasing a template and editing the HTML/CSS (which I’ve just learnt the basics along the way).

    As for SEO, a year later and after working with 2 SEO companies, we’re still struggling. It’s a really difficult thing to get right for a small e-commerce business! Shopify isn’t to blame though, for the products we have good descriptions for we actually rank quite highly in Google.

    #1163184
    Ken Lee
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    I do agree, have delved into the theme file and messed around here and there. In fact my next job in there is to turn some stuff upside down so I will see how that goes.

    Quite simply though, running an online store is 100% marketing, marketing via SEO, Social Media and any other means you can.

    If you can market you can sell.

    (An update on how things are going.)

    On that subject, I had my first non-friend sale on my site, very very happy with that. It is a big milestone, a lot of work has gone into that 1 sale. Now to set my sights on the next sale then the next etc.

    I also mentioned earlier that I would get my links onto G+, I did this and have noticed an improvement in search queries hitting my site. I do not know if it is because of G+ or just a coincidence but I will continue working with that platform as well as FB, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

    I actually got my site verified for Google Places and it did not work out as I thought it would. As I already had my page set up with posts, circles etc I got a brand new G+ page.

    Now, I do not really want to start again, it is impossible to move everything from one G+ page to another so I think I will scrap the verified page with the Places listing. I do not think that this will add too much value really, G+ is at the moment more for SEO.

    Am just about in a position to order my 3rd lot of stock, funds completely provided by sales which is how I want things to run. Just like a giant snowball rolling down a hill. :)

    Anyway, that is my update. All moving ahead slowly but surely.

    #1163185
    Enviro Footprint
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    G’day Bruce

    I didn’t know Bam Kapow was your business… I’ve been following it on facebook…

    I will step things up a bit for you…

    Steve Brooks…

    #1163186
    Ken Lee
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    Enviro Footprint, post: 192066 wrote:
    G’day Bruce

    I didn’t know Bam Kapow was your business… I’ve been following it on facebook…

    I will step things up a bit for you…

    Steve Brooks…

    Sure is, how funny is that eh?

    Been loads of work put in so far. Re-design of the website completely and getting some banners made up in preparation for jumping into the Cararra markets.

    Great fun though, think I picked a pretty enjoyable niche to work in with an endless supply of stock and potential customers.

    Cheers.

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