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  • #1030508
    mexham
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    Hi Karen,

    Cool looking product and site you have there.

    I understand your frustration, there seems to be a bit of a common misconception that by just having a website you will get sales. It’s a huge job in itself just getting people to your site, especially initially.

    Do you have a marketing plan specified to online and offline marketing? Get a good plan sorted and stick to it. It can take a while but once you start increasing your web traffic and word or mouth spreads things should get easier.

    Find all the places on the web where mums hang out, facebook, mothers sites etc. Any prominent blogs, that could promote your products or run a competition for you? Be wary of paying for online directories and advertising until you are certain it works though. I imagine the baby market is huge which is great, but also I imagine competition is huge also! So finding your niche and allowing people to find you amongst all the million other baby products will always be a bit of a challenge I imagine.

    Trying to sell to retail and online is a big job if you are doing both yourself. Maybe you should just focus on building up one side of the business first. Say the online side, then when that is ticking along get onto the retail side.

    Get some testimonials and feedback on the page from previous customers. Then just a few other simple things like including your web site address on everything! Your email signature, your forum signature here. Get it out there as much as you can. Can you get your web address embroidered onto the bags even? So it is advertising for you when out and about and amongst your target market.

    Maybe a referral system could work. Give something away in return for referred sales.

    I see you have google analytics setup, this is very useful for tracking your webtraffic. Check this regular to see from where and how your visitors are getting to your site.

    I hope things pickup for you. Don’t get disheartened. I’m sure there is huge scope to grow but it may just require even more work.

    Good luck,
    Mike

    #1030509
    mexham
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    Just quickly one other thing. I tried adding the item to the cart, and then noticed the price went up to $74.95. $10 For shipping. I think you should display the shipping price somewhere on the site or include it in the total price. From the price you see on the site it is an extra 15% you weren’t expecting to pay.

    #1030510
    Martine
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    • Total posts: 18
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    In relation to what Mike said (good advice by the way), there is a really well known baby and mothers’ site with forums. A friend of mine used to use it. http://www.essentialbaby.com.au seems to be quite popular. You could post in the forums and check out advertising rates.

    #1030511
    karenrice
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    • Total posts: 16
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    Hi Everyone

    Thank you so very very much for taking time out of your valuable day to help, I have read all the useful advice and will be putting some of it in place in the future.

    Good luck to you all.

    Karen

    #1030512
    Tristan Boyd
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    • Total posts: 55
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    Hi Karen,

    Great product, priced well.

    I think the challenge is building awareness.

    Offline I think you need to get out to stores, markets, and build alliances with people who can get your product out in front of the people. Perhaps you can organise demonstrations for local mothers groups, or get a stall in a few baby expos.

    Online, I think the best bet is to get some affiliates selling your product on other websites. For example, find a popular shopping cart that already has a lot of visitors and make a deal to get them to sell your product on commission.

    You should also be posting message on forums, blogs and anywhere else on line where you can talk about your product with links to your site. Perhaps you can get some baby product sites to write some reviews. I am sure that just posting your question on this forum will generate a nice spike in your statistics, but you need to do it regularly, and in the right websites.

    PM me if you would like me to send you some contacts in your industry. We have a lot of customers selling baby related products online. Maybe you could find some help from one of them.

    #1030513
    Anonymous
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    Hi gang,
    Just a quick note to say thank you to you all for all these ideas and suggestions you’ve given Karen. I know she’s already said thanks (Thanks Karen!), but we just want to let you know how much we appreciate the support you offer to others in the community.

    Your generosity makes our day!

    Jayne and the FS Crew

    #1030514
    wordmistress
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    Hi Karen

    You’ve come to the right place for advice, that’s for sure! Everyone here has already been so helpful, and no doubt, more advice will be forthcoming.

    Ok, onto my two cents worth. Bear with me, I have alot to say (as usual lol).

    I’m a copywriter who specialises in internet copy, and from that perspective, I can tell you that there is nothing on your site that would attract visitors. The most prominently used words are ‘shopping’ and ‘caddy’; great if someone is literally Googling ‘shopping caddy’ but without knowing exactly what it’s called, they would be looking for something else such as ‘nappy bag’, ‘pram bag’, ‘stroller carry-all’, that kind of thing. In fact, there is very little content on the site at all, so there is nothing for the search engines to index, in the way of words and therefore, nothing for them to direct traffic to.

    Also, I feel the name ‘shopping caddy’ may be letting the product down. If it’s specifically been designed for use on prams and strollers, I would have called it ‘pram caddy’ or ‘stroller caddy’. You seem to be intent on selling it to mothers and for them, the word ‘shopping’ may not be as compelling as ‘pram’ or ‘stroller’.

    I think the suggestion to have the name embroidered on the product itself is huge. Let it advertise itself. It can be done in a stylish way, but hey, even brands such as Osh Kosh B’Gosh emblazon their brand name on their clothing. But if you do go that route, make sure you brand it with the website address, not just the product name.

    I’d also recommend a logo design, something that’s instantly recognisable (when enough exposure has been achieved). Allow for the opportunity to branch out into other products at a later date. You could introduce a more focused ‘shopping caddy’ to follow up on the ‘pram caddy’/’stroller caddy’ which doesn’t need to be hooked onto a pram, but which comes with its own wheels on the bottom. And I love someone’s suggestion that it could be redesigned for the elderly, either to fit onto the back of a wheelchair, onto a walker, scooter or again, on wheels. ‘Granny caddy’? ;) So, keep the word ‘caddy’ and future-proof the branding accordingly.

    I don’t think the pricing is too high at all. I think it’s perfectly appropriate given the quality, robustness, versatility and design intelligence. I would think it would last for more than one baby, and would probably serve the whole family until the pram is no longer needed.

    I was actually amazed to watch the video and see how much you pulled out of it! I’m still not clear on how it doesn’t fall over when there’s no child in the pram. Having said that, even if it did, the flat, sturdy bottom would mean that nothing topples over. It looks as though it would just sit on its flat bottom and not cause any problems for the contents.

    Another site you might like to look into is http://www.businessmums.com. I reckon you’d find lots of takers there.

    I’d also be keen to stock it on my retail website: http://www.liveitup.net.au. Please contact me if you’d like to know more about it.

    Have you considered a press release? I can help you with this, and it could bring plenty of ‘free’ publicity as a result.

    I think parents need to see it. Although making it available online is very important because not everyone needs to see it up close to decide to buy it, you need to get word out about it. Why not cosy up to your local shopping centre and see if they’ll let you borrow some space at the front of the centre so that you can loan the Shopping Caddy to Mums with prams as they enter? The way you cosy up is by convincing them that anything that makes shopping easier, means higher sales and longer time spent in store.

    Set up a table with flyers, business cards, even helium balloons for the kids, make it really colourful and inviting. Invite mothers to borrow the Shopping Caddy for their entire shopping expedition, and just to hand it back when they’ve finished and are about to head for their car. This way they get to trial it for free and they’ll see just how practical it is and how much shopping they’ll fit in it. And while they’re at it, other shoppers will see it in action and it will be advertising itself in action.

    When the borrowers return the Shopping Caddy to your stall, ask them to fill out a questionnaire and/or provide comments that you can use on your website. Make it very short and sweet as by this time, their little one/s might be needing to go home without delay. Send them home with 5 flyers that they can each pass on to other Mums that they know. The beauty of mothers with small children is that they almost invariably know plenty of others with children in the same age group.

    Take order forms with you, grab credit card details that you can process when you get back home (and charge for delivery), or accept cash on the spot. Have some new stock handy to customers can buy on the spot.

    Another idea is to suggest to local kindies that you hold a morning tea on the premises and invite parents to come and see the Shopping Caddy ‘in the flesh’. Demonstrate it, take orders as mentioned above, and hand out lots of flyers that can be passed on. The kindy might be more enticed if they were to receive a ‘cut’, say 5% of sales generated on the day given back in a cash donation, even if the donation is made to the kindy’s favourite charity.

    See if you can align with charities. SIDS, Abused Child Trust, etc … approach them and ask how you can work with them as an endorsed product.

    If I can help with your website content, press release or flyers, please don’t hesitate to contact me. In order to get the word out there, you need to use more words, in more appropriate ways. Create extra pages on your website, add content, keep it refreshed by adding testimonials, comments, case studies, a blog, etc. This will keep the search engines happy.

    One more thing. Your tag line is ok but it really doesn’t capture what you’re selling and what its benefits are. “Stylish. Practical. Innovative.” are all words that compliment the designer, i.e. you, but say nothing about what’s in it for the buyer. Those three words could apply to designer toilet brushes, a new idea for a fruit bowl or a custom-coloured washing machine. They say absolutely nothing about a strong, clever bag for hanging on the back of a pram.

    Ok, I think that’s about it. I did warn you I had lots to say lol. Hope it’s been of help and please don’t hesitate to drop me a line if you’d like to list it on Live It Up, or would like help with your writing/marketing.

    All the best :)

    #1030515
    wordmistress
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    Whoops! That is ALOT of bla bla bla lol … lucky we don’t have to pay for the space we use!!!!

    #1030516
    wordmistress
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    • Total posts: 504
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    Wow, thanks to someone’s post in another thread, here is an easy way to capture credit card details and process payments on the spot:

    http://iccpay.com/

    It’s an iPhone app that costs just $43.99 and you connect to it using your existing payment gateway. Nice! (If you have an iPhone, which I currently do not lol.)

    #1030517
    King
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    depending on your profit margin, I suggest recruiting childcare centres as resellers.

    If they can make say $20 from each one (they would need that to do the sales/change aspect), I am sure there would be an interest.

    I would ensure that your website url is on the product as well – printed on maybe like a logo, that way everyone who sees one being used knows where to find one.

    If you are looking at bricks and mortar stores, then you would be needing to sell to them at $30 or under, they expect to make 100% on top.

    I would address on the website the issue of prams falling over when the bag is full of heavy stuff – a significant safety issue there – ensure you have public liability insurance!!

    #1030518
    Past-Member
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    karenrice, post: 36604 wrote:
    …You made an interesting point about the meta file, my graphic designer was suppose to put these words in for me I gave him a huge list, obviously he didn’t. Could you please give me the step by step instructions of how I can check for myself the words that are in the meta file? ….

    Many thanks

    Dear Karen – you can check what’s on the pages just on the web by clicking File/Source and viewing the contents. But you won’t be able to change anything unless you have ftp access to the source files.

    As the owner of the domain you should have been given ftp details, a login and a password. This can be given confidentially to anyone who can update the meta tags for you – be it your designer, or an expert in SEO of which there are a few on this forum.

    I realise you have invested heavily in this product and the advertising of it so far and although I have things I would suggest as a designer of many years, I don’t think that is what you need right now.

    As a mum and grandmother I still think it’s priced fine for such a quality product – knowing how much is spent on other baby accessories.

    I would take the advice of some others and contact the mums and baby websites.

    The Womens Network is also a good place to check out. I am a member. They are a national organisation http://www.womensnetwork.com.au – and have a weekly noticeboard email where you could just put a text advert (they will help you write it) and it’s sent to their huge pool of business women.

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